Service Above Self
We meet Tuesdays at 12:15 PM
Native Sons' Hall
1313 Spring Street
PO Box 211
St.Helena, CA 94574
Happy Valentine's Day! Please join us February 11th Special Rotary
luncheon at normal time with your sweetheart for showers of fun and prizes.
Posted on Feb 24, 2014
Reported by Dick Gourley
Program of the Day: Valentine's Day Celebration
In honor of Valentine’s Day, we held a different and very special meeting, that included spouses and significant others. This fun, romantic, and often embarrassing event was planned and coordinated by the lovely Suzan Rada and her band of merry volunteers. Native Son’s Hall was decorated in a red, black, and white color theme, and the tables were festive with flowers, candy, and plenty of sparkling wine.
Our beloved leader, John Muhlner, accompanied by his lovely bride Jennifer, kicked off the affair with a very warm welcome. It should be noted that John wore his fanciest black cowboy hat and looked every bit like the kind and gentle leader we know him to be. Our lunch for the day included a very special Valentines’ Day Cannelloni and traditional Italian side dishes carefully prepared by Chef Israel and his wonderful team at St Helena Bistro. Suzan placed a red sheet on every table that explained the meaning of different flowers so that the gentlemen attending would appear to look somewhat knowledgeable to their guests. Dessert was a sinful chocolate dish and coupled with the sparkling wine, adequately prepared everyone for the main event.
At that point, John Muhlner introduced the affable Jim Smith, who proceeded to moderate the St Helena Rotary Club version of the Newlywed Game. All attending were split into three groups for the game. Essentially the way it worked was that the Rotarian and their spouse or significant other were separated, so that the person remaining in the room had the privilege of answering three questions about the other person, who was pacing in the theater portion of the Native Son’s Hall. After the answers were recorded, the person who was pacing returned and had the honor of trying to provide the answer the other person had written down. Needless to say, this part of the program was very funny, and in most cases quite embarrassing. There were three winning couples, but their names will not be released in order to protect all those who embarrassed themselves!
A good time was had by all. A special thanks to Suzan Rada and Jim Smith for a brilliant effort!Thought of the Day: Steve Yost shared three thoughts for the day:
- “Where there is love, there is life.” - Gandhi
- “Better to have loved and lost, than to never loved at all.” - St Augustine
- “All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.” - Charles Schultz
Club Anniversaries: None
Birthdays: Bryan Remer and Dick Gourley
Visiting Rotarians: Richard Hyde, our eRotarian.
- Jennifer Muhlner, guest of John Muhlner
- Unni Hoel, guest of Lester Hoel
- Patti Mitroff, guest of Norm Mitroff
- Nancy Howell, guest of Judd Howell
- Jeff Warner, guest of Cindy Warren
- Linda Andreae, guest of Rob Andreae
- Joan Sales, guest of John Sales
- Leslie Moreland, guest of David Moreland
- Helen Hendrick, guest of Kathleen Patterson
- Mary Ann Layne, guest of Michael Layne
- Shanti Garlock, guest of Dewitt Garlock
- Karen, guest of Bryan Remer
- Inger Laidley, guest of Wendell Laidley
- Sharon Ebersole, guest of Steve Ebersole
- Ann Thomas, guest of Mike Thomas
- Denise Armstead, guest of Gene Armstead
Announcements: Details on the St. Patrick’s Day fundraiser scheduled for Saturday, March 15, 2014 were provided.
Bell Ringers: None.
Posted on Feb 21, 2014
Reported by Alan Galbraith
Speaker of the Day:
Our speaker was Rotarian and Supervisor Diane Dillon, vigorously introduced by Donn Black. Donn noted that Diane was a fifth generation Napian, that she had twice chaired the Napa County Board of Supervisors, that she was the County delegate to ABAG (Association of Bay Area Governments), and that she also served on the Legislative Committee of the Board of Supervisors (which looks after legislative affairs affecting Napa County at the state and federal levels).
Diane selected two topics of keen current interest: the risk to Napa County from Indian casinos and discussion of annexation of County land by Napa cities.
The current concern over Indian casinos starts with federal legislation in 2002 authorizing casinos on tribal lands in California. It was not appreciated at that time that the legislation was opening the door to casinos on newly acquired tribal property (as well as established tribal lands). In consequence, there has been an explosion of Indian casinos in California, with 70 in operation today. The latest and greatest is the new casino in Graton (Sonoma County). The upside is that there appears to be a developing sense, including from Indian casino operators (wishing to protect their turf), that enough is enough.
As Diane explained, the issue becomes more complex because some Indian tribes may be in a better position to pursue a casino than others. In particular, Indian tribes that are newly restored to tribal status, as opposed to newly recognized as a tribe, are in a stronger legal position. A restored tribe may be able to obtain trust status for a land acquisition through approval by the Department of the Interior without Congressional authorization. If the land is allowed by DOI to be taken into trust, the land then escapes local land use controls. This is of huge concern to Napa County, with the Napa Valley Vintners (who fear a winery not subject to the normal rules) being a strong ally of the County. Further, Indian land taken into trust is not subject to local taxation. As was evident, Diane has been a strong leader among her colleagues from other California counties in presenting the case for effective local involvement in any federal decision allowing newly acquired lands to achieve trust status. She has been the spokesperson in Washington, D.C. on the subject, testifying before both the House Subcommittee on Native American Affairs and the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. Diane likened the experience to presenting an oral argument before the Supreme Court.
On the second subject, discussion of annexation of County lands by cities, Diane discussed Meadowood County Club land (sought to be annexed by the leadership of St. Helena), Domaine Chandon tasting room and restaurant land (sought to be annexed by the Town of Yountville), and Napa Pipe (a special case). Diane stressed that, as we thought about these issues, we need to keep firmly in mind that the County provides numerous services that serve not just the County but also and even primarily residents of the Cities. For example, the County provides extensive services in law enforcement (including the jail, juvenile hall, the district attorney’s office) and in health and human services (a long litany) – with the services mostly benefitting residents of the Cities. Hence, the County needs the revenue generated from the lands that St. Helena and Yountville would like to annex to support essential County services for city residents. Further, as Diane stressed, there is almost no land in the County (outside the Cities) that can be rezoned for commercial development in consequence of the Agriculture Preserve (Measures J & P). Diane noted that the cities cannot annex the Meadowood or Domaine Chandon lands over the objection of the Board of Supervisors – and it was clear from Diane’s comments that the Board would not provide its consent.
Napa Pipe is a different matter because the City of Napa, with annexation, is accepting 80% of the County’s RHNA (Regional Housing Needs Allocation) through 2058. Thus, the annexation of this property by the City of Napa furthers the County goal of preserving agricultural land (as opposed to rezoning agricultural land for affordable housing, which is allowed under Measures J and P). Diane further noted that Napa Pipe was the one location suitable for a Costco store. She advised that Costco has 30,000 members in Napa County, and a that a store at Napa Pipe would save a lot of car trips on crowded Highway 29 to the Vallejo Costco. So, as shown by above summary, our Supervisor addressed two complex topics not easily understood – unless she is leading the discussion through them.Thought of the Day: Dave Brotemarkle
provided the first grade version of the four-way test: “be kind; play well with others; share with others; and tell the truth.”Visiting Rotarians:
Richard Hyde and Kathi PolachekGuests:
New Blue Badge Rotarian: Roxann Schaubhut
- Tony Aguilera, guest of Christine Ramsey
- Kate Gourley, guest and daughter of Dick Gourley
- Jim Haslip, guest of Christine Ramsey
- Princess Anne Damoe, guest of Andy Bartlett (Interact Exchange Student)
, awarded a Blue Badge by Ted Bystrowksi
(and waived in by virtue of previous Rotary history)
Birthday: Joel Toller (Feb. 22)Anniversary: April DugeClub Anniversaries:
- DeWitt Garlock (7 years)
- Gary Jaffe (14 years)
- Jill Munson (4 years)
Bell Ringer: Joel Toller
- President John Muhlner led off with a shout-out (and large potted orchid plant) for Suzan Rada in recognition of last week’s most fun Rotary luncheon, organized by Suzan.
- President John Muhlner advised that Israel would be holding an open house at the St. Helena Bistro (1146 Main Street) on Monday, February 24, starting at 6:00 p.m.
- Dave Brotemarkle provided further details with respect to the St. Patrick’s Day fundraiser (March 15), with the Kith & Kin Band. The cooks are Joice Beatty and Norm Mitroff, who are in need of six volunteer assistants. Another six are needed for set-up (at 5:00 p.m.). Six are also needed for takedown. Rotarians are to bring one bottle of wine for an instant wine cellar (50 bottles total). There will be four or five silent auction items. A raffle is also in the works.
- President John Muhlner advised of the (Sunday) March 30 dinner at the Double Tree Hotel in Sacramento with Rotary International President Ron Burton as the featured speaker. John advised that he was thinking of purchasing a table for ten.
- John Sales advised of the immediate need to empty out two storage lockers containing “stuff” from past Rotary events, and elicited ideas for the removal of the material. The removal committee consists of John, Joice Beatty, and John Muhlner.
- Norm Mitroff advised of a cooking class on Friday at Grace Church, with 20 openings available ($30 each), with guests (about $20 each) also invited. The cooking class will begin at 4:30 p.m. with dinner at about 6:00 p.m.
- Don Thomas expressed appreciation for the card wishing Peggy well through her recent travails.
in appreciation for new glasses. Finemaster: Natalie Klug
, teaming up with Diane Dillon
, stumped assembled Rotarians with tough questions on casinos. For example, who would know that only three states today did not have casinos – and then be able to name them? (Answer: Hawaii, Tennessee, and Utah). Or, who would guess that there are today 70 Class III Indian Gaming facilities in California, up from zero in 2002.
Posted on Feb 05, 2014
Reporter: Cindy Warren
Speakers of the Day: Sally Olson, Marian Morgan, "Canine Companions for Independence".
Sally Olson and Marian Morgan with her canine companion, Pekoe, gave us a brief history of the organization, which was founded in the 70's. Charles and Jeanie Shultz donated property for the campus, which trains dogs for their work as Skilled Companions, Hearing Dogs, Service Dogs and Facility dogs.
The puppies are raised by independent people and turned over to Canine Companions for extensive training before they are 1. In order to receive a trained dog, the recipient must go through 2 weeks of intense training on the campus. The dog and potential recipient must pass a graduation test before they are able to go home. Recipients pay nothing for the dogs, though the dogs are worth $50,000-60,000.
Marian, who is deaf, showed us some of the skills that Pekoe has that make her life easier. Pekoe impressed all of us with her amazing attentiveness and ability to serve Marian. Pekoe also "worked" the room and made sure she meet everyone. Her manners were impeccable, unlike those of some of our rowdy Rotarians!
Guests: Jennifer Muhlner, Dennis and Marjory McNay, guests of John Muhlner. Kathy Polacheck brought her daughter Melissa and family.
Visiting Rotarians: Richard Hyde. Kathy Polacheck, Norm Manzer
Birthday: Andy Bartlett
Club Anniversary: Hendrik Smeding, 24 years. Judd Howell, 2 years
New Member Inductions: Ted Bystrowski and Alston Hayne. welcomed new members Roxanne Schaubhut and Dick Gourley into our Rotary Club.
- Phil Toohey has resigned as he has taken a new job. We will miss Phil , but since he has nine lives, we know he'll come back----again!
- Jason Kelperis, St. Helena High School Interact had the officers give a presentation on their fundraising efforts for the "What If" foundation. They have been raising money for a "What If" orphanage. Our club donated and additional $750 to their fundraising efforts.
- Suzan Rada announced our next meeting is a Valentine's Day celebration. Members are encouraged to bring their sweethearts to this fun filled meeting.
- Doug Ernst announced that former Rotarian Mike Loughlin passed away.
- Mike Thomas purchased 3 nights at Point Arena in Mendocino at Saloon Night. He can not use the package and will take bids for the package- 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, sleep 6. Expires April 30,2014. Email or call Mike if you would like to bid on the package. The proceeds will go to St. Helena Rotary Foundation.
- Don Thomas' wife Peggy is headed into extensive surgery. A card was passed .
- Dave Brotemarkle distributed flyers for Kith and Kin. Please help put flyers in downtown businesses.
Raffle Winners: Kathleen Patterson, Kathy Polacheck, Alston Hayne
Finemaster: Jim Smith showed extreme lexiphanicism in his quiz, stumping us with vocabulary words.
- Steve Carbone returned from e weeks in Kona and shared a funny story.
- Doug Ernst announced his Men's Club meets on Wednesdays. at Rutherford Grange. For more info call Doug.
Posted on Jan 31, 2014
Reported by Alan Galbraith
Club Assembly Day:
President John Muhlner led “Club Assembly Day” to reinforce membership knowledge of key Club activities. He called upon four members to explain in some detail activities for which they are responsible.
- David Brotemarkle started off. He advised that the Club’s sole fundraising event this year was a Kith & Kin event at Native Son’s Hall on St. Patrick Day, March 15, 2014. And it is a mandatory event, with all Club members charged for two tickets ($50 each) or $100. The chefs are Joice Beatty and Norm Mitroff, and they will be preparing an Irish Corned Beef dinner accompanied by cabbage and potatoes and a TBD dessert. Doors will open at 6:00 p.m.; dinner at 7:00 p.m.; Kith & Kin (Irish band) show at 8:00 p.m. The goal is 150 attendees, including Club members and their guests totaling at least 100. The program will include a live auction (an instant wine cellar comprised of donated wines from Club members), a few silent auction items, and a raffle.
- Charlotte Williamson, gardener extraordinaire, advised that she will lead a late spring cleanup at Centennial Park (in front of Vintage Hall) in late spring. The big event will be removal of invasive plants from a plowed area of Wappo Park (near Pope Street Bridge) so that it is ready for native grass planting in the spring.
- Michele Neumann reviewed fund-raising to support women farmers and their families in Kenya. Michele wants every St. Helena Rotarian to be immortalized on a water tank in Kenya. The expense of immortality is $300. President John Muhlner added that the Club was working on a needs’ assessment to support a grant application from Rotary International.
- Ted Bystrowski reviewed membership levels in recent years, advising that we were holding steady at seventy-four in 2012 and 2013. His goal is a net increase of two in 2014, bringing us to seventy-six. As suggested by Cindy Warren, a subtle way to introduce prospects to our Club is to bring them to lunch using the speaker as an inducement.
Thought of the Day:
With the Superbowl looming, Ted Bystrowski recited motivational statements from coaches Bill Walsh (49ers), Tom Landry (Cowboys), Chuck Noll (Steelers), Mike Ditka (Bears), and Vince Lombardi (Packers). They all resonated, especially that of Coach Lombardi: “It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up.”
Roxann Schaubhut, guest of Gene Armstead.
Dick Gourley, guest of Ted Bystrowski (Dick is a Club member prospect, sponsored by Norm Mitroff)
Richard Hyde, e-Rotarian.
Rotary: Father Mac (twenty years)
Wedding: Ron McGowan
Birthdays: DeWitt Garlock, Cynthia Key, and John Muhlner (who revealed, most conspicuously, a sports’ shirt with the number 76).
- Joice Beatty advised of a big thank you from the Napa State Hospital for Club members’ contributions toward gifts for 2014 holidays.
- John Muhlner advised that the father of Cynthia Kee had passed away.
- Suzan Rada advised of the Valentine Day’s luncheon on February 11 (on a Tuesday, in place of a Rotary luncheon), and sought sign-ups by Club members with a promise of prizes and fun.
- Kathleen Patterson announced that the memorial service for Janet Gustafson would be Saturday, February 1, at 11:00 a.m. at Grace Church.
- John Muhlner reminded of the Navy Seal fundraiser at the Cameo Theater on Friday, January 31. The fundraiser consists of the film Lone Survivor followed by a reception and light dinner at the American Legion Hall.
Mike Thomas rang the bell in celebration of a safe return from the hazards of travel in Peru. (The hazards were not so great as to inspire a significant Paul Harris contribution.)
Joice Beatty drew from California drought history. She focused, drearily, on the length of past California droughts.
Posted on Jan 22, 2014
Reporter: Cindy Warren
Guest Speaker: Ann Nevero, Mayor of St. Helena " St. Helena, Now and Forward"
Our Mayor gave us a concise view of St. Helena, its challenges, successes and future. The philosophy of our city is " A careful and strategic balance of visitor amenities and residential life". The city of St. Helena, population 5,800 consists of 2,700 housing units. 9% of those units are Affordable Housing. The city collects $8.8 million in revenue (Property Taxes $2.8M, Sales Tax $2.4M, TOT $ 1.6M). Approximately $7.7 M is used for operating expenses.St. Helena faces many challenges: Growth in Calistoga, Napa and American Canyon and the traffic concerns it produces. Water- a Phase 1 Emergency has been issued and a possible Phase 2 Emergency will be voted on. Currently Bell Canyon is at 30% of capacity.
Current housing and building projects include: McCorkle 5-10 Affordable Housing units; Pope St.- 8 Affordable Housing units; Magnolia Oaks 45 units ( 40% Affordable, 60% Market); Vineland Station; Grandview. A large housing development is planned behind the flood bank.
St. Helena is also faced with finding and keeping city staff, lawsuits and an aging infrastructure. We must continue the economic vitality of our city while preserving small town life, safety and agriculture. We are truly blessed to be living in this fine community but we must all pitch in to preserve our way of life.
Visiting Rotarians: Paul Dohring, Calistoga Rotary. Richard Hyde. Kathy Polacheck
Guests: Dick Gourley, guest of Ted Bystrowski. Ted Utt, guest of John Muhlner. Alexa and Skye Hollister, daughters of Jon Hollister. Roxanne Schaubhut, guest of Hendrik Smeding. Chuck Vondra, guest of Rob Andreae. Ben Hill, guest of Steve Yost.
Member Induction by Alston Hayne: Ben Hill was inducted into Rotary with sponsorship by Steve Yost. Ben is a Healthcare Administrator at St Helena Hospital.
- John Muhlner circulated a card for Dale Smith who is moving to Washington to live with his daughter.
- The Club Assembly is next Tuesday.
- Natalie Klug reminded us that lunch price went up to $20 starting Jan. 1.
- Suzan Rada announced that our Feb. 11th meeting will be a Valentine's Day Celebration. Members are encouraged to bring their "special" Valentine to the lunch.
- John Muhlner announced that the Navy Seal Foundation is having a screening of "Lone Survivor" at the Cameo, with a reception and dinner following at the American Legion Hall on February 1. Tickets are $75 each.
- Suzan Rada announced that Margaret Trust from Make A Wish
- Foundation will be speaking at Grace Episcopal Church this Sunday, 1/26 at 10:00 am.
Raffle: Winners were Cindy Warren, Kelly Crane, Rob Andreae C
- Alston Hayne announced his engagement to fellow Rotarian Christine Gorelick. Congrats to the Love Birds.
- Alan Galbraith announced the birth of his 5th grandchild, granddaughter Noor.
Finemaster: Judd Howell "Travel; Are you Ready to Go?"
Posted on Jan 17, 2014
Phil Toohey reporting
Speaker of the Day: Gopal Shankar. Community Choice AggregationGopal Shankar has spent the last ten years of his life trying to make a dream come true. He spent 20 minutes with us trying not to get too technical but helping us understand the world of aggregate power. Gopal is the President of Recolte Energy Company and a Calistoga Rotarian.
Years ago, there was the break of the telephone company to include new providers. In the advent of the cell companies,new competition have entered the field and favorable pricing has changed now to the point where I can almost read my phone bill. Gopal’s company and efforts have been to try to work new laws into the language of PGE such that new power sources can be integrated into the current electric system grids.
Gopal has been wading his way thru the Sacramento red tape with endless patience to try simply to “hook in” new power supplies in Napa Valley . Both Far Niente Winery and the Gasser building in Napa city have created their own power source thru Solar panels attached to their outer property. In the case of Far Niente, They actually float their solar panels on top of their irrigation pond.The problem with Far Niente is that the irrigation pond is one mile away and two properties lines, a creek and highway from the winery meter. There is a meter right off their solar field but PGE won’t let them hook into it. PGE wants Far Niente to run cable that distance to the winery meter.
In the case of the Gasser property, there are 11 meters involved in changing over the building to one meter. The laws keep getting written but PGE keeps re interpreting the laws to fit their own advantage to the point where Sacramento law makers had to write a law that includes a “code of conduct” to halt this practice. Gopal says the momentum is going forward but the process has been long, hard and frustrating. Only a man with many hours in his day and the patience of a saint could attempt to build a company around this eventual break up. We wish him good luck.
- Game night is on. January 30th will be a pot luck fellowship night. Suzan Rada is the contact for where the location will be.
- Israel our caterer is recovering nicely from his car accident over the Christmas break. He is in rehab and will be back in about a month’s time. There will be no interruption of service for our lunch meals.
- Rob Andreae reported that Diane Dillon’s brother died over the New Year’s holiday. Ed Dillon was a regular at our Winter Ball and a big supporter of our club.
- On the 28th of January, there will be a club assembly as the program and a “state of the Union “address from President of the club, John Mulhner.
- Margo Kennedy announced that our International project for matching grant with RI is coming along. The Rotary club of Miramaru Africa is doing a “needs assessment” report from their side and will be getting back to us.
- Joice Beatty led the final pledges of our clubs 835 dollar contribution to the Napa State Hospital from her annual giving program. She gave thanks to all that contributed.
- Father Mac advised that Past President Lee Gustavson's wife Janet died and that there will be a Service for her at Grace Church on Saturday the 18th at 11 am.
- Norm Mitroff announced that the Soroptimist Club is having their annual bingo night fund raiser. Check with him for details. He is also trying to put a cooking demonstration and class fellowship night together at the Grace Church kitchen some Wednesday night to be announced.
- Joice Beatty announced as a bell ringer that she is one year past the date that she was supposed to expire. All are glad that she beat that clock.
- Roxanne Schaubhut new to Pope Valley, she is looking at the club for membership.
- Ben Hell will be inducted to the club next meeting.
- Dick Gourley joined us. He had been in Rotary in Miami.
- Kathi Polacheck will be with us from the east coast till May.
- Richard Hyde is with us from the E club.
Fine Master: John Hollister did a Shark week. A shark can go one month without eating. A Whale Shark is the biggest. A bull shark is the most deadly to humans, not the great white. Annually only one person dies each year from a shark attack compared to 3000 people who die from drowning annually.
Posted on Jan 10, 2014
Reported by Alan Galbraith
Speaker of the Day:The speaker of the day was Meir Horowitz, introduced by Steve Yost and his therapy dog Lace. Steve and Lace have been together since 2006, and have worked their magical therapy under the auspices of Paws for Healing, Inc., a not-for-profit that provides canine assisted therapy (C.A.T.) teams. Each team (a therapy dog and its handler) is well trained and insured through Paws for Healing. Mr. Horowitz, in the company of his dog Sophie, provided a detailed overview of the fine work accomplished by these very special therapy dogs.
Paws for Healing started in 1995. In 2013 its teams visited nearly 100 sites in Napa, Solano, and Sonoma Counties. The dogs and their handlers go through significant training. The dogs are evaluated for friendliness, obedience, and ability to work with its handler as a team. The teams visit hospitals, assisted living homes, the Veterans Home in Yountville, and other institutions, including schools, for the therapeutic benefit of not just patients but also staff. Mr. Horowitz told a touching story of a nurse much in need of canine therapeutic therapy.
The dogs can have a significant impact on individual health, especially in reducing blood pressure, anxiety, depression, and stress. The dogs also can enhance the reading experience for children: they listen, they do not tease, and they do not humiliate. To the contrary, the dogs convey their unconditional love to patients, to (often stressed) staff, to children, and to family members. And the dogs do not talk about themselves! The visits can be short or long, depending on the place of visit and the reaction of the visited party.
Therapy dogs are to be sharply distinguished from service dogs. Therapy dogs cannot go where service dogs can go. But, like service dogs, therapy dogs perform an admirable service for those whom they assist.
Thought of the Day:
Gene Armstead began our new year inspired by Nelson Mandela: “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who is not afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”
Visiting Rotarians: Richard Hyde, our eRotarian.
- Dale Smith: 36 years
- Paul Krsek: 22 years
- Bill Word: 12 years
- Roxann Schanbhut, guest (and neighbor) of Hendrik Smeding; Roxann, a retired veterinarian, is a former president of the Long Island Rotary Club.
- Nancy Howell, guest of Judd Howell (with special guest Lucas, a golden retriever).
- Inger Laidley, guest of Wendell Laidley.
- Ben Hill, Director of Volunteer Services, St. Helena Hospital, guest of Ted Bystrowski.
- Princess Anne Damoe of Denmark (and Interact exchange student), guest of Andy Bartlett.
President-Elect Norm Mitroff sought membership approval for his incoming team during his presidency. He announced his team as follows:
The membership, in an admirable display of democratic centralism, unanimously approved the full slate.
- Judd Howell: President Elect
- John Muhlner: Past President
- Jim Smith: Secretary
- Christine Ramos: Treasurer
- Suzan Rada: Club Service Director
- Charlotte Williamson: Community Service Director
- Michele Neumann: International Service Director
- Rod Ellison: Vocational Service Director
- Jon Hollister: Youth Service Director
- Ted Bystrowski: Membership Director
- Phil Toohey: Rotary International Liaison Director
- Cynthia Warren: Fund Raising Director
Judd Howell updated the membership on Interact Club caroling fundraising. He also advised that the Club would be engaged in fundraising for the What If Foundation to aid Haitian orphans, and was searching for sponsors.
Joice Beatty advised that the Club contributed $740 to the Napa State Hospital, just short of her $800 goal.
- President John Muhlner, standing in for Suzan Rada, announced that game night would be January 30 at 6:00 p.m. at Native Sons’ Hall, featuring a pot luck dinner and Texas Holdem.
- President John Muhlner advised that there would be a Board meeting on Tuesday January 14 at 10:45 a.m., and encouraged attendance by non-Board members, including Red Badgers.
Lester Hoel, fresh off a visit to the Monterey Aquarium, quizzed Club members on sea otters and their habits. The star responders were Kelly Crane (the Russian fir trade nearly extinguished the animal) and Polly Keegan (they eat about seven pounds per day). Others did not fare so well in their answers. They shall remain anonymous.
Bell Ringers: None.
Posted on Dec 18, 2013
Reported by Alan Galbraith
Speakers of the Day:
After the briefest of introductions from Donn Black, Rotarians Michael Layne and Matt Endriss treated us to craft talks. Michael led off. Michael grew up in Southern California, significantly on the beach, surfing. Camp Pendleton was a favored venue, accessible when Marines were lethargic in their guard duty. Michael initially attended Pasadena City College, followed by San Jose State, an art major. He graduated in two years, though he did not appreciate it – until he was billed for his diploma. He then went into the lumber business in Oregon, a short-term venture when the lumber company for reasons of smell and weight decided that logs harvested from the sea were not a good supply source. Michael turned to graduate school, and into a career in home design and a pastime in painting.
Matt started out in Marin County, with a strong passion for baseball, which he pursued at Cuesta Junior College in San Luis Obispo and then at California State Hayward, finishing up at Dominican University of California in San Rafael. By now, Matt was finally a fan of education, which he had eschewed in earlier years. While growing up, Matt worked in Dominic’s Harbor Restaurant in San Rafael. He then worked for 26 years for Birkenstock, rising from the stock room to senior executive management, finding that the joy and the challenge were in climbing the corporate ladder. Today, Matt is the general manager of three of five stores owned by Central Valley Builders’ Supply, including the St. Helena store. Matt concluded by noting that people and money can generate thorny ethical issues, but his guiding principle is in helping people, and even the toughest of personnel decisions in the long run are in employees’ best interest.
Thought of the Day:
Guest Sean Collins, Chaplin, American Legion Post 199, St. Helena led drew upon postal expressions in a thought of the day that stressed we should be “first-class” in everything we do, we should engage in “special handling” for the fragile, and at the end of the day, when we are returned to our sender, no one should say “unknown at this address.”
Our tables were in full holiday splendor, in holly, silver tinsel, and Christmas elves, to designer perfection, thanks to Suzan Rada, with assistance from Cindy Warren.
Rod Ellison, on December 31.
Anne Damoe (princess of Denmark), on December 25 (17 years).
- Jack Neal celebrates number 50 on December 28. Key to success: “Yes, dear, you are right.”
- Dale Smith on December 31.
- Marsha Terrell, guest of Alan Fowler. Marsha spoke movingly of her husband’s affection for Rotary and the support members provided to Mark.
- Sean Collins, guest of John Muhlner (see Thought of the Day).
- President John Muhlner announced that we would be dark the next two Tuesdays (December 24 and 31). He further thanked the organizers, especially Suzan Rada, for a great Christmas dinner event at the Satui Winery.
- Margo Kennedy announced that $3,000 had been raised for Shelter Boxes for Philippine typhoon relief ($2,000 from Club members; $1,000 from the Foundation).
- Jason Diaz discussed website development, noting that we must live within options provided by Club Runner.
- Joice Beatty advised that she is closing in on her $800 fund-raising goal for Napa Sate Hospital.
- April Duge reminded members that Rotary shirts (“great stocking stuffers”) remained for sale.
- Mike Thomas made mention of first quarter Rotary assignments.
White Elephant Exchange:
- Mike Thomas rang the bell for the Club Foundation in honor of his “tough” daughter, now on the mend in the Portland area following substantial surgery that went seriously awry.
- Michael Lane rang the bell in appreciation for his fourth cancer free year following major surgery.
The rest was “chaos,” as members engaged in a white elephant exchange under rules promulgated by organizer Cindy Warren. The most original white elephant was colorful knitted ware for a vital body part. Further description would not be appropriate, and therefore must reside in members’ memory.
Posted on Dec 08, 2013
Reporter: Cindy Warren
Program: "Children's Health Initiative", Mark Diel, CEO, and Elba Gonzalez-Mares.
The program was introduced by Doug Ernst.
The Children's Health Initiative, Napa County, is a non-profit licensed insurance agency that offers health insurance programs for children and adults. All services are at no cost and all the agents are bilingual. CHI has enrolled approximately 13,000 Napa County residents in subsidized health insurance programs and Individual and Family plans since 2005. CHI partners with groups and 43 schools to provide low cost health insurance to those who need it most.
The ACA expands healthcare coverage through Healthcare Exchanges and Medicaid. Covered California is the state's health insurance exchange. All benefits are standardized so it makes insurance comparisons simple to navigate. Many CA residents will qualify for federal subsidies for health insurance.
Visiting Rotarians: John Prescott, Napa. Richard Hyde.
Birthdays: Hendrik Smeding
Club Anniversary: Doug Ernst
Wedding Anniversary: Doug Ernst
- John Prescott, Napa Rotary, announced the Xmas party for Supervisor Bill Dodd on Dec. 9th. Tickets are $75.
- Suzan Rada said Interact donated 1,500 lbs. of food to the Food Bank.
- Suzan Rada: Rotary Club Xmas party is December 11 at Sattui. tickets are $85 per person. don't miss this wonderful event.
- Michael Layne offered extra children's dictionaries for sale at $10 each. Bryan Remer bought 2 and the kids loved them.
- The Club will be dark on the following days - Dec. 10, Dec. 24 and Dec. 31.
- Margo Kennedy is collecting donations for the Philippine Shelter Boxes. Please make your check out to St. Helena Rotary Foundation.
- Welcome to our new Blue badgers Christine Ramos and Bryan Remer.
- John Muhlner said our caterer, Israel, will be out for 6 months due to his car accident. Israel had requested a raise in the lunches to $20. Raise was granted.
- Joice Beatty passed around a sympathy card for Cynthia Kee, as her mother recently passed away.
- Joice Beatty is asking Rotarians to make their annual donation to the Napa state Hospital Xmas fund.
- David Brotemarkle filled us in about the St. Patrick's Day dinner for March 15. The raffle will be a trip for four to Ireland for a week, airfare included.
Fine Master: Ricardo Galvan quizzed the group on "Auto Facts".
- Polly Keegan had her car fixed by Ricardo and was extremely pleased. She donated $20 to Ricardo Galvan's Paul Harris as a thank you.
- Gene Armstead announced the Chamber Singers concert for Dec. 14 and 15th at St. Helena Elementary School.
Posted on Dec 03, 2013
Alyssa Samrick, Reporter
Speaker of the Day:
Today’s speakers were Virginia and Justin Meyer from Project Hope. Virginia and Justin moved to St Helena five years ago from So Dakota. They live in town with their four children, ages 6, 8,10 and 12. Justin is the Pastor of Calvary Christian Church.
In 2012, The Meyer’s Co- Founded Amazon Adventure a humanitarian project that they created through Project Hope, their non-profit organization that offers humanitarian excursions and adventures around the globe to Napa Valley residents. Project Hope exists to spread hope to people living in poverty by providing the basic necessities of life...clean water, food, shelter, clothing, and medical care. They currently have two projects/trips coming up with Project Hope. Their Brazil Trip also known as the Amazon Humanitarian Trip focuses on taking a group of Napa Valley locals and a medical team, on a five day excursion where they live on a boat and set up water filtration systems in villages along the Amazon. This trip is said to change the world and open your mind about the incredible poverty and hardships suffered by the villagers which populate this undeveloped tropical rainforest. You can help make a difference by supporting this project financially by donating funds to Project Hope to buy supplies or to help send someone on this adventure. The second trip that the Meyer’s take is a trip down to Baja Mexico, this trip typically includes about 50 Napa Valley residents travelling to Baja to work hard for 5 days, to build 3-4 homes for 3-4 families living and working in Baja. Part of this project also includes delivering thousands of pounds of clothing and food for the locals. According to the Meyer’s Mixtecan, Trique and other indigenous peoples in Baja work 60 to 80 hours a week for as little as $5 per day. These fieldworkers provide most of the produce for the western US during the winter. These people live without running water and sanitation and their diet consists mostly of beans and rice.
The Meyer’s focus in life is to help people in need. They are focused on staying informed of people living in poverty and doing anything they can to help. They created Project Hope to simply build on the ideas of other non-profits and to be able offer a humanitarian opportunity for the residents of Napa Valley.
Richard Hyde, our e-Rotarian.
Birthdays and Club Anniversaries:
Jim Wright (Nov. 24) Doug Ernst (11/28), and Joel Toller (11/30 anniversary) Norm Mitroff, 10 years – Club Anniversary.
- Rotary Holiday Party: Dec. 11 (6:00 p.m.) at Satuii Winery, with special entertainment to satisfaction of all, guaranteed, per Suzan Rada, deadline to get in your RSVP 12/3/13.
- Margo Kennedy – A big Rotary THANK YOU, 3 “Shelter Box’s” will be purchased with the support of our clubs donations, we raised $3K from our club. (sponsored by Rotary International), in support of Philippine Typhoon Relief.
- Charlotte Williamson - Wappo Park Update, Thank you to all who helped out in planting the tree’s. It took us a total of 10 minutes, as we had more than 8 Rotarians, 5 City workers and 10 kids to help in this effort.
- Jack O’Neal - Report on Israel, he is at home recuperating and getting better every day, however it looks like he will be off work for six months.
Raffle: Ted Bystrowski
- Michael Layne - $20 for his Trip to Italy with his wife, in search of white truffles, they came home with 4. $5 per truffle.
- Natalie Klug - Announced her Retirement after 38 years of preparing taxes. $25 to her Paul Harris.
Posted on Nov 24, 2013
Reported by Alan Galbraith
Speaker of the Day:
Today’s speaker was Kate Galbraith, an environmental and energy reporter. Her father and your reporter introduced Kate. Kate has reported for the Economist, the New York Times, the Texas Tribune, and the International Herald Tribune. Today, she is a freelance reporter, living in San Francisco. She co-authored a recent book on wind power, which was the subject of her talk. The story begins with the old water windmills that helped settle the West 150 years ago, with wind power becoming a powerful force in electric generation following the 1970 energy crisis. California was an early adopter; by the end of the 1980s the state had about 90 percent of the world’s wind capacity. But in 2006 California was passed by Texas, which remains the national wind power leader.
Nonetheless, wind power in California continues to provide more electricity to California than solar power. Kate illustrated her talk with a series of slides, including photographs of iconic windmills, along with key statistical information. Of course, those with an intense interest in the subject can read The Great Texas Wind Rush (UT Press 2013). It has received fine reviews. As for bird/blade interaction, Kate reported the Texas attitude: “we will get smarter birds.” The good news is that a combination of better blade design and slower blade movement is reducing the toll of wind turbines on birds.
Thought of the Day:
Chinese Proverb: “Dig the well before you are thirsty.
Tom Tanaka of the Napa City Sunrise Rotary Club and Richard Hyde, our e-Rotarian.
Brandon DeGuaria, guest (and cousin) of Ricardo Galvan.
Earle Presten, guest of Alan Galbraith
Birthdays and Club Anniversaries:
Stevenson Atherton (Nov. 17), Margo Kennedy (22 years), and Norm Mitroff (10 years).
- Rotary Holiday Party: Dec. 11 (6:00 p.m.) at Satuii Winery, with special entertainment to satisfaction of all, guaranteed, per Andy Bartlett.
- Margo Kennedy sought contributions via a sign-up sheet to purchase a “Shelter Box” (sponsored by Rotary International), in support of Phillipine Typhoon Relief.
- Cindy Warren reminded that volunteers should gather at 7:30 a.m. at Bison’s to hang 45 holiday wreaths in the business downtown.
- President Muhlner advised that caterer Israel was headed home from the hospital in Santa Rosa where he has been recuperating from a serious auto accident.
- Andy Bartlett advised that Mike and Ann Thomas were attending to a seriously ill daughter in the Portland area.
- President Muhlner reminded of the workday morning at Wappo Park on November 22..
Ricardo Galvan in recognition of passage of a teacher examination enabling him to engage in vocational instruction; Alan Galbraith in honor of a new grandson; and Phil Toohey for finishing third in his age division in a one-half marathon.
November 22 Remembrances:
Instead of the finemaster program, Rotarians of a suitable age were called upon to give their recollections of November 22, 1963. The remembrances were clear and sad, with always the thought of what might have been. Cynthia Warren provided a strong defense of the Warren Commission findings, which included the confirming results of forensic rifle testing at the Warren ranch property. Your reporter would add that to his information and recent forensic work (with techniques of great precision) confirm the basic findings of the Warren Commission.
Rotarians not wearing their badges at our next meeting will be FINED $20.00. THIS IS A NO EXCEPTION POLICY! TAKE HEED!!
Posted on Nov 13, 2013
Phil Toohey, Reporter
Speaker of the Day: Dr. Steve Herber, Interim CEO, St. Helena Hospital
Today we were visited by Steve Lundin who is head of the St. Helena Hospital Foundation. He introduced Dr. Steve Herber who is the Interim CEO of the hospital. Kathleen Patterson was the sponsor of the talk.
Dr. Herber is a plastic surgeon, which brought to my mind a little bit of Hollywood make over in our little bit of tinsel town. He quickly dispelled the thought when he spoke of saving a man’s hand in reconstructive surgery from a chainsaw accident. The man was flown in from Ukiah. Dr. Herber spoke with passion about how in a population of 5000 people in our town, St. Helena Hospital is getting a state wide reputation for outreach and help to other hospitals. One of the most catching phrases was the fact that he was unwilling to give up his practice to be a surgeon to be an administrator. He felt that most hospitals were run by business people and that St. Helena should have actual doctors on the board.
I will admit to a basic lack of substance to Dr.Herber’s talk, but the passion for community was clear. What I think he wants to steer the board toward is the wellness side of the hospital and make that available to the entire community. Rehabilitation from drugs and addiction of any sort are his main goals.
Dr. Herber is a local boy. He graduated from PUC, studied at Loma Linda and graduated from Yale Medical. Dr. Herber had a private practice in St. Helena at Southbridge for 13 years. In a time where rural hospitals are closing and medical care is being reorganized, it is nice to know there is someone on the board who wants to make wellness relevant.
Announcements: The most chilling news was that our caterer Israel was in a very bad car accident near Santa Rosa. He has two broken legs and was in a car accident where the front passenger died and the driver is in critical care also. Cynthia Kee is sending flowers and a card. The restaurant crew took over for Israel.
- Peter Scott resigned as he moves out of the area to find new employ.
- Charlotte Williamson said that the Wapo Park has been disked and on November 22, there will be tree planting with the Montessori school. See Charlotte for details.
- President Muhlner acknowledged that both Roteract and the cleanup of Centennial Park made it into the St. Helena Star.
- Cindy Warren wanted to express her thanks to those who helped out with the chamber of commerce and joined the assembly line of putting the wreaths for main street back to presentable shape. 2 hours and 56 wreaths later, the job got done. Thanks to all who helped.
- Susan Rada said thanks for the food bags contributed to the High School food drive for the St. Helena food pantry. Andy Bartlett chimed in that if we could find a pickup truck next week, all the contributions needed to be weighed and dropped off at the high school as part of one big donation from the High School to the pantry project. President Muhlner offered his truck.
- Susan Rada said the Christmas dinner is going to be the 11th of December at V. Sattui. Sign up will be coming on club runner.
- Susan Rada also gave a high five moment to the new web site now with a new front page. Thanks to Margo Kennedy, Jason Diaz and committee members.
- Joice Beatty did bell ringers only, no fines and Charlotte Williamson did a good job with the thought for the day. No guests, except our speakers or visiting Rotarians. The Welcome singers sang happy anniversary to the clubs Veterans / Warriors in honor of yesterday’s Veterans Day.