The Flywheel

This Week's Program: MAY 8, 2009

Kepler Mission probe

Sun Power, a Vertically Integrated Solar Energy Provider

Matt Giannini will present an overview of SunPower Corporation, the leading provider of solar power systems to homes, businesses, and government agencies in North America.

Mr. Giannini developed one of the largest California municipal PPA projects (2.2 MW's) for Lake County, a 1 MW tracker carport (Applied Materials), a 1 MW rooftop system for AT&T, and an 800 kilowatt tracker carport for Santa Clara County.

Last week's MEETING: May 1, 2009

Welcome, Invocation, Thought for the Day

President elect Glenn Daggs, replacing President Mark Howe for the day, called the meeting to order and asked red-badger Mark Grushayev to lead us in the pledge to the flag. Henry Kelman gave the thought of the day.  Henry assured those who are concerned about the retirement of Supreme Court Justice David Souter that another liberal man or woman will replace him.   

Rotarians with Guests

Henry Kelman introduced his wife and chauffeur, Katherine.  Rafael Madrigal introduced his guests, Steve Hurst and Don Arnold.


  • Alan Baer announced that this Saturday we are joining the Cinco de Mayo parade.  On Sunday we will have a hot dog booth.  Joe Bagley has been working hard on this project and he needs more volunteers.
  • Tom Waller, while on door duty, was handing out a flyer for the Richmond Chamber of Commerce & the City of Richmond GREEN IS GOLD EXPO 2009, on Thursday, May 14th.  Tom encouraged everyone to attend this event, which is free to the community.  Tom reminded us of the 3 R’s: reduce, reuse and recycle.

Special Events

Erle Brown presented Michael Winter with his third Paul Harris pin.

Happy and Sad Dollars

  • David Brown questioned Richard Alexander about a check that was written by someone else who failed to follow club procedures.
  • Michael Gill celebrated his 48th birthday today.  He was happy to be at the club on his birthday. We sang “Happy Birthday” to Mike because he was not willing to pay to shut us up.
  • Werner Schwarz gave ten happy dollars, five for being at the club, and five the Kelman clan for chauffeuring him to the meeting.
  • Herb Cole was happy because his son spoke at a Virginia Rotary club wearing his Paul Harris pin.
  • Bill Koziol celebrated a big event with his wife.
  • Jon Lawlis was happy about his trip to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. He is back and healthy.
  • Glenn Daggs was happy for something that his son did. 
  • Ralph Hill was happy that his driver’s license was renewed. He warned us to get out of his way when he is driving.
  • Eric Gavidia also was happy celebrating an event (sorry I did not catch it).

Norm’s Nonsense

This week Norm's jokes are going to the dogs:

- A dog walks into a bar and says to the bartender, "I can't have alcohol but I'd like a drink of water." Bartender: "Sure, the toilet is down the hall."

- A guy walks into a bar and sees a dog sitting at a table playing poker with some men. He asks the bartender, "Is that dog playing poker?" Bartender: "Yeah, but he's no good at it, whenever he gets a good hand, his tail wags."

Raffle Results

Rafael Madrigal drew a white ball.


The Kepler Mission

Kepler Mission probe

Jim Young introduced our speaker, Alan Gould, from the Lawrence Hall of Science (LHOS). LHOS is an educational and research institute. Alan has been working with LHOS since 1974. 

Alan described the purpose of the Kepler Mission, which is to find earth-like planets around other stars. The mission was named after Johannes Kepler (1571-1630), who developed three astronomical laws. Kepler was a contemporary of Galileo.

On March 6, 2009, NASA launched a rocket loaded with a sensitive telescope and a giant camera. The telescope will monitor 100,000 stars to detect any miniscule changes in the brightness of the stars.  The telescope transmits its data to earth.  From the data, the scientists will be able to determine the size of a planet, its location and if it is located in habitable zone. Prior to the Kepler Mission, 350 planets had been discovered rotating around stars other than the sun.
The spacecraft, which runs of solar energy is operating well.  So far there have been no new discoveries from the Kepler Mission.

- Substitute Editor, Bill Wahbeh