NEXT MEETING: October 20, 2017
State of the City
Our own Rotarian, Richmond Mayor Tom Butt will present an update on the State of the City. He will provide highlights including key accomplishments, challenges and goals moving forward. He will discuss the City’s finances, staffing changes, real estate updates and environmental achievements.
- David Brown announced that, thanks to the generosity of many of our members, he was able to send a check for $2,625 from Richmond Rotary to the Santa Rosa Teachers Relief Fund.
- Darlene Drapkin is asking for volunteers for Trick or Treat on 23rd Street, from 4 to 6PM on Tuesday, October 31st, between Barrett and McBryde. This fun, free family event for kids and parents promotes a positive image of 23rd Street—something that benefits all of us.
We’d love Rotarians to volunteer as crossing guards or help out at the activities tables! Here’s the link to sign up. Download Trick or Treat flyer to post in your office or give to your neighbors.
- Don reminded everyone that our Holiday Auction is December 8th and we all need to start thinking about what we’ll contribute that is fun and interesting, and people we’ll invite who are fun and wealthy. Nick will put up the Holiday Auction web page in the next week.
- Alan Blavins reminds us the Police Toy Drive also takes place on that day. You’ll be asked to bring a new unwrapped toy for a child in our community.
MEETING OF October 20, 2017
President Connie Tritt called the meeting to order. Stacey led us in the Pledge to the Flag. Herb invoked deeper thoughts and higher powers. Syd’s thought-for-the-day: “Even duct tape cannot fix stupid, but it can muffle the noise.”
For the last time, Darlene Quinville was welcomed as the guest of Jon Lawlis. See below.
Connie inducted Darlene and into the Richmond Rotary so her guest status is officially over. Darlene is now one of us.
Connie also conferred Oscar Garcia with his blue badge. Yeah!
And thought she wasn’t prepared for it, Cecilia Orozco stepped up to Connie’s invitation to give her Who Am I? presentation.
Cecilia attended Richmond High School and UC Berkeley. She aspired to a law degree but for reasons of romance and opportunity she turned her sights to real estate, a field in which she now enjoys a successful career. Cynthia told us she gets a lot of satisfaction out of helping people—and since she has 3 small kids, she gets a lot of practice. Congratulations, Cecilia, on earning your blue badge.
Recognitions and Happy and Sad Dollars
Oscar recognized Jim Findley for his birthday. Jim told us hat he has friends and former colleagues who live in the areas ravaged by wildfires over the last two weeks. Some of them lost their homes. Recognizing their loss, Jim contributed $200 to Rotary’s contributions in support of victims of the fires.
- Don visited Joe and Rita Bagley last week as they were packing their belongings into two U-Haul vehicles. They headed off to their new home in Prescott, Arizona. Don was happy to report that they had arrived safely.
- Josh Genser was happy that his employer, Overaa Construction, was involved in the building of Unity Park. The project used a lot of volunteer labor so it was a bit more complicated than others. He looks forward to its completion.
- Alan Baer talked to our former member, Rafael Madrigal. He’s doing well in Tennessee. More happy dollars.
- Herb had sad dollars because Beaumont High School, which he attended back in the Cretaceous Period, closed its doors for good last week. The other high school in Beaumont, Texas, is South Park, which remains open. Beaumont High School’s color was purple, South Park’s is green. Herb took some solace in noting that a couple of our members were wearing purple shirts or blouses on this day (as though they knew).
- Syd remarked that his mother went to South Park. His shirt was not green.
Today’s scheduled program would have been about bees and the efforts to prevent colony collapse, a growing problem. But like some bees. the speaker didn’t show. Nick Despota (pictured) therefore offered to lead a conversation, loosely related, about the swarm of environmental threats and disasters we’ve encountered lately—natural, manmade, and hybrids of the two.
Members talked about the context in which these things are occurring: disagreement about the facts of a given matter, ideological blinders that block reasoned conversation, intolerance for dissenting opinions, and the discomfort that comes with staking out an unpopular political positions. (Does that sound like Thanksgiving Dinner at your relatives’?)
Josh Genser observed that, when confronted with danger, the reptilian part of our brain pushes aside the civilized part and prevent rational consideration of life-threatening situations. The Internet and social media make things still worse, noted Tom Butt (who’s among the most active user of online media). The absence of credible authorities—a Walter Cronkite or a trusted local newspaper—just compounds the problems of weighing evidence and getting a confident grip on reality.
About 10 members rose and offered their opinions on the growing threats, both real and perceived. Of course we concluded nothing except that, precisely at 1:30, it was time to go home.