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August 23, 2022
Piatti's Lunch Meeting
 
 
Week #7 - President Robert Olmstead III
(That's News To Me)
 
President Robert Olmstead III rang the club bell at 12:00 and welcomed everyone to the Best Damn Rotary Club in Arden Arcade.  He asked Ben Fox to lead the pledge and the late arriving Matt Ross provided the invocation.  
Introduction of Visiting Rotarians and Guests
 
There were no visiting Rotarians or guests with the exception of Cody, the manager of Piatti’s.  He brought Al Cady $150 worth of gift cards for our golf tournament silent auction and raffle.  Al, President Robert, and the club thanked Cody for the support shown by Piatti’s.
 
Secret Word
Richard Goore attempted to provide the secret word but was incorrect.  Lisa Asperger was the second person recognized and knew the word was “Serve.”  For that, the wheel awarded her 4 tickets.
 
Announcements and Other Fun Stuff
 
Club Runner
President Robert Olmstead asked the members to go on Club Runner and make sure we have the correct birthday information… and while you are at it fill in any missing information. Jenny Davini was offered up as the poster child for Club Runner, Ms. Club Runner 2022.  She has all of the pertinent Club Runner information filled out and available online.  Jenny reminded everyone that pictures are also needed to help everyone know who you are.  She made a not-so-veiled threat to choose your picture for you and it may not be the most flattering one available.
 
Off-site Lunch Meeting
The first off-site lunch will be held on August 30th at Greg Cotta’s new business establishment located within the Clara E Raley Studios for the Performing Arts at 2420 N Street, Suite 105, in the Old Freemont School Building.  A signup sheet was passed around and will be again at the next meeting.  Megan will be the guest speaker.  The Studios for the Performing Arts received a $1,500 grant from our club to help purchase a drinking fountain for the studios. Club members that show up at Piatti’s on the 30th for the meeting will receive a special award.
 
Great American River Clean-up
The Great American River Clean-up service-day event scheduled for September 17th from 9:00 am to noon.  We will be meeting at 8:45 at the Northgate entrance off of the Garden Highway.  This is a tough section of the river and is an adult only event as the environment is not kid friendly.  Participants are encouraged to wear good boots, gloves and appropriate pants and shirts.  This is a great opportunity for our club members to get involved.  The more volunteers we have the better.   We will be crashing the Point West Rotary Club’s beer tasting event that will be in progress right after the clean-up.  Interested members are encouraged to change their clothes prior to attending the beer tasting. 
 
5180 Rotary Foundation Dinner, September 17th
Our club has purchased a table at the event and would like to know who would like to attend.  There are two seats still available.  Please let President Rob know if you would like to attend ASAP.
 
Rotary Charities Open Golf Tournament                                                          Christine Jensen reminded the club that the Golf Tournament is just around the corner.  This tournament will be another sold out event.  We need your golfers to sign up. The Rotary Charities Open website is https://birdease.com/RotaryCharitiesOpen to sign up to golf.  We also need raffle and silent auction prizes.  We also need volunteers.  Volunteer opportunities include a morning shift, an afternoon shift and an all-day option. A volunteer sign-up sheet was passed around and will be again next week.
 
President Robert noted that last year’s golf tournament netted $24,758.  President Robert would like to do even better this year. He thanked John Gabriel and Christine Jensen and the Golf Committee for all the fine work they are doing.
 
Rotary Offsite Lunch, October 18, 2022
President Robert thanked Tom Goode for putting together an awesome offsite lunch opportunity at Brasswood Winery in Napa Valley on October 18, 2022.  A flyer was handed out that detailed the event.  Transportation will be provided as part of the event. However, those wishing to drive on their own may do so.  The day will start at Piatti’s at about 8:00 or 9:00 am.  The event will be affordably priced and will be announced once all the details ae finalized.  This will be a great event; one you will not want to miss, 25 to 50 people will enjoy this event. Make sure you save space on your calendar.
 
Christmas Party
Lisa Asperger was asked to provide information on this year’s Christmas Party.  Lisa announced that the party is scheduled for Friday, December 9th at 6:00 on the Delta King.  It will be a buffet dinner with two entrees.  Other details are still being worked out.  The dining area is in the Capital Room on the stern of the ship and has a balcony that overlooks the river.  This is the same night as the Capital City Yacht Club’s Sacramento Lighted Boat Parade.  The Secret Word is Yacht.  More information to follow.  Place this on your calendar before you forget and miss out. 
 
Darkness, Darkness, Be My Pillow
President Robert Olmstead the III announced that we will not be meeting on September 6th as it is the day after the Labor Day holiday and he will be needing a day to recuperate (You would think he was a Democrat for goodness’ sake!) We will not be dark after the Golf Tournament as he knows he would not hear the end of being dark twice in one month.  Supervisor Desmond will be the guest speaker on the Tuesday after the golf tournament so you will not want to miss it. 
 
Bell Ringers – None this time
 
Happy Bucks
Richard Goore was $10 happy for being able to spend time with his family and extended family.  He spent time mountain biking, trying to keep us with his oldest son but was not able too.  The wheel spin netted 1 ticket.
 
Matt Ross was happy to have received more than a one-word text from his daughter that she is alive and doing well after he dropped her off at college.  The wheel spin netted 1 ticket.
 
President Olmstead was happy was $20 happy that his daughter recently started attending St. Francis High School. His wife attended St. Francis and everyone is happy so far.  The wheel spin netted 5 tickets.
 
Jenny Davini was happy was $10 happy because she had a great time celebrating Patrick O’Neil and wishing him well in his new found freedom not having to be President anymore.  Also, no one got hurt or fell in the pool.  The wheel spin netted 2 tickets.  President Robert noted that his son’s soccer tournament went very long at Cherry Island and he was not able to attend.  He really wanted to but the heat delayed the games and kept him longer than expected. 
 
Guest Speaker, Matt Rexroad
President Robert Olmstead III noted that Max Rexroad is one of the premier political consultants in California. Pres Rob met Matt way back when he was working in the Republican Assembly Caucasus.  Matt was working for Senator Cox at the time.  Matt was/is a Marine and has been involved in every aspect of the political reality of California.   Matt is Roger Niello’s political consultant for his race for state Senate.
 
Matt told a story about the time he was in Iraq in 2003 and he got a care package from a Rotary club in Dals Texas.  Amongst the wet wipes and candy was a Rotary Club flag.  Matt took that flag and stuck it on the door of Saddam Hussain’s palace and took a picture of it and sent the picture back to the Dallas Rotary Club… and he never heard back from the club.
 
Matt is now helping Dave Cox’s daughter who is running for the Folsom City Council. Back when he was working for him, he did everything possible to keep him happy.  Matt prides himself for being on time, early, for meetings.  There was one meeting where he showed up fifteen minutes early to it only to get there as the meeting was ending.   Matt asked why the meeting was ending when he was early.  Dave looked at him and said, “If the meeting is over when you arrive, you are late.”  Matt asked how early am I supposed to get her if fifteen minutes is too late.  Dave responded, “Matt, you just need to try harder.”  Matt said “Yes sir.  I will try harder.”
 
Matt runs political campaigns all over, mostly in the state but occasionally out of state.  He has worked on statewide office races, local government races, ballot measures and more.  This political season, local office seekers will be focusing on homelessness issues.  State and national office seekers will focus on inflation and cost of living.   
 
A few months ago, Matt was anticipating major Republican midterm victories around the country.  He is very concerned now with things leveling off and the Democrats are far more enthusiastic than they were a few months ago, despite President Biden’s low poll numbers.  He still thinks the Republicans will do well but the red wave will most likely not be as large as first thought.  He feels the House and the speakership will change hands. Redistricting has shielded the politicians in California to some degree. 
 
Matt wanted to highlight the role the public newspapers played and are now not playing as much in political races.  In years long past, the newspapers covered local politics and asked hard questions.  Staff reductions and dwindling readership has forced the papers to limit their coverage and be the watchdogs on politics they once were.  Local races are not being covered. Roger Niello’s race for the Senate has had no articles in the paper.  These races are not being covered and what the candidates are saying are not being scrutinized and if necessary, challenged.   There is no check on the facts that candidates are using in their campaigns. 
 
Matt observed that the Sacramento Bee has been reporting about what they see as objectionable practices of Placer and El Dorado Counties as a representation of the Republican philosophy.  In fact, the practices are in keeping with their respective county’s electorate.  He brought out the fact that elected officials within Placer and El Dorado counties could most likely not win elections in Sacramento and vice versa.  The views are just different, not wrong. The point being that the bee is playing up to their readership and is not relevant in the outlying areas.  Matt has submitted an Op-ed article to the Bee stating these observations.  He will be using the article as a bellwether to see if his opinion holds water or not.  Matt went on to point out that the national newspapers are providing timely in-depth news at a fraction of the cost of the Bee and providing better coverage.
 
The question was asked, what does the next ten years hold for local papers and radio stations?  The San Jose Mercury News and Oakland Tribune have been forced to consolidate Sacramento is a small media market, looking only to the urban area when it should be looking to be the news leader for the greater Sacramento, Yolo, El Dorado and Placer counties.  The Bee’s will eventually consolidate and cover the Central Valley.  The consolidations of newspapers in the valley and the bay area are only going to decrease political scrutiny and accountability.  Articles may be written by individuals from other parts of the country watching public meetings online.  They will not know the context and history of issues and will not be able to know when statements are incorrect.
 
A contributing factor in the relevancy of the local newspaper is there are fewer letters to the editor due to competing media options.  It is easier to tweet a message than it is to write to the editor.
 
The role of the newspaper is changing as the economics of the industry changes.  It is important that all elected positions are covered and profiled as a means of educating the electorate.  Without this coverage elections will continue to be polarized and skewed by the media responsible for the reporting.
 
Today’s Trivial Pursuit
President Robert Olmstead III asked:
What percentage of Kamikaze attacks were successful?
  1. 84%, B. 52%, C.11%
Michael Caplan guessed C. 11% and he was correct and awarded a ticket for his knowledge/guess.
 
Opportunity Drawing
Robert Olmstead III was the lucky ticket holder again. Matt Rexroad drew for Rob and picked the three of diamonds. 
 
Next Week we are off-site at Greg Cotta’s new business establishment located within the Clara E Raley Studios for the Performing Arts at 2420 N Street, Suite 105, in the Old Freemont School Building. 
 
President Robert Olmstead III rang the club bell closing the meeting at 1:03 p.m.
 
Respectfully (more or less) submitted by,
 
Mike Grace
 
Matt Rexroad
Guest Speaker
The Prez and
Matt Rexroad 
Lisa Asperger
Christmas Party Organizer
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