August 3, 2018

NEXT MEETING: August 3, 2018

Impressions from the Middle East - Rafael Cartagena

Rafael Cartagena, El Cerrito Rotary Club member, will share a visual travelogue of his journeys in three Middle Eastern country: Dubai, Qatar, and Kuwait. He’ll present his impressions of women’s evolving status and workforce issues. He will also contrast those impressions with those in his native El Salvador and his present home in this country. Please join us for this fascinating geographical and sociological tour.


  • Congressman Mark DeSaulnier will be our guest speaker on August 10. Program chair Darlene Drapkin reminds us to come and bring a guest!
  • In Spring of 2020, Richmond Rotary will be 100 years old! If you’d like to be in on the planning or if you have resources/stories to share, please send an email to Jerry or Jan.

MEETING OF July 27, 2018


In week 3 of his Presidency, Jerry Feagley tested a new swing where gavel meets bell to get the attention of a full house of Rotarians. Mayor Tom Butt led the pledge, Herb Cole reminded us of our shared world vision, and Sid Chauvin asked, “So when is this ‘Old enough to know better’ supposed to kick in??”

Visiting Rotarians and Guests

Simon Ellis introduced his guest and son, Matthew Piatt. Welcome Matt!

Recognitions and Happy and Sad Dollars

  • Happy Anniversary Congratulations to: Alan Baer and Santa celebrating their 27th anniversary, and to Josh Genser and Elaina celebrating their 37th!
  • Josh Genser also celebrated his big 6-0 and thus felt entitled to ramble on about a revered intercollegiate cup (for men and for women) attained by his alma mater . . . whose mascot is a tree! [Ed]. Happy Birthday Josh!
  • Nick Despota described a recent 52 hr. Amtrak journey to Chicago he took with Nel, which he highly recommends if you enjoy looking out a window and watching the ever-changing geology of the American West, and if you are fortunate to have glorious time on your hands.
  • David Brown had happy dollars that his son Aaron will be coming home this week after being treated for a heart infection in the ICU at a hospital in Tokyo.
  • Continuing the ‘feeling better’ theme, President Jerry Feagley had ‘grateful-to-be-alive’ dollars after a night in ICU at Barton Memorial Hospital this past week. AFib is a new diagnosis that Jerry must live with [emphasis on live]!
  • Back from a trip to Texas where it was 103 degrees with 80% humidity (you read that correctly!) Herb Cole had happy dollars for air conditioning!
  • Tamara Shiloh announced a free literacy workshop for kids at Hilltop this past weekend. Tamara will also be visiting the Las Vegas Rotary Club this coming week!


PowerPlant Park

Darlene Drapkin introduced today’s speaker, Larry Westland. A longtime commercial real estate broker, Mr. Westland is promoting PowerPlant Park in Richmond located near the Dotson Family Marsh Trail and scheduled for completion in 2019/2020. It will be one of the first facilities of its kind in California, dedicated to the highest quality grade cultivation and processing of medicinal cannabis.

Its 18 acres will include 44 state-of-the-art environmentally controlled greenhouses that offer tenants of the Park a complete production facility for the medicinal (not recreational) market from seedlings through harvesting and onsite pre-testing. Tenant growers are expected to generate 400 jobs (that include a vetted employee process). Adjacent to the Bay Trail, the facility will also include a conference hall, restaurant, electric cars and a BART shuttle. Privately financed, the PowerPlant Park promises to maintain high standards in production for both tenant users and outside growers who wish to utilize one or more of the Park’s many processing components.

Mr. Westland (a former school teacher) also traced the fascinating history of cannabis and US policies that have affected public perception, regulation, and use since hemp was first cultivated in 1795 at Mission San Jose. Richmond seems poised and ready as the benefits of medicinal marijuana in health and wellness become better understood and appreciated. For more information about PowerPlant Park visit:

Thank you Mr. Westland for your presentation to Richmond Rotary

- Jan Brown, scribe-of-the-day