The Flywheel

Next meeting: March 9th

The State of Our Schools

West Contra Costa Unified School Superintendent, and Richmond Rotarian, Bruce Harter, updates us on measures of academic progress, budget realities, restructuring, and more.


Meeting of Friday, March 2nd

Welcome, Invocation, Thought for the Day

So who does what?

We've added new page to this website: Committees. You'll find a link to it in the main menu bar above.

Please visit the page to confirm we're correctly showing your participation in the committee of your choice.

If you're a new member, or a veteran member who is not now active on a committee, please visit the page, consider how you'd like to contribute to our Club's work, and contact the committee chairperson.


Prez EJ Shalaby welcomed all to our “off site” meeting at La Revolucion Restaurante in the Hilltop area of Richmond.  Red Badger Lynn Martin led us in the Pledge and Stoney Stonework offered a moment of silent prayer for peace, freedom and justice.  The always cheerful Henry Kelman offered that although it was just the beginning of March … that tax season was right around the corner.

Visiting Rotarians

Pate Thompson was visiting from the Berkeley Rotary Club.

Rotarians with Guests

John Nicol had as his guest his sister Donna (great to see you John!).

Sunshine Report

The highlight of the Sunshine report was seeing John Nicol at the Club.


  • Josh Surowitz is a father for a second time with his son at 7 pounds 10 ounces entering the world. Congrats Josh!
  • Richmond Rockets final home game on March 2…if you are reading this now you are too late!
  • 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.

Special Events

Foundation Chair Joan Davis was happy to report that after her announcement last week about EREY (don’t know what this means?  Ask Joan!) that she received 6 checks!

Happy and Sad Dollars

Your Scribe was happy to collect the following Happy Sad $$$: Sid Chauvin the luckiest man in the world was sad to report that his daughter’s car that was stolen, then returned…got jacked again; Henry Moe was happy that the Salesian Boy’s Basketball team is in the NCS finals, but even happier that the Girl’s Team is in the finals (By the way, the upset St. Mary’s to win the NCS Championship!); Rafael Madrigal was very happy to see John Nicols; and John Nicol’s gave happy dollars for being with us!  See you again soon John.

Norm's Nonsense

Norm has been noticing some pretty strange advertising lately.

- A paint store in Oakland that sold paint thinner in bulk posted this sign in the window: "Ladies! Get thinner here. Just bring in your old can."

- It was some time ago, but Norm still recalls seeing a listing in the movies section of the Oakland Tribune, announcing a double feature at a local theatre: "Madam Ovary" plus "Yes sir, that's my baby."



Eating and meeting at La Revolucion

Our guest speaker was our host Martino, the owner of La Strada and La Revolucion, who was born and raised  in Orange County. When he was 14 he was placed on a Greyhound bus and sent to San Francisco to live with his uncles. 

Martino started his restaurant career as a bus boy and was mentored by Julie Ring.  At a very young age he became a waiter in North Beach even though he was not sure what a waiter should do. For a while he worked for H&R Block as an accountant, but was not happy doing that.  While working at the UC Richmond Field Station he use to drive past the site of La Strada going to and from work and finally in 1993 while drinking beer at a BBQ, and with a handshake became part owner of La Strada. After 2 months and $200k La Strada opened. In 1996 another investment of $500k was made for a remodeling. In December 2002 Martino opened the Napa La Strada and in December 2011 he opened La Revolucion. 

Martino employs 90 staff at his 3 restaurants. La Revolucion has 230 seats and is all about service.  So what is La Revolucion all about?  One way Martino described it is “California Confusion” Our host Martino offered a raffle of a dinner for 2 at La Revolucion which was won by Liliane Kozial.  Enjoy Liliane! Thanks for hosting our meeting Martino!

- The Menehune, Rotating Scribe