Title Author Date
Meeting Recap - Food Fest May 1, 2016
May 1st was our International Food & Song Festival!
It was so much fun! Tons of amazing food, cool tunes, and you just can't beat that view! 
We had a few acts, one being Monika White and her bluegrass band! It sounded great!
And Savi sang a bunch of fun tunes, accompanying herself on ukulele and guitar!


Attendees galore!


The Berberoglu Clan




David Rosenfeld, Incoming President Connie Maguire, and Mrs. Holly Gregory




Mr. Santa Monica, Past President Nat Trives, and Karim Jaude





Mitchell Kraus and his son, Zachary







Past Presidents Spyros Dellaportas and Allen Young, along with the lovely Helen Zhao




Consistent Rotary visitor Sumaya Casteel and her guest




Russ Warner and Past President Judy Neveau






Nora Straight Bohn and her new brother in law, our Past President David Bohn







Past President Judy Neveau with Grace Cheng Braun and her hubby Ted Braun




Savi's predecessor, the wonderful June Doy and guest






New Member Pradeep Batra and his wife, Neelam, with Past President Spyros Dellaportas




Sally Pai Unruh and her new hubby Jason Unruh





And the stoic Nick Goehner. He must have been feeling very contemplative that day. ;)


Thank you to these hard working gentlemen behind the bar, Bret Carter & Ric Mateus!

Thank you to Mike Cates & Broadway Gymnastics for providing such a fun kids playground!

Thank you to Barb Bishop for bringing in food from Lago!

Thank you to Tom and Stefani Loo for hosting this incredible event at their beautiful home!!

Meeting Recap - Food Fest May 1, 2016 Savi Labensart 2016-05-24 07:00:00Z
Meeting Recap - Apr. 22, 2016
On April 22nd, we had our Co-Worker Day, where we invite our colleagues and staff to lunch as a thank you for their hard work!
Our speaker was Robert Goon, who spoke on corporate governance!
From Left: President Tom Loo, Speaker Robert Goon, and President-Elect Connie Maguire!
Past President/Mr. Santa Monica Nat Trives called on the club to fine Emperor Loo for being honored by WISE & Healthy Aging at it's May 21st Luncheon!
Andrea Gressinger introduced our newest member, Vicky Curtis! Welcome Vicky!! 


All the amazing Co-Workers!

Here is Past President Paul Leoni with his guest, Elsa Vasquez!



Phil Devin was Monika White's guest, pictured here with Bill Bubar on the right!




Kathy Irby was there with Past President Dick Lawrence!




Lisa Alexander (right) brought Michele Vader and Courtney Cole!


Roger Davis (right) brought George Farley!




Past President George Collins brought Christine Wentzel!




Lynn Davis was a guest of Andrea Gressinger!



Bret Carter and Dick Hart brought their co-workers Anna Karin Nordlund and Jill Anderson!


Meeting Recap - Apr. 22, 2016 Savi Labensart 2016-05-17 07:00:00Z
Meeting Recap - Apr. 15, 2016
Our meeting April 15 was wonderful!
Our speaker was Professor Daniel Lynch from USC's US - China Institute, and we also celebrated birthdays and some unexpected family!
Rotarian Sally Pai, our speaker Professor Daniel Lynch, and our President/Emperor Tom Loo! The professor offered us many thoughtful comments on current Chinese political leaders, the economic and social unease, and how U.S. policy might change with a new president!
Rotarian Merv Hecht brought his son Spencer to the meeting with him!
And Rotarian Sally Pai brought Stan Fox's son, Mac!



Birthday time!

We celebrated Alan Glick, Donna Byrd, Stan Fox, Matt Williams, Paul Gaulke, Bill Powell, Deborah Williams, Larry Mortorff, David Wisen, and Klaus Brandt, among others!



Big announcements were made about the Int'l Food Fest May 1st! Rotarian Mike Cates runs Broadway Gymnastics, and brought a whole bunch of fun equipment for the kids who came to the party!



Thank you to Deborah Williams(right) for jumping in! She's been greeter several times already, and here she greets Monika White & Lisa Alexander.


Meeting Recap - Apr. 15, 2016 Savi Labensart 2016-05-10 07:00:00Z
Meeting Recap - Apr. 8, 2016
Our meeting April 8 was great!
We had the Santa Monica City Manager Rick Cole, and lots of other fun guests!
Rotarian Deborah Williams and Rotary Past President Judy Neveau greet our Santa Monica City Manager Rick Cole at the door!
Rotarian Bill Dawson brought his son Ryan Dawson...gotta get them involved in Rotary as early as possible, right?!
Rotarian Gita Runkle brought Dee Dee Carter, the new dean at Santa Monica College!


President Elect-Elect Tom Larmore never has any issues being at the podium. He vigorously led the club in our weekly song, and also introduced the speaker! Thanks for doing double duty Tom!



Deborah Williams & Matt Williams...same surname, different family! Still chums at the head table though...Deborah was our President's Pick for being one of our newest members, and Matt graciously gave the invocation!



These two are up to something! Something fun!

President Tom Loo and Beverly Hills Rotarian Steve Taub are planning a Day at the Races - May 29 at the Santa Anita Racetrack!! Don't forget to RSVP to Savi if you'd like to go. It's going to be a blast!


Meeting Recap - Apr. 8, 2016 Savi Labensart 2016-05-03 07:00:00Z
Rotary Events Recap - Hiking & River Cleaning!
Rotarians are always up to one fun thing or another! Check out a couple activities we have done lately!
Our Healthy Living Committee had a beautiful hike up Corral Canyon, and the Environmental Outreach Committee helped to clean the LA River!
Bill Rayman was the organizer and coordinator for our efforts at the LA River!
 Bill Rayman, Bret Carter, Judy Neveau, Jillian Alexander, & Tom Woods all participated in the LA River Cleanup! (John Dravillas helped organize too, but was unable to attend.) 
Our team covered three areas within the Glendale Narrows' section of the Los Angeles River.
Thanks to Bill Rayman bringing and sharing his trowel, we contributed to a local boy scout troop master digging out pair of jeans. Our big finds were cans, one hypodermic needle, one nylon knee-high stocking, Styrofoam and laminated paperboard containers, plastic straws, and plastic cups. Most were little pieces of plastic and laminated paperboard. EVERY PIECE COUNTS!


Our hikers were full of energy, and wouldn't you be as well on what looks like the most gorgeous day of the year?

Suzan Allbritton, Carol & Bill Powell, Jillian Alexander, Donna Byrd, and Connie Maguire definitely had a blast!





That's where I want to be right now! How about you??



Our hiking group again, with an addition in the back right there...the chair of the Healthy Living committee, John Dravillas!


Rotary Events Recap - Hiking & River Cleaning! Savi Labensart 2016-04-19 07:00:00Z
Meeting Recap - Mar 18, 2016
Our meeting on March 18th was really interesting!
We had Jonathan Palfrey speaking on climate change!
From Left: Emperor Tom Loo, Speaker Jonathan Palfrey and our speaker introducer, Rotarian Larry Mortorff
Thank you to Nora Straight for being our invocator! This sweet new member is getting married to David Bohn's brother very soon and we're all very excited for her!
And thank you to Tammy Andrews for greeting at the door...she and her greetee Deborah Williams are both new to the club and we're so happy they've joined!


Visiting Rotarian Jillian Vorce from Massachusetts was greeted by our incoming president, Connie Maguire!



A rarity: We actually got Allan Young up at the head table! He usually avoids it, perhaps because he doesn't want to leave the Bad Boys Table unsupervised.



Or perhaps it merely cuts into his nap time!




Mr. Palfrey was an enthusiastic speaker and used beautiful photos of Los Angeles to guide his presentation!


Meeting Recap - Mar 18, 2016 Savi Labensart 2016-04-12 07:00:00Z
Event Recap - End Polio Run/Walk
Looks like the End Polio Run/Walk was a really great adventure! Check out a few pics of our participants... 
It's wonderful to see the smiling faces of Judy Neveau and RoseMary Regalbuto!
RoseMary Regalbuto, Donna Byrd, Connie Maguire and Lisa Alexander were really giving it their all!




Our incoming President Connie Maguire knows how to work hard and hydrate, all while looking sharp on the trail!





Wish I'd gone...this looks like fun!


Connie Maguire, Judy Neveau and Lisa Alexander at the starting line!




Oh look! There was a guy there! John Dravillas, surrounded by our beautiful and wonderful Rotary ladies. Congrats to those who crossed the finish line!!


Event Recap - End Polio Run/Walk Savi Labensart 2016-04-12 07:00:00Z
Meeting Recap - Mar 11, 2016
March 11th was so much fun!
We got to hear a couple new members gve their Craft Talks, members got fined, and we had some great guests!
Craft Talkers Billy Howard (middle) and Carmen Portnoy pose with Billy's son-in-law and business partner Adam Thornhill!
Robert Segal got fined...he and his wife Jeanne ending up on the front page of the Santa Monica Daily Press! Helpguide.com, started as a project in our club, has turned into a huge success!
New Member Pradeep Batra and his sponsor Spyros Dellaportas sitting back at the Bad Boys Table!


John Coker from the Fredericksburg, VA club was greeted by our incoming president, Connie Maguire!



Thanks to our awesome participants at the head table...

Andrea Gressinger was our lovely Invocator...




Barb Bishop gave a wonderful welcome as Guest Introducer!




Spyros got fined this day for putting the Palm Motel up for sale with a new real estate listing...for 11mil!

If he sells the motel, I guest we'll have to find something else to tease him about! ;)


Meeting Recap - Mar 11, 2016 Savi Labensart 2016-04-01 07:00:00Z
Meeting Recap - Feb 26, 2016
February 26th was an exciting meeting, and it was awesome to see the room so full...Savi had to ask the Riviera to set up more seating!!
What a fabulous program, what an energized club, and what honored and distinguished guests we had! The Rams are returning to LA, and it was great to hear how it happened!
Our speakers: Former member of our club, the Mayor of Inglewood, Jim Butts, with Rotarian Bob Klein, pro-football star for the Rams and the Chargers!
(That helmet was from a long time ago! Did you know that the Rams were the first team to put insignia on their helmets?)
Three mayors in one room! What an honor!
From left: Current Mayor of Santa Monica, Tony Vazquez, Current Mayor of Inglewood, Jim Butts, and Nat Trives, former mayor of Santa Monica!
Mayor Jim Butts with Rotarian Dick Lawrence, the man who sponsored him for membership nearly 25 years ago!


We had some wonderful guests!

Rick Mateus welcomed 2 district staff members from Assemblyman Richard Blooms's office...that's Andrew Aldama in the middle and Tim Harter on the right!



Mayor Jim Butts was accompanied by Inglewood City Councilmember, Alex Padillo(top right)! Captain Ken Semko and Captain Clint Muir were just starting their law enforcement careers when Jim became chief, so they definitely had to stop by and say hi!




Past President Judy Neveau invited Santa Monica College facilities manager, Charlie Yen! And incoming president Connie Maguire brought along Sam Lagana from Pepperdine University!




Bob Klein brought his lovely wife, JoAnne...







Along with his now co-worker at the Providence St. John's Foundation, John Miller, former member of our club!

It was a grand time for a great program, and for catching up! Grace Cheng Braun and Susan Gabriel Potter were first in line to hug their friend!  


Meeting Recap - Feb 26, 2016 Savi Labensart 2016-03-08 08:00:00Z
Meeting Recap - Feb 19, 2016
February 19th was not depressing, though our speaker talked all about depression...how the brain processes it and how to help get out of it! Don't forget to get outside, exercise, and get your sleep! Along with hearing about our brains, we greeted some wonderful visitors and welcomed home one of our members who's been away a long time...
Emperor Tom Loo and Ann Greenspun welcomed our speaker, Dr. Alex Korb!
Vlado is home from teaching in Dubai, and he obviously did some make-ups all over the Gulf region!


We had some wonderful guests!


Errol and Sharon Bennett were in town to help Daniel celebrate his birthday!



And Nat Trives brought an old buddy who used to be in our club, Lloyd Allen. He's in the Watts-Crenshaw club now!




Speaking of getting outside and exercising...

Timur announced our participation in a golf tournament at Mountaingate on the Monday, Feb. 29th! RSVP with Savi if you want to go!




And Lisa Alexander was geared up for the 321 End Polio Run/Walk on  March 12! Let her know if you want to go!

Thank you, Nick! You did so great leading the singing!

Not that we don't absolutely LOVE our regular singers, but it was so nice to see someone else brave that microphone...Don't worry, be happy! And sing!


Meeting Recap - Feb 19, 2016 Savi Labensart 2016-02-29 08:00:00Z
Meeting Recap - Feb 5, 2016
February 5th was our Valentine's Lunch and Orchid Day! Along with hearing about orchids from our speaker, we welcomed many members' sweethearts, gave away grant money, and learned where some of our grant money was spent! We also had an amazing meal of aphrodisiac foods...salmon with artichokes, salad with arugula, avocado, pine nuts and pomegranate, chocolate cake with strawberries and whipped cream! Yum!! 
  Rotarian Melissa Dagodag presented a check to Josephine Liu Moerschel, Executive Director of Elemental Strings and Band!
Rotarian Sharon Perlmutter Gavin presented TWO checks to Suzanne Peckels of WISE & Healthy Aging!


David Snow presented an update on the Rotary Grant we gave to Kid Unity for computers!

The kids took those computers to Iowa to report on the Iowa Caucuses. David shared impressive anecdotes of the kids interviewing all the major candidates!




Here's just a few of the lovely couples we saw that day!

Dick Lawrence brought his sweet wife Char! Aren't they adorable?





We got to meet our new member Jolly Gissell's better half, Patti! ;)




What would a Valentine's lunch be without Kai-Li Quigley, Hal's sweetie?





Kathy Shepard's husband, Mark, decided to brave a Rotary meeting!




Timur Berberoglu, of course, brought his lovely wife Melissa to enjoy the meeting!




Wait! They're not a couple!

Savi couldn't bring her sweetheart to the lunch that day, so Emperor Tom Loo made her feel special in his stead! Thanks, Boss!

Susan Annett is looking for volunteers for Rotary Reads to Kids! It's happening March 2nd and 3rd, so give her a shout if you want to participate!  sannett@aol.com


Meeting Recap - Feb 5, 2016 Savi Labensart 2016-02-23 08:00:00Z
Feb 5 Speaker - George Vasquez, Jr.!


On February 5th, we heard from George Vasquez, Jr. and he told us all about orchid growing! 

Mr. Vasquez was very passionate about orchids!

George Vasquez, Jr., owner of Zuma Canyon Orchids in Malibu, gave our club a fabulous presentation last week! His presentation included a slide show from the latest orchid show he attended as one of 30 judges, instructions on how to take care of your orchids, and a gorgeous display of his line.

Mr. Vasquez shared all about the Tokyo Dome Orchid Show, attended by 350,000 people at $25 a pop. (Despite the showing, they still lose money.) The opening ceremony was presided over by the princess. It’s a huge deal there, and we here in the US are at least 10 years behind the Japanese in the process.

At these shows you have the pleasure of seeing tons of exhibitors, both by orchid sellers and design schools. In Tokyo, they had 30 design schools. Orchids were donated to the students and they put together beautiful set-ups. The goal of all exhibits is FLOW & HARMONY! But you have to be timely with your designs, as everything is union and on a strict schedule! Exhibitors’ blooms were judged by best in each category. You should have seen the shingling of some of those plants…every bloom folded neatly over the next one. If you win a gold medal, it’s actually gold, and you have to pay for it! But if you win the grand prize, you go home with 80 grand and a Mercedes. Might just be worth it, right?

It’s incredible how involved this process is, and how much money changes hands in the orchid industry. Trader Joe’s spends $200 million a year on these flowers. Some plants can cost thousands of dollars, often because of their breeding, and how long they’ve been around. Orchids are a tough breed, and have been around since 65 million years ago. They know because they found some of the oldest kind in amber! Special labs breed the plants in Petri dishes, and there is a university in Taiwan that specializes in growing orchids. George himself has a lab in Holland. He buys one plant for say 11 thousand, and sends it to them to test for disease, and then breeding. They’ll start with 3,000 to see how fast they grow, then pick the 10 best to breed more.

If you picked up one of his beauties, he gave us some specific instructions to care for them. One 4 ounce turkey baster of water was recommended once you see that the soil is completely dry. Make sure you don’t over water, because the roots will rot very easily. You can also just go with a couple quick sprays from a water bottle onto the buds, where the H20 will get absorbed within the hour. Don’t forget when you are buying an orchid that you check the bottom of the container to see that the roots are not black. If they are, don’t buy that one.


Feb 5 Speaker - George Vasquez, Jr.! Savi Labensart 2016-02-23 08:00:00Z
Jan 29 Speaker - Dr. Eric Hudson


On January 29th, we heard from Dr. Eric Hudson! 

Quantum Computing and the Quiet Quantum Revolution! 

Dr. Eric Hudson!
The next generation of computers, or “quantum computers,” will promise greater power and faster processing speeds once they can draw their computing power from super-cooled molecules, according to the January 29 meeting of the Santa Monica Rotary Club.
Rotarian Adam Lichtl, introducing the day’s speaker, primed the room on what quantum computing means in layman’s terms, calling it a rare event in which the exploration of science meets practical engineering.
“A lot of times people are trying to understand the universe around them, what’s out there, and where the universe came from,” Lichtl, former SpaceX director of research, said.
“Other times, people are trying to engineer solutions to problems using existing technologies – how do I make a stronger bridge? How do I make a taller building? And it’s interesting when you see the intersection of these two things.”
Take the telephone switchboard for example.
“If you wanted to make a phone call 100 years ago, you would call up and an operator would take a cable and plug it into a jack, and that’s how calls were connected,” he said.
The phone operator career was a major source of employment in many rural cities, Lichtl explained, but it was still a terrible and inefficient system.
“So they came up with a different kind of switch using newly discovered laws of fundamental physics. In that case, at that time, it was quantum mechanics, and the new switch they came up with was the transistor, a semiconductor. It conducts, it sometimes doesn’t conduct – that’s the quantum nature of it,” he said.
With this, the development of the transistor led to the birth of computing industry and the technology we harness today, Lichtl explained.
“So there’s really no limit to what engineers can do if they marry their work with the deep, explorative questions that people are asking about how the universe works,” he said. “Quantum computing is such a theory, because in the same way that the invention of the transistor opened up an entirely new field and entirely new devices people hadn’t even imagined, they were just trying to connect phone calls. Quantum computing will do the same thing when it’s a reality.”
Speaker Eric Hudson, a UCLA assistant professor of physics, has dedicated his research toward quantum computation with ultra-cold molecular ions and a search for any variation of the fundamental constants of nature.
In quantum computing, to harness the unique quantum mechanical properties of atomic particles means scientists must chill molecules to a fraction of a degree above absolute zero, the temperature at which they can be manipulated to store and transmit data, Hudson said.
Hudson earned his Ph.D. at the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2006 for work in atomic, molecular, and optical physics with ultracold polar molecules. After a postdoctoral fellowship at Yale University, he joined the faculty of the UCLA in 2008.
“The goal is to build a computer that doesn’t work with zeros and ones, but with quantum mechanical objects,” Hudson explained. “A quantum computer could crack any code created by a classical computer and transmit information perfectly securely.”
To wrap up the meeting, the Rotary Club of Santa Monica presented the Westside School of Ballet with a grant.
“The Westside Ballet in Santa Monica is dedicated to excellence and training the development of the students and artists, and every year since the school’s founding in 1967, its students have been awarded scholarships for the major ballet companies schools’ summer programs,” presenter Melissa Dagodag said.
“Your gift helps enable not only our presentation to the community but to the children in the community, as well,” replied Caprice Walker, head of the Children’s Division of the Westside School of Ballet.
This year, Westside Ballet has nine sold-out performances at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica with Symphony Orchestra, she said, and they plan to use the grant money to enhance the productions and reach out to Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District students.


Article written by Mariella Rudy at the Santa Monica Mirror

Jan 29 Speaker - Dr. Eric Hudson Savi Labensart 2016-02-17 08:00:00Z
Meeting Recap - Jan 29, 2016
Our meeting on January 29th was filled with many wonderful things! Along with hearing about quantum computing from Dr. Eric Hudson, we said hi to some fun visitors and gave away grant money! Check it out...
  Dr. Eric Hudson and his wife Jennifer Hudson were greeted by Emperor Tom Loo and his wife Stefani DoyLoo! (Isn't it the sweetest how Stefani comes all the time to support her hubby!)
Santa Monica Rotarian Allen Mueller exchanged flags with visiting Rotarian Janice Dost, from the Sun River, Oregon club!


We love giving away money for good causes!

Melissa Dagodag (left) presents a grant check to Caprice Walker of the Westside Ballet of Santa Monica!




Selfie Time!

Laurel Rosen (middle) brought David Woodbury from the Santa Monica Arthur Murray Dance Studio as her guest! She pulled in our club photographer/slideshow maker extraordinaire, Iao Katagiri for this super cute shot!

Thank you to our lovely ladies, Helen Zhao and Kathy Shepard for greeting everybody at the door!


Meeting Recap - Jan 29, 2016 Savi Labensart 2016-02-09 08:00:00Z
Meeting Recap - Jan 22, 2016
Our meeting on January 22nd was so great! Along with hearing about ways to keep us and our pets healthy from Dr. Jean Dodds, we also welcomed in two new members and celebrated birthdays, among many other wonderful things! Check it out...
  Caroline Schnakers (left) was in charge of introducing Dr. Jean Dodds, our speaker! Also pictured here are Norm Lane and Charles Berman, both from Greenburg Traurig and the latter being the hubby of our speaker, and of course our fearless leader, Emperor Tom Loo!
A big thanks to Palle Jensen and Josh Bradburn for greeting at the door! What better way to meet other Rotarians than to shake everybody's hand as they walk in the door!


New Members!


Lisa Alexander welcomed Tammy Andrews on her first day,


and David Bohn welcomed Nora Straight!



Our SaMoHi Interact is really thriving!!

Their president, Alex Spanos, came to fill us in on the Rotary World Peace Conference in Ontario, CA!

It was birthday celebration time! Timur Berberoglu gave it a big thumbs up!


Meeting Recap - Jan 22, 2016 Savi Labensart 2016-02-02 08:00:00Z
Jan 22 Speaker - Dr. Jean Dodds!


On January 22, we learned about Nutrigenomics! Keep yourself and your pets healthy!

Thank you Dr. Dodds! Your talk was so informative!

Here's the whole scoop from Mariella Rudi at the Santa Monica Mirror...

For pet owners, there are foods and supplements that humans and animals can share to optimize health and wellness. These foods, or “superfoods,” can be personalized to fit an individual’s needs, thanks in part to the science of nutrigenomics, according to pet healthcare expert Dr. Jean Dodds.
“We need individual diets, not only to prevent disease but to mitigate disease and to cure chronic illness,” said Dodds at the Santa Monica Rotary Club Friday, Jan. 22.
Nutrigenomics, or nutritional genomics, identify the different ways people and animals respond to food based on their genetic make-up, Dodd said.
“Everything I’m going to talk about relates to you, even though I’m a veterinarian,” she added.
An ideal diet for both humans and pets includes foods that reduce the body’s chronic inflammatory properties, Dodds explained. 
“Chronic inflammation of your tissues is what leads to infectious diseases, it leads to obesity, and it leads to cancer,” she said.
To combat these hematological problems, Dodds broke down “good” foods into three categories.
“Functional foods are whole foods with a nutrient-rich composition that provide optimal wellbeing,” she said. “Whole foods have variety and density in the food. The food should be whole as much as possible. Superfoods are usually rich in phytochemicals; they are known to have disease-fighting properties.”
In other words, you need plants to balance your diet.
Dodds’ functional superfoods included prebiotics, probiotics, and omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish oils.
“A prebiotic and a probiotic functions most in tandem,” she said.
Prebiotic supplements like lactulose and spirulina, or whole algae, serve to balance a pet and human’s needs along with meats and other foods, Dodds said.
Foods have medicinal properties, and Dodds identified some of the best additions to a diet.
“Basically all the products from bees – and that’s raw honey, especially Manuka honey from New Zealand; bee pollen; royal jelly; propolis – those all have the same anti-microbial, anti-arthritic, anti-inflammatory properties,” she said.
Dodds added that raw honey is best because of its active, unprocessed properties but that infants, puppies, and kittens should not ingest it.
The best honey is the one made in your own community, “because those bees have made honey reacting to all the environmental things that we have in Southern California. So if you want to get the health benefits from raw honey, you should try to get local honey, and you can get that probably at the farmers market,” she said.
Other superfoods include mushrooms, especially the Oriental mushrooms like reishi, cordyceps, shiitake, and maitake, which  act as potent anti-cancer agents, according to Dodds.  “These types of mushrooms are also anti-microbial and anti-diabetic,” she said.
Dodds’s list of superfoods and healthy supplements range from the familiar – ginger, raw apple cider vinegar, avocado, sprouted seeds, licorice, green and black tea – to the exotic – deer or elk velvet, green-lipped mussels, King of Bitters, boswellia, white kidney bean extract. She advised to look for these names in ingredients and supplements to get the most out of them.
Finally, there are foods that recharge and boost brain health and memory; like leafy green vegetables (spinach kale, mustard greens, collard greens); cruciferous vegetables (cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbages, broccoli); beans and legumes (lentils, green beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, peas); whole grains; nuts (macadamia nuts are toxic to pets); seeds (flax and hemp seeds); spices (like the potent anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial spice, turmeric); and berries and cherries.
“The only berry that pet animals should not eat is strawberry,” Dodds said.
More foods from Dodds to help brain memory and cognition includ eggs, kiwi fruit, quinoa, mercury-free salmon, sweet potatoes, coconut oil.
Dodds received the D.V.M. degree with honors in 1964 from the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Toronto. In 1965, she accepted a position as a Research Scientist with the New York State Health Department, where she began comparative studies of animals with inherited and acquired bleeding diseases. Eventually, her position culminated as chief at Laboratory of Hematology in Wadsworth Center. In 1980, she also became executive director of the New York State Council on Human Blood and Transfusion Services.
In 1986 Dodds moved to Southern California to establish Hemopet, the first nonprofit national blood bank program for animals. She has authored and co-authored two books and secured over a dozen patents related to animal health care and genetics.
In 2011, Dodds released NutriScan, a food sensitivity and intolerance diagnostic test for dogs that tests for twenty of the most commonly ingested foods.
For more information about Dodds and her business visit www.hemopet.org.


Jan 22 Speaker - Dr. Jean Dodds! Savi Labensart 2016-01-26 08:00:00Z
Meeting Recap - Jan 8, 2016
Our meeting on January 8th was great! Along with a speech by Dr. Ronald Loo, we gave away money to charities, and congratulated a couple members on amazing news!
  Rotarian Larry Maher poses with David Saunders (right), and his new bride Ronah, of the Red Rhino Orphanage in Kenya! While they were in town we were able to present them with a check for the orphanage!
Rotarian Sharon Perlmutter Gavin (right) presented a grant check to Patti Oblath, the Executive Director for Connections for Children, which will be used for their "Where the Story Begins" early literacy program!



Can you see that gorgeous rock! Congratulations to Andrea Gressinger for getting engaged!



And guess who has a bun in the oven??

Caroline Schnakers is pregnant! Congratulations to her and her sweet husband Martin on this amazing news!

Suzan Allbritton and Len Lanzi welcomed one of our newest members, Deborah Williams! You can already tell she's going to be a fabulous member and we're so glad she's making fast friends!


Meeting Recap - Jan 8, 2016 Savi Labensart 2016-01-26 00:00:00Z
Jan 8 Speaker - Dr. Ronald Loo!


It's a new year, so we started out by learning all about prostate cancer! Not so fun, you say? Well, we were told by our speaker Dr. Ronald Loo that one orgasm a day will reduce risk by 22%! I don't know about you, but that sounds pretty awesome to me!

Despite the good news, it looks like our Emperor Tom Loo couldn't help but feel very protective and concerned. He's pictured here with his brother and our speaker, Dr. Ronald Loo (right) and his lovely wife Stefani DoyLoo (left).

Here's the whole scoop from Mariella Rudi at the Santa Monica Mirror...

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men other than skin cancer. About one in seven men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, and about one in 38 men will die of the disease.
To put these statistics into perspective, Ronald K. Loo, MD, regional chief of urology of Southern California Permanente Medical Group, spoke to the Rotary Club of Santa Monica last Friday about the cutting edge developments occurring in prostate cancer, including the controversy of prostate screenings and robotics surgery.
Loo, who oversees 120 urologists nationwide and has more than 40 years’ experience, is well-versed in the ongoing debate shrouding prostate and breast cancer screenings.
With about a quarter of a million new cases diagnosed each year, most patients can be cured, and it’s an inexpensive blood test followed by a biopsy that can help detect prostate cancer, according to Loo. So, what’s the problem?
“In 2012, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, a governmental recommendation agency, said you shouldn’t do prostate cancer screenings for men at any age,” Loo, who is also the brother of Santa Monica Rotary Club President Tom Loo, said. “And indeed, since that’s come out, there’s been a 25-30 percent drop in the number of men who are screened for prostate cancer across the country.”
Loo shared his theory on why the agency would prescribe such an “outlandish recommendation.”
“Their thinking was that screenings offer a minimal survival benefit for the patients being treated, and that the harms vastly outweigh all the benefits, either through the biopsy or through radiation and surgery, etc.”
Since the Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) Test was invented around 1990, Loo said that there has been a 30 percent decline in the number of patients who have died of prostate cancer.
“Prostate cancer screening is meaningful if you’ve got a life expectancy of more than 10 years,” he said. “If we stop completely screening for prostate cancer, we’re going to triple the number of patients with metastatic disease, and there is no cure for metastatic prostate cancer.”
From a public health perspective, in the three years since the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force’s recommendation was released, six new prostate cancer drugs have come out, Loo explained, and they work, he said, at a cost of about $9,000 a month. Now, it has become a problem of over-treating, not over-diagnosis, he added.
Loo is also a huge proponent of robotic surgery. With robotic surgery, prostate surgery, and radiation for prostate cancer, the outcomes are good, he said.
“Not finding this cancer is not the issue, really,” Loo continued. “It’s what you do with the patients once you’ve found the cancer that’s going to make the biggest amount of difference, and that’s where the evolution of prostate cancer is occurring right now due to the economics.”
The chief of urology offered more advice on the prospects of prostate cancer. First, if you’re of average risk and decide you want to be screened, start at the age of 50 and continue through 69.
“If you’re higher risk – if you’re African American or have first-degree relative who’s got prostate cancer – then you start at the age of 45,” he said.
Everything recommended for a healthy heart works to help reduce your risk of prostate cancer, according to Loo; diets that are rich in red foods, like tomatoes and watermelons, and foods that have isoflavones in them, like green tea and tofu. Eat more fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids, eat less in animal fats, and stop smoking, he said.
“If you’re between 50 and 70 please consider getting tested. If you have a higher risk, consider 45. If you do need treatment, if you have an aggressive type of prostate cancer, you need to get treatment performed at a high volume center that does a whole lot of prostate cancer surgery and radiation therapy, and they need to have transparent outcomes,” Loo explained.
Finally, consider the orgasm. Researchers from Harvard Medical School Men found that having one orgasm a day could significantly reduce a man’s chance of developing prostate cancer by 22 percent.



Jan 8 Speaker - Dr. Ronald Loo! Savi Labensart 2016-01-26 00:00:00Z
Meeting Recap - Dec 18, 2015
Our meeting on December 18th was precious!! The Carlthorp School Choir came to sing and play for us!!
  We got carols and songs from all walks of life, and even got some choreography!
Some of the kids also played instruments, like these two sweet guitarists!


Past President Dee Menzies (right) invited some of her Carlthorp School parents! It's Dee's last holiday season as Headmistress of the school!



Remember June Doy?!

Savi's always thrilled when she gets to see her friend and predecessor, even though she can't express it when her mouth is full!

One last auction item for our Wine & Jazz Fest 2015, a 2-night stay at the Fairmont Miramar, won by Bill & Carol Powell! Presented here by Co-Chair of the event, Suzan Allbritton!


Meeting Recap - Dec 18, 2015 Savi Labensart 2015-12-31 00:00:00Z
Dec 11 Speaker - Michael Rich, RAND CEO!


December 11th we heard from Michael Rich, the CEO of RAND!

Speaker Michael Rich (right) with Rotarian Tim Jackman, retired SMPD Chief.

When RAND Corporation’s Michael Rich last visited the Rotary Club of Santa Monica more than a half-decade ago, he reported on RAND’s global expansion and early days in Santa Monica.

But today, as the fifth chief executive officer and president of the nonprofit, nonpartisan research institution, Rich has a few more things keeping him up at night: his 2,000 employees.

“My concern is that it is getting harder and harder to have their voices heard in today’s rancorous political climate,” he said.

Rich couldn't have emphasized RAND’s objectivity more at his talk Friday, Dec. 11. That neutrality is the lifeblood of RAND’s mission and purpose, and it’s one increasingly lacking in the two-parties political system.

RAND exists to aid policy decisions in the most important problems – the ones that affect the most people – made with the best available evidence. That core purpose, as Rich called it, is getting a lot harder these days as it once was. For this, we can blame partisan politics. Without any overlap or common ground between the two parties, public interest can be swayed and compromised.

RAND combats this with facts, helping to improve decision- and policy-making through rigorous and objective research and analysis. 

How do RAND researchers, analysts, and employees keep this objectivity at the forefront of their work? It’s through scrupulous peer review and bias screenings, Rich said. And by publishing this work online for free, RAND ensures that the public is involved with the findings, as well.

He quoted Justice Louis D. Brandeis, saying, after all, “Sunlight is the best disinfectant.”

“Project RAND” was originally created at the request of Army Air Corps officials in 1945 to assist the U.S. military with the new technologies and strategies developed during World War II and to tackle future issues. It began in Santa Monica as a unit of the Douglas Aircraft Company, and in May of 1948, RAND became an independent, non-profit located at 4th and Broadway.

Funding for RAND’s work comes from a variety of sources. About one-third comes from the request of clients, another third from clients to finance research that RAND researchers have come up with, and the final third from the collaborative process of discussing opportunities and problems with a variety of sources. RAND also initiates research that is self-financed from its income from operations, donations, and an endowment created by past donors.

RAND is headquartered at Main Street, with the rest of locations scattered among its four U.S. offices, two European offices, and an office in the Middle East. RAND’s Pardee Graduate School is also located at the Santa Monica location.

About 800 titles are published by RAND each year. They can be accessed by the public on their website, www.rand.org free of charge.


Article written by Mariella Rudi, Santa Monica Mirror


Dec 11 Speaker - Michael Rich, RAND CEO! Savi Labensart 2015-12-22 00:00:00Z
Dec 4 Speaker - Mark Ordesky & the Lord of the Rings


December 4th we heard from Mark Ordesky, Executive Producer of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy!

Emperor/President Tom Loo with movie producers Jane Fleming and Mark Ordesky, who addressed the club. Jane and Mark are former executives at New Line Cinema (Mark was executive producer of the “Lord of the Rings” Trilogy).  They are co-founders of Court Five, a multifaceted media company.
How did New Line Cinema nab Peter Jackson and his vision for the fantastically successful “Lord of the Rings” trilogy?
You might not have heard of him, but Mark Ordesky was the secret sauce to the franchise that would gather 30 Oscar nominations and net nearly $3 billion at the box office.
“The $200 million green light I secured for the ‘Lord of the Rings’ trilogy – which in hindsight might seem like the surest of sure bets – was deemed so improbable, so dangerous that no other studio even bothered to compete for the rights to make the movie,” Ordesky said at the Santa Monica Rotary Club Friday, Dec. 4. “Even at New Line where I was now a senior production executive and passionate ‘Rings’ advocate, there were those who believed the trilogy would be the company’s undoing.”
Yet where did he discover Peter Jackson, future Oscar winner and maestro of Middle-earth, he asked.
It was in a toilet at Republic Pictures.
Ordesky’s self-described “toilet office” was a converted men’s restroom so small that the then-24-year-old could touch both walls at opposite ends. It was there that he had stumbled upon an independent B-movie called “Bad Taste” from a young unknown Kiwi about carnivorous space aliens trying to harvest New Zealanders for food. The Kiwi, Peter Jackson, wrote, directed, starred, and edited the film for four years on nights and weekends.
Ordesky endeavored to secure U.S. distribution rights, but as he would come to find out and treasure, sometimes being told no is a gift.
“Since I had tried and failed to buy ‘Bad Taste’ in 1987, I had gone on to get Peter his first Hollywood job at New Line, writing a sequel of ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’ that never got made,” he recalled.
Part of New Line Cinema in 1999, Ordesky went to a midnight screening of “The Blair Witch Project” at Sundance Film Festival. He had a hunch but was $400,000 short of a competing bid, and the filmmakers went with a more enthusiastic distributor.
That loss seared into his mind forever the lesson of not denying a core instinct when you are fortunate enough to have one, he said.
After he slept on another movie, the Oscar-winning “The Usual Suspects,” he made a vow.
“I decided nothing and no one was going to stop me from seeing the ‘Lord of the Rings’ made – if it was the last thing I did in the film business, so be it,” he said.
A USC journalism grad, Ordesky grew up in the turmoil of the ‘70s, watching Vietnam and Watergate play out on TV. The same place he had watched the moral decay of a nation, he soon discovered films from Clint Eastwood, François Truffaut, Lina Wertmüller, and Monty Python.
“You could sort of say movies saved my soul,” he remembered.
At 13, he devoured the three “Lord of the Rings” books and happily fell down the Tolkien rabbit hole.
Decades later, at Miramax, the Weinstein’s were trying to compel Peter Jackson to make one film of the three books, and the director was hoping to convince anyone to make two films of the three books.
“And this is where knowing him from 12 years and believing in him became destiny,” Ordesky said of New Line’s coup locking in the three films.
After all, it was at Ordesky’s tiny apartment that Peter Jackson slept the couch when he came to L.A., where they played Risk all night, and where the auteur witnessed all of Ordesky’s “Lord of the Rings” and Dungeons and Dragons paraphernalia.
“So, who do you think he was going to call when he was trying to fight for his life to manifest his own vision for ‘Lord of the Rings’?
And it didn’t matter that he hadn’t won an Oscar, and it didn’t matter that he lived far away in New Zealand because Peter’s vision for ‘Lord of the Rings’ was so comprehensive as to be undeniable.
“And I had correctly suspected that fantasy films were due for a reinvention because ‘Harry Potter’ was just getting started at this time. It was a perfect storm.”
Nine weeks before the global launch of the first film of the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, “The Fellowship of the Ring,” the attacks of 9/11 occurred.
“And I remember feeling the horror and impotence and anger of what to do in the face of such evil,” Ordesky recalled.
In that moment, making movies seemed kind of silly and irrelevant to him.
“And I couldn’t have been more wrong. Because this child of Watergate and Vietnam, who fought his own apathy and cynicism with movies, I had in my hands a potent antidote for the children of 9/11,” he said. “I had three movies about four little hobbits who must leave the the Shire and confront Middle-earth’s most darkest elements with a simple notion: that there is some good in this world and it’s worth fighting for.”


Article written by Mariella Rudi, Santa Monica Mirror


Dec 4 Speaker - Mark Ordesky & the Lord of the Rings Savi Labensart 2015-12-15 00:00:00Z
Meeting Recap - Dec 4, 2015
December 4th was magical!! Our speaker was Mark Ordesky, the Executive Producer of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy!!
  Rotarian Larry Maher posed with his friend and our speaker, Mark Ordesky, and fellow producer Jane Fleming! Such nice folks!
Emperor Loo and Past President Dee Menzies welcome our visiting Rotarians from Karachi, Pakistan! Thanks for coming all the way just to see us! ;)


Past President Judy Neveau was presented with a beautiful bouquet for chairing our very successful Wine & Jazz Fest! Ken Waltzer and Suzan Allbritton should have gotten some too, for they were both driving forces in this event!



I missed the memo...apparently it was Family Day at Rotay!


Alan Glick brought his son, Charles, to see our awesome speaker!




Sharon Perlmutter Gavin brought her hubby Andy & her twin sister Keren! Can you tell which is which??





And our speaker Mark Ordesky invited his brother Joel!

A big thank you all of the members who volunteer their time to greet, introduce guests & speakers, & give the invocation! David Rosenfeld is one of our most active participants, and here Daniel Bennett is getting a great handshake and warm welcome!


Meeting Recap - Dec 4, 2015 Savi Labensart 2015-12-15 00:00:00Z
Wine & Jazz Fest Recap - Nov 15, 2015
Our Wine & Jazz Fest was a hit...again!! Members and guests were in high spirits! Planes soared, hearts soared, wallets soared...

Judy Neveau, past president and chair of this event, was eager to welcome in our guests! And what a wonderful crew we had for this journey!
Time for some action! I mean, auction!
Suzan Allbritton, a major driving force behind this event, with our talented auctioneer, Larry Snyder.


Our featured charity, Angel Flight West!

What a fitting one for the event! They offered rides in the simulator and took donations so they can continue to get sick ones to the care they need!
Rotarian Donna Byrd was excited to try it out, and support such a worthy cause!



RoseMary approved of the food! A huge thanks to Matthew Lehman and FIG Restaurant for donating the amazing meal!




So did Iao Katagiri's friend! Although he seemed a little stiff when I met him.




And new member Jolly Gissell approved of the wine! That glass looks empty, let's get another!



And you can't forget the jazz!! What would a Wine & Jazz Fest be without the amazing music? They did a phenomenal job, and they even did a couple numbers written by our own member, Melissa Dagodag!!


What a success!! Thank you to all our Wine & Jazz Fest committee for your hard work and dedication to this event! We couldn't have done it without you!


Wine & Jazz Fest Recap - Nov 15, 2015 Savi Labensart 2015-12-08 00:00:00Z
Meeting Recap - Nov 20, 2015
November 20th was a touchdown!! We had our annual USC/UCLA Rivalry Celebration with the Westwood Village Club. Amazing special guests!
  UCLA cheerleaders Julia Savage and Carley Smiddy enjoyed the festivities, along with Tom Larmore, Pat Collins and Nat Trives!!
Emperor Loo (right) is a fierce supporter along with his friend here from USC!!


USC's Rodney Peete expressed his true feelings about UCLA's Danny Farmer and Cade McNown. And there always is a pretty girl, in this case, Westwood Village Club member Aly Shoji!



We had the most fabulous guests!

Westwood Village Past President Don Nelson was a huge part of planning and participating in this event!



Terry White, the Beer Distributer...one of our FAVORITE visiting Westwood Rotarians!





Visiting Amsterdam Rotarian Elena Subbotina brought a guest, Polina Skudskaya-Levani!






The prodigal son returns! Savi was so happy to see former Santa Monica Rotarian Alonzo back in the fold! Alonzo, come back for good, and soon!

We have some winners from the Veteran's Day War Film Clip! Scott Wagenseller, Monty McCormick and Monte Herring


Meeting Recap - Nov 20, 2015 Savi Labensart 2015-12-02 00:00:00Z
Thanksgiving Feed the Police
Thanksgiving was a wonderful opportunity to give back to the officers who protect us every day!!
Dee Menzies & Iao Katagiri with 3 officers showing off their cards from Carlthorp School fifth graders thanking them for being on duty during the holidays!!
Mitch Kraus and his son Zachary are some of the most consistent volunteers!!


Inside it says:

Dear Police Officer,

   I very much appreciate the dedication that you give to your work. The fact that you are spending your Thanksgiving to help others is very outstanding. You should be very proud that you are helping others, and for that reason you are appreciated by many people!

Best wishes,






At the serving line...


They were at the ready for their customers! Thank you to all our volunteers!!


Thanksgiving Feed the Police Savi Labensart 2015-12-02 00:00:00Z
Meeting Recap - Nov 6, 2015
November 6th was a great day!! We celebrated our veterans and had a little fun too! The program was trivia-based, where they showed movie clips about wars and Rotarians had to guess it's movie title or main actors name.

There were fun moments!
Here are Navy Veterans Monte Herring and Monty McCormick! The Double Monty! :)
There were serious moments!
Veteran Michael Cates


There were moments of great thought!

The trivia quiz was tough! RoseMary Regalbuto, Julie Thomas and Kent Waltzer worked towards an answer even as everybody else got up to leave!


There were singing moments!

Veterans Scott Wagenseller & Monty McCormick,




Russ Warner & Jay Smith,





and Klaus Brandt with new member, Miss Simone Gordon

Here's the crew that made it all possible! Here are guests Diane and Michael Rhodes, with Bill Powell, President/Emperor Tom Loo, and Carol Powell. Michael provided the excerpts from famous wartime movies that we used in the trivia quiz. He also produced the 3-minute short about an industry salute to America that was used in three Oscar award shows.


Meeting Recap - Nov 6, 2015 Savi Labensart 2015-11-24 00:00:00Z
Oct 30 Craft Talks: Kathy Shepard & Palle Jensen

October 30th we heard from two of our new members as they gave their Craft Talks! This is their opportunity to tell their life story in about 10-12 minutes. It's always super interesting and fun to learn about our new friends!

Craft Talkers Kathy Shepard
& Palle Jensen!


The key to a successful Craft Talk at Rotary is to have your fellow Rotarians walk away with a tangible sense of you and your family. The purpose of it is for Club members to find out how they and the Craft Talkers fit into, and form a unit within, the family of Rotary.
The Rotary Club of Santa Monica program fulfilled just that, with Rotarians learning more about the newer members’ personal and professional lives Friday, Oct. 30.
First up was Kathy Shepard.
Shepard grew up a military brat and continued in her adult life to find places to go.
She’s a public relations veteran, now self-employed as a corporate communications and public relations expert.
Shepard’s trajectory has always been upward. She got her start doing PR for KTTV, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, and independent consulting. Soon, she was director of PR for the Hilton Hotels Corp., first joining in 1993 at the Las Vegas Hilton and later Hilton Gaming, where she was responsible for 13 casino gaming properties in Nevada and New Jersey.
Her final coup came when she became vice president of corporate communications for the Fortune 500 Company.
The hotel industry was where she honed her crisis management skills.
“I cannot tell you when you work at a hotel company what kind of crisis you might run into on a daily basis. I had, unfortunately, murders, I had suicides, I’ve had mold,” Shepard said.
But it hasn’t been all dire straits. Shepard also worked in the entertainment industry, helping to launch shows like “21 Jump Street” and “The Simpsons.”
A fun tidbit about Shepard is that she’s met two presidents, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. She met President Clinton while she was very pregnant, and he used her pregnancy to cut his talk short, saying that he’d better hurry up because Kathy was about to pop. He cleverly said he didn’t want to be blamed if she didn’t get to the hospital on time. And she met President Obama after winning a 15-minute meet-and-greet. She and her daughter were able to fly to San Francisco for the opportunity. A die-hard football fan, Shepard lives with her husband and daughter in Santa Monica.
Next up was Palle Jensen, who hails from Denmark and speaks with a thick, good Dutch accent. A member of the Club for over a year now, Jensen files under the manufacturing classification. He got his start in the industry at a prestigious engineering company specializing in providing high-tech plastic solutions for industrial applications. While attending a four-year master’s program, Jensen met his wife.
“I stayed in what I would call the ‘corporate life’ until 1994 with the same company that provide high-tech plastic solutions for industrial applications,” Jensen told Rotarians. But it was when the company “got into trouble” that he decided to head up his own venture.
With his strong industrial network of contacts, Jensen started another business in Denmark. He has since been CEO and owner of Electronic House UAB, Metalco Baltic UAB, and Libra Cable Technologies, Inc.
In 2004, his wife and he established the IBO-based Vilnius International School with two other international families. The school is considered one of the best schools in Lithuania today and a top school in the Baltic’s.
Two years ago, he and his wife, along with their children, invested in a different venture: moving to the U.S.
“We made a business plan, launched a business, started it up, and moved here,” he said.
Their business continues to grow today.
He’s also president of the Danish American Chamber of Commerce in Southern California.
“One thing I’ve learned is hard work. Hard work, hard work is extremely important. That’s also why I’m standing here today,” Jensen said.


Article written by Mariella Rudi, Santa Monica Mirror


Oct 30 Craft Talks: Kathy Shepard & Palle Jensen Savi Labensart 2015-11-10 00:00:00Z
Meeting Recap - Oct 30, 2015
October 30th was a hoot!! With Halloween the next day, we had fun decorations and costumes! And what a program...birthdays, an induction, and two Craft Talks by new members!!

Our new member and Craft Talker, Palle Jensen, was greeted at the end by fellow Rotarian, Dick Hart! Palle is the CEO for Libra Cable Technologies, Inc., a company focused on cable manufacturing!

Our new member and Craft Talker, Kathy Shepard, was greeted at the end by fellow Rotarian and past president, Dee Menzies! Kathy is an expert in Public Relations with her own business, though she's held a lot of other prestigious jobs in her life!


We celebrated our September and October birthdays!

Up top is Diane Margolin, Bret Carter, Karim Jaude and Grace Cheng Braun!

And down below is new member Palle Jensen, our president and emperor, Tom Loo, and past president George Collins!

I think at 80 years old, George takes the cake for most wise in the birthday group! :)


Past President Judy Neveau gets fined for having her floors redone! Pictured here with Matt Williams. Someone definitely said something funny!

Jolly Gissell was inducted at the luncheon! He's the one in white, second from the right. Jolly is a Family Wealth Director for Morgan Stanley! Others pictured here were Jim & Dee Menzies, Barb Bishop, Jolly's wife Patty, and Lisa Alexander.


Meeting Recap - Oct 30, 2015 Savi Labensart 2015-11-10 00:00:00Z
Dec 20 Speakers - USC & UCLA Football Stars

December 20th we heard from 3 awesome football stars!

From left, football quarterbacks and NFL veterans Cade McNown (Bruins 1995-1998) and Rodney Peete (USC 1985-1988) with record-holding wide-receiver Danny Farmer (Bruins 1996-1999). That's our Rotarian Bill Powell right there in the middle, and on the far right is Westwood Past President Don Nelson, both of whom helped set up this great program!
The Santa Monica Rotary Club merged with its sister club in Westwood Village Friday, Nov. 20 to revel in the greatest cross-town rivalry in football: USC vs. UCLA.
With the room decidedly split down the middle between Trojan and Bruin alumni, with a few sparse UC Berkeley Bears and other collegiate outliers, Rotarians rang in the coming end of the college football season, bringing in three marquee players from both schools to find out more about what it’s like to play “in the Big Game” and lead their teams, and colleges, to victory.
Santa Monica Rotary President Tom Loo (USC ‘68) addressed former USC quarterback and NFL veteran Rodney Peete (1985-1988) about their alma mater, and past Westwood Village president Don Nelson (UCLA ‘48) doled out questions to star Bruin athletes Cade McNown (1995-1998) and Danny Farmer (1996-1999).
McNown, who was drafted in the first round to the Chicago Bears and ended his NFL career with the San Francisco 49ers in 2002, is now in the investment advisory business in Beverly Hills with Lourd Capital Management. When asked whether his football career helped him in his present career, the All-American quarterback called his new life with a wife and four kids “the revised dream.”
“When it comes to work or investing or anything else – discipline and focus and commitment – are all things that you need to be successful in a business career, and those are all certainly things that you development when you’re on a football team,” McNown said.
Farmer echoed his football best friend’s sentiment.
“Both Rodney and Cade will agree with me that football’s an unbelievable way to kind of set yourself up,” the wide receiver said. “It teaches you how to come together for a common goal.”
After all these years, Farmer still holds the UCLA football record for career receiving yards (3,020).
“I’ve got my best friend from football here and we just had so much fun together,” Farmer said. “Cade will tell you the same thing: we worked really hard, were successful, and had a lot of fun.”
Farmer also led the UCLA Bruins men’s volleyball teams to two national championships.
“So I didn’t have to go to spring football,” he joked.
The Bruins and Trojans volleyball rivalry was significant in its own right, Farmer said, adding the team was 4-0 against USC.
“That rivalry was a little bit different. The volleyball community is a lot smaller,” he said.
And Farmer knows about this rivalry. His grandfather played basketball at USC in the 1930s, his father played football, basketball and track at UCLA, his uncle also played football at UCLA, and a cousin played baseball at USC while another played football with him at UCLA.
“Our family is split down the middle,” he said.
Farmer today is an advisor for a boutique life insurance brokerage firm in Beverly Hills, specializing in disability insurance for athletes.
Last up was one of the most famous quarterbacks in USC history, Rodney Peete, now a sports broadcaster for Fox Sports. Peete lost one game to UCLA in his Trojan career and went on to play 16 years in the NFL, retiring with the Carolina Panthers after going to the Super Bowl XXXVIII.
But according to Peete, his greatest call to fame was marrying one of the neighborhood kids, actress and entertainer Holly Robinson. The husband-and-wife duo will star in their own docu-series “For Peete’s Sake,” announced earlier this year.
University of Arizona, UCLA, and Stanford also pursued Peete before he picked football at USC. The deciding factor? When he was picked up in a black limo with two USC Song Girls in the back and taken to lunch in Marina del Rey.
Rotarians also wanted to know about how Peete managed to play in the 1988 UCLA-USC game just days before he was hospitalized with measles.
“I get asked that question all the time. Was it a trick or tactic to duck focus away from the game and give us an advantage? And I would say we never needed a trick against UCLA. That being said, it was a difficult week.
“But there was never a doubt that I wasn’t going to play. It was just that kind of a game. At that time I think we were 9-0. It was a big deal.”
They ended up winning and played at the Rose Bowl against Michigan State.
“But I certainly felt the adrenaline, felt the crowd, felt the USC fans that helped me through,” Peete said.
On his feelings leading up to the Heisman Trophy announcements where he was named second to Barry Sanders: “Growing up, admiring those who won the trophy in the past, watching that ceremony, you know where it is; you have Downtown Athletic Club embedded in your mind. It’s something that you dream about.”
And Peete’s predictions for next week’s USC/UCLA game at the Coliseum? He foresees 27-20, USC.


Article written by Mariella Rudi, Santa Monica Mirror


Dec 20 Speakers - USC & UCLA Football Stars Savi Labensart 2015-11-02 00:00:00Z
Meeting Recap - Oct 16, 2015
October 16th was a fun filled day! Along with a fabulous speaker about bees, the club was abuzz with other adventures, too!

Christine Mirasy-Glasco was up at the head table! This amazing new member is the Executive Director for Upward Bound House!

As was the wonderful Susan Annett! She used to be the Principle Librarian for the Santa Monica Public Library!


It's always great to see Rotarians bring their spouses! Hal Quigley brought his sweetie, Kai-Li!


Ken Waltzer made an announcement for the Wine & Jazz Fest coming up on November 15! Don't forget to buy your tickets online!

And look who's back there, the talented Pat Bofird who was our songleader for the day!

Thank you to Ruth for bringing actual bees to her speech!!

Left to right:  Jay Smith, Barb Bishop, Russ Warner, Paul Leoni in the back there, Allen Mueller, David Rosenfeld, Timur Berberoglu, Alan Glick, and the mystery man...I think it's Larry Maher.


And what would a day at Rotary be without fining someone heavily for something amazing! Well, this was a big one for our past president, George Collins...he turned 80!! Woohoo!! He's looking younger every day! Can you see in Lisa Alexander's picture how big his cake had to be to fit that many candles? :)



Meeting Recap - Oct 16, 2015 Savi Labensart 2015-11-02 00:00:00Z
Meeting Recap - Oct 23, 2015
October 23rd was such a great day! Along with our very interesting talk about North Korea by Dr. Bruce Bennett, we had some fun and honored some people as well...

We inducted our new member, Bill Bubar! He is the president of Bubar's Jewelers, Inc. located right in downtown Santa Monica!

Past President George Collins passed out some awards to folks who weren't at Dethroning, and Stan Fox, owner of Fox Coin Laundries, won the Austin Jennings Award, for outstanding service of over 20 years! Does Bill Bubar look jealous, or what?!


Emperor Loo has been filling his head table with wonderful people! His president's pick this time was Diane Margolin, who is the publisher of the Santa Monica Star! So nice to see her highlighted this week!


Past President David Bohn brought his soon to be sister-in-law, Nora Straight!

Emperor Loo fined Roger Davis heavily for putting out his new book, Wall Street's Just Not That Into You!

Meeting Recap - Oct 23, 2015 Savi Labensart 2015-11-02 00:00:00Z
Oct 23 Speaker - Dr. Bruce Bennett & N. Korea

October 16th we heard from Dr. Bruce Bennett on what will happen if North Korea collapses!

Dr. Bruce Bennett, senior defense analyst at RAND Corporation!


North Korea is a time bomb. That was the thesis behind Dr. Bruce Bennett’s talk at the weekly Rotary of Santa Monica meeting Friday, Oct. 23.

Bennett, a senior defense analyst at the RAND Corporation and an expert in Northeast Asian military issues, offered an introduction to Rotarians about preparing for the possibility of a North Korean collapse. He painted a surreal portrait of a post-Kim Jong-Un world – one with famine, infighting, and nuclear and biological warfare.

“The collapse of North Korea has been rumored for decades,” Bennett said. “But you never had a leader like you have in North Korea now. This is a person who has done his best to offend his elites.”

To put the current North Korean dictator in context, Bennett said that his predecessor and father, Kim Jong-Il, had changed his defense minister three times in 17 years, two of which died of old age. Kim Jon-Un has changed his defense minister five times in less than four years. This, coupled with sociopathic brutality of well-known purges and gentle executions, typifies a paranoid despot.

“And as a result, I believe that sometime in the not-too-distant future, a number of years probably, we will see a change in the government in North Korea. You can’t project because sooner or later – I think – some member of his elite is going to kill him. And then we are going to have a change,” he said.

The country runs on a hierarchy with Kim Jong-Un, the current leader, at the very top, Bennett explained.

“A 32-year-old – roughly speaking, we don’t know for sure – he has then a variety of people below him. His security has gone up considerably after his father. He’s feeling the threats,” Bennett said.

He said the real game changer came when Kim Jong-Un pulled his uncle out of the number two spot within the pecking order, making that role a veritable death sentence.

“It wasn’t immediate; it would be in a matter of three of five years. But you and your family and your extended family were likely going to be exterminated,” he said.

With a race to the top after Kim Jong-Un, the political and military elite will likely suffer dissension.

“So, we anticipate that some combination of factions develop. This is just one guess. But if it does, you’re going to expect civil war. If that happens, the all-ready terrible food situation in North Korea will get worse. And as a result, sooner or later South Korea is going to decide if they’ve got to intervene. There is just no choice. They can’t let their ethnic brothers suffer,” he said.

Once this happens, though, the Chinese will also intervene.

“The Bank of Korea has projected that in a collapse of North Korea, roughly three million North Koreans out of a total 24 million population would make their way into South Korea over time,” Bennett explained. “Given where the population lives, that means about five million head towards China. And they want something less of zero of those people living in China because they worry about the disruptive affect they would have. And so China will intervene to deal with that and other issues.”

For a country with a disastrous economy, dilapidated industry, and antiquated infrastructure, Bennett predicted that once infighting happens, the North Koreans would starve as a result.

“Agriculture doesn’t produce enough to feed their people even at a subsistence level,” he said.

The North Korean’s only saving grace has been their nuclear weapons.

“Because for a regime like this, what do they have to be proud of? Not economy, not politics, so they try to infuse in their people pride for the fact that they are one of the only 10 countries that have yielded nuclear weapons – therefore, they’re a great state,” he said.

Once South Korea intervenes, one way to resolve the threat of WMDs is to unify the country. But before they can do that, they’d have a myriad of short-term and midterm issues to handle like civil war, humanitarian disasters, and food relief.

“These are the key challenges in my mind and the things that we need to be prepared to work with our Korean allies to resolve,” he said.

One example is the humanitarian aid. Bennett surmised that food would have to be taken via military like the U.S. and Korean marines to make sure the Korean military or the criminal organizations don’t take it.

“Black market is well-established in North Korea and a very serious problem,” Bennett said.

And what will become of the North Korean elites after Kim Jong-Un?

If they don’t want unification, which is likely, and they believe they won’t get a good deal out of it, “you can bet they’re going to fight us.”

Bennett wrote a book in 2013 titled, “Preparing For the Possibility of a North Korean Collapse,” available for free download at rand.org.


Article written by Mariella Rudi, Santa Monica Mirror


Oct 23 Speaker - Dr. Bruce Bennett & N. Korea Savi Labensart 2015-11-02 00:00:00Z
Oct 16 Speaker - Ruth Askren & Bees

October 16th we heard from Ruth Askren, bee rescuer and beekeeper extraordinaire!

Ruth Askren, owner of Bee Capture, pictured here with Emperor Loo!


When the Los Angeles City Council voted to legalize urban beekeeping last week, they overturned a 136-year-old ban on the practice going back thousands of years.

Fitting, a full-time beekeeper was at Rotary Club of Santa Monica Friday, Oct. 16 to discuss the curious lives of bees and their impact on the L.A. ecosystem, household, and economy.

Ruth Askren has been keeping bees in and around L.A. since 2009. What started out as a hobby to spend more time with her father has turned into her own business, Bee Capture. From mid-city to Point Dume, Askren has provided beehive removals and relocations, but today, she mainly focuses on hive maintenance and mentoring.

She began her talk to Santa Monica Rotarians about how Africanized honeybees came to the L.A. basin.

“In 1957 a Brazilian scientist imported some bees from Africa in an effort to make beekeeping in South America more profitable because all the South American apiaries were using European honey bees, which are used to a colder climate. Unfortunately, a lot of those African queens escaped and it took them about 40-50 years, and they’re here,” Askren said. “And now they have interbred with the larger European honey bee population in Los Angeles, and we have something wonderful called hybrid vigor, which is the Africanized honey bee’s ability to survive a lot of the disease onslaughts that the European bees cannot survive. But it’s true: they have a more aggressive temperament.”

This is why beekeepers like Askren who are keeping feral bees have a heavy task at hand. There are always bee rescues to be done around L.A.

“We find ourselves on the forefront of trying to tame the population,” she said.

Askren, who previously taught at Notre Dame Academy, spoke with such deftness that one would think she’s been doing this her entire life. She then turned to bee biology, something a beekeeper has to be keenly aware of if she wants to control the hive.

In the hive, she explained, all the bees except the drones have jobs.

“Well, the drones do have one job and that job is to find a queen to mate with. Only about 10 percent of the hive is drones. Meanwhile the females do all the work,” she said.

There are three types of bees: the worker, the drones, and the queen. The worker bee can live somewhere between four to eight weeks, going through different work cycles throughout that time. From receiver bees to guards to housekeepers then forages, the worker bee’s life is determined by how long her wings will last.

“The worker is the smallest one, and her abdomen is pointed, you can just see her stinger there. The next size up is the drone, whose got a blunt, hind end and he does not have a stinger. He has big eyes, they take up most of his head because his main job in life is to look for and find a queen, along with 15 or 20 of his brothers,” Askren said.

The drones die directly after mating. In fact, they cant even feed themselves, which is why they get kicked out of the hive at the stress times of the year (when the weather changes.)

And then there’s the queen bee. She has no stripes on her body and will always have a little dot of paint on her signifying her age for the beekeeper.

Queens can live for two to five years. In a very good spring season, she can lay up to 2,000 eggs a day.

“And yet commercial beekeepers do like having 1-year-old queens in all of their hives because they are the most productive. And each year that a queen is alive, her production will fall off slowly but surely. However, it’s worth it to keep and older queen around because some of them have within their genetic code a lot of strength and resistance to disease that is very sought after,” Askren explained.

Lastly, budding beekeepers must decide how they will deal with varroa mites, or “the new biggest challenge to the bees.” Askren said that today, it’s widely accepted that these mites are what causes colony-collapse disorder, a 25-year-old phenomenon that bees in the U.S. haven’t developed immunities to. The varroa mite’s lifecycle matches a bees, so larvae are born with these red dots all ready on them.

“A viral syndrome races through the hive and can kill all the bees in very short order,” Askren said. “We have to make the decision as beekeepers as to how we’re going to treat the mites. There’s a treatment-free community that believes all medicines for mites are bad and harms all bees and should allow sick bees to die – it’s called bond beekeeping,” she said.

But most commercial bees understand they have to deal with bee treatments, and they use a miticide similar to what one would use for fleas or ticks on pets.

“Beekeeping is multi-faceted and it can be a craft and a pastimes as well as business,” Askren said.

To learn more about beekeeping, visit Askren’s business at beecapture.com.


Article written by Mariella Rudi, Santa Monica Mirror


Oct 16 Speaker - Ruth Askren & Bees Savi Labensart 2015-11-02 00:00:00Z
Oct 9 Speaker - Andy Gavin & the Video Game Industry

October 9th we heard from Andy Gavin about the video game industry!

Andy Gavin, founder of Naughty Dog, introduced by Rotary Vice President Sharon Perlmutter Gavin!


Andy Gavin, co-founder of Naughty Dog video game developers, gave Santa Monica Rotarians Friday, Oct. 9 insider insight into the $30 billion industry.

“Video games are an art. Sure, a commercial art, but an art nonetheless,” Gavin said.

Since the commercialization of video games in the 1970s, this business has been mostly popular with young kids, Gavin said. But since then, video games have grown at a furious pace, and Gavin proceeded to chart the rise of video games in culture, business, and life.

There have been tens of thousands of other games made across dozens of genres.

“Despite the decades and the enormous graphic developments, what the platform game does – running, jumping, swinging – has remained fairly consistent,” he said.

Moving from Donkey Kong to Super Mario to Sonic The Hedgehog, “which revolutionized platform mechanics like the lighting-fast game player and colorful graphics. And in 1994’s Donkey Kong upped the ante with high-resolution details and character animation. But if you don’t mind me saying, Crash Bandicoot really changed it to next-level with its life-like 3D cartoon look.”

Gavin created the insanely-popular and best-selling Crash Bandicoot, a 3D platform video game chronicling the creation of its namesake at the hands of the series villain Doctor Neo Cortex and his henchman Doctor Nitrus Brio. The game’s story follows Crash’s effort to stop Brio and Cortex’s plans for world domination, clean up any pollution they have caused, and save his girlfriend, a female bandicoot also evolved by Brio and Cortex.

“Leaping forward Naughty Dog’s 2008 Uncharted 2 offers up intense new realism and cinematic style in which players can alter – games to look more and more mature,” he said. “And by 2012 ubiquitous graphics in arts from Journey explores new realms and new style. Finally, next year’s soon-to-be-hit Uncharted 4 offers unprecedented graphics detail. If you notice 40 years later, video game characters are still swinging from ropes and dragging through water, all the same stuff – it just looks a lot better.”

The Uncharted franchise has been universally praised for its cinematic quality and technical proficiency, and has sold nearly 17 million copies worldwide as of 2012.

Gavin compared the extreme, teamwork effort video game development goes through, just like films and television. Even the smallest game projects require 3-4 people with different skill sets and modern big-budget games as many as 500 contributors, he said.

The next thing we should know about the video game industry was the different genres and sub-genres the industry produces. From the classics pinball and ball and paddle action games, to the first-person shooter, and survival horror of action-adventure, a quick tour of the dozens of video game genres shows the multiplicity of business. Gavin walked through massively multiplayer online role-playing games (like World Of Warcraft) to sports (FIFA) to vehicle stimulation (NASCAR) to a multiplayer online battle arena, real-time strategy game (League of Legends).

Perhaps more fascinating than the backstory of video games is Gavin’s own story. With a photographic memory, two novels under his belt, and a food and wine blog, Gavin doesn’t stop at computer programming even if it is his niche.

At the age of 15, he and his childhood friend Jason Rubin founded Santa Monica-based Naughty Dog (then Jam Software before renaming it in 1989). In between he matriculated as a PhD candidate at M.I.T.’s Artificial Intelligence Laboratory

His research was for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory on the Pathfinder Mars Rover project and involved real-time low-cost vision. While still a student, he learned the programming language LISP, hacked hardware, programmed real-time robots, and built custom compilers that would serve him so well at Naughty Dog.

As a subsidiary of Sony Computer Entertainment, Naughty Dog is best known for developing games for the PlayStation family of consoles, including the Crash Bandicoot series for the original PlayStation, Jake and Dexter on PlayStation 2, and Uncharted and The Last of Us on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4. Before selling to Sony, Gavin and Rubin sold approximately 40 million copies on the seven video games they developed.

To learn more about Andy Gavin visit his website at all-things-andy-gavin.com.


Article written by Mariella Rudi, Santa Monica Mirror


Oct 9 Speaker - Andy Gavin & the Video Game Industry Savi Labensart 2015-10-27 00:00:00Z
Oct 2 Speaker - Dr. Bogdan Pasaniuc - Geneology

October 2nd we heard from Dr. Bogdan Pasaniuc and some of our Rotary members on geneology and ancestry!

Dr. Dr. Bogdan Pasaniuc, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, pictured here with Jenn Brown, of UCLA Health and Sciences Development!


Africa is where we first evolved, and where we have spent the majority of our time on Earth.
If there was one takeaway from the Santa Monica Rotary meeting Friday, Oct. 2, it was that “we all came out of Africa – We are all related,” said Santa Monica Rotary President Tom Loo. “There is no such thing as race, quite frankly.”
Using genetics to trace human migration patterns, scientists and anthropologists have traced a map of the human journey. And using the National Geographic Project, people have helped answer fundamental questions about where humankind originated and how we came to populate the Earth.
The National Geographic Project, about a decade-old anthropological study that uses DNA voluntarily contributed by hundreds of thousands of people to answer the oldest questions we have about ourselves: Who are we and where did we come from? In doing so, the project has gone on to create the world’s largest survey of DNA samples to map how humankind populated the planet.
So far there have been 742,652 participants in the genographic project in over 140 countries.
But before some could share the story their DNA told, Rotarians first were primed on how this science worked.
Dr. Bogdan Pasaniuc, professor at Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA, in Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, explained the uses of modern DNA to understand the history and evolution of the human species.
Through his research, Bogdan is primarily interested in statistical and computational methods for understanding genetic risk factors for common diseases with a particular focus in the study of admixed populations.
“Each chromosome has all the information that we need for our cells to function,” he said. “Although you don’t have to go through all the details to understand this, within the chromosomes there’s this molecule called DNA which is formed from other, smaller molecules. It’s a blueprint of everything that we are.”
Following his presentation was about a quick tour of the results of the National Geographic Geno Project from four Rotarians.
Geno 2.0 Next Generation Genographic Project Participation and DNA Ancestry Kit costs about $200. It uses a custom-built genotyping chip that enables a test of nearly 750,000 DNA markers, many of which have been specifically selected to provide highly detailed ancestry-related information.
The test kit involves a painless cheek swab and instructions for submitting the DNA. From this, you will discover the migration paths your ancient ancestors followed hundreds – even thousands – of years ago. You will also learn what percentage of your genome is affiliated with more than a dozen regions of the world. But perhaps most importantly, you will have the opportunity to share your story and connect with other Genographic Project participants, and help National Geographic fill in the gaps in the human story.
Anthropologists believe that humans only started to leave Africa between 60,000 and 70,000 years ago. With a major climactic shift happening around that time – the Ice Age – genetic and paleontolical records point to humans (or what was left of them) then made the great migration out of Africa.
Before that, however, Homosapiens lived with other human species in Africa for about 200,000 years, Loo said.
There was another group that left Africa that went to European and Asian areas and became other species, Loo said. Two of which were Neanderthals and Denisovans.
We all have Neanderthal DNA in us in varying degrees,” Loo said. The Denisovans are named after a cave in Russia where they found a finger fragment of a primate, and after testing it for lab DNA they concluded it was another species in 2008.
The Denisovans split off from the lineage of Neanderthals 200,000 years after humans had already had their split from the species.   
“And guess what: we all have Denisovan DNA within us,” Loo said.
Loo’s 65 percent came from the North, through the Mongolian area through his paternal side, and 35 percent Asian came through South East Asia where the trek was from India and up through South East Asia.
Nat Trives traced his own ancestor’s migration patterns, but the results were less important than what they signified.
“What’s important to me is that this project opened my eyes to the fact that I have always believed – and now even more strongly – that we are all human beings from the same root, and we should strive to live on this planet in a peaceful manner,” he said.


Article written by Mariella Rudi, Santa Monica Mirror


Oct 2 Speaker - Dr. Bogdan Pasaniuc - Geneology Savi Labensart 2015-10-13 00:00:00Z
Meeting Recap - Sept 25, 2015
September 25th we were on pins and needles!! Dr. Daoshing Ni gave a very interesting talk on acupuncture, and we had lots of other fun guests, too! 

Brian Linnekens brought his father Henri to enjoy the luncheon! He was tasked with making sure that Brian behaved!

Carol Powell introduced and exchanged flags with visiting Rotarian Atle Sandberg from Norway! He came to visit us last year too...we must have made a good impression!


It's always great to see a new member inducted! Simone Gordon was inducted by Roger Davis with much fanfare and some chaos! Welcome to the club, Simone!


Ken Waltzer made an announcement for the Wine & Jazz Fest coming up on November 15! Don't forget to buy your tickets online!

Thank you to Dr. Ni for the wonderful talk about acupuncture!!

Left to right:  Iao Katagiri, Nat Trives, Lois Green (President, Yo San Univ.), Dr. Daoshing Ni (co-founder, Yo San Univ.), Tom Larmore, Barbara Browning, Kathy Fergen, Grace Cheng Braun.

Meeting Recap - Sept 25, 2015 Savi Labensart 2015-10-06 00:00:00Z


Imagine watching a beautiful Tuscan sunset while enjoying a delicious glass of Chianti and some fresh melon and prosciutto.  That easily can be you!  A trip to Tuscany is one of the incredible live auction items at the upcoming Wine and Jazz Festival. Invite your friends and family and come out to taste some terrific wine and start bidding.  Get your tickets today by visiting http://tinyurl.com/rotarywinefest


November 15, 2015!
(Reminder: No meeting the Friday before)


Rotary Club of Santa Monica
International Wine & Jazz Festival
The Museum of Flying

Santa Monica
2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.


This is the annual fundraiser for local and international service projects
sponsored by the Rotary Club of Santa Monica
and the Santa Monica Rotary Club Foundation!

Click here to purchase tickets!
or contact Suzan Allbritton at SuzanAllbritton@Gmail.com or 310-392-3654.

Toast Life with an afternoon of delicious food, wine and live jazz music while enjoying the Museum of Flying 


Plenty of FREE Parking 


Great Wines

Fabulous Menu by Fig of the Fairmont Hotel


Music by the George Kahn Trio


Live & Silent Auction

8th ANNUAL WINE and JAZZ FESTIVAL - NOVEMEBER 15, 2015 Savi Labensart 2015-09-16 00:00:00Z
Sept 11 Speaker - Dr. Hao Li & 3D Graphics

September 11th we heard from Dr. Hao Li, about Democratizing 3D Computer Graphics! What fun!!

Dr. and Professor Hao Li, from USC Computer Science Department wowed with 3D images!
This week Snapchat updated its app to include a layer of different “lenses” for taking a selfie. Upon clicking your face, a spider web detects your image within a second, and then a slew of silly, scary, and plain weird digital sketches decorates your tongue, teeth, and eyes in real time. It even makes sounds if you move in a certain way.
This is what Dr. Hao Li would call real-time facial animation with on-the-fly correctives. And that spider web is what he would call an “efficient mesh deformation algorithm” and it can track any individual, starting from just a single face scan of the subject in a neutral pose.
Li did something similar at the Santa Monica Rotary meeting Friday, Sept. 12. He turned his entire face into a monkey. And then a panda. Li was demonstrating the future of three-dimensional computer graphics and shared his vision for making human 3D visualization standard in every home.
“Recently, we have figured out how to display high quality displays at low cost. So these things can be democratized,” Li said.
Li has been described as the rising star of the USC Viterbi computer graphics department, where he is a tenure-track assistant professor in the Geometric Capture Lab. The department is involved in everything from facial geometry, to geometry processing, urban city modeling, and computer animation and physically based simulation.
His algorithms on dynamic shape reconstruction and non-rigid registration are widely used in the industry, ranging from leading visual effects studios to defense projects and manufacturers of state-of-the-art radiation therapy systems.
Li has consulted for everyone from Facebook to Disney and has film credits from “Star Treck Into Darkness,” “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,” and “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” to name a few. He’s also received the Google Faculty Research Award and the Okawa Foundation Research Grant in 2015 and was named one of the world’s top 35 innovator under 35 by MIT Technology review in 2013 and NextGen 10: Innovators under 40 by C-Suite Quaterly in 2014.
Of Taiwanese descent, raised in Germany, and taught at a French school, Li’s background is as unconventional as his hairstyles. Though his work speaks for itself, Li has a quirky, almost punk-y, side to him that makes his resume all the more fascinating. He cut out the jargon and got down to the basic fundaments of 3D imaging, in his professorial manner, asking Socratic questions and making sure everyone followed along.
One could imagine how much his students want to come to class and work with him. He’s young, he’s bright, and he has fun with what he does.
One of the most interesting snippets of his talk was when it came to Hollywood. Deconstructing the science of special effects, Li revealed how much time and work actually goes into a CGI-dominated film. For example, creature animation in Hollywood uses ” sophisticated suits that have sensor balls attached to the actor’s body, as seen in something like “Planet of the Apes.” With a camera in front of the actor’s face, designers then re-animate another creature onto the face.
Li called the “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” one of the best examples of a highly realistic CGI face, which was how lead actor Brad Pitt appeared throughout the whole movie.
“It took three weeks to do 10 seconds of animation using an entire studio,” Li said.
That timeline hasn’t changed since 2008, as Li said it took the same amount of time when he worked on the 3D facial tracking for animating the digital Paul Walker in “Furious 7.”
“But this isn’t something an ordinary person can use,” Li said, moving away from special effects in the film industry and focusing more on gaming and other uses for 3D technology. To bring it into the home, you have to rely on hardware, digital devices, to digitize the person or thing, Li said. The vision is to bring this technology of 3D printing and 3D imaging into virtual reality.
“In order to improve 3D content, we’re creating technology that would allow you to digitize things from the physical world to the virtual work. How does that work? Using the technology of a 3D scanner,” Li said, either through lasers or a camera.
Some of these devices are all ready available in the home, like Microsoft’s Xbox One Kinect, which can be used with a 3D builder app to scan and 3D print in full-color.
“It can also be used to scan entire three-dimensional human bodies,” Li said.
3D scanners can help in the medical industry, where some hospitals have all ready begun using noninvasive scanning for tumors. You can also create visual models for fashion or fitness, “where you can basically stand in front of the camera and basically analyze your body without having to be measured.”
In other words, the computer can tell if you’ve been putting on weight. Other uses are on the horizon. 3D scanning and printing are the future, and Li wants to see it as soon as possible.
“If we scan a person, we can extract everything about the person.”


Article written by Mariella Rudi, Santa Monica Mirror

Sept 11 Speaker - Dr. Hao Li & 3D Graphics Savi Labensart 2015-09-11 00:00:00Z
Rotary Day of Service - Aug 22, 2015
Rotarians gathered to help fix up the Lighthouse Christian Academy for another amazing ROTARY DAY of SERVICE!! THANK YOU ROTARIANS!!

Lighthouse Christian Academy, a school for underprivileged kids!

One of this year's VPs, Sharon Perlmutter Gavin, with Rotary Day of Service Co-Chair Tom Woods!


Our other Co-Chair Drew Fleming! Keep up the good work, fellas!


One of our new members, Caroline Schnakers...be careful up there, you sweet thing!

The Rotary Club of Santa Monica strives to pull off one or two Rotary Days of Service each year! The project was started by Past President Judy Neveau, and it has been a wonderful way for the club to do something hands-on in the community! Do you know of a non-profit organization, a school, or some other needy business that needs our help?? Contact the Rotary office at: RotaryClubofSantaMonica@verizon.net!

Rotary Day of Service - Aug 22, 2015 Savi Labensart 2015-09-03 00:00:00Z
Aug 28 Speaker - Dr. J Zink on Relationships

August 28th we heard from Dr. J. Zink, about marriage and relationships! He had some very intriguing insights!

Dr. J. Zink, emotional wellness expert!
Dr. J. Zink’s mission Aug. 28 was to improve the quality of love among Santa Monica Rotarians by distilling 42 years as a marriage therapist into a 35-minute talk.
“The greatest gift I can offer you is to answer – what is it that makes a soul mate?” Zink asked.
He started the lesson off by asking everyone in the room to stand up and “reach over to the person next to you and give a great big hug.” Rotarians obliged, and the tension in the room between the speaker and Rotarians, and Rotarians among Rotarians, went away.
Retired as a therapist and public speaker, Zink explained that he lost his wife 22 years ago, his childhood sweetheart and soul mate. Years later, he eventually married his late best friend’s wife. They grew together once both of their spouses died. They helped each other and developed feelings for each other. Today, he can confidently say he found another soul mate.
Zink theorized the success of his new marriage, along with everyone else’s relationships, stems from an underlying, simple idea.
“I read this book by a man named Willard Harley in 1997. He sat down with 1,100 men and 1,100 women and asked them the same question: what are your emotional needs?” Zink said.
Harley’s approach to an affair-proof marriage began with identifying each other’s most important emotional needs and developing habits to meet them.
Starting with the men and making Freud proud, the first need was – and you probably guessed it – sex. The second one was recreational companionship. The third need was a good-looking person (with both clothes on and off). The fourth was domesticity.
And lastly, “number five, after we have you taking care of the house, worry about your weight, making sure that you can be comfortable in a tent with mosquitos, and providing as much sex as we can possibly use, we ask you to admire us for it.”
The fifth most important emotional need was respect, praise, and esteem for himself.
“It all turns out to not be a so beautiful picture,” Zink said, “because none of the five women’s needs that I’m about to share with you match any of the needs of the men.
And this was my first insight as a marriage therapist: I figured out that the reason those two wanted to kill each other is because he was projecting his needs onto her and she was projecting her needs onto him.”
Putting the men’s needs on hold, Zink moved on to what 1,100 women reported as their top five emotional needs.
The number one need for women was affection – it’s flirting, touching, the little things. Number two for her partner to listen to her without trying to fix the problems and without distraction. The third was honesty, and the fourth was the choice to work or stay home. The last need was for him to help with the children.
“Women are clearly not the same species as men, and furthermore, women are by the design the superior species,” Zink said to laughter in the room.
Though Zink relied on normative gender conventions and a heterosexual sample, there was a communal sense in the room – nods and laughter peppered with looks among Rotarians with the idea that all sexual relationships rely on some level of cliché and romantic tropes. Or as Woody Allen said, “we need the eggs.”
Rotarians scribbled away their partners’ top five emotional needs before tucking away the notes into their pockets.
But Zink didn’t stop there. He took the new information a step further. He recommended sitting down with your spouse and writing out your own top five emotional needs: talk to find out what’s not being addressed.
“You can actually download Willard Harley’s book ‘His Needs, Her Needs,’ read it with a highlighter, buy two copies, highlight the things that jump out at you, have your spouse highlight the things that jump out at him or her, and then switch books and read what they were seeing,” he said. “And you’ll discover that you weren’t actually reading the same book. That’s because our brains are very different
Maybe the reason this country’s rate of divorce is 54 percent, Zink surmised, is because no one’s emotional needs are being met. Just remember: needs are not wants.
A neuro-psychotherapist in private practice in the Los Angeles area since 1976, Zink has been the psychotherapist for some of the most influential families in the world. A three-time graduate of the Jesuit University of Detroit Mercy, Zink completed his formal education with two years of post-doctoral work in neuro-psycholinguistics at the University of Michigan in 1974. He is a leading specialist in the areas of emotional disaster recovery, grief and loss, as well as trauma counseling.
He has been a consultant to the Young Presidents’ Organization for twenty-five years. In addition to his presentations on child discipline and on couples’ therapy, he has moderated hundreds of YPO Forums.
Zink has twice been honored by the Harvard University Business School for his work in family life development and named, along with Tiger Woods, as a “Hero of the Heart” by Children’s Hospital in Newport Beach, California. He is the author of “Building Positive Self-Concept in Kids;” “Motivating Kids;” “Ego States: Resolving Conflict; Dearly Beloved: Secrets of Successful Marriage;” “The Parents Your Parents Were Not; Face-It: Two Executives’ Lives;” “Upbringing: Raising Emotionally Intelligent Children;” and other numerous professional articles and monographs. He is also the co-author of “From I to WE: The Round Table Journey.” He is also the brother of Dr. Jeffrey Zink.


Article written by Mariella Rudi, Santa Monica Mirror

Aug 28 Speaker - Dr. J Zink on Relationships Savi Labensart 2015-08-28 00:00:00Z
Aug 21 Speaker - Space X

August 21st we heard from Adam Lichtl, PhD, about populating Mars!! Can you even imagine?? He talked about Space X, and their mission to colonize the planet Mars, and what it would take to get there!

Speaker Adam Lichtl (right) with his wife Patsy and fellow Rotarian Jay Smith!
The Planet Mars is arguably the last frontier in space exploration (for now). When will we reach it? How will we get there? What will it take? And why do we want to go?
“The idea is that we want to take people from Earth and put them on Mars and not as a trip, not as a suicide mission, but actually colonize the planet,” said Adam Lichtl, PhD, former research director at SpaceX during his talk entitled “Blue Marble to Red Marble” to Santa Monica Rotarians Friday, Aug. 21.
Lichtl – who skipped high school and graduated from CalTech at 19 – recently left SpaceX to become a free agent in the rocket science world, but he shared some of the highlights he’s seen during his time at Elon Musk’s independent space launch company.
Headquartered in Hawthorne, Calif., SpaceX was founded in 2002 when Musk took his PayPal money and had a beer with Tom Mueller, “a legitimate rocket science,” said Lichtl. Though the government doesn’t fund SpaceX, it has government contracts with it – in fact, NASA is one of its customers.
“I feel that we’re at the beginning of this very interesting point in history where it may be another 100 years before this a done deal and people are on Mars,” Lichtl said.
What are some of the challenges of going to Mars? One is the distance.
“The international space station is 250 miles straight up. The moon is a quarter of a million miles. It took about three days for the Apollo astronauts to reach it. Mars is 140 million miles away. This is a very long trip,” he said.
You’re also chasing Mars as your aiming for it.
“Mars is moving, the earth is moving, so you actually have to time it just right,” he said. “It’s kind of like jumping from one moving car to another. And the other car is moving way faster.”
Lichtl said there are only certain times in the year you can go to Mars, approximately every two years is the window where the car is coming by you again.
Another challenge is supplies.
“You also want to take stuff with you. You need a nuclear reactor for power, heat, the ability to melt water, the ability to do electrolysis on the water to get oxygen out. You need, obviously, food,” he continued.
The next challenge is getting back to Earth. Right now, the rocket at SpaceX runs on highly refined kerosene and oxygen, but there is nowhere to fuel up on that on. Lichtl said one of the primary projects at SpaceX is to make a rocket that can run on methane, available to synthesize through Mars natural gases – that’s also how they plan on getting breathable air and drinkable water.
NASA estimates that they’d need to take roughly 300 tons of stuff to Mars in order to establish even a rudimentary settlement. Lichtl said SpaceX researchers have designed one of the world’s most advanced combustion simulations to digitally test new designs of what will be the most powerful rocket ever created.
“Because you don’t want a trial and error with things like this. What you want to do is design and understand it,” he said. “The idea here is to simulate turbulence to drive the efficiency of the engine. It’s an engineering challenge.”


Article written by Mariella Rudi, Santa Monica Mirror


Aug 21 Speaker - Space X Savi Labensart 2015-08-21 00:00:00Z
Aug 14 Speaker - Brain Treatment

August 14th was shocking!! A brain treatment that can help PTSD, Autism, addiction, and more, has been discovered, and we heard all about it from Dr. Yi Jin!

Emperor Tom Loo(right) with speaker, Dr. Yi Jin, CEO of the Brain Treatment Center!

Imagine a cure-all type of device that zaps away brain disorders to undo years of trauma and other mental conditions that therapy could never dream of unraveling. Alzheimer’s, autism, anxiety, sleep and eating disorders, and addiction could all vanish within days.

Today, that device exists.

Dr. Yi Jin, chief medical officer and CEO of Brain Treatment Center, spoke to Santa Monica Rotarians Friday, Aug. 14 about his breakthrough treatments of PTSD, autism, Alzheimer’s and other conditions affecting brain functions.

His center uses magnetic resonance therapy, or MRT – a procedure that pulses energy from magnetic coils into the cortex to realign and synchronize the firing of neurons in each patient’s brain depending on the condition.

People with Alzheimer’s, anxiety, sleep and eating disorders, addiction and tinnitus have gone under the coils that emit the magnetic fields (it looks like one of those huge hand-held personal massagers from Brookstone.)

Approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2008 for drug-resistant major depression, the magnetic procedure has treated and even cured people all over the world from their six global locations.

In the beginning of their talk, Dr. Jin and his associate opted to show rather than tell of their success-stories through videos: an seizure-riddled girl with autism who had seizures reduced to one a day and “normal” behavior; a soldier, shot in the head in Afghanistan and paralyzed on his left side, was able to make a fist with his left hand and move his left foot within months; and a seven-month comatose Taiwanese teenager who awoke after 10 days of MRT.

Two months later, the teenager could stand on his own, three months later he was walking, and even when they ended treatment, his recovery continued.

But perhaps greater evidence came from the first-person testimony of former Army staff sergeant Jonathan Warren.

When Warren returned from Iraq, he had posttraumatic stress and self-medicated with alcohol, pills, weed, and other self-destructive behavior.

He was wracked with guilt and suffering a failed attempt to rescue his best friend who nearly burned to death after their Humvee hit a roadside bomb in 2006 – it would be his worst memory from the war.

As a result of the L.A. Times following him and doing a longform feature on his struggles, the Brain Treatment Center reached out to offer their help.

Warren was was interested in it from a physiological standpoint. Dr. Jin looked at your brain rather than ask you how you’re feeling, he said.

“Much in the same way, if you have a heart issue, you’re going to go to the cardiologist they’re going to look at your heart, not ask you to fill out a form and tell them how you feel about your heart,” Warren told Rotarians. “They’re not going to tell you to think differently about your heart or change your perspective. They’re going to look at the organ itself.”

Dr. Jin and everyone else at the Brain Treatment Center didn’t care about his past or his emotions. They just wanted to look at his brain.

From a look at Warren’s EEG, Dr. Jin was able to describe his every conditions.

“He told me that I had severe anxiety issues, depression, substance abuse issues. He goes on to tell me that when I was younger I was strong in education and a straight-A student.

He told me I was good at math, and I was. He told me I should play piano, and I said I do. The very last thing he said to me was, can you read a book right now? And I told him no, but I never told anyone that, ever. It took too much effort and couldn’t follow along,” Warren said. “When I saw these things and saw what my brain was doing, it was very freeing in a sense.”

“It made me feel, for me, that it wasn’t my fault.”

One session of MRT did what seven years of therapy couldn’t do for Warren. After one session he slept for eight hours straight, something he hadn’t done in years. Two weeks later a switch went off. He didn’t want to bingedrink or pop pills or smoke weed.

“In that moment what I felt was just peaceful. My mind wasn’t racing. I wasn’t all in my head. I didn’t feel like my skin was going to fall off,” he said.

The Brain Treatment Center has helped hundreds of other veterans. It’s an important cause to them.

“While we’ve talked now, two veterans have all ready killed themselves. There are 22 suicides everyday,” Dr. Jin said in the middle of him explaining the science of MRT.

They hire 10 percent of the patients they’ve successfully treated.

“Veterans are the best employees,” he added.

But their work continues, and they need more funding and awareness about the benefits of MRT.

To learn more about the Brain Treatment Center, visit: www.braintreatmentcenter.com.

To see a video of former Army staff sergeant Jon Warren recount his recovery with this treatment, visit:



Article by Mariella Rudi, Santa Monica Mirror


Aug 14 Speaker - Brain Treatment Savi Labensart 2015-08-18 00:00:00Z
Aug 7 Mtg - Holocaust Survivor Avraham Perlmutter

Holocaust survivor Avraham Perlmutter spoke about surviving Nazi Germany by sheer determination and talent for escapism!!

Emperor Tom Loo with speaker, Avraham Perlmutter, and his daughters, Sharon Perlmutter Gavin and Keren Perlmutter!

Santa Monica Rotarians didn’t just hear a first-hand account of the Holocaust on Friday, Aug. 7. They were transported to a young boy’s survival story inside a Nazi nightmare, which in turn translated into an entire generation’s story of resilience and humanity. Rotarians learned about the human capacity for suffering, determination, murder, and ultimately survival. One 88-year-old’s story was able to relay a lifetime of achievement and grit.

The audience was captivated by Dr. Avraham Perlmutter’s vivacious and unwavering depiction of escaping Nazi soldiers nearly 60 years ago. At the end of his talk, he received a standing ovation, a gesture previously unseen by this reporter. In between his oration one could hear audible gasps and “oh my god’s” from the audience. It was a story of a lifetime that gave Rotarians emotions and plots typically saved for the big screen

Perlmutter was just 10 years old when he saw Hitler come in to Vienna, Austria in 1938. He was Jewish and the invading German army was after him soon after they arrived.

“The very fact that I was a wild child actually helped me later on to survive,” Perlmutter said.

It was hard for his family to move anywhere in Europe because they were Jewish. But one of those countries that took them was Netherlands, where he had an aunt. So his parents put him on the Kindertransport (children’s train) and the ensuing war-torn years continued.

Many times, a number of nuns and priests helped Perlmutter in Jewish refugee camps.

He recounted one specific moment when German soldiers came looking for Perlmutter to take him to the Jewish Theatre in Amsterdam (and subsequently off to Auschwitz). He’ll never forget the sound of their boots, and he made the thumping sound on the ground as he told the story. They took him, along with the son of the family whom Perlmutter was staying with.

“Because I was a wild child, I was always planning to get out of there,” Perlmutter said.

So he escaped when two Nazi soldiers changed shifts. He tried to bring the family’s son with him, but he was too scared to come in fear of getting killed. Later, Perlmutter learned he died during the war.

After that, Perlmutter was in constant hiding. Fortunately, his sister, who was in a refugee camp, had sent someone to find him, give him a train ticket, and take him into hiding until they could be reunited again.

“In those days about 95 percent of the Dutch people were anti-Nazi, and a good many of them were actually hiding Jewish children. Before the war there lived about 180,000 Jews in the Netherlands and only about 30,000 survived. And the majority of them were hiden among non-Jews,” Perlmutter said.

His story was punctuated by multiple accounts of hearing those Nazi boots (thump-thump-thump), but each time Perlmutter squirreled away just in time. But every time, there was someone else picked up by the Nazis who died in the war.

He hid in dirt, under coal, under beds, and in closets. He ran from the Nazis, and he escaped their clutches. The wild child soon became a survivor.

Like the tailor, the farmer, and the priest, many of the people who helped Perlmutter along the way remained nameless.

“In those days you were not supposed to know names because if they ever caught you, you couldn’t tell the addresses or names of the people who were hiding you.”

Though he was eventually reunited with his sister, she was caught by the Nazis and taken to Auschwitz. But she survived as well.

“She lives now in Santa Monica, too,” Perlmutter said as the crowd clapped.

With the British soldiers arriving, Perlmutter was able to snag a ride to Tel Aviv, where his parents were. Upon the reunion, his father tried to conceal the sad fact that his mother had died two weeks before his arrival.

During his hidings he managed to get hold of various dictionaries. He taught himself English, French, and Spanish during the war. He realized his passion for knowledge.

He arrived at America with grants to quench his thirst for education. At 24, he graduated undergraduate college in three years. He still wanted to know more. So he received a PhD in aeronautic engineering and went on to become a successful businessman.

After the war, highlights of his life included fighting in the Israeli War of Independence, meeting Albert Einstein during his time attending Princeton University, and developing a stabilizer most cameras use today.

Perlmutter’s story focused on those who helped him rather than those trying to defeat him. His autobiography, the acclaimed book, “Determined,” recounted this miraculous journey from Nazi Europe all the way to Santa Monica, where he lives with his wife still today.

Find Perlmutter’s “Determined” on Amazon.com.

Article by Mariella Rudi, Santa Monica Mirror


Aug 7 Mtg - Holocaust Survivor Avraham Perlmutter Savi Labensart 2015-08-18 00:00:00Z
Rotary Day of Service - Aug 22!

August 22nd is our next Rotary Day of Service!!

We need volunteers to help clean and paint!

We need helpers! Come beautify the Lighthouse Christian Academy for underprivileged kids!

DATE: Saturday, August 22, 2015

TIME: 9am to 12 noon

LOCATION: Lighthouse Christian Academy

                    1424 Yale Street

                    Santa Monica, CA 90404

Refreshments will be served, and kids are welcome as well!

Please respond directly to Drew Fleming: DrewFleming11@gmail.com


Rotary Day of Service - Aug 22! Savi Labensart 2015-08-12 00:00:00Z
July 31 Meeting Program: 5 Gyres Institute

July 31st was our third meeting of the Rotary year! Our speakers were from the 5 Gyres Institute, and they know all the garbage!!

Dr. Marcus Erickson & Mrs. Anna Cummings spoke about trash in the ocean and it's impact on the Earth, animals, and humans!

That fabled Texas-sized island made of trash in our ocean, the Great Pacific garbage patch, does not exist. Nor is there a plastic zoo or trash vortex. It’s something more insidious that exists in our waters, and it can’t be cleaned up.

“The best name for it is a plastic smog,” said Marcus Eriksen, co-founder of the Santa Monica-based non-profit group, 5 Gyres Institute.

But this plastic smog – “like horizontal smoke stacks pumping small particles of plastic into the worlds oceans” – can’t be scooped out of the waters. Nor can it be cleaned out.

But there is hope, according to 5 Gyres, at stopping this haze of trash, mostly made up of micro-particles of plastic; it involves stopping the plastic at the source.

Husband-and-wife team Eriksen and Anna Cummins spoke to Santa Monica Rotarians last Friday, July 31 about the research 5 Gyres has conducted in identifying how much trash and plastic exists in the ocean today, where it comes from, and what it’s impact is and will continue to be.

The 5 Gyres Institute is the first research organization to study all five oceans, and the only organization to study the southern hemisphere gyres. For the past five years, they’ve used information based off annual worldwide expeditions to populate a global model of trash in the ocean. During these research trips on the sea, dragging a fine net behind the boat for a few miles, and they discovered a confetti of small plastic particles dominating every sample.

“Plastic is non-biodegradable, made from fossil fuels from petro chemicals so it’s designed to last indefinitely,” Cummins said. “Plastic traveling around in those currents will break down and become more brittle and will fragment but it never completely dissolve.”

The team has documented roughly 633 species of fish impacted by plastic waste, including being found in the circulatory systems of muscles and clams and even plankton. This is when it starts to impact human life because the particles of plastic waste act as sponges for toxins.

“There are many different contaminants that make their ways into the ocean from industry, agriculture,” Cummins said, and “these contaminants don’t mix with water, but they will stick to plastic at high concentrations, up to a million times higher.

“One single particle of plastic the size of a grain of rice can have up to a million times higher concentration of chemicals like PCBs or DDT, pesticides, oil drops, [and] many different chemicals that make their way into the ocean and are being absorbed into this food web. We are at the top of that food chain.”

To make their research even more relevant to those who might not live near the ocean but instead a great body of water, they decided to sample the Great Lakes. It was in those lakes, specifically Lake Erie, that they found the highest concentration of plastic particles yet.

“One sample contained roughly 1,200 particles of plastic. We were pretty baffled by this sample. Many of these tiny little balls are the same perfectly round shape and size and under a microscope we figured out where these were coming from,” Cummins said.

The worst plastic water pollution came from an unlikely source: microbeads, found in face wash, body scrub, moisturizer, and toothpaste.

Microbeads in scrubs and toothpastes wash down the drain but aren’t actually being captured by sewage treatment. About 38 tons pass into rivers, lakes, and ultimately oceans annually, where they then threaten marine ecosystems via the food web.

When 5 Gyres took their published findings to Proctor & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson, L’Oreal, the corporations agreed to slowly start phasing out the microbead products.

“But we wanted to take it one step further because we are far too small of an NGO to hold major multi-national corporations accountable,” Cummins said. “So we drafted a bill.”

They helped Assemblyman Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica) author AB 888, which would set up the strongest protections in the country against the use of these unnecessary and toxic additives.

If passed by the State Senate before Sept. 11, AB 888 would prohibit, on and after Jan. 1, 2020, selling a personal care product containing intentionally added plastic microbeads that are used to exfoliate or cleanse in a rinse-off product.

Lastly, the Santa Monica Rotary Foundation gave two donations to local organizations.

Presented a grant to Orchestra Santa Monica, the music director and conductor Allen Gross, for $5,000 to purchase orchestra chairs and a conductor chair. They welcomed everyone to their fourth season at the Anne and Jerry Moss Theater at New Roads School.

Another grant was presented to Step Up on Second, with the CEO and Rotary member Todd Lipka accepting the $4,500 gift: “This money will go to support a security system and surveillance system at one of our permanent supportive housing called Michael’s Village.”

Lipka said the surveillance system would act as a helpful tool to monitor the individuals as they transition during the first year to living in a home.

“At Michael’s Village we have housed 34 individuals who are homeless or mentally ill; we literally took them off the streets and then moved them into housing,” he said. “They had a cumulative period of 300 years of homelessness amongst the 34 individuals.”

Visit www.5gyres.org/banthebead or download the Beat the Microbead app for more information about the harm of microbeads on the humans and the marine environment.


July 31 Meeting Program: 5 Gyres Institute Savi Labensart 2015-08-12 00:00:00Z
Astrophysicist Prof. Matthew Malkan

July 24 was our second meeting of the Rotary year, and we had a very interesting speaker on astronomy and the creation of the universe!!

Emperor Tom Loo and astrophysicist Proessor Matthew Malkan!

Four decades after Apollo 17 astronauts shot the “Blue Marble,” the first complete true-color image of the entire Earth, NASA released the updated version earlier this month of the fully sunlit Earth from one million miles away.

To view Earth in its most current state, wholly illuminated yet covered with expansive clouds, dangling in the blackness, provides equal parts amazement and a cosmic existential crisis. In this newest version of ourselves, our world, the Solar System cannot be seen. Our world is alone in the current Blue Marble, a visual definition of our remote place in the galaxy, at least for the time being.

When the famous British astrophysicist Edwin Hubble discovered that the universe is expanding, he essentially discovered the cosmos and supplanted one of the great intellectual revolutions of the 20th century.

About 25 years ago, scientists decided to name one of the most important science projects ever after the founder of modern cosmology: the Hubble Telescope. It was a joint ESA/NASA project with a mission allowing astronomers to make the very high-resolution observations that are essential to open new windows into planets, stars, and other galaxies.

The telescope has been responsible for supplying and unearthing some of the most awe-inducing photographs of the universe and for making over a million scientific observations.

The next generation of this successful but aging telescope will be the James Webb Space Telescope in 2018. During the final servicing mission in 2009, a docking device was fitted onto the base of the Hubble Telescope so that a rocket can easily attach and safely de-orbit the telescope once its mission is complete.

This is where Matthew Malkan comes in. The UCLA professor has been the principle investigator on low orbit Hubble Telescope projects more so than any other astronomer. He spoke to Rotarians on July 24 about what role these bigger-than-life telescopes have on the origins of the universe, and what plans the new telescope has in store for humanity, from the creation of the first galaxies to the evolution of young galaxies, observations about the Big Bang to galaxy surveys through cosmic time.

How we landed in one of the spiral arms of the Milky Way galaxy is one of the most frequently asked questions people ask of Malkan. A leader in his field, he has published more than 250 published articles and peer reviews and has focused on his research on infrared radiation, investigating active galactic nuclei and quasars, and the evolution of young galaxies.

His UCLA astronomy department biography describes his research with activity in nearby galaxies as “using high-resolution imaging from the Hubble Space Telescope to analyze the properties of the galaxies which host the various types of active nuclei. One result is that these data do not support the popular model that the principal properties of the active galactic nuclei are determined by the orientation of a compact hypothetical thick torus which surrounds and is aligned with the accrediting black hole.”

Malkan was also a Mashall scholar at the University of Cambridge, received his PhD from Caltech, and has been a professor of physics and astronomy at UCLA since 1992.

As co-author of the undergraduate textbook, “The Origin and Evolution of the Universe,” Malkan provided a dense overview to Rotarians of the Big Bang Theory and what measurements led scientists to think it had occurred.

One of the “most frequent questions that an astrophysicist always gets: how did we get here. When people are asking that what they’re really asking is, why did it happen and why are we here. That’s what we really want to know. Where we’re at right now, science can’t possibly answer all those things. But it’s kind of fun to see how close we can get,” Malkan said.

It begins with the stars and measuring light received from each star.

Astronomers have spent lifetimes measuring the positions, speeds, temperatures, and chemical compositions of millions of stars. Because they have measurements, we know that stars of the universe are currently seen spreading apart from each other, which means they have been close enough together in the past.

With a big enough telescope, one could essentially look far enough into the galaxy to go back in time to the very beginnings of the universe.

There is “overwhelming evidence” that most of the mass in the universe is dark matter – more than 95 percent. Malkan said that it all must have started with dark matter.

“All you need just to give it something, just a little bit of small excess density, little less gravity, expand a little slower, gets a little bit relatively denser than the rest of the universe which means gravity is stronger,” he said. “Extra gravity. So then that region slows down as more deceleration eventually stops accelerating at all and it collapses. And you can see this process happening if you can turn back the clock. If you can turn back time, we’re just using the slowness of light and the bigness of telescopes.”

And that’s why the James Webb Space Telescope is critical to detecting the first stars and galaxies that formed right after the Big Bang, almost 14 billion years ago. With a bigger telescope come more distant objects. The launch of the James Webb telescope will have to be released in space in pieces.

It’s an “incredible gamble and outrageously expensive,” said Malkan, but one he sees as worth it.

For more information about the James Webb Space Telescope visit www.jwst.nasa.gov.


Astrophysicist Prof. Matthew Malkan Savi Labensart 2015-07-24 00:00:00Z
July 17 Mtg - District Governor Visit & the Santa Monica Road Races

July 17 was our first meeting of the Rotary year, and our District Governor visit, and we had an awesome speaker on the Santa Monica Road Races!!

District Governor DJ Sun takes a ride in the old racer!

Last week’s Rotary meeting was a crash course lesson in Santa Monica’s genesis. The main theme was the city’s roots as an auto racing destination, and the syllabus included buzzworthy L.A. trivia, as well as which streets used to be the auto track.

Harold Osmer, historian and author of such books as “Where They Raced” and “Real Road Racing,” began his lecture at the beginning of Santa Monica, when it was just a rigged coastline – “nothing worth coming up seeing.”

People started coming to Santa Monica in the 1880s on trains, when a ticket during the railroad wars would cost upwards of $185 from Missouri. The train station stopped at the top of the Santa Monica Canyon near Patrick’s Roadhouse.

“What southern California had was a lot of space and a really good climate,” said Osmer, a former engineer who pursued a degree in geography. “To get to Southern California you had to want to be here. You had to target this place. The people who came here initially came for their health; later on they came because it provided a lot of opportunity. Problem was, they had to create that opportunity.”

When Osmer was writing his graduate thesis that would eventually turn into a book, he focused on auto racetracks in Los Angeles; “where they were, what’s there today, and what affect the race track had on future landings.”

He found out that more auto racing had taken place in Southern California than any other place in the world. Dating back to 1903 and to the current time, there were 174 different official race tracks in Southern California.

“A lot of Santa Monica history can be found form 1923 forward for some reason, but Santa Monica road races actually took place from 1909 to 1919. My goal here today is to point out how important the road races were to Santa Monica’s autonomy from the big nasty neighbor of Los Angeles,” Osmer told the audience.

The first main attraction of Santa Monica was the ill-fated Arcardia Hotel, on Ocean Ave. just south of the Pier. At that time, the city was competing with Venice, which had the topographical advantage of being sea level. At the Arcadia Hotel, you had to go down long flights of stairs to get to the beach and walk back up at the end of the day.

“This wound up to be probably the first celebrity trials in Los Angeles, because in 1903 nobody was here yet,” Osmer said.

His sentence? Assault with a deadly weapon claiming alcohol insanity – “in essence, the Twinkie defense.”

After two years at San Quentin, he rehabilitated his public image and donated today’s landmarks like Griffith Park, the Observatory, and the Greek Theatre.

After 10 years in business, the state-of-the-art Arcadia Hotel shut down.

“You couldn’t get anyone to stay in Santa Monica, that was the problem.”

As Santa Monica went through boom and bust periods of tourism, the city was contacted by Auto Dealers Association and got the idea to attract attention through some good old-fashioned racing.

The first organized auto race took place in 1903, and from 1909 to 1919 Santa Monica experienced a growth spurt.

The most famous in Santa Monica ran from from Ocean Ave. to Wilshire to San Vicente boulevards. Fun fact: The corner of Ocean and Wilshire was called Dead Mans Curve.

“Nobody ever died at Dead Man’s Curve – they called it that because it sells a lot of newspaper. It’s about potential and watching this for whatever demented reasons people did,” Osmer said. “They started off on Ocean right where the avenue starts and come down and made that tight left turn ... Next time you go that way, notice as you turn onto Wilshire, you’re now going uphill. You go all the way to the Old Soldier’s Home, which is the Veteran’ Center, and turn around and come down San Vicente and this is downhill.”

Well, people flocked to that first race in 1909 – the estimated crowd was about 40,000 people.

“By 1916, there were well over 100,000,” he said.

“Auto racing in this period was simply the biggest spectator-sporting event. Nothing else was bigger. And there was no radio or television or other ways to spread the word,” he said.

The stars of the West Coast racing world were tough characters from the late 1920s, early 30s era.

Men like Barney Oldfield, Earl Devore, Eddie Pullen, and Jack Tower.

Just a lot of crusty characters with big hands – “they had to because of these great big steering wheels that didn’t have powered steering” – and all good mechanics – “they had to be because they had to fix their own cars.”

These road races were relived that night, where the Fairmont Miramar Hotel and Bungalows sponsored the re-enactment to benefit the Santa Monica History Museum.

To view a fun video from the day, follow this link...



July 17 Mtg - District Governor Visit & the Santa Monica Road Races Savi Labensart 2015-07-24 00:00:00Z
June 13 - Rotary Day of Service at The Children's Place


Members got together to fix up and paint!!

Twenty volunteers gathered at The Children's Place on Saturday, June 13, for the 2015 Rotary Day of Service, a day where members of the Rotary Club of Santa Monica continue their "Legacy of Service" in the Santa Monica community.

The Children's Place is a part of The Ocean Park Childcare Foundation, a foundation dedicated to providing children of all socioeconomic backgrounds with quality early childhood education.

Rotary Day of Service co-chairs Tom Woods and Drew Fleming organized a day of painting and beautification. 

"The idea is to implement an annual hands-on project that benefits and meets a real world need in Santa Monica, as well as raise the visibility of the work of the Rotary Club of Santa Monica, and establish a Santa Monica 'Legacy of Service,'" Woods said.

There was much excitement and a sense of pride as the volunteers transformed the appearance of the preschool.

On Feb. 1, 1922 the Santa Monica Rotary Club was officially chartered as Rotary Club number 1086. Rotary International is a volunteer organization of business and professional leaders who provide humanitarian service, and help to build goodwill and peace in the world. There are approximately 1.2 million Rotary club members belonging to 34,000 Rotary clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas.

Rotary clubs address critical issues at home and abroad by providing health care and medical supplies, clean water, food, job training, youth development, and education to millions of people in need.

June 13 - Rotary Day of Service at The Children's Place Savi Labensart 2015-06-26 00:00:00Z
May 15 Mtg - Scholarship Day


There were a lot of new smiling faces at the Santa Monica Rotary meeting last Friday, and they belonged to the Rotarian scholarship recipients and their proud parents.

The 14 students from three middles schools, four high schools, and Santa Monica College were rewarded for their excellence in academics, leadership, and community service.

Jessie Ramirez, a former LA Tax Associates scholarship winner and Santa Monica College student, began the award ceremony.

“Looking back, I never imagined that I would get into USC and receive an acceptance letter from UCLA,” Ramirez said. “I made the decision to come to Santa Monica College and it opened a lot of doors for me.

I am very thankful for the Santa Monica community as a whole and everything that was presented to me here by the LA Tax Associates. I wouldn’t be here without their help, with the cost that it takes to be at USC.”

“I hope that all the recipients of the scholarships here tonight go on to bigger and better things.And thank you very much for every ones assistance,” Ramirez said, finishing his speech.

The scholarship award winners from Santa Monica College included Jessica Soegono and Ali Khan (Archie Morrison Scholarship for $750), Haley Coleman (Nick Holt Scholarship for $1,000), and Dabiel Kolko (LA Tax Associates Scholarship for $1,500).

The high school award winners included Jessica Bonilla (Russel Hart Scholarship for $1,000), Abigail Wisen (Clyde Smith Scholarship for $1,000), and Cynthia Cristobal (Russel Hart Scholarship for $1,000) from Santa Monica High; Jhonton Aragon (Tom Fox Scholarship for $1,000) from St. Monica High School; Maia Joseph (John English Scholarship for $1,000) from Olympic High School; and Shaila Hernandez (Harding Larmore, Kozal and Kutcher for $1,000) from New Roads High School.

The middle school winners included Soah Frankli (Citizenship Award for $100) from Cross Roads Middle School, Yabsra Ayele (Citizenship Award $100) from Lincoln Middle School, and Melissa Pflug (Citizenship Award for $100) from New Roads Middle School.


The Santa Monica Rotary board has decided to give $2,000 to the Rotary District 5280 Disaster Relief Fund in collaboration with the Nepal District 3292 for Nepal earthquake relief. In addition, the club will match donations up to another $2,000 by club members.

Pei and Marina Hanai were introduced as the newest Rotarian members.


May 15 Mtg - Scholarship Day Savi Labensart 2015-05-27 00:00:00Z
February 20 Speaker, Steve McAndrew - Ebola Operations in Sierra Leone

Steve McAndrew

Head of Emergency Ebola Operations in Sierra Leone

International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies


There are few people in this world as well traveled, well informed, and as brave as Steve McAndrew. As the head of emergency operations for the International Federation of the Red Cross, he works globally on all sorts of projects. When he's not out in the field, which he is 50-75% of his year, he's mentoring, training, working on policy development, etc. but lately he's been in Sierra Leone, in the middle of the biggest Ebola outbreak the world has yet to see.

Steve has been adventurous his whole life, but started out just like any of us. His parents were from the Jersey shore, and he grew up in Philly, playing street hockey with his friends, couch cushions strapped to his body for protection. As an adult he did construction, brick and mason.

At 28, things started to get more interesting. He joined the peace core and flew off to Honduras to build water systems. "This is where I learned to be humble," he says. How could he not, when next thing he knew, he was in the middle of Hurricane Mitch, a major hurricane that hit Central America (particularly Honduras and Nicaragua), the Yucatan Peninsula, and South Florida, killing over 19 thousand people.

From there, McAndrew joined the Red Cross as a volunteer, where they trained him for international response. He went to India first, and then learned about food aid in Africa. "This is where I learned to listen," Steve says.

Eventually Steve made his way up the ladder, and got the title he has today. As head of emergency ops internationally, he helps to organize the Red Cross' 187 national societies. And as I noted earlier, his latest heroic endeavor has been to help with the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

McAndrew says that Ebola is sweeping around Africa at great speed, the worst hit being Guinea, Liberia, and of course Sierra Leone where Steve has been helping. This incredibly infectious malady has also taken a toll on Nigeria, Senegal, Mali, and Spain, even limited cases in the UK and here in America. There have been 23,337 cases, and 9,442 deaths so far. "The world is having to adjust," Steve says. "We have seen Ebola before, but this is the largest and longest issue with it that the world has faced. It starts in one place, rapidly moves around, often ending up back where it started, and all the while we are chasing it."

There is no known cure for Ebola, but Steve says that there are a few different ways to battle this disease, including treatment, safe and dignified burials, surveillance and contact tracing, social mobilization and communications, and psycho social support.

Social mobilization and communications is pretty straight forward....educate people! The Red Cross is constantly trying to teach about this disease, talking about it on radio and TV shows. In Africa, the system is ignorant with human dysfunction. People don't know what to look for or what to do if they have it. In the later stages people come down with dementia, so there is a lot of room for error. Folks often think they have something else, like malaria or some tropical disease, or even blame witchcraft.

Surveillance and contact training speaks for itself on intent, but things are easier said than done. The people down there do not trust their government, and it's hard to keep track of who is where. The people are suspicious of everything, and with good reason, after all their history includes being colonized, enslaved, and forced into diamond mines. Here in the USA we can watch in typical "big brother" fashion as cameras line the streets and traffic lights, and the likelihood of transporting the disease is limited, but there are no traffic lights in Sierra Leone, no big brother watching out.

As far as medical treatment goes, there's only so much they can do. You can give a patient pain killers, hook them to an IV, hydrate. They think that we can increase survival by quicker treatment, but aren't sure. They've noted that kids who drank coconut milk seemed to recover better, but this is also mere hypothesis. By getting a person to a hospital, they can provide that other illnesses or injuries are treated, which likely helps, but there is still no cure for Ebola. Whether there was a cure or not, some would never turn to western medicine anyway.  With seldom a doctor to be seen, many turn to natural healers. Unfortunately, unless those healers are educated, they can be part of the problem, getting the disease and then passing it around to all their patients. Steve says that the thing is to have hospitals up and running with 24/7 staff, in locations out of town, and to make sure that those running the hospitals are doing it safely and securely. This is hard when at every turn there is the possibility of infection. The suits they wear to protect against this disease are great, but only if you use them correctly. There are many steps to getting into, and especially out of, these terribly hot suits. You miss just one step, and you are going to get it.

One of the most difficult areas to deal with is safe and dignified burial. This seems like a simple task, but there they have a different culture, one where they touch the dead body, wash the body. One dead person can infect another 20 who go home and spread it some more. There have been extensive efforts to work with spiritual leaders on this, to explain how it all works, and they are starting to change but it’s slow.

Teams are sent into quarantined areas to retrieve bodies, often finding more dead in a house than was reported. Imagine if you will, being in the shoes of these team members. You walk up to a quarantined area, and you see one guard, and he's sleeping on job. The idea of restriction has already flown out the window. You head to the house, and there everything has to be sprayed down... the walkway leading up, the door, the roof, and then inside. You carry out the body (or bodies rather) while family and friends are gathered, weeping and wailing. You have to keep going. In the end, you finally get to take off your suit, but not before being sprayed off yourself, and then slowly removed from each piece. If you are lucky, you're job for the day is just dealing with suits, making sure each team member has theirs on correctly and helping them off afterward.

As you can see, there are so many things to think about when it comes to Ebola. Steve says that the response isn't so much about money, though that helps, too. It's really about volunteers and workers jumping up to help. And Steve McAndrew has certainly been doing his part!


February 20 Speaker, Steve McAndrew - Ebola Operations in Sierra Leone Savitri Labensart 2015-02-20 00:00:00Z
Meeting Recap - October 10, 2014
Last week was the 15th of King George's reign. We witnessed fellow plebes, er, uh, I mean fellow Rotarians -- architect and furniture designer Vlado Vlakof and Santa Monica Mirror publisher TJ Montemer -- give their Craft Talks.
Architect and Furniture Designer
Vlado Valkof
Santa Monica Mirror Publisher
TJ Montemer

Carlthorp School Headmistress and Past President Dee Menzies presented $2 ,500 grant to the Museum of Flying at the Santa Monica Airport Executive Director Dan Ryan.


Iao Katagiri was recognized for her many fabulous contributions to our Rotary Club.

Additionally, visiting Rotarian John Coker (RC-Fredericksburg, Virginia) got to know American Red Cross-Santa Monica Chapter Executive Julie Thomas and SM Fire Chief Scott Ferguson reported on meeting with President Obama.

Meeting Recap - October 10, 2014 Iao Katagiri 2014-10-13 00:00:00Z
King George takes Ice Bucket Challenge

Rotarian and Santa Monica Fire Department Chief Scott Ferguson nominated President “King George” Collins to take the Ice Bucket Challenge.

Rick Ruby had the honor of dousing Collins with ice water. This challenge is to bring awareness to Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) commonly referred to in the United States as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease”.

ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. When the motor neurons  die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their death.

Approximately 5,600 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with ALS each year. The incidence of ALS is two per 100,000 people, and it is estimated that as many as 30,000 Americans may have the disease at any given time.  Life expectancy of an ALS patient averages about two to five years from the time of diagnosis, although 25% of patients live considerably longer.


Image Image Image

The following quote is from ALS Foundation website,

"Please be thoughtful about water usage. If you’re in an area of the country or world affected by drought, please consider making a donation instead, or repurpose the water for later use."
For more information about ALS, click here.

I do not know how dousing someone with ice water has any correlation to ALS, but happy to do it to generation donations.
King George takes Ice Bucket Challenge Jillian Alexander 2014-09-23 00:00:00Z
Rotary Meeting Recap -- September 19, 2014

The September 19 Rotary Club of Santa Monica meeting was particularly eventful as the members became more informed about where their funds are allocated and as President George Collins partook in the popular Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS.
The weekly meeting commenced with a group sing-a-long, per usual, as the cheery Rotarians livened up the atmosphere by collectively crooning "America the Beautiful" and "We Are The World."

The meeting continued on to introduce some of the visiting Rotarians, including special guests who ventured all the way from Europe: Geoff Hunt from Coventry, England, and Hatto and Ursula Brand from Westheim, Germany.


A recognition of the recent blood drive took place as well, with saluted blood donors and Rotarians Mitchell Kraus, Rob Santos, and Bret Carter making a toast with Ann Greenspun, Southern California Blood Services Board Chair, and Julie Thomas, American Red Cross of Santa Monica Executive.

Rotary Meeting Recap -- September 19, 2014 Thomas Montemer 2014-09-23 00:00:00Z
Meeting Recap - August 15, 2014

Santa Monica Rotary Corner: Members Address Meeting As Part Of Craft Talks

Friday, 22 Aug 2014, 8:56:00 AM

On Friday, Aug. 15, the Rotary Club of Santa Monica commenced its weekly meeting at the Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades with the usual warm, hearty greetings among both members and guests.

Meeting Recap - August 15, 2014 Leonard Lanzi 2014-08-22 00:00:00Z
Meeting Recap - May 9, 2014


The entire meeting was devoted to appreciating our Support Staff including business workers, colleagues, and spouses.

Surprise appearance by Dolly Parton (impersonator) singing the work-weary hit 9-to-5
Dolly Parton impersonator and President Nat Trives

Dolly Parton impersonator and President Nat Trives

With Susan Gabriel Potter,
Diane Margolin not only created a lovely event,
but also honored Wendy Navin.
Wendy Navin and Diane Margolin

Wendy Navin and Diane Margolin

Matt Williams toasted his support staff
Jonathan Schwartz, Matt Williams, Matt Johson and Philicia Kennedy Flamer

Pictured left to right: Jonathan Schwartz, Matt Williams, Matt Johson and Philicia Kennedy Flamer

Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce President
Laurel Rosen brought her entire team whom support not only Laurel, but also many Rotarians
Shelly Locks, Carl Hanson, Laurel Rosen

Pictured left-to-right: Shelly Locks,Carl Hanson, Laurel Rosen

Karim Jaude brought his
Dynamics Capital team
Zara Nguyen, Gabrielle Aboujaoude, Karim Jaude, Annette Koomthong

Pictured left-to-right: Zara Nguyen, Gabrielle Aboujaoude, Karim Jaude and Annette Koomthong

Tax Wizard Greg Hargrave brought his business partner-wife Terry Hargrave and their support staff
Terry Hargrave, Sharon Wright, Christina Pilo, Shedonna Johnson, Greg Hargrave

Pictured left-to-right: Terry Hargrave, Sharon Wright, Christina Pilo, Shedonna Johnson, and Greg Hargrave.

Too bad we did not get photo of Shedonna's shoes.

For more photos, click here.

Meeting Recap - May 9, 2014 Jillian Alexander 2014-05-13 00:00:00Z
Meeting Recap - May 2, 2014


The entire meeting was devoted to speaker VJ Smith sharing his tale about an exceptional and unforgettable Wal-Mart employee Marty Martinson, and how meeting him altered Smith's life. Marty's gratitude for all he had inspired Smith to write a book and become a professional speaker.

President Nat Trives with speaker VJ Smith
President Nat Trives and speaker VJ Smith

Former University of South Dakota Athletic Director SHOUTED about the need to HUSTLE and that the most important word is "CARE". Smith believes love is part of care, not that care is act of love.

Smith also SHOUTED at us to say "THANK YOU," and expressing gratitude was the underlying message.

Meeting Recap - May 2, 2014 Jillian Alexander 2014-05-07 00:00:00Z
Sustain Our Environment committee at La Gran Limpieza 2014

Last Saturday, Sustain Our Environment committee participated in
Friends of the LA River's annual La Gran Limpieza (LA River Cleanup).


Contrary to popular belief, there IS water in the LA River.

Our crew -- Rotarians Bill Rayman, Bret Carter, John Dravillas,
and a couple of John's buddies -- gathered 5 bags of garbage from the river,
and had a good time together.
Image Image
Continue reading for the full story and more LA River images.

Sustain Our Environment committee at La Gran Limpieza 2014 John Dravillas 2014-05-07 00:00:00Z
International Food & Song Festival - April 27, 2014

THANK YOU to Foodstock organizers and hosts
Stephanie Loo, Karim Jaude and Tom Loo


 more photos ...

International Food & Song Festival - April 27, 2014 Jillian Alexander 2014-05-07 00:00:00Z
Meeting Recap - April 11, 2014



April Birthdays were celebrated and all received hats and acknowledgment for being one more year older.  

We saw a wonderful photo video of the Rotary Day of Service Event and everyone who helped out wore their Rotary Day of Service t-shirts to the meeting.  The principal of the school presented Rotary with a giant card signed by all of the kids at St. Anne's School.  Thank you to everyone who did help out, it was an amazing day!

George Collins introduced our speaker who discussed our founding fathers.  His goal was to give us many interesting facts about what he called 6 great men.  Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, John Adams, James Madison, and Alexander Hamilton.  It's very interesting to get a more human idea of these great men who lived in the 18th century.  We were able to get an idea of their size and weight, hobbies, and personal life.  

We will be dark for the next couple of weeks, but we will see everyone in May for more for and more great meetings!

Meeting Recap - April 11, 2014 Nicholas Goehner 2014-04-16 00:00:00Z
Meeting Recap - April 4, 2014


Speaker Lee Stanley with Program Chair Larry Mortorff
and Presiding Officer Bret Carter

VP Committees Bret Carter presided over our meeting. VP Bret brilliantly fined Adam Lichtl $300 for getting engaged to Patsy Rincon,  Iao Katagiri $100 for always taking photos at the Rotary meetings, and Mitch Kraus $50 for promoting the upcoming Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce's Sustainable Quality Awards.

Invocateur Jay Smith III brought our attention to those displaced by the earthquake in Chile, mudslide in Washington, and missing Flight 370 as well as their dear ones. Rotarians have been helping to address each effort, and we are proud that Rotary Cares.

Russ Warner presented a $1,500 Community and Youth Grant to Fr. Anthony “Tony” Gonzalez on behalf of St. Anne School and St. Monica Catholic Community parish.

Ron Caul cheerfully led guest introductions.

Larry Mortorff introduced documentary writer, producer, director, and winner of five Emmy Awards (including best director and best film) Lee Stanley. Lee shared how repairing a film for California Youth Authority's Camp David Gonzales and screening his documentary about a paraplegic at the San Fernando Valley Juvenile Hall led to The Desperate Passage Series. The series shows how violent juvenile prisoners released into Lee's sole custody for 10-day at-sea expeditions aboard his 58’ sailboat overcome gang allegiances to work as a team aboard the vessel and regain their sense of humanity and hope. It took four years to obtain permission for the youths to be released to Lee, then Lee had to raise financing for shoe-string budget film. In addition to 10-days of principal photography, it took a year to complete and another year to get network to commit to airing it. KTLA's long-time General Manager was so moved, he was instrumental in securing Michael Landon as program host and scheduled KTLA airing which won the prime-time slot both on initial and first rebroadcast. The Desperate Passage Series was nominated for 33 individual Emmys and won 13.

Lee expressed it would be near impossible to raise similar financing today, and how fortunately philanthropists and Galpin Motors' owners Bert & Jane Bachman had an appreciation for the project. The first films success led to the Bachmans financing 5 additional films. Filmmakers know it takes a team to achieve success.

Meeting Recap - April 4, 2014 Jillian Alexander 2014-04-08 00:00:00Z
Meeting Recap - March 28, 2014



VP Scott Ferguson opened our meeting informing us that President Nat Trives is recovering well after having a defibrillator implanted last Wednesday, March 26.

In the spirit of tax season, carrot farmer Jim Menzies gave our invocation to “spare some taxes so we have something to share with Rotary.” And Tom Larmore lead an interesting revision of The Sound of Music’s “My Favorite Things.”

VP Scott fined Barbara Bishop for being named to the Board of the Orchestra Santa Monica.

Sharon Perlmutter-Gavin presented a check to Courtney Lockwood on behalf of the Venice High School STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, and Medicine) Magnet program. Our club partnered with Rotary Club of Playa Venice Sunrise and secured a District Grant resulting in a $3,250 award.

Roast Host Roger Davis emceed the Retirement Roast of “free-spirit” Rosemary Regalbuto and “sexy librarian-type” Judy Neveau.

Tish Tisherman played a “Roast for Rosie” video and Len Lanzi bestowed RoseMary with a chef’s hat and apron. Then Kevin McNulty gave us the real scoop. Ironically, RoseMary worked at Meals on Wheels West (MOWW) for 27 years but her cooking is so bad that her husband Joe won’t let her do it and having no sense of direction makes deliveries challenging!

Dick Lawrence provided voice-over to the “Joy of Judy” Neveau slideshow. Highlights included how Judy recruited many Rotarians to be SMC Associates, squeezed money out of SMC Associates, and used her charms for career advancement. Queen Judy enjoys “hob nobbing” with high profile dignitaries. This was one of the perks of her job at SMC.

We look forward to recent retirees RoseMary and Judy dedicating much of their free time to various Rotary activities!

To view photos from the meeting click here.

Meeting Recap - March 28, 2014 Jillian Alexander 2014-04-03 00:00:00Z
District 5280 Youth Service District Breakfast - April 8, 2014
District 5280 Youth Service District Breakfast

Tuesday, April 8, 2014 at 7:00 a.m.
Westin LAX Hotel
5400 W. Century Blvd.
Los Angeles 90045
Free self-parking in hotel parking structure.
Valet parking at Westin rates.
Program Speaker: Prophet Walker
Prophet's remarkable journey is one of determination and perseverance. Come hear how this young man went from prison to
become a college graduate, a
community leader, a role model, and activist. Treat your youth clubs to this amazing program!

View the flyer here.

RSVP with Savi ASAP! It’s first come, first serve, and we only have a total of ten spots!
District 5280 Youth Service District Breakfast - April 8, 2014 Jillian Alexander 2014-03-31 00:00:00Z
District 5280 Humanitarian Trip to Medellin, Colombia

District 5280 Humanitarian Trip to Medellin, Colombia

Rotary District 4271 (Medellin, Colombia) hosted 106 District 5280 Rotarians, Interact and Rotaract Club members and their families -- Including our own adventurous travellers PP Judy Neveau, PE George Collins and wife Pat Collins, and Director Russ Warner -- for our annual District Humanitarian Trip  March 19-24, 2014. During days packed with project site visits, Colombian Rotary Club hosted events and sight-seeing, we directly interacted with project grant recipients and saw projects which our Rotary funding supports.

These projects included delivering backpacks filled with school supplies to children in the agricultural small town of Alejandria; funding a new washing machine and other supplies for a remote medical clinic staffed by one doctor plus volunteers which serves over 4,000 rural families; providing wheelchairs and other equipment to an urban center serving babies and youth afflicted with spina biffida which also provides maternal health education and outreach; funding a remote locale river-water reclamation project; and providing equipment and supplies to an urban dental clinic and senior center. We experienced many very special "Rotary Moments". These continue to be reminders of why "Service Above Self" matters, and why we chose to be Rotarians.

In addition to fellowship and service, we had fun with other District 5280 Rotarians rafting, horseback riding, and visiting the National Heritage site town of Santa Fe de Antioquia. Columbian Rotarians were warm and energetic hosts, led by their gracious District Governor Monica Uribe. We were able to tour the impressive public transportation network of Medellin, including riding their cable cars which take rich and poor alike from the train stations high up into the surrounding hills - truly to be envied, especially from grid-locked Southern California.

Why not be part of this amazing Rotary experience of hands-on giving and cultural exchange next year? The 2015 Humanitarian Trip has been announced for February 1-5, 2015 to enchanting Guatemala and the World Heritage site of Antigua and the Lake Atitlan region, with a fabulous post-trip opportunity to Tikal to see the ruins of a major site of Mayan civilization being excavated in the jungles close to Belize? Mark your calendar for an unforgettable time, doing hands-on Rotary service while extending international friendships and learning about the culture of Guatemala?

District 5280 Humanitarian Trip to Medellin, Colombia Judy Neveau 2014-03-24 00:00:00Z
Recap - Rotary Reads

Rotary Reads

Myles Pritchard at Grant Elementary School

Vince Muselli

Recap - Rotary Reads Janie Yuguchi Gates 2014-03-24 00:00:00Z
Meeting Recap - March 21, 2014


Program Chair Laurel Rosen,
Speaker Bert Upson, and
President Nat Trives

Image Rotarians with the
New York Fire Department
Rescue 5

Gita Runkle opened our meeting with a Rotary invocation, and Roger Davis led introduction of guests and visiting Rotarians, including two repeat visitors Abbey Fernandez (RC-Ybor Florida) and from Michael Reinprecht (RC-Vienna).

In celebration of spring, Tom Larmore led an up-beat Simon and Garfunkel's "The 59th Street Bridge Song."

"President's Pick" Santa Monica Fire Captain James Altman brought one of the two Rescue Mission trucks for us to view. This is the  New York Fire Department Rescue 5 vehicle, which was the Staten Island sole rescue vehicle. On September 11, 2001, NYFD Staten Island received call to respond just as shift change was occurring. The six firemen going off shift and six fireman coming on shift jumped on this vehicle  to respond to call. Unfortunately, all 12 lost their lives rescuing others in the towers. To build awareness among younger generations too young to remember horrible events, two Chicago firemen acquired and restored this and Rescue 4 (NYFD-Bronx) vehicles. Santa Monica Fire Department is the first to host Rescue 5 and take it to schools. Other local Fire Departments already committed to hosting the vehicle include Culver City, City of Los Angeles, and Los Angeles County. It is intended that the vehicle will travel up the west coast and into Canada before moving eastward to return to Chicago.

Laurel Rosen introduced 9/11 survivor Bert Upson, who detailed his observations of the traumatic day. Life coach Bert was preparing to lead a seminar ironically entitled "Taking Charge of your Future" to an audience of fourteen sales consultants on the 78th Floor of the World Trade Center's South Tower (the floor that was hit second). Fortunately Bert got out of the building in time. He remembered complete pandemonium in the streets and the smell of burning steel, concrete, and flesh. At the end of his speech, Bert reminded us to "never forget 9/11."


Please keep positive thoughts for President Nat who will be receiving a defibrillator implant on Wednesday, March 26, 2014.

Meeting Recap - March 21, 2014 Jillian Alexander 2014-03-24 00:00:00Z
District 5280 High School Arts Competition Finals
District 5280 High School Arts Competition Finals

Quinn Charles with Art Finalist Jared Valesquez and Music Finalist Elliot Sorgen  

Rotary Club of Santa Monica sponsored Santa Monica High School Sophomore
Quinn Charles
received 3rd place in Dance at the District 5280 High School Arts
Competition Finals
held on March 1, 2014 at Loyola Marymount University. Quinn
performed modern ballet dance and currently studies dance at the
Debbie Allen Dance Academy
. Congratulations Quinn!

District 5280 High School Arts Competition Finals Julia Miele 2014-03-24 00:00:00Z
Job Shadow Day - April 4, 2014

Job Shadow Day

When: Friday, April 4, 2014
Where: At your place of work!
What: Demonstrate to an SMC Rotaract
    student your exciting career!

Rotaractors will spend the morning job shadowing you at your office
and then join you for lunch at the Riviera Country Club. The students
will then participate in the Rotary Day of Service on Saturday, April 5, 2014!

For more information please contact David Snow
at dave.snow@verizon.net or (310) 383-4028.

Job Shadow Day - April 4, 2014 David Snow 2014-03-24 00:00:00Z
Rotary Day of Service - April 5, 2014

Rotary Day of Service


Saturday, April 5, 2014
We're going to fix up St. Anne School!
Come out and do a hands on project!

Click here for details.

Rotary Day of Service - April 5, 2014 Charles Follette 2014-03-24 00:00:00Z
Meeting Recap - March 14, 2014


Daniel Bennett presented a $500 Community Youth Grant check to Brian Part of Humble Athletics. The money will be used to purchase new modern and safe workout equipment for student athletes, 80% of whom are either Santa Monica residents or Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District students.


We learned a lot about club members Julie Thomas and Tom Woods! Julie Thomas was a youngster in West Virginia, then moved to Detroit, Michigan with her family. One of her favorite memories was putting together a Heath Kit.

Julie loves to read and spent a lot of time at the Detroit Library when she lived in Michigan.

IT Is no suprise Julie studied Mass Communication in college and wanted to become a broadcast journalist on 60 minutes or
NPR or a journalist with the Detroit Free Press. Julie proudly shared that she paid for college as a well-paid unionized worker scooping ice cream and serving in a bakery.

Throughout her career, Julie has worked in the non-profit social services sector. After college, she met her husband through a co-worker at the National MS Society. In 2012, Julie became the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the American Red Cross of Santa Monica.


Surprisingly, John Bohn and Eric Schmutter sponsored a self proclaimed "dork," Tom Woods.  (Tom, if you hadn't told us, we would not have known.)

At 7-months-old, San Diego-native Tom moved to Santa Monica. Being of Midwestern stock, Tom's fondest sports memory is of attending the 1995 Aloha Bowl football game in Honolulu, HI when Kansas University beat UCLA 51-30. *boo hoo*

Community service is in Tom's blood and his spirit. His grandpa Ralph was a Rotarian and our member Bob Moore is the father of Tom's sister-in-law. Before becoming a Rotarian, Tom started his service by joining Boy Scouts Troop 1 ½, then graduating to Troop 2 and has earned the Boy Scouts rank of Eagle Scout.

After Boy Scouts, Tom went to college at the University of California San Diego. Although he studied Cellular Biology and Visual Arts, Tom chose to apply what he learned as a General Contractor. Today, Tom owns Woods Construction.

Meeting Recap - March 14, 2014 Jillian Alexander 2014-03-19 00:00:00Z
Recap - Rotary Networking Hour

Rotary Networking Hour


Last Wednesday (March 12) our Rotary Networking Group met to get to know each other professionally, build our referral networks, and become resources for each other.

We met and discussed many topics ranging from real estate to estate planning issues, where several of our Rotarian attorneys chimed in, including Lisa Alexander, George Collins, Bret Carter, and Connolly OylerTom Woods gave us a good background on his general contracting business, which was also tied in to several issues surrounding contracts.

  We also discussed referral relationships, where we get them, and where we give them.  As might be expected, it was universally agreed that the best leads come from referrals from strong relationships, as opposed to general marketing.  This was a strong validation of the importance of have a tight business community, like Rotary, to whom we can refer to for strong business partners.

Recap - Rotary Networking Hour Daniel Bennett 2014-03-19 00:00:00Z
Rotary Reads - March 19 & 20, 2014

Rotary Reads


Rotarians, please come out and read to kids! We will be reading in the eight elementary schools in the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District on Wednesday, March 19 and Thursday, March 20, 2014! This is such a great effort each year, bringing in members to read to students in Kindergarten-Grade 2 classrooms.  We've also purchased a set of 24 newly published, award-winning books for each of the school's libraries. Each reading slot is 30 minutes.  We need you!

Be sure to sign-up at our Friday luncheon meeting or contact Janie Yuguchi Gates at jgates@smmusd.org or (310) 569-2668 as soon as you can!

Rotary Reads - March 19 & 20, 2014 Janie Yuguchi Gates 2014-03-17 00:00:00Z
Meeting Recap - March 7, 2014


The head table included "President's Pick" David Rosenfeld; Scott Ferguson, who gave a wonderful invocation about the importance of family; Mitchell Kraus, who introduced our guests; and Avo Guerboian who introduced our speaker Natalie Crawford.

Member Avo Guerboian with Speaker Natalie Crawford

Pardee RAND Graduate School Professor and Former Vice President and Director of RAND Project AIR FORCE Natalie Crawford told some amazing stories about her life and her journey to RAND and shared her thoughts about current events. It was evident that Natalie approaches all decisions and forms beliefs with considerable thoughtfulness and intelligence.

Natalie has repeatedly been recognized for her contributions, including being recognized with lifetime achievement awards from the Air Force Analytic Community, the National Defense Industrial Associations Combat Survivability Division, and the Air Force Association for contributions to advancements in aerospace, science, and technology. In addition, she was recently awarded the Thomas D. White National Defense Award given annually to civilians who have contributed significantly to the national defense of our country. Other recipients of this award include Ronald Reagan, Colin Powell, John McCain, and Condoleezza Rice. Natalie is the second female to ever receive this award.
We were truly honored to kickoff National Women's History Month with such a spectacular guest speaker. Thank you Natalie!

Meeting Recap - March 7, 2014 Jillian Alexander 2014-03-11 00:00:00Z
Recap - Healthy Living Hike
Rotarians for Healthy Living
Mount Hollywood & Griffith Observatory Hike


Rotarians and friends met at the Charles Turner Trailhead bright and early last Saturday (March 8) morning.

We ascended the trail and at every turn the views were gorgeous. Almost immediately we were treated to a close up view of the Hollywood Sign, the closest many of us had ever been. Farther along, we looked back to see the Griffith Observatory framed against the backdrop of Downtown L.A. and the entire Los Angeles Basin. Approaching the top we enjoyed a panoramic view of Glendale and Burbank. We took our time to enjoy the beauty. Atop Mount Hollywood we devoured refreshments -- bagels and cream cheese, and orange juice and relished in being at the top of the world!

On the way down we took a wrong turn, but quickly recovered and made our way back to the Observatory. Everyone had a great time!

To view photos from the hike click here.

Recap - Healthy Living Hike Lisa Alexander 2014-03-10 00:00:00Z
Recap - First Friday Tennis

First Friday Tennis


Last Friday, 20 Rotarians and their friends showed up to play tennis and 12 others joined for dinner! Melissa Dagodag charmed everyone with not only her beauty and elegance, but also her racquet skills. Mike O’Hara drove everyone crazy with his heavy slices, spins, and dropped shots.

Join us for the next fun social and competitive event!

Recap - First Friday Tennis Karim Jaude 2014-03-10 00:00:00Z
Meeting Recap - Febraury 28, 2014


In honor of Black History Month, Dr. Williams spoke a little bit about Fisk University, in Nashville, Tennessee, and how it began in 1866 with the need to educate freed slaves.  It was very fascinating.

Pictured left-to-right: Past President David Bohn,
Speaker NPR “Morning Edition” co-host Renee Montagne

Vice President - Programs Scott Ferguson,
Member Billy Howard, and
President Nat Trives

We were so honored to have NPR “Morning Edition” co-host Renée Montagne speak at our meeting.  Renée has quite an incredible journalistic resume and had some amazing stories to tell.  Between major political moments in history and some seemingly near death experiences, Renée had quite inspiring stories to share with our club. 

One of her most fascinating stories was her experience being at the inauguration of Nelson Mandela, and how she knew at the time how important that moment in history really was.

Meeting Recap - Febraury 28, 2014 Nicholas Goehner 2014-03-04 00:00:00Z
Meeting Recap - February 21, 2014


Landscape Architect Charlie Follette delivered a rock solid, earthy invocation.
1960 US Olympic Volleyball Team and club member Mike O’Hara not only was this week’s President’s Pick, but also asked for help re-branding four-person volleyball played on sand. Mike’s championing a new league to teach and encourage youngsters to play which has launched as a Girls’ league in Venice, California. The sport uses the same short courts as two-person beach volleyball and is not only intended to be fun, but also will prepare athletes to play team volleyball at the High School and Collegiate level.
Rosemary Regalbuto received $100 fine in absentia (Honorary Rotarian Tish Tisherman accepted fine on Rosemary’s behalf) for being recognized by the Lions Club of Santa Monica for her contributions during 27 years running Meals on Wheels West. President Nat Trives agreed to the Club’s recommended $200 amount as a fine for being the one to emcee the February 27, 2014, Lions Club event honoring Rosemary.

Director of Vocational Services Julie Miele and Committee Chair Pam Brady introduced the three Rotary Club of Santa Monica High School Arts Competition finalists who will advance to the District 5280 competition:

Dance Finalist: Quin Charles - Santa Monica High School Sophomore – performed modern ballet dance. She currently studies dance at the Debbie Allen Dance Academy.


Art Finalist: Jared Valesquez -Santa Monica High School Senior - exhibited an intricate metaphorical pencil drawing symbolizing one’s struggle between hedonism and wisdom, with civility winning by the mind-body-spirit alignment for infinity.
Music Finalist: Classical guitarist Elliot Sorgen - Santa Monica High School Senior – Audience listened intently as Elliot played a modern, classical-style song on acoustic guitar accompanied by Tim Beckman. Cannot recall anytime that our members have been so quiet. Elliot’s applying to the Berkeley Academy of Music.
March 1, 2014, District 5280 High School Arts Competition Finals will be held at Loyola Marymount University.

Meeting Recap - February 21, 2014 Jillian Alexander 2014-02-26 00:00:00Z
Mount Hollywood & Griffith Observatory Hike - March 8, 2014

Rotarians for Healthy Living
Mount Hollywood & Griffith Observatory Hike
Saturday, March 8, 2014 -- 8:30 a.m.

Rising high at the heart of Griffith Park stands 1,625-foot Mount Hollywood with its amazing vistas of Los Angeles. We will hike the most popular route, starting at the Charlie Turner Trailhead at Hollywood Trail. After hiking north 1.5 miles to the summit, we will be rewarded with an amazing 360-degree panorama of Los Angeles. We will finish with no-host refreshments at the Café at the End of the Universe, after which you are free to stay and enjoy the observatory on your own. 

Meet at the Charlie Turner Trailhead (north end of Griffith Observatory parking lot).  Bring a hat, water, sunscreen, and binoculars. The hike is moderately strenuous.

For carpooling or questions please contact trip leader Lisa Alexander at alexander@jaklelaw.com or (310) 656-4310.

Mount Hollywood & Griffith Observatory Hike - March 8, 2014 Jillian Alexander 2014-02-26 00:00:00Z
Typhoon and Tornado Relief - Member Challenge

Rotary Club of Santa Monica Board of Officers & Directors have allocated funds to match member contributions toward Typhoon Hiayun and southwest Illinois Tornado disaster relief efforts. The Club will match all member contributions up to cumulative $2,500 for Typhoon Hiayun and $2,500 for Tornado.

Please contact Treasurer Alan Glick at alan.glick@mssb.com or (310) 392-5970 regarding your contribution.

Typhoon and Tornado Relief - Member Challenge Jillian Alexander 2014-02-26 00:00:00Z
Meeting Recap - February 7, 2014


Orchestra Santa Monica Woodwind Quintet

Ricardo Escobar wowed us with his classical guitar performance

Our meeting began with a wonderful performance by the Orchestra Santa Monica Woodwind Quintet.

The head table consisted of "President's Pick" Stan Bots; Invocateur Ken Waltzer, who shared a wonderful quote; Patricia Farris, who introduced meeting guests; and George Collins, who introduced featured entertainer Classical Guitarist Ricardo Escobar.

We also sang happy birthday to all of our Rotarians with birthdays in January and February. They received gifts and a Rotary hat! Happy Birthday Rotarians!

We were all touched by an amazing Classical Guitar performance by Ricardo Escobar.  He played some songs from all over Latin America and showed off the speed and skill that his fingers had on his guitar.  Thank you Orchestra Santa Monica and Ricardo Escobar!
Meeting Recap - February 7, 2014 Nicholas Goehner 2014-02-10 00:00:00Z
Meeting Recap - January 31, 2014


Invocateur Linda Teixiera shared lovely and concise message to kick-off our meeting. Michael Cates  introduced the meeting’s guests, followed by Ken Waltzer keying a deliberately-paced rendition of "What a Wonderful World" on the piano. President Nat Trives fined himself once, although it should have been for Portugal mischief rather than being eer-so-slightly less sharp than normal due to cold meds.  

Mitch Kraus presented a check to Claris Health CEO Talitha Philips to buy furniture for the Teen Pregnancy Outreach and Parenting Program. And, visiting Rotarian Anna-Lissa Lavila (President of Hamina-Vehkalahti (Finland) Rotary Club) presented a cookbook and photo guidebook of Finland to President Nat Trives.

     Erik Jorgensborg with speaker Marcos Guillen

Erik Jorgensborg gave a touching introduction to our speaker Marcos Guillen. As a high school freshman, Marcos was forced out of his childhood home  and spent the next two years on the streets where he found "family" in a local gang and began selling drugs to survive. He was arrested at a gunfight, then sentenced to eight and one-half years in prison.

While incarcerated Marcos prioritized completing his education and preparing to re-enter civil society. He overcame poor literacy, earned his GED, learned to be a dental technician and was trained in substance abuse counseling.

Shortly after his release, Marcos realized he needed to obtain basic computing skills. He went to Chrysalis where he gained computing and other job skills, preparing to re-enter the workforce. His first job was with the Salvation Army. As someone who has gone through the justice system and struggled with addiction, Marcos is passionate about helping others who are in similar situations. Due to his determination, Marcos eventually landed a position as a Client Supervisor at Passages Recovery Center in August 2012.


Marcos now lives in a house with his wife and eighteen-month old son and four-month old daughter. Marcos' goal is to earn his Masters degree in Clinical Psychology.

Meeting Recap - January 31, 2014 Jillian Alexander 2014-02-03 00:00:00Z
Magic Show - February 6, 2014

Magic Show Featuring Derek Hughes


Rotarians and guests are invited to a special performance by accomplished magician Derek Hughes!

Thursday, February 6, 2014
7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Click more for details.

Magic Show - February 6, 2014 Jillian Alexander 2014-02-03 00:00:00Z
Meeting Recap - January 24, 2014



Rotarian Mel Powell speaks about Membership, and cajoles Santa Monica Rotarians
to begin focusing on bringing in new members. Steve Alexis laughs while Connie Maguire
and President-Elect George Collins take the pledge.

The head table consisted of President Nat Trives’ "President’s Pick" Nora MacLellan; Melissa Dagodag, who led the Invocation; RoseMary Regalbuto, who introduced the meeting’s guests; and Bret Carter, who introduced speaker Mel Powell (Rotary e-Club of the Greater San Fernando Valley).

We watched an amazing video about how Vision to Learn works. After the video, Nora MacLellan was given a check from our Club to assist in funding free eye exams and glasses for The Boys and Girls Club of Santa Monica and Upward Bound House.

Larry Mortoff announced Friday was a special day. The Clean Water projects at orphanages throughout Myanmar that J.T. Waring (LA5) has been championing (and our PP Jim Dyer got our Club involved) led to the Myanmar government considering allowing Rotary Clubs to organize and form within the country. After 20 years, Rotary is again official in Myanmar.

Two visiting Rotarians attended last week's meeting, including Vision to Learn Outreach Coordinator Nora MacLellan (Rotary Club of Westchester), and Japanese Rotarian Ari Tanaka. Other guests included Ethan Brown, Scott Heelee, and Vision to Learn Program Manager Carissa Waldriff.

Meeting Recap - January 24, 2014 Nicholas Goehner 2014-01-27 00:00:00Z
How to Propose Person for Membership

How to Propose Person for Membership

All of us want ours to remain the BEST Rotary Club in the BEST Rotary District, right?

Recruiting civic and globally-minded professional, business and government leaders whom live by the Four-Way Test will help us do so.

Below is our simple four-step process to propose new members:

1. Invite the person to a Rotary Meeting and other Rotary Club events.
2. Introduce the person to fellow Rotarians.
3. Complete and submit application form to Savi.
4. Be discrete and patient. 

How to Propose Person for Membership Jillian Alexander 2014-01-27 00:00:00Z
J.R. Kicked Booty January 10

Healthy Living Boot Camp

Physical Therapyworks' Justin “J.R.” Razeghian, CPT, coached Donna Byrd, John Dravillas,
Iao Katagiri, and Connie Maguire through a fun Boot Camp-style workout at Stoner Park!

Connie and Donna did push-ups, sit-ups, ran laps around the park, and more,
while John and Iao, claiming to be recovering from winter colds, cheered, took photos, and sneezed!

Thank you John Dravillas for organizing this Healthy Living activity.

J.R. Kicked Booty January 10 Jillian Alexander 2014-01-15 00:00:00Z
Meeting Recap - January 10, 2014


The head table at the first meeting of the new year consisted of President Nat Trives’ "President’s Pick" and President-Elect Designate Tom Loo; Andrea Gressinger, who led an Invocation about love and healing; Myles Pritchard, who introduced the meeting’s guests; and Susan Annett, who introduced the meeting’s speaker RAND Senior Sociologist Chloe Bird.

It was a big day for our Community & Youth Grants Committee:

  • Red Kettle Day committee co-chair Myles Pritchard announced that our club collected $6,000, sadly losing to Kiwanis International which raised $9,000. The competing local Service Organizations raised a whopping $25,000!
  • Director Sharon Perlmutter-Gavin presented a check of $2,500 to Connections For Children Executive Director Patti Oblath. Connections For Children is the non-profit Child Care Resource and Referral agency serving child care providers, educators, and parents in the West Los Angeles and South Bay communities.
  • PP Jack Gregory presented a check of $2,500 to Santa Monica-Malibu Education Foundation Chairman Linda Gross. The mission of the Santa Monica-Malibu Education Foundation is to engage the community to invest in a vibrant educational experience for all students in the Santa Monica and Malibu public schools.

President Nat prematurely announced that Gita Runkle will be Santa Monica College's Acting Associate Dean - Emeritus College. It's official TODAY! Brown-noser Nat waived Gita’s fine since she is now his boss...power has privileges!

Michael Reinprecht, a visiting Rotarian from Rotaract Club Wien-Stadtpark (Vienna, Austria) attended last week's meeting. Other guests included Rotaractor President Manny Ramirez; Rotoractors Pavel Bokarev, Rafael Solari, Esther Park, and Demetrius Polychron; Grant Recipients Connections for Children Executive Director Patti Oblath and Santa Monica-Malibu Education Foundation Chairman Linda Gross, Faculty Advisor Aileen Huang, Meals on Wheels West Executive Director Chris Baca (guest of Tish Tisherman), Abby and David Wisen (guests of Tom Loo), and Ethan Brown (guest of Charlie Follette).

Reminder - We are dark Friday in celebration of Martin Luther King Day!
Meeting Recap - January 10, 2014 Jillian Alexander 2014-01-14 00:00:00Z
Speaker Chloe Bird Shared Insights About Gender Inequality in Healthcare Treatment and Outcomes


RAND Senior Sociologist, Pardee RAND Graduate School Professor of Policy Analysis, Associate Editor of Women’s Health Issues, and Deputy Editor of Journal of Health and Social Behavior Chloe Bird spoke about the gender differences in the quality of care for cardiovascular disease and diabetes in California.

Gender stratified reporting is necessary to be able to gain insights and understanding so that treatments can be developed and delivered.

When it comes to the two health issues which are the significant causes of death -- cardiovascular disease and diabetes -- there is a large discrepancy in the proportion of men versus women who are screened and receive treatment as well as a significant difference in the outcomes. For example, in California the gaps in screening are much smaller than the gaps in treatment. More than 50% of women's heart disease is microvascular, while men's is coronary artery. The symptoms are different and often ignored. As a result, since 1984 more US women die from heart disease than any other cause each year.

Three things to do:
(1) Enjoy a Mediterranean diet. People following this regime have lower instance than others of heart disease.
(2) If you have pain anywhere in body between nose and hips, even if it goes away when you relax, get checked by health provider!
(3) If you have heart disease, get your LDL cholesterol checked annually.

Having heart disease is not a death sentence. In recent years, treatment guidelines have changed. Once heart disease is present, very often doctors will prescribe statins. Just watch those interactions.

Speaker Chloe Bird Shared Insights About Gender Inequality in Healthcare Treatment and Outcomes Jillian Alexander 2014-01-14 00:00:00Z
District 5280 Rotary Youth Exchange



District 5280
2014 Rotary Youth Exchange
July 24, 2014 to July 26, 2014 Guest Abroad
July 26, 2014 to August 17, 2014 Host at Home

District 5280 is offering a short-term Rotary Youth Exchange to all students 15- to 18 1/2-years-old as of June 2014.

Each student will travel abroad to one country (Austria, Brazil, England, India,  Italy, Spain, Taiwan, or Turkey) and stay with a Rotarian host family for three weeks. A child-member from the foreign host family will return with the U.S. student and stay in his/her home.

District 5280 Rotary Youth Exchange Jillian Alexander 2014-01-08 00:00:00Z
Meeting Recap - December 20, 2013

President Nat Trives returned looking well and presided over our annual Holiday Luncheon. Michael Cates delivered a heart-felt Invocation recognizing those serving in the US armed forces abroad and Barbara Bishop led us in the Pledge of Allegiance and singing God Bless America.
We were joined by visiting Rotarian Mike Moult (Teignmouth) and his wife visiting from the United Kingdom.



Carlthrop Choir comprised of Grade 1 through Grade 6 students sang 10 Christmas, Hanukkah and Kawanzaa holiday songs and played Bells previously donated by Rotary Club of Santa Monica at the direction of Laura Bickel. Each song was announced by Hayden Hill. Each performer was presented with a candy cane by Elf Savi as they exited.

A special visitor from the North Pole arrived late, bringing gifts for all the nice guest girls and boys.


We recognized the Riviera head chef, his sous chef, and our special dessert pastry chef Sheila Cutchlow. Sheila not only makes scrumptious desserts who works on Venice Boardwalk, but is a SAG member and producer.


For the second Spirit Competition, Timur Berberoglu won the ugly sweater contest. VP Programs Scott Ferguson presented the award.

Meeting Recap - December 20, 2013 Jillian Alexander 2013-12-26 00:00:00Z
Greg O'Brien - 2016-2017 District Governor

Greg O'Brien Named District Governor Nominee Designate

District Governor Nomination Committee selected Greg O’Brien (Palos Verdes Peninsula Rotary Club) to serve as our 2016-2017 District Governor.

Congratulations Greg!

Greg O'Brien - 2016-2017 District Governor Jillian Alexander 2013-12-16 00:00:00Z
Ugly Sweater Contest - December 20, 2013

Ugly Sweater Contest


Come to Friday's Rotary meeting dressed in your ugliest holiday sweater!
Most outlandish holiday sweater model will win the meeting's spirit competition!

Ugly Sweater Contest - December 20, 2013 Jillian Alexander 2013-12-16 00:00:00Z
Meeting Recap - December 13, 2013


Scott Ferguson presided over a hilarious meeting and launched our Spirit Competition. The previous week Scott encouraged members to attend dressed in flower child, Rasta-style, or other 1960s clothing to keep with the program topic marijuana legislation. Club Director Larry Mortorf won our very first spirit competition!

Matt Williams gave a soul-full Invocation; Judy Iriye introduced our visitors and guests; and Pat Bofird led a rousing rendition of "Let's Go Smoke Some Pot" to the tune of "Let's Go to the Hop."
Mitch Kraus presented a check to Santa Monica Fire Chief Mark Bridges. The funds will be used to buy stuffed animals to carry on the fire trucks and give to children!

Iao Katagiri along with a humorous video starring "doped-up" Avo Guerboian and
TJ Montemer introducing the meeting's speaker.


Speaker Beau Kilmer and VP Scott Ferguson


The group singing "Let's Go Smoke Some Pot"

Our speaker Beau Kilmer, as a senior policy researcher at the RAND Corporation and RAND Drug Policy Research Center co-director, focuses on developing public policy. His research lies at the intersection of public health and public safety, with a special emphasis on substance use and the economics of commercial and illicit markets, law enforcement, and correctional facilities. Kilmer discussed the pros and cons of legalizing marijuana and informed us about the current marijuana legalization in Amsterdam, Colorado, Washington, as well as past and anticipated future efforts within California. 

We also held the Club Elections for 2014-2015 officers and directors. View the winners below!

One visiting Rotarian attended the meeting, art gallery owner Martin Suppan (Rotary Club of Vienna). Other guests included photographer and trainer Fabian Lewkowicz (guest of Scott Ferguson), Tish Tisherman (guest of John Bohn), Upward Bound House Director Christine Glasco, and Jessica Rice (Jillian Alexander's assistant).

To view photos from the meeting click here.

Meeting Recap - December 13, 2013 Jillian Alexander 2013-12-16 00:00:00Z
2014 Friendship Exchange Program

2014 Friendship Exchange Program

Have you ever dreamed of traveling to Japan? Well, here is a great opportunity!

The Friendship Exchange is for Rotarians and their spouses to stay 7 days with Japanese host Rotarians in their homes, then host the same Japanese Rotarian and spouse in your home for a week. All it costs is airfare plus hosting guests here.

Deadline to apply is December 31, 2013.
If you want to go, sign up today!

 If you have any questions, please contact 2014 Friendship Exchange Chair
Makiko Nakasone
at makiko.learningacademy@gmail.com or (818) 523-2866.     

To view the flyer click here.
To view the application form click here.

2014 Friendship Exchange Program Jillian Alexander 2013-12-09 00:00:00Z
First Spirit Competition - December 13, 2013

First Spirit Competition - December 13, 2013


In keeping with the spirit of our program on marijuana legislation,
on Friday, December 13, 2013
come to the Rotary meeting dressed in your flower child, Rasta-style or other 1960s clothing.

The Club Member who expresses their ‘60s style best will win our first spirit competition!
(The spirit competition will continue throughout the year.)

First Spirit Competition - December 13, 2013 Jillian Alexander 2013-12-09 00:00:00Z
Club Elections - December 13, 2013


Elections will take place Friday, December 13, 2013.

George Collins 

Tom Loo

(in alphabetical order)

VICE PRESIDENTS: (2 to be elected)
Lisa Alexander   John Dravillas   Leonard Lanzi   Larry Mortorff

SECRETARY: (1 to be elected)
Suzan Allbritton   Scott Wagenseller

TREASURER: (1 to be elected)
Ken Waltzer   Janie Yuguchi Gates

DIRECTORS: (4 to be elected)
Daniel Bennett   Pam Brady   Charles Follette   David Rosenfeld
Barb Bishop   Roger Davis   Andrea Gressinger   Julie Thomas

Timur Berberoglu   Sharon Perlmutter Gavin

Good luck to all our candidates!
To vote using Absentee Ballot click here.

Absentee Ballots must be received by
Savi Labensart at Rotary Club of Santa Monica office no later than
Thursday, December 12, 2013.

Club Elections - December 13, 2013 Jillian Alexander 2013-12-09 00:00:00Z
Meeting Recap - December 6, 2013


The head table at last week's meeting consisted of Nat Trives’ guest and "President’s Pick" Dale Bell, who gave tribute to Nelson Mandela; Lisa Alexander, who led our Invocation; Roger Davis, who introduced the meeting’s guests, and Mitch Kraus, who introduced the meeting’s speaker.

Instead of joining together in song, we viewed the “Electric Car” music video from Grammy Award Winning artists They Might Be Giants. For those of you who missed it click here.

In addition, Director-Community & Youth Service Sharon Perlmutter Gavin presented $2,300 check to the Clare Foundation. The funds will be used to purchase new kitchen equipment, as the Clare Foundation serves over 150 meals per day to homeless men.


President Nat Trives with Speaker Paul Scott


Director Sharon Perlmutter Gavin
with Clare Foundation's Tamara Pompey

Mitch Kraus introduced Speaker Plug In America (PIA) co-founder Paul Scott, a lifelong environmental advocate who actively promotes wide adoption of Electric Vehicles and plug-in hybrids to reduce both environmental damage and America’s vulnerability due to dependence on petroleum. Paul emphasized that
to protect our oil interests, in the last 10 years the U.S. Government has spent $2.1 trillion on wars in the Middle East plus U.S. Defense agencies $80 billion in non-war regions.

However, not all Americans embrace the shift to electric and hybrid vehicles. Paul pointed out that 14 states have passed laws that prohibit the sell of Tesla vehicles, which he attributes to existing dealers lobbying against competitively superior products.

For those concerned about the toxicity of disposed electric vehicle batteries, Paul mentioned that utility companies are reviewing obtaining the used batteries, placing them in facilities, where electricity generated from clean energy sources (e.g. wind) could be collected overnight and stored in those cells for use during peak hours during the following day. This could replace use of natural gas.

Two visiting Rotarians attended last week's meeting, including Noel Develter from Rotary Club of Menen (Belgium) with a classification of Finance and Stockton Gaines from Rotary Club of Pacific Palisades with a classification of Computer Technology. Other guests included Matt Wolf (guest of Scott Ferguson), Dale Bell (guest of Nat Trives), Tamara Pompey (guest of Sharon Perlmutter-Gavin), Dennis White (guest of David Bohn), Jessica Wyeck (guest of Tod Lipka), and Elza Ruhman (Lionel Ruhman's wife).

Meeting Recap - December 6, 2013 Jillian Alexander 2013-12-09 00:00:00Z
Serving Santa Monica Police on Thanksgiving 2013

Rotarians show appreciation by serving
Santa Monica Police & Fire Departments on Thanksgiving


Dee Menzies and Jim Menzies arranged for the Jonathan Club to donate a traditional Thanksgiving feast, procured pies and beverages, brought serving equipment and decorations, and organized team of Rotarian and their family and friend volunteers to serve the Santa Monica Police officers, Fire and support personnel on duty Thanksgiving Day.

More than 60 SMPD personnel enjoyed a full meal, and our volunteers delivered desserts to each fire station.

Thank You to our VOLUNTEERS:

Jillian Alexander
June Doy
Monte Herring & friend Len Rolenta Sibarani
Alonzo, September, Hayden & Autumn Hill
Judy Iriye & daughter Saya Feldman
Iao Katagiri
Mitchell & Zack Kraus
Dick Lawrence
Paul Leoni
Dee, Jim & Jamie Menzies
Con Oyler & friend Oscar
Irene Passos
Dave Potter
Myles Pritchard
Linda Teixeira

Click here to view photos from the event!

Serving Santa Monica Police on Thanksgiving 2013 Jillian Alexander 2013-12-03 00:00:00Z
UCLA Trounces USC 35-14

UCLA Trounces USC 35-14


George Collins led a fearless crew of Bruins and Trojans to the LA Live JW Marriott for a spirited pre-game lunch headlined by former head coaches John Robinson (USC) and Terry Donahue (UCLA, the winning-est coach in Pac-10 history). They were quite entertaining.

No one expected UCLA (ranked #22) to beat USC (ranked #23) by three touch-downs!



UCLA Trounces USC 35-14 Jillian Alexander 2013-12-02 00:00:00Z
Healthy Living Yoga Event - December 7, 2013

Rotarians for Healthy Living
Rotary Club of Santa Monica
Saturday, December 7, 2013
10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
This 2-hour event includes class and a light reception afterward.
Naam Yoga LA
1231 4th St. Santa Monica
(between Wilshire and Arizona)
Parking across the street
Naam Yoga LA Executive Director Jane Mirshak will lead this Naam Yoga class custom-designed for Rotary members.
Creativity, Health, Joy, Love, Power, Stress Relief, Strength, Laughter, and FUN are the focus of this special Rotary class!
Learn simple practical techniques to:
boost your energy, make you happier, de-stress,
get rid of wrinkles, open your heart, bring balance to the brain,
support healthy function of the glandular,
nervous, and digestive systems,
relax, and much more!
Yoga mats and blankets will be provided or you can bring your own. 
All fitness levels welcome!
RSVP to Event Organizer Laurel Rosen at president@smchamber.com or (310) 393-9825 x 111.

Healthy Living Yoga Event - December 7, 2013 Jillian Alexander 2013-12-02 00:00:00Z
Community & Youth Grant to Westside Ballet of Santa Monica

Daniel Bennett presented a $1,500 check from Community & Youth Grants committee to Westside Ballet of Santa Monica director Caprice Walker. These funds go towards gorgeous, well-constructed Waltz of Flowers costumes worn during The Nutcracker performances. These are the first new costumes in 40 years, and include tags indicating donated by Rotary Club of Santa Monica.

Community & Youth Grant to Westside Ballet of Santa Monica Jillian Alexander 2013-11-26 00:00:00Z
Book Donation to Berkeley West Convelescent Hospital

Linda Texiera announced we donated 230 new and gently used books to the Berkeley West Convalescent Hospital.
The Literacy Committee thanks all Rotarians who supported this effort.

Book Donation to Berkeley West Convelescent Hospital Jillian Alexander 2013-11-26 00:00:00Z
Meeting Recap - November 22, 2013

This week's meeting picked up speed with Attorney Conn Oyler leading our Invocation and President Nat introducing his pick o' the week, newspaper Diane Margolin (one of our fabulous festive party planners).

SMMUSD Board Member and Former President of California PTA Pam Brady introduced guest speaker and FBI Assistant Director Bill L. Lewis. Mr. Lewis supervises 700 Agents plus 700 support staff spanning from San Luis Obispo to San Clemente. He has extensive experience leading domestic terrorism and drug trafficking investigations as well as counter-intelligence and counter-terrorism efforts. Mr. Lewis was integral in solving the Centennial Park bombing and linking double bomb cases in Georgia and Alabama. Promotions took Mr. Lewis to Iraq, and eventually heading the FBI in this region.
As with other Federal agencies, the FBI must reduce its budget by $700MM due to sequestration. To do so, FBI will reduce its workforce by approximately 10% and it is anticipated this will be achieved through attrition of 3,500 employees. Yet, Mr. Lewis assured us we are fortunate to live and work in Santa Monica, a "very progressive law enforcement area." FBI Agents in this region participate in the Police Officer Standard Training (POST) that all California law enforcement officers complete, which affords them to be quickly deployed and effective serving in another California jurisdiction as we witnessed earlier this year.


We were greeted by Bill Wood and Avo Guerboian.
Non-profit executive Julie Thomas introduced guests.

Meeting Recap - November 22, 2013 Jillian Alexander 2013-11-26 00:00:00Z
Salvation Army Red Kettle Day - December 13, 2013

You are a bell-ringer. Come raise funds for the Salvation Army and help our Rotary Club of Santa Monica beat other Santa Monica service clubs in fundraising. Click here for the origin of the Salvation Army's Red Kettle campaign and various ways funds are used.
Contact Myles Pritchard at myles@mapstrategic.com or 310-487-7867 to participate.

Salvation Army Red Kettle Day - December 13, 2013 Jillian Alexander 2013-11-26 00:00:00Z
Olvera Street & El Pueblo Los Angeles Historical Tour - November 16, 2013

Rotarians for Healthy Living

Rotary Club of Santa Monica



Saturday, November 16, 2013 

Our adventure began at the Metro Expo Line Station in Culver City where we all purchased our “Tap” Cards and loaded them with train fare for the day. For most of us, it was our first ride on the Metro Line. Downtown we switched trains to ride all the way to Union Station, then crossed the street to Olvera Street.

Rotary Club Director and Boy Scouts Silver Beaver Lisa Alexander arranged for docent tour led by Ute Passey. (In Ute’s other life, she approves all the Eagle Scout projects for our local Scouts in the Crescent Bay District.) Ute shared the history Los Angeles' settlement, including Spain recruiting 11 Mexican families to colonize California. El Pueblo de la Reina de Los Angeles (the Town of the Queen of Angels) was founded in September 1781.

Rotary Club of Santa Monica Rotarians at Olvera StreetRotary Club of Santa Monica Rotarians at Olvera Street

We toured the Avila Adobe (c. 1818) and viewed David Alfaro Siquerios' 1932 outdoor fresco masterpiece “America Tropical”. After our tour we had lunch at La Luz Del Dia. We could have spent many more hours touring the Sepulveda House and the Chinese American Museum but will save them for another day.

We made our way back home on the Metro and partied with the Trojan fans on their way to the USC game. It was a great day!

Olvera Street & El Pueblo Los Angeles Historical Tour - November 16, 2013 Jillian Alexander 2013-11-20 00:00:00Z
Christine Devine - Guest Speaker - November 15, 2013

November is National Adoption Month. Every November, a Presidential Proclamation launches activities and celebrations to help build awareness of adoption throughout the nation.  Thousands of community organizations arrange and host programs, events, and activities to share positive adoption stories, challenge the myths, and draw attention to the thousands of children in foster care who are waiting for permanent families.
In addition to being a weeknight newsanchor, Christine Devine hosts the “Wednesday’s Child” segment of the KTTV Fox 11 newcasts. The segment showcases children currently in the Foster Care System who are eligible for adoption and are difficult to place due to being part of a sibling group, age, or disability. Christine and FOX have helped more than 500 children from foster care find forever families over the past 18 years.

Christine also screened a video she produced of former foster child Jamaal, whom she is working with to develop his songwriting and Rapper talent.  Although we had technical difficulties transmitting audio to house system and I lost count of how many Rotarians it takes to connect A/V at Riviera, eventually VP Programs and Santa Monica Fire Chief Scott Ferguson came to the rescue and in seconds connected the system!


Interested in mentoring and supporting these at-risk youth?
KidsSave works to create change so older forgotten orphanage and foster kids grow up in families and connected to caring adults.
New Visions Foundation (President Nat Trives is a board member), based in Santa Monica, gives scholarships to foster children.

Christine Devine - Guest Speaker - November 15, 2013 Jillian Alexander 2013-11-18 00:00:00Z
Meeting Recap - November 15, 2013


Last Friday’s Rotary meeting was very educational! Featured Rotarians included First Presbyterian Church Board Member John Bohn, Law Enforcement Consultant and former Santa Monica Police Department Chief Tim Jackman, and Community Business Center Management Banker Ron CallLarry Maher delivered the meeting’s Invocation, while Pat Bofird led the meeting song “We Are The World.”


Jim Menzies presented a Santa Monica Boulevard sign to Mr. Santa Monica Nat Trives. In addition, Alan Glick was fined for winning four tickets to Disneyland at the Paul Harris Celebration, and Bret Carter was fined for disappearing for the evening at the Paul Harris Celebration.

Tim Jackman introduced speaker veteran Television News Anchor, Reporter, and Producer Christine Devine who focused her discussion on the Foster Care System.  Christine anchors the weeknight newscasts on KTTV FOX 11 and KCOP Channel 13.  She has 16 Emmys, including the prestigious Governors Award.  In 2012, she was named by Los Angeles Magazine among the “50 Women Changing LA.”

One visiting Rotarian attended last week's meeting: Ed Jackson from Westwood Village Rotary Club, who brought his friend Dirk Herman.  Other guests included Santa Monica College Workforce Development Program Manager Sasha King (guest of Gita Runkle), Santa Monica and Malibu Education Foundation Director Ed Lim (guest of Tom Larmore), and Vlado Valkof, a Rotarian looking for a new club to join.

Meeting Recap - November 15, 2013 Jillian Alexander 2013-11-18 00:00:00Z
Thanksgiving Event - November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving Event - November 28, 2013

We are looking for volunteers to help feed the Santa Monica Police and Fire Departments on Thanksgiving Day!

Set up starts at 10:30 a.m.

Food donated by Jonathan Club

For more information please contact either
Jim Menzies
at cuyamacowboy@gmail.com or (661) 766-2700 or
Dee Menzies
dmenzies1@aol.com or (310) 930-2165.


Thanksgiving Event - November 28, 2013 Jillian Alexander 2013-11-18 00:00:00Z
Attention Rotary Eagle Scouts!


The Western Los Angeles Area Boy Scout Council is identifying local Eagle Scouts
who wish to participate in various Eagle Alumni activities.

Please signal your eligibility by calling Bill Crookston at 310-450-9440 or
Kent Colberg at 310-789-5581.

Attention Rotary Eagle Scouts! Jillian Alexander 2013-11-18 00:00:00Z
Rotary Networking Hour - November 13, 2013
Rotary Networking Hour - November 13th, 2013

Our last Rotary Networking Hour kicked-off by briefly discussing the history of debt.  This was prompted by a book Mitch Klaus was reading by David Graber called Debt: The first 5000 Years. (Daniel Bennett recommended it some months back).  This segued into a lively conversation about our planned topics -- Purpose-Driven Investing and the new "B Corp" legal entity form that is intended to couple the traditionally perceived disparate aims of non-profit organizations and for-profit enterprises enjoyed by all participating Rotarians.

Click "more" below for details about December's meeting.

Rotary Networking Hour - November 13, 2013 Jillian Alexander 2013-11-18 00:00:00Z
Holiday Party - December 14, 2013

Rotary Club of Santa Monica Holiday Party

Saturday, December 14
6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Rosemary and Joe Regalbuto's Residence
Santa Monica
(address will be sent to registered guests)

Cost: $45 per person
RSVP: Savi Labensart


Holiday Party - December 14, 2013 Jillian Alexander 2013-11-14 00:00:00Z
The Foundation Celebration A Stellar Event

2013 Paul Harris Dinner - Space Shuttle Endeavor


This year’s Foundation Celebration was an out of this world experience. Hosted at the California Science Center, over 600 Rotarians sat under the wings and the belly of the Space Shuttle Endeavor. While attendees supported The Rotary Foundation, they also enjoyed a keynote speech by Space Shuttle Endeavor pilot General Kevin Chilton, entertainment from emcee Fritz Coleman, and of course, the breath-taking views of the space shuttle itself, floating just a few feet above their heads.
The Foundation Celebration A Stellar Event Jillian Alexander 2013-11-13 00:00:00Z
Meeting Recap - November 8, 2013

Image    Image Image

Last Friday our Club celebrated Veterans Day early! The head table consisted of President Nat Trives; Mitchell Kraus, who delivered the Invocation with his four year-old son Zachary on his shoulders; Past President Herb Rooney, who led the song The Marine's Hymn in honor of Veterans Day; Past President Judy Neveau, who introduced the meeting's speaker; and Jim Reidy, who introduced the meeting's guests.

Speaker Santa Monica College Geography and Earth Science Professor William Selby educated our club on the natural history of California, and emphasized how everything in nature is connected.  Using photos of California flora and fauna, Professor Selby explained the connections between each element.  He also shared that due to not being in-touch with our surroundings, many are now suffering from "nature-deficit disorder." Professor Selby encouraged us to get out in nature and appreciate its beauty!

Two visiting Rotarians attended our meeting: Employment Consultant Kelsey McFarland (El Segundo Rotary Club) and Movie Distributor Laurent Zameczkowski (Rotary Paris Courbevoie).  Our guests were Dave Afral (guest of John Dravillas), Bill Branch and Realtor Fred Votto (guests of Lionel Ruhman), Everett Maguire (Connie Maguire's father), Architect Vlado Valkof (guest of La Vonne Lawson), and Jessica Rice (Jillian Alexander's Executive & Marketing Assistant).

To view photos from the meeting click here.
Meeting Recap - November 8, 2013 Jillian Alexander 2013-11-12 00:00:00Z
FARF Barbeque was a success!


FARF Barbeque

The FARF Barbeque on Tuesday, November 5, 2013 at the Bel-Air Bay Club was a great success! It was extremely well attended, one of the best FARFs yet!
Congrats to Klaus Mennekes and his Committee!


FARF Barbeque was a success! Jillian Alexander 2013-11-11 00:00:00Z
Healthy Living Historical Tour - November 16, 2013

Rotarians for Healthy Living

Rotary Club of Santa Monica




Saturday, November 16 - 9:30 a.m.



Ride the Metro to Union Station, walk across the Street to Olvera Street, explore museums and historic structures,
guided tour of the Plaza, followed by Lunch


Saturday, November 16, 9:30 a.m. Meet at the Metro Station in Culver City. One-hour tour starts at 11:00 a.m.  Lunch follows. Parking at Culver City Metro Station is free. Only cost is Metro ticket and lunch.

Trip Leader:

Lisa Alexander: alexander@jaklelaw.com or (310) 656-4310.


Healthy Living Historical Tour - November 16, 2013 Jillian Alexander 2013-11-01 00:00:00Z
Meeting Recap - November 1, 2013


Award Winning Photo Journalist David Hume Kennerly spoke about his amazing career, showing the most meaningful photos he has taken over the years.  Kennerly's photographs have captured history-making stories for more than 45 years. He has photographed eight wars, every American president since Richard Nixon, and has traveled to dozens of countries along the way.  The day after the 1971 Madison Square Garden Ali-Frazer fight, he departed for Vietnam where he shot the 1972 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography winning image. Since then Kennerly has had 25 images appear as the Time Magazine cover photo. 

In addition, Past President Dee Menzies presented a $5,000 check to the Santa Monica Mounted Police, the oldest mounted police unit in California, which was formed in 1930.

Two visiting Rotarians attended last week's meeting: President of Rotary Club of Sierra Madre and Sierra Madre Police Chief Marilyn Diaz, and Rotary Club of Beverly Hills' Fred Holiday (guest of Karim Jaude) whose classification is Banking.  In addition, nine non-Rotarian guests attended, including Santa Monica Mounted Police Neil Looy, Jamie Menzies, Ron Wechler, and Vice Captain Byron Hollins, as well as Joanne Trimborn (Bob Trimborn's wife), Attorney Rick Green (guest of Steve Litvack), Carol Alexander (Lisa Alexander’s mother), and Ramin Nematollahi (Judy Neveau's new assistant at SMC).

To view photos from the meeting click here




Meeting Recap - November 1, 2013 Jillian Alexander 2013-11-01 00:00:00Z
USC-UCLA Rivalry Week - November 26, 2013

USC-UCLA Rivalry Week

November 26, 2013

LA LIVE: JW Marriott 800 W Olympic Blvd; Los Angeles, CA 90015

Meet former head coaches John Robinson and Terry Donahue (the winning-est coach in Pac-10 history), USC Song Girls, USC Band, UCLA Dance Team, and Joe and Josephine Bruin. Ring the Victory Bell and join Live Auction.  

Purchase tickets @ $50: www.rotaryla5.org

Please contact George Collins at george@gcollinslaw.com for carpooling and other information.

USC-UCLA Rivalry Week - November 26, 2013 Jillian Alexander 2013-11-01 00:00:00Z
OPCC Feed the Homeless


OPCC Feed the Homeless

On Friday, October 18, Santa Monica Rotarians prepared and served dinner to nearly 40 residents at OPCC's Turning Point facility in Santa Monica.  They also prepared "late trays" for residents who couldn't make the meal, and sack lunches for the next day.  Chair Bill Buxton said, "we saw lots of smiles" as the residents expressed their appreciation.

OPCC Feed the Homeless Jillian Alexander 2013-10-29 00:00:00Z
Meeting Recap - October 25, 2013


Public Service Recognition Day 2013 -- PART III
We proudly recognized and honored the remaining Public Service employee called away to his duties on June 4, 2013, at last Friday's Rotary luncheon. Santa Monica City Manager Rod Gould presented the 2013 Public Service Recognition Award to Ken Semko. Since being selected for this award for his work establishing the city's three-person Office of Emergency Management, Ken has been reclaimed by the Santa Monica Police Department and promoted to "Captain."


Guest Speaker - Michelle D'Angelis
Barbara Bishop introduced Business and Executive Coach Michelle DeAngelis, founder and President of management and consulting firm Michelle Inc.,She spoke about Emotional Intelligence -- the ability to
identify and assess the emotions of others and self, as well as control one's own emotions. 
Visitors & Guests
One visiting Rotarian, Policy Analyst Maureen Alice Torr from Rotary Club of Saskatoon, attended last week's meeting.  In addition, seven non-Rotarian guests attended, including OEM award recipient Ken Senko and his guest Santa Monica City Manager Rod Gould, Speaker Michelle DeAngelis, Vlado Valkof (guest of La Vonne), and OEM officials Tatiana Morrison, Paul Weinberg, and Robert Almada.

To view photos from the meeting click here.



Meeting Recap - October 25, 2013 Jillian Alexander 2013-10-29 00:00:00Z
Maher Leads Fascinating Hike
Solstice Canyon Hike

Saturday, October 19, 2013, Larry Maher led Rotarians and their guests hiking the Solstice Canyon Trail

While hiking through beautiful scenery, observed were waterfalls and water pools. It was amazing to see that water was still running at this time of year!

Along the way, Eric Schmitter explained the natural California Oak trees are several hundreds of years old.

The group explored the ruins of interesting architecture. First was the Robert’s Ranch House, which was destroyed during the 1982 fire. Then, the remains of old Keller Hunting Lodge, one of the oldest standing stone structures in the local area. 

Upon completing the two hour hike, they enjoyed a casual lunch nearby at the Malibu Seafood Restaurant overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

Maher Leads Fascinating Hike Jillian Alexander 2013-10-23 00:00:00Z
Meeting Recap - October 18, 2013



October 18 we hosted the presentation of the Santa Monica Jaycees' 2012 Distinguished Service Award (DSA) to one Jaycee for outstanding community service and civic dedication in the year. The 63-member Santa Monica Jaycees is a social and service organization focused on developing the next generation of civic leaders. This year's DSA recipient, Kamille Rudisill, was selected from nominees submitted by local service and civic organizations. For more about Kamille and four other exceptional nominees, click here.

Three visiting Rotarians attended this week's meeting, including Craig Smith from Rotary Club of Big Bear Lake and Rita and Eric Brandin from Escondido Rotary Club.  Eric is also a past Santa Monica Jaycee DSA Award Recipient.

Nine non-Rotarian guests also attended: Past Santa Monica Jaycees' DSA award recipients Kevin Reed and Hank Walther; Soroptimists Marguerite de la Rena, Kai-Li Quigley (wife of Hal Quigley), and Elsa Ruhman (guest of Lionel Ruhman); Rotarian offspring Saya Feldman (daughter of Judy Iriye); and local professionals and businessmen Alan Parr (guest of Dee Menzies), Bruce Hunt (guest of Dan Bennett), and Robert Lemce (guest of David Rosenfeld).

To view photos from the meeting click here.

Meeting Recap - October 18, 2013 Jillian Alexander 2013-10-18 00:00:00Z
Community & Youth Grants - Application Deadline October 31, 2013

The Rotary Club of Santa Monica is currently accepting applications for its Community and Youth Grants program from non-profit organizations that serve the Santa Monica area and address the needs of those less fortunate in our community.

Grant applications are due by October 31, 2013, for the next funding cycle. Grants offered by the Community and Youth Grants program range from $500 to $3,500. Funds may be requested for capital, equipment or new program development. Funds are not available for annual operating needs or special events.

Click here for the Community & Youth Grants Application.

Click here for the Community & Youth Grants Guidelines.


Community & Youth Grants - Application Deadline October 31, 2013 Jillian Alexander 2013-10-14 00:00:00Z
Meeting Recap - October 11, 2013


At last week's meeting Nat Trives was flanked by Trojans Bob Klein and Paul Leoni, our brainiac scientist Bill Wood, and Sharon Perlmutter GavinGita Runkle and Rick Mateus were there to greet attendees at the door.
PP Paul Leoni introduced Marty Fabrick, California Science Center Foundation’s Project Director who orchestrated transporting the Endeavour Space Shuttle from Florida's Kennedy Space Center to the California Science Center in Exposition Park (near Downtown Los Angeles). Mr. Fabrick led the Endeavour Project team that planned the move, developed technical approaches and assessments, acquired necessary permits, prepared the route, communicated with the city agencies, police departments and local communities, provided media relations, coordinated Endeavour’s arrival at LAX, and moved it on a 3-day around the clock 14-mile journey.
Two visiting Rotarians attended. Ethiopian Yirgalem Yetemgn is now living in the area and is looking for a local club to call home. Jerry Friedman, a mortgage lender from the Rotary Club of Torrance, was a guest of Roger Davis.
Five non-Rotarian guests attended. Scott Ferguson introduced Steve Castillo.  Iao Katagiri introduced her sister Laurie Katagiri-Hoshino, who was visiting from Honolulu. Isabel Cervello introduced her mother Karin Cervello, who was visiting from Europe. Jillian Alexander introduced her Executive & Marketing Assistant Jessica Rice, who will be helping us with maintaining the club website, publishing the RotaMonica, and posting to Facebook.

To view pictures from the meeting click here.

Meeting Recap - October 11, 2013 Jillian Alexander 2013-10-14 00:00:00Z
FARF Barbeque - November 5, 2013



FARF Barbeque
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
at 6:00 p.m.

Bel-Air Bay Club
16801 E Pacific Coast Hwy
Pacific Palisades, CA 90272

Price is $45 per person, which includes the BBQ, Beer, Wine, and Soft Drinks.
For more information contact Klaus Mennekes at kmennekes@etchotels.com.


FARF Barbeque - November 5, 2013 Jillian Alexander 2013-10-14 00:00:00Z
OPCC Feed the Homeless - October 18, 2013

OPCC Feed the Homeless

Please join us as we serve dinner October 18, 2013, to around 55 homeless adults.
Dinner prep starts at 4:30 p.m. and will be served at 6:00 p.m.
We will wrap up by 8:00 p.m. You can join us for any or all of the time!

Date: Friday, October 18, 2013

Time: 4:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Location: OPCC Turning Point
1453 16th Street, Santa Monica, 90404

There is parking in a lot off the alley behind the facility.

Hope you can join us!

Bill Buxton, Chair
OPCC Feed the Homeless - October 18, 2013 Jillian Alexander 2013-10-14 00:00:00Z
The early bird gets the worm!


Rotary Networking Hour - October 9, 2013

Five hearty Rotarians attended the October Rotary Networking Hour.  Mitch Kraus led a great discussion on marketing to the various generations of Swing Generation, Boomers, Gen X and Gen Y, outlining their differences in terms of relationship building, engagement, and expectations.The group also discussed our key referral sources and how we cultivate our relationships with them.
  It was an informative al fresco session.  Thanks to attendees Daniel Bennett, Izzy Cervello, John Dravillas, Mitch Kraus, and David Rosenfeld!

Click through for details about November's meeting.

The early bird gets the worm! Jillian Alexander 2013-10-14 00:00:00Z
World Polio Day - October 24, 2013

Rotarians have been leading the charge to eradicate polio from the world for since the 1970s.
In 1988, Rotary's PolioPlus campaign was aligned with the United Nations and specific Governments to form the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. PolioPlus is the first and largest internationally coordinated private-sector support of a public health initiative.

World Polio Day - October 24, 2013 Jillian Alexander 2013-10-14 00:00:00Z
Healthy Living Hike - October 19, 2013

Healthy Living -- Solstice Canyon Trail Hike 

When: Saturday October 19, 2013 at 9:00 a.m.
Length of Hike: About 2.1 Miles Round Trip
Difficulty: Easy (about a 500 foot elevation climb over a 1 mile well-groomed trail)
Location: Malibu
Lunch Afterwards: Malibu Seafood
RSVP to Larry Maher, Team Captain LHMCPA@aol.com
“All Things Irish” Connie Maguire, Chairperson cmaguire@netzelgrigsby.com

Healthy Living Hike - October 19, 2013 Jillian Alexander 2013-10-14 00:00:00Z
Colombia Humanitarian Trip Deadline Extended To November 1st!


Join 100 District 5280 Rotarians and meet many more Columbian Rotarians on an unforgettable trip
filled with humanitarian work, fellowship and sightseeing.
Travel dates: March 19-23, 2014. Registration forms are due November 1, 2013.

Colombia Humanitarian Trip Deadline Extended To November 1st! Jillian Alexander 2013-10-14 00:00:00Z

During October Rotarians are encouraged to focus on this Avenue of Rotary Service.

Vocational Service focuses on:

  • Adhering to and promoting the highest ethical standards in all occupations
  • Recognizing the value of all useful occupations, not just those that are pursued by Rotarians
  • Contributing one’s vocational talents to meeting the needs of the community

How are you using your vocation to serve the community this month?

Send in your stories!

October is VOCATIONAL SERVICE Month Jillian Alexander 2013-10-14 00:00:00Z
International Wine & Jazz Festival - October 6, 2013

Sunday's International Wine & Jazz Festival at the
Annenberg Community Beach House was a big hit!
Committee Chair Ken Waltzer and committee sub-chairs Suzan Allbritton (Ticket Sales), Daniel Bennett (Sponsors), Donna Byrd (Auction Donations), Andrea Gressinger (Hospitality), and Len Lanzi (Ticket Sales) planned and organized a fun and fanciful event!

Special thank you's go to our generous sponsors!

Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows
BBPR, Inc.
Sharon & Andy Gavin
Kenfield Capital Strategies
Quigley & Miron
Rick Cunningham
Judy Neveau
George & Pat Collins
Agency Capital Partners
Gressinger Group
Monte Herring 

International Wine & Jazz Festival - October 6, 2013 Jillian Alexander 2013-10-14 00:00:00Z
J.T. Warring -- Myanmar Orphanage Water Projects and Re-establishing Rotary Clubs in Myanmar
Guest Speaker J.T. Warring (LA5) provided an update on Rotary Myanmar Orphanges Water Project and on Rotary Club formation in Myanmar.

To date, 22 complete, functioning safe water management systems have been completed for as many orphanages. Orphanages must already have an existing water well. Each site uses a gravity system, are very simple to maintain and built to be durable for at least 50 years. The focus is now shifting from orphanages to communities of 400 to 2,000 inhabitants.

Due to his work in Myanmar, J.T. was tapped to help re-establish Rotary Clubs in Myanmar. On June 4, 203, the Rotary Club of Yangon was awarded a provisional license and is now in the the process of forming.
J.T. Warring -- Myanmar Orphanage Water Projects and Re-establishing Rotary Clubs in Myanmar Jillian Alexander 2013-09-13 00:00:00Z
Japanese Youth Exchange Program
Our District continued its Japan Youth Exchange with District 2550 in Tochigi (annual exchanges began in 1960) and had its first exchange with District 2620 in Shizuoka and Yamanashi.

Image Image

Special thank you's to Japan Youth Exchange chair Dr. Vicki Radel for organizing fantastic experiences for all students involved as well as Tom & Stephanie Loo for often acting as day-hosts throughout our five guests stay in District 5280.
Japanese Youth Exchange Program Jillian Alexander 2013-08-28 00:00:00Z
BOOK DRIVE - August 27, 2013 - September 7, 2013

Please bring your new and gently used books (for adults or children of any age) to our weekly meeting and drop them off in the box by the door! We are collecting between August 23, 2013, and September 27, 2013.

The books will benefit local organizations including the Berkeley West Convalescent Center, the Boys and Girls Club of Santa Monica, the Ken Edwards Center, and the Police Activities League.

Search your bookcases for books your family no longer needs!

For more information contact Linda Teixeira via email at Linda@LaTaxAssociates.com or telephone at either (310) 477-7092 or (310) 795-3926.

The Literary Committee thanks you for your help!

BOOK DRIVE - August 27, 2013 - September 7, 2013 Jillian Alexander 2013-08-21 00:00:00Z
May the Schwartz Be With You

Entertainment Attorney Alan U. Schwartz quick quips entertained the audience as he described the transition of film financing deals from the beginnings of the motion picture history through today.

Schwartz articulated the financing options available and commonly used by today's studios and independent producers. He emphasized that as production, print and advertising expense are no longer recouped via box office receipts, many filmmakers are foregoing theatrical release window and opting for TV or internet distribution as the first release window.

May the Schwartz Be With You Jillian Alexander 2013-08-17 00:00:00Z
2013 Public Servant Recognition Day -- Part II

As many will recall, the activities on June 4, 2013, pre-empted our honoring those who serve our community. Yet, on that day, many of us witness the exemplary fashion with which our local peace officers, public school leaders, transit providers, and city management conduct their work. What we observed as a well orchestrated response, quelled fears and made most feel safer than ever to live and work in the community.
August 9, 2013, we CELEBRATED both the individuals who have extraordinary heroes during the past year, but also their colleagues for quickly securing Santa Monica and restoring peace in our community. Santa Monica Police Department Chief Jackie Seabrooks and Santa Monica Fire Department "A" Platoon Battalion Chief Mark Bridges introduced this year's award recipients from their departments,  Police Sergeant Jon Murphy and Fire Captain Pat Nulty.

2013 Public Servant Recognition Day -- Part II Jillian Alexander 2013-08-15 00:00:00Z
School of ROCK!

Thankfully, no notice of the Rotary Club of Santa Monica being banned from Riviera Country Club has reached this desk.
The August 9, 2013, set performed by School of Rock! students shook the house. Many were grooving in their chairs, and George Collins even got PP Judy Neveau up out of her seat to bust a move on the floor.
We're An American Band by Grand Funk Railroad
Master Blaster by Stevie Wonder
Long Time by Boston
Bottoms Up by Van Halen
Crazy On You by Heart

Vocals - Taylor Schonbuch
Guitar  - Chad Warren
Guitar  - Robert Heckerman
Guitar  - Jonah Feingold
Guitar  - Josh Hayes
Guitar  - Michael Edwards
Bass    - Nolan Barbee
Drums - Ryley O'Blanca
We want to both thank and congratulate the entire band and School of Rock's General Manager Kelly Scutchfield and Music Director Ryan Schiff for a fantastic performance.

School of ROCK! Jillian Alexander 2013-08-15 00:00:00Z
District Governor kicks-off official DG/PDG Club Visits at RC-Santa Monica



This year's DG visit was both fun-filled and bitter sweet. Fun -- with "Bigger, Better, Bolder" mantra stating Doug Baker reprising the District Governor role. Bitter-sweet -- with ceremonial bagpipes playing and assistance from Bill Werner, the banner displaying "Home Club of the District Governor 2013-2014" in honor of Jim Dyer was carried in and hung during our August 2, 2013, meeting.
We were blessed to have many District guests -- PDG Pat Cashin, Executive Aide Jaime Sul Cantrel, Senior Assistant Governor Club Service Joe Vasquez and his wife, Club Assistant Governor Bill Bloomfield, Senior Advisor to the Governor Mel Powell, e-Rotary Club member Yoko Matsui (Mel's wife, but he's not telling), DGE Elsa Gillham and most importantly, District Governor's wife Connie Baker and Jim Dyer's widow Sharen Dyer.

District Governor kicks-off official DG/PDG Club Visits at RC-Santa Monica Jillian Alexander 2013-08-15 00:00:00Z
World Community Service committee meeting - August 16 - 11:30 a.m.

Is your Rotary Avenue of Service  International Service? Is there an opportunity to help a foreign community within Rotary's Six Areas of Focus that you will champion?
Rotary's Six Areas of Focus

  • Peace & Conflict Prevention/Resolution
  • Disease Prevention & Treatment
  • Water & Sanitation
  • Maternal & Child Health
  • Basic Education & Literacy
  • Economic & Community Development

If so, attend the World Community Service meeting this 11:30 a.m. Friday, August 16, 2013, immediately prior to our Club meeting. We will discuss our current and anticipated budget and project involvement proposed by District Rotary Foundation Chair David Moyers. 
To propose projects, contact WCS committee Co-Chairs Karim Jaude at (310) 471-0650 or karim@dynamicscapital.com or Jillian Alexander at (310) 260-9765 x 108 or jillian@conduitconsulting.com.

World Community Service committee meeting - August 16 - 11:30 a.m. Jillian Alexander 2013-08-15 00:00:00Z
Rotary Club of Santa Monica achieves 100% Paul Harris Fellow Status

Congratulations! As each member of the Rotary Club of Santa Monica is now a Paul Harris Fellow, today we celebrated reaching this milestone. 

District Governor Lew Bertrand presented to Club President Judy Neveau the 100% Paul Harris Fellow recognition banner. Other District leaders who played significant roles in our realizing this goal: PDG Pat Cashin, PDG Rick Mendoza, PDG David Moyers, and matching program architect and LA5 PP Marc Leeka.

Our contributions to The Rotary Foundation fund projects within the six Areas of Focus. Let's continue to both contribute to The Rotary Foundation and initiate projects and identify scholarship recipients that will leverage funds raise to enhance the world we live in and that our children will inherit.

Rotary Club of Santa Monica achieves 100% Paul Harris Fellow Status Jillian Alexander 2013-06-14 00:00:00Z
RotaMonica - May 10, 2013, Meeting Recap

The May 10, 2013 “BBQ, Beanies, Brews (and Bonnets)” meeting held jointly with Westwood Village Rotary Club was the 37th meeting of the 91st year of the Rotary Club of Santa Monica.
President Judy announced our club received 11 District Recognition Awards for Community Service, Vocational Service, Fundraising and other service at the 2013 District Conference, Bret Carter received an individual District Service Award for his outstanding effort on behalf of the Rotary Foundation, and Past President Jim Dyer was post-humously received the Ian Jones Humanitarian Service Award recognizing Jim for his Distinguished Humanitarian Service and Devotion to the Ideals of Rotary International 2012–2013. This award was presented by President Judy to Sharen Dyer.
Additionally, Bill Randle received a new Rotary 30-Year Pin in recognition for his years of membership.
Past President Dick Lawrence led the induction of four new members –– Ron Call, Andrea Gressinger, Billy Howard, and Julie Thomas.
After a lengthy introduction by Director Club Service–Membership Russ Warner which culminated in a very brief rendition of “Home On the Range”, our guest speaker True Blue triple-degreed Bruin and much esteemed Biology Researcher and Professor Dr. Garen Baghdasarian informed us of plastic pollution effect on coral reefs, marine life and our food supply as well as how each of us can help reduce adverse ecological impact and improve food chain safety.
For details about our newest members, our guest speaker's presentation, our guests, and the entire meeting, click through to read the RotaMonica.

RotaMonica - May 10, 2013, Meeting Recap Jillian Alexander 2013-05-10 00:00:00Z
Rotary Club Meeting April 19, 2013 - Rotary Cares ... and so do our Staffs
President Judy Neveau reminded us quality education is a critical component to a community's economic viability and recognized all involved our inaugural Rotary Cares Day project -- improving Olympic High School. Veterinarian Frank Lavac demonstrated his expertise in herding cats -- cool cats, crazy cats and tom cats of the Rotarian variety -- beginning with our construction cartel comprised of Steve Eorio, Charlie Follette, Glenn Ricard, Lionel Ruhman, and Tom Woods who contributed tools and expertise. Together they led a crew of Rotarians charmed to participate by beguiling Family Law Attorney Lisa Alexander and Rotaractors coaxed by Upward Bound House's David Snow and YWCA Santa Monica's Julie Miele. In addition to the effort of all who participated, we greatly appreciate John Rucci and Matthew Lehman arranging for 100 Fig Restaurant prepared box lunches donated by the Fairmont Hotel and Publisher-Producer TJ Mortimer having his Santa Monica Mirror crew produce a short video of the day's effort and fun with everyone wearing "very high quality" Rotarian T-Shirts donated by Jeweler Avo Guerboian. In addition to beautifying the campus, Past President John Bohn presented a $5,000.00 check for classroom technology from the Santa Monica Rotary Club Foundation to Olympic High School Principal and fellow Rotarian Janie Yamaguchi Gates.



Rotary Club Meeting April 19, 2013 - Rotary Cares ... and so do our Staffs Jillian Alexander 2013-04-19 00:00:00Z
Rotary Day of Service
Rotary Day of Service Scott Kunitz 2013-04-13 00:00:00Z
Rotary Club Meeting March 8, 2013 - Just Where do Bookworthy Ideas Come From?

Beth Wagner Brust - Just Where do Bookworthy Ideas Come From?

Rotary Club Meeting March 8, 2013 - Just Where do Bookworthy Ideas Come From? Nicholas Goehner 2013-03-08 00:00:00Z
Rotary Reads
Our Rotary Reads project was a great success this year. Forty-six Rotarians volunteered to read in 58 K-3 classrooms at eight of the local elementary schools (Edison Elementary, Franklin Elementary, Grant Elementary, McKinley Elementary, John Muir Elementary, Will Rogers Elementary, Roosevelt Elementary, and SMASH). The Rotarians also discussed their career pathways with the students. The accompanying photo from Roosevelt is just one of the thank you messages we received from the schools.

Books are also donated to the school libraries. Our initial book budget this year was $2000, but we received a matching district grant that resulted in a total budget of $4500 for books. We were able to donate 52 books to each of the seven elementary school libraries, a total of 364 books. These books were greatly appreciated. One school, for example, indicated they had no budget for books this year so the donation of these books made a big difference to the school.

Our “Rotary Reads” week will conclud with a special culminating luncheon program on Friday, March 8, 2013. At this luncheon, local children’s author Beth Wagner Brust will speak about “Just Where Do Bookworthy Ideas Come From?”  

Rotary Reads Sharon Perlmutter Gavin 2013-03-07 00:00:00Z
Rotary Club Meeting March 1, 2013 - David Misch “The Beginnings of Ha!”, a some-holds-barred look at the origins of comedy"

“The Beginnings of Ha!”, a some-holds-barred look at the origins of comedy"

Image Image
Rotary Club Meeting March 1, 2013 - David Misch “The Beginnings of Ha!”, a some-holds-barred look at the origins of comedy" Scott Kunitz 2013-03-01 00:00:00Z
New Project – Financial Literacy

ImageLooking to help the next generation?  Our Club’s new Financial Literacy Committee has partnered up with Olympic High School to teach their students financial literacy.  We need you to help us.

We are going to teach six classes over 12 sessions and are looking for volunteers.  We have the books.  We have the lesson plans.  We have the students.  All we need is your time.  This isn’t only for those of you in financial professions.  We need to teach real life experience and not sophisticated theory.  Classes will be taught during period 5 from 12:28 to 1:13pm.

Classes are being taught in February and March and we’ll have an orientation on January 31st for lunch at Olympic High.  If you are interested, please contact Rob Kohn at rkohn@kohnlawgroup.com or (310) 461-1520.

New Project – Financial Literacy Robert Kohn 2013-01-30 00:00:00Z
Jim Dyer memorial tribute gift

Dear Fellow Rotarians:

Today under the bright sun we gathered to honor and fondly remember our friend and fellow Rotarian Jim Dyer. About two hundred were there to show their respect and bid farewell to Jim and demonstrate their support for Sharen and the family. We already miss him and his incredible energy and passion. He made us want to be better Rotarians. As I said at the memorial service, we have to believe that right now he is sitting with Paul Harris, the founder of Rotary, advising him and catching up.

In Jim’s memory, we in his home club want to honor him by funding a Shelter Box. Shelter Box was Jim’s passion and he was its Ambassador and spokesperson. (See the video link below to learn more)


Shelter Box Video

If you can and would like to participate at any amount, please make out a check to the Santa Monica Rotary Club Foundation and put “Dyer Shelter Box” in the memo line. Mail to Rotary Office: PO Box 586, Santa Monica, CA 90406. If you would prefer to have Savi bill you for this, you can email her and make your wishes known. We will aggregate the donations in our foundation and then send one single check to fund the Shelter Box. The deadline to make your contributions is February 1, 2013, two weeks from today. But please don’t wait, do it now. (If you prefer your donation to stay in our own Santa Monica Rotary Club Foundation, mark “Dyer Donation to SMRCF” in the memo line.)

If you have any questions, please call me or Savi. 

In Rotary, and in Jim’s memory, 

President 2012-2013
Rotary Club of Santa Monica

Jim Dyer memorial tribute gift Judy Neveau 2013-01-18 00:00:00Z
Rotary Club Meeting January 4, 2013 - The Future of UCLA as a World Class Research University

The Future of UCLA as a World Class Research University

Rotary Club Meeting January 4, 2013 - The Future of UCLA as a World Class Research University Nicholas Goehner 2013-01-04 00:00:00Z
Rotary Club Meeting December 14, 2012 - Our Holiday Luncheon

Our Holiday Luncheon

Rotary Club Meeting December 14, 2012 - Our Holiday Luncheon Nicholas Goehner 2012-12-14 00:00:00Z
Rotary Club Meeting November 16, 2012 - Dr. Helene Kalfuss, Rotary Foundation

ImageDr. Kalfuss is a retires Speech Pathologist who specialized in post-operative head and neck cancer patients and organic voice disorders. She is now a full time Rotarian who frequently speaks on Rotary, The Rotary Foundatio and Rotary Membership. She is a past President of the Palm Springs Rotary Club in Palm Springs, California. Dr. Kalfuss also served as District 5330 2006-2007 District Governor. Dr. Kalfuss is currently the District 5330 Chair for Grants Over site Committee and District Foundation Chair.


Here are a few of Dr. Kalfuss's
current accomplishments;

  • 2007, 2010 - Rotary Foundation Trainer at the Souther California/Neveda PETS
  • 2008-2012 - Presentation at TRF Zone 26 Workshop
  • 2009- Panelist for "Raising Funds for Rotary Foundation Workshop in the UK at the RI Convention
  • 2011- Rotary International President's REp to District 3201 in India

Dr. Kalfuss is a Paul Harris Society Fellow, Benefactor, Bequest Society Member, Major Donor and has been awarded the Citation for Meritorious Service from TRF. She has traveled to several developing countries. She has participated in TRF Cadre and Site inspections with her husband in India. Dr. Kalfuss is married to Dr. Leonard Kalfuss, orthopedic surgeon for 47 years and reside in Palm Springs.

Rotary Club Meeting November 16, 2012 - Dr. Helene Kalfuss, Rotary Foundation Scott Kunitz 2012-11-16 00:00:00Z
Rotary Club Meeting November 2, 2012 - Walter Warriner, Santa Monica's Future Urban Forest
Image Learning about the future of Santa Monica's Urban Forrest with Walter Warriner

    Not much is known about what goes into the trees chosen to line our Santa Monica streets.  Walter joined us today to shed a little light on that.

      Rotary Club Meeting November 2, 2012 - Walter Warriner, Santa Monica's Future Urban Forest Nicholas Goehner 2012-11-02 00:00:00Z
      Training the next generation of leaders


      Training the next generation of leaders

      If you look around non profits in the United States, there is an aging of the volunteer population.  You can see this in all sorts of organizations, and even in most Rotary Clubs.  A few of the members of this club got together and talked about the problem and what we could do about it here in Santa Monica.  We asked what we could do to help create and train the next generation of leaders to help our community get better.

      After several months of meetings and calls we came to a tentative agreement with the Riordan Leadership Institute to have our club be the title sponsor for a Santa Monica based pilot program.  Founded by former Mayor Richard Riordan the Institute has spent the last 20+ years training the next generation of leaders, specializing in training business professionals between 21 and 45.

      Their program is a 10 month class teaching skills such as Board Governance, Fund Raising and Strategic Planning and includes and internship on a non-profit board that is designed to lead to placement on that board.

      The operating cost of the class is over $3,000 per student.  Because of sponsorships that they have from some of the biggest companies in Los Angeles, the cost for each student is $1295.

      The formation committee believes that offering this class locally, we can make a huge difference moving forward in our community, but we need your help.

      First, we need students.  We hope all of you, no matter your age, consider taking the class and/or sponsoring someone you know who could benefit from this sort of leadership training.

      Second, we need a place to hold the class.  The location needs to be able to hold about 25 people and be available after hours once per month and on a couple of Saturdays.  Since it is right after work, we need to have some food served there.

      Finally we need a couple of sponsors.  The Leadership Institute already has sponsors that cover much of the cost, but we need to raise a few thousand dollars more.  All sponsors will be promoted on both our website and their website and will get further recognition through various outreach efforts that are part of the class.

      If you want more information, please talk to Mitchell Kraus or Connie Maguire.

      Training the next generation of leaders Scott Kunitz 2012-10-26 00:00:00Z
      Rotary Club Meeting October 19, 2012 - Craft Talks, Irene Passos and Matt Williams
      Image Craft Talks with
      Irene Passos
      and Matt Williams

        Another meeting where we have the opportunity to meet our fellow Rotarians 

          It can be agreed upon by all of our Rotarians that Craft Talks are the best program
          we have within our club.  Here's why...
          Rotary Club Meeting October 19, 2012 - Craft Talks, Irene Passos and Matt Williams Nicholas Goehner 2012-10-19 00:00:00Z
          Rotarians for Healthy Living - Day Trip to Santa Cruz Island Saturday October 13, 2012
          Rotarians for Healthy Living - Day Trip to Santa Cruz Island Saturday October 13, 2012 Scott Kunitz 2012-10-13 00:00:00Z
          Rotary Club Meeting October 12, 2012 - Tina Feiger, Life Changes
          Tina Feiger Development Through Our Adult Lives: A Very Brief Overview
          H. Tina Feiger, Ed.D.
          Santa Monica College

          • Associate Professor of Psychology: Specialty, Psychology of the Lifespan
          • Counselor
          • Student Ombudsperson
          To start, try This:
          For each decade, write down three words that you think characterize that decade especially well. 

            1. Teens
            2. 20s
            3. 30s
            4. 40s
            5. 50s
            6. 60s
            7. 70s
            8. Over 80

          Now think back….which one was the hardest for you to describe? Which one was the easiest? Why?

          Rotary Club Meeting October 12, 2012 - Tina Feiger, Life Changes Scott Kunitz 2012-10-12 00:00:00Z
          Rotary Club Meeting September 28, 2012 - Dick Butkus, Life after Pro Football

          Dick Butkus


          'When I played pro football, I never set out to hurt anyone deliberately - unless it was, you know, important, like a league game or something.'

          Richard Marvin "Dick" Butkus (born December 9, 1942) is a former American football player for the Chicago Bears. He was drafted in 1965 and he is also widely regarded as one of the best and most durable linebackers of all time. Butkus started as a football player for the University of Illinois and the Chicago Bears. He became a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1979. He played nine seasons in the NFL for the Chicago Bears. Billed at 6 ft 3 in, 245 lbs., he was one of the most feared and intimidating linebackers of his time.

          Since his career as a player, Butkus has become a well known celebrity endorser, broadcaster, and actor. He has appeared in films such as The Longest Yard (on the practice team), Gus, Cracking Up, Necessary Roughness, Any Given Sunday, Mother, Jugs & Speed, Hamburger... The Motion Picture and Johnny Dangerously, and as a regular character on TV shows such as Blue Thunder, My Two Dads, and Hang Time. In the critically acclaimed TV movie Brian's Song (1971), he portrayed himself. He made one television appearance on the first episode of the 1976 ABC hit Rich Man, Poor Man, where he played 'Al Fanducci', a World War II army soldier who gets into a street brawl with 'Tom Jordache' (played by Nick Nolte). In 1980, Butkus portrayed Brom Bones in the television movie production of "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow." He made two appearances each on the TV shows Coach, Growing Pains, and three on MacGyver. In an oft-rerun episode of Murder, She Wrote, Butkus appeared in a locker-room scene wearing nothing but a towel wrapped around his waist. Butkus had a cameo appearance in the second season episode "The No-Cut Contract" of the television show The Rockford Files. Butkus also appeared on an episode of Magnum, P.I. as the coach of the fictional football team, the "New Jersey Blazers". On November 22, 2010, the 9th episode of Conan aired under the title, "A Prayer for Dick Butkus".

          Rotary Club Meeting September 28, 2012 - Dick Butkus, Life after Pro Football Scott Kunitz 2012-09-28 00:00:00Z
          This week at Rotary - Sam Lagana, Associate Vice Chancellor at Pepperdine University

          ImageSam first came to the Santa Monica Rotary Club in 1979 as a Palisades High School student in a "Rotary Bowl" match between Pali and Samo. He has spoken to the club about the John R. Wooden Award. One of his hero's was our own Bill Fritzche.

          Mr. Lagana is responsible for defining, executing and directing an Advancement effort that benefits Waves Athletics and specialized University-wide programs and campaigns. A primary focus is assisting University alumni, parents and friends with charitable giving that improves the University resources, scholarships, operations and endowment. Interacting on a regular basis with many constituents of the University, bringing new friends into the Pepperdine Family, planning and implementing a number of regular and special activities as well as hosting meetings of the Pepperdine Athletics Board are among Lagana's responsibilities.


          This week at Rotary - Sam Lagana, Associate Vice Chancellor at Pepperdine University Scott Kunitz 2012-09-14 00:00:00Z
          Rotary Club Meeting September 7, 2012 - Larry Simi, Chair of the California Commission on Judicial Performance

          ImageThe Commission on Judicial Performance broke precedent when Lawrence J. Simi was elected its first non-lawyer chairman in March 2012.

          Simi has a bachelor of arts degree in political science from San Francisco State University and a master of arts in government from California State University, Sacramento. He was a program manager for San Francisco Mayors Joseph Alioto, George Moscone and Dianne Feinstein from 1972 to 1980.

          He left government in 1980 and joined Pacific Gas & Electric as a public affairs representative, rising through the ranks to become public affairs manager, regional public affairs director, division manager and then director of community relations and local government relations.

          Rotary Club Meeting September 7, 2012 - Larry Simi, Chair of the California Commission on Judicial Performance Scott Kunitz 2012-09-07 00:00:00Z
          Rotary Club Meeting August 24, 2012 - Bill Shakin, Covering baseball on and off the field for the Los Angeles Times.
          Bill Shaikin
          Covering baseball on and off the field for the Los Angeles Times.

          AUGUST 24, 2012: This week our speaker was Bill Shaikin, the national baseball writer at the Los Angeles Times!!  For close to three years, he covered the off-the-field drama surrounding the Dodgers, including the bitter and protracted divorce of Frank and Jamie McCourt, the bankruptcy court battle for control of the team, and the eventual sale of the Dodgers, for the highest price of any sports franchise in the world. He also covered the litigation between the Angels and the city of Anaheim when the team decided to call itself by the Los Angeles name. On the field, he covered the Angels' World Series championship run of 2002. He just got back from London, where he covered Michael Phelps and the rest of the U.S. swimmers in the Olympic Games.

          Rotary Club Meeting August 24, 2012 - Bill Shakin, Covering baseball on and off the field for the Los Angeles Times. Scott Kunitz 2012-08-24 00:00:00Z
          Rotary Club Meeting August 17, 2012 - Inspiration from our District Governor



          The District Governor was here today to remind us how much good we are doing, and provided us with inspiration to continue to be the best Rotarians we can be!

          Rotary Club Meeting August 17, 2012 - Inspiration from our District Governor Nicholas Goehner 2012-08-17 00:00:00Z
          Rotary Club Meeting August 3, 2012 - Immigration issues in the club


          Our president was in for a big surprise today as we had a speaker from immigration telling us about the dangers of dodging the law.  I think we all learned a valuable lesson today.

          Rotary Club Meeting August 3, 2012 - Immigration issues in the club Nicholas Goehner 2012-08-03 00:00:00Z
          Rotary Club Meeting July 27, 2012 - Dr. John Robert Hall, CEO and author of 'Am I Still Autistic?'

          John Robert Hall

          Dr. John Robert Hall III is the author of Am I Still Autistic?: How a Low-Functioning, Slightly Retarded Toddler Became CEO of a Multi-Million Dollar National Corporation, John chronicles how he overcame autism, what it was like, the pain of moving from his autistic state to the mainstream world, things he had to learn that most people take for granted, and what he was able to accomplish against all odds. John was able to eventually make friends, graduate from high school, put himself through college, earn a doctorate from USC, start a successful company, and have a family!

          Rotary Club Meeting July 27, 2012 - Dr. John Robert Hall, CEO and author of 'Am I Still Autistic?' Scott Kunitz 2012-07-27 00:00:00Z
          Rotary Club Meeting July 20, 2012 - Holly Mosher - Documentary Filmmaker "Bonsai People"


          Holly Mosher, a documentary filmmaker and producer spoke today about her current film and what an amazing man by the name of Muhammad Yunus is doing for women and people around the world.
          Rotary Club Meeting July 20, 2012 - Holly Mosher - Documentary Filmmaker "Bonsai People" Nicholas Goehner 2012-07-20 00:00:00Z
          Rotary Club Meeting June 1, 2012 - 2012 Rotary Scholarships


          Today we had our 2012 Rotary scholarship awards presentation.  We honored students from 2 middle schools, 4 high schools, and SMC – a total of 11 students who excel in academics, leadership, and community service.

          Rotary Club Meeting June 1, 2012 - 2012 Rotary Scholarships Scott Kunitz 2012-06-01 00:00:00Z
          Rotary Club Meeting May 18, 2012 - Nancy Fox, The Business Fox

          ImageNancy Fox, The Business Fox, will share her top tips for creating and maintaining a memorable, influential personal brand to help you turn contacts into prospects, prospects into clients, and clients into eager fans in the online world as well as the face-to-face world.

          Nancy Fox is the founder and president of The Business Fox, a business coaching and training company specializing in helping service-focused businesses and professionals with high-level client attraction, and business and marketing strategy. She is an engaging, energetic and inspirational coach and speaker, guiding business professionals to optimum performance and breakthrough results.

          Rotary Club Meeting May 18, 2012 - Nancy Fox, The Business Fox Scott Kunitz 2012-05-18 00:00:00Z
          Rotary Club Meeting May 11, 2012 - Anita L. DeFrantz, an attorney and member of the International Olympic Committee and 1976 and 1980 Olympic teams.

          ImageAnita L. DeFrantz, an attorney and member of the International Olympic Committee and 1976 and 1980 Olympic teams, is the president and member of the Board of Directors of the LA84 Foundation, which is managing Southern California's endowment from the 1984 Olympic Games.

          Born in Philadelphia, PA, DeFrantz grew up in Indianapolis, IN and began her formal involvement with sports at the age of 18 when she was introduced to rowing at Connecticut College. After graduating from Connecticut College with honors in 1974, she studied for her law degree at the University of Pennsylvania Law School while training at the prestigious Vesper Boat Club. She was admitted to the Pennsylvania State Bar in 1977. She competed on every national team from 1975 to 1980. During that period, DeFrantz served as a director of the Vesper Boat Club and as a member of the Board of Directors of the U.S. Olympic Committee and U.S. Rowing Association. She was a trustee of Connecticut College from 1974 to 1988 and from 1990 to 2000. She now serves as trustee emeritus of the College.

          Rotary Club Meeting May 11, 2012 - Anita L. DeFrantz, an attorney and member of the International Olympic Committee and 1976 and 1980 Olympic teams. Scott Kunitz 2012-05-11 00:00:00Z
          Rotary Club Meeting May 4, 2012 - James Cuno, the CEO of the Getty Center

          Meeting Cast:

          At the head table, seated at far stage right of the podium we have our Invocator for today: David Snow. Next to David we have Sharon Perlmutter Gavin. Stage left of the podium and here to introduce our Speaker for today, we have Lisa Alexander. Next to Lisa is our speaker for today, Dr. James Cuno, the CEO of the Getty Center. Far stage left of the Podium and here to introduce our visiting Rotarians and guests, we have David Rosenfeld.

          Our song leader was Pat Bofird with Ken Waltzer on piano, and our greeters were Julia Miele & Moira Doherty.


          We had no visiting Rotarians.

          Dienna D’Olimpio was a guest of Barb BishopPam Brady was a guest of Jean McNeil Wyner. Leile Taeoffe was a guest of Iao Katagiri. Joseph No-fleet was guest of Alonzo Hill. Karen Perlmutter was a guest of her twin sister Sharon Gavin.
          Image Image


          • We had 250 people in attendance last Sunday, and it was a great party. Unfortunately, Tom is not here to receive his well-deserved accolades, but he sent me a list of all who contributed. First and foremost we need to thank Tom and Stephanie Loo, who opened their home to 250 of us. But he didn’t do it alone. David had every one who was on Tom's committee stand and be recognized. This year Tom invited sponsors to help with the cost of the party, and he received contributions from all corners of the club. The lawyers sponsored the bar… pun intended. The non-profits sponsored the delicious Indian food. The National Bank of California represented by Dick Lawrence and Rick Mateus, sponsored the music. Other members made direct contributions, and we thank you, as well. Michael Cates and staff set up the trampoline, and the Menzies allowed us to use shade covers from Carlthorp. We also had a large contingent of Rotaractors, led by Lynette Shishido.
          • ImageSharon Gavin - 2nd Senior Book Drive.  Please bring in your books starting next week.  The will be distributed to the Senior Centers in Santa Monica.  Deadline is 6/8/12. 
          • Bret Carter - still able to become a Paul Harris Fellow for only $250.
          • Bret Carter - they are beginning to look for sponsorship for the Wine and Food Festival.
          • Survey Time - make sure you fill out your survey.
          • Recognized everyone who attended the District Conference. Spyros, thank you for the annual baklava, thanks to all of you for your support, and thanks to my vice Presidents, Mitch and Myles, you can see that I have attached the nine awards we received to the banner. You can be proud of our achievement this year.


          • ImageDavid Poter - shown a picture that was titled 'Boy Toy' and given the choice to pay $50 to keep it off the internet, 49.99 to have it framed or $79.99 to have it listed in three search engines. David wanted it on the internet.  Here you go David. That will be $79.99.
          • Frank Lavac - $50 publishing fee for his photo of a sea anemone in the February 16th Malibu Times.
          • Connolly Oyler - had his fined reduced to $75 for an article published in the Santa Monica Mirror since he mentioned Rotary. Connolly argued that the publisher should be held accountable for the article, but the jury was not convinced.
          • Ken Walter - was fined $50 for attending a 'Medical Convention' in Napa.
          Image ImageImageImage


          Speaker James CunoJames Cuno was born on April 6, 1951 to an Air Force family in St. Louis, Missouri. After living in Louisiana, Ohio, Florida, Washington State, California, and Bermuda, Jim returned to California with his family and attended high school at Travis Air Force Base.  After graduating in 1968, Jim attended the U.S. Air Force Academy Preparatory School in Colorado Springs for one semester.  Preferring travel to military school, he left for London, where he worked as a short-order cook and hitchhiked up and down the U.K.

          In the fall of 1969, he started university at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon.  After one year, he returned to Europe to study at the European Studies Center of Miami University of Ohio in Luxembourg.  Ideally suited for inexpensive train travel, Jim was as often as not in Paris, Frankfurt, and Munich.  It was in Paris that he first went to an art museum.

          Jim returned to Willamette in the fall of 1971 and two years later graduated with a B.A. degree in History  and moved to San Francisco.  There he worked in the warehouse of Design Research Inc., and drawn by contemporary theater (he acted a little at Willamette) he produced and acted in a program of short plays for voice in a dance studio in Berkeley.  There he met the tape-music composer Tony Gnazzo, through whom he met and worked with composers John Adams, Charles Amirkhanian, and Ingrahm Marshall, among others.  Wanting to work more in theater, Jim returned to Willamette and worked as a janitor and acted in and produced a number of new performance programs in the university theater. 

          Two years later, facing a slim future as an actor/janitor, Jim applied to the M.A. program in Art History at the University of Oregon and was accepted.  At the same time, with Tony Gnazzo and John Adams, he formed a neo-Dada theater/music group, “The Unfortunate Duck,” which performed in art galleries and universities from Vancouver, B.C. to Mills College in Oakland, California.  There was no second tour.

          In 1977, Jim married Sarah Stewart, whom he met at Willamette where she was a theater student (from which she went to work in the costume department of the American Repertory Theatre for a season).  A year later Jim completed his M.A. at Oregon, writing a thesis on the work of the Russian constructivist, Vladimir Tatlin. And in the fall, Jim and Sarah moved to Boston, where Sarah studied theater at Boston University and Jim, art history at Harvard. (Sarah took her M.Ed. degree from Harvard in 1981.)

          While working on his Ph.D. on the 19th-century French publisher of prints and printed journals, Charles Philipon (which took Jim, Sarah, and their newborn daughter, Claire, to Paris for a year, 1981-82), Jim worked as the Assistant Curator of Prints at Harvard’s Fogg Art Museum.  In 1983, Jim, Sarah, and Claire moved to Poughkeepsie, New York, where Jim took a job as an Assistant Professor in the Art Department.  Kate, Jim and Sarah’s second daughter, was born a year later and Jim completed his Ph.D. in 1985.

          In 1986, Jim, Sarah, Claire, and Kate moved to Los Angeles, where Jim became director of UCLA’s Grunwald Center for the Graphic Arts and taught art history.  Three years later, the family moved again, this time to Norwich, Vermont, across the river from Hanover, New Hampshire, where Jim worked as the Director of Dartmouth College’s Hood Museum of Art and taught art history.  In 1991, the family moved once again--and for the final time as a family—to Lexington, Massachusetts, as Jim took up the directorship of Harvard’s Art Museums (the Fogg, Busch-Reisinger, and Sackler museums) and a professorship in the Department of Fine Arts.   Jim served in these positions until January 2002, when, with Claire and Kate in college, Jim and Sarah moved to London where Jim took up the position of Director and Professor of the Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London.

          Eighteen months later, Jim and Sarah returned to the U.S. where Jim took up the Presidency and Directorship of the Art Institute of Chicago, a position he held for seven years.  In August 2011, Jim became the President and CEO of the J. Paul Getty Trust. 

          For years, Jim has lectured and written widely on museums and cultural and public policy.  Since 2003, he has published three books with Princeton University Press—Whose Muse? Art Museums and the Public’s Trust (author and editor), Who Owns Antiquity: Museums and the Battle Over Our Ancient Heritage (author), and Whose Culture? The Promise of Museums and the Debate Over Antiquities (author and editor)—and another with the University of Chicago Press, Museums Matter: In Praise of the Encyclopedic Museum (author).  He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

          Jim and Sarah live in Santa Monica, California. Claire is a social worker/community activist in Brooklyn, New York. And Kate is completing her Doctor of Psychology degree in Washington, D.C.

          Through the work of the four Getty programs—the Museum, Research Institute, Conservation Institute, and Foundation—the Getty aims to further knowledge and nurture critical seeing through the growth and presentation of its collections and by advancing the understanding and preservation of the world's artistic heritage. The Getty pursues this mission with the conviction that cultural awareness, creativity, and aesthetic enjoyment are essential to a vital and civil society.

          Engaged Locally and Internationally

          Mogao Grottoes
          Under a collaborative agreement with China's State Administration of Cultural Heritage (SACH), the Getty Conservation Institute (GCI) has been working with the Dunhuang Academy since 1989 on conservation at the Mogao Grottoes. The first five years of collaboration addressed site-related issues, culminating in an international conference at Mogao in 1993, Conservation of Ancient Sites along the Silk Road, which also commemorated the fiftieth anniversary of the Dunhuang Academy. Since 1997, the collaboration has focused primarily on the conservation of wall paintings at Mogao.

          Ahhichatragarh-Nagaur Fort
          The Ahhichatragarh-Nagaur Fort consists of a vast complex of palaces, buildings, and gardens contained by a two-tiered city wall located in Nagaur City in Rajastan, Jodhpur, India. Much of the existing site dates to the 18th century, and the complex is considered one of the most important historic sites in northwestern India. Structural damage, water penetration, and the sheer size of the complex have created a number of extensive preservation problems for the buildings. The Getty's funding helped to restor the fort and it's contents.

          The MEGA–Jordan project was launched as a collaboration of the Getty Conservation Institute (GCI) and the World Monuments Fund (WMF) with the DoA for the development and implementation of a GIS to inventory and manage Jordan's numerous archaeological sites.

          The Ghent Altarpiece Conservation Project
          The Getty funded the conservation of the panel art and published thier findings.  Hign resolution images of the rstored panels can now be viewed online.  They were even able to photograph the artists sketches below the painting.

          Panel Paintings Initiative
          The Getty’s Panel Paintings Initiative is funding a range of coordinated efforts to create new avenues for training emerging and mid–career professionals, to notch up advanced practitioners, and to increase knowledge on panel preservation.

          MOSAIKON is a partnership of four institutions: the Getty Conservation Institute, the Getty Foundation, ICCROM (the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property), and the International Committee for the Conservation of Mosaics (ICCM). It addresses the need for enhanced capacity in the conservation and management of archaeological mosaics in the Mediterranean region through strategic targeting of priorities and deployment of resources in four components:

          • strengthening the professional network and information exchange
          • in situ mosaics
          • mosaics in museums and storage
          • university-level conservation education and training of trainers

          Connecting Art Histories
          Connecting Art Histories seeks to strengthen art history as a global discipline by funding visiting professorships in select art history departments and research centers in countries where art history is an emerging discipline, as well as by supporting intensive research seminars that enable sustaining regional and international scholarly dialogue. Efforts focus on regions outside of Europe and North America.

          Pacific Standard Time
          Pacific Standard Time is the culmination of a long-term Getty Research Institute initiative that focuses on postwar art in Los Angeles. Through archival acquisitions, oral history interviews, public programming, exhibitions, and publications, the Research Institute is responding to the need to locate, collect, document, and preserve the art historical record of this vibrant period.

          Local Programs with Schools
          Art Together is a multiple-visit program created in partnership with local Title 1 elementary schools. This program brings students to the Getty Museum on consecutive visits and periodically places Getty educators in the classroom.

          Thought for the Day               

          Art is either plagiarism, or revolution. “

          Paul Gauguin

          “Art, like morality, consists in drawing the line somewhere.”

          - Gilbert K Chesterton

          “The art of protecting flat surfaces from the weather, and exposing them to the critic. “

          - Ambrose Bierce, who offered a definition of the noun, “Painting”

          Rotary Club Meeting May 4, 2012 - James Cuno, the CEO of the Getty Center Scott Kunitz 2012-05-04 00:00:00Z
          2012 Annual International Food & Song Festival

          Thank you Tom and Stephanie Loo!

          2012 Annual International Food & Song Festival Scott Kunitz 2012-04-29 00:00:00Z
          Rotary Club Meeting April 20, 2012 - Dr. Ben Weitz

          Meeting Cast:

          ImageAt the head table, seated at far stage right of the podium we have our Invocator for today: Jay Smith. Next to Jay we have one of our newest members, Matt Williams. Stage left of the podium and here to introduce our Speaker for today, we have Grace Wang. Next to Grace is our speaker for today, Dr. Ben Weitz. Far stage left of the Podium and here to introduce our visiting Rotarians and guests, we have Thomas Larmore.

          ImageOur song leader was Savi Labensart with Ken Waltzer on piano, and our greeters were Isabel Cervello & Moira Doherty.


          We had no visiting Rotarians.

          Jamie Menzies guest of Dee Menzies. Chris Wilson was a guest of Don Dickerson. Lee Harrison and John Ashkar were guests of Jim Rushta.


          • Staff Support Day - Where we honor our support staff that make our jobs possible.
          • David thanked his staff.
          • ImageDavid thanked Savi for her support during his term and presented her with roses.
          • John Bohn presented a $3,500 grant to the Boy Scouts of America. The grant will be used to make repairs to the swimming pool at Camp Josepho.
          • Judy Neveau - Club Survey time again.  Please complete the survey and return.  It only takes 4 minutes.



          Support Staff Guests:

          Rotarian Guest
          David Bohn Joni Ramos
          Susan Cruz
          Brittney Manke
          Bret Carter Anna Karin Nordlund
          Jennifer Soussan
          Jill Anderson
          Isabel Cervello Nellie Evans
          George Collins Beth England
          Susan Gabriel Potter Carol Hirahara
          Kathy Ritter
          Alan Glick Pearl Beria
          Mitch Kraus Jaime Hume
          Frank Lavac Mayra Zambrano
          Dick Lawrence Kathy Irby
          Tom Loo Bobbi Banks
          Larry Maher Kelsey Greenwald
          Lea Smith
          Rick Mateus Gabby Orozco
          Klaus Mennekes Annette Gussmack
          TJ Montemer Spencer Lee
          Judy Guest
          MaryAnn Powell Flor Perez
          Rosemary Regalbuto Ellen Rabin
          Laurel Rosen Maggie Davis
          Jennifer Medina
          Carl Hansen
          David Rosenfeld Julie Cruz-Smith
          Erin Sullivan
          Neferteri Shepard
          Mario Ruiz Claudia Ruiz
          Joseph Vasquez
          David Snow Nicole Larsen
          Ken Waltzer Gayle Fuhr
          Kellie Weidenheimer
          Image Image
          Image Image
          Image Image
          Image Image
          Image Image

          The Support Staff games were led by Grace


          ImageDr. Ben Weitz is a certified sports chiropractor, nutritionist, and strength and conditioning specialist in Santa Monica for over 20 years. Dr. Weitz graduated from UCLA in 1983 with a BA in philosophy and he graduated from the Pasadena College of Chiropractic in 1987 as a Doctor of Chiropractic. Dr. Weitz wrote a book on back rehabilitation, The Back Relief Book, published in 1998, and he is currently at work on a book on sports nutrition for kids. Dr. Weitz will be speaking about how to prevent and reverse chronic diseases like obesity, diabetes, and heart disease by adopting a healthy lifestyle.

          To see Dr. Weitz's full presentation click here or view it in our new story section, accessable through our home page.

          Thought for the Day

          “As soon as you sit down to a nice cup of hot coffee, your boss will ask you to do something which will last until the coffee is cold.”

          - truism from an unnamed executive assistant
          Rotary Club Meeting April 20, 2012 - Dr. Ben Weitz Scott Kunitz 2012-04-20 00:00:00Z
          Dr. Ben Weitz's Presentation 4-20-12
          ImageDr. Ben Weitz is a certified sports chiropractor, nutritionist, and strength and conditioning specialist in Santa Monica for over 20 years. Dr. Weitz graduated from UCLA in 1983 with a BA in philosophy and he graduated from the Pasadena College of Chiropractic in 1987 as a Doctor of Chiropractic. Dr. Weitz wrote a book on back rehabilitation, The Back Relief Book, published in 1998, and he is currently at work on a book on sports nutrition for kids. Dr. Weitz will be speaking about how to prevent and reverse chronic diseases like obesity, diabetes, and heart disease by adopting a healthy lifestyle.
          Dr. Ben Weitz's Presentation 4-20-12 Scott Kunitz 2012-04-20 00:00:00Z



          See the outcome of this amazing project!




          Great work Rotarians!

          GRAND BAHAMA EMERGENCY WATER RELIEF FOUNDATION Scott Kunitz 2012-04-19 00:00:00Z
          Rotary Club Meeting April 13, 2012 - Evan Kleinman on Good Food
          ImageFridays the 13's meeting had it all; good freinds, good food, good music and an excellent talk given by Even Kleinman of Good Food on KCRW. To find out who was their, who saiod what and see all the photos to prove it, including one of Bob Klein with Ken Waltzer preparing thier much loved version of "That's Amore", See below.
          Rotary Club Meeting April 13, 2012 - Evan Kleinman on Good Food Scott Kunitz 2012-04-13 00:00:00Z
          Rotary Club Meeting March 30, 2012 - Group Study Exchange Team & Outgoing District Ambassadorial Scholar Stephanie Felix
          Meeting Cast:

          Tod LipkaAt the head table, seated at far stage right of the podium we have our Invocator for today: Tod Lipka. Next to Tod we have Stephanie Felix. Stage left of the podium and here to introduce our GSE Team, we have Dr. Monika White. Next to Monika is our visiting GSE Team Leader, Gnanavelan. Jim ReidyFar stage left of the Podium and here to introduce our visiting Rotarians and guests, we have James B. Reidy, Jr.

          Our song leader was Bob, and our Greeters were Jillian Alexander & Petra Haffter.


          ImageIt was a very busy day at the Riviera Country Club we had 4 visiting Rotarians not counting the GSE Team; Carmela Raack and Ann Murakami from Culver City,Rich Musella from Westchester and Alan Monroe from Sarasota Southside who exchanged banners with the club.

          We also had a full roster of guests; Emily Sperling was a guest of Jim Dyer. Norton Wyner and Pam Bradly were guests of Jean McNeil Wyner. Richard Thompson was a guest of Diane Margolin. Janeen Jackson was aguest of Rochelle LeBlanc. Doger Goodman was a guest of Monika White.  Eric London was a guest of Dee Menzies. Julia Ladd was a guest of Lauren Rosen. Kara Rosenthax and Rich Greenspun were guests of Ann Greenspum.  Maria Miranda was a guest of Sharon Gavin.

          Image Image Image Image Image

          • Last week we had our 90th Birthday Party. It was a great success and there are so many people to thank, but so little time today. My biggest thanks go to George Collins and Diane Margolin, but there are many more.
          • First Tuesday is next week at Lula’s on Main Street
          • Sharon Gavin- presented Maria Miranda from the YMCA with a youth grant.
          • Avo 'Elvis' Guerboian - Thursday April 12, 2012, Savi is being installed as the new president of the Santa Monica Jaycees.  John Bohn and Judy Neveau will be honored as well.
          • Jim Dyer- reminder about the upcoming district conference.
          • Gila - Staff support Day 4/20/12.
          • Emily Sperling thanked Jim Dyer for all his work and efforts on behalf of Shelter Box.





          ImageOutgoing District Ambassadorial Scholar Stephanie Felix

          CBA Student Wins $27,00 International Rotary Scholarship as a Social Entrepreneur

          Stephanie Felix, an international business and marketing major in the College of Business Administration, was recently named a Rotary International "Ambassadorial Scholar". The award provides her with up to $27,000 to study and earn a masters degree at an international school of her choosing. She has a preference list of five schools in Europe, Australia and South Africa, and will soon learn which study program will be approved by the rotary group. Stephanie expects to earn a masters degree in developmental studies, which explores "the challenges of managing change toward ethical, economical, environmental and political sustainability," according to Felix.

          Stephanie spent the summer participating in a Global Exchange project in Cambodia, where she worked with women from a small village on a sewing program in hopes of helping them start their own business. She also spent six weeks at Princeton at a summer studies program. Rotary International is a worldwide service club with well over a million members in 75 countries. Their focus is on international projects such as eradicating polio, and helping to improve international understanding and cooperation. Stephanie Felix is the 25th Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar from LMU in the past 20 years. In addition to her studies, she will work with and network with local Rotary Clubs to help improve the international understanding of America and her people

          Group Study Exchange Team

          ImageToday we got to learn a little more about each member of the team as they shared about their lives with individual PowerPoint presentations.

          Gnanaprakasam Gnanavelan, "Gnan" Incoming Team Leader: The Director of Zen Builders, Pvt. Ltd, Construction CompanyImage

          Chitra Priya Rajalingam, "Chitra": A Motorcycle Racer and Events/Media Coordinator Head of Wild Origin Entertainment.

          Umamaheswari Thirupath, "Uma": A Dr., MGR, Professor, Management Studies Educational & Research University.

          Gunasekaran Muniachetty, "Guna": A Sr. Newspaper Special Correspondent Editor, News Presenter, Debate Moderator.

          Ganesh Velayutham, "Ganesh": A Technical Head and Partner, Jason Fx Graphic Design/Management Business.


          Thought for the Day

          "Democracy is a device that ensures we shall be governed no better than we deserve."

          - George Bernard Shaw
          Rotary Club Meeting March 30, 2012 - Group Study Exchange Team & Outgoing District Ambassadorial Scholar Stephanie Felix Scott Kunitz 2012-03-30 00:00:00Z
          Santa Monica Rotary Club’s 90th Anniversary

          ImageOn Friday, March 23, Rotary through the Decades was the theme of the 90th birthday celebration of the Rotary Club of Santa Monica. Each decade was represented by a song, dance, or surprise interruption by the Club's talented members. The entertainment, conceived by George Collins, was directed by the Club's Executive Secretary, Savi Labensart, who is a wonderful singer. John Lehne was responsible for rounding up theImage Past Presidents. Susan Gabriel Potter felt top hats and moustaches would add a touch of class with their Past President sashes when they sang their "Happy Birthday Rotary" song at the culmination of the program. That is, before they were led off the stage in an energetic Conga line by Savi.

          Thanks to the 13 generous sponsors in the Club, the party at the Casa del Mar will be remembered for years to come. They were Allan Young, Susan Gabriel Potter, George Collins, Con Oyler, Tom Loo, David Price, Scott Kunitz, Barbara Bishop, Monte Herring, Hal Quigley, Ron Davis, The Menzies Family and John Bohn.

          ImageThe Dynamic Duo of George Collins and Diane Margolin worked closely with the amazing hotel staff to create an elegant, yet relaxing, atmosphere for Rotarians and their guests to dine, dance, and have fun in the hotel ballroom. They are already thinking about the 100th birthday party. But, not for awhile, yet.


          Much appreciation to Klaus Mennekes, Toby Lent, Casa del Mar Captain Kathleen and the servers; plus Susan Gabriel Potter, Helene Winkler, Rotaract Club members Micolee Lazaro and Ava Haghighi; Sharon Johnson, Kris Andresen, Kai-li Quigley, Steven Freedberg, Jean McNeil Wyner, Paula from Pure Sense; Abe from Ann's Flowers; Imageand the very talented entertainers. We also had a terrific jazz trio from Crossroads High School who performed during the cocktail hour. Members could get their pictures taken in the photo booth wearing hats and accessories that gave revealing clues into their personalities. DJ Eric Greenberg kept the music going, even after the party was over. The performers needed a screen to change behind and thanks to new member, ImageSalvation Army Captain Mario Ruiz, that problem was solved. He brought it to the hotel and picked it up when the party was over! Dee Menzies lent us easels for the Rotary memorabilia exhibit.

          ImageIn sparkling green dresses RoseMary Regalbuto and Barbara Bishop started the entertainment with their dazzling Charleston dance. Who will ever forget Avo Guerboian's Imageimpersonation of his Dad, Eddie, when he impersonated Elvis Presley years ago? GregImage Hargrave in his colorful clown costume always seemed to appear at the wrong time, but his juggling timing was perfect. Emcee Paul Gaulke did a great job of keeping the program moving. We did hope he would "play his cheeks," but perhaps another time.

          ImageSavi entertained us with her beautiful voice in a few numbers. She began behind a shower curtain deftly held up by Bill Werner and Jim Dyer. Why did Jim keep taking photos behind the curtain?


          You had to be there....

          ImageMonika White serenaded us with the spoons while her husband, Roger played his harmonica. ImageTom Larmore and John Pacheco strummed and sang with their guitars. Carol Jackson did a breathy rendition of "Happy Birthday, Mr. President," to David, a la Marilyn Monroe.

          Savi joined Pat Bofird and Carol Jackson dressed to sing like the Andrew Sisters. Bill Werner came up on stage to play his harmonica with them. Savi later tried a Madonna song, only to be interrupted by Greg and his juggling, but kept the crowd entranced when she sang "Heroes," accompanied by the fabulous pianist T.J. Montemer.

          Image Image  Image

          ImageBarb Bishop and Avo once again kept our toes tapping with their rendition of John Travolta's dancing to "Staying Alive." Those shoes Avo wore were something else! Our realistic stunt men, Nick Goehner and Torrey Vogel fooled a few people who were ready to call theImage police when they started sword fighting, and even breaking a table. Luckily former Police Chief Tim Jackman was at the dinner with his wife, Lisa. She handcuffed Nick and led him out of the party. Russ Warner proved to be a distracting interruption when Avo was performing.

          It was a night filled with memories of the fun and camaraderie created by the members in our wonderful Rotary Club.


          You can see more of the photos from that night on our
          Rotary Club’s 90th Anniversary - Videio Slide Show

          Santa Monica Rotary Club’s 90th Anniversary Diane Margolin 2012-03-23 00:00:00Z
          Rotary Club Meeting March 16, 2012 - Children's book author Alexis O'Neill

          Meeting Cast

           ImageAt the head table, Far Stage Right we had Invocator Connie McGuire; Next to Connie we have Dr Janee Yuguchi Gates. Stage left of the podium and here to introduce our speaker for today, we have Sharon Gavin. Next to Sharon is our speaker for today, children's book author Alexis O'Neill. Far stage left of the Podium and here to introduce our visiting Rotarians and guests we have Scott Kunitz.Image Our song leader was Tom Larmore with Ken Waltzer on piano, and our Greeters were Jillian Alexander & Bill Rayman.Image


          We had no visiting Rotarians today. We had only 1 guest of our Rotarians, Matt Williams who was a guest of Lisa Alexander.

          Connie McGuire's Irish Prayer

          You blessed us with friends and laughter and fun, with rain that's as soft as light from the sun.  You've blessed us with stars to brighten each night, you've given us help to know wrong from right.  You've given us so much, please Lord give us too, a heart that is always grateful to you.


          • Thank you all the Rotarians who participated in Rotary reads.  It was a big success.  67 class rooms, 1000 students.  A lucky reader was randomly chosen to receive a Kindle Fire. That reader was, Patricia Farris, congratulations!
          • On each of the tables was a copy of the "city wide reads" book by Raymond Chandler. A lucky winner from each table who participates in the quiz could win the book.
          • Grace Wang staff support day April 20th, bring your staff and support them.  Please fill out the fliers so they can get final numbers.
          • Bill Buxton, Next Supper Service at OPCC is today at the Turning Point Facility on 16th and Broadway. We start cooking at 4pm and serve at 6 pm.
          • District Conference is coming April 19th through 22nd.  It starts off Thursday with a golf tournament.  Hole in one Mercedes S-Class or Audi A8.  And a lot of goodies and surprises throughout the week.Image
          • Charlie Follette, International Food and Festival Committee. Next festival Sunday April 29th at 1:00pm.  Plenty of food from many parts of the world.  There will be events for children, and the whole family as well as wonderful music.  The event is  free of charge and counts as a meeting.
          • Thanks to Sharon Gavin and Janie Gates for putting on the "Rotary Reads" project event.
          • Recruiting committee, we want to get more people in to our club.  New programs in place including 40 and under program to get our younger Rotarians in.  There has also been a lunch subsidies program in place that hasn't been used.  This allows guests to come in and eat lunch free of charge.  There are 20 of these and only 1 has been used.  You can also let the Recruiting Committee know of any individual or company you'd like to see join, and they will handle it for you.
          • Tim Jackman's retirement party coming up
          • Our next Healthy Living event will be a historic tour of Downtown Santa Monica on the 24th of March.
          • 90th Anniversary party on the 23rd. Thank you to all the Rotarians who have donated $1000 each.


          • Diane Margolin, great mannequin fine $100.
          • To everyone who attended Diane Margolin's wonderful event $50.


          Alexis O'NeillAlexis O'Neill is a local children's author. She is the author of "Loud Emily" which was featured in Newsweek magazine. "The Recess Queen" which was on the Los Angeles Times children's best seller list. And "Estela's Swap" which is a multicultural book about generosity, highlighting a unique Los Angeles experience. Her non-fiction and fiction work has been featured in such publications as Crickets, Spider, Writer's Digest, and Children's Book Review Magazine.

          Alexis also teaches writing for the UCLA extension writers program.  She's a regional advisor for the society of children's book writers and illustrators.  And a founding member of the children's authors network.  Cover - The Recess QueenShe is a former Elemetary School teacher. She holds a B.S. from Skidmore College and an M.S. in Instructional Technology and Ph.D. in teacher Education from Syracuse University.

          In addition to writing, Alexis has served as an education consultant for a variety of museums across the country, including the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Ventura County Museum of History & Art, the Everson Museum of Art and the Erie Canal Museum. In her community, she chairs the annual Children's Book Week Celebration for the Simi Valley Friends of the Library and serves on the board of the Ventura County Reading Association. Alexis lives with her husband, David, in Simi Valley, California.

          Alexis began with a saying "C'ead Mile Failte" which means "A Hundred Thousand Welcomes" in Gaelic.  And after testing her slide show she began to take us through her journey from growing up in Southey.  She grew up in a very Irish family and spoke of how enjoyable each St. Patrick's Day was in her family.  She then showed everyone a picture describing how she dressed up for Halloween being an Irish American, she was dressed in a nun's habit.  And told stories of how while everyone else trick-o-treated a houses, she did it at the convent.

          in 1979 she was given the honor of being chosen as a Rotary foundation fellow.  She was chosen when she was right at the limit of how old one could be to receive the fellowship.  Living with her Rotary parents in London gave her the opportunity to study in England for a full year from 1979 to 1980. She had already begun her doctoral at Syracuse university but she had gone back to teaching to get more experience.  And this year would allow her to do a lot of writing and through her experiences gave her a lot of writing material for the rest of her life.

          Alexis has been in a number of careers, but she states she has definitely found her last.  She absolutely loves writing for children.  About 20 years ago she embarked on a journey to do everything she could to become a published author.  She started by publishing in children's magazines. At the same time she was also working on her books, the 3 stated earlier and the most recent, "The Worst Best Friend."

          She commented on Rotary Reads and how reading to children and bringing those experiences to people are so important because it's a personal experience.  And when a child is read to and has that personal connection, in her experience, she has been told by librarians that library checkout always goes up. 

          The current educational system are in tough times, and some places can't afford to bring in authors.  It's up to all of us to what we can to keep the arts alive in schools and give children the opportunity for artistic expression.

          Picture books, which are what Alexis writes, are a different, and traditionally misunderstood, form of writing than a traditional novel that one might find at a book store.  She pointed out how there are two names on the front of her book, that of hers, and that of the illustrator.  This is an interesting point because she's never met the illustrator on her book.  When Alexis writes a story she sends it off to multiple publishers.  Once she finds someone to buy it, that publisher has an editor who then finds an illustrator to bring the story to life. 

          She showed us the original manuscript and read a few lines to us.  She then described the images that were produced by the illustrator, and described how imaginative they were.  A lot of thought went into the illustrations, down to the smallest child in the background.  Each image tells everything about the text and tells even more about the back story and the behind the scenes. The illustrator carries the main character and all the other characters through each page of the book. 

          Each character has their own personality and a through-line.  The illustrator shows how each character changes and evolves through the story, and each character seems to represent all types of children so all readers could relate to one of the characters in the pictures.  Alexis showed examples of each character type and their actions throughout the story.  By the end of the story, where everyone was sad and afraid, everyone became happy and playful.  One example as well of the difference between the illustrators initial draft and final work was that originally there was a dog in the book with the kids on the playground.  This had to be taken out because there are no dogs on the playground and children reading the book would have been taken out of the story because of this

          She described how she came up with a lot of the inventive words and the difficulty in writing a rhyming book.  There is a definite rhythm in a rhyming picture book. 

          The last thing that she touched on was the cost of a picture book and how the profits were distributed.  Her book sells for $16, here's what's interesting.  10% of that total goes back to the creators, so Alexis gets 80 cents per book.  40% goes to the book seller. And then 50% goes to the publisher.  The reasons behind all of this are because of the color printing and processing of each book.  $17,000 for paper printing and binding, $6,400 for plates, $32,000 for overhead, and different amounts for the advances.  Alexis' advance on "Loud Emily" was about $2,500 and that advance has to be paid back before any profit is made.  So that amount has to be made back in 80 cents incriments.  certainly not what I expected as compensation for an author.  

          She also shared with us her first book "Loud Emily."  She described one scene in the book that was actually an event that happened to her when she was younger, when she almost got blown away in a hurricane. 

          She recently published through e-publishing 3 short stories called 3 Irish tales, and recommended everyone look it up on their ipads and kindles, etc. 

          She had a couple of quotes that she shared with us in closing.

          • "Stories are the single most powerful weapon in a leader's arsenal." - Howard Gardner
          • "If you don't know the trees you may be lost in the forest. But if you don't know the stories, you may be lost in life" - Siberian Elder

          Our lives are made up of stories and we should pass those stories on.  It's so important for knowledge and growth and each and every one of us has their own unique story, and who we are, makes the story.

          She closed with a song, that was always sung, in parting from a get together.  She left us all with a great feeling and a pure smile. 

          "Oh of all the money that err I've spent
          I spent it in good company
          and all the harm that err I've done
          Alas it was to none but me
          but since it falls unto my lot
          that I should rise and you should not
          I'll gently rise, and I'll softly call
          goodnight and joy be with you all"

          Thank you Alexis O'Neill!

          Thought for the Day

          A quote published by Fortune magazine said: Some people will lie, cheat, steal, and backstab to get ahead.  And to think, all they have to do is read.
          Rotary Club Meeting March 16, 2012 - Children's book author Alexis O'Neill Nicholas Goehner 2012-03-16 00:00:00Z
          Santa Monica Rotary Club Meeting February 10, 2011

          Public Service Recognition Day, held on February 10 this year, is a program our Rotary members eagerly anticipate.   It gives us a chance to recognize those who help to make our community a better and safer place to live.    Traditionally we honor a firefighter, police officer, teacher/administrator, and bus driver. Plaques are ordered for each honoree to receive from his or her supervisor.


          Honored this year were Big Blue Bus driver William Alvarenga; Dr. Sally Chou, Santa Monica-Malibu School District Chief Academic Officer; Crime Analyst Debbie Anderson from the Santa Monica Police Department; and Captain Matthew Norris of the Santa Monica Fire Department. 


          Thanks to generous contributions of fire hats from the Santa Monica Fire Department; buses, pens, and key rings from the Big Blue Bus; whistles, pencils and pens from the Santa Monica Police Department and samples from The Art of Shaving, everyone went home with lots of favors.

          The committee that put the popular event together included Joe Metoyer, Jean McNeil Wyner, Susan Potter and Diane Margolin.

          Santa Monica Rotary Club Meeting February 10, 2011 2012-02-10 00:00:00Z
          January 6, 2012 - First Meeting of 2012

          Meeting Cast

           At the head table, Far Stage Right we had Invocator Bill Buxton;  Tom Larmore sat next to President David Bohn and introduced our visiting Rotarians and guests.  Left of Podium we had Barbara Bishop, who introduced our speakers  Jessica Limpert  and Ramon Medeiros .   Our song leader was Savi Labensart with Ken Waltzer on piano, and our greeters were Lisa Alexander and Gaby Schkud.

           Image ImageImage





          We had no visiting Rotarians today.   Char Lawrence and Todd Lawrence visited us as guests of husband and father, respectively, Dick Lawrence;  Jamie Menzies and Rob Dawson were guest of Jim Menzies.  Shelly Locks visited us as a guest of Laurel Rosen Linda Teixeira, guest of Suzan Allbritton and Matt Williams, guest of Lisa Alexander, visited us again.  Jennifer Gaulke, wife and guest of Paul Gaulke, Tricia Ricard, wife and guest of Glenn Ricard, and Roger Goodman, husband and guest of Monika White all came too!


          Image Image


          Image Image


          January 6, 2012 - First Meeting of 2012 2012-01-06 00:00:00Z
          Rotary Serves Thanksgiving Dinner to Santa Monica Police

          A special thank you to all the Rotarians and their families who helped honor the police officers and personnel who were on duty on Thanksgiving Day.  We fed over 60 people and provided each with a $5.00 Starbucks gift card.  The food, provided by Casa del Mar and Shuttters, was amazing.  Thank you Klaus for making this possible.   


          Image Image

          A giant Thank You to our VOLUNTEERS:

          Charles Follette and his son, Jimmy
          Monte Herring
          Alonzo Hill and daughters Autumn & Hayden and wife September
          Iao Katagiri
          Rochelle LeBlanc and her partner Margaret Paul
          Len Lanzi's friend-Darren and his son Eli
          Dick Lawrence
          Paul Leoni
          Jean McNeil Wyner
          Dee, Jim, and Jamie Menzies
          Brendan Murray and his daughter Elise
          Irene Passos
          Myles Pritchard
          Glen Ricard and his sons Matthew & Brandon and their friend Jen
          Lionel Ruhman
          David Snow and his son Sam
          Jim Westbrook
          Alonzo Hill and daughters Autumn & Hayden and wife September
          Rotary Serves Thanksgiving Dinner to Santa Monica Police Dorothy Menzies 2011-11-24 00:00:00Z
          Healthy Living Step Aerobics


          Julia Miele welcomes Rotarians to the November 18th Healthy Living Step Aerobics class at the YWCA. 

          Healthy Living Step Aerobics 2011-11-19 00:00:00Z
          November 18 @ Rotary with Westwood Village Club - USC ~ UCLA
          Meeting Cast
          Image Image
          Paul Leoni                                                    Ed Jackson 
          We enjoyed sharing the meeting with the Westwood Village club, which we helped establish years ago.  Chicago native and 30-year Rotarian, Paul Leoni, offered the invocation. Rochelle LeBlanc, who originally hails from Louisiana, introduced our guests.  Westwood Village President Ed Jackson, a Rotarian since 1983, joined President David on the dais, and
          Image Image
          Jim Collins                                                         Tom Loo 
          Westwood Village member Jim Collins, a Rotarian for 58 years, introduced our Bruin speaker, Donn Moomaw.  Tom Loo, whose Rotary service started in 1975, introduced our Trojan speaker, Willie Brown.
          In addition to Westwood Village Rotary Club members, Ada Kahn from Evanston, Illinois, was another visiting Rotarian.  As for guests, Jean McNeil Wyner welcomed back her husband, Dr. Norton Wyner.   Mitch introduced former member Sally Pai, who is co-chairing the Red Tie Affair event for the American Red Cross.  Tom Loo hosted fellow attorneys Norman Lane and Sean McMillan and USC Track and Field Coach Ron Allice.  Mario Gallo was Karim Jaude’s guest. 
          Rochelle LeBlanc, Dr. Norton Wyner & Savi                                           Sally Pai         
          Connie DeGroot hosted Adrian Fulle, who produced our fabulous wine festival video.  (Go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=upHO1ZWDMoY to see what all the buzz is about!)  Donna Byrd hosted Roy Houghton; Alan Glick’s guest was Chuck Husting; Avo Guerboian hosted Christine Cassiano; and Jamie Menzies accompanied Dee and Jim. 
          Image Image

          Adrian Fulle & Connie DeGroot                                               Jim Parr & Bill Dawson


          Frank Lavac hosted CPA Jim Parr, who will be sponsoring the buffet for the Red Kettle Day’s counting party.  John Pacheco introduced us to Marcia Caldirola and Kelsey Howard, both American Red Cross staff members.
          • Frank Lavac reminded us that Red Kettle Day is Friday, Dec. 9.  The Counting Party will be at the YMCA’s second floor assembly room, courtesy of Jean McNeil Wyner.  Parking is free in the underground garage; enter from 6th Street, just north of Santa Monica Boulevard.   Myles Pritchard will be coordinating signups for the bell ringing.
          • The Santa Monica Jaycees are having a canned food drive over the next month.  We’ll have a box set up at the check-in table during the next few meetings.  Please bring canned and packaged goods to support the Jaycees, and their incoming President, our own Savi Labensart.

          Frank Lavac                                               Dee Menzies                                                Charlie Follette

          • Show your appreciation for our public safety employees who are working on Thanksgiving Day by helping us serve lunch to our on-duty officers and civilian employees at the Public Safety Facility (333 Olympic Drive). We’ll need volunteers on Thursday from 10:00 am until 7:30 pm. Check with June Doy at Carlthorp School (jdoy@carlthorp.org, 310-922-6274) if you’re interested.  A BIG THANK YOU to Klaus Mennekes and Casa Del Mar for donating the food.
          • Charlie Follette will be donating funds to the “Parks as Classrooms” program that brings inner city children to the Santa Monica Mountains.  Come by his nursery, The Rose Garden, on Stewart Street, just south of Olympic Boulevard, and buy a rose bush.  Talk about a gift that keeps on giving!
          • Santa Claus and his precious elves are planning their annual visit to our holiday luncheon on Friday, December 16.  Please let Savi know if you are bringing children that day so Santa will know how many gifts to bring.
          Club Elections
          Image Past President Carol Jackson announces candidates for Club Elections which will be held at our meeting on Dec. 9.   See separate story for more information on the nominees.

          Willie Brown is a former USC varsity athlete in football and baseball. Mr. Brown was a member of the 1962 USC National Championship Football team and captained the 1963 National Championship baseball team. He was an assistant coach during OJ Simpson’s senior year in 1968 and coached for the National Championship baseball team in 1968. He was also a member of the coaching staff for the National championship football teams of 1972 and 1974. He coached with two Hall of Fame coaches — Rod Dedeaux (baseball) and John McKay (football). He coached our very own Bob Klein!
          Ron Allice, Tom Loo and Willie Brown
          In 2004, Mr. Brown was inducted into the USC Hall of Fame. After earning his Bachelor's Degree in Public Administration from USC, Willie joined the USC football and baseball coaching staffs from 1968-1975.  He reflected on the spirited, good-hearted rivalry between UCLA and USC.  Nowhere else are there two such outstanding football programs in the same city where the strong qualities of both help strengthen each other.
          Donn Moomaw represented UCLA.  Donn played center and linebacker from 1950-1952 and went on to play professional football before retiring to join the Presbyterian ministry. Each year, UCLA gives out the Donn Moomaw Award for Outstanding Defensive Player against USC. 
          Jack Gregory, Donn Moomaw and Gabby Schkud
           He spoke of his decision to attend UCLA despite USC being viewed as more of a football school at the time.  He shared impressions of his days training with UCLA football coach Bo Sanders, of his prayer day before an Oregon game, and of serving as pastor to President Reagan (he gave the invocation and benediction at Reagan's 1981 presidential inauguration). Rev. Moomaw is thankful to live in a community with two wonderful universities with outstanding football programs.
          November 18 @ Rotary with Westwood Village Club - USC ~ UCLA 2011-11-18 00:00:00Z
          November 11th at Rotary with Scott Sale and Arthur White for New Directions, Inc.
          Meeting Cast
          Ron Davis offered the invocation, new member Nick Goehner sat next to President David Bohn.  Scott Wagenseller introduced our speaker, Scott Sale.  Judy Neveau introduced our visiting Rotarians and our guests.  Irene Passos, Rob Kohn and Lisa Alexander greeted us at the door.  Ken Waltzer accompanied our song leader, Herb Roney. 
          Image  Image 
          Visiting Guests
          We had no visiting Rotarians today, but lots of guests of members:  Norton Wyner hosted by his wife, Jean McNeil Wyner; Steve Senfp, guest of Con Oyler; Arthur White, New Directions graduate, who was a co-presenter with our speaker; Maria Ferguson, wife of member Scott Ferguson; Autumn Hill, daughter of member Alonzo Hill; Christine Cassiano, guest of Avo Guerboian; and  David Rosenfeld,  guest of Donna Byrd.
          Image Image 
          • Frank Lavac announced that Red Kettle Day is Dec 9.  The counting party will be at the YMCA on the second floor (courtesy of Jean McNeil Wyner), and Myles Pritchard will be coordinating signups for bell ringing.
          • The Santa Monica Jaycees are having a canned food drive over the next month.  We’ll have a collection box available at the next few meetings.  Please bring in canned goods to support the Jaycees and their incoming President, our own Savi Labensart.
          • Bret Carter reported on the Rotary International Foundation Paul Harris Celebration at Circus Vargas.  We had good attendance, and raised 6% more money that last year with the lottery tickets. 
          • The birthday committee is looking for promotional items to add to its birthday gift stash. See Laurel Rosen if you have something to donate.
          • Third Thursday Breakfast is coming up November 17.  Come by between 7:30am-9:00am at Le Pain Quotidian, 13050 San Vicente, Brentwood (just east of 26th Street).
          • Santa Monica History Museum’s Gala Tribute Dinner was held on Sunday, November 6, at Casa Del Mar to recognize the city’s service clubs.  Iao Katagiri made us shine at the event with her PowerPoint presentation – go Iao!   Prez David accepted the award on behalf of Rotary with remarks that sounded as though he’d been practicing for weeks instead of minutes – quick thinking, David!
          We had no time for fines today… some of you got off lucky.  “-)
          Selling Coffee for a Cause http://www.rotary.org/en/MediaAndNews/News/Pages/111110_news_alumdaf.aspx
          By selling fair trade coffee to Rotary clubs throughout the United States, a former Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholar is helping to raise money to fund worldwide clean water initiatives.
          Five for Water, a project started by Bill Prost, Rotary Club of Cape Girardeau, Missouri, finances a Rotary Foundation donor advised fund for water projects in coffee-producing countries. After forming a partnership with Green Mountain Coffee, Prost invited clubs to purchase the organic coffee and sell it in their community. Funds generated from the sales would go toward water projects throughout Africa, Central and South America, and Indonesia.
          A village in Bolivia now has access to clean water as the result of a project supported by The Rotary Foundation’s Clean Water for Coffee Growing Countries Donor Advised Fund. Photo courtesy of Five for Water
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          A pump provides water to a village in Tanzania -- part of a project made possible by the Foundation’s donor advised fund. Water and sanitation is one of Rotary’s areas of focus under the Future Vision Plan. Photo courtesy of Five for Water
          “I wanted to create a year-round project that’s fit for any size club,” says Prost, who studied in England as a 1979-80 Rotary Scholar. “Any club, no matter how large or small, can help be a part of this. It’s a really simple project.”
          Coffee sales
          Even though the project was launched only a year ago, more than 300 clubs in the United States are already selling the coffee. Their efforts have netted nearly $184,000, providing more than 50,000 people in 10 countries with access to clean water.
          An estimated two million people die every year from waterborne diseases, and more than one billion lack access to clean water, according to the World Health Organization. “I told myself that, as a Rotarian, it was my responsibility to do something about [that],” Prost says. 
          After the money is raised, clubs seek an international partnership with another club and apply for a Rotary Foundation Matching Grant. A big focus of Five for Water has been funding the installation of wells to serve schools, orphanages, and medical clinics -- but, according to Prost, the project’s scope goes beyond that.
          Wells in Bolivia
          Recently, Five for Water installed eight wells in Bolivia and pump stations near a reservoir in Sumatra. Prost has also partnered with a club in Missouri and Engineers Without Borders to create a pipeline in Honduras that supplies water from an existing well and a water tower. The project’s goal is to provide more than 300 families with clean drinking water.
          Scott Sale, M.D., is a board member and Program Committee Chair for New Directions, Inc.   New Directions is an agency serving veterans who are struggling with homelessness, mental illness and physical disabilities, and substance abuse.  Scott shared some statistics about our homeless population and the portion of it that is made up of veterans. The latest numbers show that 18 percent of the homeless population are veterans as opposed to only eight percent of the general population.  Among homeless veterans, 75 percent are dealing with substance abuse issues that compound their medical, emotional, and financial problems.   New Directions was founded in 1992 in Mar Vista.  It now occupies five buildings on the Veterans Administration campus in West LA.  Some of the programs they offer include anger management, help in obtaining high school GED, job placement, and family reunification.  The program can last between six and 18 months, is very rigorous, and requires significant personal commitment by the veterans who sign up for it.  They also have an a cappella choir that was on America’s Got Talent – you can see the on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b5z-h92h6Ks .  The choir performs regularly around Los Angeles, especially in support of other nonprofit social service agencies.
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          Arthur White, a graduate of New Directions, spoke about how much New Directions changed his life.  He entered the program with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which led to drug and alcohol problems.  Too many programs do not treat the whole person - and this is where ND is different.  Arthur said, “If you have two hands on fire and you only put it out on one hand, you have not really addressed the problem.”  ND provides the opportunity to make changes – but every individual must step up to the plate and make their own choice to move forward.  Arthur did this and is now employed as a financial supervisor by LA County and is looking forward to a promotion on Monday!
          Thought for the Day (TFTD)
          President John F. Kennedy said on Veterans’ Day, “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”
          November 11th at Rotary with Scott Sale and Arthur White for New Directions, Inc. 2011-11-11 00:00:00Z
          October 28th at Rotary and Craft Talks
          Meeting Cast
          Mary Ann Powell gave a moving invocation.  Craft Talker #1, Roxana Janka sat next to President David Bohn.  Charlie Follette, who chaired the program, sat next to Craft Talker #2, John Dravillas.  Donna Bryd introduced our visiting Rotarians and our guests.  Carol Jackson skillfully and vigorously pounded the keyboards while Tom Larmore attempted to lead us by example in song.
          Visiting Rotarians and Guests
          Our only visiting Rotarian was John Clay, from Oxnard.  Ed Morrison was a guest of Russ Warner, Steve Senft was John Clay’s guest, and Christine Cassiano joined us again – introduced in the past by Avo. 
          We celebrated two months’ worth of birthdays.   Our September babies are:  Ron Davis,  Grace Cheng Braun,  Msgr. Lloyd Torgerson,  Avo Guerboian,  Carol Follette,  Steve Eorio,  Lisa Alexander,  Vince Muselli,  George Pickell,  Jim Dyer,  Len Lanzi,  Jim Westbrook,  Rex Minter, Joe Metoyer,  Fred Rafeedie, and Bill Werner.
          October brought us:  Bill Wood,  Diane Margolin,  Bret Carter,  Karim Jaude,  Jeff Moskin,  Tom Loo,  Allan Young,  George Collins,  Hal Quigley,  Nicole Ryan,  Janie Yuguchi Gates,  Scott Wagenseller,  David Bohn,  Greg Hargrave,  Bill Buxton,  John Rucci,  Paul Leoni,  Dick Rice,  and Iao Katagiri.
          *  Healthy Living Committee announced Step Aerobics at the YWCA on Saturday, November 19 at 8:30.  The YWCA is located at Pico and 14th Street.  RSVP to Judy Neveau.  Brunch at Judy's afterwards.
          *  Suzan Allbritton will be leading another Upward Bound House Apartment makeover on Saturday, October 29.  Let her know if you'd like to be part of the fun
          First Tuesday is coming up next week, and we'll be meeting at The Galley at 2442 Main Street.  We'll see you there this Tuesday, November 1, at 5:30.  
          David Snow was fined for being awarded almost $6,000 for Upward Bound House at the Westside Shelter & Hunger Coalitions Celebrate Success breakfast event.   John Pacheco was fined for an “appearance” on KPCC about disaster preparedness.
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          Craft Talks! 
          Roxana Janka started off our Craft Talks program by telling us three things no one ever believes about her:  1) She’s never been arrested; 2) she’s gifted; and 3) she’s a princess.  Roxana was born in Tehran, Iran, and has three sisters.  As a sixth generation descendant of Kaykavoos  Mirzah, son Fatali, Shah of the Qajar Dynasty, she is, technically, a princess.  In 1979, when she was still just a little girl, Roxana and her family fled the revolution in Iran.  After a little time in Los Angeles, the family moved to Orlando when Roxana was five years old.  There, she won the fifth grade spelling bee – with the word “pasteurize” (i.e., gifted). 
          Roxana went to work in the PR business, and after making a splash by arranging for a bull to be herded down city streets to publicize the Silver Spurs Rodeo (you’ll  have to have her tell you the story), she was on her way.  She met her husband, Chris, at the Gap.  They moved to Barcelona and then to New York.  When Chris was transferred to Los Angeles, he proposed marriage, Roxana accepted, and they moved once again.   She feels that she’s finally found her home in Santa Monica.  Roxana is passionate about community service, passionate and honored to be member of our Rotary Club, and, by the way, completely proud to be a Bohn Girl (one of several women members sponsored by that Debonair Devil, John Bohn).  Roxana says she has a lucky star and a very happy life.  Roxana, the club feels pretty lucky to have you!
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          John Dravillas tells us his story in his own words:  I was born in Chicago on June 30 to Pat and Paul Dravillas.  Both my parents are children of Greek immigrants.  Before I started school I thought everyone was Greek, but once I arrived I realized that nobody else was Greek (until he found Spyros, of course)!
          I was born 10 months after my parents married.  Three years later I was joined by my brother, Mark, and five years after that came Paul.  Family life was uneventful.  Dad was originally in sales and then started his own business. Eventually he sold his part of the business and went into teaching and writing.  Mom was very religious.  We spent a lot of time in church, and there was always an emphasis on acceptance and inclusivity, and on taking the high moral road regardless of the situation.  Our family made Ozzie and Harriet seem like Ozzie Osborne.
          Until I hit puberty, I was a terrible athlete and did poorly in sports, but I did well in school and good grades came easily.  Growing up on the south side of Chicago, I would have given anything to trade those two qualities.   As a teenager, I was a decent offensive lineman in football and guard or forward in basketball. Although I kept going to church and listening to Mom, I transformed the beliefs she taught me into a personal outlook of secular/spiritual/organic peace and love. Not too different from the 4-Way Test.  
          I knew by my mid-teens what I wanted to do for the rest of my life – something that combined health care with athletics. I realized physical therapy was the perfect fit for me. About 17 years ago, I left my job as a staff therapist and went out on my own, first seeing patients in their homes and ultimately moving to an office and gym.  I started a wellness program about 10 years ago, which was simply pilates and yoga at the time. Today, we have what we call a “bridge program” to progress people in an integrated manner from injury recovery to an independent wellness program.
          I met my wife, Anna, sixteen years ago while working at USC County Medical Center.  We celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary just a couple of weeks ago.
          Thought for the Day (TFTD)
          “I don't know that there are real ghosts and goblins, but there are always more trick-or-treaters than neighborhood kids.”


          October 28th at Rotary and Craft Talks 2011-10-28 00:00:00Z
          October 21st at Rotary with District Governor Brad Robinson

          Today was our annual District Governor's visit where we get to report on all our wonderful activities and what a fantastic club we have.  At the pre-meeting, Prez David, the Board and several Committee Chairs, reported to DG Brad Robinson and his aide Val Velasco. 


          As usual, we received praise and thanks for our great work!  Take a look at our Club Information Guide to see our goals for the year and a description of each of our committees plans and activities.

          On to the meeting where Savi got everyone energized with one of Ken Waltzer's variations on Of Thee I Sing, Rotary! 


          We had two special guests today, Executive Aide Val Velasco and our Assistant Governor Linda Black seated with Bob Klein.

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          Also joining us today was Susan Milam from the Uptown Macon Rotay Club of Macon Georgia.  Doing guest introductions and leading the flag exchange with Susan is Timur Berberoglu.


          And perfect timing for our Governor visit, we introduced new members Rick Mateus with his sponsor Dick Lawrence and TJ Mortemer with his sponsor Laurel Rosen.  Welcome Rick and TJ!

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           Brief announcements today, Jillian Alexander put on her best tropical hat to promote the District Trip to Puerto Rico next February.  Information and registration material is available on the District Web Site.  We are expecting over 20 from our club alone to join the trip.


           Governor Brad presents Transformer Awards to members of our Club who were nominated by Prez David for making a difference. Recipients are Iao Katagiri, Ken Waltzer and Jim Dyer.  Following his District update to the Club, DG Brad shows off with his speaker gift.



          October 21st at Rotary with District Governor Brad Robinson 2011-10-21 00:00:00Z
          CicLAvia 2011


          CicLAvia is an event that promotes safe biking, walking and strolling. 10 miles of City streets were closed Sunday afternoon on October 9 in Downtown and South LA welcoming bikers, walkers and strollers to enjoy a beautiful afternoon of safe fun and exercise. The Rotary Club of Santa Monica's Healthy Living Committee participated under the leadership of event leader John Dravillas. Club president David Bohn and his wife and daughter attended as well as Eric Schmitter and Dravillas. It was yet another great day of fellowship, fun and healthy living for Santa Monica Rotarians.


          CicLAvia 2011 Constance Maguire 2011-10-09 00:00:00Z
          Rotary Club of Santa Monica Invites Applications for Community and Youth Grants
          Rotary Club of Santa Monica Invites Applications for Community and Youth Grants Sharon Perlmutter Gavin 2011-10-07 00:00:00Z
          October 7th at Rotary and LA Times Political Writer Jean Merl

          President David welcomed us to the twelfth (12th) meeting of the 90th year of the Rotary Club of Santa Monica - home of the Annual Wine and Jazz Festival.  David proclaimed this year’s event “a great success”. 

          Meeting Cast

          L.A. Native Bill Crookston gave a moving invocation, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, native Suzan Allbritton sat next to President David Bohn, Illinois native Jean McNeil-Wyner hosted our speaker, LA Times political writer, Jean Merl, and Jerusalem native Rob Kohn introduced our visiting Rotarians and our guests. Roxana Janka & Gaby Schkud greeted us and Carol Jackson led us in song.


           Visiting Rotarians and Guests


          Jim Dyer welcomed back tax attorney Lavonne Lawson, Avo Guerboian hosted Christine Cassiano and Tyler Albers, Laurel Rosen introduced us to Richard Chakin and Timur Berberoglu and Ken Waltzer brought their better halves - Melissa Berberoglu and Jennifer Waltzer. 


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           Suzan Allbritton and Ken Waltzer tell us about the fantastic Wine and Jazz Festival. There are still a few trips available, contact Ken. 

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          << Susan Annett announced that we are currently accepting applications for Community and Youth Grants from non-profit organizations that serve the Santa Monica area and address the needs of those less fortunate in our community. Grant applications are due by October 31, 2011, for the next funding cycle. Grants offered by the Community and Youth Grants program range from $500 to $2,500. Funds may be requested for capital, equipment or new program development. Funds are not available for annual operating needs or special events. You can download the guidelines and application forms from the News section on the web site.


          >> Sharon Perlmutter Gavin announced our 2011 Senior Book Drive. This year the literacy committee has expanded its focus and will be providing new or gently used books to the Senior Recreation Center in Santa Monica. We will be providing about 20-30 books every other month to them. We are conducting a book drive and would love for Rotary Club members to donate any new or gently used books they have that they are no longer interested in keeping. We plan to provide the first set of books on October 21. We will have a box by the door where books can be dropped off. We hope that everyone can participate in this worthy cause. Click here to download flyer.



          Next up, David transforms into the Rent Collector...




          Bill Randle was congratulated (and fined) for his retirement – finally- poor President David has been trying to fine him for weeks.  But Bill has been too busy to come see us – due to his travels all over the state.   

          Rosemary Regalbuto was fined for leaving a banquet honoring Chief Jackman before the program began.



           Michael Cates was thanked for hosting children from Upward Bound House at Broadway Gymnastics.  Way to go Michael! 

          Thanks to the tireless efforts of Robert Segal, HelpGuide continues to grow and announced a new partnership with Harvard Medical School.


          Our program today was Jean Merl, LA Times Political Writer who updated us on the recent California redistricting and some of the surprises greeting our career politicans.


          Thought for the Day (TFTD)

          “The problem with political jokes is they get elected." Anonymous


          October 7th at Rotary and LA Times Political Writer Jean Merl 2011-10-07 00:00:00Z
          Wine & Jazz Festival Supports Community and International Projects
          Wine & Jazz Festival Supports Community and International Projects 2011-10-02 00:00:00Z
          Wine & Jazz Festival Supports Community and International Projects

          The Rotary Club of Santa Monica hosted it's fourth annual Wine & Jazz Festival on Sunday October 2nd at the Annenberg Community Beach House.  Participants sampled dozens of wines while listening to music by Crossroads jazz band.  They also bid on auction items and trips whose proceeds will fund both local community and international projects. 


          The event was generously sponsored by The Bradmore Group, Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows, LA Car Guy, Quigley & Co., Saint John’s Health Center, Santa Monica Daily Press and Santa Monica Ford.


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                     President David Bohn      PR team Roxana Janka, Grace Wang and friends    

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                           Menzie family shopping                                 Judy Iriye, Sharon and Andy Gavin 


                    Rotaractor Diana Chowdhury     Judy Neveau, Tricia & Glen Ricard, Erik Jorgensborg 

          Wine & Jazz Festival Supports Community and International Projects 2011-10-02 00:00:00Z
          September 9th Announcements, Fines and Guests

          Greeting us as we arrived today with Rotary smiles were Jillian Alexander, Tod Lipka, Monika White, Ann Greenspun and Izzy Cervello.

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          More smiles from the head table with Monty McCormick and Bill Buxton who also provided the invocation.  We were joined by a number of visiting Rotarians and guests today including...

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          District Governor Elect Lew Bertrand with Jim Dyer, Delaney Dragon from LA 5 with Alonzo Hill and Klaus Mennekies, and Peter Weinberger from LA 5 with Connie Mcguire.

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          Adam Jolivet with Timur, Britney Makke (David Bohn), Christine Cassiano with Avo, and Scott Kunitz (Bill Crookston).  On to the business of the meeting and announcements:

          • Our next Healthy Living Committee event occurs on Saturday, September 17th.  Meet up with everyone at 8:45 AM at StreetStrider LA at 215 Ocean Front Walk, which is on the beach just down from Rose Avenue.  You can rent an elliptical bike, or bring any other form of wheels you prefer.  After the ride, we’ll go to brunch at the Rose Café at 220 Rose Avenue in Venice.
          • Ken Waltzer reminded us that Oct 2nd – International Wine Festival at the Annenberg Community Beach House – the clubs’ only fundraiser is only three weeks away.  Please plan to attend – and invite all your friends and collegues.  It is an the first year at a beautiful venue and we need everyone’s support.  If you cannot go, please at least  donate items and  invite friends
          • There are just a few tickets left  for the Nov 6th  Rotary International Foundation Celebration - Since our District Governor, Brad Robinson  flies on a trapeze in his spare time, our celebration will take place Circus Vargas- Del Amo Fashion Center, Torrance, 3525 Carson Street, 90503.  Doors at 11 AM. $65/ adults, $35 children under 16
          • Monika White announced that the GSE trip this year is to India in the spring.  We are looking for applicants and a team leader.  Pleae contact Monika with questions and to express interest MonikaWhite@earthlink.net
          • Sharon Gavin announced that we will begin collecting new or gently read books for donations to the Senior Recreation Center in Santa Monica.  The plan is to provide 20-30 books every other month.  The  first deadline is October 21st and we will have a box by the door starting at the next meeting, Sept. 16, where books can be dropped off. 
          • Jim Dyer & Izzy Cervello announced that the new website based on Club Runner will be up by the end of this month. 
          • David Bohn announced the next District Breakfast will be on Sept 27th  at 7am. Let Savi know if yo would like to attend. The special guest speaker is Val Zavala who is the anchor of SoCal Connected and also serves as KCET's Vice President of News and Public Affairs (she was our speaker recently)


            Image  Image 

           Time for President David to collect some rent.  First, Larry Maher tells us about his three-week Idaho vacation where he tried a zip line. He gets off rent free though in appreciation for his work helping Savi migrate to QuickBooks and those new statements we are all receiving.  Ann Greenspun doesn't get off as easy when she is recognized for being featured in the Viking News for her leadership with the Rotary EarthAngel project (and mentioning being a proud member of the Rotary Club of Santa Monica).  Scott Wagenseller was fined for having four kids who are five or under.                     

          Image               Image

          Thought for the Day (TFTD)  - “It is not enough to do good; one must do it the right way.” ~ John Viscount Morley, of Blackburn



          September 9th Announcements, Fines and Guests 2011-09-09 00:00:00Z
          NFL in Los Angeles with Austin Beutner
          Austin Beutner serves as First Deputy Mayor and Chief Executive for Economic and Business Policy for the City of Los Angeles. In his role as First Deputy Mayor, Beutner oversees 13 City Departments ranging from Planning and Building and Safety to Housing and Homeless. He also has responsibility for the Port of Los Angeles, Los Angeles World Airports (LAX, Ontario, and Van Nuys), and the Department of Water and Power, which is the largest municipally-owned utility in the U.S. These 13 Departments have revenues of approximately $8 billion, and employ 17,000 people. Mr. Beutner's responsibilities include working with the Departments to help them provide a better level of service (at a lower cost) to their customers, including businesses and taxpayers alike; developing and implementing policy reform to foster a better regulatory and economic environment in Los Angeles; and communicating with civic groups, business, and labor leaders.
          Mr. Beutner talked to us about viewing a new stadium to host an NFL team as not just a football venue, but to see it as a means to helping Los Angeles “pull its own weight” when it comes to getting tourists to our city.
          NFL in Los Angeles with Austin Beutner 2011-09-09 00:00:00Z
          Arts Education with Mark Slavkin

          Our program featured Mark Slavkin, Vice President for Education at the Music Center, talking about arts education in schools and communitiess across Los Angeles County.  His staff of 20 people is working to help all 80 school districts in Los Angeles County bring back the arts as part of the core K-12 curriculum.  He recognized Santa Monica as one of the first Districts to join the Arts Alliance. Pictured with Mark are Prez David Bohn and Nat Travis

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          It was great to having Frank Lavac's wife Francine and daughter Kira join us today.  Watching from the head table are Avo Guerboian who did the invocation, David Snow doing guest introductions, and Sharon Perlmutter Gavin.

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          Daniel Bennett and Ken Waltzer updated us on the International Wine and Jazz Festival set for October 2nd at the Annenberg Community Beach House.  Daniel indicated we still have a few openings for sponsorships.  This will be a fantastic event you won't want to miss and will raise funds for both local community and worldwide Rotary projects.  It is also a good opportunity to bring perspective new Rotarians.


          We celebrated August birthdays with Jim Reidy, Jay Smith, Robert Segal, Jillian Alexander, Suzan Allbritton, Myles Pritchard and David Price.


          Arts Education with Mark Slavkin 2011-08-26 00:00:00Z
          Keep The Ball Rolling

          Prez David brought this week's meeting to life with his ever present beach ball.  Head table celebraties included Brian Linnekens doing guest introductions, Grace Cheng Braun and Ann Greenspun.

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          Guests joing us today were Chuck Cameron and BJ Johnson

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          Our program featured Meredith McCarthy from Heal the Bay motivating everyone to join the beach clean up at Palisades Beach on Saturday.


          Keep The Ball Rolling 2011-08-19 00:00:00Z
          Recognition and Fines

          Bill Buxton was presented his award from last year for his leadership of the OPCC meal efforts. Prez David kept the ball rolling recognizing Grace Wang on her recent engagement.  Also targeted were Larry Motorff and Mitchell Kraus.

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          Continuing this year's recognition them, Prez David presented "Keep The Ball Rolling" awards to Suzan Allbritton and Jim Dyer.

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          Recognition and Fines 2011-08-19 00:00:00Z
          Presentation – Captain Thomas Stafford, Los Angeles Fire Department

          The National HART Foundation was founded in 2009 by a Los Angeles City Fire Captain, Thomas Stafford, as a vehicle to bring attention, education and support to the many children, young adults and community members who succumb to sudden cardiac arrest daily in Southern California. Capt. Stafford was involved in the original development and execution of a highly successful program (HART) that was previously operated by the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD), where he played an intricate role in training thousands of Los Angeles Unified High School students alongside fellow firefighters, paramedics, and explorer scouts over a five-year period.  Tom shared with us the timeline on getting help to someone who is down, and really emphasized how important the first minutes are.  It was a sobering presentation with a bottom line that learning CPR can save a life.

          Presentation – Captain Thomas Stafford, Los Angeles Fire Department Isabel Cervello 2011-07-22 00:00:00Z

          President David thanked the more than 50 club members who attended and contributed to the Club Assembly this week. He also thanked Russ Warner, who has submitted a grant to the district for our Upward Bound House project.  We’ve received preliminary word that our application for $2,000 looks promising.  Donna Byrd was fined for handing out over 2,000 FREE Slurpees at her 7/11 store on 7th and Wilshire on 7/7/2011.  John Dravillas was fined for his good work as a physical therapist and Rotarian. Hal Quigley was thanked for supporting a Rotary ad in the Santa Monica Star for the past 10 years.  Susan Gabriel Potter paid the piper for her “first 3-week vacation in 30 years” to Europe. David also recognized Susan’s mother, Louise Gabriel, widow of our member Bob, for her book, Santa Monica, 1950-2010. It includes lots of club members! See Susan if you’d like to buy a copy; proceeds go to the Santa Monica History Museum. Mary Ann Powell was in The Wall Street Journal for Pacific Park’s “Carmaggedon” promotion

          Fines Isabel Cervello 2011-07-22 00:00:00Z
          Meeting Cast

          Rick Kennedy started the ball rolling with the invocation. Iowa native Bret Carter, next to President David, was at the head table to invite us to the circus (see Announcements).Pennsylvania native John Pacheco introduced our speaker, Thomas Stafford. Connie Maguire, keeping us healthy this year, introduced our visitors. We were greeted by Julia Miele and Izzy Cervello. Ken Waltzer tickled the ivories for us, and Pat Bofird led us in pledge and song. Timur Berberoglu introduced us to music graduate student Federica Sclori from Milan. Jack Gregory hosted repeat guest Mahesh Parekh.

          Meeting Cast Isabel Cervello 2011-07-22 00:00:00Z
          Presentation - Genealogy 101

          Thank you Richard Kessler, “PhD” presented us with information on how to trace our ancestry.  As he assured us, fewer hobbies anywhere offer the reward of genealogy.  “Dr.” Kessler taught us to begin by collecting all the birth certificates, ordinations, baptisms, education, marriage certificates, military records, and any other documentation we can find, and to ask Who, What, When, Where, and Why questions.  Additionally, it was common for names to be changed entirely, or for the spelling to be modified, so name changes are something to be on the lookout.  This was all fun and true, but then we moved on to the history of John Bohn’s family.  Much of the family genealogy was true, including copies of 1870 census records from Illinois.  Some it was funny.  Thank you, Dr. Kessler for explaining that everyone descends from Adam, Eve and Noah.

          Presentation - Genealogy 101 2011-07-15 00:00:00Z
          Meeting Cast

          Carol Jackson led us in song and pledging, accompanied by Ken Waltzer.  Connolly Oyler Invocation from Congraciously stepped in to provide the invocation; Ken Waltzer sat next to President David (well, first he sat next to Nicole, David’s daughter), Mitchell Kraus introduced our speaker, Richard Kessler, and Larry Maher introduced our guests.  Julia Miele and Russ Warner greeted us at the door

          Meeting Cast 2011-07-15 00:00:00Z
          First Meeting Drama

          Today was the first meeting for David Bohn as our 2011-12 President.  With David’s knowledge of a club history of walking out on the President’s first meeting, David had daughter Nicole take his place on the podium.  Nicole started the meeting with the ringing of the bell, and then proceeded to inform us that if we walked out, we’d be walking out on her.  So, we stayed, of course! 

          First Meeting Drama Suzan Allbritton 2011-07-15 00:00:00Z
          President David Bohn upstaged by daughter Nicole at first meeting
          President David Bohn upstaged by daughter Nicole at first meeting Jim Dyer 2011-07-10 00:00:00Z
          June 3rd - Scholarship Awards Day

          It was an international head table with lots of Rotary experience today.


          Japan native Charlene Underhill Miller, whose husband John has been a member of our club, gave us our invocation.  Christina Chan, originally from Hong Kong, has completed a term as Chair of District Recognitions Awards.  Tom Larmore, who has diligently chaired our scholarships programs for several years, has just completed the huge task of compiling our Club Book. Alan Glick, a former Club Director, has stepped up to the plate as co-chair of scholarships this year, along with Alan Young. New member Rob Kohn, originally from Jerusalem, introduced guests.


          Visiting Rotarians:
          Past District Governor Rick Mendoza

          Assistant Governor Glen Mitchell and his wife of 39 years, Joan.

          David Berry from Adelaide, South Australia.


          Guests of Rotarians:
          Alan Glick’s wife Vala. 
          Retired American Airlines Captain Steve Belzer joined Bill Randle and Alan Glick.  Rosemary Smith, Clyde’s widow, was on hand to see the Clyde Smith Scholarship awarded.


          Special Recognition:
          PDG Rick Mendoza recognized Lisa Alexander’s entry into the Bequest Society by including Rotary in her estate planning.


          June 3rd - Scholarship Awards Day Jim Dyer 2011-06-03 00:00:00Z
          First Tuesday - May 3rd

          First Tuesday was fabulous at the Fig. If you missed it this time, you won’t want to miss it again.


          Thank you, Matt Lehman…You are the Host with the Most!

          First Tuesday - May 3rd Jim Dyer 2011-05-16 00:00:00Z
          New Member Focus - Gaby Schkud

          Gaby Schkud of GABY & ASSOCIATES (established in 1994), is a realtor with Coldwell Banker, Associate Manager of Coldwell Banker Santa Monica Office and mentor to new licensees. Prior to that, Gaby was a residential loan officer with First Federal of Santa Monica. Born in Germany and raised in Canada, Gaby recognized “home” when she moved to Santa Monica with her family. She is passionate about the community in which she works and lives and you will always hear her say, “We live in paradise.” Gaby and Leon have two children, Michelle and Nick, both Samohi graduates…just like their parents. Michelle graduated from UC Santa Cruz and received her Masters from Pepperdine. Nick graduated from UC Santa Barbara and is currently in the MBA program at LMU.

          New Member Focus - Gaby Schkud 2011-05-16 00:00:00Z
          May 6th at Rotary - Bangladesh GSE Team

          David Bohn introduced the Group Study Exchange team from Rotary District 3280 in Bangladesh.First of all, many thanks to those who helped with the GSE visit. Our hosts were Eric and Marilyn Schmitter, Ann and Richard Greenspun, and Monika White and Roger Goodman. Judy Neveau hosted a group dinner at her home on Tuesday night. Jillian Alexander coordinated individual vocational experiences for our team members. Klaus Mennekes hosted the team and hosts and other participants at Hotel Casa Del Mar for drinks and appetizers Thursday night. And again this year, Lionel Ruhman allowed us to jack his van for the entire week to transport the team. Jim and Virginia Reidy opened up their home for use as home base all week long and accommodated our comings and goings at all hours. Tom Loo arranged for Bangladeshi ethnic cuisine for the International Food Festival.

          May 6th at Rotary - Bangladesh GSE Team Suzan Allbritton 2011-05-06 00:00:00Z
          Santa Monica Rotary Club Foundation

          Our Beginnings

          The Santa Monica Rotary Club Foundation was founded by the Rotary Club of Santa Monica in 1972 under the leadership of Aubrey E. Austin, Jr., Gerald Jennings and Ralph Kiewet to mark the club's 50th anniversary.  The members' goal was to raise $50,000 in time for the February 1972 birthday celebration and begin a program to help deserving nonprofit organizations in the Santa Monica Bay Area through foundation grants.  With the combined effort of our trustees and club members and the generosity of many in the community, our goal was achieved. 

          The Foundation grew slowly and assisted our community's finest organizations.  A generous estate gift contributed significantly to the corpus of the Foundation.  In 1997, under the leadership of the club's 75th birthday chairman, Richard J. Rice, M.D., pledges and gifts from more than 65 percent of the club's members further expanded the assets.

          What We Have Accomplished

          Since 1972, more than $425,000, derived solely from the earnings of the corpus, has been distributed to 30 local charities and nonprofit organizations.  We have played a role in bettering our community in small and large ways, from dental clinic equipment to chemistry lab equipment for high schools, computers for the elderly, VCRs for hospital patients, vehicles for the Red Cross, a fork lift for the Westside Food Bank, to remodeling the kitchen at the Salvation Army. Funds are provided for capital improvement projects and equipment, not for operational expenses. 

          Click here for a Capital Improvement Project Grant Application Form

          The Foundation is administered by nine trustees, all members of the Santa Monica Rotary Club.  Our Santa Monica Rotary Club Foundation is not related in any way to the Rotary International Foundation, which is funded by Rotarians throughout the world via the Paul Harris Fellowship program.

          How You Can Help

          We rely on contributions and encourage you to make us a regular part of your charitable giving at any time.  Please think of us as a way of honoring a loved one who has departed; we will send a special card to the person you designate apprising them of your gift (without mention of the amount) as well as a letter of acknowledgement to you.  Or you can honor an individual on a birthday, anniversary, or any special occasion and they will be similarly recognized.  Recommending a gift to the Foundation in lieu of flowers or gifts is another way you can help.

          All gifts are tax deductible and do much to help our Santa Monica Bay community.  All that, and we do the hard work to research and evaluate the beneficiaries of your generosity! 

          Santa Monica Rotary Club Foundation John Bohn 2011-04-30 00:00:00Z
          Rotary International Foundation


           How The Rotary Foundation works 

          The Rotary Foundation receives monies from contributions and income from investments of their Permanent Fund.  The income from the Permanent Fund (endowment income) and from investments of the general funds of the Foundation supplies approximately 35% of the total.

          The primary funds received by the Rotary Foundation (approximately 60%) come from contributions to the Annual Program Fund, which in large part is supplied by contributions by Rotarians who are given recognition for each $1,000.00 contributed by a Paul Harris Fellowship. 

          Many of our members who have given once to become a Paul Harris Fellow fail to realize that the money they contributed went into the Annual Program Fund of the Rotary Foundation and was spent within two years on the Humanitarian Grants, Educational Sponsorships and Grants, and the Polio Plus Program. 

          The Rotary Foundation has maintained an endowment fund, the PERMANENT FUND of the Rotary Foundation.  The principal of this fund is invested and only the income from the investments is used for grants and programs.  Last year the income from the Permanent Fund was approximately $10 million dollars and funded 12% of all of the humanitarian grants, scholarships, Polio Plus, and other programs.

          There are several members of our club who have made substantial lifetime contributions to the Permanent Fund.  In additions, there are now 20 members of our club who have become Benefactors of the Rotary Foundation by signing a declaration form stating that they have made a provision for a testamentary gift by their will or trust in favor of The Rotary Foundation. 

          This is a very good way to assure the continued growth of the Permanent Fund.



          To become a Benefactor, all you need to do is to designate in your will, trust, or life insurance policy an amount or portion as your donation to the Permanent Fund of The Rotary Foundation.

          Right now or any time, you can also make a permanent gift of $1,000 or more to the Permanent Fund, which is an endowment fund.  Only the income from this fund is spent for the many wonderful programs funded by The Rotary Foundation.  Your gift will continue in perpetuity.

          The Permanent Fund is very different from the funds raised by the Paul Harris Fellowship program.  When we donate funds for recognition as a Paul Harris Fellow, those funds, both principal and interest, are distributed by the trustees of The Rotary Foundation within 18 months.  For further information, contact Bret Carter. 


          Paul Harris Fellow

          Paul Harris Fellow recognition is The Rotary Foundation’s way of expressing its appreciation for a substantial contribution to its humanitarian and educational programs.  It is named for our founder, Paul Harris, a Chicago lawyer who started Rotary International with three business associates in 1905. 

          It is because of gifts like those from the Paul Harris Fellows that The Rotary Foundation is able to carry out an array of programs that achieve beneficial changes in our world: improved living conditions, increased food production, better education, wider availability of treatment and rehabilitation for the sick and disabled, new channels for the flow of international understanding, and brighter hopes for peace.

          How to become a Paul Harris Fellow

          Supporting the philanthropic mission of The Rotary Foundation and being recognized as a Paul Harris Fellow is Easy: 


          • Make a minimum contribution of $1,000 to the Rotary Foundation.


          • If our Club has built up matching credits in its account, the club will assist you by a transfer of credits equal to your cash donation


          • $1,000 will go to support the programs sponsored by The Rotary Foundation that help to make a difference in quality of life in so many different areas of the world.

          You will receive a Paul Harris Fellow Medal and Certificate in recognition of your generous support. 

          For additional information on how you can become a Paul Harris Fellow contact either Bret Carter or Marv Levin of our Rotary Foundation Committee.

          Rotary International Foundation Bret Carter 2011-04-29 00:00:00Z
          Apr. 10 Meeting - Hobby Day - Speaker, Amy Tan

          Amy Tan

          Designer and Owner of Amy Tangerine

          Hobby Day


          Last Fri., Apr. 10 marked a specially themed "Hobby Day" during the Santa Monica Rotary Club's weekly meeting. After a prayerful invocation by Matt Williams, the club members collectively crooned "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" in honor of the recent MLB kickoff.

          The meeting proceeded as a $2,000 grant was presented to KidUnity on behalf of the Santa Monica Rotary Foundation. Dee Menzies, head mistress of Carlthorpe School, elaborated on the organization as a handful of fifth-graders were present to receive the grant.

          "KidUnity on the Westside of Los Angeles is comprised of students from various schools who participate in activities that promote critical thinking, problem solving, communication, and collaboration, while emphasizing cross-cultural skills, global endeavors, teamwork, and certainly, civic leadership," Menzies said. "It's very much a service learning club, and I like to think of it as a mini Rotary club."

          One of the fifth-graders present at the meeting explained that the Westside club had recently focused on animal welfare, homelessness, and emergency preparedness.

          Following the presentation of the grant, the hobby-centric theme of the meeting went into full force as guest speaker Amy Tan explained how one of her life hobbies eventually transitioned into a business in the form of her line, Amy Tangerine.

          "Discovering this hobby started very young for me," Tan said. "I grew up in Chicago as an only child to two immigrant parents, and I had a big imagination, so I found myself being bored a lot. My parents encouraged me to go do or make something."

          Fast forward to Tan's high school years: the creative mind found herself in a sewing class during her senior year and wound up creating not only her own prom dress, but a friend's as well.

          "I made her this mermaid-like, satin dress that she wore and loved," Tan said. "That was my first taste of success, my first experience at finding joy in creating something and having someone else benefit from it, too."

          Tan initially attended Georgia Tech with the intention of majoring in industrial design.

          "This experience really pushed my creative boundaries, because after working on some 10-hour projects, I would show off my creation and only earn a B or a C," Tan said. "I was dismayed because I thought creativity didn't have to earn a grade."

          During this time, Tan was still making clothing for her friends on the side and gained experience in learning to take orders from clients. Tan eventually transferred to a different college to focus more on fashion.

          "With more time on my hands, I felt like I should be doing something more with my life," Tan said.

          Due to circumstances that required her to work outside in cold weather, Tan had learned to make arm-warmers for herself. Through a serendipitous situation, a retail store caught sight of her arm-warmers, discovered that Tan had made them herself, and asked to place an order from her.

          "The arm-warmers started selling very well at the store," Tan said. "Magazines started doing pieces of my work and of my story, and it all started building from there."

          Although Tan initially took an arbitrary first few steps -- she started to design tank tops on a whim -- her creations were sold at luxury prices through the connections that she had.

          "Cindy Crawford actually wore one of my tank tops," Tan said. "My first thought was: 'she's working out in a $110 tank top.'"

          After a successful trade show in New York, Tan launched a T-shirt business and moved to Los Angeles from Atlanta for another company as well. Through an ultimatum that her company gave her -- to either stick with the official company or focus on her personal business -- Tan began to reflect on her professional career.

          "I realized that I had spent four years of my life working hard and building this business, and I didn't have any time for myself," Tan said.

          As Tan turned 30, she entered into a self-deemed "third-life crisis" that led her to taking a mini sabbatical to Asia and discovering a brand-new creative means of expression: scrapbooking.

          "I found so much joy in hearing about other scrapbookers' lives and how they capture their memories," Tan said. "I made a business out of it, but only just for me. I liked making albums for people who didn't have time to do it."

          Tan's creations have since been featured in major craft chains like Hobby Lobby, Joann's, and Target.

          "Once I learned to focus on appreciation instead of achievement, I was able to take the best of what I enjoyed and really make that my life," Tan said. "Focus on what you love, and try to enjoy every minute of it. Build something that you're proud of."

          For more information on the Santa Monica Rotary Club, visit rotaryclubofsantamonica.org.


          Apr. 10 Meeting - Hobby Day - Speaker, Amy Tan Thomas Montemer
          Mar. 27 Meeting - Craft Talks - Abbey Fernandez and Adam Lichtl

          Abbey Fernandez and Adam Lichtl

          Recruitment at Pepperdine University and Research at SpaceX

          Craft Talks


          At the Mar. 31 meeting, the Rotary Club of Santa Monica had the opportunity to become more acquainted with their fellow club members through the familiar Craft Talks program, during which Rotarians share with the rest of the club more details about their personal and professional lives. With a humorous, yet reflective invocation by Jillian Alexander that jumpstarted the meeting, the Rotarians geared up to get to know members Abbey Fernandez and Adam Lichtl better.

          Florida native Fernandez commenced the duo of Craft Talkers by outlining some of the most significant events in her life, including her passion for helping and mentoring students, her lasting interests in sports management and student athletes, her current job as a recruiter at Pepperdine University, and her relationship with her fiancé, Todd.

          “I lived in Florida [since my early childhood] up until college,” Fernandez said. “I love Florida: it’s the perfect place minus the humidity.”

          As a part of the rowing team in high school, Fernandez’s talent was apparent as she was recruited to be a part of the NCAA rowing team at Clemson University.

          “I spent the five of the best years of my life at [Clemson],” Fernandez said. “I lettered for four years and developed a huge passion for student athletes.”

          Fernandez went on to attend Louisiana State University (LSU), where she not only earned a master’s degree in sports management but also met her current fiancé.

          “LSU is a beautiful college town and it’ll forever hold a special place for us in our hearts,” Fernandez said.

          Upon graduation, Fernandez worked with the women’s basketball team at the University of South Florida, a period she referred to as “the most challenging experience of [her] life.”

          As an advocate for women in sports, Fernandez longed to keep the connection she built with students as she helped them figure out what they wanted to accomplish. The appropriate job arose at Pepperdine University where she could work with M.B.A. students and help recruit the best fits for the school.

          “Pepperdine is the perfect place for me,” Fernandez said. “I was the top recruiter for the last year. I want to get into sports sometime in the future, but in the meantime, I’m very happy with where I am.”

          Fernandez concluded by elaborating on her Rotarian roots.

          “I have a huge heart for the older population, as I’m very close to my grandparents,” Fernandez explained. “My grandfather brought me into Rotary; I’m a fourth-generation Rotarian. It’s amazing that you can walk into any Rotary Club and instantly feel welcomed.”

          Lichtl, who took the stage next, also boasts a Rotarian family background as his grandfather “was an old-school New England Rotarian.”

          According to Lichtl, the events in his life were shaped and defined by the family members and friends around him.

          “My grandfather was a very big part of my life,” Lichtl said. “He taught me chess when I was very young, and he never let me win because he wanted me to earn it. When I finally beat him, it was such a shock to both of us. I grew addicted to the feeling of working at something that you’re not good at until you’re good at it.”

          Lichtl has accomplished many an academic and professional feat through the course of his life. He started his college education at the age of 15: he associated with older kids through debate club at a young age and was able to reach a similar academic level as well. With the mental qualification and a high level of persistency, Lichtl was admitted to the University of Texas after acing the placement tests. A few years later, Lichtl transferred to Cal Tech, which is where he earned his bachelor’s degree, and later earned a master’s degree and Ph.D. in physics from Carnegie Mellon University.

          “Through all this I learned that I’m not the smartest person in the room, and I don’t ever want to be the smartest person in the room,” Lichtl said.

          After his grandfather, who encouraged Lichtl to pursue business, passed away, Lichtl was re-inspired to obtain an M.B.A. Although he endeavored on a successful career in finance in New York City, Lichtl eventually returned to his love for science after another tragic event: his close friend's passing.

          "The joy that came out of this was that we were able to reflect on what we were doing with our lives," Lichtl said. "I want to die doing what I love."

          Through a serendipitous meeting at a party, Lichtl became connected to a manager at SpaceX, where he currently serves as Director of Research.

          Although Lichtl fully loves and enjoys his job, he considers meeting his spouse the moment that he is most proud of.

          "The greatest accomplishment I've had in my life so far would have to be the woman I married," Lichtl said.

          For more information on the Santa Monica Rotary Club, visit rotaryclubofsantamonica.org.


          Mar. 27 Meeting - Craft Talks - Abbey Fernandez and Adam Lichtl Thomas Montemer
          March 27 Meeting Recap
          March 27 was Craft Talks!! Two new members were tasked with giving us their life story in 10-12 minutes!! Great job to these two stars!!

          New member Adam Lichtl(right) sported a bow tie in honor of his always sharp-dressed sponsor, Nick Goehner(left)!

          Abbey Fernandez is pictured here with her fiancé Todd Smith! She's been at the head table a few times in a row now, but how could you get tired of that precious face!

          Bill Rayman made an announcement for our event to help clean the LA River!! April 11 at 9am! Contact billyray104@yahoo.com to participate!!


          RoseMary Regalbuto thanked everybody who helped with the Meals on Wheels volunteer event, and she also helped Len Lanzi announce that King George will be honored at the upcoming Lion's Club Awards Dinner!!

          Additionally, Julia Miele was fined (recognized) for being honored by the Santa Monica League of Women Voters as one of its Women Who Shape Santa Monica! And Klaus Mennekes was fined for his license plate advertising...can you figure it out? HY OQPNC

          March 27 Meeting Recap Savitri Labensart
          March 20 Meeting Recap
          We gave away lots of money on Friday!! We are so proud to present grants to local non-profits in our area...

          Josh Olsen from Angel Flight West received a grant, and he's pictured here with a Rotarian who volunteers to drive for them, Donna Byrd!!

          Gita Runkle presented a grant to Laura Rosenbaum from the SM Bay Area Human Relations Council, Cameras for Kids

          Rotarian Myles Pritchard(far right) is heading the efforts from our club to participate in the Special Olympics!


          And we got an introduction to our new member Helen Zhao, pictured here with our president, his royal highness, King George!!

          March 20 Meeting Recap Savitri Labensart
          March 13 Meeting Recap
          Our new members rock!! Check out all the participation with a couple of them at the head table, and one jumping into a committee chair spot in his second week in the club!!

          Abbey Fernandez did our guest introductions!

          Dr. Pei Vuong sat next to our invocator Bret Carter!

          Jon Siegal has taken on our social media! If you want something Rotary related on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, he's your guy!


          And we had some fun with our guest introductions too...here is Lisa Alexander with her guest Jessica Menzhuber! Our resident trouble maker in the back there is Stan Fox!

          Additionally, our past president David Bohn brought a special book to the meeting...a photo album from when his father, John Bohn, was president of our club. It was a big hit, seeing what people looked like back in 1992-93!

          March 13 Meeting Recap Savitri Labensart
          Mar. 20 Meeting - Speaker, David Travers - Partner at Rustic Canyon Partners

          David Travers

          Partner at Rustic Canyon Partners

          Co-Founder, Basepoint Ventures


          The Santa Monica Rotarians at the Mar. 20 meeting were enlightened by a knowledgeable investor about the world of entrepreneurship. Before the guest speaker shared his perspectives, Rotarian Russ Warner led the club in an invocation and song leaders Matt Williams and Ken Waltzer jubilantly led the Rotarians into the classic “Under the Boardwalk” with a lyrical spin.

          After an introduction by Len Lanzi, during which he shared the guest speaker’s accomplishments with the audience, David Travers took to the podium. Not only is Travers currently a partner at Rustic Canyon Partners and a co-founder of Basepoint Ventures – both of which are located in Santa Monica – he also has extensive experience in both the political and business realms as a former executive assistant to the National Security at the White House and a strategic planning analyst for the Walt Disney Company.

          Travers jokingly began his presentation by noting that the last time he was at a Rotary meeting was two decades ago when he was awarded a scholarship from the Napa Valley Rotary Club.

          “Consider this to be in my 20-year check-in,” Travers said. “I’m here to share with you the mindset of a venture capitalist.”

          Travers first delved into his personal background and how he became involved with his current line of work.

          “I grew up as the son of an entrepreneur [and] I always saw myself becoming an entrepreneur,” Travers said. “Meeting with hundreds of entrepreneurs a year was the perfect gig for me. After I spent time at the White House, I found my way to Rustic Canyon Partners here in Santa Monica.”

          Travers said that the objective of his presentation was to share venture capitalist trends within technology-based enterprise, emphasizing the role of technology as it “has a huge impact on all of us, more and more every day” in virtually all sectors of the world from non-profits to government.

          “For the past decade I’ve been investing in early-stage start-ups that are all high-tech [and] all touch software in some way,” Travers explained. “This involves a lot of mobile applications and software companies.”

          Travers expanded on three examples of the effects of technology: the power of individual talent, the shift of the Silicon Valley, and the underestimation of the mobile.

          “We think a lot about the way the world is and the way the world is changing,” Travers said. “Normally when we make an investment, it’s to receive a big return five to 10 years later. We’re willing to take a lot of risk. The rate at which some people are going to impact the world in small groups or even by themselves is growing: that’s the world we’re headed for.”

          According to Travers, Silicon Valley was not always known as the cradle of technology – as Detroit served as the parallel hub in the 1960s and 1970s – which implies that there may be an imminent change in the concentration of high-tech companies.

          “I don’t think Silicon Valley is going away, but it’s not necessarily the way it’ll always be,” Travers said. “It’s rapidly shifting today.”

          Lastly, Travers touched on the idea that “mobile is still underappreciated.” By displaying a graph that showed that there were more mobile device owners than there were toilet owners, Travers conveyed to the audience the prominent role of technology.

          “This year was the first year where there were more mobile phones with Internet connections than there were people on earth,” Travers said.

          The speaker provided the example of an online Stanford computer science course, in which only three of the top 100 students were physically present in class due to its Internet accessibility.

          “The implications of this widespread technology are not fully understood by anyone,” he said.

          Travers concluded his presentation with a question-and-answer session, during which several Rotarians expressed their interest and curiosity in the growingly relevant relationship between technology and entrepreneurship.

          For more information on the Santa Monica Rotary Club, visit rotaryclubofsantamonica.org.


          Mar. 20 Meeting - Speaker, David Travers - Partner at Rustic Canyon Partners Thomas Montemer
          March 6 Meeting Recap
          Last week we welcomed two new members to the fold!

          Global Investment Manager,

          Helen Zhao

          Commercial Lending Banker,

          David Wisen

          Vice President Lisa Alexander talked about our next Healthy Living Event, the 3-2-1 Run/Walk to End Polio on March 21st!!

          REGISTER ONLINE: www.321gotoendpolio.com

           And tell Lisa you are going!


          Thank you to our fabulous greeters for the day, Hugh Travis (far right) & Gita Runkle(pictured 3rd), here with Ann Greenspun and Laurel Rosen.

          Additionally, for the second time we had visiting Rotarian Graham Phaup, we found out David Bohn was made chairman of the Bradmore Group, Eric Schmitter is back from a couple surgeries looking and feeling fantastic, and Stan Fox was fined an enormous amount for a very, very good deed!

          March 6 Meeting Recap Savitri Labensart
          Mar. 6 Meeting - Speaker, Veronica Majd - Children's Librarian at Donald Kaufman Bruce Library - Literacy Day

          Veronica Majd

          Children's Librarian at Donald Bruce Kaufman Library in Brentwood

          2015 Los Angeles Public Library Summer Reading Program Committee


          On Fri., Mar. 6, the Rotary Club of Santa Monica commemorated Literacy Day at its weekly meeting with the spotlight on children's books. To kick off the meeting, Charlie Follette presented the Rotarians with an invocation. After guests were introduced and announcements were made, Savi Labensart led the club with a special version of the hit song "Happy," as the lyrics were tailored to suit the theme of children's literacy and prepare the members for the afternoon's presentation.

          Rotarian Kathy Shepard proceeded to introduce guest speaker Veronica Majd, who is a children's librarian at the Donald Bruce Kaufman Library in Brentwood. Although Majd serves all patrons, she specializes in programming and outreach for children ages zero to 11 and is contributing to finding, developing, and executing the library's summer reading program as a part of the 2015 Los Angeles Public Library Summer Reading Program Committee. Majd has been employed at several libraries and is adamant about advocating the importance of literacy and reading and encouraging children to become lifelong readers.

          "As a children's librarian and as one who likes to advocate reading, I was ecstatic when I learned that Rotary members took on reading to students at the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District," Majd said. "I know that Rotary members are always taking action and contributing to communities, but I'm here to tell you why we are celebrating this particular venture that you have embarked on. In doing so I will discuss the dynamics of reading to children."

          Majd explained that several adult readers "do not realize the significant advantages that they are applying to a child's life" by reading books aloud to them, including the impact of developing their literacy skills. From talking to writing to even singing and playing, the communication skills of children are sharpened when they are read to.

          "Children learn our language by listening to others talk," Majd said. "When you read to a child, you give them the opportunity to learn new words and what they mean. You take a role in them learning cues in our language, and you help them develop their own skill of reading for themselves."

          Majd said that listening to adults reading exposes the children to learning the "English language code" as well, as they learn letters, names, and sounds.

          Children can also enhance their relational abilities through reading, according to Majd.

          "Reading introduces children to book characters, which they may build connections with," Majd said. "They learn new stories, thoughts, and ideas, [and] they gain new knowledge about the world on various topics when you read to them."

          One of the clearest results of reading out loud to children is the immediate impact on their academic performance.

          "It's been proven that kids who read tend to perform better academically and go on to colleges and universities," Majd said. "Reading to children is the most effective way to turn them into lifelong readers, which they need to do if they want to be successful."

          Kids can build stronger senses of self-esteem and self-worth as well, as "kids who love books tend to have an easier time becoming self-starters rather than being influenced by their peers and mainstream media."

          After highlighting the myriad of benefits of reading aloud to children, Majd delved into a number of award-winning children's books to provide a glimpse of what is popular in the realm of juvenile literature. Majd gave an in-depth description of the books, including the synopsis, publisher, author, and illustrator of each.

          Majd concluded by elaborating on the various resources that public libraries provide for parents, caretakers, and volunteers with regards to children's literacy.

          "We provide booklets for grade and reading levels as well as reading advisories and recommendations," Majd said. "We know exactly what they would like to read."

          In order to further highlight the importance of the Rotarians' volunteer service, Majd said that one of her earliest childhood memories was when "The Giving Tree" was read to her.

          "It was a major event for me and was what triggered me to become an avid reader today," Mad said. "I want to commend the Santa Monica Rotarians and thank you for your leadership and committing to reading to children. I'm so happy you're pursuing this venture and I think that you all should be celebrated."

          For more information on the Santa Monica Rotary Club, visit rotaryclubofsantamonica.org.


          Mar. 6 Meeting - Speaker, Veronica Majd - Children's Librarian at Donald Kaufman Bruce Library - Literacy Day Thomas Montemer
          February 27 Meeting - Speaker, Richard Ham - District 5280 Humanitarian Trip to Guatemala

          Richard Ham

          President-Elect of the Rotary Club of Manhattan Beach

          Chairman of the District 5280 Humanitarian Trip to Guatemala


          Last Fri., Feb. 28, the members of the Rotary Club of Santa Monica received a glimpse of the projects that their funds are allocated toward as the guest speaker as well as fellow Santa Monica Rotarians elaborated on the district humanitarian trip to Guatemala. After collectively singing a handful of tunes to liven up the friendly atmosphere, guests of Rotarians were introduced and a grant was awarded.

          The Joe Torre Safe at Home organization was awarded a $2,000 grant, which Daniel Knowles, Director of Advancement, accepted. Knowles informed the club that the funds would go toward furnishing purposes at the organization’s new facility at the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Monica and expressed his gratitude for the monetary support.

          The afternoon proceeded with guest speaker Richard Ham, president-elect of the Manhattan Beach Rotary Club and an active member of the Boards of International Service, Community Service, and Vocational Service. It was appropriate that Rosemary Regalbuto, who accompanied Ham on the District 5280 humanitarian trip to Guatemala, introduced the speaker, who was the chairman of the trip. Ham opened up the conversation by describing a bit of the planning process.

          “Planning the trip took over a period of a year and a half,” Ham said. “But it was really worth it.”

          Ham said that he and his committee of nine wound up approving six projects and raised an overall amount of $435,000. The trip itself cost about $250,000, which ultimately fed and helped boost Guatemala’s economy.

          Ham also partnered with Rotarians in Guatemala in order to narrow down some of the priorities – such as sustainability and maintainability – that the residents themselves wanted to focus on. He spent about six months “going back and forth to Guatemala” in order to gain a clearer grasp on some of the ongoing endeavors within the country.

          A few members of the Santa Monica Rotary Club touched on some of the specificities of the projects that they contributed to.

          “The [Guatemala Literacy project] is a literacy program that never ceases to amaze me,” Santa Monica Rotarian Russ Warner said. As an initiative that supports underprivileged children in Guatemala by supplying textbooks, scholarships, and other literacy programs, the GLP has been “supported by over 430 Rotary Clubs.”

          The Santa Monica Rotary Club contributed to providing a thousand eco-stoves to the country as well, which allow families to cook and barbecue within their households through proper ventilation. As a result, the stoves “will greatly reduce the risk of respiratory disease.”

          Alongside such projects were also pleasant memories of playing games and simply becoming acquainted with the fellow Guatemalans, as Santa Monica Rotarian Rosemary Regalbuto described walking through the country and even participating in a game of basketball with some employees of the Hope Haven Center, a wheelchair manufacturing facility that the Club also collaborated with.

          “Guatemala is a beautiful country,” Ham said. “I encourage you to visit and go on these trips if it’s possible […] they’re a lot of fun and you can see where your money is going and what it’s doing all around the world.”

          For more information on the Santa Monica Rotary Club, visit rotaryclubofsantamonica.org.


          February 27 Meeting - Speaker, Richard Ham - District 5280 Humanitarian Trip to Guatemala Thomas Montemer
          Feb. 27 Meeting Recap
          Before the meeting, the Rotarians had a Champagne Meet & Greet to connect with their friends and meet new people. Pictured: Suzan Allbritton, David Rosenfeld, Judy Neveau, Timur Berberoglu, and Ken Waltzer
          New Member Palle Jensen gets pinned on his day of induction by Spyros Dellaportas!



          Mitch Kraus presented a grant to Daniel Knowles from the Joe Torre Safe at Home Foundation.




          We had so many smiling faces!

          Feb. 27 Meeting Recap Savitri Labensart
          Rotary Club Meeting Recap: Fri., Sep. 12
          Rotary Club Meeting Recap: Fri., Sep. 12 Thomas Montemer
          Rotary Club Meeting Recap: Fri., Sep. 5
          Rotary Club Meeting Recap: Fri., Sep. 5 Thomas Montemer
          Rotary Club Meeting Recap: Fri., Aug. 22
          Rotary Club Meeting Recap: Fri., Aug. 22 Thomas Montemer
          Rotary Club Weekly Meeting Recap: Fri., Aug. 8
          Rotary Club Weekly Meeting Recap: Fri., Aug. 8 Thomas Montemer
          Rotary Club Weekly Meeting Recap: Fri., Aug. 1
          Rotary Club Weekly Meeting Recap: Fri., Aug. 1
          Rotary Club Meeting Recap: Fri., Aug. 15
          Rotary Club Meeting Recap: Fri., Aug. 15 Thomas Montemer
          Rotary Board Performs in Halloween Flashmob
          Rotary Board Performs in Halloween Flashmob Scott Ferguson
          University of California rules

          Today's head-table was comprised of University of California graduates. David Robinson (UCLA) Charlie Follette (Cal) Melissa Dagodag (UCLA Law) plus Craft Talk speaker Larry Mortorff (UCLA) ... and ...

          University of California rules Nicholas Goehner
          11th Annual Food and Song Festival

          The Eleventh Annual Food and Song Festival was held at the home of Tom and Stephanie Loo in Malibu on Sunday, April 28, 2013.  Over 250 Rotarians and Guests enjoyed an afternoon of foods and beverages from around the world.  Live entertainment from Rotary members and invited artists played throughout the afterward.  The Festival also offered activities for children and young adults by the Broadway Gym. Special guests included the GSE Team from Japan and members of the Santa Monica Rotaract Club.


          11th Annual Food and Song Festival Nicholas Goehner
          This week at Rotary - Fritz Coleman, KNBC Weatherman, stand-up comic, actor, and playwright

          ImageWidely beloved and heralded KNBC Weatherman, stand-up comic, actor, and playwright Fritz Coleman has been named "Best Weathercaster" in nearly every major paper in Southern California.

          In addition to his weather reporting, stand-up comedy, and on-camera acting, Coleman has written, produced and starred in three one-man plays. His first production "It's Me! Dad!" won the coveted 1997 Artistic Directors Award. His second play "The Reception," is an insightful and hilarious look at relationships. While his most recent play, "Tonight at 11!" is an insider’s look at a typical local newscast.

          Coleman actively engages in humanitarian service efforts. He has received many Humanitarian of the Year Awards, including being recognized by the City of Los Angeles, Shelter Partnership, and the United States House of Representatives.

          Originally from Philadelphia, Coleman attended Salem College in West Virginia and Temple University in Philadelphia where he studied radio, television and film. Coleman is an avid runner, rollerblader and skier. He lives in the San Fernando Valley and has two sons and a daughter.

          This week at Rotary - Fritz Coleman, KNBC Weatherman, stand-up comic, actor, and playwright Scott Kunitz
          Santa Monica Rotary Foundation supports Boy Scouts of America’s swimming pool at Camp Josepho

          Western Los Angeles County Council, Boy Scouts of America, proudly serves over 18,000 young people in 65% of Los Angeles County. Our goal is to reach as many youth as possible by providing programs that nurture, guide, direct and teach skills to help them live successful lives in our world.  The Santa Monica Rotary Club has been a key partner in helping the Western Los Angeles County Council, Boy Scouts of America improve and upgrade the Council’s magnificent Camp Josepho – a jewel nestled in the Santa Monica Mountains in Pacific Palisades which brings the joys of the summer camp experience to countless children.  The unique Camp Josepho experience is invaluable and unmatched in Los Angeles. What makes Camp Josepho so unique is that while it is within easy reach of all Angelenos, it is a beautiful natural environment with no cars, telephones, or roads in the majority of the camp.  For many children from Los Angeles who have never had the opportunity to be ‘out in nature,’ Camp Josepho can be a life changing experience.  Josepho’s location, a short drive from some of the lowest income neighborhoods in Los Angeles, minimizes transportation costs and makes this camping experience feasible for many families.

          Through a grant provided by The Santa Monica Rotary Club Foundation, Western Los Angeles County Council, Boy Scouts of America was able to complete a much needed upgrade to Camp Josepho’s Swimming Pool Pump & Filtration System thus allowing WLACC the ability to continue to bring the joys of swimming to our campers.


          Santa Monica Rotary Foundation supports Boy Scouts of America’s swimming pool at Camp Josepho Scott Kunitz
          Rotary Club Meeting April 5, 2013 - German Consul General Dr. Bernd Fischer "Germany's role in the European Union"

          Dr. Bernd Fischer became head of the German Consulate General- Los Angeles in July 2012, after serving as German Ambassador to the Republic of Croatia.  Dr. Fischer received his Doctorate in Philosophy from Heidelberg University, not far from his Kaiserslautern birthplace.  Dr. Fischer is married to Jutta Fischer and has two grown children.

          German Consulate General Los Angeles

          Rotary Club Meeting April 5, 2013 - German Consul General Dr. Bernd Fischer "Germany's role in the European Union" Scott Kunitz
          2013 Rotary International Food Festival - April 28th

          The Rotary Club of Santa Monica Presents 
          The 2013 International Food Festival!

          2013 Rotary International Food Festival - April 28th Scott Kunitz
          Rotary Club Meeting March 15, 2013 - John Fairweather "The Santa Monica Airport Issue"


          John Fairweather "The Santa Monica Airport Issue"

          Rotary Club Meeting March 15, 2013 - John Fairweather "The Santa Monica Airport Issue" Scott Kunitz
          Santa Monica Rotary Club's Day of Service - Saturday, April 13

          Santa Monica Rotary Club - together with the Rotaract Club of Santa Monica College - has chosen Olympic High School as the site of our first "Rotary Day of Service" on Saturday, April 13th

          What is The Rotary Day of Service?

          A hands-on day of service with a purpose of meeting real world needs in Santa Monica, raising the visibility of the work that the Rotary Club of Santa Monica does in the community, and establishing our club's “Legacy of Service”. It will also give the Rotaract students an opportunity to see Rotarians in their professional roles as well as doing service side by side with Rotarians and their families.

          In addition to the actual day of service, our Rotaract Club at Santa Monica College will participate in a learning opportunity with our members:

          April 12 Members of the Rotaract Club of SMC will spend the morning job-shadowing with our club members to learn about their professions. They will then join our club for lunch and to hear longtime meteorologist and television personality Fritz Coleman.

          April 13 (8 a.m. - 2 p.m.): Rotarians and Rotaract Club members will join in together to help refurbish Olympic High School by cleaning, painting and planting. Rotarians, Rotaracters and community members will all be there to help; there will be morning coffee and a presentation to start everyone off, and lunch will be served to celebrate the completion of the work.

          Many hand make light work! Sign up to come and be part of this day! To quote president Judy Neveau's motto for the year "Rotary is an Education: Service is the Tuition". So come and get educated, and pay your tuition in a fun service project to brighten the environment for the students ad teachers at Olympic High School!

          Santa Monica Rotary Club's Day of Service - Saturday, April 13 Frank Lavac
          Rotarians for Healthy Living - Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook Hike Saturday Feb. 9

          Rotarians for Healthy Living

          Rotary Club of Santa Monica - Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook Hike

          View from the top

          Saturday Feb. 9

          6300 Hetzler Rd., Culver City, CA 90232

          The main hiking trail winds up one mile from the park entrance at Jefferson Blvd. and down from the Scenic Overlook. The trail zig zags around a very steep and straight staircase visitors can also access. The reward is an incredible panoramic view of Los Angeles!

          Saturday, February 9, 8am. Meet at the Trailhead on Jefferson Blvd at Hetzler Rd.  Look for large sign for Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook State Park. Plenty of street parking on Jefferson Blvd.

          What to Bring:
          Bring Water and don’t forget sunscreen. We’ll have coffee and bagels at the top.

          Trip Leader:
          Lisa Alexander: alexander@jaklelaw.com or 310/656-4310.
          Rotarians for Healthy Living - Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook Hike Saturday Feb. 9 Lisa Alexander
          This week at Rotary - Wade Eyerly, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Surf Air!
          Wade A.D. Eyerly, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Surf Air!

          Prior to founding Surf Air, Wade worked in national defense, filling various roles for an intelligence agency. He served as a Senior Business Consultant leading Lean Six Sigma process improvement activities for the National Security Agency, and spent four years as an intelligence officer with the Department of Defense. Before leaving politics to work for the government, Wade worked on two Presidential campaigns, including time as a Press Advance Represe11tative for Vice President Dick Cheney.

          Additionally, Wade served in Iraq from 2009-2010 where he built quantitative models that were used to predict conflict and help keep soldiers safe. Wade received the Secretary of Defense's medal for the Global War on Terror, and the Civilian Joint Service Commendation for his work there.

          In 2011, Wade and his brother David created a new type of private air travel, a members-only service that provided travel between top United States cities. Surf Air was created to build a business service that would introduce the luxury service of private flying to passengers who wouldn't otherwise be able to afford it.

          Wade earned a B.A. in International Economic Policy and Cross-Cultural Relations from Central Missouri State University and a Master's in Public Policy and International Development Management from Brigham Young University - where he also earned a Global Management Certificate. In 2005, Wade received the Outstanding Recent Alumni Award from Central Missouri State.

          This week at Rotary - Wade Eyerly, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Surf Air! Scott Kunitz

          November is Rotary Foundation Month; the time to focus on our support of The Rotary Foundation and how it benefits many throughout the world. You will likely recall our Club was the lead International Sponsor of the Grand Bahamas Emergency Water Relief project GRAND BAHAMA EMERGENCY WATER RELIEF PROJECT. This project exemplifies leveraging The Rotary Foundation grants to develop sustainable projects. Without your support and Bahamian Rotarians' tenacity, it is likely the project which provided water to hundreds during and after Hurricane Sandy and will benefit thousands in the future would have never come to fruition.

          FREEPORT, Grand Bahama -- Rotarians on Grand Bahama came together during Hurricane Sandy with the activation of the emergency Rotary Water Plant from October 24-28, 2012.  Commissioned after the devastating hurricanes of Frances and Jeanne in 2004, the plant provides potable drinking water to residents during times when serious weather impacts the local supply. 

          Rotarians activated the plant's Reverse-Osmosis machine in advance of Hurricane Sandy, putting about 5,000 gallons of water in the tank.  Sandy impacted Grand Bahama for much of Friday and into the evening and early hours of Saturday. 

          The plant was re-activated early Saturday morning and Rotary volunteers began to assemble to help.  They were put to work sanitizing and filling the nearly 500 one-gallon jugs which had been collected and stored in the plant throughout the year.

          On Saturday, between the hours of 10:00am and 7:00pm, Rotarians estimate they gave away approximately 3,600 gallons of water to persons who came to the plant either with their own jugs or took those which they had to give them. In addition, they sent two tank trailers (275 gallons each) with Rotarian Peter Turnquest to be taken to East End Grand Bahama once the water subsided.  The Grand Bahama Fire Brigade also made two trips with 55 gallon drums to flush toilets at some of the old folks homes on the island.

          By Sunday morning most of Freeport had city water trickling through the pipes, however certain pockets did not, including East End, from the old missile base the entire settlement of Eight Mile Rock, and West End.  Parts of East End are still without water mid-week post-Sandy.

          Rotarians met again at the plant on Sunday and gave away an additional estimated 1,500 to 2,000 gallons of water.

          The Rotary water plant crew would like to credit ZNS northern service radio for broadcasting their announcements about the water plant being open and for the station's continuous storm coverage.  All the Rotary volunteers who assisted with the emergency water plant project were pleased the plant performed flawlessly and that they were able to continue Rotary's motto - Service Above Self - and help many persons in the community in a meaningful way.

          Kids of Rotarians learning early about service to others.

          Never far from service to others, Rotary Club of Freeport's Betty Van Lew.

          Rotarians fill jugs as Rotary Exchange student from Thailand looks on.

          (Photos courtesy Mike Stafford)

          The Grand Bahama Emergency Water Relief Foundation (The Rotary Water Plant) was envisioned by the TK Foundation who saw Rotary as the perfect partner and commissioned a joint project involving Rotary Districts 5280 - Los Angeles, CA; 7020 - Nassau and the Caribbean; and 6990 - Grand Bahama and South Florida; with assistance from the Rotary Foundation, and numerous corporate sponsors.

          What a success! 2012 Wine & Jazz Festival


          The Wine and Jazz Festival was a success.

          What a success! 2012 Wine & Jazz Festival Scott Kunitz
          Rotary Club Meeting July 13, 2012 - Tommy Hawkins, Notre Dame All-American and original member of the LA Lakers!

          ImageTommy Hawkins, Notre Dame All-American and original member of the LA Lakers!

          Tommy Hawkins has enjoyed an incredible career as a basketball All-American at the University of Notre Dame, and as an original member of the Los Angeles Lakers, playing pro ball for 10 years. He has been a college lecturer, a pioneering Golden Mike and Emmy Award-Nominated Radio and TV Broadcaster, and served as Vice-President of Communications for the Los Angeles Dodgers for 18 years. He has served as a civic leader with involvement on the board of directors for the Los Angeles Center Theatre Group, Los Angeles Sports Council, Los Angeles Athletic Club, and the Friends of Jazz at UCLA. Mr. Hawkins has also recently written a book entitled  “Life’s Reflections: Poetry for the People”.

          Rotary Club Meeting July 13, 2012 - Tommy Hawkins, Notre Dame All-American and original member of the LA Lakers! Scott Kunitz
          Rotary Club Meeting June 22, 2012 - Sharks


          Today our speaker was Ralph Collier.  He is the head of the Shark Research Committee in Chatsworth. We were all intrigued by his knowledge and what we were able to learn about why we shouldn't be so afraid of the water on our Santa Monica coast.  Scott Kunitz gave a presentation on how to log in to club runner.  If you're having any problems with that please read on.  This was David Bohn last meeting as our club president!  We will miss you David.
          Rotary Club Meeting June 22, 2012 - Sharks Nicholas Goehner
          Rotary Club Meeting June 15, 2012 - Craft Talks


          Craft Talks today.  We love to hear from our fellow Rotarians.  It's always fun and interesting to get to know the history of our Rotarians and what series of events brought them to us and the strong individuals they are today.  Our Craft Talkers for today's meeting were Nick Goehner and Pat Bofird.
          Rotary Club Meeting June 15, 2012 - Craft Talks Nicholas Goehner
          Rotary Club Meeting June 8, 2012 - The SOPA & PIPA Debate


          Perhaps if you are like me you are thinking SOPA, come on this might have been an interesting topic back in January of this year when, the English Wikipedia, Reddit, and an estimated 7,000 other smaller websites coordinated a service blackout, to raise awareness. But really it is June now, how exciting could this be? I was so wrong. IT WAS GREAT! An exciting cast of characters, and a lively debate held this bunch of boisterous Rotarians attention, and from the questions that followed many would have been happy for it to continue. But perhaps I should start at the beginning...

          Rotary Club Meeting June 8, 2012 - The SOPA & PIPA Debate Scott Kunitz
          Fifth Annual Wine & Jazz Festival at the Annenberg Community Beach House


          Look how much fun it was last year!

          Dont miss it this year.

          5th Annual International Wine & Jazz Festival

          Sunday, October 7, 2012 at 2:00 PM (PT)

          CLICK HERE!

          Fifth Annual Wine & Jazz Festival at the Annenberg Community Beach House Scott Kunitz
          Santa Monica Rotary Club’s 90th Anniversary - Video Slide Show

          Santa Monica Rotary Club’s 90th Anniversary - Video Slide Show Scott Kunitz
          Video - Puerto Rico District Humanitarian Trip's main project distributing 110 wheelchairs

          Video - Puerto Rico District Humanitarian Trip's main project distributing 110 wheelchairs Scott Kunitz
          Video - Santa Monica Rotary Club’s home makeover effort at Upward Bound House

          Suzan & Russ,

          I want to say a HUGE and heartfelt thank you again to both of you for your amazing leadership and support of this on-going project. I know I don’t need to tell you about the life-changing impact this project has on needy families in our community.


          David Snow
          Executive Director
          Upward Bound House

          Video - Santa Monica Rotary Club’s home makeover effort at Upward Bound House Scott Kunitz
          Rotary Club Meeting March 2, 2012 - Honorable Judge Cynthia Loo

          Meeting CastGuest Speaker Cynthia Loo with Nat Trives and her father Tom Loo

          At the head table, Far Stage Right we had Invocator Dr. William A. Wood III; Next to Dr. William we have James E. Dyer. Stage left of the podium and here to introduce our speaker for today, we have Nathaniel Trives. Far stage left of the Podium and here to introduce our visiting Rotarians and guests we have David F. Potter. Our song leader was Tom Larmore with Ken Waltzer on piano, and our Greeters were Jillian Alexander


          We had 2 visiting Rotarians, Steve Sabel from Lexington Fairless Hills PA, and Sean McMillen from Westwood.  Our guests of Rotarians were Brian Chase who was a guest of Laurel Rosen. Lisa Jackman who was a guest of Tim Jackman. Cynthia Loo who was our guest speaker and the daughter of Tom Loo. Matt Flanoers. Anne Rime who was a guest of Mule Pritchert. Cone Hansen who was a guest of Lauren Rush. Matt Williams who was a guest of Lisa Alexander and Wendy Jacobs who was a guest of Anne Greenspun.



          • Best of luck to Tim Jackman and a huge thank you for his club service and everything he has done for our fair city. You are always welcome here!
          • We are sad to announce the passing of Christine Cassiano's mother last Wednesday and our condolences go out to Christine and her family.
          • Nat Trives had a heart procedure and we were certainly glad to see him back at Rotary.

          Tim Jackman received the 4-way award today, Congratulations!

          4 Way Award

          • Jillian Alexander – International Women's Day Breakfast.  Celebrating Women's service in the community. - $50
          • John Pucheco – We have a lost check as John was no longer with the Red Cross when he received a check for the Red Cross.  - $50 (Although he claims there was no check in the envelope he received).
          • Tom Loo – For referring to his daughter (our guest speaker) as his sister.  - $100


          ImageThe Honorable Cynthia Loo daughter of one of our distinguished members, Tom Loo, was our speaker for today.  Judge Loo served in the East Los Angeles district which is the toughest juvenile court district in the city of Los Angeles.  In a recently published daily journal article her piece was titled, “Sensitive Outsider Believes in Rehabilitation of Hope.”  Her speech would prove her sensitivity and dedication to our city and its youth.

          She began with admitting her reservations about speaking at our club, and referring to herself as a self-proclaimed bad public speaker.  She was also afraid of being heckled by her father.
          To break the ice and get herself into the speaking groove she began with a story about her father and what growing up under his watchful eye was like.  In a effort to take control of a home rat problem her father used a series of different types of rat traps. He placed these all around the house.  More importantly however was how he kept track of the rats that fell to his well-placed traps.  He apparently had a chart on the refrigerator that read in big block letters, “RAT KILL COUNT.” This certainly had us all laughing picturing a marker drawn chart of hash marks marking rat kill counts.  It was also very difficult for her to sleep at the time as there were several loud snaps that would occur during the night with a rat would find its way to another trap and hash mark on the fridge.  Her father also kept a grading system for phone messages.  Which Our speaker was proud to say, she was able to keep a steady A in.  All of this would mold Cynthia Loo into the Honorable Judge Cynthia Loo that was speaking before us today.
          Cynthia's first job after attending SAMO high was at KFC. And her first official speech was at 15 years old at the Santa Monica Civic Center about how to avoid getting a traffic ticket.  Looking back at this she laughed because part of her lesson plan was informing her audience to ignore court dates, the ignorance of the law, and even flirting with the officer if possible.  Probably not the best way to handle situations with the Santa Monica police, but she was only 15.

          Her development into a judge took a bit of time she said.  The law made sense to her in its written form, and being raised by her father gave her a strong foundation.  But she realized that there is so much more beyond just doing the right thing.  We are here for the improvement of society and our community.  But what it means to be a member of that community and even a Rotarian is to always do the right thing.  It is the purpose behind the law and the 4 way test.  But, she said, It comes down to how you implement all of this.  She wasn't as strong with implementing these values in the beginning.  She was strict and heavy handed. She thought that was what she needed to do to be a strong judge and gain respect.  But as she would learn through the following very personal story, there is much more to a Judge than the persona they put forward.

          She began a story of a young man named Tyrell, who was being charged with resisting arrest and a possible gang affiliation.   As he was running from the officer he reached into his waist band.  An officer had to pull their firearm and when asked if the boy was still on probation he wouldn't answer and wouldn't calm down.  It took the help of the boy's grandmother and 6 other officers to calm the boy down. When brought before Judge Loo she found him guilty of the charge of resisting arrest.  However when It came to sentencing there were many more things our speaker had to take into consideration.  She didn't see the boy as a threat to his community and decided to release him on house arrest. He was doing well at the school and his grandmother was even a tutor at the school so she knew the Grandmother would be a good influence and be able to keep an eye on him.  Later in the parking lot Judge Loo spoke with the arresting officer and asked what they could do to help the young man. The officer stated that the only answer for the boy was to move out of the area he was living.  When this option was presented to the Grandmother she stated that she couldn't afford to move out of Compton, but she wanted to thank the officer for trying to help.  2 weeks later there was a commotion her court room.  There was a woman there wanting to give something to the Judge, but was told it wasn't allowed.  It was Tyrell's grandmother.  Judge Loo came down from the bench to speak with her.  She told the judge that on the previous Sunday she was awakened by gunfire.  And was told that Tyrell had been shot.  Despite being around many professionals in the court room she embraced the grandmother and cried with her. 

          What a wonderful story of her growth as a judge and individual.  We were so touched.  Thank you Judge Cynthia Loo for a wonderful speech and to her father as well for raising such a wonderful daughter.

          Thought for the Day

          From Albert Camus, who wrote “A person without ethics... is a wild beast loosed upon this world.”

          Rotary Club Meeting March 2, 2012 - Honorable Judge Cynthia Loo Nicholas Goehner
          Rotary Club Meeting March 9, 2012 - Keith Raymond Erickson

          Meeting Cast

          At the head table, Far Stage Right we had Invocator Paul Leoni; Next to Paul we have George Collins. Stage left of the podium and here to introduce our speaker for today, we have Ávedis Guerboian. Next to Avo is our speaker for today, Keith Erickson. Far stage left of the Podium and here to introduce our visiting Rotarians and guests we have LaVonne Lawson. Our song leader was Tom Larmore with Ken Waltzer on piano, and our Greeters were Jillian Alexander & Bill Rayman.


          We had 2 visiting Rotarians, Cynthia Cummings from Park Cities, and Ronald Lyster from Westwood. Our only guest of a Rotarian was Doug Metzler who was a guest of John Bohn.


          • Many of us just came from services for past president Jack Michel, affectionately known to many of us as the “Milk Man,” because his family owned a dairy business for many years. His classification was Milk Distribution, and he first joined our club in 1965, and became our club president in 1980.  He was also a past chairman of the Santa Monica Rotary Foundation. All of us who knew him will surely miss his laugh and his smile.
          • Our next Healthy Living event will be a historic tour of Downtown Santa Monica on the 24th of March.
          • Sharon Gavin Rotary reads is next week, Wednesday and Thursday. 1 Lucky reader will win a Kindle Fire.
          • The District Conference will be at the beautiful Hilton San Diego Resort and Spa in Mission Bay the weekend of April 20th, and you still have time to get the special rate if you sign up before March 15th.
          • Bill Buxton, Next Supper Service at OPCC is in 1 week from today at the Turning Point Facility on 16th and Broadway. We start cooking at 4pm and serve at 6 pm.
          • George Collins, sponsorships for our 90th Birthday Party.


          • John Dravillas, trip to Thailand $50.
          • Jillian Alexander & Laurel Rosen, International Women's Day $50 fine each, but since Jillian received hers last week we will just fine Laurel.


          Keith Raymond Erickson (born April 19, 1944 in San Francisco, California) is a former American basketball player. After graduating from El Segundo High School (CA), Erickson played at UCLA, where he was a member of the 1964 and 1965 NCAA Champion teams. Erickson, who attended UCLA on a shared baseball/basketball scholarship, also played on the 1964 US Men's Olympic Volleyball team. Coach John Wooden would later remark that Erickson was the finest athlete he ever coached.

          After leaving UCLA, Erickson spent 12 years making his way around the NBA. He played his rookie year with the San Francisco Warriors, two years with the Chicago Bulls, five years with the Los Angeles Lakers, and four years with the Phoenix Suns. The crowning achievement of his NBA career was playing on the Los Angeles Lakers championship team in 1972 with basketball legends Wilt Chamberlain and Jerry West.

          After leaving the league, Erickson put his experiences and knowledge gained on the court to good use working as commentator for Lakers games on radio and television with Chick Hearn from 1979 to 1987. He also worked as a commentator for the Phoenix Suns for seven years.

          Keith Erickson told us stories about legendary Lakers' play-by-play announcer Chick Hearn, his broadcast partner for eight years.

          "Doing color commentary with Chick was a challenge," Erickson said. "I could barely get a word or two in edgewise before he moved on."

          Erickson recalled one of the two times he saw Hearn rendered speechless. Hearn was interviewing Hall of Fame forward Elgin Baylor after a game and presented Baylor with a gift certificate to a clothing store from a new sponsor. Baylor, still in uniform with a towel around his neck, looked at Hearn who was dressed in a suit and tie and said, "You keep it, you need it worse than I do."

          Keith Erickson discusses his relationship with John Wooden an