The Flywheel

Next Meeting: Friday, May 6th

Home Winemaking

Home winemaking set-up

Kurt Vorheis likes wine. He likes it so much he makes his own; 100 gallons a year, the legal maximum for personal consumption. He has been making it since 2000 and with his wine making buddies, regularly wins medals at the Orange County, Sonoma County, etc. Kurt’s goal is to make a $30 bottle of Chardonnay (think Rombauer) for $5. Find out how along with stories about wine making. Wine tasting before the meeting Noon to 12:20.

Meeting of Friday, April 29th

Welcome, Invocation, Thought for the Day

President Alan Baer welcomed the members to the friendly Richmond Rotary Club. Michael Gill led us in the pledge. Stoney led us in a silent prayer for freedom, peace and justice on earth. In Henry Kelman’s absence, Sidney Chauvin gave the thought of the day: The problem is not that we aim too high; it is that we aim low and hit it.

Rotarians with Guests

President Alan introduced Doris Mitchell, estate planning and bankruptcy attorney from Oakland.

Sunshine Report

EJ Shalaby reported on his family’s health situation. Jeannine is rebuilding her walking ability and is able to carry the babies in her arms. The babies; Noah (10lbs) and Dylan (9lbs) are doing well. E.J. thanked the Club members for their care and concern. E. J. had his kids’ pictures circulated around (very cute).


  • Don Hardison told us the story of when he and Betty were invited to Prince Charles’s wedding. Betty’s cousin had a small office located on the second floor overlooking Westminster Abbey. Don was able to see what went on at the Abbey’s entrance, and at the same time he was watching the activities on TV. Don was amazed by how long was Diana’s wedding dress train. It took three girls to help her get out of the carriage.
  • Alan announced that San Pablo’s fundraising event “A Night in Tuscany” would be that evening at 6:00 at Maple Hall in San Pablo. One spot was left at our Club’s table. Alan offered the spot for free, but there were no takers.
  • On Saturday, April 30th, San Pablo Rotary Members and Interacts will join Richmond Rotary in the Cinco de Mayo parade. Show up between 8:00 and 9:00 a.m. The march will start at 10 a.m. We need help in the booth.
  • Sunday, May 1st, 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., Cinco de Mayo Festival. Richmond Rotary’s booth will offer nachos, sodas and drinks. There will be lots of games for the kids. Come eat, drink and help.
  • Friday, May 13 at 6 p.m., Poker Night at Big Alan’s house. The proceeds will go to Werner’s Fund.


Jim Beaver spoke from a place of power. He was sitting in John Nicol’s chair (John was not in the meeting). Jim recognized Nick Despota for his birthday. Nick spent his birthday building a redwood deck, replacing his dead hot tub. Nick also built elevated planters so the plants can be tended without bending down. He gave a check, one dollar per year, to the Foundation, but did not say how old he was.

Happy and Sad Dollars

Bob Dabney was happy about spending a week in Puerta Vallarta, and because his son was visiting him. They had a special time together.

Joshua Genser was happy about his daughter coming home to attend the Richmond Community Foundation event next Thursday. Josh added that Stanford has won the 100th NCAA Sports Championship. UCLA is the only team that has won more times than Stanford.

Jan Brown was happy for TRAC’s accomplishments. She will miss the Grand Opening Festivities on Saturday, April 30th, for completing the Landfill Loop Bay Trail. Jan will be attending her daughter’s engagement party.

Ex-president Glenn Daggs was happy about going to Puerta Vallarta next week. Glenn was also happy that E. J’s family was doing well.

Dan Sanders was happy because he just came back from Puerta Vallarta.

Jim Beaver was happy about visiting his mother in Palm Desert.

President Alan was happy to see E.J. at the meeting. Alan was happy that his father will walk again.

Norm's Nonsense

A cruise ship sinks and three men make it to a desert island. The first man, a Catholic, kneels down and prays to the Lord to be saved from the island. The second man, a Lutheran, kneels down and prays to the Lord to be saved from the island. The third man, a Jew, says, "Hey. Two years ago I gave a million dollars to the Jewish Federation. Last year I gave two million. This year I pledged three million. Don't worry, they'll find me."


The Bay Trail in Richmond

Bay Trail map, Richmond

E. J. Shalaby introduced our speaker for the day, Bruce Beyaert. Bruce is the Chair of Trails for Richmond Action Committee (TRAC). In 2010, Bruce received the Bay Area Cox Conserves Hero Award.

TRAC is a part of the San Francisco Bay Trail Project, which was authorized by Senate Bill 100 in 1987. This bill also directed the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) to develop an alignment for the Bay Trail as well as funding and implementation plans.

When completed, the trail will be a continuous 500-mile trail encircling San Francisco and San Pablo bays. Richmond accounts for 26 miles of the completed Bay trail - more than any other city – but has 15 miles yet to develop to complete the planned 41 miles. The City has budgeted over one million dollars for bridging the trail’s gaps. The future of Point Molate is unknown.

The Bay trail is located on private and City properties including the Park District. The private companies donated the land and easements were negotiated.

On Saturday, April 30th, TRAC will celebrate the completion of a 2.5-mile loop trail around the former West County Landfill. Jan Brown designed the brochures for the trails.

The Bay Trail provides recreational opportunities, transportation benefits and access to over 130 parks totaling 57,000 acres of open space.

- Your Scribe, Nabil Wahbeh