NEXT MEETING: October 18, 2013
We now return to the Richmond Country Club for our meetings
The New Bay Bridge
The seismic retrofit of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge is more than an upgrade to one of the country’s busiest bridges; it is an epic transformation into a global icon, featuring some of the most cutting-edge and innovative engineering, construction and seismic technology. The presentation will be provided by Victor Gauthier, the Public Information Officer, San Francisco Oakland Bay Bridge Seismic Safety Project, California Department of Transportation and will provide insight into the rich history of the Bay Bridge as well as close-up exploration of the construction site of the largest infrastructure project in California history. (Photo by Thomas Hawk.)
- Flywheel correction. In the last issue, there was an inadvertent misspelling of the John Nicol Scholarship Fund.
- Tree planting is on Saturday morning, October 19, as part of Richmond Arbor Day in conjunction with Groundwork Richmond, Richmond Trees, and our special tree-planting partner, The Watershed Project. Our own Felix Hunziker is coordinating things and a special Scribe outreach to him confirmed the following information.
- Rendezvous location is Lucas Park in Richmond, 10th Street (aka Harbour Way, north of Barrett) and Lucas Avenue.
- Gather at 8am to set up the Rotary Booth (thanks, Alan Blavin) and 8:30am to register for tree planting.
- Holes will have been pre-drilled by the City for planting 15 redwoods (no, not fully grown).
- The event is over by 1pm, preceded by a few speakers and box lunches for planting volunteers.
- This is not to be missed (even by “non-manly-man” tree-planting supporters)! There are quite a few family activities involved. Check out the PressRelease-2013-ArborDay.
- After planting trees on Saturday, come serve hot dogs and beer at Golden Gate Fields on the next day Sunday, October 20. Having at least 10 volunteers on hand from our Club will enable a $1000 contribution to the Club Treasury from Golden Gate Fields. According to Lynn Martin, who will have more details at the upcoming Friday meeting, all volunteers will assemble at 9:30am in order to work a four-hour shift from 10am – 2pm.
- Dan Tanita reminded us that, under a “New Generations” program in conjunction with the St. Petersburg Rotary Club in Russia, a young, recently graduated Russian male dentist is coming from St. Petersburg for a four-week visit to learn more about American dental practices. Dan will be hosting the young dentist at his home from October 21 to November 9 and is looking for one or two other Rotarians to be a home host from November 10 to November 22 (perhaps broken up in two one-week segments). Please contact Dan if you can help out.
- Liliane Koziol also asked Dan Tanita to comment on another recent award for the Peres School Dental Clinic that Dan and Richmond Rotary made happen. The Peres Dental Clinic is one of the finalists for the 34th annual Golden Bell Award, issued by the California School Board Association, which oversees more than 1000 school districts in the state.
- For those not planting trees or selling hot dogs and beer this weekend, the Rotary District 5160 Conference (“Celebrate the Adventure”) will be held Saturday-Sunday, October 19-20, at the Silver Dollar Fairgrounds in Chico, CA. A pre-conference golf tournament is on Thursday and fun-day activities happen on Friday. Check out the District web site.
- Liliane reminded everyone that on Friday, November 1, representatives from several offices in the San Francisco-based foreign Consular Corps will be visiting Richmond Rotary. This is a big deal, the first time for such a visit in the East Bay. There will be a pre-Rotary-meeting reception at the Richmond Country Club at 11:30am and the meeting will then begin at 12-noon. The program speaker that day will be Bruce Campbell, Vice-Chair of the Peace Centers Committee for the Rotary Foundation.
- Pam Jones urged everyone to purchase their tickets ($35 per person) for Rotary Day at the Races to be held at Golden Gate Fields on Saturday, November 16. No need to sell beer and hot dogs that day (but feel free to buy some). About 30 Rotary Clubs have already signed up and more than 500 Rotarians are expected. The deadline for ticket purchase is November 1.
- Mark your calendars for December 6. That’s the annual Holiday Auction at noon and the Annual Holiday Party that evening (in conjunction with the local Kiwanis Club). Both events are at the Richmond Country Club. Kudos to Don Lau for leading the Holiday Auction Committee again this year.
- Speaking of the holidays, don’t forget to give a $45 check (or multiples thereof) to David Brown for the YMCA end-of-year bicycle-gift program. But don’t wait until Christmas – the money is needed NOW.
MEETING OF October 11, 2013
President Liliane called the meeting to order at La Strada Restaurant. Bob Dabney led the pledge of allegiance and Herb Cole asked for a moment of silence for freedom, peace, and justice on earth. As he was warmly welcomed back from recent travels, Sid Chauvin had this thought for the day: if people like you, they will listen to you but if they trust you, they’ll do business with you.
Visiting Rotarians and Guests
- Jeff Mulvihill, a Rotarian who’s moving to our area from Redding, CA, is looking for a new Club. Jeff was assured that he can’t do better than Richmond Rotary.
- Bob Dabney introduced his guest, Antwon Cloird, Chief Operations Officer for Men and Women of Purpose, a Richmond organization.
- Jerry Feagley introduced his wife, Jan.
- Tom Waller introduced his guest, Steven Campbell, a Rohnert Park Rotarian and program speaker for this meeting.
Recognitions and Happy/Sad Dollars
- Joan Davis was recognized for her recent birthday (other than date, no number provided). She’s had her sister visiting from Hawaii since September 3, so it’s pretty much been party time for several weeks. We learned that a recent gathering for celebrating the life of a close family member that passed away brought back her nickname, “Little Joanie”, which Joan said she’s happy to hang on to as the birthdays pile up.
- Ren Partridge turned 84 on October 13. You can call and wish him a belated happy birthday (number in the latest roster is correct).
- Josh Surowitz offered a total of five happy dollars, one for Detroit’s baseball team winning and four for the Oakland A’s losing. It’s not entirely clear that Josh will be allowed back to another Richmond Rotary meeting again.
- Erle Brown provided some happy dollars while correcting some misinformation: his wife did not come home from the hospital in a taxi. She was picked up and brought home by her daughter. (So there.)
- George Egan was happy about finishing up his recent eight-hour class about Covered California healthcare. He gathered some exciting new acronyms (SHOP = Small Business Health Options Program) and became a member of the CIA (Certified Insurance Agents).
- Jim Young gave some happy dollars for Linda and him returning safely from international travels. He was interested to see how the government shutdown and other Washington DC machinations are viewed from overseas: it seems we’re the laughing stock of Europe. Oh, swell.
- Markku Pelanne had happy dollars for the good projects Richmond Rotary does.
- Hank Covell and Herb Cole each offered happy dollars for the recent Contractors Lunch, which was organized by Jon Lawlis and enjoyed by all in attendance.
- John Wilson offered some happy dollars and asked members to help out with tree-planting this weekend.
- Sid Chauvin was happy to have returned from his travels, having enjoyed crawfish and other delicacies back home in Louisiana.
- Trying to redeem himself, Josh Surowitz offered a couple more happy dollars, allegedly being happy to see Sid again.
- Rotary guest, Antwon Cloird, provided some happy dollars as he put in a plug for his organization, which helps previously imprisoned folks have a good shot at a second chance.
Television sets are becoming very popular in automobiles these days. My uncle has a television set in his automobile but it led to a little trouble. You see,he was sitting in the car watching television, while his wife was driving on the highway at sixty miles per hour. Then the commercial came on and he stepped out to go to the bathroom.
Making Your Mind Your Mentor
Tom Waller introduced Steven Campbell, an educator in cognitive psychology. The presentation highlighted some of the remarkable things that have been learned about the brain over the last 50 years. For example, did you know that there are about 100 billion neurons in the adult brain and that each neuron ends up having connections with upwards of 15 thousand other neurons? That leads to a total number of connections that is, well, quite exponential.
But, the important thing, according to what Steven told us, is that all this brain research is helping us understand how we can rather simply improve the quality of our thoughts and our lives. It’s about more than just “the power of positive thinking”.
In his book, “Making Your Mind Magnificent: Flourishing At Any Age”, Steven reviews a variety of principles that he says can be applied immediately. During this presentation, he emphasized the following two.
- The brain accepts and believes what we tell it. If we tell ourselves, “This is too hard”, then our brain says, “Ok” and proceeds to make it seem hard. When we say, “I can do this”, then our brain not only agrees with us (“Ok”) but endeavors to find a way to do it, providing energy and creativity to get it done.
- The brain locks on to what we deem is important. We too often tell ourselves what we do NOT want to do or be or have happen instead of what we want. Then, bingo, like a homing torpedo, we “achieve” what we don’t want. Because self-images are the brain’s strongest pictures and, since our brains have known these vivid pictures all our lives, change can be very challenging but not impossible. [Scribe’s bonus comment: Einstein supposedly said, “If it is impossible, then we better get started right away.”]
Steven closed with two other helpful suggestions. When we make mistakes, use self-talk that emphasizes, “Next time, I’ll….” Also, when we are given a compliment, simply say “thank you” and, as he put it, “wallow in the success like a pig in slop!”
Tom Waller, Rotating Scribe