The Flywheel

Next Meeting: Friday, March 25

The America’s Cup Sails into San Francisco Bay

America's Cup racer

After a couple of decades of ruthless competition on the high seas the America’s Cup returns to U.S. waters—and our own backyard.

‘AC34’ the 34th competition will take place in San Francisco Bay, and our own nautical nudnik Past President Mark Howe will present an overview of AC history and what it might mean for Richmond and our waterfront.


Meeting of Friday, March 18th

Welcome, Invocation, Thought for the Day

President Alan Baer welcomed the group and Ralph Hill led the Pledge. Stoney said a prayer for justice, freedom and peace on Earth. Henry Kelman offered a thought that the Libyan people have Russia and China to thank for abstaining from the UN Security Council resolution to intervene there.

Rotarians with Guests

Alan Baer brought Edgar Deleon, once again. Jim Young brought his guest Vivian Van Horn.

Sunshine Report

Hank Covell gave his own Sunshine Report, to wit... he is now perfect! Apparently, he had a hole in his heart that was fixed in an amazingly recounted, painless procedure. In fact, he anticipates more pain ripping off the bandage than he experienced during waking heart surgery.

Hank also announced that sadly, fellow-Rotarian Nick Petsas had recently passed away.


  • David Brown announced that the Board had re-allocated $2k towards shelterboxes for Japan. This was added to the other $1k the club already had dedicated towards that project. David proceeded to take up a collection for yet a 4th $1k shelterbox, and rounded out the remaining funds on his own!
  • Henry Moe announced that a Golf Tournament / Salesian fundraiser would take place on May 2 at the Richmond Country Club with a 12 noon start.
  • Alan Baer announced the District Assembly would take place at Solano Community College on April 16. Anyone interested can sign up online or Alan can sign you up.
  • Alan also announced the San Pablo Rotary is hosting their Night in Tuscany, on April 29 at 6 PM.


Josh Surowitz is celebrating his 37th birthday on Thursday, March 24. Alan Blavins has his birthday this week and his going fishing. He will also have liver and onions, yech! David Brown is celebrating his 17th Club Anniversary, and George Egan his 21st. Henry Kelman and Richard Alexander both celebrated wedding anniversaries.

Happy and Sad Dollars

  • Alan Baer was happy the Poker night at his house was a great success and raised $860.00 towards the Carl Rehfus fund.
  • Josh Genser was happy about the wedding of Monique Le Conge and John Z!
  • Sid Chauvin was sad because he lost an argument at Josh Genser's Scotch Tasting to Mark Howe and had to admit he was wrong.
  • Jim Young was both happy and sad because his family in Japan had not been horribly affected by recent events, but his son did not get a job he wanted.
  • Henry Moe was happy because the Salesian Boys Hoops team is competing in their 3rd straight state championship!
  • Hank Covell was happy (I suppose) because Guinness sold 15 times it's usual amount of beer on St. Patrick's day.
  • Nabil Wahbeh was happy because he had spent some time in the middle east, and though some folks complain about the USA, it is still the best country in the world.
  • Josh Genser had a great time hosting the Scotch tasting and raised a lot of money for the club.
  • Herb Cole also was happy to have had a great experience at Josh's tasting, learned a lot, and by some divine intervention arrived home safely.

Norm's Nonsense

A traffic cop pulls this motorist over for excessive speed. When the cop takes a close look at the motorist he says: "Your eyes look glassy, have you been drinking?" The motorist replies: "No officer, but your eyes look glazed. Have you been eating donuts?"

PROGRAM of March 18

The 2048 Project

Prof. Kirk Boyd

Liliane Koziol introduced Professor Kirk Boyd of Boalt Law School, a visiting Rotarian from Berkeley, who spoke about a project dedicated to extending and ensuring human rights worldwide. The 2048 Project at UC Berkeley is drafting an International Bill of Rights that can prospectively be enforced in the local courts of all countries by the year 2048?the 100th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

This project, which a number of other universities are cooperating with as well, seeks to extend the work done by Eleanor Roosevelt, Harry Truman, and even San Francisco Rotarians of yesteryear. When the UN Charter was drafted, the Rotary club and other non-governmental agencies played an active role. This project is about rekindling history, rather than creating something new. In 1941, President Roosevelt stated that 4 essential freedoms must exist in the world ? 1) Speech, 2) Worship, 3) Freedom from want (including education and healthcare), and 4) Freedom from fear.

Roosevelt felt that if everyone had the first 3 of these, the 4th would occur naturally. He also said that if these freedoms existed, we could spend much less on defense, which the US alone now spends over $1.6 trillion each year, more than the rest of the world combined.

Anyone interested can visit the 2048 Project website, where they can sign an online petition, if they choose.

- Rotating Editor, Scribe, etc., Josh Surowitz