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Ben Hill
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St. Helena Rotary Club
P.O. Box 211
St. Helena, CA 94574
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Welcome to the Heart of the Napa Valley!

We meet Tuesdays at 12:00 PM
Native Sons' Hall
1313 Spring Street
St.Helena, CA  94574
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Joice Beatty Celebration of Life



A Celebration of Life for our beloved Joice Beatty will be held from 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM on Saturday, December 16, 2017 at the Native Son's Hall in St. Helena. The Celebration of Life will honor Joice's passion for entertaining. Please join us as we celebrate the life of this special community leader and friend.






Reported by Alan Galbraith
Speaker of the Day
Our speaker was CHP Public Information Officer Marc Renspurger, introduced by John Muhlner.  As PIO, Officer Renspurger spreads the CHP “gospel.”   His talk focused extensively on DUI – which includes not just alcohol inebriation but also driving under the influence of prescription medicines and drugs (including marijuana).  CHP is the lead agency charged with attempting to develop a baseline test for marijuana influenced driving (like the .08% alcohol test).  Officer Renspurger noted that (alcohol) DUI arrests were increasing – and that it was unclear whether the incidence of such driving was increasing or that enforcement was becoming more effective.  It does appear that the rate of DUI crashes is increasing.  CHP officers do not wear body cameras (they are coming) but do make use of audio.  This can be important to establish the rationale for a stop, thereby preserving the admissibility of evidence collected at the scene.  Officer Renspurger illustrated his talk with two short videos.  The second was quite entertaining.  A CHP officer was taking a too happy driver through a field sobriety test.  He appeared to be performing quite well, including a complicated dance routine, but when asked how he could be doing so well, he responded, “I am drunk.”   Officer Renspurger summarized the CHP gospel: no drunk driving, no distracted driving, and seat belts at all times.
Thoughts for the Day:
John Sales: “Enjoy the wonderful day, recall your memorable Thanksgiving, and remember Joice Beatty and her many contributions to our Club.”
Exchange Student
Wanpimon Pobandit (Bambam) from Thailand
Ted Bystrowski reported on membership recruitment efforts.
Helen Hendrick urged all members to be sure to sign up for the Christmas Party on December 5.
John Muhlner provided an update on forthcoming programs (California Maritime Academy on December 12 and CPR training on December 19).
Club President Ben Hill announced that the Club Board would meet at 10:00 a.m. in the Newton Room at Grace Episcopal Church on December 12.  He also thanked Kathleen Patterson for her donations of raffle prizes and speaker gifts.
Margo Kennedy asked Foundation and Board members to stay after today’s luncheon for an information exchange relating to the scholarship program.
Bell Ringers:
Kathleen Patterson, for driving assistance from Helen Hendrick in connection with recent cataract surgery.
Ben Hill, in appreciation for the continuing contributions of past Club presidents.
            Mike Thomas (no black marble)
            David Brotemarkle
            Marc Renspurger
Reported by Alan Galbraith
Speakers of the Day
As our luncheon was at Scout Hall on Railroad Avenue, our speakers were Scoutmaster John Dodge and Scout Committee Chair Stu Smith, introduced by Club President Ben Smith.  They reviewed current issues (such as longer school sports programs, cell phones, video games) affecting scouting, including the “integration” of girl scouts – in units of their own.  They also reviewed the history of Scout Hall, which was given to the Scouts in 1937, taken over by the City (eliminating property tax), and is used by the Boy Scouts (downstairs) and Girl Scouts (upstairs).  They also reviewed “the Board”, where scouts sign up for activities (e.g., trans Sierra trip, hunter safety program, harvest in the vineyard, Court of Honor).   Currently, there are 20 active scouts, with five (an unusually high number) positioned to make the push for Eagle Scout.
Thoughts for the Day:
Alan Galbraith, from John Muir: “Climb the mountain and get their good tidings.  Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees.  The wins will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.”
Annolotta Sarakoski (exchange student from Finland seven years ago). 
Club President Ben Hill advised that Carol Poole and her red-tailed hawk Maggie would be the program guests on November 14.  He also provided health updates on Club members Jim Smith, Donn Black, and Joice Beatty.
Christine Hayne announced Paul Harris awards in favor of David Brotemarkle and Margo Kennedy.
Cindy Warren reported on the Rotary Table at Harvest Festival.
Steve Ebersole advised of a thank you card from exchange students in appreciation of Club support for the Rotex trip to Sacramento.
Helen Hendrick reported on the District Rotary event.
Reported by Alan Galbraith
Speaker of the Day
Our speaker of the day was Warren Warner, introduced by Club President Ben Hill.  Warren gave us a tour of his 8918 mile, three and one-half weeks tour of fifteen major league and four minor league ballparks.  There are thirty major league ballparks; his eventual goal is to visit them all.  His illustrated tour (with excellent photos from a point-and-shoot Canon camera) highlighted a feature or two from each ballpark.  The various mascots were fun.   Park statuary also captured photographic attention (a swinging Ty Cobb in Detroit).  Youngsters running the bases, scoreboards, and family and friends (as many as nineteen) enjoying a game were also expertly photographed.  Summary: a most enjoyable presentation, told with joy.
Thoughts for the Day:
Gene Armstead, about Halloween:  “It’s said that All Hallows’s Eve is one of those nights when the veil between worlds is thin – and whether you believe in such things or not, those roaming spirits probably believe in you, or at least acknowledge your existence, considering that it used to be their own.  Happy Halloween!”
Exchange Student:
Wanpimon Pobandit (“Bambam”) from Thailand
Jennifer Muhlner, wife and guest of John Muhlner
Members of the Soroptomists
Paul and Jeff from the Sebastopol Club (District 5130)
Club President Ben Hill reported that Jim Smith continued to recover at home, that Donn Black should be back in a month, and that Joice Beatty was improving at Saint Helena Hospital.  He thanked John and Jennifer Muhlner for the Halloween table decorations.
Norm Mitroff urged attendance at a 5:00 pm showing on Monday, November 6 of “Chicken People” at the Cameo Theater for the benefit of the Saint Helena Farmer’s Market, with cinemabites provided by chefs Christopher Kostow and Katianna Hong.
John Muhlner sought volunteers for the Rotary Table at the Harvest Festival (November 4).  He also advised as to the next two programs: Boy Scouts at Scout Hall (on Railroad Avenue just north of the Fire Station) on November 7 and Carol Poole with Mattie (her red-tailed hawk) on November 14.
Steve Ebersole sought volunteers to aid in administering the student exchange program.
Reported by Alan Galbraith
Speakers of the Day
Our meeting was at Rotary Centennial Park (in front of the original Saint Helena High School building).  It featured several speakers.  Former Club member Rob Andres reviewed the history behind the Park, which came about in response to a challenge from Rotary International for Clubs to sponsor projects in celebration of Rotary International’s 100th year.    The Park was a substantial Rotary and community effort, both monetarily ($300,000) and with significant in-kind contributions.   The Saint Helena Unified School District agreed to maintain the Park (and it has never been more beautiful than it was today).  Andrea Stubbs, District Chief Business Official, introduced school officials in attendance: Barbara Nemko, County Superintendent of Schools, Jeannie Kerr, District School Board Trustee, Dr. Marylou Wilson, District Superintendent, Chris Heller, District’s Chief Academic & Human Resources Official, Benjamin Scinto, High School Principal, Karin Cox, RLS Middle School Principal, Jennifer Marinace, RLS English Teacher, and Jason Kelperis, High School Math Teacher.  Jennifer Marinace, Napa County Teacher of the Years, addressed her inspirations, including her parents, her teachers, including extracurricular instructors (ballet, soccer), her colleagues, and her students.  She ended with a plea for once-a-week tutors, stressing they can make a big difference.  Jason Kelperis, now in his tenth year as Interact faculty advisor, discussed the growth of the Interact Club (now at about 35 members), especially reviewing how the students came to organize themselves and took charge of their various social service projects.  Dr. Wilson closed out the program with short remarks stressing key District priorities: “Success for ALL Students” and “Professional Excellence.”  She closed with a reminder that Homecoming was on Friday, October 27, at 2:15 p.m. (Main Street).
Thoughts for the Day:
Club President Ben Hill offered three:
 1.  Erick Fromm: “Why should society feel responsible only the education of children, and for the education of adults of every age?’
2.  Mark Twain:  “Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions.  Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that  you, too, can become great.”
3.  Peter Drucker: “When a subject becomes totally obsolete we make it a required course.”
Exchange Student:
Bambam (from Thailand)

Reporter: Cindy Warren
Speaker: Barrett Dahl, Robert Lewis Stevenson Museum
Barrett has been with the RLS Museum since March 2016. The museum was founded in 1969 by Norm and Charlotte Strauss, who had extensive RLS collection. The museum currently contains over 11,000 and is the largest publicly displayed collection dedicated to RLS.
RLS had a sickly childhood and was raised  and schooled at home. He got a law degree from Edinburgh University but decided he didn't want to practice law. He took off on a European tour and met Fanny Osborne, who was married with two children. Fanny eventually divorced and married RLS. They spent their honeymoon in an abandoned mining cabin, which was the inspiration for the Silverado Squatters.They eventually moved to Samoa, where RLS died at the age of 44.
The museum offers tours and the admission is free. 
Guests: Tom Thornton, guest of Jack Neal. Jennifer Muhlner and Diane Fraser, guests of John Muhlner.
  • John Muhlner announced upcoming speakers. Senator Mike Thompson will speak on Sept. 19.
  • October 3rd we wil have our meeting and lunch at Centennial Park, on the St. Helena High School campus. 
  • If you  have any ideas for speakers, let John Muhlner know.
Reported by Alan Galbraith
Speaker of the Day
As our luncheon venue was picnic area of the Pestoni Winery in Rutherford, our speaker of the day, most appropriately, was Ashley McMullen, on behalf of the Winery.   Club President Ben Hill introduced Ashley.  She provided a brief history of Pestoni Family winemaking, starting with Albino and Maria Pestoni.  They emigrated from Switzerland in 1882.  They sought to recreate Swiss wine styles.   They acquired properoty in the valley now occupied by Bell Canyon Reservoir, planting their vineyards there.  Henry and Lena Pestoni (the second generation) purchased a Rutherford property adjacent to the current winery in 1923.  They farmed it during Prohibition years.   The third generation started the composting business in the 1960s,, which then grew into Upper Valley Waste Disposal.  The Robert Pestoni family purchased the Rutherford winery in the 1990s.  Pestoni wines are strictly estate wines from family-owned vineyards in Rutherford, Howell Mountain, and Lake County.
Thought of the Day:
Jack Morgan, quoting Thomas Edison:  “Most people miss opportunities because opportunities are dressed in overalls, and look like work.”
Exchange Students
Bambam (Thailand) soon on her way to Spain)
Club President Ben Hill reported on the improving condition of past Club President Jim Smith.  He also noted that he had contact information for organizations assisting victims of Hurricane Harvey.
John Muhlner reported on speakers line up for the next three Club events, including Barrett Dahl, Executive Director, RLS Museum (September 11), Congressman Mike Thompson (September 18), and a recent English Channel Swimmer (September 25).  John sought suggestions for future speakers.
The program concluded with an auction of two half cases of Pestoni wines,  The high bidders were Mike Thomas and Joel Toller.  The beneficiary is the Saint Helena Rotary Foundation.
Reporter: Cindy Warren
Speaker: New President, Ben Hill,  " Create our Preferred Future"
Ben presented a PowerPoint with his goals for the year. He celebrated our "wins"  (the things we're doing right) and offered new ideas for our future.
Some ideas include:
  • Streamlining meetings to one hour with an11:30 optional social hour, 12:00 meeting start and out by 1:00. Having 3 regular meetings and one off-site per month.
  • Identifying key club initiatives
  • Problem statement
  • Key Milestones 
  • Create a three year Strategic Plan
  • Create new membership  retentions and recruitment plan
  • Identify new ways to make the Club more fun!
Members received copies of the presentation and are encouraged to participate in discussion and bring new ideas to the Club. 
Visiting Rotarians: Brian Gross -Napa, Jason Dominic -Napa Sunrise, David Wainright- assistant gov. Scott Cooper- Calistoga, Danielle Braveci- N.Napa
Birthdays: Kathleen Patterson
  • Helen Hendrick announced Michael Layne's service on July 22
  • Wendell Laidley said Don Black had back surgery and is recovering nicely.
  • Judd Howell presented Paul Harris awards; Ben Hill with this first Paul Harris, Kathleen Patterson, 4th Paul Harris
  • President Ben Hill asked all members to bring in two raffle items valued at $25 each. If you do not bring in raffle items, you will be charged $25 for each one. 
Raffle Winners: Judd Howell, Jordan Bentley, Wendell Laidley
Finemaster: Mike Thomas  " News Quiz"
Reported by Alan Galbraith
Boy Scout Presentation Day:
Our Club presented a check for $1,000 to Saint Helena Boy Scout Troop No. 1,  Scoutmaster John Dodge, in the presence of stars of Troop 1.
The Scouts treated us to a slide show of recent adventures, which included rafting on the Russian River (flowing well this year), touring desert (including Indian) sites in the southwest, and hiking in the Mount Lassen area. Rafting on the Eel River is next on the list. Our Club contribution helps in underwriting the expense of these trips. The Scoutmaster stressed that our Troop No. 1, much more than other Troops, undertakes field trips – real scouting. He also briefed on how Troop No. 1 came to be identified as “Troop No. 1”, and the tenacious effort to hold onto this most favored number in the face of edicts from above.
Thought of the Day:
Wendell Laidley, with a quotation from John Kenneth Galbraith, taken from his book, The Age of Uncertainty: “People of privilege will always risk their complete destruction rather than surrender any material part of their advantage. Intellectual myopia, often called stupidity, is no doubt a reason. But the privileged also feel that their privileges, however egregious they may seem to others, are asolemn, basic, God-given right. The sensitivity of the poor to injustice is a trivial thing compared to that of the rich.”
Jobs on May 30:
  • Setup: Andy Bartlett
  • Greeter: Joice Beatty
  • Thought of the Day: Donn Black
  • Raffle: Joice Jordan Bentley
  • Finemaster: Dave Brotemarkle
  • Takedown: Steve Carbone
  • Virgil Morris, health care administrator, guest of Ben Hill
  • Brad Morgan (son), guest of Jack Morgan
Wedding Anniversary: Judd Howell
Birthdays: Jordan Bently, Natalie Krug

Announcements:  Joice Beatty requested contributions to fund fully Jennifer Lamb’s $5,000 matching grant offer.
Raffle: Jack Neal (no black marble!), and Judd Howell

Special Note: The luncheon was held at the Calvary Church, 2322 Spring Street, Saint Helena

Reporter Jack Morgan

Speaker:  Steven Taplin told the history of the Taplin Family in the Napa Valley

Guests:  Antonia Allegra wife of Donn Black

Duties for May 16: Meet at Signi di Dolci at 5:30  No host bar and food

Birthdays: Polly Keegan, Wendell Laidley, John Sales all May 14, Don Thomas May 15, Jordan Bentley May 20


  • Wedding:  Diane Dillon 31 yrs, Jim Smith 20 years
  • Club Anniversaries:  Jim Smith 11 years today, Wendell Laidley 14 years
Bellringers:  Jack Morgan for not getting report on last weeks meeting written up. 

Reporter: Cindy Warren

Speaker: Judd Howell, "Eagle Pate" Altamonte Pass, wind Energy and Birds.

Wildlife ecologist, Judd Howell gave us a history of the wind project in the Altamonte Pass. The pass, next to the Lawrence Livermore lab, was chosen as a place to experiment with wind and the generation of energy. Unfortunately, the area is the perfect area for ground squirrels and a foraging habitat for birds. The area has one of the largest nesting areas for eagles in the world. 

Judd has been involved in studies and experiments to protect the raptors since the 1990's. Experiments have included painting the blades, perching studies, video surveillance and the redesign of towers. Even thought the turbines have been redesigned, the problems still exist. 

Guests: Toby DeVore, guest of Dave Moreland

Duties for next week- May 2

  • Set-up: Ron Magowan
  • Greet: Justin Meyer
  • Raffle: Norm Mitroff
  • Thought for the Day: Dave Moreland
  • Finemaster: Jack Morgan 
  • Take down: John Muhlner

Raffle Winners: Jack Neal, Mike Thomas, John Sales


  • Our exchange student went home due to the death of her grandmother. She will return to St Helena in a few weeks. She will be in St. Helena until July 11. We encourage all Rotarians to consider inviting her for a meal or outing.
  • We received a nice thank you from the Cameo for our $5,000 donation. 
  • Joice Beatty updated us on the Foundation meeting. We will join with the Napa Rotary Club and install a Veterans Highway, sponsored by the Rotary Clubs. $1,000 was approved for the project.
  • $1,000 was donated to the Boy Scouts
  • Ben Hill announced a Nursing Scholarship, sponsored by St. Helena Hospital volunteers. The scholarship will be available to St. Helena, Calistoga and PUC Prep seniors. The fund will start with $10,000.
  • Joice Beatty said the Medicine disposal box is at the St. Helena Police Dept. 
  • Margo Kennedy said we will recognize our liaison for the Kenya Water Project with a plaque.


  • Norm Mitroff returned from Seville and Morocco where he took cooking lessons. 
  • Judd Howell has a new grandson. 
  • Wendell Laidley closed on the final part of the sale of his business. 

Christine Hayne recognized our newest Paul Harris recipients. Margo Kennedy- 3rd time, Cynthia Kee- 1st, Paul Dean, 3rd.


Reporter: Cindy Warren

Program: "Bandits, Bars and Bordellos", Rianda House Readers Theater

A cast of locals gave us a lively history of the Napa Valley in the late 1800's. We learned about Sherif Brawley and his quest to halt the ornery highwaymen who robbed the stage coach express boxes. We learned that Black Bart roamed the valley for 8years- on foot!

St. Helena had six saloons, more than the numbers of churches. Saloonkeeper  Don Black, gave us some tales of drunkenness and fights. There were local "Pleasure Houses" in St. Helena and Napa. Ma Krueger's Joy House "Stonebridge House" was above the Silverado Trail at Pope Street. The house of ill repute was named after the stone bridge on Pope Street. Mae Howard, played by Toni Allegra, was the proprietress of a first class House of Pleasure in Napa.

Guests: Jennifer Muhlner (John Muhlner), Sara Ebersole (Steve Ebersole)

Birthdays: Joice Beatty

Wedding Anniversaries: Alan Galbraith, 48 years. Don Black, 21 years

Club Anniversary: John Muhlner, 10 years


  • April 18th meeting will be at 5:00 pm at Rianda House. Dr. Stephen Banks will speak about the new prostate diagnostic equipment at St. Helena Hospital. The Oddfellows and Kiwanians are also invited. Wine and food will be served. Please feel free to bring a bottle of wine or an appetizer to share. 
  • Sara Ebersole, Rotex Treasurer told us about the Rot-ex weekend in Sacramento for rebound exchange students. 
  • Don Thomas said Michael Layne has been in the hospital for 2 weeks. Update: We received word that Michael passed away. Details to follow.

Raffle Winners: Don Thomas, Jim Smith, John Muhlner

Club Duties for April 25:

  • Set-up: Matt Endriss
  • Greet: Alan Galbraith
  • Raffle: Dick Gourley
  • Finemaster: Christine Hayne
  • Thought for the Day: Orville Hammer
  • Take down: Ben Hill

Finemaster:  Steve Ebersole " Word Definitions"

Bellringers:  Joice Beatty won the Mah Jong tournament at Rianda House last Friday. 

Reported by Alan Galbraith
Speakers of the Day
We were treated to two craft talks.  Ben Hill led off.  He linked his current position (Director of Volunteers) at the Saint Helena Hospital with his parents’ strong dedication to volunteerism.  He described in some detail the origin of the Hospital in the volunteerism of William Pratt (land contribution), Asa Atwood (monetary contribution), and Dr. Kellog (1000 volunteer hours).   Ben is privileged in his current position to honor the spirit of these early volunteers.  Jim Smith followed.  He moved to St. Helena in 1964, at age 11.  His father, a business associate of James Warren (real estate), in time developed a significant client base.  But lodging was in short supply.  This led to the development of The Wine Country Inn, a family affair, which Jim would end up managing for 40 years.  He would find his real passion – in writing, with two books to his credit, one about his 40 years as an innkeeper and the other a novel about spiritual healing.
Thought of the Day: Mike Thomas, with two, but only one fit to print: Tom Lehrer:  “Life is like a sewer – what you get out of it depends on what you put into it.”
Next Week (April 7):
  • Setup: Gene Armstead
  • Greeter: Andy Bartlett
  • Thought of the Day: Jordan Bentley
  • Raffle: Joice Beatty
  • Finemaster: Donn Black
  • Takedown: Dave Brotemarkle
Visiting Rotarian:  Kathi Polacheck (from Donora, Pennsylvania)
  • Donna Morgan, wife of Jack Morgan
  • Rick Stein, guest of Justin Meyer
  • Petra Domenghina, guest of Kathi Polacheck
Exchange Student:  Julie Dewattine (Belgium)
Club Anniversary: Tim Doran (32 years).
Birthday:  Justin Meyer
  • Club President Jim Smith urged strong Club participation in the Interact Club’s Food Drive, which ends April 12.
  • The Club President further announced that the luncheon in memory of Jim Wright would be at noon at Aetna Springs.
  • The Club President advised that there would be no speaker next week, with the Club luncheon focused on vision, membership, and budget.
  • Roxann Schaubhut advised that she needs to know who will attend and also who will not attend the Kentucky Derby event.  She also sought hard liquor donations (in unopened bottles).
  • Jordan Bentley urged Club members to host exchange students this fall.      
Bell Ringers:
  • Andy Bartlett, in connection with a new car purchase
  • Mike Thomas, in appreciation (again) for his recent 20-day Caribbean cruise vacation.
Raffle:  Judd Howell  (no black marble!), Tim Doran and Kelly Crane
Finemaster:  Joel Toller, with Club members as his theme:  E.g., how many grandchildren does Norm Mitroff have (four)?  When did Joice Beatty move to the Napa Valley (1977)?  How many states has Amy Zuniga lived in (two)?
Reported by Alan Galbraith
Speakers of the Day:
Napa County Regional Parks and Open Space Director Brent Randol, introduced by Donn Black with the usual vigor.  Mr. Randol is the County District 3 director (Saint Helena and surrounding area), appointed by Supervisor Diane Dillon.  He joined the Board in 2015.  In his talk he reviewed the mission of the District, distinguishing it from the Land Trust.  Specifically, the District acquires and manages open space, and works to ensure public access to its properties.  The Land Trust, by contrast, acquires easements to preserve private property (though it also owns some property too).   There is typically no public access to easement properties.   With the aid of a slide Mr. Randol reviewed the various open space properties owned by the District.  Of close-by note, the District operates Bothe State Park under a 25-year lease from the State.  He discussed in some detail the recent improvements made by the District since it has been the lessee.   Mr. Randol ticked off the special natural features of the several sites owned by the District.  He then reviewed the several significant acquisition projects that are underway.
As for finances, the District today receives an $800,000 per year from the County.  It supplements this revenue source with fees, donations, and grants.  The District had hoped for an assured revenue stream from Measure Z (a quarter cent County wide sales tax) but Measure Z fell just short of the two-thirds vote needed for passage.  All cities but Napa supported Measure Z with more than a two-thirds vote.  Mr. Randol advised that no decision had been made to place a tax measure on the 2018 ballot.  In closing, Mr. Randol urged all of us “to get involved” – whether through attending events, working on trails, or donations.  He stressed the importance of the District’s website,
Thought of the Day: Warren Warner, substituting for Jack Neal, found this Irish poem shortly before our luncheon:
        Here’s to a long life and merry one.
        A quick death and an easy one.
        A pretty girl and an honest one.
        A cold beer and another one!                                  .
Next Week (March 28):
  • Setup: Alyssa Samrick
  • Greeter: Roxann Schaubhut
  • Thought of the Day: Mike Thomas
  • Raffle: Don Thomas
  • Finemaster: Joel Toller
  • Takedown: Cindy Warren
Visiting Rotarian:  Kathi Polacheck (with husband Bill), from Domer, Pennsylvania
Club Anniversary:  Jordan Bentley (two years).
  • David Brotemarkle announced that the celebration of Jim Wright’s life, commending with a golf tournament, would take place on April 1. 
  • Steven Ebersole advised that the Rotary District meeting is set for April 1.
  • John Muhlner advised that the Rotary Club meeting on April 18 would be held at Rianda House at 5:00 p.m.  The speaker is Dr. Stephen Banks, a radiation oncologist specializing in prostate cancer treatment
  • Roxanne Schaubhut requested that members take postcards for mailing to friends for the Kentucky Derby Day fundraiser (May 6).
Bell Ringers:
  • Jack Morgan, in appreciation for a program in Salt Lake City by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
  • Mike Thomas, in appreciation for his recent 20-day Caribbean cruise vacation.
  • Gene Armstead, in promotion of an April 8 fundraiser for the Yountville Theater (at the Theater).
Raffle:  Judd Howell  (black marble!)Gene Armstead and Tim Doran
Finemaster: John Muhlner, with March madness as his timely topic:  E.g., When and in what state did March madness begin (1939 in Illinois); How many teams participate today (64) (Michele Neumann was the unfortunate target of this question; not surprisingly, she was unaware of “March madness”); what team has been the most successful over the past 60 years (UCLA).
Reported by Alan Galbraith
Speaker of the Day:  Kris Calvin, introduced by Donn Black with his usual vigor.  Ms. Calvin is the CEO of the American Academy of Pediatricians.  The title of her talk was “Social Activism and Creativity: Two Pillars of a Meaningful Life.”  Her message on social activism (helping others) was to prioritize: no more than three advocacy issues, and ‘stretch” to make a difference with respect to them.  The issues can, of course, change.  A major benefit is the ability to deflect requests for other involvement to preserve time and effort for priorities.  The main thrust of her talk was on personal creativity: doing something for oneself; in her case her personal voyage that led to the publication of her well-received first novel, “One Murder More.”   Her advice: try something that appeals to your creative self, pursue it for a period of time, and if it does not work out, try something else “that gets to you.”  It could change your attitude toward life.
Thought of the Day:  Norm Mitroff, with St. Patrick’s Day on his mind: “There are two kinds of people: the Irish and those who wish they were Irish.”
Exchange Student: Julie Dewattine (Belgium) 
Birthday:  Helen Hendrick
Club Anniversaries:  Helen Hendrick (three years), Cynthia Kee (eight years)              
Next Week:
  • Setup: Bryan Remer
  • Greeter: Kathleen Patterson
  • Thought of the Day: Jack Neal
  • Raffle: Michele Neumann
  • Finemaster: John Muhlner
  • Takedown: John Sales
  • Club President Jim Smith reported on the Board meeting: (1) the Board was directing preparation of a manual that summarizes Club functions; (2) the Board is addressing budget challenges, and will report to the membership; (3) the Board is discussing quarterly rather than monthly billing; the Board will likely recommend corporate membership, which would require a bylaw change.
  • The Club President demonstrated and touted the fully stocked Earthquake Kit ($150).
  • The Club President further reported that Jon Hollister has moved his practice to Napa, and has resigned from the Club.  He also reported that Charlotte Williamson resigned but will rejoin once she overcomes a significant health issue.
  • He circulated a card for all to sign.
  • David Brotemarkle circulated a flyer announcing three Kith & Kin events at three different venues on March 16 (Silo’s in Napa from 7-10 pm), March 17 (Calistoga Inn in Calistoga from 6 to 9 pm) and March 18 (Murphy’s Pub in Sonoma from 8-10 pm).
  • Roxanne Schaubhut will shortly circulate to all members an announcement pertaining to the Club’s Kentucky Derby event.  The beneficiary is PreSchool for all.  She noted that last year the event funded three full scholarships ($4,000 each).
Bell Ringer:  Margo Kennedy, in appreciation for her recent trip to New Zealand
Raffle: Julie Dewatttine (no black marble), Jack Neal and David Brotemarkle
Finemaster: Ben Hill, with an equine theme.  E.g., a colt of filly is less than five years of age; how many inches make up a hand (4 inches); Napoleon’s horse Marengo outlived Napoleon by eight years.

Reporter: Cindy Warren

Program:  Bruce Johnston, "Napa Silverado Minor League Baseball"

Bruce is interested in starting a professional baseball team  in the Napa Valley. Part of the independent, Pacific Assoc. of Professional Baseball Club, the Silverados will provide local families with an affordable, safe  and exciting summer activity while boosting the visibility of local businesses and supporting local non-profit groups.  He is in the process of lining up the Napa Valley College baseball field as the venue. 

Bruce is looking for sponsors and charity partnerships to make this happen, and has a deadline of June 2107  to see if he has the support of our Napa Valley community. If the idea is supported, he would open the season on June 1, 2018 and Napa Valley College. 

For additional information please visit or contact Bruce directly at

Guests: Doug Ernst, Dave Greene, guest of Steve Ebersole

Birthdays: Orville Hammer, Steve Yost

Club Anniversary: Steve Ebersole (13 years), Jon Hollister (5 years)

Wedding Anniversary: Steve Ebersole (27  years)

Rotary Assignments for March 14:

  • Set-up: Wendell Laidley
  • Greet: Ron Magowan
  • Raffle: Justin Meyer
  • Thought for the Day: Norm Mitroff
  • Finemaster: Dave Moreland
  • Breakdown: Jack Morgan


  • Bryan Remer said Orville Hammer is back home and recovering.
  • Ben Hill presented  the new banner for 2017-2018, which he received at the Rotary  PETS (Pres. Elect Training) conference.
  • Roxanne Schaubhut handed out postcard for our Kentucky Derby event on May 6, from 1-5. Roxanne would like to know who stored the Bourbon from last year!
  • Jim Smith said budget challenges exist and will be discussed at next week's board meeting.

Raffle Winners: Judd Howell, Bryan Remer, Cindy Warren

Bellringers: Kelly Crane suggested to Ben Hill that PETS means "Pass Everything to Secretary!"

Finemaster: Joice Beatty quizzed us on upcoming Rotary events

Upcoming events are:

  • April 1, Golf Tournament at Aetna Springs in honor of Jim Wright. 
  • April 18, a night meeting where we will learn about the Prostate machine we are helping to fund at St. Helena Hospital.
  • May 6, Kentucky Derby event
Reported by Alan Galbraith
Speaker of the Day:  Pam Simpson, President and CEO, Saint Helena Chamber of Commerce, introduced by Donn Black, noting that Pam is a familiar face and persona around our fair Village since joining the Chamber in 2011.  The subject of Pam’s talk was the Chamber’s current effort to move forward with a PBID – a Property-based Business Improvement District.  The self-assessment district would extend from Freemark Abbey in the north, Whitehall Lane Winery to the sought, and Meadowood to the east.   Commercial properties, not residential properties, would be subject to assessment, with the assessment calculated on street frontage and square footage.  Residential properties are not included.  City property would be included in the self-assessment district (about $93,000 annually).  The assessment would be added to property bills.
The PBID board would govern the PBID.  The board would be composed largely of property owners (two from each of four zones), but also including a member of the City Council.  The Board must follow Brown Act (government transparency) rules.  The annual budget of the PBID would be about $900,000, with the Chamber, providing the staffing.  The PBID Board would decide upon the projects to be undertaken.  These projects would supplement City projects, not replace them.   Projects could include beautification projects, welcome and directional signs, landscaping, and walkability improvements. The PBID Board would report annually to the City Council.  The PBID would expire in five years unless renewed.  The PBID should provide stable funding for improvements.  This could be especially beneficial if there is an economic downturn.  Assuming timely forward movement with the procedural steps necessary to form the PBID, it should be in place starting January 1, 2018.
Thought of the Day:  Norm Mitroff, in instant formulation (as he was not the Thought-of-the Day designee): (1) “Some listen to formulate a reply.  One should listen to understand.”  (2) “Some people are like clouds.  When they leave, it is a sunny day.”
Amy Zuniga Induction: John Muhlner led the induction ceremony, presenting the Reverend Amy Zuniga with a Certificate of Membership, a pin, and a red badge.  He then called upon Amy for a few words about her background.  Amy grew up in Visalia in a family of priests.  Her father was a Rotarian.  She went to UC Davis, worked in affordable housing upon graduation, but then felt the calling.   She attended Yale Divinity School, marrying in her third year.  She received a one-year Fulbright Scholarship to work in E. Salvador, and stayed three years.  Having started a family (now three children), she returned to her husband’s hometown of Hollister, staying eight years.  With family roots in the Napa Valley, she could not resist the opportunity to become the rector of Grace Episcopal Church.  She joined Rotary because of its community service opportunities.
Birthday:  Dick Gourley (February 15).
Club Anniversary:  Joel Toller                           
Next Week (February 28)
            Setup: DeWitt Garlock
            Greeter: Dick Gourley
            Raffle: Orville Hammer
            Thought of the Day: Christine Hayne
            Finemaster: Ben Hill
            Takedown: Helen Hendrick
  • Norm Mitroff: (1) Raffle drawing next week; (2) $5,000 Cameo contribution presentation with Rotary receiving a star at the theater. 
  • Bryan Remer:  Mike Lane and Orville Hammer, both hospitalized, are now back home.
  • Roxanne Schaubhut announced that the Kentucky Derby fundraiser is set for May 6.  It benefits Saint Helena Pre-School for All.
Bell Ringer: Judd Howell, with two rings: (1) in gratitude of his wife’s successful replacement knee surgery and (2) in appreciation of receipt of a letter on behalf of the Coast Guard Commandant conferring the Arctic Service Medal on him.
Raffle:  Jack Neal (no black marble), Amy Zuniga and Alan Galbraith
Finemaster:  Matt Endriss, starting off with a grapefruit and a cactus pulled from a bag, with the question, what do they represent?  He called upon Roxanne Schaubhut, but, in an act of surpassing generosity, allowed her to choose two in attendance to aid her.  She chose Judd Howell and, more importantly, Kelly Crane.   Kelly immediately recognized that the symbols represent the spring major league baseball leagues in Florida and Arizona.   Matt followed up with cleaver questions about the leagues: what is the team strength of each league (each has 15), which team plays closest to its major league stadium (the Arizona Diamondbacks), what is the overall attendance, and how much is grossed.  Matt raised some good money for the Club. 

Reported by Alan Galbraith
Speakers of the Day:
            Napa County Poet Laureate Dr. Becklee Wilson, introduced by Donn Black with his usual flair.  Dr. Wilson is a widely published poet.  Her most recent volume, Reflections, is a highly recommended read.   The Poet Laureate is an appointee of the County Board of Supervisors.  It is a two-year position.  As Poet Laureate, Dr. Wilson not just attends many functions but also prepares poems for them.  For example, millers from around the country gathered recently at Bale Grist Mill.  Dr. Wilson read the charming poem that she prepared for the occasion.  As came through in the poem, she engages in careful research, which then inspires her poetic composition.   Dr. Wilson treated us to a number of her poems, to enthusiastic applause.
Thought of the Day:  Ted Bystrowski, quoting Lucky Angelidis of Pennsyvania: “Your heart is your engine, literally and figuratively; it keeps you going in good times and bad.  It is where love springs from.” 
Interact Club:  The officers of this year’s Interact Club, along with their faculty advisor, attended the luncheon.  They introduced themselves and the Club president reviewed the Club’s many activities.  The Club has 30 members, an impressive number.
Exchange Student: Julie Dewattine (Belgium)
Valentine Day Guests:
  • Antonia Allegra, wife of Donn Black
  • Ann Thomas, wife of Mike Thomas
  • Leslie Moreland, wife of David Moreland
  • Sharon Ebersole, wife of Steve Ebersole
  • Joanne Sales, wife of John Sales
  • Inger Laidley, wife of Wendell Laidley
Guests: John Wilson, guest of Donn Black
Visiting Rotarians:
  • Cap Lyons, from Oakland (with continuous Rotary attendance since 1964)
  • Kathi Polacheck (with husband Bill), from Domer, Pennsylvania
Birthday:  Dick Gourley (February 15).
Club Anniversary: Justin Meyer (two years).                           .
Next Week:
  • Setup: Wendell Dinwiddie
  • Greeter: Tim Doran
  • Thought of the Day: Rod Ellison
  • Raffle: Steve Ebersole
  • Finemaster: Matt Endriss
  • Takedown: Alan Galbraith
Announcements:  Club President Jim Smith announced the passing of Club member Jim Wright.
Bell Ringer:  Kathleen Patterson, in honor of the completion of fundraising for the Hybrid Operating Room at Saint Helena Hospital.
  • Ted Bystrowski (no black marble)
  • Jack Morgan
  • John Wilson
  • Becklee Wilson
Finemaster:  Kelly Crane, with quotations appropriate for Valentine’s Day.  Respondents were asked to match the quotation with one of four possible authors.  E.g., “Love is the most important thing in the world, but baseball is pretty good too (Yogi Berra).”  “The best thing to hold onto in life is each other (Audrey Hepburn).”  “I would rather have roses on my table than diamonds on my neck (Emma Goldman).”  “All you need is love but a little chocolate does not hurt (Charles Schultz).”

Reported by Christine Hayne

Speaker of the Day:

Donn Black introduced Taylor Bartolucci and Barry Martin the co-founders of Lucky Penny Productions, is the product of a dream shared by two people - one a fourth-generation Napa native, the other a midwestern expatriate. Taylor Bartolucci (the native) and Barry Martin (the expat) met in late 2008 and discovered they had much in common in their love for live theatre, and soon fell to talking about creating their own theatre company. A few weeks later an opportunity presented itself, and Lucky Penny Productions was born. Operating as a for-profit business at first, Lucky Penny transitioned to 501c3 non-profit status in 2012 with governance by an all-volunteer Board of Directors. After producing in various venues for six years, the Lucky Penny Community Arts Center opened in January 2015 as the company's new home for teaching, rehearsal and performance. Lucky Penny operates under the Actors' Equity MBAT Tier 2 agreement. The upcoming shows can be found on their website luckypennyproductions,com.


Thought of the Day: Mike Thomas 


Visiting Rotarians:

Richard Hyde now working as a minister in Maine

Gary Lieberstein former District Attorney, Rotarian at Napa Sunrise

Kathy Polachek visiting from Pennsylvania until May



    •    Gary Lieberstein announced that his retirement party will be next Sunday February 12 at the Halls residence at 60 Auberge Rd from 2-4:30.  All donations will be to benefit the Family Justice Center in Napa.

    •    Norm Mitroff has about 25 raffle tickets left ($20 each) and announced that the drawing will take place in two weeks.

    •    Joice Beatty reminded us that next weeks will be Valentine’s Day and our poet laureate Beklee Wilson will read some of her poems.

  •     Ben Hill announced that we still need some write-ups for the various causes that we contribute to.


Birthdays and AnniversariesAndy Bartlett celebrates his birthday and Judd Howell has a Club Anniversary       

Finemaster: Joice Beatty provided questions regarding the US Presidents in honor of President’s Day.  David Brotemarkle, Steve Ebersole, Jim Smith, Wendell Laidley, Brian Remer and John Sales were all stumped.  Our Historian Richard Hyde provided the right answer.  

Bell Ringer: Ben Hill, $25 for Jack Neal’s Paul Harris since he received the first check for the St Helena Hospital’s Golf Tournament which will be held June 23. 


Raffle:  Our Speaker Taylor Bartolucci, Jack Neal and Richard Hyde were the lucky winners of the raffle but no black marble was drawn.


Next Weeks Duties:  Joice Beatty-setup, David Brotemarkle-greeter, Steve Carbone-Raffle, Ted Bystrowski-Thought, Kelly Crane-Finemaster, Wendell Dinwiddie-Takedown

Reported by Alan Galbraith
Speaker of the Day:
Diane Dillon, Honorary Club Member, past-Club President, and District 3 Supervisor, vigorously introduced by Donn Black, was our Speaker of the Day.  Supervisor Dillon came with a list of significant issues facing the County and invited discussion as she went through her items.   Water-related issues were prominent on her list – with the State finally getting serious about groundwater issues due to subsidence in the Central Valley.  She touched on Napa County watershed issues, especially the City of Napa’s concern over the potential impact of further development above Lake Hennessey on water quality.  She made mention of the Watershed and Oak Forest initiative, now on appeal, but noting that it would in any event resurface on the June 2018 ballot.   She also referenced the rains, observing that the Oxbow By-Pass in the City of Napa had performed just as designed, sparing the City from flooding from the Napa River.
Supervisor Dillon also discussed public concern over further vineyard development – and, at the same time, noting that only a small portion of County acreage remains open to further development under the current General Plan.  She discussed both the upside and the potential downside (especially grade crossing issues) of commuter service provided by the Wine Train.  She reviewed in some detail the County’s current policy on marijuana.  She also discussed her continuing involvement in Indian casino issues, though noting that was a “quiet time” with the change of administration.  She reaffirmed her commitment to evidence-based decision-making.
Thought for the Day:  Ben Hill, from Dave Barry: “I argue very well.  Ask any of my remaining friends.  I can win an argument on any topic, against any opponent.  People know this, and steer clear of me at parties.  Often, as a sign of their great respect they even don’t invite me.”
  • Amy Zuniga, pastor, Grace Episcopal Church, guest of John Muhlner
  • John West, in the mortgage business, guest of John Muhlner
  • Dave Greene, mortgage broker, guest of Steve Ebersole
Club Anniversaries:
  • Ben Hill (2 years)
  • Lester Hoel (6 years)
  • Mike Thomas (15 years)
  • Ron McGowan (44 years)
Next Week (January 24):
  • Setup: Norm Mitroff
  • Greeter: Dave Moreland
  • Raffle: John Muhlner
  • Thought of the Day: Jack Neal
  • Finemaster: Kathleen Patterson
  • Takedown: Bryan Remer
  • Club President Jim Smith and President-Elect Judd Howell advised that the January 31 meeting would be devoted to strategic planning, including the process for taking on and prioritizing service projects undertaken by the Club.  Materials will be circulated well in advance of the meeting for member review.
  • Polly Keegan, once again, urged members to sign up for Bookmark Napa Valley, a fundraiser benefitting the Saint Helena Public Library.  The event is set for January 29 at Krug Winery’s Carriage House.  It features successful authors who discuss their works.  For more information, go to
  • Norman Mitroff circulated a signup sheet to promote the sale of raffle tickets at the Cameo Theater and at Sunshine Foods.
Raffle:  Cynthia Kee (no black marble), Natalie Klug,  Judd Howell, Norm Mitroff
Finemaster:  Ron McGowan, with an assortment from history: e.g., what were the most popular baby names in 1900 (“John” and “Mary”); when did the Liberty Bell get its name (nineteenth century, as an abolitionist symbol); of several choices which was least owned in 1990 (compact disc player).

Reporter: Cindy Warren

Speaker: Jay Greene "Spanning the Golden Gate, the building of a great bridge"

Local historian, Jay Greene, gave us a wonderful history of the Golden Gate bridge. The arch design has been the essence of bridge building since Roman times. Since then, we have the bow bridge (Sydney), cantilever bridge and the suspension bridge (Bay Bridge).

The Golden Gate is a mile wide gap between San Francisco and Marin. Residents took ferries between the two counties. The bridge idea was conceptualized by Frank Doyle, Joseph Strauss, and Michael O'Shaughnessy. A 1923 bill was approved to get going on the bridge. Ten years of opposition and litigation stalled the project. A.P. Giannini (B. of A.) eventually underwrote the bonds and the project was back on. 

The design had to account for fog, wind and tides. The construction took less than 4 years and opened  on May 27, 1937. The cost of building the bridge was $35,000,000.

Guests: Jim Haslip, Inger Laidley, guests of Wendell Laidley. Claire Ebersole, outgoing exchange student, guest of Steve Ebersole

Visiting Rotarians: Kathy Polachek

Ben Hill filled in for President Jim Smith.

Birthdays: Dave Brotemarkle


  • Norm Mitroff needs Rotarians to help sell Rotary raffle tickets at the Cameo starting Friday  Jan.13th. We need to fill slots on Fri., Sat. and Sun. 3:00-4:00, 5:00-6:00 and 8:00-8:45
  • Justin Meyer needs volunteers to help with Interact breakfast cleanup next Friday, 1/20 from 8-9. Interact just finished their annual food drive and awards the class with the most donations a breakfast. 
  • John Sales passed out books about the historical history of St. Helena buildings. The St. Helena Historical Society received funding for these wonderful books. 
  • John Muhlner said Steve Yost is doing well and would like to attend our lunch. 
  • Jordan Bentley thanked everyone for supporting the Shelter Box program, which raised $715 from Rotarians. 

Raffle winners; Ted Bystroowski, Jim Haslip, Helen Hendrick 

Finemaster: Ben Hill quizzed us on "New Years R

Reported by Alan Galbraith
Speakers of the Day:  Our principal speaker of the day, enthusiastically introduced by Donn Black, was Melody Fuller, organizer of the Oakland Wine Festival, followed by her friend and winemaker Tom Rinaldi (many years with Duckhorn Vineyards).  Ms. Fuller described the thinking behind the Oakland Wine Festival, now headed into its third year (to be held at the Claremont Hotel in July).  Its goal is to enhance, educate, and bring people together “one sip at a time.”  At last year’s festival it showcased thirty varietals produced over a ten-year period.  The tastings are at small tables so that attendees, sitting with wine makers, talk with one another.   Attendees participate in blind tastings along with the professionals.  Mr. Rinaldi noted that the tastings occur in the mornings; afternoons are no good for tastings.  He especially liked the Oakland Festival because it provides great communication among winemakers and attendees – and the questions are good and sometimnes a challenge.   For those further interested, see
Thought for the Day: Judd Howell, with a quotation from Jane Howard: “Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family.  Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.”
Exchange Student:  Julie Dewattine (Belgium)
  • Antonia Allegra, wife of Donn Black
  • Claire Ebersole, guest of (and host sister to) Julie Dewattine           
Birthday:  Rod Ellison (December 31).
Wedding Anniversary:  Ben Hill (January 7).                                   .
Next Week: (January 10)
            Setup: Alan Galbraith (Mike Thomas)
            Greeter: Orville Hammer
            Thought of the Day: Helen Hendrick
            Raffle: Christine Hayne
            Finemaster: Ben Hill
            Takedown: Matt Endriss
  • Presiding Officer Judd Howell stressed the importance of new membership, and especially younger new membership (under 55).
  • Polly Keegan urged members to sign up for Bookmark Napa Valley, a fundraiser benefitting the Saint Helena Public Library.  The event is set for January 29 at Krug Winery’s Carriage House.  It features successful authors who discuss their works.  For more information, go to
  • Joice Beatty reported on several items:
    • She advised that the service for MarthaMarnie” Cunningham would be on Saturday, January 21 (2:00 p.m. at Native Son’s Hall).
    • She reported on Saint Helena Rotarian Jim Wright, circulating a card for all to sign.
    • She called upon Orville Hammer to report on Steve Yost’s progress.
    • She sought contributions for the Napa State Hospital Christmas fund, circulating red envelops for contributions.
  • Norman Mitroff advised that he was working with the Cameo Theater to sell the remaining raffle tickets.
Special Announcement:  Jordan Bentley advised that our exchange student, Julie Dewattine, had selected a Rotary International project – namely providing the $1,000 funding for a Shelter Box – as her own personal project.   Julie hopes to raise the $1,000 in the next two months.  Julie described purpose and content of a Shelter Box, and circulated a descriptive photograph.
Raffle:  David Brotemarkle (no black marble), Cindy Warren and Alan Galbraith
Finemaster:  David Moreland, asking called upon members to identify the 10 most significant events that Americans in a Pew Research survey had identified as the most significant in their lifetimes.  These included: the September 11 attacks, president Obama’s election, the tech revolution, the JFK assassination, the Vietnam War, the Iraq/Afghanistan wars, the Moon landing, fall of the Berlin War, and Gay marriage.  Interestingly, those surveyed were, almost certainly, younger on average than our membership.  For example, John Sales offered December 7, 1941 but the Pearl Harbor attack did not make the survey list.  Indeed, the survey results show differing selections and rankings among different age, racial, and ethnic groups. The finemaster went by the overall selections.

Reporter: Cindy Warren

Program: Arnold Kunst "The Wit and Wisdom of Abraham Lincoln"

Arnold Kunst became interested in Abraham Lincoln when he realized that the young men he had been teaching in the prisons, were hungering for role models. He turned them on to Lincoln, and in the process became an expert on the 16th President. Arnold returned to share more stories about one of our favorite presidents. 

Lincoln had a tough childhood and suffered from chronic depression all his life. To combat the depression, he used humor. Lincoln was an ambitious man who wanted to rise above his humble past and circumstances. He had a long career as a lawyer. He aspired to the Senate, and lost three times. Lincoln was a resourceful man who dealt with others fairly and honestly and ultimately became one of our greatest presidents.  

Guests: Jeff Warren guest of Cindy Warren

Wedding Anniversary: Mike Thomas, 47 years


  • Steve Atherton passed away after a long struggle with heart and stroke issues. There are no details about a service. 
  • We will meet next Tuesday, Dec. 20th. and be dark on Dec. 27th. 
  • Helen Hendrick told us Steve Yost is making progress and his spirits are better.
  • Mike Thomas said today's dessert is courtesy of Jim and Lee Meehan. 
  • Charlotte Williamson broke her foot again and is holed up at home. I'm sure she'd love some help or company. 
  • The Rotary Board is making progress on the Club budget
  • Jim Smith has invited all rotarians for a "think session" on our club priority list and how to present it to our members. Please join Jim and others this Friday, Dec. 16 at Himalayan Sherpa Kitchen at 12:30.
  • Norm Mitroff said we've sold 220 out of 500 Rotary raffle tickets.  Volunteers are needed to sell tickets at Sunshine and the Cameo. 

Raffle Winners: Dave Brotemarkle, Jack Neal and speaker Arnold Kunst

Finemaster: Dave Brotemarkle was a last minute fill-in and stumped us with random trivia. 


  • Jim Smith is headed to Bangkok for a month of massages and trouble!
  • Jordan Bentley has a new nephew thanks to her brother Ross and his wife. 
  • Ben Hill's granddaughter turned 2 and another grandchild is on the way.
  • Alan Galbraith informed us he received more votes than anyone else in the last election. 
  • Gene Armstead announced the Messiah performances at the new high school Performing Center. Dec. 17 and 18th. Tickets are available at Napa Coffee Roasting Co. in St. Helena
Reported by Alan Galbraith
Speakers of the Day: St. Helena Historical Society
Our speakers of the day were three spokespersons from the St. Helena Historical Society, Bonnie Thoreen, Sue Wood Clark, and Susanne Salvestrin, introduced by Donn Black.  Ms. Thoreen led off, explaining that Ms. Clark was just finishing up on a new SHHS publication, a booklet nearly a year in the making about landmarks in and around St. Helena, especially historic buildings, with photos of “then” and “now,” as well as descriptive tidbits.  The booklet will be free and replaces the current Walking Tour brochure.  Ms. Clark then treated us to a slide show featuring some of the landmarks in the booklet.  Ms. Salvestrin rounded out the program by stressing her dream for a SHHS building to house and display its expanding collection (now mostly in two trailers).  She then discussed the art fundraiser set for February 11, 2017, from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at The Gallery at Brasswood, 3111 Saint Helena Highway North.   The fundraiser will auction off paintings by local artists.  The paintings are their artistic renditions from photographs selected by SHHS from its collection.  Ms. Salvestrin encouraged all to view the link,, then clicking on Upcoming Event (History Becomes Art) and, of course, to attend the event.
Thought for the Day: Ted Bystrowski, quoting from Sir Winston Churchill, in memory of Stevenson Atherton, who much admired Churchill: “Success is not final, failure is not final; it the courage to continue that counts.”
Guest: Tony Allegra, wife of Donn Black
Duties (January 3, 2017):
            Setup: Paul Dean
            Greeter: Wendell Dinwiddie
            Raffle: Tim Doran
            Thought of the Day: Steve Ebersole
            Finemaster: Rod Ellison
            Takedown: Matt Endriss
Birthday: Rod Ellison (December 31)
Wedding Anniversary: Jack Neal (53 years)
Club Anniversary: Bryan Remer (4 years)
Paul Harris Recognitions:
  • Alan Galbraith - 2nd award
  • John Sales - 3rd award
  • Chef Extraordinaire Israel Perez will host a light breakfast, coffee, and donuts (free of charge) at his restaurant, Saint Helena Bistro, 1146 Main Street, on December 26 from 8:00 a.m. to noon.
  • Joice Beatty made her annual plea for contributions for the holiday fund for patients at Napa State Hospital.
  • Helen Hendrick announced that Christmas ornaments not claimed at the Christmas party were available to any taker.
  • Judd Howell (presiding in place of Jim Smith) announced that the Club would be holding its next planning session on January 30 (no speaker that day).
Bell Ringers:
  • Judd Howell in appreciation that Joice Beatty took his place as Club President when he was unexpectedly called upon to return for seven months to his former position as Director of the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center.
  • Donn Black and Toni Allegra: Christmas gifts to their children awarded to the Saint Helena Rotary Foundation
  • John Sales (no black marble) (prize declined)
  • Ben Hill (prize declined)
  • Jack Neal
  • Jordan Bentley
  • Tony Allegra
Finemaster:  Steve Carbone, with respondents to choose between a Rotary-based question or an obscure miscellaneous question.  E.g., what small animal sleeps three years (a snail); what year did Niagara Falls freeze (1932); what is the only word with five vowels (indivisibility); what percentage of the world’s population has neither made nor received a phone call (50%); where is the place of this year’s Rotary Convention (Atlanta); where is the home of the International Rotary Club President (Chattanooga).   Showing no mercy, Steve raised significant money for the Club.
Reported by Jonathan Hollister
Speaker of the Day:  Retired Police Sergeant Carl Tennenbaum gave a talk on “The Failed War on Drugs” in which he describes how futile, ineffective and dangerous the entire war on drugs has been. Sergeant Tennenbaum began his law enforcement career in 1981 and spent 32 years as a street cop in San Francisco.  His first six years were spent walking a beat in the Tenderloin District, notorious for rampant addiction, drug dealing, prostitution, and street robberies.  In 1987 he was recruited into the narcotics unit, which needed to add 80 new officers in response to the then mounting crack epidemic.  During his time in that unit, Carl participated in hundreds of investigations and arrests, made many undercover buys, and secured and executed many search warrants.  From that time until his retirement in 2013 that he concluded that the war on drugs was failing our society and causing additional harm and costs to our community, including unnecessary deaths of suspects, bystanders and police officers themselves.
Visiting Rotarians: None
Guests: Angela Franceschi, National Center of Excellence Director for Clinical Documentation Improvement at Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI).
Birthdays: Hendrik Smedding
Wedding Anniversaries: None
Club Anniversaries: Joel Toller; Kathleen Patterson
  • Steve Yost is in a board and care facility in Napa recovering and club members are encouraged to visit him, but should call in advance.  Alyssa Samrick is willing to bring items for Steve Yost down in Napa if needed. 
  • Charlotte Williamson broke her foot and cannot drive her car.  Club members are encouraged to call or email her to see what she needs. 
  • President Jim Smith has formed an Ad Hoc committee to determine how to approach donations and gifting for the Polio Plus charity.
Raffle Winners: Alyssa Samrick, Judd Howell and Jack Neal
Finemaster: Mike Thomas quizzed the club on the ingredients and definitions of various cocktail drinks.  Alyssa Samrick, Tim Doran, and President Jim Smith all gave correct answers.  Gene Armstead, Ted Bystrowski, Helen Hendrick, John Mulhner, Roxanne Schaubhut, and Judd Howell all gave incorrect answers.
Reported by Alan Galbraith
Speaker of the Day
Our Speaker of the Day was Shari Gardner.  Introducer Donn Black reviewed her extensive background in major environmental matters, including the reintroduction of California Condors Santa Barbara County, her work on lake and reservoir fish populations, and her study of watersheds.   Ms. Gardner is the Executive Director and Education Director for Friends of the Napa River, a community nonprofit organization devoted to the restoration, protection, and celebration of the Napa River and its watershed.  The River itself is 54 miles long.  It is tidal to just north of the Trancas Street Bridge in Napa.
Ms. Gardner made note of the sorry condition of the River before Measure A (sales tax for flood control) nearly 20 years ago.  Measure A made available the local matching money for federal funds.  She talked at length about how it came about that various stakeholders, including the Army Corp of Engineers, worked together to restore the Napa River, as opposed to just flood mitigation.  The River is now on the rebound, as all can see and experience. 
Specifically, substantial floodplains have been established which, in turn, has led to a remarkable reintroduction of various wildlife – perhaps most notably the beaver.  She stressed that floodplain does not necessarily look attractive (e.g., the mudflats in the tidal portion of the River highly visible from the Third Street Bridge in Napa) but that they are an essential component in bringing the River back to life.  The River also contains a wide assortment of fish. Ms. Gardner also discussed the restoration work that has occurred UpValley (the Rutherford Reach) and the new work on the River between Yountville and Oak Knoll.  She encouraged walking down to the River on the path just north of Adams Street.  The beavers have moved in there too.
Thought for the Day:  Michele Neumann, quoting from Ashton: “True happiness is not made in getting something.  True happiness is becoming something.  This can be done by committing to lofty goals.  We cannot become something without commitment.”
Exchange Student:  Julie Dewattine (Belgium)
Guest:  Kathy Black, daughter of Donn Black
Visiting Rotarian: Franz Wortenweiller (North Napa Rotary Club and former District Governor)
Rotary Anniversary:  Norm Mitroff
Two Weeks (November 29):
  • Setup: John Sales
  • Greeter: Alyssa Samrick
  • Raffle: Roxanne Schaubhut
  • Thought of the Day: Don Thomas
  • Finemaster: Mike Thomas
  • Takedown: Joel Toller          
  • President Jim Smith as follows:
  1. He noted that the Club was “dark” on November 22 (Thanksgiving Week), December 6 (Holiday Party), and December 27.
  2. He noted that the Interact Club’s semi-annual Food Drive would be held at the Rotary luncheon on November 29.  He urged Club members to bring canned foods and packaged foods.
  3. He advised that the Foundation Board, following a presentation by the Saint Helena Police Department, would fund a tamper proof container for prescription drugs. The container will be located in the vicinity of the police station. He stressed that these drugs need to be disposed of properly and not through the City’s wastewater system, as the treatment plant cannot remove these contents from wastewater.
  • Norm Mitroff further promoted the sale of $20 raffle tickets (three prizes are $500, $200, and $100 Lotto Scratchers.  The drawing will be in the middle of December.
  • Helen Hendrick stated that the Holiday Party (December 6 at Merryvale Winery was open to all (not just Club members).
  • Cindy Warren advised that the Club was not asked this year to assist in placing wreaths on City lampposts Thanksgiving Morning (“Bloody Marys” at home).                                                                       
Raffle:  Bryan Remer (no black marble), Lester Hoel and Mike Thomas
Finemaster:  Kathleen  Patterson, with a focus on knowing your fellow Rotarian.   Kathleen’s modus operandi was to ask four or five Rotarians to stand, including the Rotarian who was the object of her inquiry.   Then she would ask others to identify the standee matching her descriptor.  E.g., “met his wife in Hong Kong” (Donn Black); “summited Mt. Whitney at 12” (Kelly Crane); “while in college was the booking officer for juvenile hall (Joice Beatty); “waitress in Black Forest” (Christine Hayne); “knocked down by a silverback gorilla in Rwanda” (Cindy Warren); “became a pilot before being a passenger on an airplane “ (Dave Brotemarkle); “grandmother to America on Lusitania” (Ben Hill); “hated novocaine so much as a child, he would allow the dentist to drill without it” (Jim Smith).   The responders did not fare well.   Kathleen assessed many fines. 

Reporter: Cindy Warren

Program: Ruy Y. Moreno, President of Rotary Cub Makati West, Manilla, Philippines.

There are 100,000,000 people in the Philippines and Rotary has a strong presence. Ruy's club has 110 active members (all men), with an average age of 47. The Makati Club has 28 International matched or sister clubs around the world. In conjunction with global grants, their club projects include:

  • Gift of Life- Open heart surgery performed in collaboration with Duke University, Mt. Sinai and Miller Hospital Group.
  • Artificial Limbs program-The club has sponsored over 1,000 limbs.
  • Cataract Surgery
  • Scholarships
  • Mass Wedding Program

Guests: Claudia Gambill, Roberta Oswald, Marge Jacobs- St. Helena Soroptimists. Shirley Dean, guest of Paul Dean.

Ben Hill acting for President Jim Smith.

Club Anniversary: Margo Kennedy


  • Rotary chores for Nov. 15:  
  1. Set-up: Jack Morgan
  2. Greet: John Muhlner
  3. Thought for the Day: Michelle Neumann
  4. Finemaster: Kathleen Patterson
  5. Raffle: Jack Neal
  6. Take-down: Bryan Remer
  • Margo Kennedy announced we just completed our 26th water tank project, 55 tanks in all. 
  • Joice Beatty said we accept the resignations of Michael Cleaver and Lester Hoel, who is moving to SF. 

Raffle winners: Margo Kennedy, Roberta Oswald, John Sales

Finemaster: Norm Mitroff quizzed us on "Government Quotes". Norm also took orders and handed out raffle tickets. The proceeds will benefit the Cameo Theater. $20/ ticket.

Bell Ringers:  Ben Hill donated $25 to Judd Howell's Paul Harris for his work collating the dot exercise, creating a spreadsheet and coordinating the dictionary project. 

Reported by Alan Galbraith
Special Club Meeting
            Club President Jim Smith called a special club meeting for the purpose of eliciting the frank views of Club members about whether to continue or reinstate support for various charities that the Club has supported over the years.   The context was limited financial resources and how best to allocate them with the best value to the community.  The names of sixteen charities and two Club activities were posted on white boards.   Under the firm hand of Ben Hill no more than two Club members spoke, often passionately, about each charity or activity.  Judd Howell provided each member with a card containing fifteen removable dots in three colors (red, yellow, blue).  Following the discussion, members then placed the dots (no more than 12 total, with red having the highest value, followed by yellow, and then blue) besides the name or names of the charities and/or activities most deserving of Club support.  The Club and Foundation Boards will evaluate this information as they move forward.
Thought for the Day:  Dick Gourley (in absentia): (1) Yogi Berra: “If you don’t know where you are going you might not get there.”  (2) Thomas Watson, Jr. (IBM Chairman): “Think.” (3) Steve Jobs (Apple CEO): “Think Different.”
Exchange Student: Julie Dewattine (Belgium)
Birthday:  Alyssa Samrick
Wedding Anniversaries: DeWitt and Shanti Garlock (41 years)
Club Anniversaries:
            Michael Layne (7 years)
           Ted Bystrowski (5 years)
Next Week:
            Setup: Ben Hill
            Greeter: DeWitt Garlock
            Raffle: Jon Hollister
            Thought of the Day: Judd Howell
            Finemaster: Cynthia Key
            Takedown: Polly Keegan
Announcements:  Club President Jim Smith reported on Steve Yost and circulated a get-well card.  He also reported that our speaker on November 8 would be the president of the Manila Rotary Club.
Reported by Alan Galbraith
Speaker of the Day
            Our Speaker of the Day was John Cox, introduced by Donn Black with his usual flair.   Mr. Cox titled his talk, “Can we change a Legislature captured by special interests.”  He promotes a radical change in current California legislative governance through “The Neighborhood Legislative Initiative,” a ballot initiative that he plans for 2018.  He perceives that current State Assembly and Senate Districts hold far too many people.  He would like a system where by each of the 80 Assembly Districts and 40 Senate Districts are divided into 100 sub-districts – which is about 5,000 persons per Assembly sub-district and 10,000 persons per Senate sub-district.   The 100 sub-districts would then choose a State Assembly or State Senate representative from among their number.   All sub district leaders would vote on each piece of state legislation.
            Mr. Cox maintains that such a structure would result in an issue-oriented meritocracy.  He perceives that large money in politics would be substantially eliminated, as the sub-districts are small enough to allow for true door-to-door campaigning.  As he sees it, such a system would open the door for all Californians to become legislators.   His closest analogy was the lower house of the New Hampshire legislature (400 representatives in a State with about 1.3 million residents.)  Mr. Cox acknowledged that his plan would face a hard fight from entrenched interests.
Thought for the Day:  Steve Ebersole with two thoughts: Mark Twain (The Adventures of Tom Sawyer): “The less there is to justify a traditional custom, the harder it is to get rid of it.”   Actress Tyra Banks: “Don’t make excuses, make improvements.”
Exchange Student:  Julie Dewattine (Belgium)
            Katherine Black, daughter of Donn Black
           Rev. Amy Zuniga, guest of Bryan Remer
            Eric Eisenhammer, aid to John Cox
Birthday:  Diane Dillon
Next Week:
            Setup: Alan Galbraith
            Greeter: Dewitt Garlock
            Thought of the Day: Dick Gourley
            Raffle: Orville Hammer
            Thought of the Day: Steve Yost
            Finemaster: Christine Hayne
            Takedown: Helen Hendrick
Announcements:  President Jim Smith advised that the Foundation had settled on an advanced machine for detection of prostate cancer as its fund-a-need for the golf tournament.  He also commented on the success of the Rotary booth at the Harvest Festival.  He stressed that next week was a special meeting as the past, current, and future Club presidents to pencil out the Club’s path in the next three years.
            Judd Howell (no black marble)
            Matt Endriss
            Mike Thomas
Finemaster: Rod Ellison, with sundry trivia: names of dueling Family Houses in Romeo and Juliet (Montague and Capulet); country of origin of Stella Artois Beer (Belgium); Hungarian name for pepper (paprika); what fruit flavors Creek Beer (cherry); what nuts used in marzipan (almonds); meaning of Pravda (“truth’); meaning of glasnost (“openness”)

Reported by Cindy Warren

Program: Candidates for St. Helena City Council

Sharon Crull has been on the Council for 8 years. She is a former Cal grad, an attorney and has lived here permanently since 2001. Her family owns The Terraces Winery and Vineyard and she is the only person on the Council in the wine industry. She believes in continuity and feels the current council is on the right track with an outside auditor, new finance director and a records management system.  


  • Promote economic sustainability. 
  • Complete the General Plan
  • Secure our water supply
  • Improve customer service and communications with community
  • Adams St : Favors a project to address financial needs

Geoff Ellsworth is a St. Helena native and artist. He has been involved in city politics for a long time. He feels the city needs to start using language the residents can understand, which will improve communications.


  • Fiscal oversight
  • Quality of life for residents
  • Protect small businesses
  • Water security. Partner with people who buy/use our water 
  • Pass Measure D- 1/2 cent sales tax.
  • Proceed with a Real Estate Transfer Tax
  • Tax large businesses
  • Adams St: Against it, wants open space.

Mary Koberstein spent most of her life in Evanston. IL. and later on in Wilmette, IL. She is an attorney and has a background in planning and zoning. She was a City Planner and later became a Real estate Transactional lawyer. 


  • Housing- work force, elder housing, affordable.
  • Citizen participation and engaged neighborhoods through better communication. 
  • Streamline City hall to make more effective
  • Study economic sustainability options
  • Adams St: Selling is a means to attain financial goals. Promotes more research on options, costs and benefits

Greg Pitts has been in St Helena for 15 years and has been on the City Council for 4 years. He was formerly on the Planning Commission and the General Plan committee. He works in hotel finance and is involved in coaching, scouting and raising his family.


  • Continue to build the solid operating platform that is in place now. 
  • Financial stability
  • Tertiary water project for water security
  • Promotes an in-fill housing model
  • Promotes Measure D-
  • Promotes Real Estate Transfer Tax 
  • Achieve economic stability by raising hotel rates on existing hotels.
  • Adams St: Look at all options- Open space, sell, etc.

Visiting Rotarians: Elizabeth Kroft-Anderson, Portland. Kathy Polachek

Ben Hill as acting President for Jim Smith

Announcements: Justin Meyer- Interact is selling t-shirts today for $20 each 

Reported by Christine Hayne
Speaker of the Day:
Our Speaker of the Day was Rich Jacobson, introduced by Donn Black.  Rich is a wealth management consultant with Jacobson Wealth Management and Insurance Services with offices in Napa and spoke about the recent changes to the Social Security system.  If no changes are made to the current system projections indicate that the system will be able to pay only 79% of the promised benefits.  For this reason a number of reforms have been suggested.  These include raising the retirement age, raising payroll taxes and revising the benefit formula in a number of different ways.  Most proposals call for reforms to be phased in over a long period of time and therefore should not affect baby boomers to an great degree.
Exchange Student:
Julie Dewattine (Belgium)
Antonia Allegra guest of Donn Black
David Caroll and his wife Betsy guest of Roxann Schaubhut
Richard Stein guest of Justin Meyer
Birthday:  Michele Neumann and Cindy Warren
Club Anniversary: Charlotte Williamson
Michael Layne still recovering and in the hospital
Rod Ellison is moving his office and still looking for appropriate space
Preschool For All sent us a thank you letter which was passed around          
Norm Mitroff, reminding of Rotary participation at Harvest Festival (Oct. 15)
Jim Smith, asking if anyone could take on the Dictionary project
Wendell Laidley, back from a three week vacation to Russia
Gene Armstead, questions about California.  Donn, Steve E., Ben, Christine, Justin, Mike Thomas, Jack, Helen and Joice were all put to the test.
Reported by Alan Galbraith
Speaker of the Day
Our Speaker of the Day was rebound exchange student Gabby Gomez, introduced by Jordan Bentley.  Gabby described her year with two families in Jonen, a small Swiss village (about 3,000) about 45 minutes outside of Zurich.   She began with an overview of the country – demographics, cantons, country governance structure, languages, and key foods -- including hot chestnuts at Christmas time.   She described the much different approach to education: instead of several subjects a day, each day is devoted to a particular subject (e.g., all-day German).  She especially remarked on the many friendships she made at school, and the importance to her of maintaining those friendships (through the internet).  She noted that there was a school vacation in each season, and also two weeks off for skiing.  The downside is a long school year.  She also described her European bus tour (with other exchange students) through major cities: Amsterdam, Berlin, Bratislava, Brussels, Paris, Prague, Venice, and Vienna.  She illustrated her well-organized talk with her photographs.  It came across that she had a truly great year, gaining significant proficiency in German and Swiss German too.  She was deeply appreciative of her Rotary sponsorship – and the Club expressed its appreciation for her recent thank you Rotary letter in the local papers.
Thought for the Day:
Roxanne Schaubhut, with a quotation from Oliver Wendell Holmes: “A mind once stretched by a new idea never returns to its original dimensions.”
Exchange Student
Julie Dewattine (Belgium)
Lia Bettinelli, guest of Jordan Bentley
Henry Gomez, father of the Speaker of the Day
Birthday:  Mike Thomas
Wedding Anniversaries:
John Sales (59)
Cindy Warren (36)
Next Week:
Setup: Warren Warner
Greeter: Cindy Warren
Raffle: Charlotte Williamson
Thought of the Day: Steve Yost
Takedown: Andy Bartlett
Norm Mitroff, reminding of Rotary participation at Harvest Festival (Oct. 15)
Ted Bystrowski, commenting on an informative Rotary membership seminar.
Alan Galbraith, seeking attendees at the Calistoga Hoedown, Saturday, April 8, at the Fairgrounds (an evening event).
Club President Jim Smith, acknowledging a letter in gratitude for our Club’s Christmas program support at Napa State Hospital.
Club President Jim Smith, seeking takers for hats and shirts in Rotary storage.
Cindy Warren read a short thank you letter from Rotary scholarship awardee Sophie Bunge.
Cindy Warren (no black marble)
Alan Galbraith
Jack Neal
Tim Doran, on terrorism activity in the early 1970s, with focus on Patty Hearst and the Symbionese Liberation Army.  Ms. Hearst was found in San Francisco; she served 18 months in jail; President Carter pardoned her.

Reporter: Cindy Warren

Program: "Rotarian Ancestry"

Judd Howell was able to trace his roots back to the Ashleys and the Culvers in the early Mass. days. Ancestor, George Heinselmen  fought many battles in the Civil War. Grandpa Davidson was a flight instructor and also taught at Carnegie Hall. The Howell side of the family has been in NJ since the 1600's.Judd found his ancestry  included Irish, English, Danish Scandinavian and the Iberian Peninsula. He then submitted samples to 23and Me and found he has strong Neanderthal markers. 

Joice Beatty, nee Joice Morrell, traced her family back to Ohio and then Winnemucca, NV. Her grandparents had a store in NV, C.B.Brown and Co. , which is still run by family. Joice's dad was in the Navy and went into insurance after his military retirement. The maternal side of Joice's family had an interesting past. Her grandmother was born in the Winter Palace in Russia. Her great-grandmother was a Lady in Waiting at the palace. Joyce's grandfather, J.K. Joice ( an American) left Russia with his bride, her grandmother, and moved to Canada to escape the deplorable conditions in Russia.   

Guests: Chuck Griffin, guest of Kathleen Patterson. Max Raymond, VP of the SHHS Interact Club

Birthdays: Brian Remer, Margo Kennedy

Club Anniversaries: Steve Yost, Andy Bartlett


  • Dave Brotemarkle presented us with a Rotary flag from the Victoria B.C.
  • Brian Remer updated us on Michael Layne. He's still in the hospital but improving.
  • Jim Smith filled us in on the board meeting. 
  • Natalie Klug will be extending her LOA.Any new membership ideas would be appreciated.
  • Duties next week:
  1. Set-up: Gene Armstead
  2. Greet: Christine Gorlick
  3. Raffle: Joice Beatty
  4. Though for the Day: Polly Keegan
  5. Finemaster: Matt Endriss
  6. Takedown: Helen Hendrick

Raffle Winners: Wendell Dinwiddie, Dave Brotemarkle, Charlotte Williamson

Finemaster: Jim Smith, filling in for Norm Mitroff,  "Culinary"


  • Judd Howell's daughter # 3 is getting married on Friday
  • Jack Morgan's daughter, Suzanne, was recognized by NVUSD as an outstanding teacher.
  • Jim Smith is having his first Rotary beer since retirement
Reported by Alan Galbraith
Speaker of the Day
5130 Rotary District Governor Wulff Reinhold, introduced by Assistant District Governor and past Napa Club President Karen Hunt.   The introduction noted that Governor Reinhold, a Rotarian since 2005 and now retired, spent 35 years as a public safety professional, including “on the line” as a police sergeant and fire captain.  He has held several leadership positions in Rotary and is a multiple Paul Harris Fellow.   
The District Governor covered a wide range of topics in his talk.   District 5130 covers the six northern California coastal counties, which includes five clubs in Napa County.  The Governor stressed that he works for the clubs and that the clubs are where “the rubber hits the road.”  He noted that the clubs (not individuals) collectively belong to Rotary International (“RI”) and that he is RI’s representative to the District 5130 region.   Overall, worldwide Rotary membership has remained static (about 1.2 million) for the last 20 years with declining membership in the United States – which, he noted, is also true for other service clubs too.
The District Governor then spent considerable time on the need to grow and especially reaching out to millennials (not generally joiners).    He sees opportunity through making broadly known the club’s past service record to the community.  He wondered if parents of Interact students understood that Rotary sponsored the program, and would that knowledge inspire membership from parents.  He stressed the importance of member engagement.  He also discussed at some length the refinement of Rotary branding, now in its third year.  Many do not associate the Rotary Wheel with Rotary; in the refinement the name “Rotary” is also added.
The District Governor reminded that this year was the 100th anniversary of Rotary, and urged attendance at the District Conference at the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe (May 12-14, 2017) and the Rotary Foundation Convention in Atlanta Georgia on June 10-14, 2017.  The District Governor discussed his strong commitment to “peace”: “Peace is the natural state of man; was the temporary repeal of reason and virtue.”   The District Governor concluded with a touching service story about aiding an elderly lady in her home (replacing light bulbs and fixing curtains), lighting up a dark interior and enabling her to enjoy the sun for the first time in five years.
Thought for the Day:
Paul Dean, on being mortal, by Atul Gawande (a Rotary District Governor): “How we seek to spend our time may depend on how much time we perceive ourselves to have left.”
Special Raffle for Rotary Foundation:
The District Governor brought a beautifully prepared basked with bottled wines and various food items, donated by the Kelseyville Club.   Club President Jim Greene auctioned it off.  Paul Dean was high bidder.  By passing on the basked he induced Ted Bystrowski to revive his bid.  The total raised was $425.
Exchange Student
Julie Dewattine (Belgium)
District Governor Wulff Reinhold
Assistant District Governor Karen Hunt
Club Anniversaries:
Joice Beatty (27 years)
Steve Yost (18 years)
Wedding Anniversary
Alyssa Samrick (fifteen years)
Wendell Dinwiddie
Charlotte Williamson announced eggs for sale for $5 per carton.
President Jim Smith thanked for the card in memory of his sister.
David Brotemarkle (no black marble)
Jack Neal
Paul Dean
Jack Neal on Labor Day: e.g., first Labor Day (September 5, 1882); origin of U.S. Labor Day (Canada); Labor Day date (always first Monday in September); State with lowest percentage of union workers (N.C. at 3%).
Reported by Jonathan Hollister
Speakers of the Day: 
BETTY RHODES from the Napa County Commission on Aging, and NAOMI DRESKIN ANDERSON, elder law attorney, gave a presentation concerning the Napa County caregiver licensing. Napa County remains on the cutting edge when it comes to protecting the elderly from dishonest home caregivers, officials say, despite a new state law that includes many of the features of the county’s landmark senior protection ordinance.  In 2011, Napa became the first county in California to require any caregiver receiving financial compensation to undergo a background check. Starting Jan. 1, the state required such protections for all persons employed by a caregiving business.  Elderly people in need of home care are a “ripe audience for folks who are not straight shooters,” said Betty Rhodes, an emeritus member of Napa County Commission on Aging.
“They are bedridden in many situations,” she said. “The caregivers have run of the house.”
Most caregivers are honest, she said. The Napa County law for almost five years has tried to weed out those who might be tempted to take advantage of those they have been hired to protect. Despite being partially pre-empted by the state law, the county’s ordinance remains in effect, since it requires stronger protections than the state law.
Visiting Rotarians: None
Jeannie Kerr, St. Helena School Board Member and Julian Thompson from the District accepted a matching grant from our Rotary Club from the Kentucky Derby fundraiser which will be donated to St Helena Preschool For All. Jennifer personally donated $5,000 for this important cause.
Birthdays / Anniversary: 
Chef Israel celebrated his birthday.  Joice Beatty celebrates her 27 year club anniversary on September 1.
Michael Layne is recovering and a get well card will be signed and given to him.  The District Governor will be here next week has asked for a gift basket from each club we need to come up with gift basket which Joice Beatty has volunteered to do.  There will be a celebration of life event on Sunday September 11 for President Jim Smith’s sister, he needs bartenders for event so please come and volunteer if you can.  John Sales encourages club members to read the recent letter to editor that Gabby Gomez, rebound exchange student, wrote in the NV Register
Raffle Winners:  
Kathleen Patterson, Norm Mitroff, and Helen Hendrick, were all raffle winners.
Bell Ringers: 
Charlotte Williamson says her dog broke her foot at door, but nevertheless is doing harvest of white grapes and wants to donate 25 dollars to the club.
Judd Howell did the Finemaster family feud style with the MUHLNER family v. SALES family.  The SALES family won this game show contest.
Reported by Alan Galbraith
Speaker of the Day:
Mayor Alan Galbraith briefly introduced by Donn Black.   The Mayor focused on the City’s current financial situation.   His starting point was the City Manager’s transmittal letter of June 14, 2016 to the City Council.  The key sentence is on page 4: “If additional General Fund revenues are not secured, service reductions will be required in FY 2017-18.”  He reviewed in detail the projected the current and year-end FY 2016-2017 status of the General, Water, and Wastewater Funds.
The Mayor noted that the City Council was unanimously behind a local sales tax increase of 0.50%.  He stressed that 0.25% of the current 8.00% rolls away on December 31, so that the net increase is only 0.25%.  If the 0.25% sought by the Napa County Parks and Recreation District passes, the new rate would be 8.50%.  This rate is still well below many North Bay Cities, including Santa Rosa (8.75%), Healdsburg (8.75%), and Vallejo (8.65%).  Further, the new rate (whether 8.25% or 8.50%) is below the FY 2009 & FY 2010 rates (8.75%).
Presiding Officer: Past Club President Joice Beatty presided in the absence of Club President Jim Smith.
Thought for the Day: Ben Hill, missing Father Mac and celebrating laughter (poet Maya Angelou).
Exchange Student: Julie Dewattine (Belgium)
  • Dominique Clavel, guest of Wendell Laidley           
  • Inger Laidley, guest of Wendell Laidley                       .
Club Anniversary:  Michele Neumann (five years)     
  • Joice Beatty announced that the Club would present a $12,000 check (proceeds from Kentucky Derby fundraiser) to Pre-School for All at next week’s luncheon.
  • Joice Beatty announced that the Club was confirmed to use the Masonic Lodge for its Kentucky Derby fundraiser on May 6, 2017.
  • Joice Beatty asked Club members to verify the accuracy of their information on Club Runner.
  • John Muhlner announced that Club members would cook and serve dinner for the American Legion on Wednesday, September 14.
  • John Muhlner encouraged Club members to help themselves to leftover items from Club storage in boxes on the front table.
  • David Brotemarkle enlisted Joice Beatty and Judd Howell to discuss their ancestries at the Club luncheon on September 13.                                              
  • Dominique Lavel (no black marble)
  • Michele Neumann
  • Mike Thomas
Bell Ringers:
  • Judd Howell, in celebration of daughter’s marriage and promise of a February grandchild
  • David Brotemarkle, in celebration of a recent 3500 trip, including to Alaska          
Finemaster: David Brotemarkle on Alaskan subjects: e.g., the capital (Juneau), amount paid in 1867 purchase ($7.2 million), year of statehood (1959), active volcano number (70).
Reported by Alan Galbraith
Speaker of the Day:
Donn Black introduced “Saint Helena’s own anthropologist and historian extraordinaire” Jay Greene.  Jay spoke on “The Dardanelles Campaign of 1915 and how Churchill got blamed for the gross errors of others.”   The British were looking for some way around the static trench warfare that had overtaken the entire western front.  British Secretary of State for War Herbert Kitchener proposed a ground attack on the Austrian Empire through (then) Constantinople.  The hope was to knock Austria out of the war.  Churchill, then First Lord or the Admiralty, became a strong proponent of the plan. 
As Jay explained, the difficulty was in the execution.  The first step was to open up passage to Constantinople through the Dardanelles, a 40-mile narrow stretch between the Aegean Sea and the Sea of Marmara, guarded by a series of Ottoman Empire forts.  In Jay’s estimation, the British Navy was well equipped to clear the way, Admiral Sackville Carden, in charge of the fleet, suffered a nervous breakdown.  His replacement, Vice-Admiral John De Robeck, backed out, 
The British Army then landed on the Gallipoli peninsula but British Army General Monteith Hamilton inexplicably waited a day before ordering the seizing of the high ground beyond the beaches.  By then, the Ottoman troops, under the command of Mustafa Kemal (later Ataturk), were positioned on the high ground, shelling the British ANZAK troops (from Australia and New Zealand). The fighting descended into trench warfare, lasting for months with awful casualties, before the last of the British troops were withdrawn in early 1916.
The disastrous Dardanelle campaign dogged Churchill the rest of his life, as he had been its leading proponent.  Indeed, it was a factor in the Allies’ rejection of Churchill’s “soft underbelly” strategy (landing troops in southern France in place of the Normandy invasion) in World War II.
Presiding Officer: Immediate past president Joice Beatty presided due to the unavoidable absence of club president Jim Smith.
Thought for the Day: Ben Hill, quoting Cato the Elder” “Wise men profit more than fools from wise men; for the wise men shun the mistakes of fools, but fools do not imitate the successes of the wise.”
Exchange Students:
  • Gabby Gomez, returning from Switzerland
  • Julie Dewathine, newly arrived from Belgium
  • Dale Ebersole, about to depart for Belgium
  • Tim Doran
  • Matt Endriss                                              
  • Norm Mitroff successfully solicited volunteers for the Harvest Festival (Saturday, October 15), with Matt Endriss, Judd Howell, John Muhlner, Polly Keegan, Kathleen Patterson, Mike Thomas answering Norm’s call.
  • Ted Bystrowsky invited company to join him on a membership training session in Santa Rosa on September 24.
  • Andy Bartlett, in custody of a $100 refund (Gabby Gomez’s application fee), returned it, in front of the assembled group, to the Club Treasurer.
Bell Ringers:
  • Jack Neal, in appreciation for the cards he received while in the hospital and his successful recovery.
  • Jordan Bentley, in appreciation for her stepped up role in the exchange program.
  • Jack Morgan, in celebration of an achievement by his daughter.
  • Alan Galbraith, in recognition of money saved due to no opponent this fall.                                
  • Margo Kennedy (no black marble)
  • Alan Galbraith
  • Judd Howell
Finemaster:  Wendell Laidley, seeking the names of the capitals of each of the eleven countries (Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Switzerland) that Gabby Gomez visited during her student exchange year.  The hardest one: Slovenia (Ljubljana). 

Reporter: Cindy Warren

Speaker: Tom Spink "The History of Moffett Field"

Tom worked at Moffett Field and currently runs the Museum at Moffett. He gave us an interesting history of the field and its beginnings. After WWI a group of citizens got together and raised money to purchase 1000 acres in Sunnyvale, which they sold to the Navy for $1. In 1933 the Naval Air Station Sunnyvale was commissioned.

Dirigibles were the first aircraft at the field. They carried recon planes in the rigid airship. The Macon was over 700 feet long, solid and can house people, unlike a blimp, which is a bag of air. 

Moffett was the Navy's first jet base, but noise complaints from neighbors led to the jet base's move to Lemore in the Central Valley. In 1994 the Sunnyvale property became Moffett Federal Airfield, and is currently monitored by NASA.

The Moffett Museum gives visitors a hands-on experience and is filled with aircraft, memorabilia and wonderful history.

Guests: none

Visiting Rotarians: none

Birthdays: Christine Hayne, Jim Smith, Charlotte Williamson


  • President Jim Smith  announced the Rotary dates for Next Tuesday 8/16
Set up: Dave Brotemarkle
Greet: Polly Keegan
Raffle: Kathleen Patterson
Thought for the Day: Justin Meyer
Finemaster: Wendell Laidley
Take down: Brian Remer
  • Charlotte Williamson has fresh eggs for sale at $5 per dozen
  • Jordan Bentley announced the inbound student from Belgium arrives on Weds. 8/10. She will be hosted by the Steve Ebersole family.
  • Polly Keegan announced another Polio trip to Nigeria on Oct. 15-24. Contact Polly for details
  • Jim Smith filled us in on the membership discussion at the board meeting. Clubs are now allowed to have corporate members. He would like to focus this year on "Clean Water: Provide, Refresh, Conserve, Replenish". He would also like to have Rotarians mentor an Interact student on thesis writing. 
  • Michael Layne has left Rotary due to other obligations

Raffle Winners: John Muhlner, Orville Hammer, Charlotte Williamson

Finemaster: Mike Thomas quizzed us on Olympics trivia.

Reported by Jonathan Hollister
Speaker of the Day:  Alexandra McGee gave a talk about MCE Clean Energy and the program that they have for electrical power generated by renewable sources.  Anyone in Marin County, unincorporated Napa County and the Cities of Benicia, El Cerrito, Richmond and San Pablo, can choose to power their home or business with MCE’s renewable energy. Call them at 1 (888) 632-3674 or email them at to check on the status of your account. Please have your PG&E account info on hand.
Visiting Rotarians: Pauline Beckfor from the Grand Cayman Island Rotary Club.
Guests: Miles Morino with MCE Clean Energy public relations.
Birthdays / Anniversary: 
Club anniversaries:  Rod Ellison (3 years)
Wedding anniversaries: Andy Bartlett (31 years)
  • Jordan Bentley reminds members to bring raffle prizes to the club.  We are running out.  If you have brought raffle prizes in, check with Jordan to make sure she marks you off the list.
  • Judd Howell noted that a friend of our club at the Veteran’s home recently passed away.
  • Joice Beatty noted that the lunch consists of leftover food from the recent golf tournament.
Raffle Winners:  Kathleen Patterson, Tim Doran and another club member were all raffle winners.
​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Bell Ringers: 
  • Kathleen Patterson celebrated her grandson’s 17 year birthday at the Giant’s game. 
  • Judd Howell is celebrating his middle daughter’s recent engagement. 
  • Jim Smith is celebrating his son’s recent promotion to an executive position with a large Boston hotel company.
Finemaster:  Andy Bartlett quizzed club members about movie trivia from the movies Gone With The Wind and Casablanca.
Reported by Jonathan Hollister
Speaker of the Day:  Dr. Judd Howell, Ph.D. gave a talk about his recent visit to Antarctica – the “White Wilderness,” including the logistics of visiting this part of the world, and highlighting the various wildlife species that inhabit this remote region.  The presentation included videos and photographs of penguins, marine mammals and birds.  Judd is a Senior Associate Wildlife Ecologist with H.T. Harvey & Associates.  Judd has a Ph.D. in Wildland Resource Science (wildlife ecology) from the University of California, Berkeley, an M.S. in zoology from Arizona State University and a B.S. in zoology from Montana State University.
Visiting Rotarians: none.
Guests: Donna Morgan, guest of new member Jack Morgan
Birthdays:  Kathleen Patterson
  • Jack Neal is at home recovering from surgery Natalie Klug has set up a meal train link to support Jack and Karen at
  • Charlotte Williamson announced that our club needs volunteers for the September 14, 2016 dinner at the American Legion Hall where our club will be responsible for serving 75 guests.  Please let Charlotte know if you can help with this important event. 
  • President Jim Smith announced that we need a chairperson for the upcoming Harvest Festival where the club will have a table and will be selling raffle tickets to win an assortment of lottery tickets. 
  • President Jim Smith also announced that we need anyone who attended the debunking dinner but who did not sign up and/or did not yet pay to please get in touch with him to pay for the dinner cost. 
  • Joice Beatty announced that the club will be donating $40,000 from the Golf Tournament to the St. Helena Hospital next week, $12,000 to Pre School for All.
New Member Jack Morgan:  John Muhlner, Ted Bystrowski and Donn Black introduced Jack Morgan as a new member of our rotary club.  Jack’s wife Donna Morgan was present.
Raffle Winners:  Ron McGowan, Lester Hoel, Margo Kennedy and Rod Ellison were all raffle winners.
Bell Ringers: 
  • Ben Hill announced that his daughter has passed her exam and has become a board certified radiologist, donating 25 dollars to his Paul Harris. 
  • Ted Bystrowski contributed 25 dollars to the club in honor of Donn Black bringing Jack Morgan to the club as a new member.
Finemaster:  Rod Ellison, Kelly Crane, Margo Kennedy, Jon Hollister, John Muhlner, Mike Thomas, and Natalie Klug were all quizzed by Bryan Remer on trivia regarding fireworks.
Reported by Alan Galbraith
Speakers of the Day:
Donn Black introduced our two craft speakers, Natalie Klug and Andy Bartlett
Natalie was born to Russian immigrants of strong work ethic.  She was “a military brat,” which she saw as a badge of honor.  The greatest hardship in her youth was developing friendships that did not last, as military families moved around.  She came away thinking how small this world is.  Natalie has been a Rotarian for 23 years, with journeys abroad in furtherance of Rotary’s polio vaccination program. She credited Joice Beatty for her involvement.  She stressed the camaraderie that developed on her trips.  She hosted an exchange student, who became a third daughter.  As for work, Natalie stated that she enjoyed her CPA career but that it in no way defined her.   She closed by underscoring the importance of friendships that we build – and Rotary’s role in that process for her.
Andy grew up in Tulsa, then in a small town in Wisconsin, then back to Tulsa for high school.  He spent his college years mostly in the Dartmouth College Library.  At Harvard Law School he suffered through classes taught by the Socratic method.  Andy also spent a year in business school.  He went to work for an oil drilling company and, in time, was assigned to projects in Asia (Indonesia and then Singapore).  He especially marveled as Singapore evolved into the richest independent city in the world.  Eventually, he returned, and found St. Helena.  His sense of community was greatly aided by Rotary Club.  He poignantly recalled the cancellation of Rotary lunch on September 11 – just when he needed the fellowship following the attacks of that day.  Andy has been involved with the Youth Exchange Program for the last 12 years.  In closing, Andy noted that law school does not teach how to practice law.  He stressed the immediate access to vast legal resources today, in comparison to the large libraries operated by major firms years ago.        
Thought for the Day: Club President Jim Smith: “Great day, sun is shining, lots of fellowship, let’s eat.”
Visiting Rotarians: Kathi Polachek, Dono Pennsylvania Club
  • Roger Shwiger, retired, guest of Steve Yost 
  • John Stitt, civil engineer from Medford, Oregon, guest of Steven Ebersole.
Birthday: Donn Black
Wedding Anniversaries:  
  • Wendell Dinwiddie (51 years)
  • Tim Doran (35 years)
Rotary Anniversary: Kelly Crane (12 years with St. Helena Rotary; 24 years total)
Announcements: Joice Beatty announced that the golf tournament raised $40,000 for the Hybrid Cardiac Operating Room at the Hospital.
  • President Jim Smith invited email discussion with him over the qualifications for membership.  He might form an Ad Hoc group to address the matter in detail. 
  • President Jim Smith also encouraged members to bring in raffle prizes.
Bell RingerRob Andreae, in celebration of European travels with his wife Linda (walking 420 miles over 97 days in various cities).
Raffle: Cindy Warren (no black marble), Roxanne Schaubhut and Paul Dean

Reporter: Cindy Warren

Program: New President, Jim Smith  "My Rotary Vision"

Our new president recently retired form 40 years of inn keeping at Wine Country Inn. Jim originally joined Rotary because his company paid for it; he knew a lot of people in the club and the food was good!  Jim didn't realize all that Rotary does and learned a lot from speakers, community events and the club. Jake's Nicaragua baseball field story inspired Jim to become more and more involved in the club. 

Jim would like to see a more robust club, greater participation and a renewed interest in our service. He encourages networking and feels we should recognize and use the services our members have to offer. 

His fundraising ideas include bringing back the " Valley Men who Cook", the Derby Party and more creative fundraisers. He would especially like to focus on Justin Meyer's Amazon water project. It looks like this year will be bold, fun and engaging under Jim's leadership.

Guests: Sylvia Seals Brown, HR Director at St. Helena Hospital, guest of Ben Hill

Visiting Rotarians: Karen Hunt,Napa Rotary, new Lt. Governor

Birthdays: Judd Howell, Alan Galbraith, Bob Trinchero

Club Birthdays: Dave Brotemarkle- 26 yrs, Cindy Warren- 9 yrs.

Wedding Anniversaries: Tim Doran-35 yrs., Warren Warner- ? yrs.


  • Joice Beatty, Queen of De-Nile, would like any photos from the debunking. 
  • New President, Jim Smith-Please bring in two $25 raffle items and try to get creative.

Raffle Winners: Judd Howell, Kelly Crane, Joice Beatty

Finemaster- Ben Hill


  • Ben Hill gave $25 to Joice Beatty for being the "wiener woman" at the golf tournament.  
  • Jack Neal said the tournament raised about $41,000 for SH Hospital for the Hybrid OR.
Club President Ben Hill
St. Helena Rotary Club is very pleased to announce that our new President for FY 2017-2018 is Ben Hill.
Ben is an experienced healthcare executive, and since 2009 has served as an Executive Director at Adventist Hospital in St. Helena. In his current role, Ben is responsible for all volunteer & philanthropy programs across five Adventist hospitals in Northern California. Ben is very active in the St. Helena Community and the Club is fortunate to have him serve as our President.
He was born in Marlboro, Massachusetts, and graduated college at Atlantic Union College. He later earned his MBA at Andrews University. Ben and his wife Georgina have been married for 40 years.
Ben's focus this year will be on developing and implementing a new 5 Year Strategic Plan, and identifying new service opportunities in the local St. Helena Community. We are excited to have him leading the Club and look forward to a fun, exciting and impactful year serving our community!
Congratulations Ben!