The Flywheel

Our Next Meeting, APRIL 9th

The Political Landscape
Nancy Skinner, Assemblywoman

Another year of hefty state deficits. Deeply reduced revenues, the result of the collapse of the real estate market. Statewide unemployment that's predicted to lag behind the rest of the country.

What does it all mean for California and the policy decisions its leaders face? Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner surveys the political landscape from the East Bay to Sacramento.


Last Meeting: April 2nd

Welcome, Invocation, Thought for the Day

President Glenn Daggs called the meeting to order. With over 100 guests in attendance, it was an impressive gathering. Werner's daughter, Donna, lead the club in the Pledge of Allegiance.  Stoney Stonework led the invocation, asking for a silent moment for peace, freedom and justice.  Henry Kelman made the less than philosophical observation that the Richmond City Council apparently does want Chevron to leave town.

Glenn Dagss introduced the VIPs at the head table:
   Earl Kilmer, our current Governor
   Karl Diekman, Governor Elect, 2010-2011
   Dave Dacus, Governor Elect, 2011-2012
   Werner Schwarz, or past District Governor
   Cliff Dochterman, past Rotary International President
   Laura Day, Governor 2012-2013
   Connie Crawford, past District Governor, and
   Jim Campbell, past District Governor

Glenn also introduced to other VIPs (seated in coach class): our Assistant Governor-elect, Pam Jones, and Assistant Governor Gary Boyles, of Hercule.

Introductions then moved on to our many distinguished VIP guests:
   Romi Diekman, wife of Governor Diekman
   John Bernardin, President of Rotary Club of El Sobrante
   Donna Schwarz (princess) and Leah Schwarz (empress)
   Maria Elena Dochterman, wife of Cliff
   Normi Cole, wife of Herb
   JD Miller, Past President, Rotary Club of Vallejo, and his wife Tina
   Peter Fulchiron, Past President, Rotary Club of Vallejo
   Bill Frank, Past President, Rotary Club of Hercules
   Russ Schultz and his wife Fimi
   Our own Charlie Wong and Jean
   Norm Foley and his wife Bonnie

Alan Baer went on to introduce a number of other guests, including Mif Hernandez, Doug and Hermin Millar (San Pablo Rotary), Fred Collignon and Mac Lingo (Berkeley Rotary), Bo Morse (San Ramon Valley Rotary), Randy Stevenson (El Sobrante Rotary), Jerry Cates (Pinole Rotary), and Mark Scott, Ilhahi Kraca, Pat Todhunter, and Jack Freethy (El Cerrito Rotary).


  • Jerry Cates from Pinole Rotary announced that they will be having a golf tournament at Hiddenbrooke Country Club. Contact Jerry if you are interested in playing.
  • JD Miller from Vallejo Rotary announced that they will also be having a golf tournament at Hiddenbrooke Country Club.  This one happens a week after Pinole’s tournament. We’ll post the time and place for the golf tournaments in next week’s Flywheel.

Paul Harris Recognitions

Erle Brown took the podium and assisted by past Rotary International President Cliff Dochterman secured a Paul Harris pin on the lapel of Kim, Herb Cole's daughter-in-law; Alan Baer was awarded a Paul Harris plus 3.


Herb Cole's 72nd birthday coincided with our Friday meeting and he was happy to make a contribution in recognition of this milestone.  Norm Foley, in anticipation of some upcoming milestones, wanted to make a contribution to the club for his and Bonnie’s birthdays. Come back soon Norm and keep the jokes coming!

Happy and Sad Dollars

Jon Lawlis had Happy $$ because he was able to attend both this Rotary Birthday Extravaganza and this evening his daughter’s 21st birthday celebration as he will be flying to Riverside CA.

Jim Young was happy to see Flywheel Funny Bone Norm Foley and Frau Bonnie and happy to recognize George Egan’s effort to spontaneously raise $1,000 for a second Shelter Box for Chile. Noting that it is early in the year and that, “anything can happen”, Jim donated $250 to start a collection effort for a 3rd Shelter Box.

Erle Brown had Happy $$ for the good progress Frau Phyllis is making with her new knee noting the only drawback is that he will now have to run faster (we’re not sure what that means and we didn’t ask).

Stoney Stonework had Happy & Sad $$ for some kind of sports foolishness.

Glenn Daggs was happy and proud to be member of  90 years tradition of the Richmond club  years grateful for a wonderful turnout.

Don Lau was happy that he joined the YMCA staff on April Fool’s Day 27 years ago and soon after joining the Y staff joined Richmond Rotary.

Herb Cole had happy dollars that he and Normie were off on another adventure abroad.

David Brown had happy dollars $$… he just found out he’s going to be a grandfather.

Bob Dabney and others contributed to the pot for reasons unrecorded. (Doesn’t the Torah say something to the effect that the greatest gifts are those contributed anonymously and without any expectation of recognition? So our note-taking lapses become their elevations of merit. Don’t mention it.)

Norm’s Nonsense
This guy walks into a pub in London and says to the bartender: "Give me a double scotch, I've had a rough day at work."

Bartender: "Oh, what do you do?"

Guy: "I take care of the Corgis, you know, the pet dogs of the Royal family. All that inbreeding has led to low intelligence and bad temperament. And the dogs aren't that sharp either."

Raffle Results
Due to the large crowd and the lateness of the hour ("What, 1:45 P.M.? Already?") the raffle was not held.



Cliff Dochterman
Cliff Dochterman's fine words transported Werner into a state of deep meditation, a fact not quite concealed by well-placed bouquets.

Werner introduced past RI President Cliff Dochterman, who was greeted with a standing ovation.

Cliff presented a credible snapshot of what would happen if the Rotary Club of Richmond closed. All local community, vocational, and educational projects would stop.  Even if we set aside for the moment the significant social impacts of such an event, consider just one limited economic effect, demonstrated by a simple calculation: 90 years times 80 members (average) times $10/lunch (average, meeting approximately weekly over all those years) amounts to nearly a half million dollars that our Club has contributed to the Richmond economy—and that’s without any projects!

But it is through community projects that the Rotary Club achieves its greaest impacts. Cliff asked us to recognize the range of supports that Rotary clubs provide: support for police and fire departments, schools, YMCAs, parks, computer training, individual scholarships, and more. When a Rotary Club closes, all that disappears. A look around at the faces in the audience, men and women who have dedicated countless hours and dollars to such programs, suggested that they fully appreciated Cliff's point.

The 90th Birthday Celebration concluded, the members of many different Rotary clubs rose from their tables—a chatty flock if their ever was one—and slowly made their ways to the parking lot and back to their communities.

- Several people contributed to this week’s Flywheel, each working their memories overtime to contribute a piece to this record (the story of the blind men and the elephant comes to mind): Jim Young, Werner Schwarz, Pam Jones, Nick Despota, Glenn Daggs, and Don Lau.