The Flywheel

This Week's Program: July 24tH, 2009

Green Business, Sustainable Performance You Can Take to the Bank

Installation of solar panel on roof

Gil Friend, owner of Natural Logic Consultants, dishes out the "truth about green businesses.”

Gil stole the show with his presentation for the Green is Gold Expo Luncheon hosted by the Richmond Chamber of Commerce May 14th


Last week's MEETING: July 17th, 2009

Welcome, Invocation, Thought for the Day

President Glenn Daggs called the meeting to order.  He asked Margaret Morkowski to lead us in the Pledge of Allegiance.  Henry Kelman provided the thought for the day. 

Rotarians with Guests

David Brown’s guest was his father Robert Brown.  Glenn’s guest was Keith Talamantez of OSS.    

Sunshine Report

Bill Koziol circulated a card for Joe Nusbaum who is now in a rehabilitation facility after a short stay in the hospital. Bill also reported that Charlie Wong is undergoing a series of tests on his lungs.  We all hope they go well.  Alan Baer let us know that Rafael Madrigal is in the hospital nicely recovering from an operation.  Alan knows he is doing well since he has already called his office.  Rafael should be back in the office next week.  Bill reminded everyone that they can use a link on our website to advise him of any “sunshine” item. (See box on left, “Sunshine Intelligence”.) If you’re internet-phobic, you can call Bill at 222-8340 with any news.


Pam Jones announced that a contingent of Richmond Rotarians attended the District’s black tie Paul Harris event.  Richmond Rotary was recognized as the club with the highest percentage per capita in the district for participation in the Paul Harris Foundation.  Way to go everyone with our special thanks to Erle Brown for all of his efforts.

Erle also came up with a way to leverage some "new" technology—this website. He asked Nick to provide him with an easy method for members to find out how much they've contributed to their Paul Harris awards. Done! See the right column of the Members page.

Special Events

Alan invited everyone to participate with the Board in a workshop presented by the District to help us “vision” for the next 5 years. The workshop will take place at the Hotel Mac Restaurant from 5-9 pm on Wednesday, August 5th. Please call Alan at 235-8013 if you would like to be part of the workshop.

Alan also reminded everyone that Richmond Rotary is attending 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 at 235-8013.


  • Joe Begley took the podium as “back-up” for Don and the Beaver.  Joe called each of the following Rotarians to remind them of the “great” events in their lives:
  • Henry Kelman for his up-coming birthday on July 13th.  Henry commented that he is the first born son of a first born son both born on the 13th of the month.  Thanks Henry for your donation to Polio-plus. 
  • Herb Cole for his 17th anniversary as a member our club.  Herb mentioned that the fellow member at his right on the day he received his red badge was suing Herb and the School District for the district’s bankruptcy.  Thus it was a memorable event for more then one reason.  Thanks Herb for your donation to the Paul Harris Foundation.
  • Josh Surowitz for his 5th wedding anniversary on July 2nd.  In celebration, Josh and his wife joined another couple and went sailing on the bay.  On returning to shore, Josh realized that he had locked his keys in the car.  After a 3 hour wait for the locksmith, his wife remembered she had her set of keys, including those for the car, in her purse.  Somehow life is never boring.  Thanks Josh for your donation to the Paul Harris Foundation.
  • Nick Despota for his 4th anniversary as of member of Rotary. Nick tole us that Jan Brown had brought him into the club. He presented her with a bottle of wine in appreciation. He also said that within a few weeks of receiving his red badge, Jan “suggested” that he become publisher of the Flywheel. We all thank you Jan for inviting Nick to be publisher.

Happy and Sad Dollars

  • Joe Begley had some happy dollars because he and his wife Rita went down to Southern California to visit with their daughter.
  • Jan Brown had happy dollars for the great robotic exhibit at the Richmond Art Center and she invited us all to attend and be amazed.
  • Glenn had some happy dollars in celebration of the 7th year anniversary of OSS’ incorporation.
  • Werner Schwarz’s happy dollars was to thank Jim Beaver for remembering Werner’s 57th Wedding Anniversary
  • Herb Cole looked smilingly at Treasurer David Brown as Herb said he had some happy dollars since he (we) had not received the bill for his annual Rotary Dues of $150 which are payable in July.
  • Dan Sanders had happy dollars for his trip to the Greek Isles.  He said “Someone had to do it.” 

Raffle Results

With $145 in the kitty, Robert Brown saw his son David draw a white ball from the bag. 

Norm’s Nonsense

Show me a man with bugs on his teeth, and I will show you a happy motorcycle rider.

No one will ever win the battle of the sexes because there is too much fraternizing with the enemy.


Building Green in Richmond

Flooded streets of New Orleans

Today’s speaker, Richmond Rotarian and Richmond City Council Member, Tom Butt.  Tom presented an overview of the proposed City of Richmond’s Green Building Ordinance.  Tom said that some say that “Green Buildings” concept is a liberal, pink, communist plot when if fact Green Buildings save money, create jobs and are a health place to live and work. 

The City of Richmond has partnered with federal, state, regional and local governmental agencies in achieving positive ‘green” policy and results.  The proposed ordinance, which only needs to be approved by a state energy commission, provides that all new building construction and remodeling projects which meet the requirements, must industry “green standards.  For example, all city projects and commercial projects must meet at least the industry “LEED Silver” category.  LEED is a point based rating system which grades the levels of how “green” a building will be when it is in use.  Certain buildings and projects will be exempt including historic buildings, residential remodeling, new single-family dwellings not subject to design-review and new commercial construction or rehabilitation 0f 5,000 square feet or less.  Penalties for not meeting the standards include administrative citations, civil penalties and the withholding of an occupancy permit. 

There are many publications available on line for both residential and commercial projects.  They include guidelines, score-sheets and credit descriptions which will help you meet the requirements of the ordnance. As a general, “Green Buildings” cost 1-2% more than conventional buildings.

The City of Richmond is also looking into utilizing State Assembly Bill 11 which would allow the city to establish a benefit assessment district which could issue municipal bonds to fund solar power loan for individual homes.  These loans would remain with the home if sold and loans would be re-paid over 5-10 years.  The city may have this program available to it home owners in about a year.  If you would like additional information, please call Tom at (510) 236-7435.


 - Rotating Editor, Margaret Morkowski