The Flywheel

Next Meeting: October 22nd

Dan O'Malley    Mark Peterson

Candidates for District Attorney

District Attorney candidates Dan O'Malley and Mark Peterson state their positions and answer questions that Richmond Rotarians submitted in advance of this meeting.


Last Meeting: October 15Th

Welcome, Invocation, Thought for the Day

Alan Baer called the meeting to order at Mira Vista.  Joan Davis led us in the Pledge of Allegiance.  Henry Kelman’s thought for the day was to “…to stop the e-mails.”   

Visiting Rotarians

We had one visiting Rotarian from our sister club here in El Cerrito.  He invited us all to attend their fund raising event at the Mira Vista on Sunday, Oct 17th.  The event will include wine tasting, a raffle and a silent auction.  Tickets are $30.     

Rotarians with Guests

Richard Alexander’s guest was Walter Connelly, a previous Richmond Rotarian, architect and Point Richmond business owner.  Margaret Morkowski welcomed Dedan Ji Jaga, a veteran, an At-Risk Youth Advocate and journalist who is joining us to hear from our speaker.

Sunshine Report

There was no formal Sunshine Report but Don Hardison has re-joined us today and said he really had missed our club except maybe over the past few weeks.  His back is better and his is recovering steadily from his surgery.  It was great to see Don.


  • 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 send your checks to David Brown.  Sid will be glad to give you more information.
  • Sid also announced that there is still time to contribute $7 per book for the Dictionary Project which will provide individual dictionaries to young students in Africa.
  • Alan reminded us that everyone is invited to participate in Richmond Rotary’s project of serving dinner at GRIP’s Souper Kitchen on Wednesday, October 27th.  It will be held at their 22nd Street center from 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm. Here's the complete schedule for the November and December dinners.
  • Alan passed around a note from one of the Peres School’s Kindergarten teachers, thanking us for our continuous support to her and the other teachers over the years.

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 this 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 his good friend Jim Beaver who answered when asked, “Wait is October 16?  … it is the day after my mother’s birthday.”  It is also Jim’s and his wife Jane’s 21st Wedding Anniversary. Jim also mentioned that tomorrow, on his anniversary, he, Jane and Leslie Levy will be hosting the Rotary Auction item of the President’s Dinner for all of the lucky bidders.

Happy and Sad Dollars

  • Laura Kuhn contributed her happy dollars sad dollars as she thoughtfully and gently presented her long–time concerns as follow-on to the recent e-mails.   
  • Josh Genser  “just” wanted to mention that Stanford Beat USC.
  • Rafael Madrigal said that Frank (previous bartender at the Mira Vista) said to say “Hi” to everyone.  
  • Nick Despota said that he was “… happy to rub shoulders” with those in the club who have different ideas and opinions then his own. But the appreciation of that kind of diversity requires that we be be respectful to one another and exercise discretion.   
  • Joan Davis “forgave the club for not remembering her birthday.” Thanks Jane for your Happy Dollar contribution.
  • Leslie Levy has some really happy dollars in announcing that she is to become a grandmother. Congratulations Leslie. Leslie also thanked Mark Howe “for making good” on his Holiday Auction item of a sail-on-the-bay with an excursion that included watching from the water as the Blue Angel performed during Fleet Week.  Way to go Mark.
  • Herb Cole’s happy dollars were in recognition of his son’s receiving the Legion of Merit Award. Herb’s son is now retired from the service (spy stuff) and is a Lt. Colonial in the reserves and among other things teaches at the Command Collage at Walter Reed.  Herb and his wife will be going to Washington D.C./Arlington VA to see their son receive this prestigious award at the Pentegon.  Congratulations to the whole Cole family.   
  • Jonathan Lawlis welcomed Don Hardison back to the meetings and “just mentioned” that this last week he was reeling in the big ones at Cabo, Mexico. Meanwhile Erle was in Sedona. (Geez, these guys travel a lot.)
  • Jim Beaver urged everyone wrting e-mail to “Use your spell-checker!.” 
  • David Brown: “Speaking on my own behalf… Go Giants!
  • Erle Brown also welcomed Don back to the meetings.  Erle also said what a great time they all had in Mexico.
  • Our guest and previous member Walter Connelly mentioned how nice it was to be back. Thanks Walter.

Norm's Nonsense

Definitions and terminology were on Norm's mind this week. To wit:

Shin: a device for locating furniture in the dark.
Health: the slowest possible rate at which one can die.
Lottery: a tax on people who are bad at math.

Lawyer's get disbarred and clergymen defrocked. So doesn't it make sense that ballplayers would be debased, politicians devoted, cowboys deranged, models deposed and debriefed, organ donors delivered, and dry cleaners depressed, decreased, and depleted?


Richmond Confidential

Richmond Confidential and the localization of news

Pam Jonesintroduced our speaker for today: Bob Calo, senior lecturer of the Graduate School of Journalism, U. C. Berkeley and Executive Editor of the school’s hyper-local website Richmond Confidential which covers Richmond California. 

Bob’s first statement: “Local News coverage has disappeared!”  The Berkeley professor and long-time journalist wanted to remind us that newspapers are both journalism and a business and as a business the advertising dollars have all but gone away.  Besides the issues that the lack of local news causes for the public, it also provides a dilemma if you are trying to teach young journalists.  Previously newspapers and the broadcast media would mentor new graduates.  With so many changes and drastic cuts in staff in both medias’ newsrooms and more reporting online, it is evident that new skills are needed.  Bob said now in addition to journalistic skills, students need to be able to write computer code, establish a web page plus be a writer, a photographer and a videographer.  Bob firmly stated that “Journalism is not dying but paper is.” 
The U.C. Berkeley School of Journalism currently has 2 grants to support students in a 5 year project to help determine what the new journalism is, how to cover underserved communities and how to provide “service journalism.”  Many of the club members have met and been interviewed by some of the 15 students who are the journalists for the Richmond Confidential and we had questions and suggestions.  Bob fielded questions, he warmly welcomed everyone to e-mail our comments to him as editor, but better yet, invited us to write an editorial.  As he said, this exchange with the readers makes the journalism in this time of transition even better. 

- Rotating Scribe, Margaret Morkowski