NEXT MEETING: July 24, 2015
Note new meeting location for Friday: Café Soleil, El Sobrante
Better BART, Better Bay Area
BART Director Zakhary Mallett will speak about Better BART, the agency’s effort to renew, rebuild and reinvest in the system to ensure safety, improve reliability, and keep traffic moving and business booming in the Bay Area into the future. BART operates the oldest big city fleet of train cars in the country. It’s time to replace the train cars, most of which are nearing the end of their useful lives.
BART has identified a significant amount of funding for replacement of train cars, computer control systems, and the construction of a maintenance complex in Hayward. However, about $4.8 billion is still needed to fund capital projects over the next 30 years.
- On Friday, July 24, Richmond Rotary will meet at Café Soleil, 3550 San Pablo Dam Road, El Sobrante (near the intersection of El Portal Drive and San Pablo Dam Road). Club meetings will resume at the Richmond Country Club on Friday, July 31.
- Stacey Street provided a reminder on behalf of Menbere Aklilu that the “Grateful for Grapes” fundraising event will take place this Thursday, July 23, from 4pm to 7pm at Salute restaurant. Click here to learn more. Menbe hopes all Richmond Rotarians will at least stop by for a glass of wine.
- Alan Blavins acknowledged and thanked Nick Despota for all his fine work with the Richmond Rotary web site and the weekly Flywheel.
MEETING OF March 17, 2015
Club President Alan Blavins called the meeting to order at the Richmond Country Club and Tom Waller led the pledge of allegiance. Alan asked for a moment of silence for freedom, peace, and justice on earth. Sid Chauvin provided this thought for the day: The successful man will profit from his mistakes and try again in a different way (according to Dale Carnegie).
Visiting Rotarians and Guests
Mark Porter was visiting from Solano Sunset Rotary Club in Vallejo. Mark brought two guests, Jason Maddox and Jamie Abitia, both realtors from the local area who are scouting out Rotary Clubs to join.
Recognitions and Happy and Sad Dollars
- Josh Surowitz and his wife Emily celebrated their 11th wedding anniversary in early July as their family looks forward to growing by 50% in size in 2-3 months when the twins make their way onto life’s stage.
- Nico Veran had a birthday the day before the meeting. He also just got back from visiting Lima, Peru, where he and his fiancé (a Lima local) celebrated more than five years of courtship, which has to be a record in Richmond Rotary history for such long-distance arrangements.
- Jim Young offered some happily resolute, don’t-mess-with-me dollars regarding his recent exercise of official church business wherein a roofing guy was not ethical – and the fellow “regretted it”.
- Visiting Rotarian Mark Porter put in some happy dollars as he reported on his friend and Richmond Rotarian, Billy Zeier, Executive Director of the El Sobrante Boys and Girls Club, who’s been quite busy lately but looks forward to attending more Club meetings.
- Herb Cole is celebrating 35 years in Rotary, 12 years in Bakersfield and 23 years here at Richmond Rotary.
- Nick Despota has been a Richmond Rotary Club member for 10 years. Upon such an auspicious occasion, Nick shared an email signature quotation that he had just seen earlier in the morning and really liked. It seems on her deathbed Gertrude Stein, the acclaimed American writer, asked “What is the answer?” Hearing no reply, she then uttered her last words, “OK then, what is the question?”
- Ric Ambrose had happy dollars for the California Arts Council grant just received by the Richmond Art Center for expanding after-school arts education programs.
- David Brown had optimistic dollars regarding an offer he has made to purchase one of those flying machines that he’s really into these past few years.
- To the sound of cheers all around, Shana Bagley provided some happy dollars for the recent trek that she and Mark Howe (finally) took to the Contra Costa County Clerk’s office to take care of matrimonial process paperwork.
Opportunity for all: Blazing a new trail in solving poverty
Stacey Street introduced Mariana Moore, Executive Director of “Ensuring Opportunity”, which is the newly formed campaign to cut poverty in Contra Costa County.
Currently headquartered at the Richmond Community Foundation offices, Ensuring Opportunity is designed to be a heavily collaborative initiative that engages elected officials, city and county leaders, various existing agencies, non-profit providers, the business community, organized labor, and faith-based organizations in a “big tent” effort to address the root causes of poverty.
According to Mariana, a Richmond native with extensive experience in this type of work, the 15-member leadership team will initially put an emphasis on developing a policy platform to garner wide-area support, strengthen partnerships, and guide endorsements. There are six campaign focus areas: Economic Security, Food Security, Health Security, Housing Security, Education, and Safety.
To learn more about this important work and to possibly get involved, check out the Ensuring Opportunity web site.
- Tom Waller, Rotating Scribe