The Flywheel

Meeting of September 14
Note: We're meeting at SalutÉ's Restaurant. (Directions)

Candy Pierce: an update on Polio Plus

Past District Governor (and Ace Rotary Booster) Candy Pierce visits Richmond Rotary to talk about the status of Polio Plus and the 'This Close' effort to complete the global eradication of the wild polio virus. (Learn more the worldwide efforts that are driving Polio Plus.)

Candy may also say a few words about the RI Foundation and the Future Vision initiative.



Meeting of Friday, September 7

Welcome, Invocation, Thought for the Day

President Jim Young repeated his “R” word opening. You know it so I wont repeat it. Pledge of Allegiance led by Michelle Itagaki, invocation by Stoney. Henry’s thought was “the Giants were in first place.” Together we're giants!

Visiting Rotarians

Doug Millar, Dennis Bullis & Mac Robinson, all from San Pablo Club and here to promote and sell tickets for their “Ragin’ Cajan Crawfish, Music & Fun Fest” Saturday, September 22nd.Adults only. $28.00 per person.

Rotarians with Guests

Jim Young introduced his wife, Linda.

Sunshine Report

Raphael Madrigal had a brief in and out hospital visit. He’s now back to work. Glad you’re better!


  • We were very happy to return of Michelle Itagaki & Mike Aaronian. Sometimes the Club could use a “ref”.
  • EJ Shalby informed us of RotaCare Hospitality group meeting on October 1st.
  • Stoney needs help with our Xmas party. Tentative date Saturday, December 15th.
  • Jim Young asked for more help and participation for the joint club booth and parade at the Solano Stroll on September 9th
  • Jim Young informed us that the Richmond Country Club will be having golf tournaments on Friday the 14th and Friday the 21st.  He has arranged for lunch at Saluté.(1900 Esplanade Dr., Richmond, CA 94804) Lunch will consist of Salute’s outstanding Caesar salad and a choice of either chicken sautéed with mushrooms, or pasta primavera.
  • A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Rotary Conference

    Nov. 2-4, 2012

    Meritage Resort Hotel
    Napa Valley
    Learn more.

  • The room accommodates 32 so PLEASE RSVP IF YOU ARE COMING. If we have more attendance our hostess will give us larger Fireplace Room.
  • Pam Jones told us of BARSHEEP Foundation Day celebration with “A Day-at-the-Races” Saturday   November 17th. Lunch at The Turf Club. The District Governor will be present.
  • Jim Young asked us to check out the District Conference in Napa. November 2nd-4th. (Link above, right.)


Jonathan Lawlis celebrated with a limo ride and dinner at a posh restaurant—paid for by his son and his partner Darlene. (Nice.)
Your scribe, Alan Blavins, celebrated his 22rd Anniversary (third marriage) with wife Geri, at Alfred’s Steakhouse in San Francisco. I paid! (Not as nice.)

Happy and Sad Dollars

  • Michelle Itagaki had dollars both happy and sad. Start with the sad ones. She recounted the story of being ejected from an inflatable boat being towed behind a motor boat traveling about 35mph. (Can you say “next of kin”?)  The towed inflatable hit a wave crosswise, propelling her high into the air. She landed badly—understatement!—and broke her hip in four places.
    On the flip side (so to speak), Michelle also had happy dollars for the success of the complicated surgery she underwent, now three months ago. Given the evident discomfort (she was using a walker), we especially appreciated the adventurer's visit.
  • David Brown had some very sad dollars for the loss of Highway Patrolman Kenyon Youngstrom.
  • He started a collection for the Youngstrom family with $100 and hoped the club will raise $1000. (I’m sure we will)
  • Josh Genser had happy dollars for his new (not new) truck..
  • Josh Surowitz added $100 to the Youngstrom collection and will soon have a date for the promised hike. >He had sad dollars because he missed the Contractors Lunch.
  • Erle Brown was happy that the Contractors Lunch bill was less than last year (thanks to two non-drinkers) He had two free tickets to The CAL game this Saturday.
  • Herb Cole had Happy Dollars for the same Contractors Lunch. He explained to us the bill was lower because Erle told the barman to serve only well/house drinks. This was soon changed by the arrival of Josh Genser who ordered “Doublewood” a premium single malt scotch. Bottles were consumed.

Norm's Nonsense

"My father was a Democrat and my grandfather was a Democrat, and that's why I'm a Democrat."
"Well, that's no argument at all. If your father was a swindler and your grandfather was a swindler, would that make you a swindler also?"
"No, that would make me a Republican.""


Summer Brenner and Richmond Tales

Jim Young introduced Summer Brenner, author of Richmond Tales: Lost Secrets of the Iron Triangle.

Chapter one
The charming Summer Brenner was raised in Georgia and migrated west, first to New Mexico and eventually to northern California, where she has been a long-time resident. She has published 13 books.

Summer has worked in Richmond community for 15 years. In 2006, she began a collaboration with Community Works. Along with their director, Ruth Morgan, she created Where Are We From, an inter-generational, cross-cultural oral history, poetry, and photography project for Richmond youth and their elders. Summer serves on the board of West County READS, a coalition of literacy advocates in the Richmond area.

Chapter two

Summer described the “One city, one book” program, in which a city library chooses a book, and thousands of residents read it, giving a community a common ground of experience.  Richmond wanted a children’s book with deep local resonance, but one couldn’t be found. Thus was born Richmond Tales, a book that speaks to the Richmond children.

Chapter three
The story is about two kids. Maiska, an African American girl and Mario, a Latino boy. Together they discover unusual common ground. They time travel back to period of the Ohlone Indians, then on to the 1915 and the days of World War I, and on to the future where… ah, we won’t spoil it for you.

Chapter Four
Summer segued into the Richmond Tales Family Literary Fest, now attracts 1200 attendees. 45,000 books were distributed this year. For many it was the first book they owned.  Most Richmond schools have accepted Summer’s book with open arms. Many kids referring to it as “ their book”—clearly, they have been charmed.

Soon the Richmond Rotary will collaborate with The East Bay Center for the Performing Arts in a theatrical production of Richmond Tales. It seems we have been charmed too.

-Alan Blavins, Apprentice Scribe