The Flywheel

THE Meeting of APRIL 23rd has been cancelled

A Friend's Passing

Bill LindsayThis week we were deeply saddened by the news that Werner Schwarz, a Rotarian for 48 years, passed away on the evening of April 17th. Even those who only recently made Werner's acquaintance appreciated his unlikely combination of irreverence and charm. Longtime friends cite his thoughtfulness and his dedication to our community. His humor reflected it all.

President Glenn has cancelled Friday’s regular Rotary meeting. Glenn encourages all members to honor Werner’s memory by attending the services which will serve as our meeting on this day.

Services will be held at 2:00 p.m., at
        Wilson & Kratzer, Chapel of the Mission Bells
        13644 San Pablo Ave., San Pablo

A reception follows at 4:00 p.m., at
        La Strada Restaurant
        2215 Church Lane, San Pablo

Please note that the chapel is small and parking will be difficult since many people are expected to attend. Carpooling is encouraged.

Our scheduled speaker for this meeting, Richmond City Manager Bill Lindsay, will be re-scheduled.


Last Meeting: April 16th

Welcome, Invocation, Thought for the Day

Glenn Daggs called the meeting to order.  After the Pledge of Allegiance, Glenn asked Henry Kelman for a thought for the day.  Henry relayed to us that this morning Goldman-Sachs has been charged with civil fraud for selling a mortgage product and also “selling insurance” to others that the product would fail.

Visiting Rotarians

We welcomed Debbie Ojeda, Don Quintal, plus Jerry and Judy Cates of the Pinole Rotary Club, who have invited us to join them in their 20th Annual fundraising golf tournament to be held May 19th.  Call (510) 734-4737 for information.


  • Glenn congratulated Richmond Rotary’s bowling team for winning the I-80 Corridor Rotary Bowl-A-Thon for the 3rd year in a row.  Way to go team.
  • Mike Aaronian announced the Contra Costa College’s Culinary Program’s 3rd annual Food and Wine Event to be held April 18th. 
  • Erle Brown brought us up-to-date on our club’s commitments for the Rotary Foundation and Paul Harris Society.  Our Foundation commitment is $100 per member for the 2009-2010 fiscal year.  This commitment totals a $9,000 club contribution.  Our total is currently slightly more than $7,000. Please do your part to help us meet our goal.  Membership in the Paul Harris Society is $1,000 per person.  Erle encouraged us all to participate.  Following his announcements, Erle presented Leigh Johnson with her Paul Harris pen.  The club gave her a standing ovation for her donation.  Thank you Leigh.

Special Events

  • A reminder, once again Richmond Rotary will be participating in Richmond’s 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.  On May 2nd you can help staff Rotary’s booth for the day long Fiesta on 23rd Street.  Please call Alan Baer at 235-8013 for more details.  Our own Raphael Madrigal is chair for the weekend event.
  • Don’t forget to check-out the Calendar on the Richmond Rotary’s Website. It will bring you up-to-date on all of our events.


  • Hank Covell, celebration of Hank’s 40th anniversary as a member of Richmond Rotary.  Hank graciously gave a donation to Rotary Foundation.
  • Jon surprised Glenn by saying “Happy Birthday.”  Yes, Glenn’s birthday is April 16th and he got to spend part of it with us. He was “40” again.  Pam Jones demonstrated her “crafty-ness” by adding extra pages to a birthday card for us all to sign. Thanks Pam.

Happy and Sad Dollars

  • Jan Brown had happy dollars in celebration of Bill and Kristine Koziol’s new baby girl.  We are still anxiously waiting for Josh Surrowitz’s little boy.
  • Jan also invited everyone to join the Rotary Teen Moms team to assemble baby-bundles which includes diapers and care essentials for young mothers still in high school. This year we will serve 24 infant girls and 24 infant boys plus 4 new-borns for a total of 54 little ones. Please plan to join the packaging crew at Jan's house from 10 am to noon on Saturday, May 8. Anyone wishing to help collect items or make a donation are also welcome. Call Jan (234-2141) or Rhonda for more information.
  • EJ Shalaby had sad dollars because the City of Richmond has to deal with the huge sink hole which has wiped out the only road into a residential development but EJ also had happy dollars since the sink hole did not damage any of the sewer connections.
  • John Wilson had happy dollars in celebration of his 52nd Wedding Anniversary.  Thanks John for your donation.
  • Alan Baer had happy dollars for the Bowl-a-Thon champs.  Alan said his daughter Stephanie was really impressed with the way Josh Genser throw his ball down the lane especially since at the last minute it would curve right into the pens.  Stephanie was so impressed that she told all her friends about this great fete.
  • Glenn had happy dollars to celebrate his 8-year son’s pitching of a shut-out in his baseball game.


Sacramento, Capitol Building

Jim Young introduced today’s speaker, Barbara Kaufman, who is the Director of the Office of the Governor in San Francisco.  Previously Barbara was a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and host of her own radio talk show, “Call for Action.”

Barbara presentation consisted of many facts about California.  Last year the budget deficit was $60 billion, this year it will be $20 billion.  We have 3 of the top 6 universities in the United States, the most Noble Laureates, 1 in 4 U.S. patens, 1 in 5 tech jobs and ½ of all venture capital dollars.
California still has the 8th largest economy in the world, just less than Italy and just ahead of Brazil and Russia.  Our GDP is $487 billion.

We have 7 of the Wall Street Journal’s Top Ten Clean Businesses in the U.S.
California is an expensive place to live.  We have 12% of the U.S. population and have 25% of the welfare cases.  Our economy is down 2.8% yet our tax revenues are down 8 times as much.  We pay more for prisons then we do for higher education. 

This month the Governor established California’s first Economic Development Agency.  His office has also established a California Veteran’s website with links to sites for all Federal and State Veterans benefits sites.  Beginning this year, members of the California National Guard who perform service within the state will qualify for California Veterans educational benefits.  Previously, only their service outside of California qualified for CA Veterans educational benefits.

The Governor has also established the “Bank On California” program with pilot projects in Los Angeles and Sacramento.  This program will allow more than 100,000 people to cash their pay checks at banks instead of Pay-day check cashing storefront businesses which charge high fees.  Barbara’s presentation was followed by a question and answer period.   

- Rotating Editor, Margaret Morkowski