The Flywheel

Next Meeting: Friday, January 7

Laser bay at National Ignition Facility

Dr. Erik Storm, a senior scientist at the Lawrence Livermore National Ignition Facility, will discuss the use of fusion power to produce energy. Pictured above is the Laser Bay 2, a component system of this promising technology.

Dr. Storm will describe the use of lasers to initiate controlled fusion: bringing together istoptes of the hydrogen atom, which produces helium atoms, which in turn releases energy that can drive turbines to produce electricity.

In a fine example of community outreach, several of our members have invited area high school students with demonstrated interests in science and engineering to attend what will be a fascinating presentation.



Welcome, Invocation, Thought for the Day

Prez Alan opened the meeting on a dark and stormy last day of 2010. The small but hearty band of Rotarians was here to consider the days of future past and revisit the year gone visioning process, seeking member review and consideration of the Richmond Rotary Goal/Vision Statement for 2014. But I get ahead of myself. After ringing the bell John Nicol lead the Pledge of Allegiance and Stony Stonework asked for a moment of silence for Peace, Freedom and Justice throughout the world. Henry Kelman’s  Thought for the Day was lost in a local flurry of conversation but his consistent, thoughtful contribution is noted here as an example of Rotary dedication that the club hopes to encourage and build upon.

Visiting Rotarians

None today. It was a day for the faithful.

Sunshine Report

Like I said, it was a dark and stormy day, although we did hear that Don Hardison was at home, doing well and feeling fine but so enamored with his new Xmas gift shaver from daughter Jan Brown that he is reserving his sartorial splendor for our first regular meeting of 2011. See below as to why Don is preparing for next week.


  • Prez Alan announced that the BARSHEEP event at Playland Not at the Beach will be February 10th.  See the BARSHEEP Newsletter for details.


  • PP Pam Jones wanted everyone to know that she is having another glass of Champaign today, not because of the program, but because her birthday is tomorrow (New Year’s Day) and it is awful to have a B-Day on New Year’s because everyone is already partied out.
  • Prez Alan Baer was too shy to say his birthday was December 25th so Pam announced it for him. Alan we hope you and Santa (Baer) had a double good day.
  • Jan Brown wanted everyone to know that 12/31, today, is Don Hardison’s 65 anniversary with the club. Weather permitting we certainly hope to see Don at our first 2011 meeting next week.
  • Hank Covell said that 12/21 was his and Doreen’s 52 wedding anniversary. Hank then bragged a little bit about how it was actually longer than that. Someone asked what is so special about their relationship and Hank, clearly working on the next 52 years said, “Every day is special with Doreen”. Go for it Hank!

Happy and Sad Dollars

  • John Nicol was Happy to make a contribution to a Paul Harris award. (Sorry John, I need to sit at a table with better light as I can’t figure out what I wrote down.)
  • Herb Cole was Happy that Phyllis Brown was OK after taking a tumble. Erle agreed completely and said he was very Happy that Phyllis was OK and nothing was broken.
  • Jim Young said he was Happy to make it to the last meeting of the year in one piece, both he and his family. It was a month of totaled cars, ICU visits for the granddaughter and deal closing, all separate events. Feeling blessed at the end, “All’s well that ends well”.

Norm's Nonsense

Anyone for Golf?
  - I usually play in the low 80's. If it gets any warmer I don't go out at all.
  - In regard to putting, I always seem to miss those easy 6 footers; then I miss the 12 footer coming back.


PP Pam Jones introduced Prez-In-Waiting EJ Shalaby. Both Pam and EJ gave a brief retelling of the Visioning Process that happened last year and then presented the Rotary Vision Plan, setting forth goals we want to achieve by 2014.

Please read the Vision Plan for yourself (2 pages, pdf.) It is a call to action for all Rotarians to rethink and renew their participation in the club, both as doers and leaders.

EJ presented a PowerPoint outlining the goals, which prompted many ideas and responses—so many, in fact, that we couldn't cover all the points in the Plan. This was clearly a discussion to be continued at a subsequent meeting. But we made a good start. Here's a few of the more notable responses:

  • All members should bring one new candidate member to three club meetings per year.
  • We should consider a survey to make sure the members are engaged by our weekly speakers and that we are not missing any topics of interest, or, over emphasizing a particular topic. The survey is in the works.
  • We need to find more ‘hands on’ projects (example Xmas in April) because in addition to the good they do they are great (Rotary) community builders. This could include doing the Teen Moms Project, organizing the baskets for the Moms, as a meeting day event
  • We need to organize and field activities that will appeal to younger members. The Richmond Rotary centipede in the Bay to Breakers in the ‘80s was an example.
  • The President needs to assign tasks to individual members instead of having that task sentenced to ‘death by Committee’.
  • We need to evaluate, change/improve and/or move on with multi-year commitments like AutoSkills, the Peace Project and Peres Elementary School.

If you have a project that you think Rotary should consider, bring it to the attention of the President and Board immediately. There is no time like the present.

Happy New Year!


- Rotating Editor, Jim Young