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September 27, 2022
 
Lunch Meeting at Piatti's
Week #12 - President Robert Olmstead III
(Book him Dano!)
President Robert Olmstead III rang the club bell at 12:02 and welcomed everyone to the Best Damn Rotary Club in Arden Arcade.  He thanked the club for letting him be the president. He reminded the club that by executive privilege, he declared an end to the free opportunity drawing tickets as the pot is now $475 and the deck of cards is getting very thin sooo… you need to pay to play.   He asked Richard Goore to lead the pledge and Bruce Stimson was asked to do a short invocation.  It should be noted that while Bruce is not the tallest member of the club, he is in no way the shortest, and the Prez was out of line to identify him as short.  Regardless, Bruce provided a very fine invocation.  
Introduction of Visiting Rotarians and Guests
There were no Visiting Rotarian.  Bill Hambrick, was asked to introduce our returning for the second time guest, Todd Eichmann.  Bill noted that Todd is a local businessman but does not appear to have a club application with him at this time.  The Prez noted that Tom Goode is working remotely on that.
Jed Van Wagner introduced his Uber brother, Scott.  It is nice to see Jed and Scott with us once again.  A few more visits from Scott and we may be forced to acknowledge him as a common law Rotary member. One of the club’s legal beagles should check in on that.
Announcements and Other Fun Stuff
 
Rotary Offsite Lunch, October 18, 2022
The Prez noted that we still have vacancies on the bus for the ride to Brasswood Winery in Napa Valley on October 18, 2022.  However, those wishing to return on the bus may face a convenience surcharge.  You may want to check with the Prez regarding return privileges. Everyone wishing to attend needs to sign the Master List that is being passed around, even if you signed up online (on Facebook.) The menu for the day is attached to the signup sheet.
 
Holiday Party
This year’s Holiday Party is being held on Friday, December 9th on the Delta King in Old Sacramento.  Lisa Asperger was thanked for all her hard work putting the event together.  Mark your calendars now so you do not double book the date.  You will not want to miss this event as it coincides with the Christmas light boat parade.
 
President Elect?
Past Past President Cahill announced that we now have a President Elect, our very own Richard Goore.  The club broke out in a raucous applause with several of members that have not yet been president applauding much louder that the others. The Pres noted that he was very excited to have Richard as the Elect and looks for great things from him based upon his successful management of the last poker tournament.  If you can run a poker tournament you can run a club.  Richard accepted the Elect position as he felt it was the only way he could make sure that the tournament did not conflict with March Madness.
Bell Ringers
 
and
 
Happy Bucks
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Bell Ringers
Bruce Stimson, feeling the very bad about not attending the Foundation Dinner, the parkway cleanup and the golf tournament, decided to assuage his guilt by ringing the bell not once, but twice… (he was feeling very guilty.) The wheel liked Bruce and thanked him with 3 tickets.
Roy Vogel, catching the guilty bug, rang the bell for having been away from the club the past few weeks and for being away from the club in the coming weeks with plans to be on the Mississippi River via New Orleans… I hope the hurricane did not rain on his parade.  The wheel liked Bruce better and only gave Roy 2 tickets.
Lisa Asperger, was also feeling a little guilty about being gone for over two weeks, spending time on a cruise ship from Alaska to Seattle. She noted that she didn’t mind missing the 116-degree heat.  The wheel liked Lisa a lot and thanked her with 5 tickets.
Happy Bucks
Christine Jensen only had $20 left after spending a beautiful weekend celebrating her youngest daughter’s wedding shower.   Her oldest daughter is the matron of honor and they all had a great time.  The wheel was stingy and only gave 1 ticket.
Linda Bigler was $20 happy for the abb workout she got on Monday delivering drinks by herself.  As if working a golf tournament wasn’t enough, she played in the golf tournament the next day and won it.  The rumor that it was the Misty Oaks Senior Retirement Community Golf-land Sun-splash Memorial Tournament have not been confirmed.  Congratulation regardless.  The wheel liked Linda very much… what’s not to like, and gave her 4 tickets.  Linda noted that she finally read one of the Rotary Club newsletters and was very surprised to find out that Mike was very funny... go figure.  
Emily Ballus was happy to announce that Mike Grace has been working on the development of a park for children of all abilities as the Executive Director for the Sacramento Parks Foundation and they are conducting a groundbreaking ceremony on Monday, October 3rd at 1:00.  Mike spun the wheel and was rewarded with 1 ticket. 
Mike Grace was asked to elaborate on the progress of emPOWEment park.  Mike reported that a construction contract has been signed and we are breaking ground on Monday.  Supervisor Rich Desmond and Gregg Fishman will be there but we will keep them apart.  The Prez noted that the two get along fine now.  Mission Oaks RPD will end up managing the park and has had a good experience working with the contractor.  We are still looking for about $500,000 to build the park to the original design but have a contingency plan should the funds not materialize. Supervisor Desmond is working with us to help find the needed funds.  If we are not fully funded, we will have to delete a very exciting sensory wall.  The park is scheduled to be completed by the end of November 2023. We are very excited.  The park site is located at 1124 Bell Street.
Announcements and Other Fun Stuff, Again
Rotary International Donations
Matt Ross reminded the club that this is the time of year that you start getting emails from him requesting donations to Rotary international.  Once you donate you stop receiving his email requests.  Part of the money donated comes back to the district in the form of grants.  This year we hope to work on this park project.  We have been looking at this project for four to five years.    We will be reaching out to 100 clubs to see if we can get them to join us on that matching grant.  We want to get everybody in Sacramento County, if we can, to help us on this District grant.  This will be a very special park, designed for kids with all abilities to play side by side.  The Prez noted that he will be bringing in a computer that will allow everyone to sign up for automatic yearly donations.  
 
Effie Yeaw Tortoise Enclosure
Greg Cotta reported that they had a meeting at Effie Yeaw Nature Area and he was finally introduced to Cowboy Sparkle. Reports that the tortoise is gay are unconfirmed and irrelevant as the nature area does not discriminate.  Greg feels much mor invested in the project now that he has met the reason for the project.  There are two construction dates.  On Saturday, October 15th 9am-2pm, site preparation involving the Boy Scouts and some Rotarians and other volunteers will take place at the nature area.  Milling of the lumber needed for the project will take place at Al Cady’s Lumber Mill and Bar. We will need help cutting and prefabricating the enclosure at Al’s.  On Sunday, October 23rd is the big construction day when Arden Arcade and Carmichael Rotarians will need to step up and help out.  This Tortoise Enclosure will keep the little guy safely corralled and comfortable and features a sunroom, sauna and herbal foraging area.  The secret word is Sauna. The Prez thanked Greg for organizing this project.  A signup sheet will be passed around next week. 
 
Rotary Youth Exchange
Bruce Stimson reported that now that we have a President Elect, he plans on forming a committee to select a student for the Rotary Youth Exchange program. Please contact Bruce if you are interested in working with the RYE Committee.  It has been a very long time since we sponsored a student. 
 
Guest Speaker, Alex Vassar
President Olmstead III introduced Alex Vassar noting that he and Alex go way, way back to a time when Alex was a Chief of Staff.  Alex has worked with the legislature and is the unofficial legislative historian or California.  Alex now works for the California State Library and has access to some very impressive items of state historical importance.  
Alex started his career working on a commission only, door to door sales job.  That naturally led to a career in politics working for the San Jose City Council, the 10th largest city in the United States.  During the hard financial times of 2008 they were faced with having to cut 10% of the Police budget.  The department decided to take a 10% cut in pay across the board rather than cutting 12% of the workforce.  Unfortunately, the next year had another 10% shortfall.  They were going to make the membership make the decision again and Alex counseled them    letting them know that this time the Board had to be the bad guy and make the decision otherwise there would be irreparable harm done to the police department moral and create massive division in the department.  That year 250 policemen were laid off. 
 
He left San Jose and came to Sacramento as a Senate Fellow, a one year paid internship working in the capitol. He was very interested in the history of the state.  When you think of U.S. history, California is relatively new and recent.  He worked for the legislature for a few years.  He liked to tell people he worked in the billing department.  Legislators are interesting, driven people.  Local government is property tax based and relatively stable.  The state government relies on taxes that very with the economy and that creates challenges every year.  Alex shared some of the experiences he had working with different areas of the government and shared that people hate you regardless of the quality of the job you do. 
 
Alex started working with the California State Library because of his legislative experience and his love for state history.  He is close enough to the legislature to be able to stop in to watch but he doesn’t have to be involved with the turmoil that is the legislature.  In 2017 Alex wrote a book about the California State legislature, California Lawmaker: The men and Women of the California State Legislature.  (Editor’s note:  I checked out the book reviews and I must say I was very impressed almost all were 5 stars.  The one 3 star was from someone named Rob Olmstead?)   After his book was published, he started getting calls from reporters and he became the expert on the legislature.  News reporters are changing all the time.  About 25% of the reporters change every six months so there is a dearth of institutional memory, a niche that Alex is filling.  Alex is the reference resource for all things legislature. 
 
Alex has access to four million books and manuscripts.  They have original Mark Twain journals and Father Junipero Serra’s Bible.  There is no single book that had a great impact on California history than that Bible.  The State has a First Folio of Shake spears works.  Shakespeare didn’t write plays as we know them.  He wrote out the lines for each player.  After his death the players got together and wrote the lines down as the play and that became the Complete works of William Shakespeare, the First Folio.  There are only 200 copies in the world.  150 of them are in London at one museum.  It is considered one of the top ten books in the world.  It is important to know that a very poor copy of one of these books sold for over seven million dollars.  The state’s copy is in very good condition, it is the best one, so you can imagine its value.
 
A lot of the valuable books in the state library were from the book collection of Adolph Sutro, and engineer from San Francisco. He made his fortunes in working with silver mines in Nevada, draining them of the water collecting in them for a percentage of the take.   We became fabulously wealthy overnight and invested in rare books. By 1900 Sutro had build one of the three best libraries in the world.  The earthquake of 1906 destroyed 75% of the library. 
 
When Alex last spoke with us a couple of years ago he had just come into possession of the life’s works of legislator Nelson Doer (Spelling of the last name is uncertain.) Nelson served in the Ca. Assembly from 1937 to 1960 and wrote a very pertinent article entitled article, Why is the United States Constitution Important Today. It was so good that it was incorporated into the state’s constitution for twelve years.  Long story short.  Nelson saved all his archived works from over his career and saved them in a refrigerated railroad car.  He died in 1965.  Hi wife died and left everything to his sons.  His sons are going to destroy the papers if someone doesn’t ant them.  They contacted Alex and he agreed to look at them to see if he wanted them.  There were o200 banker boxes full of papers.  Alex passed around an invitation to the grand opening of the Bay Bridge, two Christmas cards from Governor Earl Warren and an 1800’s guide to Sacramento postcard collection.  These boxes are now at Alex’s house. Alex wanted everyone to realize they need to make a plan for their documents and how they should be taken care of after we depart and leave our mess to our children.
 
The Prez thanked Alex for the presentation. 
                           Secret Word
When the Prez asked if anyone knew the secret word, Bruce Stimson knew that “Denture” was the secret word.  He was given one ticket for his knowledge.
Opportunity Drawing 
 
The Bruce Stimson won the right to pick the lucky card.  He pulled the Jack of clubs and did not win.  To make matters worse, the envelope was empty.
 
President Robert Olmstead III rang the club bell closing the meeting at 1:06 p.m.
 
Please note:  Some of the above happened only in the demented mind of the editor.
 
Respectfully (more or less) submitted by,
 
Mike Grace
 
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