The Flywheel

Program for March 21ST

Would you like fries with that empire?

Macdonalds arches

Hear an insider's view on corporate empire-building from McDonald’s operator and X-Prez Stoney Stonework.

Stoney surveys the history of McDonald’s — from the first milk shake machines to Big Mac’s conquest of the Communist Block.


MEETING OF March 14th, 2008

Welcome, Invocation, Thought for the Day

Pam Jones opened the meeting today.  Stoney lead us in the invocation. 
Jerry Feagley then led the club in reciting the pledge of allegiance. Henry Kelman commented on how low the turnout in Iraq was for the latest election.


Leslie Levy again performed recognitions today.

  • Troy Pewitt was not available today to be recognized for his club anniversary.
  • George Egan donated $100 today in recognition of his club anniversary.
  • John Nicol donated $100 in recognition of club anniversary.
  • Earl Brown has been away for about a month and donated some money to his Paul Harris.


  • David Ninomiya died last Saturday after a long battle with cancer.  He was a member of the Richmond Rotary Club for 44 years and was its president in the 1978/’79.  In fact he became a member at the same time as John Nichol.  He is survived by his wife Janet who lives in San Francisco who in her younger years was a Japanese Cheery Blossom queen.  Dave was a Rose grower in North Richmond and always donated flowers when asked.  His services will be held at Berkeley Methodist Church, 1710 Carlton Street, March 29, 2008.
  • John Lawlis inducted Kerry Andow into the club.  After she was welcomed she was told what things needed to be completed to get her blue badge and then she received her Rotary pin.

Happy and Sad Dollars

  • Dave Calfee donated $50 sad dollars to acknowledge the passing of Dave Ninomiya.
  • Herb Cole donated a happy $5 to thanks Sid Shovan for buying drinks at a recent get together.
  • Nick Despota donated a $10 happy dollars to recognize the reopening of some long closed libraries

Raffle Results

The raffle was not held today.


Richmond CIty Councilmember Harpreet Sandhu,
"Predatory Lending Practices"

Harpreeet Sandhu

Mr. Sandhu came to this country from Punjab province in India in 1970.  He stated by thanking Rotary for what is does locally and internationally.  He has worked with the school district for many years trying to raise awareness and improve conditions for the 30% of the children in the district who speak English as a second language.  He is also active with the Democratic Central committee.

Regarding the sub-prime loan mess he says that 60% of the sub-prime loans are delinquent and this particularly affects Richmond’s low income residents.  The people who got loans were simply not qualified for them.  As of January, 650 home were in foreclosure.

Harpret commented on the state of the city.  He had the highest praise for the new city staff that have restored the city’s credit rating to AAA and rebuilt the general fund reserve.  He supports some form of mitigation on Chevron but not a punitive mitigation like Tom and Gayle do.  He thinks it is important to focus on the refinery outputs of hazardous gases which he says are unchanged with the proposed modifications.

- Mark Howe, Rotating Flywheel Editor