The Flywheel

This Week's Program: August 28th, 2009

Managing our water supply

Senator Loni Hacock

Michelle Blackwell of East Bay MUD visits Richmond Rotary to discuss a 30-year plan to maintain the East Bay’s quality water supply.



Last week's MEETING: August 21st, 2009

Welcome, Invocation, Thought for the Day

Prez Glenn Daggs welcomed everyone to the meeting. Henry Kelman provided the advice “the left hand aught to know what the right hand is doing” and also observed “absolute power corrupts absolutely” concerning the previous and current federal congresses.

Rotarians with Guests

Nick Despota introduced Della Dash, who has spent many years working in international health programs, and introduced him to today’s guest speaker.


Bulleted lists work best here, like this

  • Rafael Madrigal announced the Oakland A’s game Saturday night.
  • Past Prez Mark Howe solicited committee members to help kick off this year’s Ghosts of Shipyard III fundraiser.
  • Hank Covell announced another Masquers evening at the Hotel Mac on Thursday, 9/17/09, which will be a British comedy called “Loot”. $45 per person. If you’d like to join other Rotarians, call Hank at 510-222-9454.

Special Events

A grateful Nick Despota received his Paul Harris.


  • Stoney, who has been married since 1964, celebrated his 45th wedding anniversary. His birthday is also next Friday.
  • Erle Brown and his wife Phyllis have been married for 50 years!
  • Mike Winter had a “marvelous time” in Seattle celebrating his 49th wedding anniversary and got to ride an amphibious “duck” land/watercraft.
  • Jim Beaver also had a wedding anniversary, his 29th, which he said is the year you take the dog for a walk and make margaritas (your scribe was confused whether these two things were directly related).

Happy and Sad Dollars

  • Josh Genser got to attend two Rotary meetings in Plymouth, Massachusetts, last week and got some golf and beer out of the deal two. Josh was also happy his newly adult 18 year old daughter survived a skydiving expedition and because Stanford received an athletics award for the 15th year in a row.
  • Tom Butt was glad to be back from his three-week trip to South East Asia.
  • Erle Brown was happy that at the meeting following the contractor’s lunch (a meeting only he made it to, of the attendees of the event) that David Brown bought him some hair of the dog that helped him survive his hangover.

Norm’s Nonsense

A man walked out of the bar and got in his car and a policeman came over. "Sir, your eyes seem to be bloodshot. Have you been drinking?"
"Officer, your eyes seem to be glazed. Have you been eating donuts?"

Raffle Results

John Nicol drew the white ball.



Helping the children of AfricaSenator Loni Hacock

Attorney Rahel Alemayehu of Ethiopia, the first woman to become a member of the Addis Adaba Rotary Club and the first female member of the Ethiopian Supreme Court, discussed the work of international organizations that arrange adoptions for her country's destitute children.

Because of HIV/AIDS, poverty and ongoing war, Ethiopia has an epidemic of destitute orphans, possibly numbering 100,000 countrywide. Only 5-10% of these kids are ultimately adopted by international families. Rahel works with an Ethiopian adoption agency for these orphans and in the orphanage she works with as well, there are over a hundred orphans. Many of these young children are simply left on the street by their impoverished parents. HIV/AIDS infected children, largely from the countryside, are located in separate orphanages and this issue has created many problems in its own right.

Rahel was asked if her Addis Adaba Rotary can work with the International Rotary to accept matching donations. "Yes, we can." This opens an opportunity for our own Rotary to make a significant contribution that can address the ongoing equipment needs of Rahels' orphanage, including beds and computers. Stay tuned.

- Rotating Scribe, Josh Surowitz