The Flywheel

Next Meeting: Friday, April 1st

UN of the East Bay

The United Nations in our Back Yard

Herb Behrstock, president of the East Bay Chapter of the United Nations, visits Richmond Rotary to acquaint us with the work of the UN, and its particular focus in the East Bay.

Meeting of Friday, March 25th

Welcome, Invocation, Thought for the Day

President Alan Baer welcomed the group and Charles Fender led the Pledge and Herb Cole said a prayer for justice, freedom and peace on Earth. Hank Covell offered a thought that he and Father Chris agreed life is better if you don’t have to make a left turn.

Rotarians with Guests

Mark Howe brought Norma Simmons.
Hank Covell brought Mark McNeer and Father Chris, who is now back in Richmond.
Jan Brown brought her husband Byron.
Don Hardison was joined by his son Steve.
Judy Kaftka came with guests Lynn Clifford and Louis Williams.
Josh Surowitz brought Marco Garzon.

Sunshine Report

Bill Koziol was not present, and as we all know, there ain’t no sunshine when he’s gone. [Nice, Josh.]


  • Don Lau 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 Allen can sign you up.

  • Allen also announced the San Pablo Rotary is hosting their “Night in Tuscany” on April 29 at 6 PM.

  • Hank Covell announced the Annual Sports Event for Salesian Boys and Girls Club will be a steak lunch on Friday, 4/29/11. See Hank for an application.

Special Events

Erle Brown presented John Nicol his Paul Harris plus 6!


Tom Butt and Don Hardison both celebrated birthdays on 3/23/11. Tom turned 67, and a lamb was born the same day to his 2 sheep named Pixie Dust. Don turned 95! He planned to celebrate with family the Sunday following the meeting.

Happy and Sad Dollars

  • Josh Surowitz was happy his birthday on 3/24/11 was over since he spent the whole day at the DMV and with his plumber.

  • Jan Brown was happy the RAC made the front page of the paper.

  • Hank Covell is happy to still be perfect!

  • Father Chris was happy to be back and see so many familiar faces.

  • Joe Bagley was happy to see Father Chris again and is happy that he’s taking a trip to So Cal next week and that Rita’s mom is coming to live with them.

  • Jim Young is happy that his daughter, who is an actor, opened a new play in Philadelphia called “The Terrible Girls” that is getting rave reviews.

  • Erle Brown was happy the booze and food were good in Mexico and that he didn’t even have to use any Rotary money!

  • David Brown was happy because he had waited his whole life for the Americas Cup to come to the SF bay, and now it has.

  • Don Lau had a happy $0.50 from John Z, who was apparently happy to now be married to Monique le Conge.

Norm's Nonsense

Werner liked this one ...
At the Vatican a Cardinal comes running into the Pope's office and announces: "Your Holiness, I have some good news and some bad news. First, the good news. Our Lord has returned to Earth and has called to let you know there is only one true religion."
Pope: "That's wonderful news. What could possibly be the bad news?"
Cardinal: "He's calling collect from Mecca."

PROGRAM of March 18


America's Cup racer

Our own former President Mark Howe provided the club an extremely detailed and informative history of the Americas Cup in anticipation of it soon occurring right here in the San Francisco Bay. The Americas Cup goes all the way back to pre-civil war times, and began when the US brought a boat to the UK and raced around the Isle of Wight. In that race, team USA beat 13 other ships by over 8 minutes.

The Americas Cup is a friendly competition between nations, and the USA team’s previous 130 year winning streak still is the longest in the history of international sports. Mark regaled us all with the inside scoop about famous sailing captains and teams, and some of the juicy details and controversies that had occurred over the years - including how the members of the New Zealand team received death threats and were threatened banishment after defecting and switching to the Swiss team. It was a fabulous primer for anyone interested in learning about everything from the types of water-crafts used over the years, to the history of international sailing in general. Thanks Mark!

- Rotating Editor and Scribe, Josh Surowitz