The Flywheel

Next meeting: February 24th

The Richmond Food Pantry

Robin Gillies, President of the Richmond Food Pantry, visits Rotary to describe this long term effort to reduce hunger in West County.


Meeting of Friday, February 17th

Welcome, Invocation, Thought for the Day

In the almost ‘black box’ environment of the ground floor performance space at the ‘new’ East Bay Center for  the Performing Arts  Rotarians began gathering in the hubbub of the final preparations for lunch. As the delicious aroma of the La Strada lunch filled the room, Prez EJ rang the bell and started the Pledge focusing on Rotary banners from Richmond USA, Wales, York, Dublin and Galway, the last two made appropriate by the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day Dinner and fete. George Egan led us in a moment of silence for Peace, Freedom and Justice. Henry Kelman observed that, “Things have changed in Downtown Richmond.”

Visiting Rotarians

District Governor Elect Laura Day greeted the club on behalf of District 5160.

Rotarians with Guests

Hank Covell introduced Doris Mitchell’s guest Bob Schutt from Torrey Pines Bank (Doris was behind schedule because of business).
Jim Young introduced his lovely wife Linda and Richard (Tony) Lloyd from the arts and education organization in Oakland, Cantare Con Vivo Board

Sunshine Report

Prez EJ reported that Glenn Daggs is dealing with some serious issues that will keep him away from Rotary for the near future.
We have also learned that Bill Koziol’s father has taken a serious turn for the worse and the whole Koziol family is working to provide support to their dad and develop a support and recuperation environment for him.


  • DGE Laura recommended that everyone put the Martinez/District 5160 Bocce Ball tournament on the calendar and field a team for the June event – details to follow.
  • DGE Laura also recommended that Richmond Rotary members consider the District Fall Conference, “A Funny Thing Happened…” on the Way to Carpi Diem, in Napa, November 2 -4. Besides normal Rotary activities, the conference will try to recreate the Glory that was Rome, without Zero Mostel and Phil Silvers. A toga party has not been announced but is much rumored. Happy and Sad Dollars David Brown couldn’t find his glasses and offered to donate $5 to Rotary if someone found them.
  • The 3rd Annual BARSHEEP St. Patrick’s Day Dinner Fest will be held March 17th, Saturday at Hs Lordship’s, $45/person in advance. There will be no tickets sold at the door so buy them now! Besides the best corned beef & cabbage in the East Bay and Rotary socializing, the evening will include a performance of the famed ‘Scottish Fiddlers’, at least they are Celtic. For tickets, bring a checks or cash to David Brown at our next meeting, or click the button on the right. Couldn't be easier.



Happy and Sad Dollars

  • David Brown couldn’t find his glasses and offered to donate $5 to Rotary if someone found them.

Norm's Nonsense

On the first day of school the children brought gifts for their teacher. The supermarket manager's daughter brought the teacher a basket of fruit. The florist's son brought a bouquet of flowers. The candy-store owner's daughter gave the teacher a pretty box of candy.

Then the liquor-store owner's son brought up a big, heavy box.
The teacher lifted it up and noticed that it was leaking a little bit. She touched a drop of the liquid with her finger and tasted it.
"Is it wine?" she guessed. "No," the boy replied. She tasted another drop and asked, "Champagne?"

"No," said the little boy, "It's a puppy!"



The Richmond Public Library's new director

In a pre-program warm up DGE Laura Day discussed the importance of the Richmond Rotary Peace Project and the impact that Rotary has had on the community.  Given the 2012-13 Rotary International Theme of “Peace Through Service”, Laura Day described the meaning of peace as the process of building bridges, of friendship and tolerance and the importance of remembering service about self.  Recognition was made of the triumphs Rotary has had in fighting polio because of its strength in numbers.  Rotary members are 1.2 million strong. Finally, Laura Day said that in spite of everything she has heard we were a well behaved group! More or less.

While introducing the East Bay Center Artistic Director Jordan Simmons, Jim Young shared that he has a soft spot for the center as his daughter who is now an actress living abroad had her first dance classes at the Center.  Jim also noted that the Center and possibly Richmond Rotary will be addressing an important component of the Healthy Richmond Initiative: “Children and their families are safe from violence” through the performing arts.

Jordan Simmons started off with the following slogan – Peace within, to change the world one must start within.  He discussed the Center, its history and goal:  Since 1968, young artists have been discovering how training in the arts can and does illuminate their fullest capacity as human beings in spite of a neighborhood known as the Iron Triangle and distinguished primarily for its chronic poverty and violence. Over these past 43 years, in the heart of Richmond, more than 50,000 student artists – from all walks of life – have shared a home where they have found within themselves the means to develop skills that enable them to think, lead, and contribute to the world around them.

The Winters Building was essentially gutted and an all new, four story performance facility was built within the original building’s historic walls. At a total cost of $16 million the hundreds of tons of steel and concrete that were used to make the new center a ‘state of the art’ performance, practice and teaching facility including two theatre spaces. Simmons characterized the 250 seat theatre as the best small theatre space in the East Bay. A walking tour of the sound proof rehearsal rooms and visiting all three teaching floors proved that the facility is also ADA compliant and accessible to all. As Henry Kelman said, A lot has changed in downtown Richmond.

Jordan also showed a Center created video of three young men from the Triangle that used their Center based learning to create new lives for themselves. There was an additional story told about a dance and drum student who won a scholarship to Cal in the Arts, but then decided she was really more interested in math and science and went on to get her MD from Yale and is a public health doctor in Boston. (Sorry I didn’t get her name.)

We could go on, but we won’t. You had to have been there.

- Rotating Editos Doris Mitchell and Jim Young