The Flywheel

Program for September 19Th, 2008

The Cosco Busan: an ‘Incident’ at the Bay Bridge

Commander Bill Robberson has been with the United States Environmental Protection Agency & Region IX 'Incident Manager".  He was the Unified Command Liaison Officer beginning on day three of the Cosco Busan Oil Spill Response in San Francisco Bay. 

Commander Robberson will discuss what happened when the Cosco Busan grazed the Bay Bridge and what has happened since. 


MEETING OF September 12th, 2008

Welcome, Invocation, Thought for the Day

Prez-In-Waiting Ted Abreu rang the bell, got the Pledge of Allegiance done and then made the mistake of asking Sid Chauvin to tell the joke of the day. It was a joke about blondes and brunettes and the punch line was, ”Well, you‘ve got the driver”. ‘Nuff said about that.

Rotarians With Guests

There were many guests today.  Elof Granberg brought his wife and lover Betty. David Brown brought his neighbor and past WCCUSD principal David Moss. Werner Schwarz brought his “first wife” Lia. Norm Foley, who is almost a guest himself, brought his wife Bonnie. And sneaking in during the program and having to sit at the head table because we ran out of seats was Russ Schulze and his wife Fimi.

Sunshine Report

Bill K. said that Charlie Wong was a little down and you are invited to give him a call.


  1. EJ Shalaby announced that he is still signing up participants for the Rotary Home Front Festival boat tours, boarding the boats for shoreline tours on October 4 & 5. See Alan Baer or EJ to sign up. This is the same activity the club did last year but without Motorcycle Bob.
  2. Margaret Morkowski announced that the Rotary checks have gone out to all the teachers at Peres School and Margaret thanked all the members for helping make this Rotary tradition possible again.
  3. Hank Covell mentioned the Hotel Mac and Masquer’s Dinner on Sept 18th, but really got excited about yet another YMCA Pancake Breakfast on Saturday Sept. 20th. Hank picks up the tap for all Rotarians that join him for the pancake breakfast at the Hilltop Y.
  4. Rafael Madrigal reminded all members about the Rotary Night at the As baseball game, Friday Sept. 19th, including dinner at 7 PM at the Oakland Stadium. Buy tickets here.
  5. Speaking of online tickets, Jim Young, reminded everyone about The Ghosts of Winehaven (details and tickets) and Rotary lunch (provided by Marsha Tomasi) with a “Ghost Tour”, followed by the Great Pumpkin Wine Auction. Invite everyone you know because proceeds will go to the club’s Richmond Rotary Peace Project.

    Jim also asked everyone to mark their calendar for a special performance program October 3rd that will be in the MVCC ballroom featuring the Steel Drum Band of the East Bay Center for the Performing Arts. This meeting is also a joint meeting with El Cerrito Rotary.
  6. Nick Despota gave an update about the Richmond Rotary Peace Project. Nick outlined the three main components of the Project. One addresses the needs of  young adults, one presents a conflict-resolution approach to  elementary grade students, and one strives to influence business and governmental leaders in our city. Read a summary of the Project.

Special Events & Recognitions

Norm Foley asked to be recognized and proceeded to donate $200 to the club.  Norm said he likes getting the Flywheel e-mail weekly but is concerned that we are always asking for new editors, noting that he was the Flywheel Editor for 25 years straight! (Your Rotating Editor notes that kind of dedication can not go unrecognized, so by the power vested in me by this keyboard, I hereby make Norm Foley an Honorary Flywheel Rotating Editor with power to provide choice Rotary Tidbits, which will be published under the By-Line “Norm’s ”.  Just keep ‘em clean Norm.
Jim Young volunteered that his 38th wedding anniversary today (without additional time for bad behavior) and his 62nd birthday next Saturday added up to 100 so he had $100 for the Rotary Foundation and his son Zion’s Paul Harris.

Happy and Sad Dollars

Hank Covell had Happy $$ for the West County YMCA.
Jim “The Beav” Beaver had ‘Glad to Be Back’ Happy $$
Long Time No See Bart Wallace had $100 Happy To Be Here $$.
George Egon had Happy $$ for Norm Foley as Norm brought George in to the club.
Josh Genser had Happy $$ for tonight’s Pt. Richmond Music Festival. And invited the members to come the Chamber RichPac Dinner at the Richmond Country Club Sept. 24th to hear the venerable Senator John Knox, Ret., “Talk Politics”.
Margaret Morkowski had Happy $$ for the soon to be famous Point Richmond Indian Statue Day and Dog Contest, Sept. 20th, Saturday.
April Jordon had Happy To Be Back $$ and happier yet that her daughter Jasmine has entered college.
Herb, “dollar-a-word” Cole had a long story about the Dixie Hotel in Beaumont TX, his home town, and how it’s a world class bordello.
Sid Chauvin had sad $$ because Carole Straughn’s (Loren Straughn’s widow) son was killed in a motor cycle accident
Ted Abreu had Happy $$ because his daughter got a great new job in the City working for an international container company.
Ren Partridge had Happy $$ because his great grand daughter just completed her PhD requirements at St. Mary’s College.


How green is your Prius?

Hubble image of galaxy

Paul Guzyk from 3 Prong Electric presented a program about how you can convert your Toyota Prius into a “plug-in electric” car.

Since your editor has run out of time, through the magic of the internet, you can review the presentation, an on-line slide show.

We note that this program is presented as information, without recommendation or warrantee from Richmond Rotary.  It is timely information that may benefit Prius owners and the environment.  You are reminded “Caveat Emptor”, which of course means either ‘Buyer Beware’ or ‘Smoke ‘em if you got ’em’, I forget which.

- Jim Young, Rotating Scribe