The Flywheel

Program for friDAY May 30th

Making Poor Nations Rich

Solar panel installation

Why are some nations stuck, mired in poverty? How have others who were trapped transformed themselves and grown?

Benjamin Powell will discuss major success stories and failures from around the world. He’s Professor of Economics at Suffolk University in Boston, a Research Fellow with the Independent Institute, and Editor of the book, “Making Poor Nations Rich: Entrepreneurship and the Process of Economic Development”.

Perhaps there are reminders and lessons for our own local economy.

MEETING OF May 23rd, 2008

Welcome, Invocation, Thought for the Day

Stoney offered the invocation and Rafael lead the Pledge of Allegiance.

Rotarians with Guests

Scott Lewis was the guest of George Egan. Scott is with the Scott Valley Bank (how did he manage that?), headquartered in Yreka, California.

Who Am I?

April Jorden answered that question for us. April was born and educated in the Bay Area. She is a strong supporter of children's welfare issues and our Teens Moms Program. April has 3 children of her own. We're lucky to have such a caring person in our club.


Jan Brown asked for volunteers to help prepare gift baskets (bins, actually) for the Teens Mom Project, a Rotary-sponsored outreach to local teen mothers through the school district and YMCA programs. 

The day after her announcement, a handful of well-caffienated, caring Rotarians showed up at Jan's to pack baby-care necessities and write friendly messages to the moms. Thanks to good planning, the morning was efficient and fun.

Jan, Rhonda, April, Herb and Norma, Pam, Tom Waller, Nick Despota and newly-welcomed member Laura Kuhn all contributed to this very positive effort.

The project has a history. It started 3 years ago with a suggestion from Rhonda's daughter, Paris. Mother and daughter organized the first efforts through Rotary with the help of many local contributors. This year Rhonda and Jan have worked together on the organizing while Rotarian Dan Tanita and the new Richmond Target store lent support.

Some years ago, Ted Abreu, Don Lau and Herb Cole all played a role in laying the groundwork for the on site childcare programs at JFK and RHS aimed at helping teen mothers in our high schools. Thanks for your leadership.


Eric from the Albany Rotary presented our club's brilliant bowlers a first place award in a competition and fundraising event. Josh Genser happily accepted the award on behalf of the team.

Happy and Sad Dollars

Jim Beaver had happy dollars for his son's graduation from Toothpaste University. (We just report it, we don't make it up.)

Josh Genser had another $5, pleased that he is one of the few people in the Bay Area who knows where the Scott Valley Bank is located. Or is that the "bank of the Scott Valley River," where David Brown and unnamed others will fly fish. We're confused but trust that it will all work out.

Treasurer David was happy that April could distribute $1000 to Peres School on behalf of our club.

Joey B had sad dollars for his grandmother's passing. But these were happy dollars too, since he met his future wife 38 years ago. They spent the following week under a waterfall together. (There's a metaphor in there somewhere.)

Jim Beaver will support his son so he won't be under any stress.

Stoney quite smoking in May of 1978 and took up jogging. He attributes his poor health to the jogging.

Glenn had $5 to affirm his happiness at a gala event at the Downer Mansion. Gala event in a mansion? Are those 5 recession-adjusted dollars?

Raffle Results

Someone drew a ball, it was either white or orange. Sorry, no report.


Health Savings Accounts

Erica James, of Full Circle Insurance, Martinez, discussed health savings accounts. She addressed the question of how to save money on medical costs using an IRS endorsed health plan. Who can say the IRS doesn't care? She fielded another jillion questions from the audience. Remember healthy taxpayers pay more taxes.

-Your Rotating Editor, George Egan.