We meet Tuesdays at 7:00 PM
The Original Red Onion
736 Silver Spur Rd.Rolling Hills Estates, CA 90274United States
(Joint meeting with Palos Verdes Peninsula, San Pedro and Del Amo Rotary Clubs)
Chuck Hanchett introduced Rotarian officers and guests, and the GSE Team members and their hosts. The participating Club Presidents for this week spoke of their Clubs’ activities.
After dinner, each of the GSE Team members showed a brief photo presentation of their family members and work activities, followed by a banner exchange from their sponsoring Clubs and the 4 Club presidents of our hosting Clubs this week. (This is the 3rd week of their one-month stay in District 5280, from April 13 to May 14, staying with hosts in different parts of our District each week.)
GSE Team Leader Satomi Owata, of the Otsuki Rotary Club in District 2620, is a nursing home owner and is married to a urologist. Hiroki Ogino is a TV program director who films documentary and variety shows. Namiko Ishikawa is a police officer at a railway station. Noriaki Oshimura is a dentist who works in the same dental office as his parents and sister, who are also dentists. Minami Wade is an orthopedic nurse. All of them have enjoyed learning about American culture and meeting with their business and professional counterparts here.
Rotary District 2620 is on the East Coast in central Japan, with a mild climate and great natural beauty, with Mount Fuji (which is of volcanic origin) and many hot springs. Agricultural products include rice, green tea, mandarin oranges, peaches, grapes and wine. Industrial products include automobiles, motorcycles, machine tools, paper, jewelry, electronics and business machines, and commercial fisheries are also important.
Roger Schamp (above) introduced Prof Allen Franz, who was born in Long Beach to a military family and graduated from Palos Verdes High School and UC Santa Barbara. He received a PhD in Anthropology from the American University in Washington, DC, and has done field work in Mexico, Kenya, Egypt, Spain, Costa Rica, Ecuador and Cuba. He has taught at Marymount College for over 30 years in anthropology, physical geography, ecology and interdisciplinary studies. He also coaches soccer and other sports, and is director of Marymount’s Center for Community Studies. He is on the boards of the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy and the Peninsula Heritage School.
Prof Franz recently led a Marymount College Alternative Spring Break March 25-30 in Lake County, 2 hours north of San Francisco, with a group of 18 students for a service project, both on community projects and to help prepare a new Northern California campus (in a former hotel facility) for Marymount. The new campus will open there in autumn 2014 with upper division and graduate studies, complementing the 2 junior colleges in the area since there are no nearby 4-year colleges. (Marymount’s new name will be Marymount California University.) Marymount has had Alternate Spring Breaks for 20 years, with recreational and educational activities to promote a values-based education, real world experience and community service in an academic environment. They have worked with community organizations such as Habitat for Humanity.
During their recent Alternative Spring Break work week, they removed debris from Clear Lake and a tributary stream, tutored local elementary students, helped to rehabilitate habitat for the Lake County Land Trust, learned about tree grafting, pruning, packing and shipping from a commercial pear grower, and worked on green houses and gardens for low income and homeless people and on a playground in a community shelter for victims of domestic violence and drug abuse. They also hiked up Mount Konockti, the volcanic centerpiece of Lake County.
Professor Franz stayed in that area last July through December for preparatory work, and will do some teaching there (although his base will still be at the local Marymount campus here). Lake County has only 65,000 population with an economy based on agriculture and on tourism related to nearby national and state forests and parks. Its average income is only half of the California average, and local community leaders are excited to have Marymount establish a new facility there.
We met with the Palos Verdes Peninsula (Noon) Rotary Club at Premier Bank of Palos Verdes, 4A Peninsula Center in Rolling Hills Estates, Wednesday at 7 PM. Our President John Turner (left above), Senior VP for Corporate Banking at Premier Bank, opened the meeting. PVP Club Pres Greg O’Brien (right above) and DG Lew Bertrand also spoke. A buffet meal and drinks were served by Jeff Earle’s Red Onion crew. We mingled with Rotarians of both Clubs and the bank personnel.
Judith Diamond is the Corporate and Community Relations Manager at Pediatric Therapy Network, since last August. She was a member of its Community Advisory Board for the previous 2 years. Before this, she worked in geriatrics, helping families needing advice on older adult issues, especially housing. She enjoys speaking to community groups and working with organizations, telling people about the Pediatric Therapy Network. She lives in Rancho Palos Verdes with her husband and 2 teenagers.
The Pediatric Therapy Network started 17 years ago, for special-needs children under age 5. It is located near the Depot Restaurant in Torrance, and now has 140 employees, including teachers and therapists for Speech and Language development, Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy. (Physical Therapy focuses on improving mobility and strength, and Occupational Therapy focuses on improving activities of daily living such as play activities and skills, and on being able to sense body positions in cases of nerve impairment.) Its professionals are affiliated with USC.
There is a clinic for Early Intervention from age 18 months to 3 years, for major developmental disorders such as autism, Down’s Syndrome and cerebral palsy. There is also an Early Head Start program, begun 3 years ago for children in poverty, a major factor in later falling behind in school. PTN works with school districts on developing better social skills.
Programs are family centered, including activities for parents and siblings. There is a Saturday afternoon program for children, to relieve their home caretakers for a few hours. She showed a short video of children in the programs. For the Christmas season they have a toy collection for needy families. There is a summer camp, located last year at Rolling Hills Country Day School. Teenagers volunteer for high school service projects, and enjoy the interaction with handicapped children. Children proposed for admission are evaluated by professionals at the Harbor Regional Center for developmental problems, and are referred to PTN from there.
Volunteers and donations are welcome; see www.pediatrictherapynetwork.org, or call (310) 328-7058. There will be a Cinco de Mayo fund-raiser on Thursday, May 2, 5:30-7:30 PM, at the Marriott Hotel in Torrance, with tickets $20 in advance or $25 at the door, including 2 drinks, tacos, tapas & Spanish music.
Jeff Dahlgren, Audrey Dahlgren's son, has been interested in history for many years, due to the influence of his teacher mother. He is on the Board of Trustees for the Civil War Trust, and works with the Drum Barracks (named after a Civil War officer) and Banning House in Wilmington. (In his spare time, he is President and CEO of Airtech Advanced Materials Group, producing carbon fiber composites for aerospace and other industries.)
The Civil War Trust, of which he is now a Board Member, is a national organization with 53,000 members, many in California, dedicated to the preservation of Civil War Battlefields and the education of the public about this War. The Board meets 3 times a year. Funds come from private donors and Federal and state governments, and are used to buy selected historical pieces of land from private owners or to obtain historic easements on them, as well as for associated legal services.
Jeff displayed several Civil War artifacts, including a dart-type hand grenade and a ball hand grenade, which were packed with gunpowder and a fuse which was lit before throwing (he said they were warned never to throw it uphill!). He also displayed a long heavy infantry musket and bayonet, and a letter from a captured Confederate soldier. He showed illustrations of numerous examples of battlefields saved from development into shopping malls or residential subdivisions, and also some areas that have not been preserved and were therefore historically lost forever. (The National Park Service manages preserved battlefields.)
On the website, www.CivilWar.org, you can see Google Earth-type images and move them around to feel like you are actually there. The Teacher Institute Series is a two-week curriculum development for classrooms of primary and secondary students. There are apps on smart phones for many of the battlefields. He encourages membership applications at this website, $35 per year.
Tethered balloons for aerial battlefield reconnaissance for military commanders were developed for this war, first by the Union and then by the Confederacy. They were invented by a Prof. Lowe who developed the concept before the war, and none of them were shot down on either side.
He showed pictures of the “Soda Bottle” Cannon, invented by his ancestor, Adm. John Dahlgren, and so called because it was much larger at the breach end to prevent occasional exploding of cannons upon firing (they hate when that happens!). The first rifled cannon (having spiral internal grooves to spin the round during firing for a more accurate trajectory) were developed by the end of the war.
California was intended to be split into North and South, but the Missouri Compromise left it as a single state, associated with the North and non-slave. The San Francisco Presidio and the Drum Barracks in Wilmington were designed as Union Army Headquarters for Northern and Southern California and the then-Arizona Territory. Phineas Banning, a prominent Southern California pioneer and merchant, gave the land in Wilmington to the US government. Army expeditions patrolled the route between Wilmington and Yuma, Arizona (riding dromedary camels, which were well adapted to the desert environment), to protect from an anticipated Confederate invasion from Texas (see www.drumbarracks.org).
Derek Gable has been a successful inventor and product developer, who has spoken to our Club once before. He has a variety of patents, including one for real estate lock boxes. He was born in England and came to the US in 1968 to work for Mattel. He formed his own company in 1984 to create new concepts and take them to production or sell them.
Among the roadblocks to solving problems are (1) Not wanting to! (2) Stubbornness; (3) Focusing on the wrong problem; (4) Going in circles; (5) Playing a “Yes but.. ” game; (6) Wanting to be right at all costs.
How to be a more creative problem solver: (1) Identify the actual problem; (2) Open your mind to all possibilities; (3) Look for common ground among the group facing the problem; (4) Stop, look, and think; (5) Look for unique approaches; (6) Look beyond the obvious.
He gave the example of his experience many years ago while discussing a problem solution with colleagues in his home. Taking time out to make lunch, he used a salad spinner with a hand crank to dry some lettuce, and realized a possibility for a children’s toy. It became a plastic container with a similar crank for spinning it, and 3 shaped holes on top for a child to put 3 different shapes of blocks matching these holes into the container. The only way to get the blocks out again was to spin this device until the 3 blocks popped out by centrifugal force, allowing the process to be repeated. He sold this idea to Mattel for a large sum of money!
He has provided classes to share his experiences with people who “have this great idea but don’t know what to do with it”. He has spoken to service clubs, social and business groups and on several cruise ships on how to develop more innovative and creative thinking. He encourages us to practice “thinking outside of the box”!
Varda Lancaster was awarded a Sapphire pin for her Paul Harris Society donation ($1000 per year) by PDG Dave Moyers. Thanks, and congratulations!
Eddie Michino was a member of the Group Study Exchange from District 5280 to District 26206 in Japan near the famous Mount Fuji, from October 19 to November 20, 2012. The Team Leader was Jewel Price, a member of the Glendale Sunrise Rotary Club and Dean of Student Services at Glendale Community College. The other Team Members were non-Rotarians in their early 30s, including Eddie Michino (our speaker tonight), Angela Kim, Alen Andriassian and Kai Tramiel.
The team members visited businesses and professions of Japanese Rotarians related to their own occupations, in order to share experiences and ideas. They stayed in the homes of Japanese Rotarians and experienced family life and cultural immersion during their 4 weeks. Japanese language lessons were provided to them at Glendale Community College prior to their departure, so they were able to make presentations in Japanese to the Japanese Rotary Club meetings. (5280 DG Lew Bertrand said that the Japanese hosts were so well impressed with the American team and their proficiency in the Japanese language that the Japanese District Governor plans to attend our District 5280 District Conference in May.) Our District is hosting a Japanese GSE team from District 2620 this spring.
Eddie Michino discussed many of their interesting experiences in Japan. The Japanese make very efficient use of natural resources including natural gas, and there are many industries and energy production in this part of Japan. The GSE Team visited the Yamaha musical instrument factory, went to a fish market in the early morning, and saw a Rotarian Buddhist monk in a temple visited by US Commodore Perry on his 1854 Naval Expedition to “open up Japan” to foreign trade. Among other experiences, they visited a tea factory, Mitsubishi Electric Corp, Suzuki Motors, Suntory whiskey production, a sake distillery, educational institutions and the SkyTree tower. They enjoyed a Japanese tea ceremony, listened to a samisen concert (Japanese stringed instrument), and saw many Japanese castles, temples, shrines and museums.
Don Reeves, our New Generations Chair, and 2 Rotaractors, Melissa Gutierrez and Fray Reyes, presented the history of ShelterBox and their Rotaract Club’s fundraising activities at Marymount. (Their Club President, Victoria Perez, was in a lacrosse game at UCLA tonight and could not attend our meeting.) They have a table in the cafeteria with a ShelterBox display and a collection box. Their goal by March 25, with our help, is $1000 for one box (in honor of our late District Governor-Elect Jim Dyer, who was the District ShelterBox Coordinator).
They showed a DVD video of ShelterBox in action around the world. ShelterBox was founded by Rotarians in England in the year 2000 as a partner with Rotary International, to respond to urgent need for disaster relief. ShelterBox USA is in Florida. About 130,000 boxes have been distributed to homeless disaster victims, and our Club, with the help of our Rotaract and Interact Clubs, has raised $7000 for ShelterBox since 2007.
ShelterBoxes were distributed to earthquake victims in Haiti, some of whom are still homeless several years later. Tsunami victims in Japan, Hurricane Katrina victims in the US and war victims in Syria have been among the recipients. ShelterBox personnel are often among the first responders in earthquakes, floods, tsunamis, hurricanes and human conflicts, deploying to 31 different locations last year. (Each donor is notified when/where that box is delivered.)
ShelterBox design has evolved over the years. Each kit, costing $1000, is contained in a sturdy green plastic box that can be carried by 2 people. It contains a durable tent with ground sheet, that can shelter 10 people and is resistant to rain and high winds. There are also a multi-fuel stove, water filtration and storage equipment, blankets, eating and cooking utensils, tools including ax, hammer, wire cutter, pliers and rope, and a children’s activity kit including coloring books and crayons for children who have lost everything. The box itself can be used for secure waterproof storage.
Our Club voted to donate our Happy Bucks and raffle proceeds for this week and next week to this ShelterBox project. To participate or contribute, please contact President Victoria Perez (email@example.com) or Don Reeves (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Roger Schamp received his Paul Harris Society pin ($1000 to Rotary Foundation this year) from PDG Dave Moyers. Thanks, and congratulations!
Roger Schamp reported on his March 9 trip to Camp Pendleton with Angi Ma Wong, Ralph Black and Wes Bradford, along with 2 busloads of Rotarians with the District 5280 Rotary Community Alliance (RCA) and hosted by the Camp Pendleton Rotary Club. They brought donations of household items and baby goods for the families of enlisted personnel, and Angi donated a Mongolian Hot Pot and “Reggie” (the “LA Gator”, subject of 2 of her books), plus many copies of her books. They toured the almost-completed Memorial Garden Project (for private memorial services with the families of personnel lost in combat) and the Marine Memorial Wall listing names of Camp Pendleton personnel lost in combat in Afghanistan and Iraq (no ranks mentioned, because we are all equal in death). Both of these were sponsored by the Camp Pendleton Rotary Club, assisted by other Clubs. The group also toured helicopter facilities and heavy weapons, and saw Marines in infantry training.
Omar Dana (center in photo), President of the USC chapter, is a Senior Civil Engineering student who is planning a Masters Degree in Construction Engineering. Asia Kane (right) is a Senior Industrial and Systems Engineering student who is Events Chair of EWB and plans a career in Supply Chain Management at Target. Tiffany Kao (left) is a Junior Chemical Engineering student and External Relations Chair for EWB. They described their current clean-water projects in Honduras.
Bob Petak originally put us in contact with the USC Engineers without Borders, and this is their 2nd presentation to us. The concept was started at the University of Colorado in Boulder to address basic human needs such as access to clean water, electrical power, sanitation and education. There are now 250 chapters in 45 countries doing 350 projects. The USC chapter was established in 2006, to provide sustained solutions to real-life engineering problems for those who need it the most. These projects provide them with both practical experience in applying their new engineering knowledge and an appreciation for the social needs of less-fortunate people.
Lack of access to safe clean water affects 1.1 billion people in the world, including one in 5 children. This results in increased infectious diseases, loss of productivity, and children unable to go to school because they are kept busy carrying water for their families from a distant source.
They have finished both of their original projects in Honduras, at La Estanzuela and at Corral de Piedra. They showed a video of their experiences in these communities, where they built small dams and installed pumps driven by waterwheels powered by water flow upstream from where animals drink and wear people are bathing and doing their laundry. They designed and installed pipes over two-thirds of a mile, and holding tanks on concrete foundations, with the help of community volunteers. They also trained community members to operate and maintain the systems to make them sustainable after the students finished.
Their future plans are focused on a nearby community, by enlarging and upgrading the structure of a one-room school which is much too small for its student population, and providing sanitation facilities there. They need interest and support to obtain the equipment and materials they need for this. To offer support, please contact EWB@USC.edu.
John Morris, a Deputy District Attorney for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, has worked as a criminal prosecutor for over 22 years. He has prosecuted over 100 jury trials including more than 30 murders. He worked in the Hard-Core Gang Division for 9 years, prosecuting gang homicides. He has also prosecuted robberies, assaults, carjackings and illegal drug sales, and has published 5 articles on legal issues including witness protection. He is now Head Deputy of the Healthcare Fraud Division, going after fraud in Workers Compensation and medical billing.
John spoke to us about protecting ourselves from identity theft, medical record number theft and medical insurance fraud (Los Angeles County is the worst in the US). Criminals use these forms of personal information to steal money from us or from our insurance companies or the government, for which we all pay. These crimes are lucrative because they have lower penalties than violent crimes, and the government budget crunch means nonviolent criminals have to be released sooner and parolees cannot be as well supervised as in the past. Some of these criminals are outside the US jurisdiction, especially in the former Soviet Republics and the Middle East, where some of the money may fund terrorism.
Workers Compensation fraud affects all of us. Contractors must be licensed in California. If they walk away from a project or do not pay claims for construction materials or their workers’ injuries, the property owner may have to pay even if he has already paid the contractor. Contractors are required to have Workers Compensation insurance. You can check their Contractors State License Board (CSLB) license status by contacting (800) 321-CSLB or https://www2.cslb.ca.gov/OnlineServices/CheckLicenseII/checklicense.aspx. You should ask your contractor, painter, plumber, landscaper, gardener, etc, for his Workers Compensation insurance company’s name and policy number, and verify this with the License Board. If the contractor claims he is “exempt” because he is using a subcontractor, obtain the information from the subcontractor. Note: some contractors who have lost their license will manage to find work as a subcontractor to a currently licensed contractor to get around the license restriction.
In Healthcare Fraud, the government assumes the biller is legitimate and typically pays what is billed without verifying the claim. Some criminals do fictitious billing under someone else’s stolen medical record number, which can affect your future insurability and insurance costs. Look at all Explanations of Benefits (EOBs) for any services not provided, or services billed for excessive amounts. Criminals steal information from trash, so never put any personally identifiable information in the trash. Destroy all of your discarded personal information by using a good crosscut shredder, not just strips that can be glued together and reconstructed. Don’t mail cash or checks from your home mailbox, because these can be stolen when no one is watching. Social Security numbers are often stolen for opening fictitious bank accounts.
For your computer information, use a random password with secure PIN numbers and up-to-date security software. Don’t carry your Social Security number or password information in your wallet or smart phone, where they can be used if stolen. Screen incoming phone calls and never give personal information over the phone. One careless mistake can have a high cost in money and inconvenience. Being a victim is embarrassing!
Audrey Dahlgren introduced the 3 dance contestants, Jillian Torres, Marie Bartz & Lauren MacLeod (above). Each student discussed her background and experiences with dance, all starting from a very early age. Each one described how her experiences related to the Rotary 4-Way Test. Then each student presented a video of clips from her past and recent recitals, some solo and some in groups, and in some of them the student had done her own choreography. All of the contestants showed excellent talent and skills, and our Judges Committee had difficulty choosing the winner.
The first presentation was by Marie Bartz, Palos Verdes HS, who started dancing at age 3, participating in ballet, soccer and gymnastics. Last March she was in an auto accident, resulting in back spasms. She is now interested in studying orthopedics for dancers in her future college education.
Lauren MacLeod, Peninsula HS, studied ballet in her early years, stopped for 5 years, and then resumed. She was very shy when younger, but dance has helped her to develop self-esteem and more self-confidence.
Jillian Torres, Palos Verdes HS, described her congenital problem perceiving what people are saying (hearing-perception deficit). Her parents enrolled her in special classes where she was able to learn visually, but she was able to enter regular school by age 6. She became serious about dancing in the 8th grade, and was soon asked to help teach dance to younger dancers. She wants to become an elementary school teacher, and has been accepted to CSU Fullerton.
After the video presentations, the judges announced the winner — Lauren MacLeod, who received a $100 prize and will compete at the District level on March 9 at Loyola Marymount. The 2nd and 3rd place winners received prizes of $50 and $25 respectively. We extended our appreciation to all of these outstanding students and their parents for their hard work.
Harriet (Hattie) Pearce, a student at Palos Verdes High School, discussed and displayed 4 of her paintings, and described how they relate to the principles of the Rotary 4-Way Test. She described the importance of providing emotional support to friends in times of sorrow and stress, especially in the context of the recent loss of a classmate. Most of her painting is done outside of school.
Christian Falstrup showed a video of a recent film he has done. He enjoys the collaborative nature of filming, which he started at the age of 11 with 2 friends. This film, “Cards of Time”, showed his life from the past to the present to the future. His younger brother is 11 and looks just like him, so he acted in the past portion. Christian played himself in the present (playing in a band with his friends), and his father, who also looks like him, played the future Christian. He recruits other students for collaboration in the many tasks involved in filmmaking.
Our Club’s Panel of Judges praised the talents of both students. Hattie Pearce was judged the winner. She received a reward and will compete at the District Final competition at Loyola Marymount on March 9. Congratulations to both for their high quality work!
Audrey Dahlgren introduced the 4 speakers, the first 2 from Peninsula High School and the 2nd 2 from Palos Verdes High School. Each one spoke about a topic in relation to the Rotary 4-Way Test — “Is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build goodwill and better friendships? Will it be beneficial to all concerned?” The winner will participate at the District level.
Liliana Pond of Peninsula HS discussed her school experiences and her plan to major in nutrition, and then challenged us to think about what we ate in our last meal. One in 6 Americans and one in 4 children would not remember that because of hunger in the US. Poverty and high unemployment in recent years has aggravated this problem. Malnourished children tend to be more aggressive, anxious, and have more illnesses and worse school performance, and higher healthcare costs which we all pay for. They need more access to school breakfast programs. Lower income parents with low educational levels need to be taught how to make more affordable healthy meals at home. She passed out flyers on the issue of ending childhood hunger in America, including access, education and awareness. (See www.nokidhungry.org.)
Henry Zhang of Peninsula HS spoke on the effects and dangers of advancing technology. He called nuclear bomb technology the greatest risk we face in the world today, and called for steps the world community should take to avoid conflict. Past nuclear testing has caused radiation poisoning and deaths in test areas many years later (he gave an example in China). Terrorists are willing to use any means to achieve their objectives, and a nuclear warhead in their hands would be catastrophic. Even one bomb in a major city would cause many deaths and enormous economic dislocations for everyone. With nuclear proliferation, it is increasingly important to prevent these from falling into the wrong hands. We need to create a world not needing conflict to settle differences and misunderstandings.
Alexander Dean of PVHS discussed the differences between arguing and debating. Arguing is conflict, but debate relies on facts and logic to support one’s point. His parents had suggested his going to medical school, but he is more interested in becoming a lawyer, although he would face great competition out there. He discussed his interest in applying law to help others and improve justice to help build a better world.
Arman Madani of PVHS related his experiences participating in the Model UN program, where he learned how to relate to others with different cultures, religious traditions and nationalities (his parents came from Iran). He expressed concern for the decreasing political support for education on the national and state levels, and said the system needs to be changed. Education is only 2% of the Federal budget, much less than Defense and many other government programs, but it is a vital investment in the future strength and prosperity of our country. He discussed issues with standardized testing (teaching rote answers to questions rather than understanding concepts and how to think), and the budgetary loss of many school activities including Model UN. The result is that students are not learning much about the world, impairing their understanding of the future issues and problems that will confront our country.
After the speeches were completed, our Club’s judging committee met to choose a winner for District competition. The members agreed that all speakers were outstanding, and the decision was difficult, but Henry Zhang was declared the winner.
PDG Dave Moyers, Chair of the Palos Verdes Sunset Rotary Charities, presented a $3000 check from our Festival del Corazon fundraiser to representatives of the Charitable Children’s Fund.
PDG Dave Moyers, chair of the PV Sunset Rotary Charities, presented a Paul Harris Society membership pin to Varda Lancaster, in recognition of her donation of $1000 per year to the Foundation. Thanks and congratulations!
Dr Piccioni has a BS in Physics from Caltech and a PhD in High Energy Physics from Stanford University. He was a faculty member at Harvard University and did research at the Stanford Linear Accelerator in Palo Alto. (His father, Dr Oreste Piccioni, was a prominent high energy physicist.)
Dr Piccioni has introduced cutting-edge science to many non-scientific audiences, including service clubs, civic groups, school children, and a National Geographic/Lindblad cruise, making the wonders of our universe accessible to everyone. He has given invited talks at Harvard, Caltech, UCLA, and Stanford University, and is presently giving an 8-week course on Einstein’s theories at the Osher Institute (an adult education program) at California State University Channel Islands and UCLA. His published books include Everyone’s Guide to Atoms, Einstein & the Universe; Can Life Be Merely an Accident? and A World Without Einstein.
Everyone can appreciate music, even if not a musician. The same applies to math, if presented in terms that people can understand. Albert Einstein (1879-1955) was a German-born theoretical physicist who had a slow unpromising start to life. He was slow to talk, and was expelled from the 2nd grade for inattention. He dropped out of high school, but finally got into college on his 2nd attempt. He was the only one of his classmates who couldn’t find a job, so he was supported by relatives. He applied for a job in the Swiss Patent Office, was labeled unqualified after his initial interview, but was later hired anyway thanks to political influence from some friends. In spite of repeated failure, he was persistent and refused to quit. He worked with only paper and pen, never doing any experiment or measurements, but he spent a large amount of time thinking about how the known principles of physics were related.
In 1905, Einstein published 5 revolutionary papers on all major open issues in physics, and in 1907 he got a job as a high school physics teacher. He dealt with problems in statistical mechanics, quantum theory, particle theory, the motion of molecules, and the thermal properties and photon theory of light. He used these ideas to model the structure of the entire universe. One of his papers qualified him for a PhD. In 1913, the prominent German physicist Max Planck stated that there was hardly a major problem in physics to which Einstein had not made a major contribution, and by 1914 he had gotten a university appointment.
Einstein realized that Newtonian mechanics was inadequate to reconcile with the laws of electromagnetic fields, leading to his Special Theory of Relativity. He soon extended this principle to gravitational fields, and in 1916 published his General Theory of Relativity. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1921 for his many contributions.
He provided a definitive proof of the existence of atoms, ending a 2500 year debate. His theory on the photoelectric effect has led to modern technology including solar cells, CCDs for cameras, lasers, DVDs, barcode scanners and telecommunication technology. His Theory of Relativity is used by GPS systems for accurate spatial localization on the surface of the earth. Microelectronics, computers and cell phones benefit from his work. His famous mass-energy equivalence formula E=mc² is the basis for nuclear power and smarter energy (“c” is the speed of light). He showed that mass and energy are different forms of the same thing, and his formula is analogous to using a known currency exchange rate to convert between the values of different currencies.
Dr Piccioni reviewed the enormous amount of energy contained in physical mass. For example, annual US energy use is equal to one ton of mass, which contains energy equivalent to 25 trillion kWh, or 5 billion tons of coal, or 2 billion tons of gasoline, or 133 tons of hydrogen, the latter form producing no pollution from combustion. He discussed the generation of nuclear energy. Energy can come from either making big atomic nuclei smaller (nuclear fission, which is radioactive), or by making small atomic nuclei bigger (nuclear fusion, which is not radioactive). This would be 40 million times more efficient than coal, with no pollution. Nuclear fusion has been under study for decades because of its enormous potential if achievable. A private company in Chicago states that it has found a non--fusion technique for producing nuclear energy that could possibly become a commercial process in 5 years.
Dr Piccioni reviewed his published books (listed above), of which he had samples for purchase after the meeting. His website is:
Beth Hadley grew up in Ohio and attended Syracuse University in New York. She has taught in private and public schools in the Los Angeles area, and joined the Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District in 1995. She has been the Principal at Miraleste Intermediate School since 2009, and is married to an educator.
Miraleste is a former high school, and has facilities not usually available in an intermediate school, such as art and computer facilities. It has 930 students, some of whom have moved into the Palos Verdes area for the good schools and are not as well prepared as PV students. There is good parental support, which has provided funding for new lockers and other needs to help in times of tight budgets.
Mrs Hadley described the new Lexile program at her school. The Lexile Framework for Reading (by MetaMetrics) measures both reading ability and text difficulty on the same scale, in order to match text difficulty-level to the reader’s current ability, rather than arbitrarily by age or grade level. The scale ranges from 200 for beginners to 1700 for advanced. All students in all 3 grades at the school completed this testing 2 months ago.
Text difficulty is measured by a formula related to sentence length and word frequency. The large book database can be searched for titles in the student’s Lexile range in the student’s areas of interest, to provide a list of titles for the student to look for in the library or bookstore. Teachers can compare the Lexile level of the classroom textbook with the Lexile levels of students in the class, and parents can also use this measure to provide appropriate reading levels for their children at home. This individualized process of matching reading material to the student’s level provides faster development of good reading skills, avoiding material that is either too simple and boring, or too difficult and frustrating.
The Common Core State Standards is a clear set of K-12 standards, adopted by most of the states including California to ensure that all students graduate from high school ready for college and careers. Over the last 50 years, the text complexity of K-12 textbooks has become increasingly easier while the text demands for college and careers have remained constant or even increased. The resulting gap causes deficiencies at the beginning college level, requiring more remedial courses (a current state budget issue). Mrs Hadley is excited about the potential of the Lexile Program to enhance educational performance at Miraleste, which is well-positioned for new state standards coming in 2014.
Reading skills are taught in all classes, not just in English. There are also some computer programs for individualized remedial help in math. The school has an adequate number of textbooks, but they are old now due to budget constraints. Replacement is planned in the near future. Among other school activities, the students are developing a musical performance, including both costumes and orchestra.
Jim Gamble presented a video of a puppet show he did at Long Beach Memorial Miller Children’s Hospital in about 1994. He had been invited there by a flight attendant to visit Joey, a cancer patient there. Jim created a hand puppet clown, “Ruffles”, who would ask a group of the children about their shots, chemotherapy, and medical procedures they had experienced in the hospital. The children spoke with the puppet with more frankness and confidence than they could have if speaking directly with an adult.
The children listened to the puppet’s chest with a stethoscope, checked his throat with a tongue blade, and described their hospital experiences in their own words. They talked about undergoing bone marrow sampling, lying on a radiation table, or showing him their artificial leg prosthesis. They were remarkably cheerful in spite of their medical problems and the scary feeling of being away from home in a strange hospital.
Joey was older than most of the other children. During the filming, he grabbed the mike and took over the show, stating, “Now I’m in charge, so I’ll interview Ruffles!” The clown asked Joey a (dumb) question, “What’s the smartest thing in the world? A Thermos bottle — it keeps hot things hot and cold things cold!” Joey responded, “But how does it know which it is?”
A few months later, Jim was doing a puppet show at the Jonathan Club in Los Angeles. One of the men recognized him and introduced himself, stating he was the father of Joey. The father stated he had had a hard time letting Joey go (Joey had died), so he often put the video cassette on the player in the evening to help him remember Joey, and fall asleep listening to it. One night before falling asleep, the father heard Joey again responding to that dumb joke, and stating that he was a lucky kid with good parents and excellent care, and that no matter what, he felt that he could handle it! At that point, the father said, he could finally let Joey go. Jim Gamble finally realized the value of that special friendship he had made there in the hospital with Joey; you can’t predict how much your actions can mean to someone!
Marcia Hebert has been a longtime member of the San Pedro-South Bay Assistance League. She manages public relations for the League and has served as its president.
The Assistance League was founded in San Pedro in 1936 to provide volunteer services to help needy children, families and seniors in the community. It started during the depression, with a group of women deciding to rent their expensive homes to the movie industry to raise money for assisting the needy. (Other chapters have been founded all over the country since then.) This chapter’s funding is provided by donations as well as from the proceeds from an all-volunteer Post Office (the only one in the US), a Gift Shop and a Consignment Shop. (The Post Office reminds you that postage is going up on January 27, so stop in now!)
The Assistance League has a Dental Center that provides general dental services to children for a $10 fee, and refers orthodontic services out with chapter support. Teddy bears are provided to hospitalized children, with hugs. Layette sets are provided to local hospitals for distribution to needy new parents.
Operation School Bell gave 2 sets of school uniforms to 2000 school children last year, plus backpacks containing school supplies, a book and hygiene supplies. Children are often self-conscious when they lack family resources for school uniforms and supplies. Budget cuts have reduced financial resources available to schools, so they refer them to the Assistance League. Volunteers go to the schools to determine the children’s appropriate sizes for clothing and shoes. These children are very excited to have their “own stuff”.
The Assistance League also provides clothing and support for assault victims seen at emergency departments, because the victims’ clothing must be left there as forensic evidence.
The Assistance League is located at 1441 W 8th Street in San Pedro, (310) 832-8355. More volunteers and donations are always welcome. The website is:
Marymount College President Dr Michael S Brophy and his wife, Tara Brophy, were honored for their community service as a part of our PV Sunset Rotary Club’s Holiday Celebration. Dr Brophy, an Honorary Member of our Club, has been President of Marymount College since 2006. Under his leadership, the College increased its enrollment by 70% and transformed from a two-year into a four-year multi-site educational institution. Tara Brophy, an active community volunteer and member of Vistas, chaired the 2010 Success by the Sea fundraiser for scholarships at Marymount College. Don Reeves, Past President of PV Sunset, introduced them at a VIP Reception and presented them with gifts of a crystal piece and a bouquet.
Jennifer Kain checked in the attendees at the Grand Annex. The Rotarians and guests were served at a buffet line provided by Jeff Earle and his intrepid Original Red Onion crew, and were lubricated by drinks served by bartenders Astrid Naviaux and Angi Ma Wong. At 8 PM, a Holiday Concert of Christmas music was performed in the Warner Grand Theatre by the Golden State Pops Orchestra.
This is DG Lew Bertrand’s 65th (and last) official Club visit in District 5280 (not to mention continued attendance at his home Club), after traveling about 5500 miles. (He’s done so well circulating around this newly expanded District, that he still has time to visit them all again before his term ends in June!)
He quoted Rotary International President Sakuji Tanaka (who grew up in Japan during and after World War II and remembers the aftermath of the atomic bomb), saying the concept of peace differs among different people and cultures, but service to others is a way of life that unites us all. In Myanmar, where Rotary and other service organizations were expelled many years ago by the military government, Rotarian JT Warring of the LA5 Club initiated a clean-water project for orphanages in 2005, after noting on a brief visit that the children were drinking contaminated water. Myanmar’s government is now starting to open up to the outside world again, Rotary will soon become reestablished there, and Mr Warring has received Rotary International’s “Service Above Self” award.
DG Lew related an incident he remembers many years ago, when he was a guest speaker at a Lions Club; he recognized the owner of the facility there and asked him why he wasn’t wearing his Lions pin, and he replied that he was not a member because he had never been asked! Within several weeks, he became a Rotarian under Lew’s sponsorship. The most important principle for promoting Rotary membership is to ask people! All of us know good people who are not Rotarians but could become future Rotarians if asked.
Lew remembers a school classmate who had become sick, was admitted to the hospital, and died of polio the next morning. Parents in the 1950s were fearful of letting their children go to public places, even to school. In the 1970s, Rotarians in the Philippines developed the idea of immunizing some village children against polio, when there were 350,000 cases per year. This was expanded internationally in Rotary, and PolioPlus was formed. In the latest Gates Foundation funding challenge for polio, Rotarians met the $200 million goal by January 2012, 6 months early, and Bill Gates was so impressed that he donated another $50 million check. India is now polio-free, and only 3 more countries have cases. The Rotary Foundation promotes a donation goal of “Every Rotarian Every Year”, to finish the challenge of worldwide eradication of polio.
As an organization, we can leverage our ideas far beyond what an individual can achieve, changing lives by service and making the world a better place. DG Lew closed with some lines from his Noah’s Ark philosophy. We are all in the same boat. Plan ahead. Build on high ground. No matter what storm comes, you can survive it. Noah’s Ark was built by amateurs, and the Titanic was built by professionals!
DG Lew Bertrand announced District Visionary Awards for exemplary service to Rotary (presented by Dean Reuter and Elsa Gillham), to Don Reeves, Sandy Farrell and PDG Dave Moyers. Congratulations to all!
Russ Schaadt was inducted into Rotary by DG Lew Bertrand, accompanied by sponsor Chris Kilgore. Congratulations, and welcome to the Club!
President-Elect Sandy Farrell presented the Nominating Committee’s slate of nominations for our Club’s officers for next year, 2013-2014. The nominations were approved by vote of the members present.
The PV Sunset Rotary Board Members for 2013-14 are:
Immediate Past President: John TurnerPresident: Sandy FarrellPresident-Elect: Roger SchampSecretary: Sylvia BenkoTreasurer: Chris KilgoreMembership: Larry AndrewsClub Service: Jerry FarrellCommunity Service: Jackie CrowleyInternational Service: Astrid NaviauxVocational Service: Madelyn Creighton and Audrey DahlgrenNew Generations: Don ReevesPublic Relations: Angi Ma WongProject Ego Chair: John TurnerClub Bulletin: Wes BradfordSergeant-At-Arms: Mark Pepys
Immediate Past President: John Turner
President: Sandy Farrell
President-Elect: Roger Schamp
Secretary: Sylvia Benko
Treasurer: Chris Kilgore
Membership: Larry Andrews
Club Service: Jerry Farrell
Community Service: Jackie Crowley
International Service: Astrid Naviaux
Vocational Service: Madelyn Creighton and Audrey Dahlgren
New Generations: Don Reeves
Public Relations: Angi Ma Wong
Project Ego Chair: John Turner
Club Bulletin: Wes Bradford
Sergeant-At-Arms: Mark Pepys
Greeter: Betty ReiderHappy Bucks: Varda LancasterScrapbook Historian: Sue TyreePhotographer: Pilar HaleCoordinator of the Awards Reports: Lew Bertrand
Greeter: Betty Reider
Happy Bucks: Varda Lancaster
Scrapbook Historian: Sue Tyree
Photographer: Pilar Hale
Coordinator of the Awards Reports: Lew Bertrand
Robert Little (PH+1, ruby), Larry Andrews (PH+, sapphire), Chris Kilgore (PH+5, 5 sapphires), and Astrid Naviaux (PH+8) received Paul Harris Foundation awards. Thanks and Congratulations to all 4 generous donors!
Peter Olpe, Secretary of the Board of Trustees of the South Coast Botanic Garden, is a software engineer with his own company, specializing in creating apps for electronic devices. He began with a discussion of the local area’s history prior to the establishment of the Botanic Garden.
25 million years ago, the Palos Verdes area was under water and populated with sharks, diatoms and other marine species. The microscopic diatoms, with silica shells, grew in abundance and sank to the bottom after dying, creating a thick layer of diatomaceous earth. By 1.5 million years ago the land began rising into an island (similar to the other Channel Islands). 15,000 years ago the Palos Verdes Island joined the mainland as the Los Angeles basin rose out of the ocean.
In 1542, the first Europeans arrived with Juan Cabrillo of Portugal, who named the future harbor area “Bay of Smokes” (because of campfire smoke in the basin during an inversion layer). In 1602, Sebastian Viscaíno arrived on St. Peter’s feast day and renamed it San Pedro. The Tongva (Gabrieliño) Indians controlled the area until the early 1800s. In 1784, Juan José Dominguez received a 75,000 acre Spanish Land Grant in the South Bay & Long Beach areas, called Rancho de los Palos Verdes; these land grants were provisional, and would revert to the Spanish government if its terms were not satisfied. He allowed the Sepulveda family to use half of this land for cattle grazing.
After 1821, when Mexico won its independence, conflicts arose over who owned the land grants, and the 2 families divided this area, with Sepulveda getting the South Bay area and Dominguez getting the Long Beach area. In 1846, the US declared war on Mexico, and California came under US rule. These 2 families litigated over who owned the South Bay land, but in 1880 Sepulveda, now broke, finally received title to this part of the land. His mortgage broker, Bixby, acquired this land and leased some of it to Japanese farmers.
In 1913, Frank Vanderlip, President of the New York National City Bank, bought 16,000 acres (the Palos Verdes Hills) sight-unseen, to build an exclusive coastal residential property for the wealthy. Then the Dicalite Company began mining diatomaceous earth in northern Palos Verdes. (Palos Verdes has the world’s richest collection of diatomaceous earth, which is used for abrasives and many other purposes; the cliff on Hawthorne Boulevard where it enters Torrance shows an existing example of these deposits.) The Great Lakes Carbon Corp leased 300 acres in 1944, including the site of today’s Botanic Garden, for open pit mining (its president was George Skakel, father of Ethel Kennedy). In 1951, he requested more mining area on the top of the hill. Frank Vanderlip sold 7000 acres to Great Lakes, which then closed its mine and went into real estate development, forming the cities of Palos Verdes Estates, Rolling Hills and Rolling Hills Estates. (The city of Rancho Palos Verdes was formed from the remaining areas of the “Hill” in 1973, to protect the coastline from unlimited development.)
Adrienne Nakashima, the SCBG Foundation’s CEO, began as a high school volunteer at the South Coast Botanic Garden, and worked in nonprofit organizations for years before returning here. She now leads the effort to further develop this beautiful and restorative urban oasis on top of what was once a landfill. She discussed the history of how this beautiful facility was founded.
In 1957 the original mining pit was sold to the County of Los Angeles to use as a trash dump, to reduce smog in the Los Angeles basin from burning trash. In 1959, Frances Young convinced the County to create a botanic garden over the dump, and founded the South Coast Botanic Garden. 3 feet of topsoil was eventually layered on top of 3.5 million tons of trash, which originally produced a large amount of underground heat, methane and ground settling (resulting in the uneven surface now seen in the parking lot and entrance drive). 400 volunteers planted 42,000 plants, and the Los Angeles County Supervisors held a dedication ceremony.
The County owns the land, but the SCBG Foundation runs and operates the facility. Soon a Children’s Garden was formed, a greenhouse was built, a tram was obtained, a lake for ducks was created, and the Hall and Administration Building was constructed. A new tram was obtained in the 1990s, and development has continued with a Rose Garden, Gift Shop, educational programs, Japanese Garden, Discovery Garden, and recently a new electronic marquee at the entrance on Hawthorne Boulevard. Many public events are held on site, and annual memberships are available. More volunteers and donations are needed. New renovations are continuing with a design group developing a 25-year plan, with community participation into its goals. The website is http://southcoastbotanicgarden.org/.
Ann Shaw is the President of Peninsula Seniors and has been a Board Member since 1999. Her community involvement goes back to 1968-1973 when she was a member of the “Save Our Coastline” movement to incorporate Rancho Palos Verdes to save it from pending high-rise residential development, and she served on the first RPV City Planning Commission. She was a Member of the RPV City Council 1977-1983, and was Mayor in 1979-1980. Other activities have included the League of Women Voters and the American Association of University Women. She had been a Computer Programmer for the National Security Agency and for Shell Oil. Then she worked in banking and as a financial planner until 2000.
Peninsula Seniors is a non-profit organization with a volunteer Board of Directors. Its mission is to offer activities and services that enhance and enrich the lives of senior adults living on the Palos Verdes Peninsula and in surrounding areas. It was incorporated in 1982 and is self-supporting. Among its activities are blood pressure monitoring, podiatry care and caregiver support groups. There are educational and informative lectures, games, creative writing classes, and group movie attendance (elderly people are often reluctant to go to movies by themselves). Exercise programs and yoga classes are available. There are day trips to cultural venues, and overnight trips to historical locations and events. Special events include monthly theme parties, Birthday Bashes, and Let’s Do Lunch.
Professional volunteers can provide some financial, tax and legal counseling, advocacy and support groups. There are arts and crafts, transportation arrangements such as Dial-A-Ride, and an AARP Mature Driving program. Potential future programs include group meals, counseling, intergenerational programs, and help with medical and mental health, Social Security and Medicare. They may do Alzheimer’s day care, home-delivered meals to senior housing, in-home supportive services, and respite care. Some activities are open to nonmembers.
These activities are run by volunteers with a variety of skills, and more volunteers including professionals are welcome. Donations and grants are also needed. (The city of RPV has donated $5000.) The current location is at the RPV City Hall site, but a new permanent location is being sought in Peninsula Center, and a new more-stable financial structure is needed. None of the 4 Palos Verdes cities has a Senior Services Department, so these services are especially important with the increasing average age of the community residents. There are about 1000 members now. More information is available at the website, www.pvseniors.org.
Linda Jenson is Membership Chair for Omnilore, a volunteer organization for study groups for seniors. Linda is a retired Labor and Employment attorney. She graduated from UCLA Law School and taught there for 2 years. After retirement from a law firm, she has done volunteer work for foster children, Meals on Wheels, a community garden, and on the Board of Directors for 2 nonprofit organizations.
Omnilore started in the 1990s and now has 320 members, age 50+. There are 3 trimesters per year, starting in September, January and May. Classes meet for 2 hours twice a month for 4 months, in the morning and afternoon of workdays. Each student in a class prepares and gives a 20-40 minute presentation on the subject related to that course, followed by class discussion. The group meets informally around a table, with no instructor, but one of the group acts as a coordinator. Subject areas for classes can be proposed by students, in areas such as the arts, government/geopolitics, history, literature, philosophy/religion, science/technology, and social sciences. About 20 topics are selected by a committee. At least 8 members must choose the same subject in order to form a group for that topic.
There is also a Lecture Series twice a month during the Fall and Spring Trimesters, held at the CSU Dominguez Hills campus by its professors on a given topic. Omnilore also has Forum Luncheons, field trips associated with a discussion group, hiking, and certain special interest groups such as computers, as well as a newsletter.
Omnilore is run by volunteers and costs $120 per year. It is governed by officers elected by the members and has no paid staff, but is part of Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) in the College of Extended and International Education at CSU Dominguez Hills. Prospective members attend a 90-minute orientation meeting. Groups meet at the Franklin Center at 850 Inglewood Ave in Redondo Beach (3 blocks north of 190th St). New members are advised not to start with more than one course per trimester, to see the amount of time required.
Linda Jenson discussed some representative topics from the recent list of classes. One of them was “Greatest Movies” (by various criteria). Another topic was “Book Discussions”, and another was “Why Nations Fail”. Current list of classes and other information is available at (310) 370-9522 or www.omnilore.org.
Mary Hirsch serves as a volunteer tutor and is Chair of the Fund-Raising Committee for the South Bay Literacy Council. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin at Madison and has a Masters in Public Administration from CSU Hayward. She has taught K-12 classes and worked as a counselor as well as in human resources, YMCA, and the Recreation and Parks Dept of Rancho Palos Verdes.
She began tutoring when a young Vietnamese woman asked her if she could help teach her mother to read English. Mary has found great fulfillment in seeing how empowering the ability to read is for illiterate adults. She remembers one young man who was doing fairly well in high school, but admitted in class that he was unable to read; he had gotten along by listening carefully in class, dictating what he remembered at home to someone typing out his notes and reading them back to him, and his assignments were always neatly typewritten.
Half of the adults in California are functionally illiterate, unable to read and write at a level required for competent function in modern life. They can’t read ads, manuals, signs, labels, instructions, maps, letters, receipts or menus, or write checks. They cannot fill out employment applications or perform work above menial labor. 70% of prisoners are functionally illiterate, and 75% of unemployed adults have literacy difficulties. Illiteracy results in low productivity, work absenteeism, workplace accidents and poor product quality. Many have dropped out of school because of poor performance and frustration, and some have trouble speaking and reading English because they came from another country speaking a different language; some of them never learned to read and write effectively in their own language.
The South Bay Literacy Council started in 1981 and has students and volunteer tutors in 16 South Bay cities. The Literacy Council is looking for volunteers for tutoring in its office (24564 Hawthorne Blvd at Newton Street in Torrance) or in private study rooms at a public library near the volunteer’s or student’s home. Volunteers receive 18 hours of free training and commit to tutoring at least 4 hours a week for one year. Volunteers need to be able to speak, read and write English well, be sensitive to the needs of adult learners, and respect confidentiality. A teaching background is not required.
Incoming students are evaluated and then placed with a suitable tutor. There are 50 students on the waiting list for English as a 2nd Language, who cannot be placed yet because there are not enough tutors. The Literacy Council produces an Annual Report on the distribution of locations and origins of its students and volunteers, funds raised and budget expenditures. Students are referred by word-of-mouth and, interestingly, from libraries. More volunteers are needed, and donations are always welcome. Please see the website at www.southbayliteracy.org or call the Literacy Council at (310) 373-7003.
Roger Schamp discussed his July and August 2012 trip to Eastern Europe. He reserves hotels more than 6 months in advance, to save 25-30%, and is already planning a trip for May 2013. Concerts in foreign countries, as well as here, often fill up early and also need to be reserved in advance. However, airline flights are often full nowadays by the time that their fares would be “cheapest”.
His travel tips include planning far ahead, using public transportation, city audio-guides rather than tours, eating with the locals (if you can find where they are), packing light, not over-scheduling, and keeping a log of your photos so you know what they are after you return. He also distinguishes between stopovers (one night, with a simple clean and quiet hotel), and destinations, with a better hotel near what he wants to see. He advises staying 4-5 days in a large city and up to 3 days in a smaller city. Local people are very helpful for managing public transportation, which is usually inexpensive in Europe.
He packs light, including one carry-on and one personal item (a bag on a strap for immediate access). He carries a small notebook computer with Wi-Fi (which is often available free except in some hotels), and carries a small GPS unit which has maps of most of Europe and North America. Take charging equipment for your electronics, and don’t leave it behind anywhere. He brings a few clothespins, to help close the window drapes when he wants to sleep. He has a repair kit for glasses, and brings an extra pair of glasses as a precaution. He also has a small battery ultraviolet light to disinfect hotel-room items like remotes and doorknobs. He has a pocket battery timer/alarm with 5 separate times, as a reminder for events or awakening from a nap. He uses zip lock bags for carrying maps, so they are easy to find. He uses a separate Manila folder for each city, to keep hotel reservations and other information. He takes few clothes and only one pair of comfortable lightweight walking shoes (Rockport).
Roger discussed briefly the main sites he found interesting in each of the 6 cities he visited this year: Krakow, Warsaw, Minsk, Vilnius, Riga and Tallinn. These cities were more modern than he expected, and he enjoyed visiting their museums, parks, old town areas and shopping streets. (He passed around a photo album of his 200 “favorite” travel pictures.) Minsk was very big and modern, with cheap transportation and food but expensive hotels, and few Americans. He found that Minsk has no Rotary meetings in July, but he still managed to meet some Rotarians there. He enjoyed Rotary meetings in other cities and met other Rotarian travelers. These Clubs were all different from each other and from ours (there is of course no “Pledge of Allegiance” in foreign Rotary Clubs). Roger recommends traveling to visit other cultures, and enjoying Rotary as you go.
Jacques Naviaux received his Sapphire Pin, the 6th donor level to the Paul Harris Foundation, from PDG Dave Moyers. Congratulations and thanks to Jacques for his generosity!
Katy Watkins is a former senior software consultant for large complex computer programs. She has been active in the League of Women Voters, speaking to groups on the pros and cons of the 11 Propositions on the California ballot in November. The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan organization that does research on government policy positions but takes no partisan stand on Propositions or Candidates (although its government policy review committee occasionally produces advisories on public policy directions). She reviewed the features of 3 of the Propositions tonight.
Prop 32 would prohibit unions, corporations, government contractors and state and local government employers from using payroll-deducted funds for political expenditures. It would not limit a corporation’s or union’s ability to spend money on independent expenditures outside of payroll deductions. Supporters say it would protect employees’ paychecks from political donations by either unions or corporations. Opponents say that 99% of California corporations don’t use payroll deductions for their political contributions anyway, so Prop 32 would only affect unions, and it would exempt Business SuperPACs and Independent Expenditure Committees from these controls (unilateral disarmament?).
Prop 37 would require labeling of genetically-engineered foods, and prohibit marketing such foods as “natural”. About 40-70% of foods now contain some genetically modified ingredients, designed for purposes such as improving a plant’s resistance to pests or to withstand higher levels of pesticides. Exempted foods would include non-genetically-engineered animals given genetically-engineered feed, foods sold in restaurants, alcoholic beverages, and certified organic foods. Supporters say that consumers deserve the right to know, and that genetic engineering of plants and animals may cause unintended consequences and adverse health and/or environmental effects, some of which may not become evident for many more years (as happened with past interventions such as DDT). They also say that food already has to be labeled, and telling the truth on those labels would cost producers very little. Opponents say this would require extra monitoring of foods and open the door to frivolous lawsuits, potentially making such foods more expensive.
Prop 39 would require multistate businesses to pay state income taxes based on the percentage of their sales in California. (The option to avoid state taxes was a result of the 2009 state budget deal allowing out-of-state businesses to base their state taxes on the amount of their payroll and property in California, which creates an incentive for multistate businesses to move their property and jobs out of California to escape taxes while doing business here in competition with local businesses, and costs the state government about $1 billion in revenue annually.) For the first 5 years, one half of this increased revenue would go to improve California energy efficiency and alternative energy projects. About half of the remainder (and half of the entire amount after 5 years) are guaranteed under Prop 98 to go to K-12 schools, which are struggling with budget shortfalls now. Supporters say that large corporations should pay their fair share at a time when there have been drastic state and local budget cuts, and that taxpayers will benefit by funding energy-efficient projects at schools and other public buildings. Opponents say this $1 billion tax increase could cause a loss of jobs (although in-state businesses already pay these taxes).
Jo-Anne Waller grew up in Connecticut, obtained an undergraduate degree in Physics and a Masters degree in Math, and then became a high school science teacher. Her family moved to California in the 1970s and has lived in Palos Verdes since 1999. She has been busy recently speaking to many community meetings on behalf of the League of Women Voters to explain the 11 Propositions on the California November ballot. The League explains but does not take partisan sides on political issues. Tonight she covered Propositions 30 and 38, competing temporary tax measures to fund public education.
Prop 30, sponsored by the Governor and Legislature, would increase taxes on earnings over $250,000 for the next 7 years, and increase sales taxes by ¼% for the first 4 years, to fund public schools and State Colleges and Universities, increasing revenue by an average of $6 billion per year. (Since the passage of Prop 13 in 1978 limiting local property taxes, much of local school funding has come from the State government to compensate for their revenue loss, but this revenue transfer has been restricted in recent years due to State budget deficits.) If Proposition 30 does not pass, automatic additional spending cuts of $6 billion, much of it to education, will be triggered immediately in order to maintain State budget balance.
Prop 38 is a competing tax measure placed on the ballot by petition signatures. It would increase taxes on earnings for the next 12 years using a sliding scale ranging from 0.4% for joint filers’ taxable income over $14,632, to 2.2% for over $5 million, and would increase revenues by about $10 billion per year. For the next 4 years, this revenue would be allocated 60% for Schools, 10% for Early Care and Education, and 30% for State debt payments; for the remaining 8 years, this revenue would be allocated 85% for Schools and 15% for Early Care and Education. There would be no additional revenue for State Colleges and Universities. None of the additional revenue would be discretionary for the State General Fund.
If both of these Propositions pass, the one receiving the most votes would be implemented and the tax revenues of the other Proposition would not be implemented. Either Proposition would automatically terminate at its specified sunset date.
Jo-Anne answered numerous questions and stayed after the meeting for more questions (she did not take a stand on either of these issues). At our next week’s meeting, some of the remaining nine Propositions will be discussed by Arlene Block, also from the League of Women Voters.
Jay was our Club President when Lew Bertrand joined our Club (November 1998), and Lew reminisced about both of them riding their bicycles from Irvine to San Diego to raise $3500; they took the train back. (Jay, a local dentist, later dropped out of Rotary to spend more time with his growing family, but they are teenagers now and he is ready to take the plunge again.) Welcome back to our Club, Jay!
Jeff Pierce is a Financial Advisor at Stifel Nicolaus Financial Services in Newport Beach. He has an MBA from the University of Southern California and is a Certified Financial Planner.
He and his partner, Ken Hansen, developed a 4-hour miniseries for clients on the criteria used by the famous successful investor Warren Buffet to identify companies to invest in. (This presentation is a synopsis of that.) He recommends buying a paperback book (or Kindle version) co-authored by Mr. Buffett, The Essays of Warren Buffett: Lessons for Corporate America, 2nd Edition (2008), available at www.Amazon.com.
Mr Pierce reviewed the concepts of ETFs, Asset Allocation, Portfolio Rebalancing, Absolute Total Return, and Derivatives. He started by discussing Modern Portfolio Theory, a pioneering work in 1952 by Harry Markowitz, a student at the University of Chicago. Markowitz developed a mathematical way to think about asset risk, return, correlation and diversification on probable investment-portfolio returns, based on the concept of the standard deviation of the market price over a period of time. Greater fluctuation meant increased risk. Balancing a portfolio to allow fluctuations of the different components to cancel each other out would result in less total volatility and therefore lower risk.
Mr Pierce contrasted this with the commonly understood concept of risk, as the possibility of loss or injury. Potential loss of money is how Warren Buffett defines risk. The beta of a stock is a measure of its past volatility. A stock is typically considered to be riskier after it has dropped, but Warren Buffett made his money buying good companies when their market price was low! He looks at good companies (whose business he can understand), and tries to buy them at their low points, so more volatility helps him get a better price. He avoids complex new high-tech companies if he does not fully understand their products; although a few are these may do very well, many others crash and burn, an illustration of risk.
In real estate, you don’t need frequent reappraisals of a property, and the same goes for stocks (closely following day-to-day fluctuations). Warren Buffett looks for sound businesses with competent and honest management, a good return on shareholders’ equity, and an attractive price. He also looks at cash flow and debt (whether living on borrowed money), in order to know where cash flow is coming from and understand the company’s long-term prospects. He avoids big-growth stocks that he does not understand well. This is a disciplined and consistent philosophy that has served him better than the hot tips and investment fads of others.
Mr. Pierce’s office is in Newport Beach, phone 949-252-1324, or email@example.com. The company’s website is http://www.stifel.com; look for the Newport Beach branch.
Sandra Farrell introduced the moderator, Kathy Gordon, RN, who introduced the other Health-Care Panel members.
Kathy Gordon, RN, is retired from Providence Little Company of Mary Hospital in San Pedro, where she supervised compliance with State and Federal regulations and Medicare guidelines. She enjoyed teaching and being an advocate for patients and their families after hospital discharge to Home Care and Hospice.
Debrah Wonder, RN, described Medicare Fee-For-Service and hospital Diagnosis-Related Groups (which involve a lump sum paid to the hospital for an illness episode), and requirements of the new Health Care Reform in which Managed-Care plans will be required to send in itemized statements to Medicare just like for Fee-For-Service plans, for assessing value received. You can look at the Medicare website (http://www.medicare.gov/) for patient information and resources related to Medicare. You can find patient satisfaction and performance ratings of providers, hospital readmission rates, hospital mortality rates and other parameters. The new Accountable Care Organizations are being organized by providers to more completely coordinate their care, for bundled combined payments to the hospital and doctors. New Medicare plans are becoming available in the market, including high-deductible, self-funding, etc.
Diane Blagojevich, RPT, a physical therapist, reviewed Home Healthcare services. An example would be an elderly person injured from falling, going to the hospital for acute care and then receiving Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy at home rather than going to a nursing home for rehabilitation; this is more comfortable for the patient and has lower cost. There are federal guidelines for Medicare coverage, including admission to the program from a hospital by a doctor’s order and being homebound with limited independent mobility. Coverage is for skilled services (not custodial), and can include wound-care and other nursing services, intravenous medications, and blood draws for lab tests. The goal is to avoid complications (such as pneumonia or blood clots), teaching activities of daily living and using modified utensils as needed, home safety assessment, and social workers for help with completing application forms and obtaining Meals on Wheels.
Lisa Kats, RN, discussed Hospice care, a philosophy of care and not just a place. Eligibility includes an expectation of less than 6 months to live (but no one is kicked out for exceeding their predicted time!). Patients and family members are helped with providing physical and emotional comfort in dealing with the complexities of preparation for death, rather than high-tech uncomfortable and frightening medical interventions that would not change the outcome. Palliative Care is an intermediate level of care not requiring terminal illness, but it also helps with comfort care and does not need to be located in the home. Payment for Hospice is by assigning Medicare A benefits to the Hospice for a specific related diagnosis. Patients can still be admitted to the hospital if needed for comfort, such as care for breathing difficulty, nausea or pain. The program also provides help and relief for stressed caregivers at home.
Cheryl Dawson was born in England, lived on Cyprus, and went to high school in Hong Kong and to college in the UK. She returned to Hong Kong for business management work, including trademark protection and anti-counterfeiting, involving some world travel. She moved to the US and started a company in anticounterfeiting. She has also worked on disaster preparedness as a volunteer in the Palos Verdes School District and is currently District Disaster Chair. She is the Executive Chair of the Palos Verdes Peninsula Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), and is a qualified CERT trainer with certificates in several specialized disaster response fields.
She presented a video map illustration of a 7.8 magnitude earthquake spreading northward from the Salton Sea along the San Andreas Fault, showing its area spread as a function of time from onset (it would take over a minute to reach the Los Angeles area). Such an earthquake would cause an estimated $213 billion damage including 300,000 buildings and widespread infrastructure damage, with 270,000 people displaced, 50,000 injured and 1800 deaths, half of those from fires. (The 1994 Northridge earthquake was 50 times smaller than this.) There would be many fire disasters, decreased water pressure, and saturated communications, and all emergency-response agencies and hospitals would be vastly overwhelmed as well as sustaining damage themselves.
The best preparation is for everyone to be prepared for self-sufficient local response (90% of rescues would be by volunteers). Among home preparations should be strapping the water heater and building foundation, securing furniture and chemicals from movement, assembling an emergency supply kit, checking utilities for leaks and damage, arrange a meeting place in advance with family members and an out-of-state contact (long-distance calls may be more open than local calls). Avoid tying up phone lines if you don’t need to. Don’t rush to school (crowds of others will be trying to do the same thing at the same time).
Supplies available should be enough for total maintenance of all household members for at least 3 days (food, water, medications). There is likely to be little or no support by public agencies for at least 5-7 days. Have first aid supplies, rescue equipment, fire extinguishers (including one in the bedroom), crowbar, and copies of all important documents. Keep supplies in a variety of places, such as car, office, and in multiple places in the home. Keep them refreshed periodically. Have an evacuation kit. Emergency water supplies would include draining the hot water tank or toilet tank, having water in drums, fill gallon bottles with water ahead of time, and use water from a pool or spa.
You can also take CERT training, 20 hours by the Los Angeles County Fire Dept or School District. The County Fire Dept has a FEMA-developed CERT program in a series of 3 classes on 3 consecutive Saturdays starting October 27, 8:30 AM to 4 PM, at Marymount College (Lower Cecilia Hall). To enroll, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call (310) 375-8747, giving your name, phone number and e-mail address. Class size is limited.
To help your neighborhood, you need to know your neighbors, especially those with special needs and disabilities. Learn how to size up and put out a fire, safely search rooms and remove victims, triage victims to prioritize the order of helping them, learn how to organize teams, understand disaster psychology and anti-terrorism efforts, and understand how to hand over to first responders when they arrive. You should also join Neighborhood Watch. You can learn CPR, and take ham radio classes to enable emergency communications when other means are unavailable. Learn and write down important local phone numbers such as the Lomita Sheriffs Station and the emergency response office for your city. For additional preparation information, you can contact www.pvpcert.org, or www.ready.gov for general FEMA preparedness information, or the Red Cross.
David Sanfilippo, sitting in a wheelchair, was introduced to us by his longtime friend and colleague, Sandy Farrell (who had worked with him years ago in student counseling). His career in disabled student services started with an opportunity to work in a high school program for people with disabilities. He was feeding a man with cerebral palsy, who began drooling on him. Then he began trying to teach the man how to tie his own shoes. That inspiring experience led to a job at a summer camp with children and adults with disabilities, which he continued for a few summers, and then got a job at a community college working with people with disability.
Since 1978, he has been the Director of Disabled Student Services at California State University in Long Beach, one of the first University programs of its kind. He develops and coordinates services for disabled students and supervises professional counselors, staff, interns, student assistants and volunteers. He has been a consultant for the federal disability law (ADA) on public accommodations, and has been active in state, city and University activities to help the disabled (or “special needs”, a more polite term). Categories of disability include physical (neuromuscular and orthopedic), physiologic, mental, and psychological. They can be congenital, developmental or traumatic, including the increasing numbers of injured war veterans.
David is writing a book, “Where I Sit”, discussing the inspiration he feels from students and others overcoming obstacles. He discussed the relativity of “accommodations”: lighting could be considered an accommodation to sighted people, and high doorways could be an accommodation for walking people. Sports activities can help motivate people to overcome their handicaps. He discussed anecdotes of sports successes, including a champion woman swimmer, a track star, and a football star injured by a bullet followed by a 70-pound weight loss in the hospital, who returned to play football and played for the San Diego Chargers. One man who was born with no arms or legs (phocomelia, from the thalidomide drug during pregnancy), was given up for adoption but grew up to become an advisor to the US Dept of Transportation on disabilities. Another student had a severe neck spinal cord injury, but went on to a law degree and a job in the Orange County DA Office.
Over 35 years, he has had 6000 students in his program. Your tax dollars are helping these disabled young people to grow into productive careers and more independent lives. He noted that student loans in the US have gone up to a total of $1 trillion now, a burden that is financially handicapping more students from completing college to enable them to contribute to the US economy with productive careers. He is concerned that decreasing support for public education will endanger his program as well as the future success of other students. (At this point, David got out of his wheelchair and stood up normally, to show the perspective of our expectations of those who appear to be handicapped.)
Kathy was born in Santa Barbara but grew up in Manitoba, Canada. She returned to California for a Master of Science in Library and Information Management from USC. Then she worked at the Pasadena Public Library and in the corporate library of a small technology company. She spent 15 years in management in mining and manufacturing companies in New Zealand, Australia and Kentucky.
Kathy returned to California and has been Director of the Palos Verdes Library District since 2004. She is responsible for operating all 3 libraries, including financial management, fundraising, facilities and technology management, and supervising 85 employees and 200 volunteers. She has been involved in many other community organizations including the Chamber of Commerce and visitors Bureau, Volunteer Center of the South Bay, California Library Association and other statewide California library activities.
Kathy showed a pictorial history of writing and library development starting with the cuneiform writing on clay tablets thousands of years ago in Mesopotamia. She showed illustrations of the famous Alexandria Library in Egypt, the library in Ephesus in Asia Minor (where the apostle Paul preached), the Gutenberg Bible, and the Library of Congress in Washington. Literacy was accompanied by other developments in political systems, the Industrial Revolution and public education. Benjamin Franklin, who came from humble roots, was a highly respected writer and journalist. Now there are many specialty libraries. Public libraries have been developed in our country since the 1850s, many funded by private donors including Andrew Carnegie. Many early public and cultural events were held in libraries. There were bookmobiles during the Great Depression in the 1930s, bringing books to ordinary people.
Are public libraries still relevant in the age of the Internet? E-books are proliferating rapidly, but these are licensed, not owned by the reader and not transferable to other types of devices. Libraries also help with preservation of books and other documents. Electronic resources are increasingly stored in a digital cloud, and big book publishers are losing their dominance. Other media are being used for preserving archives. Many old classics are out of their copyrights and downloadable free.
The Palos Verdes Library website has a local history webpage which is well worth viewing. Economic development and education in the developing world are highly dependent on library resources. Computer terminals are increasingly going into libraries for readers now. These Internet resources are too costly for some individuals to access themselves, but they can now download e-books and music. The PV library also has interactive foreign language learning, which you can access on the Internet from home. There are monthly book sales.
The library has community meeting rooms, provides access to learning for the poor (including homeless people), and computers and training for using them. Job centers can be accessed and there is help for résumé writing. Volunteers do tutoring and the library is a safe place for students to work in groups and to “hang out”. There are activities for people of all ages. Library services have expanded far beyond dusty stacks of books.
Kathy urges everyone to get and use a library card and check out the many resources available at http://www.pvld.org/. You can help the Library District in your estate planning, and by spreading word-of-mouth about library services, volunteering, and using the library connection of Amazon.com for your purchases (so that it can get financial credit). Consider joining and supporting the Peninsula Friends of the Library at http://www.pvldfriends.org/.
Mel Powell is a member of the District Membership Committee and President of the E-Club of the Greater San Fernando Valley (provisional, growing with 13 members and pending charter). His Club meets twice a month in person and other times online. Most members are from the San Fernando Valley and Burbank and Glendale, and he invites all Rotarians to visit it for online makeups at www.rotaryeclubgreatersfv.org. They had a successful Food Drive on July 1 with the North Hollywood Club to feed 350 local families. They will have a PolioPlus Dance Marathon (not really a marathon!), Dance for the Children, on September 15 in Sherman Oaks (started 2 years ago in a former Club). They recruit sponsors at $20 each, many from outside of Rotary, for 3 hours of dancing on behalf of polio victims who cannot dance.
Among his other activities, Mel was appointed a member of the Rotary Zone 26 IGNITE Team for recruiting and orienting new members to Rotary. The torch symbol represents leading the way to discovery and exploration, illuminating the way for others who will invite, unite and ignite new members whose fire and energy, when combined with our current membership, will help overcome the darkness of poverty, illiteracy, hunger and disease. (August is Rotary Membership Month.)
Our Club should field a full team for more fun and more ideas for service. The Club is the center of Rotary, and everyone needs to be involved. We need to tell others how much fun we have and invite them to help us with our projects. The 5 rules of Membership are:
New members should be assigned a mentor, in addition to the sponsor who brought in the member. These 2 individuals should help each new member and the established Club members to bond with each other.
Jim Jones (who presented a program for our Oct 18, 2011 Club Meeting), entertained us on the beach with his banjo, singing some old popular songs going back over the last century or so (even older than some of our members), as the sun set over the Pacific (behind a few gray clouds). He started with “This Land is Your Land” and got us singing along with him (no prize-winning chorale).
Then we went through Jeff Earle’s chow line on the beach and sat at the picnic tables, washing it down with our own BYOB beverages. Some mellow conversation with our guests followed to complete this relaxing encounter. (Thanks to Ralph Black for arranging this location for us.)
President John Turner outlined our Club’s Membership and Activities Goals. He challenges us to 100% participation in donating to the Rotary Foundation at $250 per member per year (which is less than $25 per month).
Madelyn Creighton outlined Vocational Service goals, including Business with a Rotarian at each meeting, “Commercials” for $2 (free if for someone else), and Vocational Activities for Youth: District Spelling, Art and Music Contests, Outstanding Student in each high school and at Marymount College, Interactor of the Year, and Project EGO Grants. She requests a vocational volunteer about every 2 months, volunteers for tutoring students and for helping them learn to write a resume, fill out a job application and practice for a job interview.
Chuck Hanchett reviewed the Rotary Foundation fundraising activities, including our weekly Club Raffle and $100 of raffle tickets for the annual District Foundation Celebration. Half of our funds are returned to our District for community projects (such as Scholarships and District Grants), and the rest goes to worldwide Foundation projects.
Jackie Crowley urged us to respond to donation requests for Project Amigo in Mexico (Astrid Naviaux is coordinating this).
Don Reeves reviewed the New Generation activities, including our sponsored Interact and Rotaract Clubs whose performance were outstanding last year. They will begin new projects again this year after the new school year starts. He needs more volunteers for this year, because only about 3-4 of our Club members have done most of this work and need more help. He wants to have more joint projects of these student Clubs participating with our Club. Interact has now expanded to elementary schools, to help boost Interact membership in high schools. PDG Dave Moyers bought 2 tickets for Rotaractors at Marymount College for the Dodger Game for PolioPlus September 15.
Don Reeves also reviewed the Community Service project where we have an application pending with 2 other Clubs for a District Grant for the Harbor Interfaith Services Helen Coffey Library.
Chuck Hanchett discussed our annual Club fundraiser, the Festival del Corazon on October 14.
Kristen Heather grew up in Sacramento. After graduating from Pepperdine University, she became the Assistant Curator at the Sutter County History Museum. She received a Masters in Public History from UC Riverside in 2004 and was hired by the City of Los Angeles to serve as Historic Site Curator and Director of the newly restored Point Fermin Lighthouse in San Pedro. She enjoys sharing this piece of local history using this original structure with on-site artifacts and old photos.
Point Fermin overlooks the natural entrance to the Los Angeles Harbor with good views. The lighthouse is a wooden house and tower in early Victorian style with handcarved details, built in 1874, and is on the National Register of Historic Places. Its architect, Paul Pelz, designed 6 lighthouses, of which only 3 remain.
It was built on an isolated point away from the early community development, when the Los Angeles Harbor was still very primitive compared to today. Its original water supply was a cistern to catch rainwater. The original lantern on the top floor of the tower used a Fresnel lens to focus the beam. The lighthouse keepers had to light the lantern every night and clean the windows, lens and lantern frequently. The lighthouse keepers were federal employees, and the first ones were sisters Mary and Ella Smith, from 1874-82 (an unusual job for women in those times).
Kristen told stories about the early keepers. The first controversy occurred when a man was hired to replace the assistant keeper (to work under a woman!), and constantly complained to his superiors about her, until finally they were both replaced to stop the controversy. The port continued to develop as shipping traffic increased. The English ship Respigadera ran aground on a reef outside the harbor in 1888, in fine weather at 1 PM, leading to disciplinary action against the Captain. As the nearby community expanded, Fourth of July picnics, whale watching and other social events became popular at the lighthouse.
In 1924, an electric beacon light was installed as the harbor area became increasingly industrialized. The beacon light was turned off after the Pearl Harbor attack in 1941, and the building was painted green to minimize attracting potential attention from the enemy. The tower was redesigned to be a lookout post. The lantern was never lit again after the war, and the building gradually fell into disuse. It was saved from planned destruction in the 1960s, and the lantern room displaying the original Fresnel lens downstairs was restored by John Olguin and Bill Oleson, who were prominent San Pedro preservationists. The restoration was completed in 2003 with funding from a variety of sources, and opened to the public.
The Point Fermin Lighthouse is located at 807 W Paseo del Mar in San Pedro, at the southern end of Gaffey Street. It is open 1-4 PM daily except Monday, by guided tours only, available at 1, 2 and 3 o'clock; reservations are not necessary and there is no admission charge (although donations are appreciated). Group tours can be arranged by calling (310) 241-0684. The website is www.pointferminlighthouse.org.
Derek Gable was born in England and worked on many interesting projects in invention and creative fields, including jet engines, projectors, robotic manufacturing and chocolate-making machines (Willy Wonka). He was brought to the US in 1968 by Mattel and worked on projects for Barbie, Hot Wheels and other toys and games. He invented the Real Estate Lock Box system in 1979 and formed a company to market these devices.
He formed an invention and market development company (West Coast Innovations) for helping inventors take their concepts to production. He has been a teacher and mentor for many years, running a class called, “I have this great idea but don’t know what to do with it”. He has made presentations to service clubs and other organizations on subject creativity and how it can enhance one’s life.
Mr Gable says, “Look at your whole life, and make it more fun. Find out what you have a passion for and make it your work. Get creative.”
As an example, he formed a “Cheapskate Club” for inexpensive fun, such as going out to dinner and theater for $18 by looking for discounts and eating earlier during “Happy Hour”. He found GoldStar on the web for buying tickets at half-price, and Ports O’ Call Restaurant which has Happy Hour from 5-7 PM with food. The members meet in their homes and share their ideas about cheap food and entertainment, movies, etc., and discuss their experiences afterward.
Mr Gable discussed many inexpensive creative ideas and gags for entertaining grandchildren, including a small rubbery sticky hand on a string, that would grab onto whatever it touches. He showed a cardboard mailing tube stuffed with many small funny items and notes (including a note stating, “Life Is Sexually Transmitted”, presumably intended for mature audiences only). He brought out a plastic inflatable flower and many other party ideas, jokes and gags. For children, you can have a treasure hunt competition with a small amount of money in each item plus a clue to the next location. Another idea is rolled up dollar bills stuffed into a narrow-necked liquor bottle that could not be removed without breaking the glass. He also showed a Sudoku puzzle with removable squares to see numbers behind them. There is no limit to the human imagination!
Julie Turner was introduced by Sandy Farrell. Julie is the Executive Director of the San Pedro & Peninsula YMCA, and a member of the San Pedro Rotary Club. She has a husband and 2 children.
The YMCA is focused on strengthening the foundations of community through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. It has stopped offering childcare, because other organizations are now doing it. Its focus now is more on family enrichment services. Programs include camp, family-centered activities, health, well-being and fitness, social services, sports, recreation and swimming.
The San Pedro area has a higher level of lung disease due to air particulates related to harbor activities. Asthma in school children increases absenteeism and affects grades and school success. Obesity is increasing in children, who are developing Type II Diabetes. These health problems are worse in Wilmington than San Pedro.
“Beyond Rehab” includes follow-up services after rehabilitation from chronic illnesses, to improve physical and social health. A nurse comes in weekly for chronic lung disease. Caregivers for the chronically ill also need help and stress relief. People tend to live longer now, but the quality of life needs improvement.
There is evidence that the aging process can be slowed by decreasing sugar and consuming inflammation-lowering foods such as vegetables, fruit and fish, and having sensible (not excessive) sun exposure. She mentioned resveratrol, an antioxidant in red wine (don't overdo it!), and fish twice a week. Cortisol, a stress hormone from the adrenal glands, in excess promotes belly fat and causes memory deterioration as well as aggravating chronic diseases. She advises meditation for relaxing. Exercise is an antidepressant and helps with cardiac and muscle toning. She demonstrated postural principles including standing and sitting, with strengthening of abdominal, shoulder, gluteal and hip muscles, and practicing the sense of balance.
Julie discussed other programs including high school students going to Sacramento on Presidents’ Day Weekend and the Model UN in junior high. She passed out information on a program, “The Balanced Woman”, at the Trump National Golf Club on Monday, September 10, at 12:30 PM, for $100 donation to “YMCA Kids to Camp”. It will include a lunch nutritionist presentation on “Healing Your Hormones and Reversing the Aging Process”, followed by “Golf for Girls” or “Cooking Tips to Keep Your Hormones Happy”. RSVP to Julie Turner at (310) 832-4211 or JulieTurner@ymcala.org.
The YMCA is always looking for volunteers and donations. It is located at 301 South Bandini Street in San Pedro, http://sanpedro.ymcala.org. You can donate online.
Nadra is one of our newest members. She has a husband and 2 children. She and her husband came to the US in 1979 from Nazareth, in northern Israel. This is a small town where most of the people are related to each other. She still has family members there, but moved after finishing high school there because she wanted to see more of the world and further her education (a joint decision with her future husband). She was told that flying to Los Angeles was cheaper than taking a taxi from Nablus to Tel Aviv (probably fewer checkpoints also).
She went to El Camino College and Long Beach State, and began working for Flying Tiger Airlines. With 2 small children, she decided to look for work not requiring so much travel away from her family, so she left the airline to work for RE/MAX after going to real estate school.
She talked about her first experiences in Southern California doing what she had heard so much about before coming here, such as going to Disneyland for the first time, and shopping in Los Angeles. She and some friends took a bus to central Los Angeles, but after 45 minutes in city traffic and getting only as far as Compton, they decided to give up and return home.
Her hobbies include music, entertaining and cooking, and she wants to learn how to dance. She donates to Children’s Hospital through her company. She enjoys working for charity, especially helping to buy a dialysis machine for a hospital in a small town where kidney disease patients had no local source of specialized care. She has also hosted children for international exchange, one from Switzerland and 2 from China.
Gregory Schwartz grew up in the Los Angeles area. He graduated from the University of California at Berkeley and played football and baseball there. After playing professional football for one season in Vienna, Austria, he got a graduate degree in Geography at the University of Wisconsin. He began teaching high school Spanish in Los Angeles in 1995. In 2006 he began teaching Geography at California State University Northridge while writing his 2nd book, 5 Ways to Save the Planet (In Your Spare Time). He has traveled to 40 countries, but lives in Manhattan Beach.
In his travels, he has seen both abundance and suffering, and kept asking himself, what is the cause of the suffering? He saw starvation, war and environmental degradation. 15,000 children starve to death every day. 30 million gallons of oil spill into the oceans every year. 90,000 acres of rainforest are burned every day (1 acre/second). Our 10 hottest years recorded on this planet have all been in the last 15 years.
Meanwhile, there are 10 million cars in Los Angeles. The US generates one and a half billion pounds of trash daily. We use much more energy and water per capita than any other country. 4 million tons of food is thrown away in California every year. There are 10 million millionaires in the US, while millions of people on this planet try to survive on 2 dollars a day.
Looking for alternatives, he sees achievable change occurring in small ways by individuals doing what they can. We can each help by increasing renewable energy sources such as solar and wind, and promoting organic farming to reduce the ever-increasing load of pesticides in our food, water and environment. Bill Gates has given $25 billion to world health issues (including many hundreds of millions to help Rotary eradicate polio). There are thousands of nongovernment organizations with dedicated volunteers, who are less prone to corruption and misuse of resources than some government officials.
Some solutions already exist. He believes famine is caused more by maldistribution, political conflict, disease and public health problems, and progressing climate change that we have not adequately prepared for. What holds us back is what we believe, not what we have. We focus on what we see, sometimes very shortsightedly, and we miss what is unseen. We waste our abundance and don’t visit or see the hundreds of millions of people for whom every day of life is a grueling struggle for survival. He quoted Stephen Covey’s book (“The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”): “A major shift in our lives requires a shift in paradigm”, our way of thinking.
Mr Schwartz had copies of his new paperback book, “5 Ways to Save the Planet (In Your Spare Time)” available at our meeting. His website is http://www.gregoryjschwartz.com/.
Betty Reider & Jackie Crowley manage our Beer & Wine booth; Jennifer Kain, Angi Ma Wong & Maryount College Rotaractor Victoria Perez do our Flag booth, and Jackie Crowley takes time out to show us her dancing skills.
Larry Fukuhara is the Program Director for the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium and self-described “beach bum”. He was born and raised in Long Beach and has been living in San Pedro for over 30 years. He received a BS from San Diego State.
Larry began volunteering as a docent at the Aquarium. Now he supervises programs there such as Volunteers and Docents, Whale Watching and free school tours.
He reviewed the architectural changes at the Aquarium, including a tank that children can walk underneath, and the Aquaculture Kitchen. 100,000 children visit the Aquarium every year. The grunion hunt, on the beach during the full moon when they emerge from the water for egg laying, is a popular event.
He showed many interesting marine life photos from the local area and places he has traveled to around the world. Among them were a lobster molting, a Garibaldi (California’s State Marine Fish, protected by law), gray whales in their birthing lagoon on the Pacific coast of the Baja Peninsula in Mexico, dolphins, elephant seals (bigger than walruses!), fur seals, Lions’ Mane jellyfish, the giant “Barn Door” Halibut, the endangered leatherback turtle, and the venomous scorpionfish (a Southern California fish that can inflict painful puncture wounds). He showed photos of swimming in the Amazon River near piranha fish (which are not as dangerous as their reputation, provided you “follow the rules”).
Aquarium hours are Tuesday-Friday 12-5 and Saturday-Sunday 10-5. It is located at 3720 Stephen M White Drive in San Pedro, (310) 548-7562. See the website for more information, http://www.cabrillomarineaquarium.org/.
Marc Benard is a Podiatrist in Torrance. He attended Penn State University and sang in New York’s Manhattan Light Opera. He has been a Del Amo Rotarian since 1988 and will be involved with our District Art, Speech and Music Competition in 2012-2013. While in his Podiatry Residency at LA County-USC Hospital, a request came from Mexico in 1978 to provide surgeries to polio and neuromuscular patients, and he has been involved in international foot-care programs since then.
Many foot deformities are congenital, caused by home births, troubled pregnancies and deliveries, twisted umbilical cords, cerebral palsy, neuro/spinal/muscular problems and genetic predisposition. The most common are clubfeet, upside down/backwards feet and extra toes. The team tries to get to the children within the first month of life, to manipulate and then put the child’s feet in casts. After 6 months, the feet become rigid and more difficult to correct. Delay impacts the ability to walk, making the deformity worse. The procedure can be done in two stages: first get the patient to walk on toes, and then on the entire foot from toes to heel.
Without the corrective surgeries, these deformities make the children and adults social outcasts, unemployable and undesirable for marriage because of the disability and stigma. Correcting the foot deformity helps the entire family. The biggest challenge is getting the patients to the doctors. The families often live in remote areas with long difficult travel to the city and hospital. Moreover, if there are other children at home, it is almost impossible for one parent to accompany the patient while leaving the other parent behind to work and leave the other children unattended.
Funding goes for surgical equipment and supplies. Donations come from humanitarian organizations such as Rotary grants. $75,000 each year goes to three different projects. To date over 28,000 potential patients have been examined and 2800 procedures done, and the project has expanded to Honduras, El Salvador and now pending in Belize.
For all of our complaints in the US, we live in a health care delivery paradise. What health care we cannot buy, we still can get. This is not the case in South and Central America where the unemployed have no opportunity for health care except by international humanitarian efforts such as through Rotary International.
Roger Schamp was born in Denver, Colorado. He is 72, and will celebrate his 49th anniversary with his wife Carol on June 14. He has lived in Rancho Palos Verdes since 1979. Roger retired as Chief Financial Officer of a small manufacturing company and is a retired Captain in the Naval Reserve Supply Corps. His family moved from the Bay Area to South Dakota where his father worked in a gold mine. He remembers the Freedom Train that traveled through Rapid City with copies of the Declaration of Independence, and a tornado that destroyed much of a nearby small town. Later his family moved to Butte, Montana.
He attended the University of Denver where he studied business and then got a law degree, but decided instead to concentrate on business and accounting. He remembers receiving a free ticket and press pass from his government professor to attend a speech and press meeting with then Senator John F. Kennedy, who Roger believes was the most charismatic person he has ever met. Other college memories included an unsuccessful effort to name a new dormitory “Alfred E. Neuman Hall” (after the MAD magazine character). He was the successful student campaign manager in a campus election. In 1959, he won an NROTC scholarship to the University of California at Berkeley. Roger met his wife, Carol, on his first day there. He enrolled in horseshoe pitching, and his team was invited to lunch by the retired Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, who led the Allies’ WWII Pacific campaign. Roger earned both his Bachelors and Masters Degrees at Berkeley and went into cost accounting and financial forecasting.
Roger has many more stories to share and tell. His hobbies are travel, trip planning, politics, conversation, and watching sports on TV. When football season arrives, we can expect happy bucks from him when his favorite teams win.
William Zhang has two professions, real estate and global business information technology (IT), and he spoke on security. He immigrated from China, is married to Julie and has three sons aged 17, 15 and 9. The older two are both on the debate team and the youngest is on the soccer team. William has been a soccer coach for many years for his sons’ and other teams.
Since 9-11, the federal government has spent $13 billion on cyber security. Recently, computers in Iran were hacked, and it may take them years to recover the lost or stolen information. Adware, Spyware, Grayware/Malware and Phishing are all forms of security breach into computers. Hacking can allow malicious virus to corrupt your computer email and programs. Much fraudulent activity requires vigilance; don’t open any email from anyone you don’t know. Even if you know the sender, pay attention to the subject line and do not click to open anything that does not appear legitimate. Watch for messages like “Congratulations, you just won…..” OR “Your click here will increase the speed of your computer…” Don’t be fooled!
Good prevention is to get automated updates of Norton or McAfee virus protection. Use private browsing on Firefox which does not expose your personal information. The best and easiest way to protect yourself is not to share your password with anyone, because you are responsible for any activities that occur under your name and password. Change your passwords and security codes every 3-6 months, using better variations, sentences, names from science fiction, literature or television. Identity theft is the fastest growing crime in the world. In 2012, there were 8 million US victims and 4800 businesses affected, with $500 average theft requiring 200-600 hours of consumer time to resolve. The most common involve credit card fraud, utilities/social security/date of birth/address theft, banking, employment fraud, government documents and benefits fraud and loan fraud.
If you have to freeze your credit, CALL, do NOT use your computer to request your file from any of the three credit score companies. Every 15 seconds there is spam email so invest in a spam filter.
Since 1994 Ted has been the powerhouse behind the non-profit PV on the Net, whose mission is education and training through community service. He wanted to do something with computer training and technology to benefit Peninsula residents, their self-governance, local non-profit organizations, services and emergency preparedness. (He was brought into PV Sunset Rotary by our late Past President John McTaggart, who helped to set up the pilot program 17 years ago.)
The program caught the attention of Microsoft founder Bill Gates who, always on the lookout for unique programs, gave PV on the Net unlimited license of his software to PV schools and for home use, and who donated $2.5 million in software. In addition, the City of Rancho Palos Verdes donated the use of a bungalow at the City Hall complex, and then a second one, for the PV on the Net annex. Ted, a hobbyist carpenter, built all the shelves and tables in his garage and then assembled them in the classrooms which seat 16-18 students.
Another former PV Sunsetter, Jean Etter, who retired from career counseling at Peninsula High School and has now moved to the San Diego area to be closer to her daughter, has referred hundreds of high school students for low- or no-cost training at the PV on the Net facility. It is an instructor-led system that offers subjects not usually available to all ages, such as animation, media and architectural drawing. Moreover, the organization has been a business incubator by partnering with media companies, teaching how to create business plans and finding mentors in the media industry. With solid instruction and hands-on experience to put on their resumes, many students are consistently first to be hired for openings in these professions.
Over 30,000 adults have availed themselves of this training over the years, in addition to every age from 4-year–old to graduate students and older. Classes are free to seniors. PV Net also has loaner computers for emergencies.
The organization has achieved many firsts, such as offering the first animation program on the Peninsula (1997), first and only Geographic Information System (GIS) with information about homes sold, building, pavement and curbs, & surroundings; police and fire emergency preparedness, first television channel, computer center, computer animation class. In providing services to many organizations in our four local municipalities, some are valuable in subtle but critical ways. For example, it assisted the PV Horsemen’s Association in creating an up-to-date map of all horse trails on the Hill. Consider that in case of an emergency if paved roads are obstructed, peace and emergency personnel will need access to reach citizens in need. (For our information, we are in Area G in disaster preparedness.)
PV on the Net (http://www.pvonthenet.com/) is located at 30940 Hawthorne Blvd, Rancho Palos Verdes; (310) 541-7992.
Carolyn Brady-Sinco opened our offsite meeting at Harbor Interfaith Services’ new Family Resource Center (670 W 9th St in San Pedro) by explaining its purpose and features. Construction is ending and the agency will move in by May 31st. A Grand Opening Celebration is scheduled at 4 PM Sunday, June 10.
Much of the funding came from a county development grant with matching grants from several private foundations. The new building will allow the organization to serve twice as many children and expand comprehensive services to 17,000 homeless and working poor clients. The entire 2nd floor will be for children’s education from age 6 weeks through high school. The infant-toddler center will serve 20 children aged 6 weeks-2½ years, and the preschool program will serve 32 children 2½-5 years old.
The Helen Coffey Reading Room (presented tonight by Kellie Cairns) was established with a $30,000 donation from the Coffey family. Book Buddies donated $5000 in children’s books. A Rotarian District Simplified Grant is being requested to pay for some of the shelves and furnishings in this room, and the agency urges Rotarians to volunteer to read to the children regularly. Helen Coffey (Bob Coffey’s spouse) was a teacher and Director of the Portuguese Bend Cooperative Nursery School, as well as a leader in the League of Women Voters. She was an active child advocate, and in 1999 formed and chaired the South Bay/Los Angeles advisory board for First Book, a national nonprofit organization providing books to underprivileged children. She passed away on September 19, 2008, but the Helen Coffey Reading Room will be a permanent tribute to her and a magical place for children to discover the joy of reading.
The after-school program will accommodate 45 students and focus on academics and parent participation for children from kindergarten through grade 12. Volunteer tutors and mentors are planned to supplement the teachers. There will be a computer lab and state-of-the-art learning tools. Workshops and classes on parenting, budgeting and other life skills will be encouraged for all 17,000 clients, who will have access to a conference room, computer lab and expanded job board. A Director of Educational Services has been hired and will recruit several additional teachers. A technology firm will maintain the computer labs and equipment and ensure database support for the outcomes-based educational approach.
Operating costs are expected to increase by about 20%, and will be assisted by new grants from private organizations. The Los Angeles Universal Preschool has agreed to support the preschool here with reimbursement funds for all prekindergarten 4 and 5-year-olds.
$60,000 has been raised through the Square-Foot Club, private individuals purchasing a square foot of space at $250 each to help complete construction and expand services. The Grand Opening on June 10 will also be a fundraiser with attendees paying $150 each, and the associated auction will have bidders purchase supplies or child sponsorships.
Our Club helped provide holiday meals to more than 600 families during this period of transition. Volunteers will be needed for the holidays again this year as well as to work in the pantry all year and to serve as mentors and tutors for the children. Carolyn urged us to bring hotel shampoos and soaps collected on trips, and to consider collections for items like peanut butter, tuna, new packaged socks and underwear, diapers, feminine products, etc. More information is available on the website at www.harborinterfaith.org, or you can call her at 562-208-5407.
Our Club member Ralph Black was in medical school at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, when polio eradication began in North America. When he entered in 1951, polio was still prevalent and everyone was concerned about contracting this paralyzing disease. The hospital wards were filled with Iron Lungs, long horizontal tubes supported on legs with wheels. The paralyzed patients’ bodies were sealed inside these containers with airtight seals at the neck so that only the head was outside. The machines had electric motors pumping air in and out of the tube continuously to pump the patients’ lungs by vacuum effect, and the nurses also had to feed the patients and clean and care for them in these machines.
In 1952, Jonas Salk announced that he had isolated live polio virus and was making a polio vaccine from it. In that year, all of the medical students in Dr Black’s medical school got polio shots for protection, even though the vaccine was still untested. Over the next several years, the incidence of polio in North America dropped dramatically, and by 1954 the respirators had disappeared from hospital wards. By then, the medical schools were no longer teaching their students how to diagnose polio, because it was assumed to be disappearing. Soon, Albert Sabin developed an oral version of polio vaccine, which is still used today. There was controversy in the medical profession for a number of years after that about which version of polio vaccine was most appropriate for which circumstances.
In 1985, HIV virus was noted as a mysterious unknown illness in Los Angeles affecting young males who were getting sick and dying (one of them was the prominent actor Rock Hudson). The Los Angeles County-USC Hospital developed a specialized ward for evaluating and treating these people. Because of the public stigma associated with this devastating disease, a State law was passed mandating total confidentiality for all related diagnostic and treatment services, so that test results could only be reported with a numeric code to identify the patient. Eventually, drugs were developed to stop the multiplication of the virus in the body’s immune cells to provide remission of the infection. In 1992, Dr Black received an accidental needle stick while starting an IV line on an HIV-positive patient; he was immediately given 3 antiviral drugs and was taken off work for one week. Fortunately, he remained HIV-negative. In the past year, only one new medication has been used instead of the previous combination.
Research has been conducted for a number of years to develop artificial blood, in hopes of avoiding contaminated donated blood and the need for blood banks. This is still in the future.
Propofol is a very effective intravenous anesthetic used on millions of surgery patients. Its activity lasts only about 30-60 minutes, so it wears off quickly when it’s time to awaken the patient. It is safe and effective when used appropriately, but its repeated use on the late celebrity Michael Jackson by his cardiologist to treat his insomnia resulted in murder charges against the cardiologist.
Induction of Nadra Dahdah by PDG Dave Moyers, assisted by her sponsor Sue Tyree and Membership Chair Sandra Farrell. Congratulations, and welcome to our Club!
PV Sunset Charities Chair Dave Moyers and Vocational Services Chair Madelyn Creighton accepted a $5030 check tonight from President-Elect John Turner, given by philanthropist Rowena Schaber, to benefit Project EGO. We appreciate her generosity!
(The Norris Theater Foundation has already given $15,000 to Project EGO this year to help at-risk high school students to graduate and prepare for productive lives. 15 students are graduating from this program this year.)
James Blackman is the Executive Director and Producer of the Civic Light Opera of South Bay Cities. He was raised in Los Angeles and has had a very eclectic childhood and career. He lived in poverty as well as at the Doheny Estate Mansion in Beverly Hills in summers (his grandmother was a good friend of actress Marion Davies, a paramour of William Randolph Hearst).
Early in his career, he was an elected county official in Maryland, helped with the Capital Children's Museum in Washington DC, and helped to restore the USS Sequoia Presidential Yacht in the Reagan Administration. Then he worked for the Blind Children’s Center in Los Angeles, raising $500,000 in 6 months. He became Managing Director of the California Music Theater at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, and then Associate Producer at Santa Barbara Civic Light Opera.
In 1991, he founded the Civic Light Opera of the South Bay Cities in Redondo Beach, in a converted high school auditorium. He wanted to have the first company in Los Angeles to use a cast like New York’s Broadway instead of just using TV personalities. He started with an audience of only 35 people in a 1500 seat auditorium, but in the audience was Sylvie Drake, theater critic of The Los Angeles Times. She was viewed by some as a “dragon lady”, but she enthusiastically “anointed” the organization and ensured its success. It won an award that year and the 2 following years, an honor that usually went to New York.
With recently dwindling city financial support and increasing rent in Redondo Beach, he was forced to look around for a more survivable venue. He recently completed a move from the old Hermosa Beach Playhouse to the newly renovated El Segundo Playhouse. He has now been invited to join with the Warner Grand Theater in San Pedro, and will have the opening Civic Light Opera event there on Sunday afternoon, May 20. This is a special time and place in a very beautiful restored classic old theater, in the midst of San Pedro’s ongoing extensive renovation project that is expected to draw many more local and outside visitors.
The Warner Grand has 1510 seats, good free parking, and easier freeway access from the Los Angeles area. The Civic Light Opera will have its offices at 6th and Pacific, near the theater. San Pedro is a unique community that he describes as “San Francisco with better weather”. Mr Blackman is enthusiastic about its future there; he says that people who have supported and bought season tickets to the previous Civic Light Opera will have their tickets validated at its new venue. (He credits our Club’s President-Elect John Turner as having helped keep the Civic Light Opera alive during its darkest days with a line of credit from his bank.)
For details, schedule and tickets, see http://civiclightopera.com/.
New Generations Co-Chair Angi Ma Wong reviewed the recent successful luggage collection for foster children by the Palos Verdes High School Interact Club, and reminded us to bring our pennies and other loose change to our meeting next week for their Pennies for Polio Project.
Palos Verdes High School Interact President Denise Torres introduced PVHS Scholarship Winner John Lewis. He was recognized for his many school and service activities combined with his scholarship. He was presented with a plaque of recognition and a check for $500. He is shown here with his proud parents and Angi Ma Wong.
Vocational Service Chair Madelyn Creighton introduced Rosemary Humphrey, Rancho del Mar High School Principal. Rancho del Mar is a public continuation high school for 16-18-year-old students in the Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District, providing a structured but flexible individualized alternative setting to meet each student’s academic needs and the opportunity to earn a high school diploma. Students are referred to Rancho del Mar if they are behind on their academic credits or for other reasons need an individualized program in a smaller setting for any reason. Some students enroll in order to graduate early.
Principal Humphrey presented Rancho del Mar HS student and scholarship winner Scarlett Hite. Scarlett has done very well on an accelerated academic program, exceeding the number of credits to graduate by March of this year. She plans to attend college at San Francisco State University. She was presented with a recognition plaque and a $500 check. She is shown above with Principal Humphrey, Madelyn Creighton, and President Chuck Hanchett.
(The scholarship winner from Palos Verdes Peninsula High School was not able to attend tonight.)
(The Marymount College Rotaractor of the Year was Rotaract Club President Antonio Argueta, who was not present; Rotaract Advisor Megan McCormick accepted the award for him.)
New members inducted: Roger Schamp, sponsored by Bob Coffey, and William Zhang, sponsored by Sandy Farrell, shown with DGE Lew Bertrand and President Chuck Hanchett. Congratulations, and welcome to our Club!
Augie Bezmalinovich grew up in San Pedro and graduated from USC with a degree in Computer Science. However, he is now the Community Affairs Advocate for the Port of Los Angeles.
He showed a map and many aerial and ground photos of the San Pedro waterfront area of Los Angeles, starting with old historical photos and progressing to the current pre-and post-development structures and landscaping. One in 7 jobs in the area is linked to port activity.
The original port and its connecting railroad were begun by Phineas Banning 1½ centuries ago (he now has a statue there). Croatian and Italian fishermen found the Mediterranean climate similar to their homelands and made their homes there, establishing the local fishing industry. The Star-Kist Cannery had many women workers processing the fish before the advent of automated machinery and then the collapse of the tuna fish stocks. Old cargo unloading was done mostly by hand. During World War II, military ships and land-based activities at Fort MacArthur dominated the port area. Boatbuilding employed tens of thousands of people at peak activity.
Now, the Los Angeles Port is the largest container port in the US, but the surrounding industrial facilities have decayed and fallen into disuse. A massive port redevelopment project (Strategic Plan) was released in 2006 but is being continuously improved with community input. The waterfront area is becoming friendlier and more beautiful to attract commercial businesses and visiting tourists, with completion scheduled for 2014.
There is now a 30 acre waterfront park in the Wilmington area, and Harry Bridges Boulevard is now tree-lined. N Gaffey St also has a greenway alongside. A Bellagio fountain is synchronized with music. People are increasingly gathering on the promenade and children are playing in the play-fountain area. Many holiday and community events are being scheduled now. Eventually there will be an 8 mile walk along the waterfront.
The Catalina Express will have a new terminal. There is a new cruise ship facility. The Maritime Museum has a new coat of paint and looks much better. Downtown San Pedro will be closer to the water, with tall ships docking there in 2014. The USS Iowa will be brought in south of the Vincent Thomas Bridge. There will be a new entrance to the Ports o’ Call area with new parking towards the bluff and a walkway along the waterfront; they are looking for a $400 million developer for this area (volunteers welcome!). Some warehouse facilities will be converted to craft shops inside, up to 500 shops within the next 2 years. Other warehouse space will become marine research facilities for USC and UCLA.
Up-to-date information on the port area and the progress of the Strategic Plan is available at www.portoflosangeles.org.
Gina Radocchio of the California Federation of Women's Clubs (www.cfwc.org) thanked our Club and our Interactor Club for supporting their Foster Children Resource Project by contributing 564 luggage items for Los Angeles foster children. These children often have only a plastic garbage bag to carry their belongings in when they are transferred to a foster home. They also need clothing and personal items. All money donated to her organization goes to help children. There are 68 clubs in the Los Angeles County area working with other nonprofit organizations to make a difference.
Supporting the needs of foster children is a major mission for her organization, because these children suffer emotional problems from being uprooted and having no family to belong to, and some of them have also suffered physical, sexual and emotional abuse. They start life with a handicap and are at high risk for future unemployment, homelessness, mental illness, drug abuse and criminal involvement.
Lemor Warzman, of the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services (http://dcfs.co.la.ca.us/), discussed the problems of children who have to be removed from their homes and enter a foster home for a variety of reasons. They are eventually either returned home if the situation there is considered safe and healthy for them by social workers, or placed for adoption. These children want to belong and to have dignity and a normal life, like other children.
They have independent living programs starting at age 14, to help them learn basic adulthood skills and get job training. Some are able to go on to college. Some of them excel, but others become homeless, mentally ill or criminal. Some cannot function in a normal home and need a more structured environment. The adoption rate is higher for younger children, but all foster children are more difficult to place for adoption because of perceived behavioral problems. Social workers are required to see foster children in their home environment once a month. All foster parents are screened and supervised. Occasionally, serious problems are missed until they get into the news media. The Department keeps statistics on its children over 18 to track their outcomes after its jurisdiction ends.
Velayutham Ganesh, Uma Maheswari, R. Chithra Priya, M. Gunasekaran, G. Gnanavelan (leader)
(JOINT OFFSITE MEETING with PV Sunset, PV Peninsula, San Pedro, & Del Amo Rotary Clubs at Ports O' Call Restaurant in San Pedro)
Chuck Hanchett began the program by introducing the guests, and then calling on the 4 participating Club Presidents to review their Clubs’ accomplishments during this Rotary year, especially their fundraising events (bragging time!). He announced that our District is already looking for a Team Leader and Team Members for the District GSE Team, going to the Mount Fuji area in Japan in November. He recognized the 5 hosting families from the 4 participating Clubs in our part of the District this week. The GSE Team is spending 4 weeks in our District 5280, each week with a small group of Clubs in different parts of the District, ending up at the District Conference in San Diego April 19-22. (Tomorrow’s scheduled activities will be modified due to expected rain, Southern California’s version of monsoons.)
GSE Team Leader G. Gnanavelan (Past President of Madras Cosmos Rotary Club and an Assistant Governor of District 3230) presented his team, reviewed the history of his District and country, and showed a video of the Chennai area. India has 1.2 billion people (1/6 of all people on earth) and has 22 official languages and hundreds of dialects, although almost all educated people speak English as a common language, from the heritage of British colonial rule. Chennai (Madras under British rule) is the capital of Tamil Nadu state in the Southeast of the country. The Tamil language is in the ancient Dravidian language family that predates the Indo-European languages related to Hindi that predominate in most of the country. District 3230 Rotarians participated in relief efforts to civilians in the Tamil-speaking northern part of Sri Lanka after the recent end of their 3-decade civil war against the Sinhalese-speaking majority on the island. Rotarian Gnanavelan is a builder of residential apartments in Chennai and Chidambaram.
R. Chithra Priya is a Motorcycle Racer (a rare female participant in a male sport) and a Wildlife Photographer. She has competed in many long distance races in India. She is involved in wildlife films and conservation, and also runs an art gallery.
Uma Maheswari is a Business Professor and is completing her PhD at the University of Madras. She has traveled widely in Asia and has presented papers on cross-cultural business issues. Her husband is in the leather export business.
M. Gunasekaran is a Broadcast Journalist whose parents were uneducated and lived in a remote town. He has worked for top Indian newspapers and is currently a news anchor and talk show moderator for a regional news channel. He is interested in promoting social equality and multicultural understanding. His wife is a software engineer.
Velayutham Ganesh is an Entrepreneur and Event Manager. He came from a humble background and is the first Rotaractor to be chosen for his District’s GSE Team. He began as a Web Developer and now has his own graphic design company.
We will see these interesting Indian GSE Team members again at the District Conference in San Diego April 19-22, before they return to India.
Helene Pizzini has been active in the San Pedro Rotary Club and District 5280 for many years. She reviewed her recent trip with her husband to Panama, and showed slides of their adventures there. They believe in traveling while they are both healthy enough to enjoy it, but they encountered more surprises than anticipated.
They found Panama City to be remarkably cosmopolitan. Many retired US citizens are living there, including military personnel. The healthcare there was described as very good. She showed highlights of the city, including the modern well-known opera house, the Church of San José with a fancy gold altar, and the beautiful harbor area.
The Panama Canal is undergoing a widening project to accommodate today's new larger ships, and is scheduled to be completed in 2014 for the 100th anniversary of the Canal. She showed photos of the locks in operation for ships and small yachts.
Their adventures really began when they attempted to visit the Nassau Indians, a remote tribe of 3500 in the forest, “not far from the urban areas” near the canal. For the first part of that trip, they reserved a ferry boat, which turned out to be a 6-person boat. Then they were taken on a paved road, which turned into a dirt road, which petered out into no road at all. The last part of this journey required crouching in a dugout canoe in the rain. The Indians were not expecting them, but suitable arrangements were finally made. They slept in a bed under mosquito netting, a necessary precaution in that climate. The food was “interesting”, including one item that sounded like “yams” but turned out to be some unfamiliar root plant that was pounded and cooked. The people were friendly and their culture was enjoyable.
After leaving this indigenous area, they finished their trip in the beach areas, the civilized concept of “roughing it”. Helene and her husband seem to have survived this adventure well and enjoyed it, ready to try another excursion into the unknown sometime.
PDG Dave Moyers described the District 5280 humanitarian service trip to Puerto Rico as a personal experience of what Rotary means. Dave and Don showed a series of photos from the trip (taken by Rick Mendoza). There were a total of 13 projects, chosen by leaders of Puerto Rico Rotary District 7000 from local proposals, based on need, practicality, and hands-on participation.
In the town of Manatí, they built a modern restroom for special-needs Down Syndrome children (at a public school). These children require assistance for their hygiene needs, and previously had almost no restroom facilities. The Rotarians also built them a special play area with low-impact equipment and flooring, to provide a safe play environment for these children who are very prone to injury because of poor muscle control. The photos showed a welcoming Rotary banner from the local Rotary Club, and gifts of artwork including an exquisitely-painted plate.
Another project, cosponsored by the Rotary Club of Santurce, built a hydroponic farm (growing food in water without soil), to help poor people in a housing complex to grow food for themselves with enough additional to sell. The equipment included a system of hundreds of feet of plastic pipes with holes drilled in them for plants to grow from seeds in foam plugs in these holes. Water and fertilizer are circulated through these pipes without soil. A plastic sheet roof was built to provide adequate sunlight and shelter for the facility. The total cost was $19,000, including a matching grant from the Rotary Foundation.
Another project was providing wheelchairs for children, elderly and disabled people, many of whom previously had to crawl on the ground for mobility. Their gratitude on receiving this life-transforming gift was heartwarming. This was featured in the major local newspaper.
An enjoyable feature for the District 5280 Rotarian visitors was the opportunity for fellowship with each other as members of different Clubs in our District, and with the Puerto Rican Rotarians, as one big family enjoying the feeling of fulfillment by serving the needs of others. They enjoyed touring the sights of this beautiful tropical island, including the Bacardi Distillery, the old fortifications and waterfront of the capital, San Juan, and the beautiful El Yunque Rainforest Park with La Coca (Coconut) Falls.
Our meeting tonight was an Open-House Rotary Roundup to show our Club service projects to our many invited visitors. We started at 6:30 PM to introduce ourselves and discuss mutual interests. The dining tables and most of the chairs were removed so we could display our service areas and our hundreds of Club banners from around the world along the walls. After enjoying liquid refreshments and working up good appetites, we opened the buffet line for “heavy” hors d’oeuvres. Raffle tickets awarded to guests and members were drawn for prizes (Astrid Naviaux snagged a bottle of bubbly).
Byron Walls has been speaking on crime safety since 1980 when he began working for Citizens Against Crime in Nashville, Tennessee. He moved to Los Angeles in 1996 and started California Crimefight, which markets personal and family items for self protection against crime, and he speaks to many groups on this. Before then, he worked as a folk singer, comedian and actor since age 20. He gave us an informative and humorous presentation (although he didn't sing for us).
He reviewed crime prevention techniques and safety tips for getting to and from your car at the mall, on the street, and in your home, how to avoid looking like a victim, when and how to fight in a rape situation, and how to avoid car jacking.
Byron spoke of the importance of safely locking your doors and windows at home and while driving. However, some locks can be broken by home invasion robbers. From his briefcase, he showed a swedge alarm for doors and another model for sliding windows, a wedge-like object which blocks violent opening and sounds a 120 dB alarm when activated. These are also useful in a hotel room when traveling.
Another protection would be having a large aggressive dog in the house, or at least a large dog dish visible to discourage entry by strangers, or an aggressive dog recording. He showed a sign stating, “Member National Pit Bull Breeders Association” (looks official), and his brochure showed one stating, “Warning: Pit Bull with AIDS”. Another item is a 4-inch red stop-sign sticker warning of an alarm system.
A parking lot is very dangerous, especially while entering or leaving a car; walk with authority and carry your car-key ready in one hand with spray protection in the other. One of his items is a key chain spray containing CS tear gas and pepper spray, which incapacitates for 20 minutes. (These cannot be taken into airports.) A larger model is good for keeping at home inside the front door and near the door of the master bedroom, hung above the reach of children but ready for immediate use. He advises against having a gun, because the burglar who sees one will just shoot first.
If stalled on the freeway, keep the doors locked and stay in the car. He advises having a sign in the glove compartment to unfold and display in the back window stating, “Call Police”. This can make the difference between waiting 20 minutes or many hours for help. If confronted by a robber, give him immediately what he wants, but avoid getting into a car with him, and run if you can. If captured, continue talking to the robber to alleviate his tension.
Byron passed brochures around listing his devices and kits, and was available for accepting orders at the end of the meeting. His organization’s website is http://www.californiacrimefight.com/.
Don Reeves introduced Antonio Argueta, Marymount Rotaract President, and presented him the Rotaract President’s pin. Then Antonio presented Rotaract pins to Marymount Rotaractors Victoria Perez, Jacob Velasco, Danielle (Dani) Trueba and Ashley (Cami) Aguirre. Earning a Rotaract pin requires a member to participate in at least 2 Club projects. (Rotaractors Denise Zamora, Alan (AJ) Johnson, Marissa Montana and Adriana Muñoz, who have also earned pins, were unable to attend.)
Rotaract President Argueta opened the program by explaining the Marymount Rotaract Club’s many projects and activities. He showed a photo slide presentation illustrating their projects, explaining each one briefly. The first activity he showed was helping in several locations with the RAT (“Right After Torrance”) Beach Bike Marathon, which had a maximum route distance of 52 miles in the Palos Verdes area, starting from the intersection of Palos Verdes Drive North and East.
Other activities the Club participated in included the Norris Theatre Silent Auction-Dinner, Cabrillo Beach Cleanup, Pennies for Polio (they collected $400 on campus in one day), and Toys for Tecate, for which they collected 200 toys, although they took them to the Harbor Interfaith Center in San Pedro instead.nother activity was “Nika Water”, a bottled water program with recyclable bottles for raising money to help alleviate shortages of safe drinking water in other countries. They participated in the “Hope 4 Kids” Christmas Benefit, with assistance from Interact Clubs from 2 high schools.
Pending activities include the Canyon Verde Carnival on March 10, with a day of activities, arts and crafts, and helping us with our District Rotary Day of Service on March 17. Other projects include Book Buddies (sponsored by the Molina Foundation) to deliver books to children and become role models to them for reading; Heal the Bay beach cleanup; One Day Without Shoes on April 10 (to go without shoes on one day so kids don't have to, sponsored by TOMS Shoes, www.toms.com, “With every pair of shoes you purchase, TOMS will give a pair of new shoes to a child in need”); and “Flings Bins”, a type of lightweight collapsible biodegradable recycling container to be placed around the Marymount campus through the month of April to raise money from recyclables for donating to local charities.
Michael Sanborn is the Director of the Banning House Museum, and the co-author of a 2008 book, Images of America: Wilmington, about the local history including the Banning Museum and the Drum Barracks. He has supervised a recently completed $2.5 million multiyear project to expand the Museum in the unused basement, to document the history of transportation in the Los Angeles Harbor area.
Phineas Banning was the founder of Wilmington, which he named after his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware. He had been hired to transport cargo to California in 1851, and on his arrival saw a business opportunity in the potential port, at that time only a mud flat many miles from the isolated town of Los Angeles. He established a business of stagecoach and freight wagons between the port and the town, and extended cargo connections eastward to San Bernardino.
As a California state senator, he was instrumental in bringing the first railroad to Los Angeles to connect with his system, ensuring the growth of Los Angeles into a great city. He arranged harbor dredging to build a deepwater port for ships to connect with his freight wagons. He built a 220 acre ranch with a 17,000 ft² home and barn, which he offered to Union troops during the Civil War. His family lived there for many years until 1929 when it became the current Museum on the remaining 19½ acres.
Mr Sanborn discussed the fundraising difficulties during government budget limitations, and showed many photos of the Museum expansion project. The unused basement floor is actually the newest part of the house, built about 1900 because the original house was rotting underneath from the high water table. A ballroom was constructed there, but in later years it was closed off. The new construction required trenching up to 9 feet deep to about 3 feet below the foundation to build a concrete water barrier around the house, and an access ramp was constructed. A French drain was installed to gravity-feed ground water into a well.
The original mortar was dug out from between the basement wall bricks, analyzed and duplicated to provide the same structural properties. Round windows dating from 1864 were exposed after outside bricks were removed, and some of the glass panels were reproduced to match original materials. No architectural plans were available, so the mahogany front deck and steps were reconstructed from old photos, and the wood was hand cut on site from clear-grain mahogany. The original roads in the park have been dug out and reconstructed. The Rose Garden has been replanted with original varieties.
The new basement exhibition (Improbable Gateway: The Los Angeles Transportation Legacy) is now finished, illustrating the evolution of transportation from harbor dredging and roads to rails and the transcontinental railroad. The display panels are arranged in chronological order for smooth flow of visitors. Each panel shows photos and large print describing the major ideas, with more details in smaller print.
The project is now completed except for refurbishing the barn with its display of vehicles. 2014 is the 150th anniversary of the site, and a major celebration is planned next year, especially on August 18, Phineas Banning's birthday. Mr Sanborn invites us to experience this exciting new major permanent exhibition at the Banning Museum (http://www.banningmuseum.org/).
Rotary Foundation Chair Linda Little and Astrid Naviaux presented Paul Harris Awards to Don Reeves and Jim Gamble (level 4). Thanks and congratulations for loyal support to our Rotary goals!
Carol Lam, our first speech contestant, spoke on the issue of declining politeness and respect in society. Increasing rudeness is often viewed as normal, and “nice guys finish late” (if not necessarily last).
We can observe others to see how people act around each other. A friendly smile goes a long way to affect people's attitudes around us. However, increasing use of voicemail and text messaging encourages some people to communicate into their devices while ignoring the people around them in a social gathering or even in an audience where silence is expected. She related each of the 4-Way questions to the effects that our behavior and attitudes have on those around us and the harmony in our society.
Liliana Pond, our second speech contestant, spoke of the events that occurred during the year of her mother's birth and the typical social environment when her mother was growing up. Liliana, who is 16 years old now, contrasted the social and financial differences now with when her mother was her age.
A study showed that only 45% of Americans are satisfied with their lives. Suicide rates have increased, and there are 10 times this number of attempted suicides. The quality of life seems to have decreased in spite of the greater quantity of things, conveniences and technology now.
Liliana spoke of the need for all of us to slow down our lives and learn more about the world around us instead of being wrapped up in our own cocoons. She related each of the 4-Way questions to how we treat others and influence the social environment around us.
After the Speech Judging Committee deliberated on the outstanding quality of each of these closely-matched contestants, it was decided to give each of them $100. Our Club thanks each of them, and their parents, for their efforts in participating in this Speech Contest!
(Madelyn Creighton has announced that Liliana Pond will enter our District Speech Contest to compete for the $1000 District Speech Award.)
Larry Heimgartner (left) was the Chair of the Theater Dept. at Los Angeles Harbor College since 1973. He retired 2 years ago but continues as Adjunct Professor. He has been involved in community projects with Rotary, and was recognized as Citizen of the Year in 2003 by the Rotary Club of Wilmington.
He met President Chuck Hanchett several years ago working with the Glass Children of the Tijuana Dump (who helped support their families collecting recyclable glass instead of going to school). He has been writing plays for his students to dramatize severe socioeconomic problems here and abroad, including one about the Glass Children and another in cooperation with a group in Cornwall in the UK for Africans with HIV. One of his students walked here from Guatemala and is now in his class. Tonight he brought 3 of his students as actors to present 3 of these dramatized stories to us in first person.
Prof Heimgartner described a trip to Zanzibar Island off the coast of Tanzania 3 years ago with his UK contacts from Cornwall. He met with them in London first, to work on a play project, then to Zanzibar to perform the play (which was translated into Swahili). This small Muslim island has less HIV than in nearby Tanzania because of conservative sexual traditions, but there is no sex education to help young people protect themselves.
Arnold Kunst, author of Lincoln 365, gave his first Lincoln speech in high school, and has been fascinated by him ever since. He has an MA from Ireland in history and was a teacher and school administrator before doing the speaking circuit. He has been giving a variety of versions of his talks on Lincoln to different audiences. This book is a series of humorous short stories and quotes from Abraham Lincoln, one for each day of the year, along with a similar quote from some other authority for comparison.
He began by relating the economic storm raging over our country over the past several years, to the need for strong effective leadership skills now. He believes that Abe Lincoln was the best leader our country has ever had, because of his having overcome personal adversity and then bringing the country out of its severe and seemingly hopeless problems and divisiveness.
In 1858, in a series of 7 debates with Sen Douglas, the Senator accused Lincoln of being two-faced; Abe replied, “If I had a face better than this, don't you think I'd be wearing it?” He was very skilled at deflecting attacks against him by using self-deprecating humor. Lincoln won the Illinois Senatorial election by 4000 votes, but Sen Douglas was returned to the Senate. (Senators were appointed by the state legislatures then, with the popular votes being a beauty contest.) Only 2 years later, Lincoln was elected President of a bitterly divided country ready to explode into convulsions of Civil War.
Winston Churchill said, “The price of greatness is responsibility.” Mr Kunst urged us to study the life of Abraham Lincoln for learning successful leadership traits. Lincoln wasted no time in self-pity, a trait seen in losers. After his loss to Sen Douglas, he said, “I felt like a boy who stubbed his toe.” (Stuff happens, as they say today.) We don't always get what we want or deserve. Keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, as Rudyard Kipling said.
Mr Kunst reviewed the many problems facing Lincoln after he became President. War soon broke out as many Southern states seceded, and there were repeated battlefield reverses as Union generals appeared much more timid than their Confederate counterparts. One entire regiment from Illinois mutinied, as that state itself considered seceding. Money to pay for the war and its preparations was woefully inadequate. Gen Lee moved his forces north and invaded Pennsylvania, where a decisive battle at Gettysburg finally turned in the Union’s favor. On that one day, battlefield deaths on both sides were about as many as US combat deaths in the entire Vietnam War. (Lincoln's brief but memorable Gettysburg Address afterward is still quoted today.)
Throughout all of this, President Lincoln kept his vision and his sense of humor. With prevailing economic difficulties, there were many job seekers approaching him. When the death of the Postal Inspector was announced, a man walked up to Lincoln and said, “The Postal Inspector just died; okay if I take his place?” Lincoln replied, “Yes, if it's okay with the undertaker!”
Lew Bertrand, our District Governor for the coming year, has just returned from the 2012 Rotary International Assembly in San Diego, a training event for incoming Rotary District Governors. He showed off his new Rotary Theme pin and banner. RI President-Elect Sakuji Tanaka unveiled his 2012-13 RI Theme, “Peace Through Service”, and will ask the incoming leaders to promote three Rotary Peace Forums, to be held in Hiroshima, Japan; Berlin, Germany; and Honolulu, Hawaii, USA.
Lew reviewed his path through a life of Rotarian service. As a student at Loyola University in Los Angeles (now Loyola-Marymount), he participated in a service project with his fraternity brothers, hand delivering lottery tickets (which could not be sent through the mail then) for a fundraiser for a new addition to a hospital. 2 months later, the university president asked him to attend a University board meeting to thank him for his efforts in this event for raising more money than had been anticipated. After graduation, he entered the banking business and remembers a 1972 lunch with a Rotarian member of the United California bank, who invited him to join Rotary. Later he worked for Security Pacific Bank and served in various branch offices in Southern California.
During this time, he has belonged to the Wilmington, San Pedro and Venice Marina Rotary Clubs and served in a number of District 5280 positions. He was President of our Club in 2007-8 when our member Dave Moyers was District Governor. During Lew’s coming year as Governor, the San Joaquin Valley District, which is down to only 22 Clubs and is too small to continue, will join District 5280.
Lew remembers when the “End Polio Now” project was begun in the Philippines in the 1980s, and soon spread to a worldwide effort sponsored by Rotary International. He urges us each to get involved and make a difference. “If you want your dream to come true, don't oversleep.”