NEXT MEETING: February 7, 2014
Our District Governor, new members, and new Paul Harris fellows
On Friday we welcome Rotary District Governor Steve Lack to our meeting. We’re eager to hear what Steve has to tell us about Rotary’s opportunities in our region and beyond.
But on this day we will also be inducting 6 new members to our ranks. And if that isn’t reason enough to celebrate, twelve current members will receive Paul Harris awards.
Congratulations to all!
President, Liliane Koziol, welcomed everyone and called the meeting to order. The pledge was said and Herb Cole led us in a moment of silence for peace, freedom, and justice on earth. Sid’s wise words for the day were “enjoy your days and your life because life is a journey to be savored.”
Visiting Rotarians and Guests
Rotarians Jeff Mulvihill from the Redding club and Mac Lingo from Berkeley (also today’s speaker) were visiting with us today.
MEETING OF February 1, 2014
- Last chance! If you want to dig into the seasonal bounty of the Pacific with your Rotary, pals, get your tickets now. The Crab Feed is this Saturday, February 8th at Salesian High School. Get you tickets from Erle Brown and your money ($40 per ticket) to David Brown. This year the event will again feature a live auction. Therefore, please consider bringing an item for the auction block. Download flyer.
- BARSHEEP will have a special happy hour on Valentine’s Day at La Revoluccion from 5-7 PM.
- International Club President, Ron Burton, will be visiting the area on March 30th for a district event. Everyone is encouraged to attend.
- Liliane met with the Soroptimists recently and they are open to our two clubs collaborating on projects and attending each other’s meetings. Specific dates for this exchange will be announced later.
- District 5160 Governor, Steve Lack, will be visiting our club on February 7th. He will be inducting a number of new members and awarding several Paul Harris Fellows.
- Liliane thanked all those involved in coordinating the RotoCare clinic’s food preparation and delivery program.
Recognitions and Happy/Sad Dollars
- Ren Partridge had a donation in celebration of his 84th birthday last October.
- Liliane said her “check’s in the mail” in honor of her and her husband’s January anniversary celebration.
- Hank Covell had happy dollars because the recent Salesian Boys Club dinner earned $50K for the group. He also invited everyone to attend the Latin Fusion dinner that is scheduled for September 8th to support the club.
- Herb had happy dollars for the resurrected Richmond Rotary Poker Club. This institution has been active since the late 1940’s. It has a new poker table and everything, so go by Hank Covell’s and join in the fun!
- Erle had a happy $20 because by this time tomorrow he will be 30K feet in the air with a cocktail in hand on his way to a five-week stay in Mexico!
- Josh Surowitz had six happy dollars because next week six new members will be inducted, along with the recognition of twelve members who will receive their Paul Harris awards. Josh recognized Tom Butt as being a dynamic recruiter for the club.
- David Brown had sad dollars because in the new $130M City Hall project, there is not a single, not one, ADA compliant women’s restroom. How’d they get away with that?
- Joan Davis had a happy $20 – $10 for the birth of her new grandchild and $10 because by the end of today she is officially stepping down as the CEO of the Richmond Community Foundation and entering retirement! She said that Erle Brown is her new role model and she will be following in his footsteps as he flits around the world.
- Lynn Martin had a happy $25 for the generous $500 gift the club made to the Early Childhood Mental Health Program in support of its upcoming 40th Anniversary Celebration. She said the event will be on May 16th from 4 to 6 PM and that all Richmond Rotarians are invited.
A man had 50-yard-line tickets for the Super Bowl. As he sat down, he noticed the seat next to him was empty. He asked the man on the other side of the empty seat whether anyone was sitting there.
“Well, actually the seat belongs to me. I was supposed to come with my wife, but she passed away. This will be the first Super Bowl we haven’t been together since we married in 1967.”
“Oh, I’m sorry to hear that. But couldn’t you find someone else — a friend or relative, or even a neighbor to take the seat?”
“No, they’re all at the funeral.”
Mac Lingo, Berkeley Rotarian and today’s speaker, told us about his experiences and insights working with inmates at San Quentin prison. Mac began teaching math to inmates at the West County Sheriff’s Detention Center in Pinole and quickly expanded his work to prisoners at San Quentin.
The key role of the prison system is to keep dangerous people away from society at large, but the U.S. has the highest percentage of its citizens incarcerated of any country in the world. Russia, one of the other highest, has 492 persons per 100,000 locked up versus 794 per 100,000 in the U.S.
One of the things Mac observed firsthand is that the prisoners change over time in ways that are profound and redeeming and that because of this, some could be safely released, saving the state money. It costs approximately $50K per year to keep a prisoner locked up.
San Quentin is unique in that it has the highest quality educational programs of any jail or prison in the state offering everything from bachelor’s programs to yoga, meditation, and theater classes. Inmates range from 16 years to the very old and most are not white but people of color. Most with whom he’s worked never had a father figure in their lives, something that Mac and other volunteers working in the prison help them to overcome.
Lynn Martin, Roving Rotary Reporter