The Flywheel

Program for friDAY August 1st, 2008

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MEETING OF July 26th, 2008

Welcome, Invocation, Thought for the Day

Prez Mark Howe, with an uncharacteristic hint of anxiety in his voice, rang the bell to begin the meeting with the introduction of District Governor Jim Campbell and his wife and de-facto Assistant District Governor, Linda Campbell. Putting his best Rotary foot forward, Prez Mark asked Margaret Murkowski to lead us in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Visiting Rotarians

Prez Mark introduced Assistant District Governor Gary Boyles of the Hercules Club.


Jan Brown gave the club a rundown of another very successful ChildSpree at the Pinole Mervyn’s. There were ten volunteers from Rotary, but general turnout was light so several Rotarians took two students on their quest for school clothes. Jan characterized managing two students shopping as, “Really nuts” and was grateful that April Jorden and Mark Howe both brought their daughters who were real helps when it came to the shopping. Rotarians participating in ChildSpree include April Jorden, Rafael Cartagena, Alan Baer, Lillian Koziol, Tom Waller, Laura Kuhn, Josh Genser, Pam Jones, Mark Howe, and Jan Brown. ChildSpree is the annual school clothes shopping spree sponsored by the Salvation Army and Mervyn’s for low income families.

Prez Mark announced that Rotary really wants to add more members so the club is removing the indirect tax on members who bring guest/candidates by paying for the guest lunch, at least until the initial $1,000 fund runs out. So bring those people you’d like to see in Rotary.

Prez Mark then asked Nick Despota to report on the last meeting of the Richmond Rotary Peace Project. Nick briefly summarized 5 projects under consideration for Rotary support and participation:

  • Expanding access to a computer-based learning programs, called AutoSkills, for young people after they are released from Byron Ranch (a minimum security facility for young offenders), to be co-sponsored with the El Sobrante Club.
  • CrimeStoppers, a nationwide anonymous tip line that has proven effective in other US cities..
  • The “Positive Mind Group”  cosponsored with Opportunity West, which supports young people in ways that stimulate motivation, positive attitudes, and responsibility.
  • Bringing conflict resolution and anger management reading materials (and therefore, discussions) into the reading programs we now do at the Peres Elementary School, and;
  • Partnering with Opportunity West to provide services at the Nevin Center. Chief among these might be the establishment of a weekend hours and activities for a Teen Center.  For more detail see meeting notes 7.9.08 and 7.23.08.

Happy and Sad Dollars

  • George Egan had sad $$ for an unscheduled 24-hour layover in Canberra, Australia. But George was happy to bring back a special Aussie treat for X-Prez Pam Jones— a new Aussie libation, "Yes We Can”, Barak (Obama) Cola.
    "Yes We Can" Cola
    is reported to be a tall, smooth and very cool drink of invigorating freshness that promotes healthy, positive change while suppressing ‘go-it-alone, nihilistic, self destructive tendencies, and its consequential economic dislocation. (At least that’s what George told editor Jim Young after the meeting.)
  • Not seen recently, Michael Gill had “Happy to be here” $$.
  • Alan Baer had Happy $$$ and recognized the celebration of he and Santa’s 17th wedding anniversary June 22nd.
  • Hank Covell had Happy $$ for his recent visit with his Grand Daughter in Phoenix and Hank was also happy to be home as it was 113 in Phoenix.
    David Brown had Happy $$ for the recent sail & Beer Can race with Prez & Capt. Mark Howe as it was a fun exciting sail.
  • Prez Mark had Happy $$ that Josh Surowitz, family and visiting father survived the last Beer Can as the Bay threw 25 knot wind and heavy seas at these Mid-Western tourist and salt water neophytes.
  • Jim Young had very Happy $$$ for son Zion who is now an official ‘rocket scientist’ having landed a full time job at NASA-Ames in Santa Clara, and, Actor/daughter Zura who landed a principal roll in the Philadelphia Fringe Festive production of “Kid Simple”.
  • Jim Young also had Contrite $$$ for describing Erle Brown’s lovely and charming wife Phyllis as “Lois” in the last Flywheel.  Jim was seen apologizing to Phyllis from behind the shelter of a post at X-Prez Pam’s very successful Saturday BB-Q.
  • Sid Chauvin had Sad $$ for the news that Principal Ramos at Richmond HS just resigned and more sad news for those who suffer from A.G.E. because it is the 30th birthday of Lois Brown, the first test tube baby. Your Editor notes that Lois Brown is no relation to the Lois inaccurately reported to be Erle Brown’s wife.

Raffle Results

Prez Mark managed to squeeze in the Raffle after the DG’s extremely thorough presentation. David Brown, got the luck, but only a free lunch missing the $83 prize.


Distict Governor Jim Campbell

Prez Mark Howe introduced again our current District Governor Jim Campbell and his wife Linda. Jm began his Rotary Motivational Program by thanking Richmond Rotary and Erle Brown for the outstanding support of the Foundation through Paul Harris and other giving. DG Jim with Erle’s assistance recognized Richmond Rotary’s current Paul Harris recipients: Barbara M.; Mark Howe who received a Paul Harris +1; David Brown who received a Paul Harris +3 and this year’s Dean of the Paul Harris class, Ralph Hill who received a Paul Harris +5 and is also a member of the Paul Harris Society.

DG Jim encouraged the club to continue its exemplary Paul Harris support and suggested we might want to have a Medallion Day meeting where all PH members wear their medallions instead of just the pin. Richmond Rotary had over 200% Rotery International Foundation support in 2007-08.

DG Jim emphasized RI President DK Lee’s theme “Make Dreams Happen” with the District 5160 slant, “You make the difference because You Make Dreams Happen”. DG Jim asked the members to help the District “Make Dreams Happen” by attending the District Conference at the Concord Hilton, October 24-26. A full run down of the District Conference can be found at

DG Jim also talked about the District sponsored International Mission to Ethiopia in May 2009.  The mission will deliver prosthetic hands, RotoPlast Quilts, AIDs Bears and has already received excellent district wide support for the hand-made expressions (quilts and bears) of support and caring. More about the hand project can be found at In a development at our meeting DG Jim suggested that the “RotoPlast” quilts could also become “Teen Mom” quilts and be part of the project that Rhonda Harris has so successfully lead here in Richmond.  The club will follow up on this suggestion and opportunity to involve the District in Richmond.

Well, the DG presentation steams on and you can read more about District Governor Jim Campbell at

- Rotating Editor, Jim Young.