The Flywheel

Next Meeting: August 12th

Chevron's Richmond Renewal Project

Last January the Club visited Chevron for a hosted lunch and a bus tour of the Richmond Refinery. As part of the tour, we saw the uncompleted construction of Chevron's Richmond Renewal Project. The project represents a significant capital investment for the Refinery and replaces older equipment with newer, cleaner technologies to improve operations and conserve energy.

The project will also put 1,000 people back to work and bring revenues for the city of Richmond. Chevron has recently submitted an application to obtain permits to restart the Project and is looking to give the community an opportunity to learn more about it.


Meeting of Friday, August 5th

Welcome, Invocation, Thought for the Day

President EJ Shalaby welcomed the group. Recent former Prez Mark Howe led the Pledge and Stoney provided the invocation, with a special add on prayer for the city of Richmond. Henry Kelman offered the thought that although, thankfully, congress addressed the debt limit prior to going on vacation, they forgot to fund the FAA.  Jim Young offered a bonus thought in the form of a pie chart of global debt in trillions!

Sunshine Report

Hank Covell announced the sad news that former Richmond Rotarian Bobby Miller was in hospice care.


Now you can pay your annual dues or make donations to the Rotary Foundation online—from this very page, in fact! Immediately to the left you'll see Donate buttons that take you to a secure page (PayPal), where you can use you credit card or PayPal account. Easier than checks.

Special Events

New member Michelle Itagaki was inducted into the club. Welcome Michelle!


Jim Beaver recognized Tom Waller, you had turned 60 and enjoyed a nice dinner with family. Jan Brown outed herself for having had an anniversary and birthday since her last meeting.

Happy and Sad Dollars

Jan Brown was happy that her son had announced his engagement and will get married only a few months from her daughter!
Jon Lawlis was happy to have made the meeting two weeks in a row but next week he will be hiking in Wyoming. Jon was also happy Jim Beaver looked sharp!
Hank Covell was happy about the great trip he had and handsome tan he acquired visiting family in Arizona.
Jon Nicol was happy to be going to Marin on the weekend to see his granddaughter performing in a ballet.
John Wilson had sad dollars remembering his own father was in the internment camp the speaker of last week had discussed.
Jim Beaver was happy Sid Chauvin made it back from Russia and was happy imagining Jon Nicol at a ballet.

Norm's Nonsense

God and the Devil were having an argument regarding the location of the line between heaven and hell. They couldn't resolve their differences so finally God said to the Devil:
"I'm going to sue you."
The Devil replied: "Where are you going to find a lawyer?"

- Rotating Editor, Josh Surowitz


The Peace Rug and character education

Local former “Teacher of the Year” and current Director of Curriculum for WCCUSD, Harlan Kerr, spoke to the group about the Peace Rug project funded in part by our local club. Two years ago Jan Brown and Nick Despota presented to Harlan the idea of integrating the Peace Rug curriculum into one kindergarten classroom as a pilot program. This intitaitve was one component of the Rotary Peace Project, which Mark Howe intitiated during his presidency.

Since then the Peace Rug curriculum has become part of 5 more classrooms. The effects of the program have already been felt by over 200 kindergarten and first grade children.

The Peace Rug project is a remarkably inexpensive and effective program, at just $400 for the rug, books, lesson plan and DVD. The program instills valuable life skills in kids ranging from K-6th grade, including those related to education concerning conflict resolution and good citizenship. The program has enjoyed wonderful feedback from teachers.

The Peace Rug itself, only a part of the overall program, provides a structure and outlet for children to invite others to resolve conflicts and acknowledge problems, acknowledge the positive outcome of a problem’s resolution, and agree on plans to make that happen.

Harlan had noted that although there is broad consensus that it would be beneficial to have more character education in our schools, that in practice that was not occurring enough. Programs like the Peace Rug project hopefully will help shrink that gap.

-Rotating Editor, Josh Surowitz