NEXT MEETING: June 19, 2015
Richmond Rotarians at Work – in Las Varas, Nayarit, Mexico
Four Richmond Rotarians – Shana Bagley (Howe), Josh Genser, Norm Lundberg, and Jim Young – along with Linda Young, participated in Berkeley Rotary’s 2015 Spring International Project in Las Varas, Nayarit, Mexico.
They will share their experiences (and photos) of rebuilding a high school, the stories of the local people whose lives have been touched by this 15+year project, and of the fellowship of working side by side with 25 other Rotary clubs. In 1998, Berkeley Rotary started this project by repairing a broken down, one-room high school in Chacala (about 100 km from Puerto Vallarta). In this remote and poor agricultural town, few students attended school beyond 8th grade. Girls were discouraged from attending school. This successful Rotary project has expanded to neighboring Las Varas, La Peñita, and Zacualpan. Now, 75% of the students go to high school and many are attending college and graduate school. Rotary has rebuilt schools, libraries, a community center, vision center, teaching facilities, and computer, culinary, and chemistry laboratories.
This project is just one of the many reasons to be proud to be a Rotarian.
- Alan Baer was looking for players in the up coming June Joust Rotary district 5160 Bocce Ball challenge. Saturday June 20th at 9.30 at the Martinez Waterfront Park Bocce ball courts. We need players.
- BARSHEEP Friday night meeting at the Hotel Mac June 26th. If you are looking for a reason to drink, it’s Stoney’s last day.
- Mark Howe’s BBQ is on July 11th 1321 Sandering Island, Richmond, 3 PM. Everyone is welcome. There will be a raffle of a case of Stony’s BBQ sauce. One of the wag’s in today’s crowd announced, “The loser takes it home.” Talk about gratitude.
- Alan Blavin’s first ruling as president: On Friday July 3rd, the club will be dark.
MEETING OF June 12, 2015
Stoney opened the meeting with a joke: “ A man goes to the cinema and sitting in front of him is a man with his dog. The dog laughs and smiles at the films funny parts and even cries at the sad parts.
This continues throughout the film. At its end, the man leans over and says to the dog owner “Your dog seemed to enjoy the film.” “Yes” replied the dog’s owner. “Which is very strange because he didn’t think much of the book.” This set the mood for the rest of the meeting.
Sid’s thought for the day: “The only reason a child has a middle name is that he will know when he’s been real naughty.”
Recognitions and Happy and Sad Dollars
- Marrku had a birthday on June 10th. His son phoned to tell him he was now a Granddad! Congrats! Then he had to tell a joke: “I have learnt so much from my mistakes… I think I’ll do a few more.”
- Josh Genser had sad dollars because his barber had retired. He found a new place close to his home called YSIO, which stands for “Your search is over”. A small language problem (barber jargon about measuring units for length of air) resulted in Josh’ shorn look. Despite the close-cropping, he had happy dollars too. “Off to Montana to go trout fishing for a few days.” (Is it so he can grow back some hair in private?) Josh Genser also reminded us of his Japanese Whiskey Tasting event at his house on Saturday, June 20th, 5 PM. Not to be outdone by Stony, Josh was compelled to tell a joke: “ Why do kleptomaniacs never get puns? Because they take everything literally.”
- Herb Cole thanked Jan Brown for being his designated driver for the upcoming whiskey tasting event. We all thank her too.
- Don Lau thanked Mark & Shana for volunteering to. I thank them too. And anyone else who wants to be a scribe. Doesn’t pay well but, as they say the tips are big. Here’s one: Remember to put members’ names in bold the first (and only the first) time they appear in the Flywheel.
- James Richardson told a story of his 89 year-old mother having to go to hospital in Pleasaton. Her 87 year-old sister head out on the road to see her but got lost in San Ramon. She phoned James. Concerned, he said he would come and get her. By the time James met up with his aunt, his mother had been discharged from the hospital. I’m glad it all ended well.
Cannabis: A look at Local, State and National Laws
Bill Koziol is a busy man. His working life is split between 20% Real Estate and 70% in his medical marijuana dispensary business. He is the director and a board member of Telegraph Health Center. All this plus a wife and family.
Bill told a heartfelt story about how he made his connection with cannabis. When his father was struck with cancer, the combination of chemo and powerful medication made him perpetually nauseous. He couldn’t hold down anything. So he tried marijuana, which restored his appetite and made last days of his life much more comfortable. This changed the way Bill viewed cannabis.
Bill gave a history of cannabis in the 20th century, from its introduction for recreational use in the 20’s, through the 30’s where the Federal Bureau of Narcotics got involved, and on to the 1940’s when the industrial uses were exploited (“Hemp for Victory” helped augment cotton and paper production). In 1944 New York Academy of Medicine issued its first report. In 1970 the Controlled Substance Act listed marijuana among many far more dangerous drugs. In 1996, Prop 215 passed, making California the first state to approve Medical Cannabis Initiative, with a shocking 56% in favor. August of 2008 saw Jerry Brown’s Guidelines for the Security and Non-Diversion of Marijuana Grown for Medical use. In 2009 and explained that 12 dispensaries operated in the city of Richmond due to the expiration of the Moratorium. In 2010 the city of Richmond passed an ordinance allowing only 3 dispensaries and 3 manufacturing permits.
The city currently collects $180,000 in permit fees and approximately $500,000 in taxes per year. Bill reported that today 23 states plus D.C and Guam permit the use of medical marijuana, some for recreational use and others for medical application only. Seven states have legislation pending.
As for California’s future: Bill hopes for (and expects) that a 2016 ballot measure will be passed byt the voters. Field polls currently indicate 55% of likely voters in favor.
Currently local municipalities must create their own ordinances. The conflict between federal and state laws remains to be resolved. The Federal Legislation CARERS Act is attempting to de-schedule cannabis. De-funding enforcement actions by the DOJ and DEA may be the mechanism.
Everyone present seemed to enjoy Bill’s talk but were disappointed there were no free samples. As for me, I think its high time cannabis was legal and government should move on before everything goes to pot!
Alan Blavins retiring scribe.