The Flywheel

Program for friDAY JULY 18Th

Who Am I?

Former builders of empire.
Captains of industry.
Defenders of small animals.
Super-heroes and action figures, yes.
But who are they?

They walk among us,
sharing our lunch tables,
laughing at our jokes,
and still paying their dues.
But who are they?

Find out this Friday at 12PM,
La Strada Restaurant
2215 Church Lane
San Pablo

MEETING OF July 11th 2008:

Welcome, Invocation, Thought for the Day

Newly minted Richmond Rotary President, Prez Mark Howe rang the bell to a full house of Rotarians and guests who were anxiously awaiting the end of commentary and business so we could, “get on with the show”.
Tony Thurmond led the throng in an invocation for peace and justice and Jan Brown lead us in the Pledge of Allegiance. Departing from the often weighty ‘Thought for the Day’ custom, Prez Mark asked Rafael Madrigal to provide a ‘joke for the day’, which Rafael very effectively did do. (See Rafael if you’d like to hear the cookie joke.)

Rotarians with Guests

Treasurer David Brown introduced his aunt and uncle, and his parents Joyce and Bob Brown. David said that, given his advanced years, he was delighted to be able to enjoy the day with his parents and aunt and uncle.

Rafael Madrigal introduced Sal Vaca of the City of Richmond & Richmond Builds Program. Mr. Vaca took the opportunity to say that the Summer Youth Program had raised $496M and they were looking for that last $4M to fully fund the project.

Jim Young introduced Steve Baker, the Executive Director of Freight and Salvage Coffee House in Berkeley.

Prez Mark introduced, “the most patient woman on Earth”, his wife Susan Howe.

Sunshine Report

Bill “Bill K.” Koziol said that the club is in pretty good shape except for Barbara M. who is still smarting from shoulder surgery. Barb said the surgery involves, “…full replacement of the shoulder and…”, see Barbara for details. Joe Nusbaum was at the meeting today but had to leave early.  Herb Cole mentions that Joe’s wife Anne has entered hospice care.


Judy Kafka reminded the club that Child Spree is Saturday at 6AM at the Mervyn’s in Pinole. The Salvation Army-sponsored program provides new school clothes for kids who cant afford it.

The Gallo Girls collectively purchased the Bottle of Muscatel at the last Holiday auction for an astounding $825. (Missing from this photo: Rhonda Harris, Leigh Johnson, Lydia Stewart.)

X-Prez Leslie Levy showed the club the ‘all new’ and beautifully displayed Richmond Rotary Bottle of Muscatel. The new display packaging was reported to be ‘fool-proof’, preventing inadvertent consumption of this extremely rare, 30 year old, bottle of 79¢ wine.  It will again be put to the test at the next Annual Holiday Auction. How much more can be added to the $8,000 this fine wine has already brought the Rotary?

Prez Mark then introduced Iyalode , the steward of the Rotary Peace Garden at First and Nevin. She said that people are coming from all over town to visit and grow produce and that it is having a restorative effect on many. She is recording these people and their reaction to the Garden on a video about the community. More on that later.

Mark talked about the Rotary Peace Project in Richmond.  The Ad Hoc project group includes about a dozen Rotarians—too many to list here.  Nick gave a short report, saying that the group has shelved the original idea of a gun buy-back program and is weighing other options that have proven to be effective in reducing violence.  More information as it develops.

Our "Rotarian of the Year", Liliane Koziol, addressed the Rotary Club of Moraga, on the GSE trip to Madagascar. Moraga Rotarians and past Rotary International president Cliff Dochterman were enthusiastic in their response. We are honored and proud to have Liliane among our members.


Using a new “voluntary recognitions” format, Margaret Markowski launched into recognitions.

  • Josh Genser said he and Elaina just celebrated their anniversary with a weekend at the East Brothers Lighthouse, a prize won at last December’s Holiday Auction.  Josh denied responsibility for Sunday fog horn blasts with the comment, “What fog?”
  • Judy Kafka has or will be celebrating her birthday on Rhodes and contributed $100 to Childspree.
    Barbara M. and her husband Gary just celebrated their 16th wedding anniversary with her full shoulder replacement.
  • Ted Abreu is celebrating his 73rd Birthday today. Happy Birthday Ted.
    The long missing Richard Alexander, celebrated his 60th birthday in June and really celebrated two weeks ago when he retire from the Navy Reserve.
  • PDG Werner Schwarz said the he and Lea just celebrated 56 years of marital (or was that martial?) bliss.
  • Jan Brown and Byron just celebrated their wedding anniversary.
  • Josh Surowitz and Ann just celebrated their 4th wedding anniversary.
  • Joe Nusbaum celebrated his “four score and five” birthday in June and is sending a check to the Club..  Happy belated Birthday greetings Joe!
  • Monique Le Conge celebrated here birthday with a nice dinner with her family last Saturday she thinks, noting she wasn’t really paying attention (probably reading a book).

Happy and Sad Dollars

  • Leslie Levy had Happy $$ for son Ethan who safely returned from New Zealand and brought his laptop with him.
  • Josh Genser had Happy $$ for tonight’s Pt. Richmond Music Festival and invited the members to join him on the Genser and Watkins veranda to enjoy the music and have a glass of wine.
  • Prez Mark had Happy $$ for the RYC successful cruise to the Delta, Lazar sailing and “a beer or two without phones”.
  • Herb Cole had Happy $$ because Joe Nusbaum was able to join us today.

Raffle Results

The program was so good I forgot who did the raffle, maybe it was long missing Rich Alexander, but they got the white ball.



Songs of World War II

The Singing Blue Stars of the USS Hornet outdid themselves.  This really is one of those "you had to be there” programs so all we can really do is encourage you to catch them at one of their many venues around the Bay Area, maybe the Home Front Festive this Fall.

The Singing Blue Stars are all Blue Star Mom’s with sons or husbands in, or back from, the War in Iraq.  Their fund raising helps Blue Star chapters around the Bay Area and the USS Hornet Museum.  The club contributed $300 to this effort and “passed the basket” during the meeting.

Here’s a list of the tunes sung by this outstanding ‘Andrews Sisters Tribute Group’ and for more information about them go to

Sentimental Journey           
Boogy Woogy Bugle Boy of Company B
My Dear Mr. Shane
Don’t Sit under the Apple Tree
Beer Barrel Polka
Drinking Rum and Coca-Cola
Chattanooga Choo-Choo
Lullaby of Broadway
Bye-bye Blackbird

The Singing Blue Stars performed to a packed house. You should have been there.

- Rotating Editor, Jim Young.