February 8, 2019

NEXT MEETING: February 8, 2019

What's ahead for BART?

BART Board Director Lateefah Simon serves District 7, which includes all or parts of Albany, Berkeley, Emeryville, Oakland, El Cerrito, Hercules, Pinole, Richmond, San Pablo, Unincorporated Contra Costa County and San Francisco.

Anyone who rides BART regularly will have ideas on how the service can be improved. Director Lateefah Simon will provide us with an update on BART’s rebuilding and reinvestment activities. We know that will please some and disappoint others.


  • Prez Jerry gave a BIG SHOUT OUT to Erle Brown and Henry Moe for the great job on the Rotary Crab Feed!! Also special thanks to Alan Baer and Santa Baer for their tremendous support in making it a success.
  • Our meeting on February 15 will be held at Conference Room at the Hilltop Mall. We’ll provide exact location information next week.
  • Alan Baer announced that the auction/raffle netted $1,300 and last year it was under $1,000.
  • Bob Dabney let everyone know that our friend Herb Cole is feeling much better. Get well, Herb, we miss you!

MEETING OF February 1, 2019


Prez Jerry welcomed all to the friendly Richmond Rotary Club and Hank Covell led the Pledge. Mike Winter invoked the wish for peace in the world. David Brown offered: “It is good that 60 is the new 40, but it also means 9pm is the new midnight!”

Visiting Rotarians and Guests

Bob Dabney’s guest were his better half Cheryl Maier, and Yawo Tekpa, a Rotary Exchange Student from Togo. Mac Robinson a regular visiting Rotarian was also present.

Recognitions and Happy and Sad Dollars

Ric Ambrose did the honors:

  • Darlene Drapkin celebrated her second anniversary with the Club.
  • Erle Brown was happy for 2 reasons: 1. Thanks to all who helped with the Crab Feed…special thanks to Santa Baer. We made over $4,000. 2. He is off to Puerto Vallarta for a month. Adios Erle! Please try and give your liver a break!
  • Your Scribe was happy to have just talked with Jim Beaver…who sends his regards to those who still remember him.
  • Hank Covell wanted to thank all who attended the Salesian Boys and Girls Club Bagna Cauda which raised $50,000 for the Club.
  • Liliane Kozial was happy to see Melanie and Yawo …and especially happy to be off to New York.
  • Ric Ambrose was very happy about his art work being on display at the Triton Museum in Santa Clara.
  • Mark Howe was very happy that so many turned out for the Friday night Ferry Ride to SF. All had a great time and looks like the ferry will be successful according to Hank’s son Jason.


Liliane introduced our speaker Melanie Miksis from the 1951 Coffee Company, a non-profit that promotes job training and employment for refugees. Although not called 1951 because it was the year Your Scribe was born, it was the year UNHCR Refugee Convention that first defined and set forth guidelines for the protection of refugees.

According to the UN definition, a person is a refugee who has been persecuted for one of the following 5 reasons: race, religion, political opinion, social group or nationality. The number of refugees allowed into the USA has dropped from 230,000 in 1980 (post-Vietnam War) to 30,000 this year. This number is set by the Administration.

The 1951 Coffee Company provides barista training to refugees so they can be employed in the coffee industry. It also operates 2 coffee shops in Berkeley: one on Channing, the other on the UC Campus near the Student Union. The Company will also open a coffee cart at the Berkeley BART station.

The presentation prompted a stimulating discussion about the difference between refugees, those seeking asylum, and immigrants. 1951 received no government funding and relies on grants, donations and revenue from their coffee shops. For more information visit 1951coffee.com


- The Menehune, Rotating Scribe