The Flywheel

Next Meeting: October 28st

The Celtic Roots of Halloween

Our own Henry Moe and Sister Mary Greenan and daughter of Eire will discuss the Celtic roots and traditions for what we now call Halloween.

Besides possessing her Irish roots, Sister Mary is Youth Minister at Salesian HS and Adjunct Professor of Theology at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley.


Meeting of Friday, October 21st

Welcome, Invocation, Thought for the Day

Herb Cole led us in the invocation today, asking for a moment of silence for “Peace and Freedom on Earth” 

Rotarians with Guests

  • Richard Alexander visited the club with his lovely wife Katherine.
  • Charlie Fender brought his wife, Clavell, who just celebrated their 69th Anniversary.
  • Josh Surowitz brought one of his law firm partners with him, David Keystone.
  • I never thought I would be saying this, but one long lost member of this club finally dragged his rear end to the club today with his girlfriend— the reason for his absence according to many.  Her name is Diane and the club now has tough competition on its hands for Mr. Lawlis’s attention.
  • Ronald, a guest of Alan Baer and an executive with the Boy Scouts of America asked for support from the club for Boy Scout after school programs.


  • Remember the Rotary Halloween party this coming Friday the 28th at 7:00PM at the old Gonzales restaurant.  Many prizes, tequila, and fun will be had and don’t wear the same old costume you have been wearing all year long!
  • Rob Murphy and Rod Woods from the El Cerrito Fire Department visited the club today to thank us for our participation in their toy drive last year.   It is happening again this year; and they are counting on our participation.  

Happy and Sad Dollars & Recognitions:

  • Mike Winter was recognized by the club for his 51st wedding anniversary.  Wow! He must a lot older than he looks, or child brides must have been common when he was getting married – same goes for Charlie Fender.
  • Josh S. donated some happy dollars to celebrate the 1.5 year birthday of his son and to let us know that he has another son in the oven.
  • Josh Genser will be attending Stanford Football this weekend where his Alma Mater will be finally not be playing a patsy team.
  • Don Hardison was happy to be at the club today and Herb Cole was happy that he was there too.
  • Bill Koziol apologized for his absence at the club and promised to not miss another meeting as long as he lives. 
  • Jim Beaver a past member of the Brookside Hospital District Board lobbied us to support the second district parcel tax that is on the November ballot. If it does not pass he says the hospital will close.  The hospital is the last line of defense for uninsured medical care for the indigent Hispanic population in West County.  Individuals will pay $56 per parcel and businesses parcel will pay as much as $1,056 each.  Beav made a funny crack about Stoney as he walked into lunch late, but I can’t remember it.

Norm's Nonsense

More quotes from the airlines:

- A flight attendant announced at the end of a flight: "Last one off the plane must clean it."

- After an extremely hard landing the flight attendant announced: "Please remain in your seats with your seatbelts fastened until the captain taxis what's left of our plane to the gate."

- In her safety lecture the flight attendant advised: "There may be 50 ways to leave your lover, but there are only 4 ways out of this airplane."


Elder Financial Abuse

Samantha Scephare the director of the Elder Law Center spoke to us today about the growing problem of elder abuse which often goes unrecognized.  Her organization is virtual and receives financial support from the State Bar association.  Services are also provided pro bono from the legal community which includes 20 attorneys help her on a regular basis.

Her organization holds seminars throughout the Bay Area to help seniors pre-select trusted people who can be their power of attorney in the event they are incapacitated.  Problems arise when family members steal from the elder by selling the family household or draining bank accounts.  In fact 85% of the problems of elder abuse occur amongst family members.

Other forms of abuse can involve fraudulent construction projects, phony investment schemes and email based scams.  In fact some of the email scams which are so good that ordinary people fall victim, like I did this summer.

Samantha needs help getting elders in the Richmond area to participate in her seminars as attendance has been disappointing.

Some common symptoms that could indicate elder abuse are:

  • Suspicious looking signatures
  • Checks written to cash
  • Withdrawals from accounts that are not used often
  • Missing important documents.
  • A senior that has become isolated and detached should be checked on.

For help call the Elder Law Center 866-543-8017

-Rotating Editor, Mark Howe