March 15

NEXT MEETING: March 15

Gun Violence in America

Gun violence can tear apart a community by creating fear and preventing community members from thriving. Citizens should be informed about what’s happening at the national level, and what they can to do help their local agencies address the problem.

Howard Jordan, owner of Jordan Consulting, has a background in police practices. Mr. Jordan will discuss the impact of gun violence in our country today, and what our role can be in helping to reduce it.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • Jan Brown in absentia prepared a Club Activity Calendar for the next six months (it was pointed out that the Board of Directors meeting date on the calendar is wrong).
  • Oscar Garcia announced that Rotary is sponsoring a tree planting along 23rd street on March 30.
  • Josh Genser announced an activity on April 6 in connection with the protection of oak trees on the Richmond Parkway. Coffee and donuts will be provided.

MEETING OF

Welcome

President Jerry Feagley welcomed all to the Richmond Rotary Club and the Club was led in the Pledge of Allegiance. An invocation was made for peace, freedom and justice on earth. Sergeant-at-Arms Sid offered: “You are never too old to learn something stupid.”

Visiting Rotarians and Guests

Josh Genser invited his friend Mike Caldwell, the owner of Mike’s Barbershop, to join us today.

Recognitions and Happy and Sad Dollars

  • Tamara Shiloh recently celebrated not only her one-year club anniversary, but also her birthday. There was eating and drinking, not necessarily in that order!
  • Erle Brown celebrated a February birthday.
  • Bob Dabney was sad that a 40 foot-long tree fell on his house, but happy that there were no injuries. However, a second Rotarian noted that litigation over trees is good business for lawyers!
  • The passing of late Richmond Police Chief Leo Garfield was observed.

PROGRAM

Pierre Thompson introduced our speaker Darryl Henline. Darryl’s professional contributions to Richmond include serving as General Manager of Bridge Storage and ArtSpace, Vice President of the Santa Fe Neighborhood Council, and now harbormaster of Point San Pablo Harbor. Darryl described Point San Pablo Harbor as an eighty-year-old startup! He shared with us the history, location, challenges, and vision for the property.

Point San Pablo is located on San Pablo Bay, directly across from China Camp. It is the official embarkation point for East Brother Island Lighthouse. Darryl regaled us with historical trivia: Point San Pablo was the site of the nation’s last whaling station, which burnt down in 1989. The harbor was created by beaching steamships to break the bay waters. The whole peninsula includes historic Winehaven, a large wine repository that became defunct after Prohibition. The Point Molate area was then sold to the U.S. Navy as a fuel depot. The film Blood Alley starring John Wayne was filmed at Point San Pablo Harbor and China Camp; in fact, Hollywood sank a boat off the coast at the harbor and left it there!

Directions to Point San Pablo Harbor: take the last exit off 580, then drive past Point Molate and Winehaven. 1958 Stenmark Drive marks the start of the driveway leading to Point San Pablo Harbor. This long and winding road, which runs across an easement of Chevron, has many potholes (and will eventually be replaced within a year or two). Don’t forget there is another entrance by water!

Point San Pablo Harbor is often confused with the Point San Pablo Yacht Club. The former is a fishing harbor (and more!), whereas the latter is a sailing club. The Point San Pablo Yacht Club was originally known as the Sportsmen Club, before parting ways with the harbor.

Visitors to Point San Pablo Harbor are greeted by a restaurant, a bed and breakfast, and a Harbor Club which hosts events such as jazz and swing dance. Darryl was very proud of the restaurant, Café Nobilis, which opened last year as a fine diner after being defunct for 12 years. The word “Nobilis” was part of the original decor, and it means “someone who becomes aristocratic through their own efforts”. Café Nobilis is open Wednesdays through Fridays, as well as weekends, and the patio is a nice, dog-friendly place to enjoy food on the harbor. They also purchase locally from Golden Gate Beef and East Brother Beer Company. (Our resident food critic Josh Genser offered a strong review of the restaurant!)

Point San Pablo Harbor is currently home to about thirty people (including Darryl himself) who make use of ten floating homes. The area is fifteen minutes away from Richmond Fire Department services and is indeed closer to Chevron’s Fire Department (with whom they have a Mutual Services Agreement). Darryl is in the process of establishing a volunteer fire department at Point San Pablo Harbor because the Richmond Fire Department does not consider the area to be fully accessible. Sewage is another challenge: the harbor uses a septic system which aggregates and pumps the sewage into leach fields. Point San Pablo harbor uses goats for vegetation management, and we learned that Tom Butt donated a few goats for this cause!

San Pablo Bay is much cleaner now, and the harbor is testimony to the thriving ecology. There are river otters, sea lions, and many kinds of fish. Point San Pablo Harbor is partnering with PROP SF to provide water transportation for people who wish to visit the harbor.

Darryl stated that the vision of Point San Pablo Harbor is “to be a hearth with heart”, striving for small-scale hospitality. They are currently seeking permission to host larger events on the property such as weddings and music concerts. They already received permission from the City of Richmond to build yurts. Darryl introduced concepts that may have been new to some of us: “Glamping” (glamorous camping) and “Boatels” (boat hotels). Overall, maintaining the harbor is a challenging business, but Darryl noted that it is very rewarding to invite people there and to be their host!

 


-Pierre Thompson, Rotating Scribe