The Flywheel

Our Next Meeting, APRIL 16th

State of the State

Sacramento, Capitol Building

Barbara Kaufman, Director of the Office of the Governor in San Francisco, visits Richmond Rotary for a frank discussion of state of the state.

What is and is not working in California? Ms. Kaufman, who has been a San Francisco elected Supervisor for 9 years and hosted her own radio show, “Call to Action”, will tackle this question.



Last Meeting: April 9th

Welcome, Invocation, Thought for the Day

Glenn Daggs called the meeting to order.  He asked Stephanie Baer (Alan Baer’s 11 year old daughter) to lead us in the Pledge of Allegiance.  Markku Pelanne offered a short prayer and Glenn provided the thought for the day. 

Visiting Rotarians

There were no visiting Rotarians.   

Rotarians with Guests

Markku Pelanne’s guest was his Chris Webb and Alan’s guest was his daughter, Stephanie who also distributed Girl Scout cookies.  

Mea Culpa

Last week we published a report of our club’s 90th Birthday Party, including the names of dozens of guests and Rotary dignitaries in attendance. However your webmaster missed acknowledging guests of our one of own dear members. Let us now correct our blunder. Our club was delighted to have welcomed Sid Chauvin's family: Zelpha, Robin, Diane, Brian, and Kyle Chauvin, Amber and Daryl Johnson, and Janis Jones.


  • Nick Despota invited everyone to join Jan Brown, Laura Kuhn, Rhonda Harris, himself and others in assembling “baby bins” for Teen Moms. The bins includes diapers, toys and other baby needs, for mothers still in high school.  This has become an annual project Rhonda Harris began a few years ago.  This year some 54 moms will receive the bundles. The group will meet at Jan’s house on May 8th.  Please call Jan at 234-2141 to lend a hand.
  • Alan invited all of us to participate in Rotary’s activities at the 23rd Street Merchant’s Cinco de Mayo celebrations.  On Saturday, May 1st, Rotary’s contingent for the Parade to the San Pablo City Hall will gather at the parking lot on the corner of Barrett and 25th at 9 am.  On May 2nd you can help to staff Rotary’s booth for the day long Fiesta on 23rd Street.  Please call Alan at 235-8013 for more details.  Our own Raphael Madrigal is chair for this weekend event.   

Special Events

  • Rotary BowlersAlan also invited us to “cheer-on” our team for the annual I-80 Corridor Rotary Bowl-A-Thon.  Richmond Rotary has been the winning team for the last two years.  Let’s support our champs with a pledge for this fun fundraiser.  Please call Alan at 235-8013 with your pledge.

    Dateline: El Cerrito, April 11:
    For the third consecutive year, the Richmond Rotary Club has won the Bay Area Rotary Clubs' Rotavision Bowling Tournament. Anchored by Glenn (I can roll the ball faster than you can) Daggs, Jon (Tommy Bahama) Lawliss, and Monique (Which pin should I hit first?) LeConge, and with Josh (1.0) Genser rounding out the team, Richmond Rotary fought off a strong challenge from the El Sobrante team and won by only 70 pins.


  • Don Lau called each of the following Rotarians for the club recognitions:  
  • Tom Butt’s March 23rd birthday week-long celebrations included the “ground-breaking” for WWII Maritime Childcare center.  This great project has been in the works for a long-time.  “Historic” Tom said “this made my year.”  Tom also invited everyone to a Rosie-the-Riveter Fundraiser on May 8th.  Call Tom at 236-7435 for details.    
  • Norm Lundberg found himself in Argentina for his March 12th birthday.  He walked on glaciers and spent his 40 Wedding Anniversary hiking through the Argentinean wine country… wow.
  • Josh Surowitz’s recognition of his March 24th birthday expanded to include the upcoming birth of his baby and a thank you to Alan and Santa Baer and Pam Jones for such a great “Man-Shower” event.    
  • Ralph Hill celebrated his 40th Wedding Anniverary with a “cruise on the slough” and a contribution to Rotary.

Happy and Sad Dollars

  • John Nicol’s happy dollars announced that he was “glad to be here.”
  • Dan Sanders’ happy dollars let us know he had a great time in Mexico and was glad to be with us at Rotary.
  • Nick’s happy dollars welcomed our speaker, Nancy Skinner.   
  • Glenn’s happy dollars reminded us to continue the celebrations for our club’s 90 Anniversary Year.
  • Jim Young’s happy dollars celebrated the Richmond City Council’s unanimous agreement on the actions to deal with Richmond’s Wild Turkeys… April Fool. 

Norm’s Nonsense

A traveler pulls into a hotel after a long trip and asks the clerk for a single room. As the clerk does the paperwork, the man sees a gorgeous blond sitting in the lobby. He tells the clerk to wait while he goes into the lobby and soon comes back with the girl on his arm. "Fancy meeting my wife here" he says to the clerk. "I'll need a double room for the night."

The next morning he's presented with a bill for $3,000 so he yells at the clerk: "I've only been here one night!" "Yes," says the clerk, "but your wife has been here for three weeks."


Nancy Skinner, Assemblywoman

Pam Jones introduced today’s speaker, Nancy Skinner, State Assembly Women for the 14th District, which includes Richmond. Nancy began her presentation by congratulating both the UC Berkeley’s men’s and women’s basket ball teams.  Her quote, “Go Bears.”  Need we wonder what school Nancy attended?

One of Nancy’s major legislative priorities is Youth. Her foster youth bill is known as the “Harry Potter Bill” and allows State of California schools to let youth who were formally in the foster care system to remain in student housing during school breaks. Nancy also discussed aspects and possible changes to the Juvenile Justice system with ways to provide incentives for good behavior to these youth.

Within the last month, Nancy was appointed Chair of the Assembly’s Rules Committee. She is thus known as the “Mayor of the Assembly.” Her committee schedules Bills for the floor, oversees Assembly personnel, IT and many administrative activities that allow the Assembly to function. Since Nancy is still in her first term, this is quite an accomplishment and is especially important during these tough economic times for government.

Nancy described that not only are State revenues down but that mandated programs have expended. For example, the 3 strikes law has greatly increased the prison population… yet revenues have dropped. In addition, California’s population has continued to increase… yet revenues have dropped. Nancy said, she would very much like not to cut funds for education again. Education is 40% of the State Budget. But she had to say, “If you can’t raise revenue, you are stuck with cuts.”

Nancy emphasized that with the current legislation, that one of the best ways to raise revenue is to stimulate business, and this does include giving businesses tax credits.

Rotating Editor, Margaret Morkowski