The Flywheel

This Week's Program: April 10th, 2009

Political News Coverage in West County

Lisa Vorderbrueggen, a political writer and columnist for the Contra Costa Times and the Bay Area News Group visits the hot bed of local political thought (Richmond Rotary) to discuss political news coverage in West County. Prior to her political assignment, she covered regional growth and transportation at the Times. As a transportation writer, she appeared in a film that won an Emmy for best documentary, “A Bridge So Far: A Suspense Story,” which chronicles the saga around the construction of the new Bay Bridge.

Last week's MEETING: April 3rd, 2009

Welcome, Invocation, Thought for the Day

Prez Mark welcomed the group. Glenn Daggs lead the pledge of allegiance and Hank Covell offered a thought for the day.

Visiting Rotarians

District Governor Jim Campbell and wife Linda visited our club today.

Rotarians with Guests

Jim Young brought his wife Linda. Rhonda Harris brought Art Hatchet. Dave Calfee brought his friend and wife Betty. Barbara Diaz brought Myrna Lopez. Charlie Wong brought his wife, the two will soon be celebrating 60 years of marriage!

Sunshine Report

Everyone was very glad to see Rafael Madrigal back and feeling well again.


  • Mark Howe announced the famous beer can races will soon begin again.
  • Laura Kuhn brought thank you letters from the kids at the Nevin Center.
  • The After Tax Poker Night will be April 17 at 6:00 PM at the Hotel Mac.

Special Events

District Governor Jim Campbell presented Enos Johnson his Blue Badge. Congrats Enos!


Don Hardison celebrated his 93rd birthday, and Tom Butt turned 65. Herb Cole also celebrated a birthday. Allen Baer recognized the Richmond Rotary Club’s 89th Birthday, which was on 4/1/09, April Fools day. During its history, the club has produced 6 District Governors, including our own Werner Schwarz. Allen also calculated that the club has enjoyed 85,000 lunches over the years, and stimulated the economy during that span with about $750,000.00, in lunches alone. Allen also read a list of members who have been in the club for many years. The top five longest standing members include Don Hardison, who joined in 1945, Ralph Hill – 1948, David Calfee – 1953, Nick Petsas – 1955, and Charles Wong – 1960.

Happy and Sad Dollars

David Brown was happy to see Dave Calfee, without whom he may not have eaten in the early years of his law practice. Jim Young was happy to have had a wonderful time boating. Jon Lawlis was happy his daughter’s birthday was coming up, which he planned to celebrate Japanese Tepanyaki style. Bill Koziol was happy because he would be spending his coming birthday weekend celebrating with his wife. Barbara Diaz was happy to see Rafael Madrigal was well again. Rhonda Harris was happy to know those beautiful quilts on display are on their way to the Teen Moms Project. Jerrold Hatchett was happy to have had a great time riding a mechanical rodeo bull, and to have visited Hollywood.

Special Presentation


Jan Brown introduced District Governor Jim Campbell, who together with wife Linda, decided to put her love of quilting to use to help wonderful causes including an AIDS Orphans program and Cleft Palate charities.

Through Jim and Linda’s dedication, they managed to coordinate the donations of 500 beautiful quilts to date, with 150 more committed and on the way. Of them, 50 are going to the Richmond Teen Moms Program.

All of these quilts have been hand-made with love by different Rotary clubs and others (including a Girl Scout troop). This project serves as a great example of how a few people with a fine idea and a big heart can literally and figuratively spread warmth to those most in need.

Norm’s Nonsense

Recently I took a trip to visit my son in Brunswick, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland. I learned that the nearby town of Hinckley has a City Song, "When the Buzzards Come Back to Hinckley, Ohio." It seems for many years the city of Cleveland hauled its garbage to the dumps at Hinckley but discontinued that practice years ago. Now the buzzards return every year looking for the garbage that isn't there.

Raffle Results

Stoney drew the White Ball.


lesa macintosh

The Drought…
What You Can Do & What Happens Next

Former Richmond Rotarian Lesa MacIntosh is the East Bay MUD Director and Representative of Richmond (Ward #1). Lesa spoke to the group about what EBMUD is doing to promote water conservation and to discourage water waste.

Lesa informed the club that last year in August, in the midst of EBMUD’s third dry year in a row, drought surcharges were implemented for customers exceeding their allocations. These measures worked in large part and the actual reduction rates attained for all classes of customers was 13%. This figure was just short of the 15% goal.

EBMUD and its customers got great news recently because the rain fall for February 2009 was so significant, that today we need only 1.75 inches more rain by the end of September to reach the needed annual rainfall. In fact, we only need 7.5 inches more rainfall to reach full capacity. Given recent events, this month EBMUD’s Board will convene to determine whether it is necessary to continue the current drought rate structure.

But the best news Lesa gave the club was that she is now better after battling breast cancer and is planning to begin joining us all for lunch on Fridays again! Welcome back Lesa!

-Rotating Editor, Scribe, etc., Josh Surowitz