The Flywheel

Meeting of August 3rd

The LADEE Project at NASA-Ames

NASA Engineer Zion Young, previously best known for launching the West County Times on to local doorsteps, acquaints us with the Lunar Atmospheric and Dust Environment Explorer, Mission to the Moon. He will highlight the role of local scientists and engineers in structural design and manufacturing, usually not done on the West Coast. (See a wide-angle picture of the LADEE team and the probe in the lab.)

The mission is part of the extreme detail mapping of lunar resources that might eventually support a permanent Moon base. LADEE is currently on schedule for launch in August 2013.

Meeting of Friday, July 27th

Welcome, Invocation, Thought for the Day

President Jim Young rang the bell and called the meeting to order. Margaret Morkowski (welcome back!) led the pledge of allegiance and Herb Cole asked for a moment of silence for freedom, peace, and justice on earth. Henry Kelman noted that the stock market has turned around [for the moment?!].

Visiting Rotarians

  • Ken Pon, Past President of San Leandro Rotary.

Rotarians with Guests

  • Sid Chauvin introduced his wife, Zelpha.
  • Liliane Koziol introduced Josiane Siegfried, a colleague from the International House at UC Berkeley.
  • Joan Davis introduced her guest, Gretchen Grani, Director of Administration for Nutiva, a leading health food company that is relocating to Richmond from Southern California.


  • Dues are due for this new Rotary year, July 1, 2012, to June 30, 2013. Use the handy online “Annual Dues” button in the left column of the Flywheel home page to make your payment.
  • Jim Young announced that the Richmond Rotary Board is considering a +30% stretch budget for this current fiscal year.
  • Starting October 12, a quarterly “Club Assembly” meeting will take place during the regular Club lunch hour. The idea is to have a general member discussion of Club operations, projects, and activities that will take the place of a separate program speaker for that day.
  • A printed paper copy of the Richmond Rotary Member Roster is available for anyone wanting one. Ask Sid Chauvin or Jon Lawlis about it or, while online, click the “Members” tab near the top of the Flywheel home page and then click on the link to the right that says “Request a full roster.”
  • Herb Cole mentioned that a couple of international Rotary trips are coming up in October. A past District Governor will be leading a group to Pakistan to participate in a National Immunization period in that country. Herb has decided to go on a National Polio Vaccine Immunization trip to Nigeria from October 9-17. Having gone to Africa for polio immunizations before, Herb says it’s a wonderfully gratifying experience. Those who are interested to learn more about it should speak with Herb.
  • During this season of political candidates and ballot initiatives leading up to the November election, Richmond Rotary will tread carefully in terms of related speaker programs. At the same time, where there’s interest and an opportunity to become more fully informed, then a program may be brought forward. One such instance will be on September 21 when a former police officer will speak in favor of Proposition 34, which would replace the death penalty with life in prison without the possibility of parole. Any interested member is encouraged to recommend an opposing-view speaker for another open program date.

Special Events

  • In her first presentation as Foundation Committee Chair, Connie Tritt presented a Paul Harris award to Zelpha, Sid Chauvin’swife.
  • Liliane Koziol was honored with a Rotary Certificate of Excellence for her leadership at the International House on the UC Berkeley campus.
  • Pam Jones was honored for her role in developing a collaborative of I-80 corridor Rotary Clubs (eight of them, with names corresponding to the initials in the acronym, BARSHEEP). Club Presidents get together once a month to communicate about common issues and projects, a model that is being adopted District wide and perhaps beyond.


  • Josh Genser was recognized for his wedding anniversary on July 5. He celebrated in a big way with a fabulous family vacation to South America, including Peru, Chile (where his daughter has been studying), and Easter Island.
  • Tom Waller was recognized for his birthday on July 21, 43 years to the day (depending on which time zone you reference) after Neil Armstrong walked on the moon. A great birthday weekend was had with his son, brother and family, and favorite femme. Being slightly older than 43, Tom reflected on still being just a pup and not really in possession of the true sagacity that comes with advancing age. After all, Tom was only 3 years old when Ralph Hill became a Rotarian and, for that matter, he was born the same year Don Hardison joined Rotary.

Happy and Sad Dollars

  • Having just heard what Tom had to say, Ralph Hill offered some sad dollars.
  • David Brown, in hot pursuit of a pilot’s license, was very happy about passing his written exam with a score of 95%. Since he contests one of the two answers marked wrong, he figures he really scored 97.5%. Needless to say, he’s enjoying his flying experiences.
  • Not necessarily counting culinary expertise among his many talents, George Egan has reluctantly been called into chef duties while his friend is recovering from a minor ailment. He’s happy he’s not done any more damage to himself recently than a few knife cuts while slicing vegetables in the kitchen.
  • Bill Koziol is happy for his dad who’ll be celebrating his 62nd birthday. A fun day is planned around attending the State Fair.
  • Joe Bagley had some sad dollars after stopping by and seeing Jim Beaver do final household packing for the family move to SoCal. The Beav will be missed.
  • Jan Brown was happy to see both John Nicol and Margaret Morkowski, who Jan well remembers as an able poker coach on a past Rotary train ride to Reno.
  • Josh Genser was sad to learn of the passing of a terrific person, Joyce Neil, who, with her Daughter and family, ran the Rockefeller Lodge in San Pablo for the past 40 years as a successful catering and special events operation.
  • Hank Covell seconded Josh’s emotion about the wonderful and unique service that Joyce Neil provided the community.
  • John Nicol was happy to be in attendance with everyone.
  • Joan Davis is happy and fully charged about the upcoming, not-too-short visit by her nephew and niece who have plenty of youthful vitality to bring to her household in their 18th and 20th years.
  • Margaret Morkowski provided some happy dollars as she realized how good it is to be back with her Rotary friends.
  • John Wilson offered some happy and relieved dollars as he recounted the tale of a recent bus trip to Santa Cruz where he got pulled into a ride on the Giant Dipper roller coaster. He was especially happy when the ride was over and he was able “to get off the damn thing!”
  • David Brown offered some more happy dollars about the weekend series between the Giants and Dodgers.
  • Sid Chauvin, scoring points like crazy, said he was very happy that his wife was in attendance.

Norm's Nonsense

"Honey, something's always bugged me about the children. I can't help noticing that out of our eight kids, Ben looks different from all the others. I know it's a terrible thing to ask, but does he have a different father?"
"Yes, it's true. He does."
"Please tell me. Who is Ben's father?"
"You" she replied."


The Past and Future of the UC Richmond Field Station

Tom Waller introduced Scott Shackleton, Assistant Dean of the College of Engineering at UC Berkeley.

Among Scott’s duties is oversight of UC Berkeley’s Richmond Field Station (RFS), approximately 100 acres of land on Richmond’s south shoreline just to the east of the Marina Bay development.

The RFS was purchased by UC Berkeley in 1950 for about $750,000 as a site for miscellaneous engineering project work. The land had originally been developed in the 1870’s by California Cap Company, a firm that supplied detonation devices for mining and other uses.

Over the years, significant cleanup and environmental remediation has been done at the RFS, including restoration of the now thriving Stege Marsh. A Stouffer Chemical plant had previously operated on the land adjacent to the RFS on the east. Another chemical firm, Zeneca, purchased the Stouffer property in the 1990’s and some clean-up activity remains to be done there.

About 260 UC employees currently go to work at the RFS each day. There’s an Earthquake Study Center with the largest seismic shaker table on the west coast, a Transportation Sustainability Research Center, a Forest Products Lab, and a large Regional Library Facility for archiving millions of UC system books and microfilms.

The Environmental Protection Agency also has a lab at the RFS as do other tenants like internet inventor DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency). No classified government work is supposedly done at the RFS.

Earlier this year, the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBNL), which is operated by UC Berkeley under a contract with the Federal Department of Energy, named the RFS as the “preferred” site for the LBNL Second Campus. Environmental reports are yet to be completed but there’s a high confidence that construction will begin in the next 1-2 years. Phase I buildings of the LBNL Second Campus are expected to be open for occupancy in 2016 by about 800 life-science researchers whose main focus will be in alternative energy development.

-Tom Waller, Rotating Editor