The Flywheel

Program for November 30th

Jim Moatzorkis

Seven Nights Along the Border

Col. Gerald Shoemaker (U.S. Army, retired) returns to to discuss his recent investigation of the 1,800 mile US/Mexico border.

Col. Jerry will describe a “typical” evening’s activities, 4PM to 6AM, in seven boder sectors between Laredo and San Diego.


Welcome, Invocation, Thought for the Day

Pam Jones opened the meeting today. Glenn Daggs performed the invocation.  Henry’s thought for day was to wish us a very happy thanksgiving. 

Visiting Rotarians and Guests

We had a bunch to visitors today. 

  • Alan Baer brought the manager of his Petaluma office, Ken Helman, who is also a member of Petaluma Rotary.
  • Glenn brought a young lady, who works in marketing at his company, OSS, to lunch today.
  • Barbara M. was attended at lunch today by her husband and co- owner of their legendary racing yacht “Infinity”.

Sunshine Report

David K announced that Loren Straughn was having pacemaker problems but I have never heard, much less seen the gentleman, but we wish him well anyway.


  • David A. Brown announced that the board (aka bored) made some sizable commitments to Richmond Art Center ($2,000), NIAD ($2,000), and the East Bay Center for the performing Arts ($1,200 for a scholarship).  Jan Brown championed these donations and gave an impassioned speech about their worthiness. Jan it worked !     
  • Don Lau’s Luau is going to be held at the Rockefeller Lodge on Saturday evening December 15 at 6:00.  The cost is $37.50 each or $70.00 for a couple.  So bring a friend.  Remember whenever Lau’s Luau is spoken you have to recite “Pam show me your coconuts” which today turned Jim Young bright red because he was unaware of the joke having not attended the last meeting.  Just say Don Lau’s Luau and she will show you her coconuts.  I hear she is planning to cut the coconuts in half and wear them at the Luau.  Mai Tais are self serve, there will be hors d’heuvres, and there will be music and dancing.
  • Jim Beaver announced the Annual Rotary Christmas auction.  Beav will be calling for auction donation items like he has in the past.  The auction will be Friday, December 14th.  Bring lots of cash or a full checkbook or a credit card with a low balance.  I think they will take credit cards again this year.  Jan Brown has promised to buy the bottle of Gallo Muscatel.
  • Hank Covell announced that there will be a crab feed dinner at Salesian high school on Saturday, January 26.  The cost will be $35/person.  Earl is cooking and he knows how to do a crab feed besides he said that the tanker really had Olive Oil in it so all the crabs are already marinated.  See Hank.
  • Glenn Daggs at Peres School
  • Glenn Daggs gave us a report on Rotary’s activities at Peres School.  He also read a letter of appreciation from Dr. Scott.
  • John Nicol again blew the train whistle and reminded everybody that the train trip is coming up.  The $275 fee includes hotel and more booze than you can drink on the way up.  It’s a party he says.  I can attest to that.  Last year somebody, whose name I will not mention, got so blasted they almost forgot to get off the train.  That is not a good idea. 

 Happy and Sad Dollars

  • Werner “aka Big Mouth”  Schwartz donated $100 to the International Werner Schwartz foundation and will celebrate it with a trip. He will "recycle some widows by taking them to the Virgin Islands”
  • Herb Cole added insult to injury when he asked all the Rotarians who attended CAL to stand up to recognize USC’s slim victory last weekend.  $10 for the 7 people standing was donated.

Raffle Results

$431 dollars was in pot today and the raffle was won by Bill Koziol but he did not get the yellow ball this time. 


Police Chief MagnusChanging Fortunes for Richmond's Port

Jim Matzorkis the Port Director for the City of Richmond discussed port operations.  The competitive position of small ports like Richmond’s has been on the upswing lately as the larger ports have run out of capacity.  Larger ports are evicting automobile importers that take up too much land but do not pay as much as container handling operations do.  Richmond has been a beneficiary of this trend and has hosted the Kia Hundai import terminal here for the last three years which brings in $4.5 million income to the City’s general fund.  Today the picture is even brighter.  The port is in negotiations with Honda which could double the ports auto handling revenue to $9M. 

This is all very good news to the city.  The public port had been a long time money loser.

The port is also home to Rosie the Riveter National Park and the Bay Trail which sometimes creates security difficulties for port operations.  But Jim Matzorkis recognizes that these ports tenants are important to the City and has made a  good effort to welcome them even though they are a financial burden.  The port hosts the Red Oak Victory ship and an original Kaiser Whirley Crane that the Park Service uses to tell the home front story.  There are also many accommodations for the Bay Trail that allows the public access the historic areas of the old Kaiser WWII Shipyards which are in very much the same condition they were in after WWII.

Under the management of Jim Matzorkis, with the help of an improving competitive environment for small ports, ours has been converted from a money losing asset into a $10M revenue producer.  It also generates many good paying union jobs for local families. I say “Good job, Jim!”

Faithful scribe, Mark Howe.