The Flywheel

This Week's Program: July 17th, 2009

Building Green in Richmond

Installation of solar panel on roof

Tom Butt, FAIA, is an architect, a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Accredited Professional and a Richmond City Council member.

He will review the growing trend of sustainable buildings, explain why green building is important and describe the crafting and substance of Richmond’s Green Building Ordinance anticipated to be adopted in July or September.


Last week's MEETING: July 10th, 2009

Welcome, Invocation, Thought for the Day

President Glenn Daggs called the first meeting of his term as President to order.  He asked Jovanka Beckles to lead us in the Pledge of Allegiance.  Stoney Stonework lead us in a prayer and Henry Kelman provided  the thought for the day. 

Visiting Rotarians

Jack Freethy joined us from the El Cerrito Club and our alum, Rich Brandis and his wife Lisa, joined us from the Mendocino Club.   

Rotarians with Guests

Jan Brown’s guest was her friend Debbie Whaley.  Debbie is the Associate Pastor of the first Presbyterian Church of Berkeley.  April Jordan’s guest was her daughter, SierraJim Young’s guest was his wife Linda.


  • Werner Schwarz announced that he and his wife are celebrating their 57th Wedding Anniversary. 
  • Glenn announced his Board of Directors for this coming year.  They include Alan Baer, President Elect; Jon Lawlis, Secretary; David Brown, Treasurer and John Nicol as Sergeant at Arms.  Other board members include Josh Surowitz, Nick Despota, Liliane Koziol, Bill Koziol and as consultants, Past Presidents Pam Wilson, Werner Schwarz and Mark Howe.   

Special Events

  • Rafael Madrigal invited everyone to join Richmond Rotary at the A’s Baseball game Saturday, August 22, 2009 at 6:00 pm.  Tickets are $30 each and include all the food you can eat and all the beer you can drink plus great fireworks following the A’s win over Detroit.  For tickets please call Rafael at 233-4987 or Alan Baer at 235-8013. 

Happy and Sad Dollars

  • Bob Dabney had some happy dollars for the successful repair of his previously repaired knee.  The doctor said her would be able to ski again.  Congratulations Bob.
  • Josh Genser had lots of happy dollars for 3 great items.  As a follow-up to the Holiday Auction the much anticipated Wilderness Trip to Josh’s cabin occurred the weekend of June 26th.  The anticipated 12 attendees fell to 4.  But Josh and his wife Elaina, Jerry Feagley and Margaret Morkowski had a great time.  Josh also invited everyone to the balcony of his office in Point Richmond to enjoy the second of five Point Richmond Summer Concerts.  If you missed this one the next concert will be Friday, August 14th from 5:30 pm – 8:00 pm.   Josh was also happy to announce that he and Elaina have just celebrated their 28th Wedding Anniversary. 
  • Josh Surowitz used his happy dollars to comment Glenn’s “clean shaven” appearance (now that Glenn is Prez.)
  • Jovanka Beckles fondly remembered the late entertainer, Michael Jackson with fondness.  Jovanka mentioned Michael’s music has been with her at every stage of her life since she was 9 years old.
  • Jim Young’s happy dollars started with his vacation at noon today with this meeting of Rotary.  As he left the office this morning his boss congratulated Jim for lending the most loans in his office.  “Ditto” from us, Jim.   
  • Mark Howe has returned from the Seas.  Mark’s happy dollars echo Josh’s since Glenn is clean shaven and Mark is not. 
  • Herb Cole’s happy dollars commemorated the meeting the Richmond Rotary’s International Committee at Angie’s.  Herb listed the attendees by the in order of the round of drinks they bought.  It appears to have been a well attended meeting.

Leigh Johnson’s happy dollar brings exciting news of a training workshop at a Nevada Ranch.  But the topper is an invitation from CBS to submit a audition tape for a TV pilot about young.

Norm’s Nonsense

You know you're getting old when ...
-Your wife calls your waterbed the Dead Sea.
-At the nursing home they give you Viagra so you won't roll out of bed.

Raffle Results

Rafael Madrigal won the Raffle.  His “luck” provided him with a white ball.


Cleaning up after Katrina

Flooded streets of New Orleans

Today’s speaker, Public Health Service Officer, Commander Bill Robberson  of  EPA Region 9’s Emergency Response Team gave a presentation of EPA’s actions in response to the August and September 2007  Katrina/Rita hurricane disaster.  Bill’s slides included both pictures and graphics illustrating the extent of the disaster.  The devastated area covered more than 29,000 squire miles and more than 365,000 homes were flooded just in the New Orleans area. 

The on-site headquarters office was staffed by more than 2,000 federal, state and local government agency administrative staff.  There were thousands of additional field staff responding to the disaster.  Under the “lead” of Homeland Security/FEMA, the EPA partnered with the US Coast Guard to respond and clean-up environmental hazards caused by the storms.  Under the partnership, the EPA is responsible for inland areas and the Coast Guard is responsible for the shoreline.  With EPA and the Coast Guard’s quick arrival at the disaster, they were able to rescued more than 800 people before other rescue efforts could begin. 

Environmental emergency response, sampling and clean-up included oil spills, flood waters, ground sediments and air quality.  Situations dealt with included floating caskets, train derailments, and contaminated public drinking water systems. For example, over a 2 week period, 576 public drinking water systems were sampled, repaired, certified and available to provide clean water to the public.  Bill and more than 35 other EPA staff from all over the nation worked on the response.   Two EPA mobile labs, contract employees as well as state and local government staff and volunteers also worked with EPA and the Coast Guard in response to the disaster.  If you would like additional information, please call Bill at (415) 972-3072  

 - Rotating Editor, Margaret Morkowski