The Flywheel

Next Meeting: October 1st

Illegal Immigrant crossing sign

The Arizona Immigration Law

Our own Josh Surowitz reviews this flash-point issue, bringing us up to speed on the evolving landscape of law, policy reform, and immigration.


Last Meeting: September 24th

Welcome, Invocation, Thought for the Day

Alan Baer called the meeting to order held at La Strada’s.  After the Pledge of Allegiance lead by Monique leConge, Alan asked Stoney Stonework for a thought for the day.  Stoney also provide two of his favorite quotes. “Lose your fears” from Pope John Paul III, and “Change as you would like to see must start with you” from Gandhi.

Rotarians with Guests

Jim Young’s guest was his lovely wife Linda and Pam Wilson’s guest was Monroe Benschop of the Richmond Chamber of Commerce.    

Sunshine Report

Bill Koziol reported that Charlie Fender’s wife, Clavel, is not doing well and has moved into a rest home.


  • Alan Baer mentioned that there was still time for Rotarians to contribute $7 each to purchase dictionaries for our projects to distribute dictionaries to children in Africa.  The dictionary you provide will include your name and e-mail address so you may “have a new pen-pal” as a result of your donations.  Please call Alan at 235-8013 if you would like to participate. 
  • Alan also invited everyone participated in Rotary’s carrier day at Contra Costa Community College which took place on Wednesday, September 29th.
  • On Sunday, October 3 the I-80 Corridor Rotary Clubs will join the Berkley Rotary Club  for a hike, a picnic and Carousel rides in the Rotary Redwood Grove by the Carousel.  Festivities begin at 3:00 pm.  Please call Alan at 235-8013 for more details.
  • David Brown conducted what became an impromptu auction totaling $1,000 for Peres School to complete the funding to provide each teacher with $100 toward supplies for their classrooms.  Thanks to everyone. 
  • Our guest, Monroe Benschop of the Chamber, reminded everyone that Friday, October 1st is the annual Rosie the Riveter 1940’s USO Dance from 7 pm to 11 pm at the historic Ford Plant Craneway Pavilion.  This dance is held in conjunction with the Home Front Festival by-the-bay will be held on Saturday, October 2nd from 11 am to 6 pm at the Red Oak Victory Ship and at the Craneway.  Everyone is invited.  Please call the Chamber at 234-3512 for more details.  .  
  • Drinks at luncheon
    A first: These three half-full drinks were left by Sid Chauvin when he left the contractors lunch. Truly a first.
  • Erle has also started a Foundation account for Josh’s new son Luke.  Thanks Erle.
  • Erle's talents as a photo journalist are not widely known. Consider this image made by the intrepid archivist, submitted to the webmaster complete with caption, a couple days ago. Thanks, Erle.



  • Don Lau announced that Dave Calfee has just celebrated his 89th birthday and that Dave sent a check for his dues plus $300 plus $1,000 for the Foundation…. covers birthday, club anniversary and wedding anniversary.  Way to go Dave.  Thanks.  
  • Don also remind us that 23 years ago on September 23, Dave Calfee official welcomed Judy Kafka, Leslie Levy and a judge (whose name, we're embarrassed to admit) we didn't record, as the first Lady Rotarians to the Richmond Rotary Club.  Again thanks Dave.   

Happy and Sad Dollars

  • Jim Young had happy dollars to celebrate with his wife as she is 80% on her way to 100% retirement.  Way to go Linda.   
  • Herb Cole’s sad dollar, Normie’s away from home in Texas helping her father… happy dollars celebrate the fact that his father-in-law returned home from the hospice facility and is on his way to recovery.  Wow. 
  • Additional Herb Cole/David Brown happy/exciting dollars… September 27th David will become a “terrorists” for the day as he has volunteered to be the bad-guy on an FBI anti-terrorist squad boards a ship in San Francisco Bay to capture David.  Remember to check out David’s close to see where the good-guy shot David with the “chalk shots.”   What fun.
  • Markku Pelanne happy dollars celebrated his Finish Heritage.
  • Alan’s happy dollars were contributed to celebrate that Werner Schwarz’ favorite German Restaurant located in Point Richmond has obtained its liquor license.  Werner would be pleased.
  • Herb requested and got 10 volunteers to each call 7 Richmond Rotarians every week to remind us the our Friday meetings.  Volunteers, please remember e-mail Herb to confirm.   
  • Margaret Morkowski announced to the members that the Richmond Public Library Foundation has just begun their fun raising activities to purchase a 22-foot book van.  The gala-kick off event was held at Club Past President Mark Howe’s home with many Richmond Rotarians leaning more about the project.  Some of our other Rotarians at the event included Nick Despota, Josh Genser, Rafael Magical, Monique leConge, Tom Butt and John Troughton.  This could be a great project for Richmond Rotary.   

Norm's Nonsense

More ponderisms

  - If the cops arrest a mime do they tell him he has the right to remain silent?

  - I used to eat natural foods until I learned that most people die of natural causes.

  - In the 60's, people took acid to make the world weird. Now the world is weird and people take Prozac to make it look normal.

  - Is it true that cannibals don't eat clowns because they taste funny?


Love in Condition Yellow

Love in Condition Yellow book cover

This week our guest speaker was Sophia Raday, author of “Love in Condition Yellow – A Memoir of an Unlikely Marriage.”

Sophia is also a loving wife and the mother of two small children, one adopted.   The title of her book is most appropriate since Sophia is a Stanford educated, Berkeley Peace Activist who fell in love with and married a West Point graduate who is an Oakland Police Officer, a Major in the Army Reserves and who has completed a tour of duty in Iraq.  To say the least, this couple comes from opposite sides of the political spectrum.   A quote from the Oakland Tribune reflected her comments today and I think summarizes the purpose of her book.  “[In] this ultimate bipartisan love story…. The most important thing Raday has culled from her relationship is that it is not essential to agree with your partner to be emotionally close.”    

- Margaret Morkowski, rotating scribe