The Flywheel

Next Meeting: October 15th

Richmond Confidential

Richmond Confidential

Bob Calo, senior lecturer of the Graduate School of Journalism, Berkeley and Executive Editor of the hyperlocal website, "Richmond Confidential", covering Richmond, California, has agreed to speak to us tomorrow, concerning this website. He is stepping in for Ian Stewart. In 2011, Mr. Calo will be a Shorensten Fellow at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.

Don't miss the opportunity to hear Mr. Calo speak tomorrow!


Last Meeting: October 8Th

Welcome, Invocation, Thought for the Day

Alan Baer called the meeting to order at La Strada’s. Glenn Daggs located and held the flag while he led us in the Pledge of Allegiance.  Our thought for the day was for peace, freedom and justice. 

Rotarians with Guests

Josh Surowitz’s guest was his firms’ newest associate, Marco Garzon.    

Sunshine Report

Bill Koziol reported that Charlie Fender’s wife Covel has just moved into an assisted living home.  


  • David Brown announced that Peres School has 31 teachers and that as of this week our club has donated $3,100 so that a $100 check will be written to each of the teachers for classroom supplies. 
  • Yvonne Nair of Saffron Strand invited everyone to their Autumn Wine Tasting fundraiser on October 21st to be held at Richmond’s Courtyard by Marriott. More than 10 wineries will provide the tasting.  Event includes hors d’oeuvres, live music, raffles and a silent auction. Cover is $50.  Please call Yvonne at 275-9594 for details.
  • Sid Chauvin invited everyone to the Rotary’s Reno Intercity Train Trip 2011 which will place Friday, January 21st and Saturday January 22nd.   Check the website for prices and then you’re your checks to David Brown.  Sid will be glad to give you more information.
  • Bob Dabney reminded everyone of the GRIP dinner on Wednesday, October 27th to be held at their center from 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm.  If you've forgotten which days you volunteered to serve, we got you covered. Here's the schedule. Bring clean hands.

Special Events

  • Alan reminded everyone that the District Conference will be held November 4-7 in Sacramento with the Friday night event to be held in Old Sacramento at the State Railroad Museum. Reservations may be made on line.
  • 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.
  • Mark their calendars for our luncheon meeting and tour of the Chevron Richmond Refinery to be held on Friday, February 4, 2011.


  • Don Lau called on Joe Bagley.  Joe’s birthday was October 3rd and he and his wife Rita celebrated their 35th Wedding Anniversary was September 27th.  Don asked Joe how he and Rita could stay married for so long and Joe replied that they took separate cars to work this morning. Joe made a donation to his daughter’s Paul Harris. Thanks Joe.
  • Next Don called on Cory Lawrence who celebrated his 3rd Wedding Anniversary on September 7th and celebrated his 33rd birthday October 7th.  Cory announced that he and his wife are expecting their first child and that he is terrified.  In 2 weeks he and his wife will find out if they will have a girl or a boy.  Busy times for Cory and his wife.    

Happy and Sad Dollars

  • Don Tanita’s happy dollars announced that Richmond Rotary’s Peres School Dental Clinic will return to action this year.  Over the last 5 years more than $20,000 worth of dental care has been provided to the children.  Thank you Dan for spearheading this effort for our club. 
  • Jim Young’s happy dollars were to celebrate his grand-daughter’s first birthday.
  • David Brown had happy dollars because the San Francisco Giants clenched their Division on October 3rd and on that day he became a grandfather.  Congratulations David.    
  • Jan Brown’s happy dollars were a result of her attendance at the Giants Game last night which she termed as “magical.” 
  • Leslie Levy’s happy dollars were in celebration of China’s Liu Xuaiho having been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.  
  • John Nichol’s happy dollars celebrated his grand-daughter’s visit tomorrow.
  • Don contributed happy dollars because our club member, the Superintendent of Schools, Bruce Harter, gave an excellent presentation on the State of the Schools this week.

Norm's Nonsense

A pirate with the usual peg leg, hook and patch over one eye, walks into a bar and the bartender says "Say, you're a real pirate, aren't you?"

The pirate replies "Aye matey, that I am."

The bartender asks, "How did you lose your leg?"

"A terrible storm came up off the Barbary coast of Africa and the rigging came crashing down and smashed me leg."

"And your hand?" asks the bartender.

"Sword fight at Port Royal, Jamaica. Me hand was lopped right off."

"What happened to your eye?" The pirate replies, "A fly landed on me nose."

"How could a fly on your nose put your eye out?"

"It was right after I got this hook."


Nat Bates

Mayoral candidate Nat Bates visits the Rotary

This week’s speaker was Nat Bates, City of Richmond Council Member and candidate for the Mayor. Nat commended and thanked us for our involvement in the community.  He provided a short summary of his career.

Nat then stated that council, over the last four years, has been the most dysfunctional council he has seen. He said if elected he would run meetings to conduct the city’s business first on the agenda thus allowing city staff and consultants to leave before excessive overtime and billable hours accumulate. 

Nat said that economic development is “Number 1.”  He asserted that the city depends on the business community.  For example, he said that Chevron contributes $41 million of the $300 million of the city budget. Nat illustrated that other issues are based on strong business community.  Quality of Life starts with jobs and that we can not just depend on green jobs.  Public Safety is critical: we can not attract businesses until we can make our city safe. Cities that can boast good schools attract newcomers.  "Everyone wants the best for their children... This council must be more involved with our children’s’ schools.  If not students will be committing crimes and end up in the prisons."

Nat said he will meet with Chevron monthly to see how the city may work with them.  He stated that the Point Molate Resort and Casino project was a hot topic.  He emphasized the need to provide an economically sustainable project with the maximum number of jobs as required by the contract with the Navy when it turn-over the property to the city for $1.  Nat then listed many of the provisions of the agreement which the city has with the current developer.

Nat invited us to look at his website or to call him to find out more about his stand on the various issues.  Nat closed by saying he will work to make Richmond a good place to do business and a good place to live. 

- Rotating Scribe, Margaret Morkowski