The Flywheel


clinking glasses

Charter Schools in West County,
A Case Study

Linda Delgado, Academic & Development Director of Manzanita Middle School, a charter school in the West Contra Costa Unified School District, discussses the similarities and differences in academic performance between Manzanita and the district’s ‘normal’ middle schools.

Visit the Manzanita Middle School website.



Welcome, Invocation, Thought for the Day

President Mark Howe called the meeting to order and asked our speaker and prospective member Bill Lindsay to lead the Pledge to the Flag. John Nicol provided a joke for the day dealing with the hazards of using grocery store express lanes.

Rotarians with Guests

President Mark had as his guests Michelle Itagaki, Executive Director of the Richmond Convention and Visitors Bureau, and Ken Thurman. E.J. Shalaby had as his guest Gerald Hatchett. And Mark Grushayev was Secretary Jon Lawlis’ guest.

Sunshine Report

Our Sunshine Chair, Bill Koziol, announced that PDG Werner Schwartz has returned home from the hospital. A get-well card was passed around for members’ signatures.


  • Erle Brown announced the Second Annual Richmond Rotary Crab Feed on January 24 at the Salesian High School Cafeteria. Tickets are $40 per person or $400 for tables of ten. Erle said we need at least 150 participants at this event which last year was both fun and profitable. Hank Covell and Sid Chauvin will man the wine/beer bar. An auction will be part of the festivities this year. See David Brown, Sid Chauvin or Hank Covell for reservations.
  • Sid Chauvin announced that there is still room on the train for the Reno trip the Sunday and Monday after the Crab Feed (see left side bar), whch will be BYOB this year.
  • Nick Despota asked for additional volunteers to work at the Nevin Center one Saturday morning a month. See Nick to learn more.

Special Events

New member Gerald Hatchett was inducted into the Club by Allan Baer.  Gerald received his red badge and Rotary pin and special attention from Immediate Past President Pam Jones.

Happy and Sad Dollars

  • Jim Young was happy about a deal that closed just that morning.
  • Herb Cole was happy to see Joe Nussbaum at the meeting.
  • Jim Beaver was sad about the loss of a good pal. He also informed the club, aproposof our guest speaker, that in the old days there were always three reporters from local papers, of which he was one, at City Council meetings. Jim also had an item of interest to share with all of us: a factoid about a recently deceased San Carlos Rotarian who had sixty years of perfect attendance.
  • Bob Dabney was happy about his impending grandfatherhood.
  • Josh Genser was happy about his daughter being accepted to Franklin College in Switzerland.
  • Sid Chauvin was happy about a shirt tail relative who received a new kidney. (Sid explained exactly what a shirt tail relative is.)

Norm Foley sent holiday greetings to the Richmond Rotary this year. It takes the form of a holiday letter. Thanks, Norm!

Follow-up to the Rotary Self-Examination, Dec. 19th

Last week's Flywheel carried a report of the meeting of December 19th, in which President Mark Howe set forth ideas for future projects, how they're defined, funded, managed, and more. We invited members to respond. Charlie Fender and Judy Kafka did. Read their comments here.


On the 12th day of Christmas, Richmond gave to me...

Jim Young introduced our speaker for the day, Richmond City Manager Bill Lindsay, who enumerated his and the city’s accomplishments in the style of the song “The Twelve Days of Christmas.”

  • On the first day of Christmas he received a renovated Civic Center which will be gradually reoccupied over the next few months. Other downtown buildings are also being renovated including the Winters Building which houses the East Bay Center for the Performing Arts. [Jon Nicol informed everyone that the building had once housed a skating rink, but Bill admitted that it would not be returning.]
  • On the second day, Richmond received an AA credit rating. The city is in good financial shape in spite of sales taxes being down 17% during the first three quarters of 2008 and property tax revenues being flat.
  • On the third day, he received three open libraries.
  • On the fourth day, four neighborhood change agents as part of an intervention strategy.
  • On the fifth day, five million dollars for Upstream Point Molate.
  • On the sixth day, six letters in the word plunge, as in Richmond Plunge.
  • On the seventh day, seven Richmond City Council members (as opposed to nine) and an expected change in City Council dynamics.
  • On the eighth day, eighty-eight million dollars for the Honda port deal.
  • Day nine, 900,000 square feet of pavement repair accomplished by the Public Works Department.
  • On the tenth day, he received ten more Urban Environmental Accords to work on.
  • On the eleventh day, an 11% reduction in property crime in the city.  Plus a 40% reduction in homicides and 21% fewer aggravated assaults.  [Eds. Note: Chip Johnson’s column in the January 13, 2009,  San Francisco Chronicle expanded on this topic and on the progress in the city’s Community Policing program.]
  • Finally, on the twelfth day, fifteen (?) elements in the city’s General Plan

President Mark presented our speaker with two bottles of wine as a thank you for his presentation and for not singing it.

- "Scribo Veritas", Editor Ted Abreu