The Flywheel

Next Meeting: Wednesday, June 15th
NOTE: We're meeting at Hs . Lordship's, Berkeley

Earthquake Preparadeness

San Francisco, Loma Prieta earthquake, 1989.

We hit the road to meet with the Berkeley Rotary at Hs. Lordship’s restaurant for a special "BARSHEEP" program about earthquakes.

Dr. Robert Uhrhammer, UCB Seismology Lab (ret.) calls on his 30 years with theWorking Group for California Earthquake Probabilities and the California Integrated Seismic Network to update us on earthquake prediction and preparedness.


Meeting of Friday, June 13th

Welcome, Invocation, Thought for the Day

President Alan Baer rang the bell and called the meeting to order. Herb Cole led the pledge of allegiance. Stoney asked for a moment of silence for freedom, peace, and justice on earth. Henry Kelman’s thought for the day was that it’s time to roast the Weiner.

Rotarians with Guests

  • Henry Kelman introduced his brother, Joseph.
  • Edgar DeLeon introduced his guests, Monroe Benschop from Richmond Chamber of Commerce staff and Jeff Wright, CEO of the West Contra Costa Association of Realtors.
  • Edgar also introduced guests involved with Concord-based Diablo Composite Squadron 44 of the Civil Air Patrol (today’s program topic). Besides his son John, a Civil Air Patrol cadet, there was Grant Merrill, Frank Opelski, Guy Michael, and John Vizcarra of the Commemorative Historical Society.

Sunshine Report

Thoughts and prayers are requested for EJ Shalaby’s wife, who’s not only continuing in her steady progress to recover from serious car accident injuries but is now dealing with the recent passing of her sister.


  • A thank you card signed by many of the Teen Mom kit recipients was passed around the room. There’s nothing much better than a worthwhile project that’s genuinely appreciated.
  • The next Richmond Rotary club meeting will be held on Wednesday, June 15, instead of Friday, June 17. The meeting will be a joint meeting with the Berkeley and San Pablo Clubs at His Lordships restaurant in Berkeley.
  • There will be a Rotary District Awards Recognition dinner on Saturday, July 9, in Corning, CA (just south of Red Bluff, about two hours drive from the bay area). Contact Alan for more information.
  • The annual Rotarian baseball outing will be at the Oakland A’s Coliseum on Saturday, August 20. Cost is $30 per person. The 6:05pm game will feature the A’s and the Toronto Blue Jays. Plan to stay for the fireworks show after the game. Before the game, a Rotarian tail-gate will get started in the parking lot by about 3:30pm (more info to follow).

Happy and Sad Dollars

  • Don Lau was happy to handle H/S Dollars as well as auction off some passes for the Bay Area Electric Railroad Museum near Rio Vista (left by a recent program speaker). Tom Butt and another generous Rotarian put some extra dollars in the pot.
  • David Brown offered some happy dollars for his West County Winds band playing over the weekend in Golden Gate Park.
  • Proud father, Michael Gill, had happy dollars for his son graduating from Middle School and being named the top jazz musician in the school.
  • Edgar DeLeon is happy about his membership in Richmond Rotary.
  • Henry Moe offered happy dollars to celebrate that Salesian High School’s Interact Club raised $1000 for Hydrate, Rotary International’s pure water project. These funds will be matched by the Richmond Rotary Club.
  • Jim Young is happy about his wife’s retirement from public education and plans to celebrate with a well-deserved weekend getaway to Yosemite’s Ahwahnee Lodge.
  • Herb Cole had happy and reflective dollars as he mused about life’s relentless march into the future, his 47th wedding anniversary, his second cataract surgery, and his granddaughter’s high school graduation (at which his observations confirmed all that we’ve come to know as the generation gap).
  • Recently inducted Club member, Doris Mitchell, a local attorney specializing in trusts and estates, was happy to have settled her new office arrangements.

Norm's Nonsense

-This guy complained to his friend that he was always unhappy on Father's Day because he never had children to celebrate it with.
"Weren't you happy at home?" his friend asked.
"Oh sure," he said, "my wife laughs at everything I do. That's the reason we don't have children."


The Civil Air Patrol

Jim Young introduced Rotary member, Edgar DeLeon. As a member of the Civil Air Patrol (CAP), Edgar then introduced CAP Lieutenant Grant Merrill who told us all about the day’s topic.

Lt. Merrill shared the following information.

  • Started by citizen volunteers in the early days of December 1941 before the attack on Pearl Harbor, the CAP emphasized defense of the nation’s coastline. Of particular concern were the east coast and the increasing intrusion of German U-boat submarines in USA waters.

  • By the end of the 1940’s, the CAP was formally chartered by Congress as a non-profit corporation. Congress further clarified in 2000 that “The Civil Air Patrol is a volunteer civilian auxiliary of the Air Force when the services of the Civil Air Patrol are used by any department or agency in any branch of the federal government.”
  • Today the CAP operates the largest fleet of civilian aircraft in the country (mostly Cessnas) and has about 65,000 members in 1500 local units called squadrons. Organizationally, squadrons are formed regionally into “groups” and then into “wings” at the state level. There are also a couple of units in Japan and Germany.
  • The CAP slogan is “Citizens Serving Communities…Above and Beyond” and its three primary missions are as follows: emergency services (principally search and rescue), aerospace education (for members and the public), and cadet programs for about 25,000 members aged 12 through 20. Approximately 10% of each year’s entering class at the Air Force Academy started as CAP cadets.

Cadet Sergeant John DeLeon also provided some information about the “Wreaths Across America” program, which enables placement throughout the country of holiday wreaths in December each year at the tombstones of military service men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice. The CAP became involved in this program in 2006 after several years of ceremonial wreath placements at the Arlington National Cemetery by a business owner in Maine. The CAP’s Diablo Composite Squadron 44 in Concord has a goal this year of placing 5000 wreaths in San Francisco’s Presidio cemetery. If you’d like to contribute and/or participate, please let Edgar know.

- Tom Waller, Rotating Scribe