NEXT MEETING: May 9, 2014
Teen Mom's Gift-Bag Preparation
Richmond Rotary’s continues the Teen Moms program, which donates useful baby-care items to moms in Richmond high schools. By extending a helping hand to these moms, we help boost their self-esteem and, in a small but important way, encourage them to finish high school.
At this meeting we’ll all pitch in to assemble the gift bags (personalized for baby’s age and gender), and write the notes included in the bags.
Jan Brown leads the program, with the help of Nick Despota and Doris Mitchell.
- Alan Baer spoke about the Annual District Assembly in Vallejo on May 3rd.
- Nick asked members to pitch in for scribe duty—in other words, writing down meeting notes that enable you to enjoy reading this very web page, the Flywheel. Because 2 former scribes have taken a temporary leave from this duty, we’re left with many open slots in over the next 4 months. Here’s the schedule. By signing up as Scribe for a Day, you’ll be helping fellow members stay in the flow of Richmond Rotary activity.
- Jim Young encourages all of us to attend the Historic Preservation Awards Ceremony, which this year recognizes Rotary’s production of the play, Lost Secrets of the Iron Triangle. The ceremony takes place on May 12th, 5:30, at the Richmond City Council Chambers. It is followed by a reception at the Richmond Art Center, catered by the Contra Costa Culinary Department.
- Alan Blavins is looking for one more “chaperone” (a guide to the basics of fishing, really) for the Cast & Catch fishing day, at the San Pablo Reservoir on May 31st, from 9 AM to 2 PM, lunch included. Contact Alan if you can give a few hours to help. Should be a lot of fun.
- Another reminder about the busy busy day of June 14th. Alan Baer invites all to the Bocce Ball Tournament on June 14. Mark Howe is looking for a few good men—and women!—for the spring maintenance of the Rotary Peace Garden on that same morning. Later that day, Mark will host the Holiday Auction Bar-B-Q at his home, for those who bid on the event. See Mark for details.
- Barbara McCullough announced an appreciation day for the volunteers and donors to the Rotocare Clinic, on Thursday June 5, She enthusiastically invited Richmond Rotarians to the event. The clinic is the only free clinic in Contra Costa County. It originally was open one night a week and now has been expanded to 4 nights a week from volunteers from Samuel Merritt College.
Our President Liliane Koziol presided over the meeting
Visiting Rotarians and Guests
Sid introduced his wife Zelpha, grandson Zachary Johnson and daughter Robin. Jeff Munvihill continues to behave as a “Visiting Rotarian” from Redding, despite the fact that he has now attended more meetings than many of our regulars. Barbara McCullough visited us from the Oakland Rotary. And Lindsay Spiller attended as a guest of our speaker, Joe Devney. We also welcomed Stacey Street as a prospective member.
Recognitions and Happy/Sad Dollars
- Nick Despota had happy dollars for hitting his 65th birthday, and being healthy enough to take a long hike through Point Reyes with his wife, Nel.
- Mark Howe had happy dollars for attending a luncheon with his friend.
- Richard Alexander has a sad dollar for Mark Howe misrepresenting their friendship (guess you had to be there), but followed up with happy dollars for his son graduation from the Maritime Academy.
- Jim Young had happy dollars about the fact that Lost Secrets of the Iron Triangle was awarded a Historic Preservation Award. (See Announcements, above)
- Herb Cole had happy dollars for Richard Alexander’s son, saying that he will buy a round of drinks when he gets his first job.
- Jeff Mulvihill had happy dollars for celebrating his 35 years of marriage.
- Sid had happy dollars for his daughter being here, and for the lucky fall that a 60 foot pine took in his yard, crashing down 30 feet from his house.
- Joe Bagley had happy dollars because Alan Baer’s daughter Stephanie made him a Duck Dynasty wallet.
More Yogi Berra quotes …
– “I knew I was going to take the wrong train, so I left early.”
– “You better cut the pizza in four pieces because I’m not hungry enough to eat six.”
– A large crowd had gathered at a funeral when someone asked Yogi who the dead person was. Yogi replied: “I believe it’s the one in the coffin.”
Forensic Linguistics: Say What You Mean and Mean What You Say?
Joe Devney, a forensic linguist and author, unpacked the ways in which we can conceal or distort the truth of a situation, intentionally or not. He distinguished between the literal meaning of our words (semantics), and the actual meaning that others take from those words based on context, prior knowledge and assumptions about the situations in which they are spoken (pragmatics).
As an example, Joe showed us video recorded by the Veritas Group. The video illustrated that, because polling place workers are not required to check voter IDs, persons not registered to vote at that location can nevertheless be given a ballot and allowed to vote.
Veritas “voters” demonstrated this by going to a polling place and asking the poll worker whether a recently deceased person’s name was on the list of qualified voters. By tacitly allowing the poll worker to assume that he was that person, he would be given a ballot. (Because the name given belonged to someone who was recently deceased, it had not yet been removed from the voter roll.)
Joe’s point was that, even though the Veritas “voter” never lied, poll workers’ assumptions about behavior and procedures at a polling place—technically known as the “schema” for that situation—lead them to give ballots to people who were not qualified to vote there.
Learn more about Joe at his website, http://devney.com/ .
- Henry Moe, “Rotating Editor”.