April 5, 2019

NEXT MEETING: April 5, 2019

The Read-Aloud Program

This presentation will provide a general overview of the Read-Aloud Volunteer Program and our work in five underserved elementary schools in Richmond, San Pablo, and Montalvin Manor. We will discuss volunteer recruitment and elaborate on the successes of the program. Read Aloud is a well established non-profit organization working in the district since 1995.


  • Don Lau encouraged us to participate in a foursome in the Salesian Golf Tournament that was coming up. He also notified us that there were opportunities to sponsor a tee ($250) for publicity and a good cause.
  • Pam Jones reminded us that she is putting teams together for the upcoming Bocce Ball tournament (May 11th) .
  • Jerry reminded us that it is TGIFF and this evening’s gathering is at Due Rose in Pinole. It is sponsored by the Pinole Rotary Club and is a BARSHEEP event. All are encouraged to attend
  • Jerry also announced the upcoming Bayou Boogie event on April 21, 2019, sponsored by the Albany Rotary club.
  • On behalf of the Pogo Park project, Jerry asked us if anyone knows a Mason . If you do, please contact him.

Flywheel and Website Survey

We are considering making changes to the Flywheel and this website. Our goal is to make it unnecessary to have scribes take notes and later write finished versions of the Flywheel. At the same time, we want to maintain or even increase attendance at our meetings.

To help us evaluate our options, please take about 3 minutes to complete this survey.
When the survey form opens, click OK to begin.

MEETING OF March 291h, 2019


President Jerry welcomed everyone to the “friendly Richmond Rotary Club”. Sid announced that “the work of the world does not wait to be done by perfect people.”

Visiting Rotarians and Guests

Rotary pennants from around the world—collected by our members during their travels over the years— were hung in honor of our special guests: 9 teenagers from Shimada, Japan (Richmond’s Sister City) and their chairperson. They ranged in ages from 14-17 and each was from a different school in Shiamada. Each of them introduced themselves, told us their age, and what school they went to. They were:

Eri Yamada
Sana Amano
Kakeru Tanimura
Mio Sugimura
Yuta Sugimura
Kosei Morishita
Naho Otsuka
Kaon Muramatu
Kunihiki Iwamoto


Co-Chair of the Shimada contingent, Evan Sirchuk spoke briefly on behalf of the group, and photos were taken with the speaker, Supervisor John Gioia.

Also in attendance at this meeting was Fran Gallati—a guest of Jerry and Tamara, John Tysell, a guest of Don Lau’s and Steve Kirby of the Hercules Rotary Club.

Recognitions and Happy and Sad Dollars

Since there were no Recognitions on this day, Ric Ambrose invited us to report our Happy and Sad Dollars.

  • Jon Lawlis was happy that he had just returned from a “miserable” month in Puerto Vallarta. (He was smiling at the time)
  • Jan Brown was happy that the Shimada teen contingent had joined us today. Hank Covell chimed in that he had had a chance to visit Shimada twice and had a great time both times. Steve Kirby relayed his pleasure at their attendance too.
  • Tamara was happy that she had attended the annual RPAL luncheon but was confused about where she should sit, as she was affiliated with three potential groups there – including Rotary.
  • Jeff Sloan of the Early Childhood Mental Health organization was happy that he had successful initiatives new initiatives for parents and children. Thanks to those programs they are reaching 250 more children with their services.
  • Ric Ambrose was happy that the Oregon Ducks had done ok in the March basketball playoffs, but he had higher hopes for the women’s team.
  • Herb was sad that he had fallen off Hank Covell’s stoop after the last poker game there. He had the bandage on his head to prove it. (No, he was not drinking). Herb was particularly sad that Brioche the dog had eaten the pie and cake that Doreen had sent him home with, which he’d dropped in the fall.


County Supervisor John Gioia

Today’s speaker was John Gioia, the current chair of Contra Costa County’s Board of Supervisors. He began by noting that this was the most partisan and difficult time of his 21 years on the Board. His secret – listen to everyone so they feel heard.

His presentation focused on these 5 initiatives:

  • Air Quality. Of the top 10 worst areas in California, the Bay Area has two: West Oakland and Richmond/San Pablo.
    1. A 30-person team will focus on improving air quality in these districts. They will map by car the emissions over a period of 1 year.
    2. The new initiative will require ships to plug in while docked at their harbors.
    3. Will also require all buses to be zero-emission by 2040.
  • Transportation issues
    1. These are regional issues that cannot be solved by city or county. Other nearby cities must also cooperate.
    2. One problem is that transit is costly in Contra Costa County because the population is sparse.
  • Health Care
    1. Two hundred thousand people out of 1.1 million people in Contra Costa County are on a subsidized medical plan.
  • Youth and Children’s Issues
    1. They are developing a budget for youth and trying to improve their services. They have created a Children and Youth council which will involve the whole family.
    2. “Kid’s First” is a real help for youth as it has funds set aside for kids. He was a part of creating that process.
  • Sustainability Commission
    1. Recently the County government joined MCE, thereby making it easier to choose energy generated through renewable sources. Two years ago Supervisors Gioia and Glover formed the Sustainability Commission. Its mission is to advise the Board on measures it can take to help insure it reaches the greenhouse gas reduction targets specified in the County’s Climate Action Plan.

In a Q&A session, Sid when we would get another hospital in West County. Mr. Gioia reported some statistics related to the County Hospital that closed. 80% of the patients had been on MediCal or Medicare. Only 10% were covered by a commercial payor and 10% were self-pay (uninsured). Since MediCal reimbursements fall short of covering the cost of services, the hospital was losing $20 million per year.

Evan Sirchuk asked about the Ryse Center (where the teens had visited earlier in the day). He had heard the good news that the Center now own that property they occupy and intend to use it as a hub for other non-profits. Mr. Gioia reported that he was very proud of the work that was being done at the Ryse Center.

- Connie Tritt, “Rotating Editor”