January 18, 2019

NEXT MEETING: January 18, 2019

Meet our new City Manager, Carlos Martinez

Carlos Martinez, City Manager, joined the City of Richmond last October, replacing Bill Lindsay, who held the job as top Administrator for 11 years. Carlos will share a little bit about himself, what he’s discovered about “the City of Pride and Purpose,” and how he’s shaping a new vision for Richmond over the next few years.


  • Erle, revealing not an iota of crabbiness, promoted ticket sales for the Crab Feed, Jan 26 at Salesian High School. Sales have been brisk: 69 already, 20 more ticket purchases promised. If you like to eat fresh crab, look for a crab picture anywhere on this page (hint: eyes right), and click the yellow button.
  • Alan Baer asked that those attending the Crab Feed bring an item for a raffle at the event: maybe it’s a re-gifting of something you got at the Holiday Auction item and have now decided you want to part with. Raffle proceeds, of course, will add to what we raise from ticket sales.
  • Darlene Drapkin, our Program Coordinator, announced that next week we will welcome Richmond’s new City Manager, Carlos Martinez. This is a great opportunity to meet the man who will steer the City’s administration. It’s also a chance for him to hear from you about civic issues you care about.
  • Basketball fans perked up for Jerry Feagley’s announcement that the El Cerrito Club was organizing a Warrior’s Night for the Rotary clubs of Berkeley, El Cerrito and Berkeley. The game is February 6, 7:30. Tickets are in the $95-$110 range. Ten percent of the proceeds of Rotary ticket purchases will be donated back to Rotary. For tickets, call Tracey at 510 528-8411.


MEETING OF January 11, 2019


President Jerry called the meeting to order at 12:30 sharp. He asked Nick to lead the group in the Pledge of Allegiance. Alan Blavins offered an invocation, “Peace on Earth,” as heads bowed in silence. (Pennies for their thoughts.)

Visiting Rotarians and Guests

Josh Surowitz introduced his guest, Chad Workswright.

Although he doesn’t celebrate Christmas, David Brown gave a terrific impersonation of Santa Claus, doling out fat checks to Rotacare, Early Childhood Mental Health, the Richmond Museum of History, the YMCA, the Richmond Community Foundation, and the Richmond Art Center. Except for Rotacare, representatives of those organizations were all in attendance today. Widespread merriment ensued.

Recognitions and Happy and Sad Dollars

Ric Ambrose did the honors.

  • He began with the Recognition of a double anniversary—birthday and club anniversary—for a member not present today: Shana Bagley Howe. Husband Mark rose to accept the recognition, declaring that he’d been authorized by Shana to disburse a donation of $40.
  • Hank Covell was happy that the long awaited ferry service between Richmond and San Francisco officially kicked-off yesterday. Many of us were present for the celebration in the Craneway, attended by a flock of dignitaries.
  • Perennial party boy that he is, Mark proposed that Richmond Rotarians gather at the ferry terminal one afternoon after a meeting, board the vessel, enjoy celebratory drinks en route, then return home on the last cruise of the day. People loved this idea. Stay tuned for details.
  • Jan attended Thursday night’s Chamber Mixer. A lot of fun, she said, and worth a few happy dollars.
  • Norm Lundberg had Happy and (not-too) Sad Dollars. The Happy: he and his wife will be travelling to Sri Lanka and the Maldives in the coming weeks. The Sad: he regrets needing to miss Rotary meetings. We feel for you, pal.
  • David Brown, aka today’s Santa, proclaimed “I’m always happy to do business with Rotarians.” Seems Holiday Auction helper Connie inadvertently deposited a portion of the Auction proceeds into her own bank account instead of the club’s. She reported this to David, and now with the money transferred and the Auction total re-tallied, the number is now stands close to $40,000. Wow.
  • Don had Happy Dollars for a surprise birthday celebration that brought together two former Rotarians, no longer members of our club because they’ve moved: Jim Beaver in Palm Desert, California, and Joe Bagley in Prescott, Arizona. Don and Joe turned up unannounced at Jim’s to help him celebrate his 70th.
  • Sid had Sad Dollars for Herb, who was home with pneumonia. Get well quick, Herb.


What's Happening at the Richmond Museum of History?

Darlene introduced today’s speaker, Melinda McCrary, Executive Director of the Richmond Museum of History.

Melinda began by highlighting a newly-opened exhibit, Pioneers to the Present—Jews of Richmond and Contra Costa County. The exhibit showcases many unknown stories of the local Jewish community. Events surrounding the exhibit include a Day of Learning lead by Rabbi Dean Kertesz, a chamber music performance, a Jewish-themed story time for kids, author Elizabeth Rosner’s talk on intergenerational trauma, author Richard Schwartz survey of Jewish arts in Richmond, and much more. Download this flyer for details.

Melinda also asked for a volunteer to host a house party to raise funds to restore a mural depicting Richmond circa 1941, which Melinda rescued from the basement of the Richmond Post Office. Because the conservation of the mural will be quite costly, all contributions will be appreciated. Jerry Feagley kindly offered to host the party.

Melinda has been planning an exhibit recognizing the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in the United States. But mindful of the fact that Richmond Rotary will also be 100 years old next year, she is committed to mounting a concurrent exhibit that will recognize our club’s centennial. David Brown has been working with Melinda to identify artifacts and documents for that exhibit.

Pitching in to Improve Richmond Greenway

Because we had several minutes to spare before adjourning, Jerry invited Jan to talk about Rotary’s support for development of the Harbout-8 park on the Richmond Greenway.  A grove of young oak trees (named the International Oak Grove) at the western gate of the park needs protection. Josh Genser will be coordinating a Rotary volunteer day this spring. Rotarians will be called upon to assist, either by pounding circles of posts around the tree trunks, or by handing out refreshments to those who do.

All Rotarians are invited to Pogo Park’s MLK Day “Mock Up” event on January 21 from 9am to 2pm at Harbour-8 to see progress made and hoped for. (See the Improvement Plan.) Harbour-8 Park spans Harbour Way to 8th St. along the Richmond Greenway between Ohio and Chanslor.

-Nick Despota, Flywheel Editor