President Susan Sheridan opened the meeting by recognizing Charles Mitchell Vineyards for donating vino for the wine reception, (procured by Stephanie Foster), and saluted the talented Dick Wertz for lovely piano entertainment.
Amin Elmallah introduced the day’s invocator, Leisa Sinclair-Vick of The Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Carmichael.
The group sang Happy Birthday to PP Rob Scherer! The big day is coming up quick, February 17. (His birthday in Rotary was today.)
Sergeant-at-arms John Lemmon exchanged club flags with visiting Rotarian Dick Russell of Crestview, FL. John also thanked today’s greeters, Michael Pearson and Käthe Nathan.
During club announcements, Stephanie Foster displayed the new Sacramento Century event t-shirt available for $20 and encouraged every Rotarian to get involved in this critical club fundraiser on October 25.
Katrina Salazar, representing the club’s Foundation, announced the foundation is accepting proposals for investment advisors through September 22, with an RFP available through the office.
As the chicken cordon bleu was cleared away, Chair of the Day Dick Osen introduced the featured speaker, Bee columnist and longtime political observer Dan Walters.
“The state of the state is…..so-so,” opined Walters. Dan outlined the state’s slow emergence from economic recession, noting that the recovery has been weak, uneven and tenuous. State history, he noted, suggests another recession later in this decade.
One area of conspicuous economic growth has been the health care field, Dan reported, due in part to an aging population: we are “very quickly going from Golden State to grey state.”
Working against California are factors including a high tax load, a highly regulated business environment, an uncertain water supply, the nation’s worst traffic congestion and gas taxes, and a neglected infrastructure visible in highway pavement among the nation’s worst.
Above all those concerns, Dan fingered the biggest culprit: electeds unwilling to make tough decisions, opting instead for small expediencies over systemic fixes.
As he closed his remarks, the ever-upbeat Walters reminded the club that “pensions are going to eat city governments alive.”
Thank you to our ever-generous members who made contributions this week, including: Jim Phillips to PH & EM celebrating the two 92 year olds that made the Yosemite hike, PP Jack Bowker to EM for enjoying the Yosemite hike. Jim Craig to PP Thom Gilbert’s EM, for being a great Rotary president & his participation in Boy Scouts, Tom Bacon to his EM for being thankful for getting his daughter off to college & his mention in the Business Journal. To Valerie Piotrowski to her EM for enjoying her new position at the Citrus Heights Chamber of Commerce as well as Becki Roberts to her EM, also for her new position at Sierra Vista Bank. To Todd Andrews contributing to his EM for the rights to brag about his daughter Winnie & Steve Lamon to his PH celebrating his lifelong connection to RYE and for introducing 3 new RYE students (Taro Kita, Edwardo Rodriguez, & Jennifer Jamilosa). And finally to our G4K Tournament winners, PP Peter Dannenfelser II to his PH & EM, PP Jon Snyder and PP Wes Yee to their next PH.