NEXT MEETING: May 10, 2013
Richmond Police Chief Update
Richmond Police Chief, Chris Magnus, will update us on programs, practices, and progress in the work of the Richmond Police Department. What are the accomplishments and what are the challenges? For viewing before the Rotary lunch program, click on this link to watch a recent video with some important remarks from Chief Magnus. [The video is about three minutes in length, including an unavoidable 15-second intro ad, and can be displayed full screen by clicking on the second-from-the-right symbol just beneath the time indicator under the video display box. Press the “Esc” key to exit full screen mode. Once Chief Magnus begins, left-click the computer mouse on the screen to pause/restart the video.]
MEETING OF May 3, 2013
President Jim Young rang the bell and called the meeting to order. Felix Hunziker led the pledge of allegiance and Stoney Stonework asked for a moment of silence for freedom, peace, and justice on earth.
Rotarians with Guests
Henry Moe introduced his guest, Pete Sklover, a BART retiree and long-time volunteer at Salesian High School.
A celebration of Henry Kelman’s life will be held with family and friends at La Strada restaurant in San Pablo from 2pm – 6pm on Saturday, May 11. All Rotarians please attend.
- Got your tickets yet? Opening night for the Lost Secrets play at the East Bay Center for the Performing Arts is Friday, May 17, at 7pm. The play will last about one hour. Three more performances will take place on May 18, 24, and 25 at 7pm. There will also be two Sunday matinee performances, May 19 and 26, at 3pm.
- On the May 17 opening night of the Lost Secrets play, Rotary District Governor, Laura Day will host a Champagne reception at the East Bay Center after the play’s performance. Let’s ensure good attendance.
- Herewith some comments from the Flywheel Scribe … Why, really, does the Lost Secrets play matter? What’s the big deal and why is Rotary involved? Since it was published in 2009 and introduced into local school classrooms, the book has done much to capture the imagination of area youth and promote reading literacy. The world-premiere play at the East Bay Center serves to dramatically reenergize the magical story while bringing to life the unlikely friendship and caring relationship of young Maisha and Mario – all of which can help point the way to better tomorrows and peace in our City. Recall Rotary International President Sakuji Tanaka’s theme for this year: “Peace Through Service.” Let’s do all we can so that the Lost Secrets play – made possible by the Rotary Club of Richmond – will have a positive and meaningful community impact that is remembered and sustained. The impact may not be easily measured but it need not be insignificant.
- Last Thursday night’s fund-raising concert at Freight and Salvage in Berkeley featured Lacy Dalton providing an enjoyable evening of acoustic guitar duos and vocals. The event was a successful fund-raiser for Richmond RotaCare. Lacy Dalton has written two special tunes for Rotary: “We Are Rotary” (a toe-tapping recap of the Four-Way Test, a taped version of which was played at the Friday meeting) and “This Close” (about Polio-Plus). Lacy and her band will be performing at the Rotary District Conference in Chico, CA, on October 17-19.
- An anonymous Berkeley Rotarian who generously donated a $2000 matching grant for Richmond RotaCare has also donated a $1000 matching grant for the Lost Secrets play project. At Friday’s meeting, Richmond Rotarians pledged $600 on the way to a “match”. For members who were absent on Friday (or anyone else for that matter), please let Jim Young, David Brown, or Alan Baer know about further contributions in order to get to the $1000 match.
- Henry Moe announced that the annual Rotary District Boat Cruise of San Francisco Bay for local Interact Clubs will, for various reasons, cost considerably more this year compared to prior years (perhaps $55 compared to $30 previously). Josh Surowitz and others pledged to cover extra charges for up to four Salesian Interactors to go on the cruise.
- The Holiday Auction Barbeque at Mark Howe’s home on April 27 was enjoyed by all who attended. Stoney did the cooking and showed off his secret BarBQ sauce, which is probably nearing public launch as a likely category killer. For putting together and pulling off this fun event, kudos also go to Mark Howe, Richard and Kathryn Alexander, and Joe Bagley (for all the tunes).
- Speaking of Holiday Auction items, Heather Kulp announced that the South African Cuisine event is being postponed until sometime in September. The Kulps are in the process of moving to a new residence. She said not to worry about the event because they’re “still promising to serve up some weird [but really delicious] food”.
- The Bocce Ball Tournament in Martinez is still scheduled for June 8. Pam Jones and Rafael Madrigal already have teams and Josh Genser is apparently looking to field a third one.
- Sid Chauvin was recognized for his ninth anniversary in Rotary, for which he gave a $100 check to the Rotary Foundation.
- Also recognized for Club anniversaries were Lilian Koziol (7 years), Tom Waller (7 years), and Henry Kelman (36 years on May 6).
Happy and Sad Dollars
- Hank Covell had happy dollars for his granddaughter, a junior at the University of Arizona. She’s on her way soon to Italy for five weeks with 15 other students (purpose being, of course, to spend long hours studying, well, studiously).
- Herb Cole was quite happy about the upcoming trip to the Rotary International convention in Lisbon, Portugal at the end of June. Herb, Erle Brown, and Jon Lawlis (with wives, of course) will be attending. After the convention (assuming Europe can contend with this fun-loving group), they’ll be visiting Barcelona, where global legal-beagle, Josh Surowitz, has an apartment and office. Apparently, lunch is on Josh.
- David Brown exuded happiness as he looked back one year ago on Friday to his first flight lesson.
- Michelle Itagaki was happy for her partner who just retired from Federal law enforcement after his 34 years of service.
- Sid Chauvin provided happy dollars for his wife who just retired after a full career that started in administration at Wells Fargo in 1964. She later became a legal secretary.
- Joe Bagley was happy to see Pete Sklover (Henry Moe’s guest) at the lunch on Friday. Joe credits Pete and his positive commentary at a parent organization briefing about Salesian High School as the reason Joe and Rita enrolled their daughter at Salesian years ago.
- Jim Young was proud and very happy for his daughter, who lives in Singapore with her family. She’s currently performing as an overseas thespian in a local production of Shakespeare’s Othello, for which her role received best-of-cast rave reviews in The Singapore Straits Times newspaper.
A New York man was forced to take a day off work to appear for a minor traffic summons. He grew increasingly restless as he waited hour after endless hour for his case to be heard. When his name was called in the afternoon, he stood before the judge only to hear that court would be adjourned, and he would have to return the next day.
“What for?” he snapped at the judge.
His honor, equally irked by a tedious day and the sharp query, roared, “Twenty dollars for contempt of court. That’s why!” Then, noticing the man checking his wallet, the judge relented, “That’s all right. You don’t have to pay now.”
The man replied, “I’m just seeing if I have enough for two more words.”
Jane Fischberg and Graham Thomas made a presentation about Rubicon Programs, which is celebrating its 40thanniversary as one of Richmond’s standout non-profits. Jane is the President and Executive Director of Rubicon and Graham is the Business Services Manager.
Rubicon’s mission is to prepare very low-income people to achieve financial independence and to partner with people with mental illness on their journey of recovery. In guiding people to jobs, housing, and health services, Rubicon strives to find support that’s right for each individual.
Rubicon takes its name and inspiration from the pivotal moment when Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon River in Italy and changed history. For those who work in and with Rubicon Programs, there is a commitment to decisions from which there is no turning back, to journeys about positive, transformative change and improved lives.
With an annual budget of $14 million, Richmond-based Rubicon now has additional offices in Hayward, Berkeley, Concord, and Antioch. Money is raised from a mix of earned income (43%), government contracts (47%), and private donations (10%). Rubicon asserts that 95% of every donated dollar is spent on programs for low-income families.
In furthering its mission, Rubicon generates earned income by operating social enterprises – businesses owned and managed by the non-profit organization – that train and employ economically disadvantaged individuals. For example, Rubicon Landscape is a fully licensed (C-27) landscape maintenance and installation business with 60-80 employees and trainees.
Jane provided the following highlights of Rubicon accomplishments in 2012.
- Served more than 3000 people
- Placed more than 500 unemployed people in jobs
- Helped 222 families and individuals find housing
- Reduced hospitalization rates for people with serious, persistent mental illness by 54%
- Helped 1400 children thrive by providing tools to their parents to achieve financial independence
- Awarded a nationally recognized grant (one of only six awarded to USA non-profits) to help fathers coming out of prison take care of their children
- Awarded a Chevron Economic Development grant to support partnerships with East Bay employers to create jobs for low-income West County residents
Click on this link to view an inspiring short video about “Michael” and his life changes that have come about with the help of Rubicon Programs.
Rotating Scribe and Editor, Tom Waller