Happy 95th Anniversary to the Rotary Club of Santa Monica!
Celebrating the club's 95 years of fellowship and giving, we gathered to eat, drink, make merry, and donate to our Santa Monica Rotary Club Foundation! Together we added another $15,000 to our fund!
Lisa Alexander, Nora & Paul Bohn, and President Connie Maguire had a blast riding the carousel!
Thanks to Carol & Bill Powell, and all the 95th Anniversary committee, for putting together an awesome event!
A big thanks to Donna Byrd and Bret Carter for running the check-in table! Savi is especially thankful since that's normally her job, and she got to just attend as a guest this time. :)
Also much gratitude goes to Jack Gregory & Pat Johnston for bringing tons of cool memorabilia from the Rotary office for people to see! Here President Connie welcomed Jack & Holly Gregory to the event!
Riding the carousel was a favorite highlight for so many!
John McIntire and Ellen Travis thought it was super romantic and fun!
Monika White and Roger Goodman looked stately upon their steeds!
Len Lanzi... Ride 'em Cowboy!
Pat Johnston looked so charming in her riding hat!
And Steve Eorio decided to dominate the piggy!
Kurtis Magee, Suzan Allbritton, Timur Berberoglu, and Len Lanzi had a blast catching up with friends!
So did Tammy Andrews and Jamie Menzies...
Kay & Kent Colberg...
and Char & Dick Lawrence, too!
Here's to another 95 years of providing service to our community and the rest of the world, to fellowship and friendship, and to world peace!
Representatives from our Rotary Club went to Merida, Mexico on our Rotary District 5280's Humanitarian Trip! Our club, in partnership with Dollies Making a Difference, served as ambassadors bringing 90 beautiful handmade dolls and teddy bears to local children from impoverished families. President Connie and Rotary were featured in the Dollies Making a Difference newsletter!
January 6th, our first meeting of the year, started us off with a bang! We welcomed Paul Goodwin to speak about polling and gave away lots of money to non-profits in our area!
Guest Introducer, Vicky Curtis, welcomed our speaker Paul Goodwin! He gave a very interesting talk about the vagaries of public opinion polling in the Presidential Election!
Susan Annett helped present a grant check to Chris Baca of Meals on Wheels from our Community & Youth Grants Committee!
Kathy Shepard welcomed C&Y Grant recipients Josephine Moerschel of Elemental Strings and Neferteri Plessy of Single Mom's Planet!
President Connie brought in two of the dolls that will be part of the humanitarian trip to Merida, Mexico, by District 5280. Grace Cheng Braun helped out by walking to each table to show off the dolls!
Myles Pritchard announced the results of the bell ringing for the Salvation Army. Rotary wiped out the other service clubs! Sharon Perlmutter Gavin reminded us about the Day of Service at the Westside Food Bank on Jan. 7.
New member Scott Gaynor took at turn at being a greeter...and Kathy Shepard approved!
A few brave Rotarians traveled North to adventure in the wilderness and ski the slopes of Mammoth!
Included in this adventure were Tom Woods with his 2 kids, Will and Hadley, Tammy Andrews with her kids, Charlie and Emily, Carol and Bill Powell with their 2 kids, and Kurtis with his girlfriend Rose! It looks like they had a blast!
They didn't think it would be quite that adventurous, though. They got 9 feet of snow in 3 days! They were totally snowed in on Sunday and no one got out! Once that happened, there was nothing left to do but lounge, cook, play games, and watch the snow fall...
All in all, it got a big THUMBS UP!
Thanks to Bill & Carol Powell for organizing the trip and taking care of your fellow stranded skiers!
On January 7th, a hearty group of Rotarians gathered at the Westside Food Bank to sort and box food donations!
Thank you to Sharon Perlmutter Gavin who chaired this event! Other generous participants included Past President Judy Neveau, current President Connie Maguire, President-Elect Tom Larmore, Nora and Paul Bohn, David Rosenfeld, Suzan Allbritton, Bill Buxton, Drew Fleming, Deborah Williams, Past President Dee Menzies, Kathy Shepard, and our ever amazing photographer and volunteer, Iao Katagiri!
Allison Griffith, the volunteer coordinator for the food bank, quickly summarized the guidelines for sorting the food donations into coherent categories. Nearly one million pounds of food are donated during the holiday season.
Drew Fleming is always in his element at these volunteer events...thank you for your enthusiasm, Drew!
Bill Buxton lent some strong arms to the task!
And President Connie diligently sorted and assigned foods where they needed to go!
Past President, Judy Neveau, spent two hours labeling boxes as fast as she could write. The volunteers filled them up almost as fast as she could label them!
No, Tom, those yummy snacks are not for you. :)
These volunteers were hard at work!
Thank you again, to all our volunteers! Go Rotary!
On December 16th, we had our Holiday Luncheon which included a festive room, generous giving of funds, and a special musical performance by some of the SMC Applied Music Program students!
President Connie Maguire (far left) and the Director of Vocational Service and organizer of the program, Gita Runkle (far right), congratulated the wonderful performers! Thank you to Brian Driscoll, Gary Gray, Enrique Conde, Luke Hu, Olivia Kamalski, Courtney Marsh, Andrew Rodriquez, Sina Roustapour, and Airrel Watkins for making our holiday luncheon so amazing!
An enthusiastic David Snow presented a check to Talitha Philips of Claris Health from our Community & Youth Grants Committee!!
And Chair Mitchell Kraus was equally happy to celebrate life and generosity, giving money to Yesenia Monsour of the Santa Monica Chamber Foundation!
Thank you to Steve Eorio for providing some of his own homegrown and homemade wine! David Wisen couldn't wait to try it!
Nora Bohn, RoseMary Regalbuto, and Savi Labensart were feeling extra festive!
Thank you to our decorating committee, led by co-chairs Diane Margolin and Susan Gabriel Potter! The tables looked so wonderful!
We had lots of fun guests too!
Past President, George Collins, brought his sweet wife, Pat!
Teon Brooks was a guest of Adam Lichtl!
Robert Segal said hi to fellow Rotarian Pat Johnston, and some of her family, Kathy & Larry Dozal!
And Mr. Santa Monica and Past President, Nat Trives, welcomed visiting Rotarian ,Grady Mateen! No, he's not a basketball player...he is in sales in Milwaukee. :)
Thank you to Jolly Gissell for hosting the holiday party!!
Our meeting on November 4th was dedicated to Veterans Day, and inspired us all!
We had Dr. Fatma Batuman speaking about women veterans and health care! We gave away money for a good cause! And, we honored many veterans, both from in our club and out!
Thanks to Monte Herring (2016-17 Secretary and Chair of Veterans Day Committee), our Veteran's Day program was a huge success! Dr. Fatma Batuman is the Medical Director for Women's Health Comprehensive Care, VA Los Angeles Health Services, and spoke beautifully about "Women Warriors!"
Veteran Dave Potter was greeted warmly by Bret Carter and Sharon Perlmutter Gavin!
Jay Smith presented a moving invocation that paid tribute and expressed appreciation to all our veterans!
THESE ARE JUST A FEW OF THE FACES THAT HAVE SELFLESSLY SERVED OUR COUNTRY...
Veteran Adrienne Horion Mohammed was a lively addition to the meeting! She virtually sparkled with energy and enthusiasm!
Nora Bohn and Gita Runkle graciously greeted Eily Pat Gorman!
Past President, Nat Trives, welcomed veteran Dr. Nancy Cattell, who was also a trustee of Santa Monica College!
These wonderful women, along with our other Women Warriors, were among our special guests for the day...Renee Andresassen, Angela Russell, Electa Williams, Elaine Maxwell, & Mickiela Montoya.
We had many veterans as well as Rotary Alumni there that day...here Monte Herring greets Herb Roney and John Lehne, both veterans and former Past Presidents of our club!
Veteran, Stan Fox!
John Lehne was so happy to say hello to his old friend, Jim Reidy, and so was photo bomber, sneaky Savi...
Veterans, Russ Warner...
And Klaus Brandt!
Rotarians love giving away money!!
President, Connie Maguire, and Past President & SM Rotary Foundation President, Dee Menzies, were so pleased to hand a check to Dan Ryan of the Santa Monica Museum of Flying so they could install a sound system in the museum!!
Our new member, Miho Ikeda, couldn't be there that day, but she recently did a makeup in Fujinomiya, Japan!! The Fujinomiya and Fujinomiya Nishi Clubs met together that day, so Miho got double the fun! Here she is exchanging club banners with them...
Our speaker was Jacqueline Stanford, tri-athlete! We had a spooky room celebrating Halloween! And, we had many wonderful guests! Check it out...
President Connie and her daughter, Erin, greet the wonderful and inspiring Jacqueline Standford...Connie's pumpkin was made just for her by our speaker, who is not only an incredible athlete, but also makes awesome pottery!
In thanks to Donna Byrd for her help on the Decorations Committee, and for so many other reasons, President Connie presented her with a service medal!
Another service medal was presented to Tom Woods, who has been serving as Savi's "roadie", helping to set up and break down the audio equipment we now need to provide at Riviera!
Donna wasn't the only Rotarian working on decorations for this very fun day...the Decorations Committee Co-Chairs, Susan Gabriel Potter and Diane Margolin, deserve much credit! And lots more hugs from Len Lanzi!
Did you know that Diane Margolin made the popcorn/candy-corn decorations BY HAND! (hee hee)
Congratulations to Nora Bohn for winning the auction prize of President Connie's Pumpkin Pie that she baked to stir up interest in the Wine & Jazz Fest! Nora thought it was the most delicious $200 she ever spent!
Look at these devilish creatures and wonderful witches! RoseMary Regalbuto, Ann Greenspun, Julie Thomas and Iao Katagiri know how to party!
Suzan Allbritton, too!
Guess who was scaring our new member, Bryan Flores?
And we had a feline executive secretary checking us in that day!
"Don't forget to cross your name off the list meow", says Savi!
CONGRATS TO IAO KATAGIRI!!
President Connie recognized Iao for both achieving her 65th birthday and for her retirement from RAND!
Our speaker was Anders Fogh Rasmussen, former Prime Minister of Denmark and former Secretary General of NATO! AND we had a Craft Talk from our member, Bill Dawson! Plus, we had many wonderful guests! Check it out...
Mr. Rasmussen was a skilled and assertive speaker with a clear vision that what the world needs most is American leadership.
Thank you to Past President Dee Menzies for being one of the greeters at the door! Past President Spyros Dellaportas felt very welcomed, and told Dee to "Party, Party, Party!" :)
And thank you to RoseMary Regalbuto for so diligently setting up the display of information on Rotary International every week!
Rotarian Palle Jensen (right) who introduced our speaker, also greeted visiting Rotarian Held Jensen. Could they be related? Palle said no, but maybe we should get Tom Loo to do an analysis of their DNA!
Rotarian Ann Greenspun introduced Helga Bacchetti, one of her neighbors who was born and raised in Denmark!
Tammy Andrews brought her daughter Emily, who is fresh out of law school!
WOW! Kurtis Magee is ON FIRE bringing guests to meetings! This time he brought Carlyn Peterson and Jaime Lehman!
Roger Davis is also hauling in guests...this time is was Dusty Farber and Will Rassman!
Julie Thomas brought her new Americorps interns, Lisette Mendez, Chiamaka Okeke, & Louise Sylvester!
CRAFT TALKER: BILL DAWSON
Bill Dawson did a fabulous job with his Craft Talk! You'd never know it to look at him, but this man grew up on a farm, and knows how to disassemble a shot gun! We confirmed the latter with his father-in-law, Bob Sullivan, who pulled one on Bill the first time he came to pick up his daughter from the house.
What a fun experience...dinner on a ship with hundreds of Rotarians from all over District 5280! Here are a few fun shots from the Rotary District 5280 Paul Harris Celebration that took place on the USS Iowa!
President Elect Tom Larmore & Karon Larmore, Past President George Collins, Rotary Int'l Foundation Co-Chair Bret Carter, Gale and John Miron, guests of Hal and Kai-Li Quigley...
Past President George Collins and Bret Carter get the bunny ears of peace from our President, Connie Maguire!
What a lovely couple! Karon Larmore is going to be acting as first lady to Tom Larmore once he becomes our president in July 2017!
It's always great to see the smiling faces of these four sweet folks who are long time friends and colleagues...Gale & John Miron, and Kai-Li & Hal Quigley!
October 14th was another great day! Check it out...
President Connie Maguire welcomes our speaker, Kurt Floren, the LA County Agricultural Commissioner and Director of Weights & Measures! Kurt surprised us with the broad range of important responsibilities his office oversees to protect the interests of consumers and the health of everybody in the county.
Klaus Brandt was delighted to be greeted at the door by Nora Bohn! Thank you for greeting, Nora!
Thank you to Ken Waltzer and Pat Johnston (and all the music committee) for providing such wonderful music all the time!!
Larry Maher surfaced to receive his "thank you" gift from President Connie for his hard work in organizing the Paso Robles Wine Trip!
David Snow attended his first meeting of the year and received his Slainte glass! We're so happy you're back from your leave of absence, David!
New Member, Mike Isseks, introduced and welcomed visiting Rotarian from Stockholm, Hans Nilsson!
For tax purposes, the value of each entry ticket is $100
This is our one big fundraiser for the year, so invite everybody you know and bring lots of guests!
Also, please help us get or donate auction items!
Think about your regular service providers (like facial salons, dog groomers, massage therapists, trainers, tennis teachers, etc.) and all your favorite restaurants you go to who will readily give you a gift certificate! You can either bring items to a meeting and give them to Donna Byrd, or you can e-mail her at Donnala@pacbell.net (or e-mail chair Andrea at Andrea@Gressingergroup.com) if you have any questions. Donna can e-mail you a fillable donation form so give her a shout!
On October 7th, we had a lot of fun with a great speaker, wonderful guests, and award time! Check it out...
Our speaker, Janette Flintoft, brought her father, John Schatteler, and husband, Gerry Flintoft, to enjoy her presentation. President Connie Maguire (far right) welcomed them!
President Connie Maguire presented Sharon Perlmutter Gavin with a monthly service medal for her work to secure a matching grant from District 5280 to fund our community service project with the Westside Food Bank!
President Connie thanked Alan Glick for his help in organizing the Weekend Wine Trip to Paso Robles! His co-chair, Larry Maher, was apparently too exhausted to show up at the meeting! Too bad, because who wouldn't want a Thank You Beer??
Thank you to Christine Mirasy-Glasco for her excellent greeting skills! Pictured here greeting the ever kind and jovial Joe Metoyer!
Miho Ikeda, our Guest Introducer for the day, exchanged flags with our guests from Denmark, Robbyna Svard and Bjorn Eisner!
Past President, Judy Neveau, introduced our newest member, Johnnie Adams, the Santa Monica College Police Chief! Welcome Johnnie!!
September 30th was a great day! We had Craft Talks, birthdays, and leprechauns! Check it out...
Craft Talks are when a member gets up and tells their life story in 10-12 minutes...these brave souls were amazing and it was great to learn about them...
Craft Talker Vicky Curtis
We should have been able to guess that she used to be in the fashion industry! Such great style!
Craft Talker David Wisen
I don't think anyone would guess, though, that David was in the CIA and a spelunker!
President Connie Maguire presented Pam Brady with a Monthly Service Medal for overseeing the Paul Harris Raffle Sales!
The prez also gave Greg Hargrave and David Rosenfeld Leprechaun Awards for their Spirit of Rotary!
Thank you to greeter, Kurtis Magee...
though, we aren't sure what he's paying off Palle Jensen for. Can you guess?
Thank you to our other greeter and our song leader, President Elect Tom Larmore!
We love having John And Gale Miron as our guests...what sweeties!!
Thank you to Donna Byrd and the Birthday Committee, for always putting a smile on our members' faces around their special day!!
Past President, George Collins, and new member Kurtis Magee were excited to get their treat...
as were Lisa Alexander and Karim Jaude...
Grace Cheng Braun...
and the rest of the crew, too!
Happy birthday to Past President Tom Loo, Diane Margolin, Greg Hargrave, Grace Cheng Braun, George Pickell, Lisa Alexander, Karim Jaude, Past President George Collins, Kurtis Magee, Len Lanzi, Palle Jensen, Past President Hal Quigley, Past President Paul Leoni, and Past President Spyros Dellaportas!! :)
His name is a mouthful, but his dedication to saving India's elephants is mind blowing! Here is our speaker, Kartick Satyanarayan, along with our President, Connie Maguire, and speaker introducer, Caroline Schankers.
(Caroline just had a baby, but you'd never know it to look at her, right?!)
The Spirit of the Leprechaun was recognized in Nora Bohn! Thank you, Nora, for all you do!
September 6th was a wonderful day! We had a special presentation, a great speaker, and lots of fun guests! Check it out...
JT Waring, Rotary Int'l's special envoy to Myanmar, led the salute to former member and Past President, Jim Dyer, for the Myanmar Orphanage swimming pool project! Jim helped lead the way to the completion of the project, which he got to see just before his untimely passing. Jim's family was presented with large photographs and a copy of the dedication sign that hangs at the pool now.
Pictured here: Jim's son Greg Dyer (looks just like him, right?), JT Waring, Myo Min Tun (from Myanmar and helped with the project), Jim's uncle and our Past President Bill Werner, and Jim's wife Sharen Dyer.
Music & Wine Fest Co-Chair, Ken Waltzer, got a warm welcome from our greeter, David Wisen, who is also co-chairing the Student Exchange committee this year!
New Member Mike Isseks was encouraged to participate by Nora Bohn, co-chair of the Greeters Committee!
Diane Margolin, co-chair of the Decorations Committee, brought Qin Stubis...
Len Lanzi brought prospective member, Bryan Flores...
Past President, Judy Neveau, brought her house guest, Nora Sellner...
And our regularly visiting Beverly Hills Rotarian, Steve Taub, brought one of his Rotary colleagues, Tom Holliday!
Thank you to our speaker, Steve Sims from Bluefish! It's his job to make people's dreams come true!
Speaker Steve Sims with our Vice President of Programs, Roger Davis. Thank you to Roger for scheduling such amazing speakers this year!!
August 26th we had a great meeting! We gave away another grant, members were awarded for their hard work, and our speaker was really interesting! Check it out...
Community & Youth Grants Co-Chair Melissa Dagodag presented a check to Kevin McKeown, the director of the SaMoHi Marching Band!
Thank you to our friendly and enthusiastic greeters, Nick Goehner and Palle Jensen!
New Member Vicky Curtis was our President's Pick for the week, and she's making friends already! Suzan Allbritton joins her here!
Rotary District 5280 Centennial Celebration!
Bret Carter announced the District Celebration taking place on the USS Iowa on October 22! Our club has a table going. Do you have anything you can contribute to their auction? Contact John McIntire at 310-372-8345.
President Connie awarded some of our members for their outstanding work in our club...
New Member Kurtis Magee was awarded the Monthly Leprechaun!
Is it any surprise that RoseMary Regalbuto was given a monthly Achievement Award?
Bret Carter obviously deserved to receive an Achievement Award as well!
Thank you to all the members who work so hard to make our club run well and to do good work for our community!!
Thank you to our speaker, Steve Cron, criminal defense lawyer!
He gave a wonderful talk on criminal law and some of the cases that have come to his firm. He also offered advice for those who might be confronted by a possible arrest or questioning by law enforcement...not that any of our members would ever need it. :)
Josh Bradburn greeted our speaker, Steve Cron, and Steve's partner, Phil Israels, who was originally scheduled to speak but thought he'd have to be in court. We were so happy he could join us after all.
On August 19th, our luncheon was hosted by RAND due to more construction at the Riviera, so a big thank you to Iao Katagiri for arranging this!
We had a different kind of meeting, with table discussions and presentations about our Santa Monica Rotary Club Foundation! We also gave away a HUGE check!
We presented the Santa Monica Boys & Girls Club with a $15,000 check, along with helping to facilitate another matching grant as well!
Pictured here: President Connie Maguire, Past President Judy Neveau, Past President Paul Leoni, Monty McCormick, Eric Schmitter, Steve Litvack, B&GC CEO Michelle Arellano, President Elect Tom Larmore, B&GC Development Director Janis Morse, Past President Paul Gaulke, and Past President Nat Trives.
Great job and thanks to our new members who are already inviting prospective members to lunch! Joe Peterson was brought by new member Kurtis Magee....
And Cindy Heydt was introduced by new member Deborah Williams!
Lisa Alexander & Bret Carter led a discussion which focused on strengthening our club branding and developing your elevator speech!
Bill & Carol Powell, Tammy Andrews, and Past President George Collins jumped right in!
Past President Judy Neveau started out the program with a brief overview of our Santa Monica Rotary Club Foundation!
Mitch Kraus reviewed some recent beneficiaries of our Community & Youth Grants.
Len Lanzi talked about how our SM Rotary Foundation raises money, and also discussed some of the international service projects we've supported.
Welcome to our newest member, Miho Ikeda!!
Past President Tom Loo introduced our newest member, Miho Ikeda! Miho, we are so glad you've joined the club!
On July 29th we had a full and interesting meeting! Our speaker was from St. John's Hospital, we gave an award to a Firefighter, and we had lots of wonderful guests! Check it out...
Marcel Loh, President and CEO of Providence St. John's Hospital, gave a comprehensive talk about health care, and how St. John's is meeting new challenges!
Leprechaun of the Month: President Connie is recognizing Rotarians who go the extra mile, and this time the award goes to Bill Powell! Thank you Bill, for encouraging others to take on assignments and tasks for the club!
President Connie also recognized Iao Katagiri, our resident angel behind the scenes! (She should get an award every day!) Iao made sure the activity update slideshow went on and table signs were made even while she was away for a couple weeks on vacation!
We have such wonderful, smiling faces at our meetings...
LA5's JT Warring joined us with Myo Min Tun, who is a part of Rotary International's clean water project in Myanmar!
Timur Berberoglu, President Connie Maguire, Andrew Lustig, and Larry Mortorff...Larry brought Andrew as his guest. Looks like he had fun!
David Rosenfeld, Tammy Andrews, Roger Davis, and Roger's guest Fred Hamberg!
We are always so glad to see Bob Klein, and even more excited to see his lovely wife JoAnn!
And they brought former Rotarian John Miller to lunch as well! When you coming back to us, John??
Public Service Recognition!!
On the day of our public service awards, the fire department's honoree, Captain Rob Erdmann, was responding to an emergency call. Joe Metoyer, Donna Byrd, and Julie Thomas presented Rob with his award, along with Battalion Chief Frank Evaro and Fire Chief Bill Watkins.
July 15th was an incredible day! Our speaker, Dydine Umayang, was a Rwandan Genocide Survivor, so our program was very powerful. Also, Past President Tom Loo gave out the rest of the Dethroning awards, and we gave money to two non-profit organizations! Check it out...
Rwandan Genocide Survivor, Dydine Umayang, spoke bravely and brilliantly about her experience in genocide. She was but a small child of 3 or 4 years old when she was separated from her family. She ended up in a line to be killed, but was miraculously saved and managed to survive through to tell her tale today.
Melissa Dagodag presented a check from our Rotary Community & Youth Grants Committee to Jonathan Bijur of the reDiscover Center!
And from the same committee, Gita Runkle presented a check to Ashley Powell of Vista del Mar Family Services.
One of our newest members, Kurtis Magee, handled our Guest Introductions for the day! Way to jump right in, Kurtis!
Carol Jackson, doing her best Stevie Wonder impression, was wonderful enough to provide us with piano accompaniment for the day!
Our President-Elect is one of our favorite song leaders! Thank you Tom, for always entertaining us and honoring us with your voice.
More awards! Past President/Past Emperor Tom Loo passed out the Dethroning awards to those who were unable to make it to the event!
Drew Fleming won the Herb Spurgin award! He wasn't able to attend the Dethroning, but we wouldn't have been able to recognize him anyway, with his newly grown facial hair.
Sharon Perlmutter Gavin had been on vacation, but came home to receive a President's Award!
Stan Fox won the Austin Jennings Award! Go Stan!
Timur Berberoglu also received a President's Award for his energetic production of several activities for members last year. We should all get awards for finally being able to spell his name correctly!
Dydine said something quite lovely when talking about race...she said, "A garden is beautiful with multiple colors, not just one."
May each human being remember to appreciate all the colors in our gardens.
May 13th brought us an awesome speaker, fun guests, a grant presentation and inductions of our newest and dearest!
Our speaker was Larry Kopald, and he talked about global climate change. He explained that we need to start taking care of our soil. We kill off the microorganisms with chemicals and ignore crop rotation, making it hard for our soil to draw the CO2 out of the atmosphere, as it would if it were healthy. What an incredible vision!
Our speaker, Larry Kopald, poses here with his introducer and our Rotary Vice President, Larry Maher.
Alongside are the two representatives from Boy Scouts of America who came to receive a grant check from our Foundation for Camp Josepho!
Ken Waltzer introduced our newest member, Vicky Curtis! Make sure you say hi and welcome her to the fold!
And Past President Judy Neveau presented a club flag to Matthias Rumplehardt from Berlin, Germany!
Our Rotary Vice President Sharon Perlmutter Gavin(right) inducted Deborah Williams!
Past President Spyros Dellaportas inducted Josh Bradburn!
Past President David Bohn inducted his soon-to-be sister-in-law, Nora Straight!
And Rotary Director Roger Davis inducted Tammy Andrews!
Our wonderful, talented and kind member, Iao Katagiri, was called upon to pay a fine by Len Lanzi! Iao will be recieving the Roy Naylor Lifetime Achievement Award from the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce on June 15th...YAY!! She will be retiring from the RAND Corporation later this year after 41 years!! What??
Our regularly scheduled program fell through, so Tom Loo and Grace Cheng Braun pulled a great talk out of their molassas!
We also gave away money to two wonderful organizations from our Santa Monica Rotary Club Foundation!
Our Emperor, Tom Loo, with co-speaker Rotarian Grace Cheng Braun. They talked about their childhoods, and growing up Asian in America!
Past President David Bohn and Rotarian Susan Gabriel Potter presented a check to Kathryn Evans from the Santa Monica History Museum!
And Past President Judy Neveau presented a grant to Heather Doyle for the Santa Monica Pier Acquarium!
RoseMary Regalbuto, chair or our Rotary International Foundation Committee, provided a great video presentation on RI activites.
She also awarded Past President Judy Neveau with another Paul Harris Fellowship!
We always have the most wonderful guests!
Lisa Alexander invited the new CEO of the Boys & Girls Club, Michelle Arellano!
And our President-Elect Designee, Tom Larmore, introduced Grace Cheng Braun's guest, Jodi Cohn, who just joined the board of directors at WISE & Healthy Aging.
Nick Goehner, sporting another of his trademark ties(how many of these do you think he owns??), provided the inspirational invocation. At least, we assume it was good. We were all mesmerized by his dashing attire!
Our speaker was Professor Daniel Lynch from USC's US - China Institute, and we also celebrated birthdays and some unexpected family!
Rotarian Sally Pai, our speaker Professor Daniel Lynch, and our President/Emperor Tom Loo! The professor offered us many thoughtful comments on current Chinese political leaders, the economic and social unease, and how U.S. policy might change with a new president!
Rotarian Merv Hecht brought his son Spencer to the meeting with him!
And Rotarian Sally Pai brought Stan Fox's son, Mac!
We celebrated Alan Glick, Donna Byrd, Stan Fox, Matt Williams, Paul Gaulke, Bill Powell, Deborah Williams, Larry Mortorff, David Wisen, and Klaus Brandt, among others!
Big announcements were made about the Int'l Food Fest May 1st! Rotarian Mike Cates runs Broadway Gymnastics, and brought a whole bunch of fun equipment for the kids who came to the party!
Thank you to Deborah Williams(right) for jumping in! She's been greeter several times already, and here she greets Monika White & Lisa Alexander.
We had the Santa Monica City Manager Rick Cole, and lots of other fun guests!
Rotarian Deborah Williams and Rotary Past President Judy Neveau greet our Santa Monica City Manager Rick Cole at the door!
Rotarian Bill Dawson brought his son Ryan Dawson...gotta get them involved in Rotary as early as possible, right?!
Rotarian Gita Runkle brought Dee Dee Carter, the new dean at Santa Monica College!
President Elect-Elect Tom Larmore never has any issues being at the podium. He vigorously led the club in our weekly song, and also introduced the speaker! Thanks for doing double duty Tom!
Deborah Williams & Matt Williams...same surname, different family! Still chums at the head table though...Deborah was our President's Pick for being one of our newest members, and Matt graciously gave the invocation!
These two are up to something! Something fun!
President Tom Loo and Beverly Hills Rotarian Steve Taub are planning a Day at the Races - May 29 at the Santa Anita Racetrack!! Don't forget to RSVP to Savi if you'd like to go. It's going to be a blast!
Rotarians are always up to one fun thing or another! Check out a couple activities we have done lately!
Our Healthy Living Committee had a beautiful hike up Corral Canyon, and the Environmental Outreach Committee helped to clean the LA River!
Bill Rayman was the organizer and coordinator for our efforts at the LA River!
Bill Rayman, Bret Carter, Judy Neveau, Jillian Alexander, & Tom Woods all participated in the LA River Cleanup! (John Dravillas helped organize too, but was unable to attend.)
Our team covered three areas within the Glendale Narrows' section of the Los Angeles River.
Thanks to Bill Rayman bringing and sharing his trowel, we contributed to a local boy scout troop master digging out pair of jeans. Our big finds were cans, one hypodermic needle, one nylon knee-high stocking, Styrofoam and laminated paperboard containers, plastic straws, and plastic cups. Most were little pieces of plastic and laminated paperboard. EVERY PIECE COUNTS!
Our hikers were full of energy, and wouldn't you be as well on what looks like the most gorgeous day of the year?
Suzan Allbritton, Carol & Bill Powell, Jillian Alexander, Donna Byrd, and Connie Maguire definitely had a blast!
That's where I want to be right now! How about you??
Our hiking group again, with an addition in the back right there...the chair of the Healthy Living committee, John Dravillas!
February 26th was an exciting meeting, and it was awesome to see the room so full...Savi had to ask the Riviera to set up more seating!!
What a fabulous program, what an energized club, and what honored and distinguished guests we had! The Rams are returning to LA, and it was great to hear how it happened!
Our speakers: Former member of our club, the Mayor of Inglewood, Jim Butts, with Rotarian Bob Klein, pro-football star for the Rams and the Chargers!
(That helmet was from a long time ago! Did you know that the Rams were the first team to put insignia on their helmets?)
Three mayors in one room! What an honor!
From left: Current Mayor of Santa Monica, Tony Vazquez, Current Mayor of Inglewood, Jim Butts, and Nat Trives, former mayor of Santa Monica!
Mayor Jim Butts with Rotarian Dick Lawrence, the man who sponsored him for membership nearly 25 years ago!
We had some wonderful guests!
Rick Mateus welcomed 2 district staff members from Assemblyman Richard Blooms's office...that's Andrew Aldama in the middle and Tim Harter on the right!
Mayor Jim Butts was accompanied by Inglewood City Councilmember, Alex Padillo(top right)! Captain Ken Semko and Captain Clint Muir were just starting their law enforcement careers when Jim became chief, so they definitely had to stop by and say hi!
Past President Judy Neveau invited Santa Monica College facilities manager, Charlie Yen! And incoming president Connie Maguire brought along Sam Lagana from Pepperdine University!
Bob Klein brought his lovely wife, JoAnne...
Along with his now co-worker at the Providence St. John's Foundation, John Miller, former member of our club!
It was a grand time for a great program, and for catching up! Grace Cheng Braun and Susan Gabriel Potter were first in line to hug their friend!
February 19th was not depressing, though our speaker talked all about depression...how the brain processes it and how to help get out of it! Don't forget to get outside, exercise, and get your sleep! Along with hearing about our brains, we greeted some wonderful visitors and welcomed home one of our members who's been away a long time...
Emperor Tom Loo and Ann Greenspun welcomed our speaker, Dr. Alex Korb!
Vlado is home from teaching in Dubai, and he obviously did some make-ups all over the Gulf region!
We had some wonderful guests!
Errol and Sharon Bennett were in town to help Daniel celebrate his birthday!
And Nat Trives brought an old buddy who used to be in our club, Lloyd Allen. He's in the Watts-Crenshaw club now!
Speaking of getting outside and exercising...
Timur announced our participation in a golf tournament at Mountaingate on the Monday, Feb. 29th! RSVP with Savi if you want to go!
And Lisa Alexander was geared up for the 321 End Polio Run/Walk on March 12! Let her know if you want to go!
Thank you, Nick! You did so great leading the singing!
Not that we don't absolutely LOVE our regular singers, but it was so nice to see someone else brave that microphone...Don't worry, be happy! And sing!
February 5th was our Valentine's Lunch and Orchid Day! Along with hearing about orchids from our speaker, we welcomed many members' sweethearts, gave away grant money, and learned where some of our grant money was spent! We also had an amazing meal of aphrodisiac foods...salmon with artichokes, salad with arugula, avocado, pine nuts and pomegranate, chocolate cake with strawberries and whipped cream! Yum!!
Rotarian Melissa Dagodag presented a check to Josephine Liu Moerschel, Executive Director of Elemental Strings and Band!
Rotarian Sharon Perlmutter Gavin presented TWO checks to Suzanne Peckels of WISE & Healthy Aging!
David Snow presented an update on the Rotary Grant we gave to Kid Unity for computers!
The kids took those computers to Iowa to report on the Iowa Caucuses. David shared impressive anecdotes of the kids interviewing all the major candidates!
Here's just a few of the lovely couples we saw that day!
Dick Lawrence brought his sweet wife Char! Aren't they adorable?
We got to meet our new member Jolly Gissell's better half, Patti! ;)
What would a Valentine's lunch be without Kai-Li Quigley, Hal's sweetie?
Kathy Shepard's husband, Mark, decided to brave a Rotary meeting!
Timur Berberoglu, of course, brought his lovely wife Melissa to enjoy the meeting!
Wait! They're not a couple!
Savi couldn't bring her sweetheart to the lunch that day, so Emperor Tom Loo made her feel special in his stead! Thanks, Boss!
Susan Annett is looking for volunteers for Rotary Reads to Kids! It's happening March 2nd and 3rd, so give her a shout if you want to participate! email@example.com
On February 5th, we heard from George Vasquez, Jr. and he told us all about orchid growing!
Mr. Vasquez was very passionate about orchids!
George Vasquez, Jr., owner of Zuma Canyon Orchids in Malibu, gave our club a fabulous presentation last week! His presentation included a slide show from the latest orchid show he attended as one of 30 judges, instructions on how to take care of your orchids, and a gorgeous display of his line.
Mr. Vasquez shared all about the Tokyo Dome Orchid Show, attended by 350,000 people at $25 a pop. (Despite the showing, they still lose money.) The opening ceremony was presided over by the princess. It’s a huge deal there, and we here in the US are at least 10 years behind the Japanese in the process.
At these shows you have the pleasure of seeing tons of exhibitors, both by orchid sellers and design schools. In Tokyo, they had 30 design schools. Orchids were donated to the students and they put together beautiful set-ups. The goal of all exhibits is FLOW & HARMONY! But you have to be timely with your designs, as everything is union and on a strict schedule! Exhibitors’ blooms were judged by best in each category. You should have seen the shingling of some of those plants…every bloom folded neatly over the next one. If you win a gold medal, it’s actually gold, and you have to pay for it! But if you win the grand prize, you go home with 80 grand and a Mercedes. Might just be worth it, right?
It’s incredible how involved this process is, and how much money changes hands in the orchid industry. Trader Joe’s spends $200 million a year on these flowers. Some plants can cost thousands of dollars, often because of their breeding, and how long they’ve been around. Orchids are a tough breed, and have been around since 65 million years ago. They know because they found some of the oldest kind in amber! Special labs breed the plants in Petri dishes, and there is a university in Taiwan that specializes in growing orchids. George himself has a lab in Holland. He buys one plant for say 11 thousand, and sends it to them to test for disease, and then breeding. They’ll start with 3,000 to see how fast they grow, then pick the 10 best to breed more.
If you picked up one of his beauties, he gave us some specific instructions to care for them. One 4 ounce turkey baster of water was recommended once you see that the soil is completely dry. Make sure you don’t over water, because the roots will rot very easily. You can also just go with a couple quick sprays from a water bottle onto the buds, where the H20 will get absorbed within the hour. Don’t forget when you are buying an orchid that you check the bottom of the container to see that the roots are not black. If they are, don’t buy that one.
Quantum Computing and the Quiet Quantum Revolution!
Dr. Eric Hudson!
The next generation of computers, or “quantum computers,” will promise greater power and faster processing speeds once they can draw their computing power from super-cooled molecules, according to the January 29 meeting of the Santa Monica Rotary Club.
Rotarian Adam Lichtl, introducing the day’s speaker, primed the room on what quantum computing means in layman’s terms, calling it a rare event in which the exploration of science meets practical engineering.
“A lot of times people are trying to understand the universe around them, what’s out there, and where the universe came from,” Lichtl, former SpaceX director of research, said.
“Other times, people are trying to engineer solutions to problems using existing technologies – how do I make a stronger bridge? How do I make a taller building? And it’s interesting when you see the intersection of these two things.”
Take the telephone switchboard for example.
“If you wanted to make a phone call 100 years ago, you would call up and an operator would take a cable and plug it into a jack, and that’s how calls were connected,” he said.
The phone operator career was a major source of employment in many rural cities, Lichtl explained, but it was still a terrible and inefficient system.
“So they came up with a different kind of switch using newly discovered laws of fundamental physics. In that case, at that time, it was quantum mechanics, and the new switch they came up with was the transistor, a semiconductor. It conducts, it sometimes doesn’t conduct – that’s the quantum nature of it,” he said.
With this, the development of the transistor led to the birth of computing industry and the technology we harness today, Lichtl explained.
“So there’s really no limit to what engineers can do if they marry their work with the deep, explorative questions that people are asking about how the universe works,” he said. “Quantum computing is such a theory, because in the same way that the invention of the transistor opened up an entirely new field and entirely new devices people hadn’t even imagined, they were just trying to connect phone calls. Quantum computing will do the same thing when it’s a reality.”
Speaker Eric Hudson, a UCLA assistant professor of physics, has dedicated his research toward quantum computation with ultra-cold molecular ions and a search for any variation of the fundamental constants of nature.
In quantum computing, to harness the unique quantum mechanical properties of atomic particles means scientists must chill molecules to a fraction of a degree above absolute zero, the temperature at which they can be manipulated to store and transmit data, Hudson said.
Hudson earned his Ph.D. at the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2006 for work in atomic, molecular, and optical physics with ultracold polar molecules. After a postdoctoral fellowship at Yale University, he joined the faculty of the UCLA in 2008.
“The goal is to build a computer that doesn’t work with zeros and ones, but with quantum mechanical objects,” Hudson explained. “A quantum computer could crack any code created by a classical computer and transmit information perfectly securely.”
To wrap up the meeting, the Rotary Club of Santa Monica presented the Westside School of Ballet with a grant.
“The Westside Ballet in Santa Monica is dedicated to excellence and training the development of the students and artists, and every year since the school’s founding in 1967, its students have been awarded scholarships for the major ballet companies schools’ summer programs,” presenter Melissa Dagodag said.
“Your gift helps enable not only our presentation to the community but to the children in the community, as well,” replied Caprice Walker, head of the Children’s Division of the Westside School of Ballet.
This year, Westside Ballet has nine sold-out performances at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica with Symphony Orchestra, she said, and they plan to use the grant money to enhance the productions and reach out to Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District students.
Article written by Mariella Rudy at the Santa Monica Mirror
Our meeting on January 29th was filled with many wonderful things! Along with hearing about quantum computing from Dr. Eric Hudson, we said hi to some fun visitors and gave away grant money! Check it out...
Dr. Eric Hudson and his wife Jennifer Hudson were greeted by Emperor Tom Loo and his wife Stefani DoyLoo! (Isn't it the sweetest how Stefani comes all the time to support her hubby!)
Santa Monica Rotarian Allen Mueller exchanged flags with visiting Rotarian Janice Dost, from the Sun River, Oregon club!
We love giving away money for good causes!
Melissa Dagodag (left) presents a grant check to Caprice Walker of the Westside Ballet of Santa Monica!
Laurel Rosen (middle) brought David Woodbury from the Santa Monica Arthur Murray Dance Studio as her guest! She pulled in our club photographer/slideshow maker extraordinaire, Iao Katagiri for this super cute shot!
Thank you to our lovely ladies, Helen Zhao and Kathy Shepard for greeting everybody at the door!
Our meeting on January 22nd was so great! Along with hearing about ways to keep us and our pets healthy from Dr. Jean Dodds, we also welcomed in two new members and celebrated birthdays, among many other wonderful things! Check it out...
Caroline Schnakers (left) was in charge of introducing Dr. Jean Dodds, our speaker! Also pictured here are Norm Lane and Charles Berman, both from Greenburg Traurig and the latter being the hubby of our speaker, and of course our fearless leader, Emperor Tom Loo!
A big thanks to Palle Jensen and Josh Bradburn for greeting at the door! What better way to meet other Rotarians than to shake everybody's hand as they walk in the door!
Lisa Alexander welcomed Tammy Andrews on her first day,
and David Bohn welcomed Nora Straight!
Our SaMoHi Interact is really thriving!!
Their president, Alex Spanos, came to fill us in on the Rotary World Peace Conference in Ontario, CA!
It was birthday celebration time! Timur Berberoglu gave it a big thumbs up!
On January 22, we learned about Nutrigenomics! Keep yourself and your pets healthy!
Thank you Dr. Dodds! Your talk was so informative!
Here's the whole scoop from Mariella Rudi at the Santa Monica Mirror...
For pet owners, there are foods and supplements that humans and animals can share to optimize health and wellness. These foods, or “superfoods,” can be personalized to fit an individual’s needs, thanks in part to the science of nutrigenomics, according to pet healthcare expert Dr. Jean Dodds.
“We need individual diets, not only to prevent disease but to mitigate disease and to cure chronic illness,” said Dodds at the Santa Monica Rotary Club Friday, Jan. 22.
Nutrigenomics, or nutritional genomics, identify the different ways people and animals respond to food based on their genetic make-up, Dodd said.
“Everything I’m going to talk about relates to you, even though I’m a veterinarian,” she added.
An ideal diet for both humans and pets includes foods that reduce the body’s chronic inflammatory properties, Dodds explained.
“Chronic inflammation of your tissues is what leads to infectious diseases, it leads to obesity, and it leads to cancer,” she said.
To combat these hematological problems, Dodds broke down “good” foods into three categories.
“Functional foods are whole foods with a nutrient-rich composition that provide optimal wellbeing,” she said. “Whole foods have variety and density in the food. The food should be whole as much as possible. Superfoods are usually rich in phytochemicals; they are known to have disease-fighting properties.”
In other words, you need plants to balance your diet.
Dodds’ functional superfoods included prebiotics, probiotics, and omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish oils.
“A prebiotic and a probiotic functions most in tandem,” she said.
Prebiotic supplements like lactulose and spirulina, or whole algae, serve to balance a pet and human’s needs along with meats and other foods, Dodds said.
Foods have medicinal properties, and Dodds identified some of the best additions to a diet.
“Basically all the products from bees – and that’s raw honey, especially Manuka honey from New Zealand; bee pollen; royal jelly; propolis – those all have the same anti-microbial, anti-arthritic, anti-inflammatory properties,” she said.
Dodds added that raw honey is best because of its active, unprocessed properties but that infants, puppies, and kittens should not ingest it.
The best honey is the one made in your own community, “because those bees have made honey reacting to all the environmental things that we have in Southern California. So if you want to get the health benefits from raw honey, you should try to get local honey, and you can get that probably at the farmers market,” she said.
Other superfoods include mushrooms, especially the Oriental mushrooms like reishi, cordyceps, shiitake, and maitake, which act as potent anti-cancer agents, according to Dodds. “These types of mushrooms are also anti-microbial and anti-diabetic,” she said.
Dodds’s list of superfoods and healthy supplements range from the familiar – ginger, raw apple cider vinegar, avocado, sprouted seeds, licorice, green and black tea – to the exotic – deer or elk velvet, green-lipped mussels, King of Bitters, boswellia, white kidney bean extract. She advised to look for these names in ingredients and supplements to get the most out of them.
Finally, there are foods that recharge and boost brain health and memory; like leafy green vegetables (spinach kale, mustard greens, collard greens); cruciferous vegetables (cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbages, broccoli); beans and legumes (lentils, green beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, peas); whole grains; nuts (macadamia nuts are toxic to pets); seeds (flax and hemp seeds); spices (like the potent anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial spice, turmeric); and berries and cherries.
“The only berry that pet animals should not eat is strawberry,” Dodds said.
More foods from Dodds to help brain memory and cognition includ eggs, kiwi fruit, quinoa, mercury-free salmon, sweet potatoes, coconut oil.
Dodds received the D.V.M. degree with honors in 1964 from the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Toronto. In 1965, she accepted a position as a Research Scientist with the New York State Health Department, where she began comparative studies of animals with inherited and acquired bleeding diseases. Eventually, her position culminated as chief at Laboratory of Hematology in Wadsworth Center. In 1980, she also became executive director of the New York State Council on Human Blood and Transfusion Services.
In 1986 Dodds moved to Southern California to establish Hemopet, the first nonprofit national blood bank program for animals. She has authored and co-authored two books and secured over a dozen patents related to animal health care and genetics.
In 2011, Dodds released NutriScan, a food sensitivity and intolerance diagnostic test for dogs that tests for twenty of the most commonly ingested foods.
For more information about Dodds and her business visit www.hemopet.org.
Our meeting on January 8th was great! Along with a speech by Dr. Ronald Loo, we gave away money to charities, and congratulated a couple members on amazing news!
Rotarian Larry Maher poses with David Saunders (right), and his new bride Ronah, of the Red Rhino Orphanage in Kenya! While they were in town we were able to present them with a check for the orphanage!
Rotarian Sharon Perlmutter Gavin (right) presented a grant check to Patti Oblath, the Executive Director for Connections for Children, which will be used for their "Where the Story Begins" early literacy program!
Can you see that gorgeous rock! Congratulations to Andrea Gressinger for getting engaged!
And guess who has a bun in the oven??
Caroline Schnakers is pregnant! Congratulations to her and her sweet husband Martin on this amazing news!
Suzan Allbritton and Len Lanzi welcomed one of our newest members, Deborah Williams! You can already tell she's going to be a fabulous member and we're so glad she's making fast friends!
It's a new year, so we started out by learning all about prostate cancer! Not so fun, you say? Well, we were told by our speaker Dr. Ronald Loo that one orgasm a day will reduce risk by 22%! I don't know about you, but that sounds pretty awesome to me!
Despite the good news, it looks like our Emperor Tom Loo couldn't help but feel very protective and concerned. He's pictured here with his brother and our speaker, Dr. Ronald Loo (right) and his lovely wife Stefani DoyLoo (left).
Here's the whole scoop from Mariella Rudi at the Santa Monica Mirror...
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men other than skin cancer. About one in seven men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, and about one in 38 men will die of the disease.
To put these statistics into perspective, Ronald K. Loo, MD, regional chief of urology of Southern California Permanente Medical Group, spoke to the Rotary Club of Santa Monica last Friday about the cutting edge developments occurring in prostate cancer, including the controversy of prostate screenings and robotics surgery.
Loo, who oversees 120 urologists nationwide and has more than 40 years’ experience, is well-versed in the ongoing debate shrouding prostate and breast cancer screenings.
With about a quarter of a million new cases diagnosed each year, most patients can be cured, and it’s an inexpensive blood test followed by a biopsy that can help detect prostate cancer, according to Loo. So, what’s the problem?
“In 2012, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, a governmental recommendation agency, said you shouldn’t do prostate cancer screenings for men at any age,” Loo, who is also the brother of Santa Monica Rotary Club President Tom Loo, said. “And indeed, since that’s come out, there’s been a 25-30 percent drop in the number of men who are screened for prostate cancer across the country.”
Loo shared his theory on why the agency would prescribe such an “outlandish recommendation.”
“Their thinking was that screenings offer a minimal survival benefit for the patients being treated, and that the harms vastly outweigh all the benefits, either through the biopsy or through radiation and surgery, etc.”
Since the Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) Test was invented around 1990, Loo said that there has been a 30 percent decline in the number of patients who have died of prostate cancer.
“Prostate cancer screening is meaningful if you’ve got a life expectancy of more than 10 years,” he said. “If we stop completely screening for prostate cancer, we’re going to triple the number of patients with metastatic disease, and there is no cure for metastatic prostate cancer.”
From a public health perspective, in the three years since the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force’s recommendation was released, six new prostate cancer drugs have come out, Loo explained, and they work, he said, at a cost of about $9,000 a month. Now, it has become a problem of over-treating, not over-diagnosis, he added.
Loo is also a huge proponent of robotic surgery. With robotic surgery, prostate surgery, and radiation for prostate cancer, the outcomes are good, he said.
“Not finding this cancer is not the issue, really,” Loo continued. “It’s what you do with the patients once you’ve found the cancer that’s going to make the biggest amount of difference, and that’s where the evolution of prostate cancer is occurring right now due to the economics.”
The chief of urology offered more advice on the prospects of prostate cancer. First, if you’re of average risk and decide you want to be screened, start at the age of 50 and continue through 69.
“If you’re higher risk – if you’re African American or have first-degree relative who’s got prostate cancer – then you start at the age of 45,” he said.
Everything recommended for a healthy heart works to help reduce your risk of prostate cancer, according to Loo; diets that are rich in red foods, like tomatoes and watermelons, and foods that have isoflavones in them, like green tea and tofu. Eat more fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids, eat less in animal fats, and stop smoking, he said.
“If you’re between 50 and 70 please consider getting tested. If you have a higher risk, consider 45. If you do need treatment, if you have an aggressive type of prostate cancer, you need to get treatment performed at a high volume center that does a whole lot of prostate cancer surgery and radiation therapy, and they need to have transparent outcomes,” Loo explained.
Finally, consider the orgasm. Researchers from Harvard Medical School Men found that having one orgasm a day could significantly reduce a man’s chance of developing prostate cancer by 22 percent.
December 11th we heard from Michael Rich, the CEO of RAND!
Speaker Michael Rich (right) with Rotarian Tim Jackman, retired SMPD Chief.
When RAND Corporation’s Michael Rich last visited the Rotary Club of Santa Monica more than a half-decade ago, he reported on RAND’s global expansion and early days in Santa Monica.
But today, as the fifth chief executive officer and president of the nonprofit, nonpartisan research institution, Rich has a few more things keeping him up at night: his 2,000 employees.
“My concern is that it is getting harder and harder to have their voices heard in today’s rancorous political climate,” he said.
Rich couldn't have emphasized RAND’s objectivity more at his talk Friday, Dec. 11. That neutrality is the lifeblood of RAND’s mission and purpose, and it’s one increasingly lacking in the two-parties political system.
RAND exists to aid policy decisions in the most important problems – the ones that affect the most people – made with the best available evidence. That core purpose, as Rich called it, is getting a lot harder these days as it once was. For this, we can blame partisan politics. Without any overlap or common ground between the two parties, public interest can be swayed and compromised.
RAND combats this with facts, helping to improve decision- and policy-making through rigorous and objective research and analysis.
How do RAND researchers, analysts, and employees keep this objectivity at the forefront of their work? It’s through scrupulous peer review and bias screenings, Rich said. And by publishing this work online for free, RAND ensures that the public is involved with the findings, as well.
He quoted Justice Louis D. Brandeis, saying, after all, “Sunlight is the best disinfectant.”
“Project RAND” was originally created at the request of Army Air Corps officials in 1945 to assist the U.S. military with the new technologies and strategies developed during World War II and to tackle future issues. It began in Santa Monica as a unit of the Douglas Aircraft Company, and in May of 1948, RAND became an independent, non-profit located at 4th and Broadway.
Funding for RAND’s work comes from a variety of sources. About one-third comes from the request of clients, another third from clients to finance research that RAND researchers have come up with, and the final third from the collaborative process of discussing opportunities and problems with a variety of sources. RAND also initiates research that is self-financed from its income from operations, donations, and an endowment created by past donors.
RAND is headquartered at Main Street, with the rest of locations scattered among its four U.S. offices, two European offices, and an office in the Middle East. RAND’s Pardee Graduate School is also located at the Santa Monica location.
About 800 titles are published by RAND each year. They can be accessed by the public on their website, www.rand.org free of charge.
Article written by Mariella Rudi, Santa Monica Mirror
December 4th we heard from Mark Ordesky, Executive Producer of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy!
Emperor/President Tom Loo with movie producers Jane Fleming and Mark Ordesky, who addressed the club. Jane and Mark are former executives at New Line Cinema (Mark was executive producer of the “Lord of the Rings” Trilogy). They are co-founders of Court Five, a multifaceted media company.
How did New Line Cinema nab Peter Jackson and his vision for the fantastically successful “Lord of the Rings” trilogy?
You might not have heard of him, but Mark Ordesky was the secret sauce to the franchise that would gather 30 Oscar nominations and net nearly $3 billion at the box office.
“The $200 million green light I secured for the ‘Lord of the Rings’ trilogy – which in hindsight might seem like the surest of sure bets – was deemed so improbable, so dangerous that no other studio even bothered to compete for the rights to make the movie,” Ordesky said at the Santa Monica Rotary Club Friday, Dec. 4. “Even at New Line where I was now a senior production executive and passionate ‘Rings’ advocate, there were those who believed the trilogy would be the company’s undoing.”
Yet where did he discover Peter Jackson, future Oscar winner and maestro of Middle-earth, he asked.
It was in a toilet at Republic Pictures.
Ordesky’s self-described “toilet office” was a converted men’s restroom so small that the then-24-year-old could touch both walls at opposite ends. It was there that he had stumbled upon an independent B-movie called “Bad Taste” from a young unknown Kiwi about carnivorous space aliens trying to harvest New Zealanders for food. The Kiwi, Peter Jackson, wrote, directed, starred, and edited the film for four years on nights and weekends.
Ordesky endeavored to secure U.S. distribution rights, but as he would come to find out and treasure, sometimes being told no is a gift.
“Since I had tried and failed to buy ‘Bad Taste’ in 1987, I had gone on to get Peter his first Hollywood job at New Line, writing a sequel of ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’ that never got made,” he recalled.
Part of New Line Cinema in 1999, Ordesky went to a midnight screening of “The Blair Witch Project” at Sundance Film Festival. He had a hunch but was $400,000 short of a competing bid, and the filmmakers went with a more enthusiastic distributor.
That loss seared into his mind forever the lesson of not denying a core instinct when you are fortunate enough to have one, he said.
After he slept on another movie, the Oscar-winning “The Usual Suspects,” he made a vow.
“I decided nothing and no one was going to stop me from seeing the ‘Lord of the Rings’ made – if it was the last thing I did in the film business, so be it,” he said.
A USC journalism grad, Ordesky grew up in the turmoil of the ‘70s, watching Vietnam and Watergate play out on TV. The same place he had watched the moral decay of a nation, he soon discovered films from Clint Eastwood, François Truffaut, Lina Wertmüller, and Monty Python.
“You could sort of say movies saved my soul,” he remembered.
At 13, he devoured the three “Lord of the Rings” books and happily fell down the Tolkien rabbit hole.
Decades later, at Miramax, the Weinstein’s were trying to compel Peter Jackson to make one film of the three books, and the director was hoping to convince anyone to make two films of the three books.
“And this is where knowing him from 12 years and believing in him became destiny,” Ordesky said of New Line’s coup locking in the three films.
After all, it was at Ordesky’s tiny apartment that Peter Jackson slept the couch when he came to L.A., where they played Risk all night, and where the auteur witnessed all of Ordesky’s “Lord of the Rings” and Dungeons and Dragons paraphernalia.
“So, who do you think he was going to call when he was trying to fight for his life to manifest his own vision for ‘Lord of the Rings’?
And it didn’t matter that he hadn’t won an Oscar, and it didn’t matter that he lived far away in New Zealand because Peter’s vision for ‘Lord of the Rings’ was so comprehensive as to be undeniable.
“And I had correctly suspected that fantasy films were due for a reinvention because ‘Harry Potter’ was just getting started at this time. It was a perfect storm.”
Nine weeks before the global launch of the first film of the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, “The Fellowship of the Ring,” the attacks of 9/11 occurred.
“And I remember feeling the horror and impotence and anger of what to do in the face of such evil,” Ordesky recalled.
In that moment, making movies seemed kind of silly and irrelevant to him.
“And I couldn’t have been more wrong. Because this child of Watergate and Vietnam, who fought his own apathy and cynicism with movies, I had in my hands a potent antidote for the children of 9/11,” he said. “I had three movies about four little hobbits who must leave the the Shire and confront Middle-earth’s most darkest elements with a simple notion: that there is some good in this world and it’s worth fighting for.”
Article written by Mariella Rudi, Santa Monica Mirror
Dec 4 Speaker - Mark Ordesky & the Lord of the Rings
December 4th was magical!! Our speaker was Mark Ordesky, the Executive Producer of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy!!
Rotarian Larry Maher posed with his friend and our speaker, Mark Ordesky, and fellow producer Jane Fleming! Such nice folks!
Emperor Loo and Past President Dee Menzies welcome our visiting Rotarians from Karachi, Pakistan! Thanks for coming all the way just to see us! ;)
Past President Judy Neveau was presented with a beautiful bouquet for chairing our very successful Wine & Jazz Fest! Ken Waltzer and Suzan Allbritton should have gotten some too, for they were both driving forces in this event!
I missed the memo...apparently it was Family Day at Rotay!
Alan Glick brought his son, Charles, to see our awesome speaker!
Sharon Perlmutter Gavin brought her hubby Andy & her twin sister Keren! Can you tell which is which??
And our speaker Mark Ordesky invited his brother Joel!
A big thank you all of the members who volunteer their time to greet, introduce guests & speakers, & give the invocation! David Rosenfeld is one of our most active participants, and here Daniel Bennett is getting a great handshake and warm welcome!
Thanksgiving was a wonderful opportunity to give back to the officers who protect us every day!!
Dee Menzies & Iao Katagiri with 3 officers showing off their cards from Carlthorp School fifth graders thanking them for being on duty during the holidays!!
Mitch Kraus and his son Zachary are some of the most consistent volunteers!!
Inside it says:
Dear Police Officer,
I very much appreciate the dedication that you give to your work. The fact that you are spending your Thanksgiving to help others is very outstanding. You should be very proud that you are helping others, and for that reason you are appreciated by many people!
At the serving line...
They were at the ready for their customers! Thank you to all our volunteers!!
November 6th was a great day!! We celebrated our veterans and had a little fun too! The program was trivia-based, where they showed movie clips about wars and Rotarians had to guess it's movie title or main actors name.
There were fun moments!
Here are Navy Veterans Monte Herring and Monty McCormick! The Double Monty! :)
There were serious moments!
Veteran Michael Cates
There were moments of great thought!
The trivia quiz was tough! RoseMary Regalbuto, Julie Thomas and Kent Waltzer worked towards an answer even as everybody else got up to leave!
There were singing moments!
Veterans Scott Wagenseller & Monty McCormick,
Russ Warner & Jay Smith,
and Klaus Brandt with new member, Miss Simone Gordon
Here's the crew that made it all possible! Here are guests Diane and Michael Rhodes, with Bill Powell, President/Emperor Tom Loo, and Carol Powell. Michael provided the excerpts from famous wartime movies that we used in the trivia quiz. He also produced the 3-minute short about an industry salute to America that was used in three Oscar award shows.
October 30th we heard from two of our new members as they gave their Craft Talks! This is their opportunity to tell their life story in about 10-12 minutes. It's always super interesting and fun to learn about our new friends!
Craft Talkers Kathy Shepard
& Palle Jensen!
The key to a successful Craft Talk at Rotary is to have your fellow Rotarians walk away with a tangible sense of you and your family. The purpose of it is for Club members to find out how they and the Craft Talkers fit into, and form a unit within, the family of Rotary.
The Rotary Club of Santa Monica program fulfilled just that, with Rotarians learning more about the newer members’ personal and professional lives Friday, Oct. 30.
First up was Kathy Shepard.
Shepard grew up a military brat and continued in her adult life to find places to go.
She’s a public relations veteran, now self-employed as a corporate communications and public relations expert.
Shepard’s trajectory has always been upward. She got her start doing PR for KTTV, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, and independent consulting. Soon, she was director of PR for the Hilton Hotels Corp., first joining in 1993 at the Las Vegas Hilton and later Hilton Gaming, where she was responsible for 13 casino gaming properties in Nevada and New Jersey.
Her final coup came when she became vice president of corporate communications for the Fortune 500 Company.
The hotel industry was where she honed her crisis management skills.
“I cannot tell you when you work at a hotel company what kind of crisis you might run into on a daily basis. I had, unfortunately, murders, I had suicides, I’ve had mold,” Shepard said.
But it hasn’t been all dire straits. Shepard also worked in the entertainment industry, helping to launch shows like “21 Jump Street” and “The Simpsons.”
A fun tidbit about Shepard is that she’s met two presidents, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. She met President Clinton while she was very pregnant, and he used her pregnancy to cut his talk short, saying that he’d better hurry up because Kathy was about to pop. He cleverly said he didn’t want to be blamed if she didn’t get to the hospital on time. And she met President Obama after winning a 15-minute meet-and-greet. She and her daughter were able to fly to San Francisco for the opportunity. A die-hard football fan, Shepard lives with her husband and daughter in Santa Monica.
Next up was Palle Jensen, who hails from Denmark and speaks with a thick, good Dutch accent. A member of the Club for over a year now, Jensen files under the manufacturing classification. He got his start in the industry at a prestigious engineering company specializing in providing high-tech plastic solutions for industrial applications. While attending a four-year master’s program, Jensen met his wife.
“I stayed in what I would call the ‘corporate life’ until 1994 with the same company that provide high-tech plastic solutions for industrial applications,” Jensen told Rotarians. But it was when the company “got into trouble” that he decided to head up his own venture.
With his strong industrial network of contacts, Jensen started another business in Denmark. He has since been CEO and owner of Electronic House UAB, Metalco Baltic UAB, and Libra Cable Technologies, Inc.
In 2004, his wife and he established the IBO-based Vilnius International School with two other international families. The school is considered one of the best schools in Lithuania today and a top school in the Baltic’s.
Two years ago, he and his wife, along with their children, invested in a different venture: moving to the U.S.
“We made a business plan, launched a business, started it up, and moved here,” he said.
Their business continues to grow today.
He’s also president of the Danish American Chamber of Commerce in Southern California.
“One thing I’ve learned is hard work. Hard work, hard work is extremely important. That’s also why I’m standing here today,” Jensen said.
Article written by Mariella Rudi, Santa Monica Mirror
October 30th was a hoot!! With Halloween the next day, we had fun decorations and costumes! And what a program...birthdays, an induction, and two Craft Talks by new members!!
Our new member and Craft Talker, Palle Jensen, was greeted at the end by fellow Rotarian, Dick Hart! Palle is the CEO for Libra Cable Technologies, Inc., a company focused on cable manufacturing!
Our new member and Craft Talker, Kathy Shepard, was greeted at the end by fellow Rotarian and past president, Dee Menzies! Kathy is an expert in Public Relations with her own business, though she's held a lot of other prestigious jobs in her life!
We celebrated our September and October birthdays!
Up top is Diane Margolin, Bret Carter, Karim Jaude and Grace Cheng Braun!
And down below is new member Palle Jensen, our president and emperor, Tom Loo, and past president George Collins!
I think at 80 years old, George takes the cake for most wise in the birthday group! :)
Past President Judy Neveau gets fined for having her floors redone! Pictured here with Matt Williams. Someone definitely said something funny!
Jolly Gissell was inducted at the luncheon! He's the one in white, second from the right. Jolly is a Family Wealth Director for Morgan Stanley! Others pictured here were Jim & Dee Menzies, Barb Bishop, Jolly's wife Patty, and Lisa Alexander.
December 20th we heard from 3 awesome football stars!
From left, football quarterbacks and NFL veterans Cade McNown (Bruins 1995-1998) and Rodney Peete (USC 1985-1988) with record-holding wide-receiver Danny Farmer (Bruins 1996-1999). That's our Rotarian Bill Powell right there in the middle, and on the far right is Westwood Past President Don Nelson, both of whom helped set up this great program!
The Santa Monica Rotary Club merged with its sister club in Westwood Village Friday, Nov. 20 to revel in the greatest cross-town rivalry in football: USC vs. UCLA.
With the room decidedly split down the middle between Trojan and Bruin alumni, with a few sparse UC Berkeley Bears and other collegiate outliers, Rotarians rang in the coming end of the college football season, bringing in three marquee players from both schools to find out more about what it’s like to play “in the Big Game” and lead their teams, and colleges, to victory.
Santa Monica Rotary President Tom Loo (USC ‘68) addressed former USC quarterback and NFL veteran Rodney Peete (1985-1988) about their alma mater, and past Westwood Village president Don Nelson (UCLA ‘48) doled out questions to star Bruin athletes Cade McNown (1995-1998) and Danny Farmer (1996-1999).
McNown, who was drafted in the first round to the Chicago Bears and ended his NFL career with the San Francisco 49ers in 2002, is now in the investment advisory business in Beverly Hills with Lourd Capital Management. When asked whether his football career helped him in his present career, the All-American quarterback called his new life with a wife and four kids “the revised dream.”
“When it comes to work or investing or anything else – discipline and focus and commitment – are all things that you need to be successful in a business career, and those are all certainly things that you development when you’re on a football team,” McNown said.
Farmer echoed his football best friend’s sentiment.
“Both Rodney and Cade will agree with me that football’s an unbelievable way to kind of set yourself up,” the wide receiver said. “It teaches you how to come together for a common goal.”
After all these years, Farmer still holds the UCLA football record for career receiving yards (3,020).
“I’ve got my best friend from football here and we just had so much fun together,” Farmer said. “Cade will tell you the same thing: we worked really hard, were successful, and had a lot of fun.”
Farmer also led the UCLA Bruins men’s volleyball teams to two national championships.
“So I didn’t have to go to spring football,” he joked.
The Bruins and Trojans volleyball rivalry was significant in its own right, Farmer said, adding the team was 4-0 against USC.
“That rivalry was a little bit different. The volleyball community is a lot smaller,” he said.
And Farmer knows about this rivalry. His grandfather played basketball at USC in the 1930s, his father played football, basketball and track at UCLA, his uncle also played football at UCLA, and a cousin played baseball at USC while another played football with him at UCLA.
“Our family is split down the middle,” he said.
Farmer today is an advisor for a boutique life insurance brokerage firm in Beverly Hills, specializing in disability insurance for athletes.
Last up was one of the most famous quarterbacks in USC history, Rodney Peete, now a sports broadcaster for Fox Sports. Peete lost one game to UCLA in his Trojan career and went on to play 16 years in the NFL, retiring with the Carolina Panthers after going to the Super Bowl XXXVIII.
But according to Peete, his greatest call to fame was marrying one of the neighborhood kids, actress and entertainer Holly Robinson. The husband-and-wife duo will star in their own docu-series “For Peete’s Sake,” announced earlier this year.
University of Arizona, UCLA, and Stanford also pursued Peete before he picked football at USC. The deciding factor? When he was picked up in a black limo with two USC Song Girls in the back and taken to lunch in Marina del Rey.
Rotarians also wanted to know about how Peete managed to play in the 1988 UCLA-USC game just days before he was hospitalized with measles.
“I get asked that question all the time. Was it a trick or tactic to duck focus away from the game and give us an advantage? And I would say we never needed a trick against UCLA. That being said, it was a difficult week.
“But there was never a doubt that I wasn’t going to play. It was just that kind of a game. At that time I think we were 9-0. It was a big deal.”
They ended up winning and played at the Rose Bowl against Michigan State.
“But I certainly felt the adrenaline, felt the crowd, felt the USC fans that helped me through,” Peete said.
On his feelings leading up to the Heisman Trophy announcements where he was named second to Barry Sanders: “Growing up, admiring those who won the trophy in the past, watching that ceremony, you know where it is; you have Downtown Athletic Club embedded in your mind. It’s something that you dream about.”
And Peete’s predictions for next week’s USC/UCLA game at the Coliseum? He foresees 27-20, USC.
Article written by Mariella Rudi, Santa Monica Mirror
October 16th was a fun filled day! Along with a fabulous speaker about bees, the club was abuzz with other adventures, too!
Christine Mirasy-Glasco was up at the head table! This amazing new member is the Executive Director for Upward Bound House!
As was the wonderful Susan Annett! She used to be the Principle Librarian for the Santa Monica Public Library!
It's always great to see Rotarians bring their spouses! Hal Quigley brought his sweetie, Kai-Li!
Ken Waltzer made an announcement for the Wine & Jazz Fest coming up on November 15! Don't forget to buy your tickets online!
And look who's back there, the talented Pat Bofird who was our songleader for the day!
Thank you to Ruth for bringing actual bees to her speech!!
Left to right: Jay Smith, Barb Bishop, Russ Warner, Paul Leoni in the back there, Allen Mueller, David Rosenfeld, Timur Berberoglu, Alan Glick, and the mystery man...I think it's Larry Maher.
And what would a day at Rotary be without fining someone heavily for something amazing! Well, this was a big one for our past president, George Collins...he turned 80!! Woohoo!! He's looking younger every day! Can you see in Lisa Alexander's picture how big his cake had to be to fit that many candles? :)
October 23rd was such a great day! Along with our very interesting talk about North Korea by Dr. Bruce Bennett, we had some fun and honored some people as well...
We inducted our new member, Bill Bubar! He is the president of Bubar's Jewelers, Inc. located right in downtown Santa Monica!
Past President George Collins passed out some awards to folks who weren't at Dethroning, and Stan Fox, owner of Fox Coin Laundries, won the Austin Jennings Award, for outstanding service of over 20 years! Does Bill Bubar look jealous, or what?!
Emperor Loo has been filling his head table with wonderful people! His president's pick this time was Diane Margolin, who is the publisher of the Santa Monica Star! So nice to see her highlighted this week!
Past President David Bohn brought his soon to be sister-in-law, Nora Straight!
Emperor Loo fined Roger Davis heavily for putting out his new book, Wall Street's Just Not That Into You!
October 16th we heard from Dr. Bruce Bennett on what will happen if North Korea collapses!
Dr. Bruce Bennett, senior defense analyst at RAND Corporation!
North Korea is a time bomb. That was the thesis behind Dr. Bruce Bennett’s talk at the weekly Rotary of Santa Monica meeting Friday, Oct. 23.
Bennett, a senior defense analyst at the RAND Corporation and an expert in Northeast Asian military issues, offered an introduction to Rotarians about preparing for the possibility of a North Korean collapse. He painted a surreal portrait of a post-Kim Jong-Un world – one with famine, infighting, and nuclear and biological warfare.
“The collapse of North Korea has been rumored for decades,” Bennett said. “But you never had a leader like you have in North Korea now. This is a person who has done his best to offend his elites.”
To put the current North Korean dictator in context, Bennett said that his predecessor and father, Kim Jong-Il, had changed his defense minister three times in 17 years, two of which died of old age. Kim Jon-Un has changed his defense minister five times in less than four years. This, coupled with sociopathic brutality of well-known purges and gentle executions, typifies a paranoid despot.
“And as a result, I believe that sometime in the not-too-distant future, a number of years probably, we will see a change in the government in North Korea. You can’t project because sooner or later – I think – some member of his elite is going to kill him. And then we are going to have a change,” he said.
The country runs on a hierarchy with Kim Jong-Un, the current leader, at the very top, Bennett explained.
“A 32-year-old – roughly speaking, we don’t know for sure – he has then a variety of people below him. His security has gone up considerably after his father. He’s feeling the threats,” Bennett said.
He said the real game changer came when Kim Jong-Un pulled his uncle out of the number two spot within the pecking order, making that role a veritable death sentence.
“It wasn’t immediate; it would be in a matter of three of five years. But you and your family and your extended family were likely going to be exterminated,” he said.
With a race to the top after Kim Jong-Un, the political and military elite will likely suffer dissension.
“So, we anticipate that some combination of factions develop. This is just one guess. But if it does, you’re going to expect civil war. If that happens, the all-ready terrible food situation in North Korea will get worse. And as a result, sooner or later South Korea is going to decide if they’ve got to intervene. There is just no choice. They can’t let their ethnic brothers suffer,” he said.
Once this happens, though, the Chinese will also intervene.
“The Bank of Korea has projected that in a collapse of North Korea, roughly three million North Koreans out of a total 24 million population would make their way into South Korea over time,” Bennett explained. “Given where the population lives, that means about five million head towards China. And they want something less of zero of those people living in China because they worry about the disruptive affect they would have. And so China will intervene to deal with that and other issues.”
For a country with a disastrous economy, dilapidated industry, and antiquated infrastructure, Bennett predicted that once infighting happens, the North Koreans would starve as a result.
“Agriculture doesn’t produce enough to feed their people even at a subsistence level,” he said.
The North Korean’s only saving grace has been their nuclear weapons.
“Because for a regime like this, what do they have to be proud of? Not economy, not politics, so they try to infuse in their people pride for the fact that they are one of the only 10 countries that have yielded nuclear weapons – therefore, they’re a great state,” he said.
Once South Korea intervenes, one way to resolve the threat of WMDs is to unify the country. But before they can do that, they’d have a myriad of short-term and midterm issues to handle like civil war, humanitarian disasters, and food relief.
“These are the key challenges in my mind and the things that we need to be prepared to work with our Korean allies to resolve,” he said.
One example is the humanitarian aid. Bennett surmised that food would have to be taken via military like the U.S. and Korean marines to make sure the Korean military or the criminal organizations don’t take it.
“Black market is well-established in North Korea and a very serious problem,” Bennett said.
And what will become of the North Korean elites after Kim Jong-Un?
If they don’t want unification, which is likely, and they believe they won’t get a good deal out of it, “you can bet they’re going to fight us.”
Bennett wrote a book in 2013 titled, “Preparing For the Possibility of a North Korean Collapse,” available for free download at rand.org.
Article written by Mariella Rudi, Santa Monica Mirror
October 16th we heard from Ruth Askren, bee rescuer and beekeeper extraordinaire!
Ruth Askren, owner of Bee Capture, pictured here with Emperor Loo!
When the Los Angeles City Council voted to legalize urban beekeeping last week, they overturned a 136-year-old ban on the practice going back thousands of years.
Fitting, a full-time beekeeper was at Rotary Club of Santa Monica Friday, Oct. 16 to discuss the curious lives of bees and their impact on the L.A. ecosystem, household, and economy.
Ruth Askren has been keeping bees in and around L.A. since 2009. What started out as a hobby to spend more time with her father has turned into her own business, Bee Capture. From mid-city to Point Dume, Askren has provided beehive removals and relocations, but today, she mainly focuses on hive maintenance and mentoring.
She began her talk to Santa Monica Rotarians about how Africanized honeybees came to the L.A. basin.
“In 1957 a Brazilian scientist imported some bees from Africa in an effort to make beekeeping in South America more profitable because all the South American apiaries were using European honey bees, which are used to a colder climate. Unfortunately, a lot of those African queens escaped and it took them about 40-50 years, and they’re here,” Askren said. “And now they have interbred with the larger European honey bee population in Los Angeles, and we have something wonderful called hybrid vigor, which is the Africanized honey bee’s ability to survive a lot of the disease onslaughts that the European bees cannot survive. But it’s true: they have a more aggressive temperament.”
This is why beekeepers like Askren who are keeping feral bees have a heavy task at hand. There are always bee rescues to be done around L.A.
“We find ourselves on the forefront of trying to tame the population,” she said.
Askren, who previously taught at Notre Dame Academy, spoke with such deftness that one would think she’s been doing this her entire life. She then turned to bee biology, something a beekeeper has to be keenly aware of if she wants to control the hive.
In the hive, she explained, all the bees except the drones have jobs.
“Well, the drones do have one job and that job is to find a queen to mate with. Only about 10 percent of the hive is drones. Meanwhile the females do all the work,” she said.
There are three types of bees: the worker, the drones, and the queen. The worker bee can live somewhere between four to eight weeks, going through different work cycles throughout that time. From receiver bees to guards to housekeepers then forages, the worker bee’s life is determined by how long her wings will last.
“The worker is the smallest one, and her abdomen is pointed, you can just see her stinger there. The next size up is the drone, whose got a blunt, hind end and he does not have a stinger. He has big eyes, they take up most of his head because his main job in life is to look for and find a queen, along with 15 or 20 of his brothers,” Askren said.
The drones die directly after mating. In fact, they cant even feed themselves, which is why they get kicked out of the hive at the stress times of the year (when the weather changes.)
And then there’s the queen bee. She has no stripes on her body and will always have a little dot of paint on her signifying her age for the beekeeper.
Queens can live for two to five years. In a very good spring season, she can lay up to 2,000 eggs a day.
“And yet commercial beekeepers do like having 1-year-old queens in all of their hives because they are the most productive. And each year that a queen is alive, her production will fall off slowly but surely. However, it’s worth it to keep and older queen around because some of them have within their genetic code a lot of strength and resistance to disease that is very sought after,” Askren explained.
Lastly, budding beekeepers must decide how they will deal with varroa mites, or “the new biggest challenge to the bees.” Askren said that today, it’s widely accepted that these mites are what causes colony-collapse disorder, a 25-year-old phenomenon that bees in the U.S. haven’t developed immunities to. The varroa mite’s lifecycle matches a bees, so larvae are born with these red dots all ready on them.
“A viral syndrome races through the hive and can kill all the bees in very short order,” Askren said. “We have to make the decision as beekeepers as to how we’re going to treat the mites. There’s a treatment-free community that believes all medicines for mites are bad and harms all bees and should allow sick bees to die – it’s called bond beekeeping,” she said.
But most commercial bees understand they have to deal with bee treatments, and they use a miticide similar to what one would use for fleas or ticks on pets.
“Beekeeping is multi-faceted and it can be a craft and a pastimes as well as business,” Askren said.
To learn more about beekeeping, visit Askren’s business at beecapture.com.
Article written by Mariella Rudi, Santa Monica Mirror
October 9th we heard from Andy Gavin about the video game industry!
Andy Gavin, founder of Naughty Dog, introduced by Rotary Vice President Sharon Perlmutter Gavin!
Andy Gavin, co-founder of Naughty Dog video game developers, gave Santa Monica Rotarians Friday, Oct. 9 insider insight into the $30 billion industry.
“Video games are an art. Sure, a commercial art, but an art nonetheless,” Gavin said.
Since the commercialization of video games in the 1970s, this business has been mostly popular with young kids, Gavin said. But since then, video games have grown at a furious pace, and Gavin proceeded to chart the rise of video games in culture, business, and life.
There have been tens of thousands of other games made across dozens of genres.
“Despite the decades and the enormous graphic developments, what the platform game does – running, jumping, swinging – has remained fairly consistent,” he said.
Moving from Donkey Kong to Super Mario to Sonic The Hedgehog, “which revolutionized platform mechanics like the lighting-fast game player and colorful graphics. And in 1994’s Donkey Kong upped the ante with high-resolution details and character animation. But if you don’t mind me saying, Crash Bandicoot really changed it to next-level with its life-like 3D cartoon look.”
Gavin created the insanely-popular and best-selling Crash Bandicoot, a 3D platform video game chronicling the creation of its namesake at the hands of the series villain Doctor Neo Cortex and his henchman Doctor Nitrus Brio. The game’s story follows Crash’s effort to stop Brio and Cortex’s plans for world domination, clean up any pollution they have caused, and save his girlfriend, a female bandicoot also evolved by Brio and Cortex.
“Leaping forward Naughty Dog’s 2008 Uncharted 2 offers up intense new realism and cinematic style in which players can alter – games to look more and more mature,” he said. “And by 2012 ubiquitous graphics in arts from Journey explores new realms and new style. Finally, next year’s soon-to-be-hit Uncharted 4 offers unprecedented graphics detail. If you notice 40 years later, video game characters are still swinging from ropes and dragging through water, all the same stuff – it just looks a lot better.”
The Uncharted franchise has been universally praised for its cinematic quality and technical proficiency, and has sold nearly 17 million copies worldwide as of 2012.
Gavin compared the extreme, teamwork effort video game development goes through, just like films and television. Even the smallest game projects require 3-4 people with different skill sets and modern big-budget games as many as 500 contributors, he said.
The next thing we should know about the video game industry was the different genres and sub-genres the industry produces. From the classics pinball and ball and paddle action games, to the first-person shooter, and survival horror of action-adventure, a quick tour of the dozens of video game genres shows the multiplicity of business. Gavin walked through massively multiplayer online role-playing games (like World Of Warcraft) to sports (FIFA) to vehicle stimulation (NASCAR) to a multiplayer online battle arena, real-time strategy game (League of Legends).
Perhaps more fascinating than the backstory of video games is Gavin’s own story. With a photographic memory, two novels under his belt, and a food and wine blog, Gavin doesn’t stop at computer programming even if it is his niche.
At the age of 15, he and his childhood friend Jason Rubin founded Santa Monica-based Naughty Dog (then Jam Software before renaming it in 1989). In between he matriculated as a PhD candidate at M.I.T.’s Artificial Intelligence Laboratory
His research was for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory on the Pathfinder Mars Rover project and involved real-time low-cost vision. While still a student, he learned the programming language LISP, hacked hardware, programmed real-time robots, and built custom compilers that would serve him so well at Naughty Dog.
As a subsidiary of Sony Computer Entertainment, Naughty Dog is best known for developing games for the PlayStation family of consoles, including the Crash Bandicoot series for the original PlayStation, Jake and Dexter on PlayStation 2, and Uncharted and The Last of Us on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4. Before selling to Sony, Gavin and Rubin sold approximately 40 million copies on the seven video games they developed.
October 2nd we heard from Dr. Bogdan Pasaniuc and some of our Rotary members on geneology and ancestry!
Dr. Dr. Bogdan Pasaniuc, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, pictured here with Jenn Brown, of UCLA Health and Sciences Development!
Africa is where we first evolved, and where we have spent the majority of our time on Earth.
If there was one takeaway from the Santa Monica Rotary meeting Friday, Oct. 2, it was that “we all came out of Africa – We are all related,” said Santa Monica Rotary President Tom Loo. “There is no such thing as race, quite frankly.”
Using genetics to trace human migration patterns, scientists and anthropologists have traced a map of the human journey. And using the National Geographic Project, people have helped answer fundamental questions about where humankind originated and how we came to populate the Earth.
The National Geographic Project, about a decade-old anthropological study that uses DNA voluntarily contributed by hundreds of thousands of people to answer the oldest questions we have about ourselves: Who are we and where did we come from? In doing so, the project has gone on to create the world’s largest survey of DNA samples to map how humankind populated the planet.
So far there have been 742,652 participants in the genographic project in over 140 countries.
But before some could share the story their DNA told, Rotarians first were primed on how this science worked.
Dr. Bogdan Pasaniuc, professor at Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA, in Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, explained the uses of modern DNA to understand the history and evolution of the human species.
Through his research, Bogdan is primarily interested in statistical and computational methods for understanding genetic risk factors for common diseases with a particular focus in the study of admixed populations.
“Each chromosome has all the information that we need for our cells to function,” he said. “Although you don’t have to go through all the details to understand this, within the chromosomes there’s this molecule called DNA which is formed from other, smaller molecules. It’s a blueprint of everything that we are.”
Following his presentation was about a quick tour of the results of the National Geographic Geno Project from four Rotarians.
Geno 2.0 Next Generation Genographic Project Participation and DNA Ancestry Kit costs about $200. It uses a custom-built genotyping chip that enables a test of nearly 750,000 DNA markers, many of which have been specifically selected to provide highly detailed ancestry-related information.
The test kit involves a painless cheek swab and instructions for submitting the DNA. From this, you will discover the migration paths your ancient ancestors followed hundreds – even thousands – of years ago. You will also learn what percentage of your genome is affiliated with more than a dozen regions of the world. But perhaps most importantly, you will have the opportunity to share your story and connect with other Genographic Project participants, and help National Geographic fill in the gaps in the human story.
Anthropologists believe that humans only started to leave Africa between 60,000 and 70,000 years ago. With a major climactic shift happening around that time – the Ice Age – genetic and paleontolical records point to humans (or what was left of them) then made the great migration out of Africa.
Before that, however, Homosapiens lived with other human species in Africa for about 200,000 years, Loo said.
There was another group that left Africa that went to European and Asian areas and became other species, Loo said. Two of which were Neanderthals and Denisovans.
We all have Neanderthal DNA in us in varying degrees,” Loo said. The Denisovans are named after a cave in Russia where they found a finger fragment of a primate, and after testing it for lab DNA they concluded it was another species in 2008.
The Denisovans split off from the lineage of Neanderthals 200,000 years after humans had already had their split from the species.
“And guess what: we all have Denisovan DNA within us,” Loo said.
Loo’s 65 percent came from the North, through the Mongolian area through his paternal side, and 35 percent Asian came through South East Asia where the trek was from India and up through South East Asia.
Nat Trives traced his own ancestor’s migration patterns, but the results were less important than what they signified.
“What’s important to me is that this project opened my eyes to the fact that I have always believed – and now even more strongly – that we are all human beings from the same root, and we should strive to live on this planet in a peaceful manner,” he said.
Article written by Mariella Rudi, Santa Monica Mirror
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September 11th we heard from Dr. Hao Li, about Democratizing 3D Computer Graphics! What fun!!
Dr. and Professor Hao Li, from USC Computer Science Department wowed with 3D images!
This week Snapchat updated its app to include a layer of different “lenses” for taking a selfie. Upon clicking your face, a spider web detects your image within a second, and then a slew of silly, scary, and plain weird digital sketches decorates your tongue, teeth, and eyes in real time. It even makes sounds if you move in a certain way.
This is what Dr. Hao Li would call real-time facial animation with on-the-fly correctives. And that spider web is what he would call an “efficient mesh deformation algorithm” and it can track any individual, starting from just a single face scan of the subject in a neutral pose.
Li did something similar at the Santa Monica Rotary meeting Friday, Sept. 12. He turned his entire face into a monkey. And then a panda. Li was demonstrating the future of three-dimensional computer graphics and shared his vision for making human 3D visualization standard in every home.
“Recently, we have figured out how to display high quality displays at low cost. So these things can be democratized,” Li said.
Li has been described as the rising star of the USC Viterbi computer graphics department, where he is a tenure-track assistant professor in the Geometric Capture Lab. The department is involved in everything from facial geometry, to geometry processing, urban city modeling, and computer animation and physically based simulation.
His algorithms on dynamic shape reconstruction and non-rigid registration are widely used in the industry, ranging from leading visual effects studios to defense projects and manufacturers of state-of-the-art radiation therapy systems.
Li has consulted for everyone from Facebook to Disney and has film credits from “Star Treck Into Darkness,” “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,” and “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” to name a few. He’s also received the Google Faculty Research Award and the Okawa Foundation Research Grant in 2015 and was named one of the world’s top 35 innovator under 35 by MIT Technology review in 2013 and NextGen 10: Innovators under 40 by C-Suite Quaterly in 2014.
Of Taiwanese descent, raised in Germany, and taught at a French school, Li’s background is as unconventional as his hairstyles. Though his work speaks for itself, Li has a quirky, almost punk-y, side to him that makes his resume all the more fascinating. He cut out the jargon and got down to the basic fundaments of 3D imaging, in his professorial manner, asking Socratic questions and making sure everyone followed along.
One could imagine how much his students want to come to class and work with him. He’s young, he’s bright, and he has fun with what he does.
One of the most interesting snippets of his talk was when it came to Hollywood. Deconstructing the science of special effects, Li revealed how much time and work actually goes into a CGI-dominated film. For example, creature animation in Hollywood uses ” sophisticated suits that have sensor balls attached to the actor’s body, as seen in something like “Planet of the Apes.” With a camera in front of the actor’s face, designers then re-animate another creature onto the face.
Li called the “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” one of the best examples of a highly realistic CGI face, which was how lead actor Brad Pitt appeared throughout the whole movie.
“It took three weeks to do 10 seconds of animation using an entire studio,” Li said.
That timeline hasn’t changed since 2008, as Li said it took the same amount of time when he worked on the 3D facial tracking for animating the digital Paul Walker in “Furious 7.”
“But this isn’t something an ordinary person can use,” Li said, moving away from special effects in the film industry and focusing more on gaming and other uses for 3D technology. To bring it into the home, you have to rely on hardware, digital devices, to digitize the person or thing, Li said. The vision is to bring this technology of 3D printing and 3D imaging into virtual reality.
“In order to improve 3D content, we’re creating technology that would allow you to digitize things from the physical world to the virtual work. How does that work? Using the technology of a 3D scanner,” Li said, either through lasers or a camera.
Some of these devices are all ready available in the home, like Microsoft’s Xbox One Kinect, which can be used with a 3D builder app to scan and 3D print in full-color.
“It can also be used to scan entire three-dimensional human bodies,” Li said.
3D scanners can help in the medical industry, where some hospitals have all ready begun using noninvasive scanning for tumors. You can also create visual models for fashion or fitness, “where you can basically stand in front of the camera and basically analyze your body without having to be measured.”
In other words, the computer can tell if you’ve been putting on weight. Other uses are on the horizon. 3D scanning and printing are the future, and Li wants to see it as soon as possible.
“If we scan a person, we can extract everything about the person.”
Article written by Mariella Rudi, Santa Monica Mirror
Rotarians gathered to help fix up the Lighthouse Christian Academy for another amazing ROTARY DAY of SERVICE!! THANK YOU ROTARIANS!!
Lighthouse Christian Academy, a school for underprivileged kids!
One of this year's VPs, Sharon Perlmutter Gavin, with Rotary Day of Service Co-Chair Tom Woods!
Our other Co-Chair Drew Fleming! Keep up the good work, fellas!
One of our new members, Caroline Schnakers...be careful up there, you sweet thing!
The Rotary Club of Santa Monica strives to pull off one or two Rotary Days of Service each year! The project was started by Past President Judy Neveau, and it has been a wonderful way for the club to do something hands-on in the community! Do you know of a non-profit organization, a school, or some other needy business that needs our help?? Contact the Rotary office at: RotaryClubofSantaMonica@verizon.net!
August 28th we heard from Dr. J. Zink, about marriage and relationships! He had some very intriguing insights!
Dr. J. Zink, emotional wellness expert!
Dr. J. Zink’s mission Aug. 28 was to improve the quality of love among Santa Monica Rotarians by distilling 42 years as a marriage therapist into a 35-minute talk.
“The greatest gift I can offer you is to answer – what is it that makes a soul mate?” Zink asked.
He started the lesson off by asking everyone in the room to stand up and “reach over to the person next to you and give a great big hug.” Rotarians obliged, and the tension in the room between the speaker and Rotarians, and Rotarians among Rotarians, went away.
Retired as a therapist and public speaker, Zink explained that he lost his wife 22 years ago, his childhood sweetheart and soul mate. Years later, he eventually married his late best friend’s wife. They grew together once both of their spouses died. They helped each other and developed feelings for each other. Today, he can confidently say he found another soul mate.
Zink theorized the success of his new marriage, along with everyone else’s relationships, stems from an underlying, simple idea.
“I read this book by a man named Willard Harley in 1997. He sat down with 1,100 men and 1,100 women and asked them the same question: what are your emotional needs?” Zink said.
Harley’s approach to an affair-proof marriage began with identifying each other’s most important emotional needs and developing habits to meet them.
Starting with the men and making Freud proud, the first need was – and you probably guessed it – sex. The second one was recreational companionship. The third need was a good-looking person (with both clothes on and off). The fourth was domesticity.
And lastly, “number five, after we have you taking care of the house, worry about your weight, making sure that you can be comfortable in a tent with mosquitos, and providing as much sex as we can possibly use, we ask you to admire us for it.”
The fifth most important emotional need was respect, praise, and esteem for himself.
“It all turns out to not be a so beautiful picture,” Zink said, “because none of the five women’s needs that I’m about to share with you match any of the needs of the men.
And this was my first insight as a marriage therapist: I figured out that the reason those two wanted to kill each other is because he was projecting his needs onto her and she was projecting her needs onto him.”
Putting the men’s needs on hold, Zink moved on to what 1,100 women reported as their top five emotional needs.
The number one need for women was affection – it’s flirting, touching, the little things. Number two for her partner to listen to her without trying to fix the problems and without distraction. The third was honesty, and the fourth was the choice to work or stay home. The last need was for him to help with the children.
“Women are clearly not the same species as men, and furthermore, women are by the design the superior species,” Zink said to laughter in the room.
Though Zink relied on normative gender conventions and a heterosexual sample, there was a communal sense in the room – nods and laughter peppered with looks among Rotarians with the idea that all sexual relationships rely on some level of cliché and romantic tropes. Or as Woody Allen said, “we need the eggs.”
Rotarians scribbled away their partners’ top five emotional needs before tucking away the notes into their pockets.
But Zink didn’t stop there. He took the new information a step further. He recommended sitting down with your spouse and writing out your own top five emotional needs: talk to find out what’s not being addressed.
“You can actually download Willard Harley’s book ‘His Needs, Her Needs,’ read it with a highlighter, buy two copies, highlight the things that jump out at you, have your spouse highlight the things that jump out at him or her, and then switch books and read what they were seeing,” he said. “And you’ll discover that you weren’t actually reading the same book. That’s because our brains are very different
Maybe the reason this country’s rate of divorce is 54 percent, Zink surmised, is because no one’s emotional needs are being met. Just remember: needs are not wants.
A neuro-psychotherapist in private practice in the Los Angeles area since 1976, Zink has been the psychotherapist for some of the most influential families in the world. A three-time graduate of the Jesuit University of Detroit Mercy, Zink completed his formal education with two years of post-doctoral work in neuro-psycholinguistics at the University of Michigan in 1974. He is a leading specialist in the areas of emotional disaster recovery, grief and loss, as well as trauma counseling.
He has been a consultant to the Young Presidents’ Organization for twenty-five years. In addition to his presentations on child discipline and on couples’ therapy, he has moderated hundreds of YPO Forums.
Zink has twice been honored by the Harvard University Business School for his work in family life development and named, along with Tiger Woods, as a “Hero of the Heart” by Children’s Hospital in Newport Beach, California. He is the author of “Building Positive Self-Concept in Kids;” “Motivating Kids;” “Ego States: Resolving Conflict; Dearly Beloved: Secrets of Successful Marriage;” “The Parents Your Parents Were Not; Face-It: Two Executives’ Lives;” “Upbringing: Raising Emotionally Intelligent Children;” and other numerous professional articles and monographs. He is also the co-author of “From I to WE: The Round Table Journey.” He is also the brother of Dr. Jeffrey Zink.
Article written by Mariella Rudi, Santa Monica Mirror
August 21st we heard from Adam Lichtl, PhD, about populating Mars!! Can you even imagine?? He talked about Space X, and their mission to colonize the planet Mars, and what it would take to get there!
Speaker Adam Lichtl (right) with his wife Patsy and fellow Rotarian Jay Smith!
The Planet Mars is arguably the last frontier in space exploration (for now). When will we reach it? How will we get there? What will it take? And why do we want to go?
“The idea is that we want to take people from Earth and put them on Mars and not as a trip, not as a suicide mission, but actually colonize the planet,” said Adam Lichtl, PhD, former research director at SpaceX during his talk entitled “Blue Marble to Red Marble” to Santa Monica Rotarians Friday, Aug. 21.
Lichtl – who skipped high school and graduated from CalTech at 19 – recently left SpaceX to become a free agent in the rocket science world, but he shared some of the highlights he’s seen during his time at Elon Musk’s independent space launch company.
Headquartered in Hawthorne, Calif., SpaceX was founded in 2002 when Musk took his PayPal money and had a beer with Tom Mueller, “a legitimate rocket science,” said Lichtl. Though the government doesn’t fund SpaceX, it has government contracts with it – in fact, NASA is one of its customers.
“I feel that we’re at the beginning of this very interesting point in history where it may be another 100 years before this a done deal and people are on Mars,” Lichtl said.
What are some of the challenges of going to Mars? One is the distance.
“The international space station is 250 miles straight up. The moon is a quarter of a million miles. It took about three days for the Apollo astronauts to reach it. Mars is 140 million miles away. This is a very long trip,” he said.
You’re also chasing Mars as your aiming for it.
“Mars is moving, the earth is moving, so you actually have to time it just right,” he said. “It’s kind of like jumping from one moving car to another. And the other car is moving way faster.”
Lichtl said there are only certain times in the year you can go to Mars, approximately every two years is the window where the car is coming by you again.
Another challenge is supplies.
“You also want to take stuff with you. You need a nuclear reactor for power, heat, the ability to melt water, the ability to do electrolysis on the water to get oxygen out. You need, obviously, food,” he continued.
The next challenge is getting back to Earth. Right now, the rocket at SpaceX runs on highly refined kerosene and oxygen, but there is nowhere to fuel up on that on. Lichtl said one of the primary projects at SpaceX is to make a rocket that can run on methane, available to synthesize through Mars natural gases – that’s also how they plan on getting breathable air and drinkable water.
NASA estimates that they’d need to take roughly 300 tons of stuff to Mars in order to establish even a rudimentary settlement. Lichtl said SpaceX researchers have designed one of the world’s most advanced combustion simulations to digitally test new designs of what will be the most powerful rocket ever created.
“Because you don’t want a trial and error with things like this. What you want to do is design and understand it,” he said. “The idea here is to simulate turbulence to drive the efficiency of the engine. It’s an engineering challenge.”
Article written by Mariella Rudi, Santa Monica Mirror
August 14th was shocking!! A brain treatment that can help PTSD, Autism, addiction, and more, has been discovered, and we heard all about it from Dr. Yi Jin!
Emperor Tom Loo(right) with speaker, Dr. Yi Jin, CEO of the Brain Treatment Center!
Imagine a cure-all type of device that zaps away brain disorders to undo years of trauma and other mental conditions that therapy could never dream of unraveling. Alzheimer’s, autism, anxiety, sleep and eating disorders, and addiction could all vanish within days.
Today, that device exists.
Dr. Yi Jin, chief medical officer and CEO of Brain Treatment Center, spoke to Santa Monica Rotarians Friday, Aug. 14 about his breakthrough treatments of PTSD, autism, Alzheimer’s and other conditions affecting brain functions.
His center uses magnetic resonance therapy, or MRT – a procedure that pulses energy from magnetic coils into the cortex to realign and synchronize the firing of neurons in each patient’s brain depending on the condition.
People with Alzheimer’s, anxiety, sleep and eating disorders, addiction and tinnitus have gone under the coils that emit the magnetic fields (it looks like one of those huge hand-held personal massagers from Brookstone.)
Approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2008 for drug-resistant major depression, the magnetic procedure has treated and even cured people all over the world from their six global locations.
In the beginning of their talk, Dr. Jin and his associate opted to show rather than tell of their success-stories through videos: an seizure-riddled girl with autism who had seizures reduced to one a day and “normal” behavior; a soldier, shot in the head in Afghanistan and paralyzed on his left side, was able to make a fist with his left hand and move his left foot within months; and a seven-month comatose Taiwanese teenager who awoke after 10 days of MRT.
Two months later, the teenager could stand on his own, three months later he was walking, and even when they ended treatment, his recovery continued.
But perhaps greater evidence came from the first-person testimony of former Army staff sergeant Jonathan Warren.
When Warren returned from Iraq, he had posttraumatic stress and self-medicated with alcohol, pills, weed, and other self-destructive behavior.
He was wracked with guilt and suffering a failed attempt to rescue his best friend who nearly burned to death after their Humvee hit a roadside bomb in 2006 – it would be his worst memory from the war.
As a result of the L.A. Times following him and doing a longform feature on his struggles, the Brain Treatment Center reached out to offer their help.
Warren was was interested in it from a physiological standpoint. Dr. Jin looked at your brain rather than ask you how you’re feeling, he said.
“Much in the same way, if you have a heart issue, you’re going to go to the cardiologist they’re going to look at your heart, not ask you to fill out a form and tell them how you feel about your heart,” Warren told Rotarians. “They’re not going to tell you to think differently about your heart or change your perspective. They’re going to look at the organ itself.”
Dr. Jin and everyone else at the Brain Treatment Center didn’t care about his past or his emotions. They just wanted to look at his brain.
From a look at Warren’s EEG, Dr. Jin was able to describe his every conditions.
“He told me that I had severe anxiety issues, depression, substance abuse issues. He goes on to tell me that when I was younger I was strong in education and a straight-A student.
He told me I was good at math, and I was. He told me I should play piano, and I said I do. The very last thing he said to me was, can you read a book right now? And I told him no, but I never told anyone that, ever. It took too much effort and couldn’t follow along,” Warren said. “When I saw these things and saw what my brain was doing, it was very freeing in a sense.”
“It made me feel, for me, that it wasn’t my fault.”
One session of MRT did what seven years of therapy couldn’t do for Warren. After one session he slept for eight hours straight, something he hadn’t done in years. Two weeks later a switch went off. He didn’t want to bingedrink or pop pills or smoke weed.
“In that moment what I felt was just peaceful. My mind wasn’t racing. I wasn’t all in my head. I didn’t feel like my skin was going to fall off,” he said.
The Brain Treatment Center has helped hundreds of other veterans. It’s an important cause to them.
“While we’ve talked now, two veterans have all ready killed themselves. There are 22 suicides everyday,” Dr. Jin said in the middle of him explaining the science of MRT.
They hire 10 percent of the patients they’ve successfully treated.
“Veterans are the best employees,” he added.
But their work continues, and they need more funding and awareness about the benefits of MRT.
Holocaust survivor Avraham Perlmutter spoke about surviving Nazi Germany by sheer determination and talent for escapism!!
Emperor Tom Loo with speaker, Avraham Perlmutter, and his daughters, Sharon Perlmutter Gavin and Keren Perlmutter!
Santa Monica Rotarians didn’t just hear a first-hand account of the Holocaust on Friday, Aug. 7. They were transported to a young boy’s survival story inside a Nazi nightmare, which in turn translated into an entire generation’s story of resilience and humanity. Rotarians learned about the human capacity for suffering, determination, murder, and ultimately survival. One 88-year-old’s story was able to relay a lifetime of achievement and grit.
The audience was captivated by Dr. Avraham Perlmutter’s vivacious and unwavering depiction of escaping Nazi soldiers nearly 60 years ago. At the end of his talk, he received a standing ovation, a gesture previously unseen by this reporter. In between his oration one could hear audible gasps and “oh my god’s” from the audience. It was a story of a lifetime that gave Rotarians emotions and plots typically saved for the big screen
Perlmutter was just 10 years old when he saw Hitler come in to Vienna, Austria in 1938. He was Jewish and the invading German army was after him soon after they arrived.
“The very fact that I was a wild child actually helped me later on to survive,” Perlmutter said.
It was hard for his family to move anywhere in Europe because they were Jewish. But one of those countries that took them was Netherlands, where he had an aunt. So his parents put him on the Kindertransport (children’s train) and the ensuing war-torn years continued.
Many times, a number of nuns and priests helped Perlmutter in Jewish refugee camps.
He recounted one specific moment when German soldiers came looking for Perlmutter to take him to the Jewish Theatre in Amsterdam (and subsequently off to Auschwitz). He’ll never forget the sound of their boots, and he made the thumping sound on the ground as he told the story. They took him, along with the son of the family whom Perlmutter was staying with.
“Because I was a wild child, I was always planning to get out of there,” Perlmutter said.
So he escaped when two Nazi soldiers changed shifts. He tried to bring the family’s son with him, but he was too scared to come in fear of getting killed. Later, Perlmutter learned he died during the war.
After that, Perlmutter was in constant hiding. Fortunately, his sister, who was in a refugee camp, had sent someone to find him, give him a train ticket, and take him into hiding until they could be reunited again.
“In those days about 95 percent of the Dutch people were anti-Nazi, and a good many of them were actually hiding Jewish children. Before the war there lived about 180,000 Jews in the Netherlands and only about 30,000 survived. And the majority of them were hiden among non-Jews,” Perlmutter said.
His story was punctuated by multiple accounts of hearing those Nazi boots (thump-thump-thump), but each time Perlmutter squirreled away just in time. But every time, there was someone else picked up by the Nazis who died in the war.
He hid in dirt, under coal, under beds, and in closets. He ran from the Nazis, and he escaped their clutches. The wild child soon became a survivor.
Like the tailor, the farmer, and the priest, many of the people who helped Perlmutter along the way remained nameless.
“In those days you were not supposed to know names because if they ever caught you, you couldn’t tell the addresses or names of the people who were hiding you.”
Though he was eventually reunited with his sister, she was caught by the Nazis and taken to Auschwitz. But she survived as well.
“She lives now in Santa Monica, too,” Perlmutter said as the crowd clapped.
With the British soldiers arriving, Perlmutter was able to snag a ride to Tel Aviv, where his parents were. Upon the reunion, his father tried to conceal the sad fact that his mother had died two weeks before his arrival.
During his hidings he managed to get hold of various dictionaries. He taught himself English, French, and Spanish during the war. He realized his passion for knowledge.
He arrived at America with grants to quench his thirst for education. At 24, he graduated undergraduate college in three years. He still wanted to know more. So he received a PhD in aeronautic engineering and went on to become a successful businessman.
After the war, highlights of his life included fighting in the Israeli War of Independence, meeting Albert Einstein during his time attending Princeton University, and developing a stabilizer most cameras use today.
Perlmutter’s story focused on those who helped him rather than those trying to defeat him. His autobiography, the acclaimed book, “Determined,” recounted this miraculous journey from Nazi Europe all the way to Santa Monica, where he lives with his wife still today.
July 31st was our third meeting of the Rotary year! Our speakers were from the 5 Gyres Institute, and they know all the garbage!!
Dr. Marcus Erickson & Mrs. Anna Cummings spoke about trash in the ocean and it's impact on the Earth, animals, and humans!
That fabled Texas-sized island made of trash in our ocean, the Great Pacific garbage patch, does not exist. Nor is there a plastic zoo or trash vortex. It’s something more insidious that exists in our waters, and it can’t be cleaned up.
“The best name for it is a plastic smog,” said Marcus Eriksen, co-founder of the Santa Monica-based non-profit group, 5 Gyres Institute.
But this plastic smog – “like horizontal smoke stacks pumping small particles of plastic into the worlds oceans” – can’t be scooped out of the waters. Nor can it be cleaned out.
But there is hope, according to 5 Gyres, at stopping this haze of trash, mostly made up of micro-particles of plastic; it involves stopping the plastic at the source.
Husband-and-wife team Eriksen and Anna Cummins spoke to Santa Monica Rotarians last Friday, July 31 about the research 5 Gyres has conducted in identifying how much trash and plastic exists in the ocean today, where it comes from, and what it’s impact is and will continue to be.
The 5 Gyres Institute is the first research organization to study all five oceans, and the only organization to study the southern hemisphere gyres. For the past five years, they’ve used information based off annual worldwide expeditions to populate a global model of trash in the ocean. During these research trips on the sea, dragging a fine net behind the boat for a few miles, and they discovered a confetti of small plastic particles dominating every sample.
“Plastic is non-biodegradable, made from fossil fuels from petro chemicals so it’s designed to last indefinitely,” Cummins said. “Plastic traveling around in those currents will break down and become more brittle and will fragment but it never completely dissolve.”
The team has documented roughly 633 species of fish impacted by plastic waste, including being found in the circulatory systems of muscles and clams and even plankton. This is when it starts to impact human life because the particles of plastic waste act as sponges for toxins.
“There are many different contaminants that make their ways into the ocean from industry, agriculture,” Cummins said, and “these contaminants don’t mix with water, but they will stick to plastic at high concentrations, up to a million times higher.
“One single particle of plastic the size of a grain of rice can have up to a million times higher concentration of chemicals like PCBs or DDT, pesticides, oil drops, [and] many different chemicals that make their way into the ocean and are being absorbed into this food web. We are at the top of that food chain.”
To make their research even more relevant to those who might not live near the ocean but instead a great body of water, they decided to sample the Great Lakes. It was in those lakes, specifically Lake Erie, that they found the highest concentration of plastic particles yet.
“One sample contained roughly 1,200 particles of plastic. We were pretty baffled by this sample. Many of these tiny little balls are the same perfectly round shape and size and under a microscope we figured out where these were coming from,” Cummins said.
The worst plastic water pollution came from an unlikely source: microbeads, found in face wash, body scrub, moisturizer, and toothpaste.
Microbeads in scrubs and toothpastes wash down the drain but aren’t actually being captured by sewage treatment. About 38 tons pass into rivers, lakes, and ultimately oceans annually, where they then threaten marine ecosystems via the food web.
When 5 Gyres took their published findings to Proctor & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson, L’Oreal, the corporations agreed to slowly start phasing out the microbead products.
“But we wanted to take it one step further because we are far too small of an NGO to hold major multi-national corporations accountable,” Cummins said. “So we drafted a bill.”
They helped Assemblyman Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica) author AB 888, which would set up the strongest protections in the country against the use of these unnecessary and toxic additives.
If passed by the State Senate before Sept. 11, AB 888 would prohibit, on and after Jan. 1, 2020, selling a personal care product containing intentionally added plastic microbeads that are used to exfoliate or cleanse in a rinse-off product.
Lastly, the Santa Monica Rotary Foundation gave two donations to local organizations.
Presented a grant to Orchestra Santa Monica, the music director and conductor Allen Gross, for $5,000 to purchase orchestra chairs and a conductor chair. They welcomed everyone to their fourth season at the Anne and Jerry Moss Theater at New Roads School.
Another grant was presented to Step Up on Second, with the CEO and Rotary member Todd Lipka accepting the $4,500 gift: “This money will go to support a security system and surveillance system at one of our permanent supportive housing called Michael’s Village.”
Lipka said the surveillance system would act as a helpful tool to monitor the individuals as they transition during the first year to living in a home.
“At Michael’s Village we have housed 34 individuals who are homeless or mentally ill; we literally took them off the streets and then moved them into housing,” he said. “They had a cumulative period of 300 years of homelessness amongst the 34 individuals.”
Visit www.5gyres.org/banthebead or download the Beat the Microbead app for more information about the harm of microbeads on the humans and the marine environment.
July 24 was our second meeting of the Rotary year, and we had a very interesting speaker on astronomy and the creation of the universe!!
Emperor Tom Loo and astrophysicist Proessor Matthew Malkan!
Four decades after Apollo 17 astronauts shot the “Blue Marble,” the first complete true-color image of the entire Earth, NASA released the updated version earlier this month of the fully sunlit Earth from one million miles away.
To view Earth in its most current state, wholly illuminated yet covered with expansive clouds, dangling in the blackness, provides equal parts amazement and a cosmic existential crisis. In this newest version of ourselves, our world, the Solar System cannot be seen. Our world is alone in the current Blue Marble, a visual definition of our remote place in the galaxy, at least for the time being.
When the famous British astrophysicist Edwin Hubble discovered that the universe is expanding, he essentially discovered the cosmos and supplanted one of the great intellectual revolutions of the 20th century.
About 25 years ago, scientists decided to name one of the most important science projects ever after the founder of modern cosmology: the Hubble Telescope. It was a joint ESA/NASA project with a mission allowing astronomers to make the very high-resolution observations that are essential to open new windows into planets, stars, and other galaxies.
The telescope has been responsible for supplying and unearthing some of the most awe-inducing photographs of the universe and for making over a million scientific observations.
The next generation of this successful but aging telescope will be the James Webb Space Telescope in 2018. During the final servicing mission in 2009, a docking device was fitted onto the base of the Hubble Telescope so that a rocket can easily attach and safely de-orbit the telescope once its mission is complete.
This is where Matthew Malkan comes in. The UCLA professor has been the principle investigator on low orbit Hubble Telescope projects more so than any other astronomer. He spoke to Rotarians on July 24 about what role these bigger-than-life telescopes have on the origins of the universe, and what plans the new telescope has in store for humanity, from the creation of the first galaxies to the evolution of young galaxies, observations about the Big Bang to galaxy surveys through cosmic time.
How we landed in one of the spiral arms of the Milky Way galaxy is one of the most frequently asked questions people ask of Malkan. A leader in his field, he has published more than 250 published articles and peer reviews and has focused on his research on infrared radiation, investigating active galactic nuclei and quasars, and the evolution of young galaxies.
His UCLA astronomy department biography describes his research with activity in nearby galaxies as “using high-resolution imaging from the Hubble Space Telescope to analyze the properties of the galaxies which host the various types of active nuclei. One result is that these data do not support the popular model that the principal properties of the active galactic nuclei are determined by the orientation of a compact hypothetical thick torus which surrounds and is aligned with the accrediting black hole.”
Malkan was also a Mashall scholar at the University of Cambridge, received his PhD from Caltech, and has been a professor of physics and astronomy at UCLA since 1992.
As co-author of the undergraduate textbook, “The Origin and Evolution of the Universe,” Malkan provided a dense overview to Rotarians of the Big Bang Theory and what measurements led scientists to think it had occurred.
One of the “most frequent questions that an astrophysicist always gets: how did we get here. When people are asking that what they’re really asking is, why did it happen and why are we here. That’s what we really want to know. Where we’re at right now, science can’t possibly answer all those things. But it’s kind of fun to see how close we can get,” Malkan said.
It begins with the stars and measuring light received from each star.
Astronomers have spent lifetimes measuring the positions, speeds, temperatures, and chemical compositions of millions of stars. Because they have measurements, we know that stars of the universe are currently seen spreading apart from each other, which means they have been close enough together in the past.
With a big enough telescope, one could essentially look far enough into the galaxy to go back in time to the very beginnings of the universe.
There is “overwhelming evidence” that most of the mass in the universe is dark matter – more than 95 percent. Malkan said that it all must have started with dark matter.
“All you need just to give it something, just a little bit of small excess density, little less gravity, expand a little slower, gets a little bit relatively denser than the rest of the universe which means gravity is stronger,” he said. “Extra gravity. So then that region slows down as more deceleration eventually stops accelerating at all and it collapses. And you can see this process happening if you can turn back the clock. If you can turn back time, we’re just using the slowness of light and the bigness of telescopes.”
And that’s why the James Webb Space Telescope is critical to detecting the first stars and galaxies that formed right after the Big Bang, almost 14 billion years ago. With a bigger telescope come more distant objects. The launch of the James Webb telescope will have to be released in space in pieces.
It’s an “incredible gamble and outrageously expensive,” said Malkan, but one he sees as worth it.
July 17 was our first meeting of the Rotary year, and our District Governor visit, and we had an awesome speaker on the Santa Monica Road Races!!
District Governor DJ Sun takes a ride in the old racer!
Last week’s Rotary meeting was a crash course lesson in Santa Monica’s genesis. The main theme was the city’s roots as an auto racing destination, and the syllabus included buzzworthy L.A. trivia, as well as which streets used to be the auto track.
Harold Osmer, historian and author of such books as “Where They Raced” and “Real Road Racing,” began his lecture at the beginning of Santa Monica, when it was just a rigged coastline – “nothing worth coming up seeing.”
People started coming to Santa Monica in the 1880s on trains, when a ticket during the railroad wars would cost upwards of $185 from Missouri. The train station stopped at the top of the Santa Monica Canyon near Patrick’s Roadhouse.
“What southern California had was a lot of space and a really good climate,” said Osmer, a former engineer who pursued a degree in geography. “To get to Southern California you had to want to be here. You had to target this place. The people who came here initially came for their health; later on they came because it provided a lot of opportunity. Problem was, they had to create that opportunity.”
When Osmer was writing his graduate thesis that would eventually turn into a book, he focused on auto racetracks in Los Angeles; “where they were, what’s there today, and what affect the race track had on future landings.”
He found out that more auto racing had taken place in Southern California than any other place in the world. Dating back to 1903 and to the current time, there were 174 different official race tracks in Southern California.
“A lot of Santa Monica history can be found form 1923 forward for some reason, but Santa Monica road races actually took place from 1909 to 1919. My goal here today is to point out how important the road races were to Santa Monica’s autonomy from the big nasty neighbor of Los Angeles,” Osmer told the audience.
The first main attraction of Santa Monica was the ill-fated Arcardia Hotel, on Ocean Ave. just south of the Pier. At that time, the city was competing with Venice, which had the topographical advantage of being sea level. At the Arcadia Hotel, you had to go down long flights of stairs to get to the beach and walk back up at the end of the day.
“This wound up to be probably the first celebrity trials in Los Angeles, because in 1903 nobody was here yet,” Osmer said.
His sentence? Assault with a deadly weapon claiming alcohol insanity – “in essence, the Twinkie defense.”
After two years at San Quentin, he rehabilitated his public image and donated today’s landmarks like Griffith Park, the Observatory, and the Greek Theatre.
After 10 years in business, the state-of-the-art Arcadia Hotel shut down.
“You couldn’t get anyone to stay in Santa Monica, that was the problem.”
As Santa Monica went through boom and bust periods of tourism, the city was contacted by Auto Dealers Association and got the idea to attract attention through some good old-fashioned racing.
The first organized auto race took place in 1903, and from 1909 to 1919 Santa Monica experienced a growth spurt.
The most famous in Santa Monica ran from from Ocean Ave. to Wilshire to San Vicente boulevards. Fun fact: The corner of Ocean and Wilshire was called Dead Mans Curve.
“Nobody ever died at Dead Man’s Curve – they called it that because it sells a lot of newspaper. It’s about potential and watching this for whatever demented reasons people did,” Osmer said. “They started off on Ocean right where the avenue starts and come down and made that tight left turn ... Next time you go that way, notice as you turn onto Wilshire, you’re now going uphill. You go all the way to the Old Soldier’s Home, which is the Veteran’ Center, and turn around and come down San Vicente and this is downhill.”
Well, people flocked to that first race in 1909 – the estimated crowd was about 40,000 people.
“By 1916, there were well over 100,000,” he said.
“Auto racing in this period was simply the biggest spectator-sporting event. Nothing else was bigger. And there was no radio or television or other ways to spread the word,” he said.
The stars of the West Coast racing world were tough characters from the late 1920s, early 30s era.
Men like Barney Oldfield, Earl Devore, Eddie Pullen, and Jack Tower.
Just a lot of crusty characters with big hands – “they had to because of these great big steering wheels that didn’t have powered steering” – and all good mechanics – “they had to be because they had to fix their own cars.”
These road races were relived that night, where the Fairmont Miramar Hotel and Bungalows sponsored the re-enactment to benefit the Santa Monica History Museum.
To view a fun video from the day, follow this link...
Twenty volunteers gathered at The Children's Place on Saturday, June 13, for the 2015 Rotary Day of Service, a day where members of the Rotary Club of Santa Monica continue their "Legacy of Service" in the Santa Monica community.
The Children's Place is a part of The Ocean Park Childcare Foundation, a foundation dedicated to providing children of all socioeconomic backgrounds with quality early childhood education.
Rotary Day of Service co-chairs Tom Woods and Drew Fleming organized a day of painting and beautification.
"The idea is to implement an annual hands-on project that benefits and meets a real world need in Santa Monica, as well as raise the visibility of the work of the Rotary Club of Santa Monica, and establish a Santa Monica 'Legacy of Service,'" Woods said.
There was much excitement and a sense of pride as the volunteers transformed the appearance of the preschool.
On Feb. 1, 1922 the Santa Monica Rotary Club was officially chartered as Rotary Club number 1086. Rotary International is a volunteer organization of business and professional leaders who provide humanitarian service, and help to build goodwill and peace in the world. There are approximately 1.2 million Rotary club members belonging to 34,000 Rotary clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas.
Rotary clubs address critical issues at home and abroad by providing health care and medical supplies, clean water, food, job training, youth development, and education to millions of people in need.
June 13 - Rotary Day of Service at The Children's Place
There were a lot of new smiling faces at the Santa Monica Rotary meeting last Friday, and they belonged to the Rotarian scholarship recipients and their proud parents.
The 14 students from three middles schools, four high schools, and Santa Monica College were rewarded for their excellence in academics, leadership, and community service.
Jessie Ramirez, a former LA Tax Associates scholarship winner and Santa Monica College student, began the award ceremony.
“Looking back, I never imagined that I would get into USC and receive an acceptance letter from UCLA,” Ramirez said. “I made the decision to come to Santa Monica College and it opened a lot of doors for me.
I am very thankful for the Santa Monica community as a whole and everything that was presented to me here by the LA Tax Associates. I wouldn’t be here without their help, with the cost that it takes to be at USC.”
“I hope that all the recipients of the scholarships here tonight go on to bigger and better things.And thank you very much for every ones assistance,” Ramirez said, finishing his speech.
The scholarship award winners from Santa Monica College included Jessica Soegono and Ali Khan (Archie Morrison Scholarship for $750), Haley Coleman (Nick Holt Scholarship for $1,000), and Dabiel Kolko (LA Tax Associates Scholarship for $1,500).
The high school award winners included Jessica Bonilla (Russel Hart Scholarship for $1,000), Abigail Wisen (Clyde Smith Scholarship for $1,000), and Cynthia Cristobal (Russel Hart Scholarship for $1,000) from Santa Monica High; Jhonton Aragon (Tom Fox Scholarship for $1,000) from St. Monica High School; Maia Joseph (John English Scholarship for $1,000) from Olympic High School; and Shaila Hernandez (Harding Larmore, Kozal and Kutcher for $1,000) from New Roads High School.
The middle school winners included Soah Frankli (Citizenship Award for $100) from Cross Roads Middle School, Yabsra Ayele (Citizenship Award $100) from Lincoln Middle School, and Melissa Pflug (Citizenship Award for $100) from New Roads Middle School.
The Santa Monica Rotary board has decided to give $2,000 to the Rotary District 5280 Disaster Relief Fund in collaboration with the Nepal District 3292 for Nepal earthquake relief. In addition, the club will match donations up to another $2,000 by club members.
Pei and Marina Hanai were introduced as the newest Rotarian members.
Head of Emergency Ebola Operations in Sierra Leone
International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
There are few people in this world as well traveled, well informed, and as brave as Steve McAndrew. As the head of emergency operations for the International Federation of the Red Cross, he works globally on all sorts of projects. When he's not out in the field, which he is 50-75% of his year, he's mentoring, training, working on policy development, etc. but lately he's been in Sierra Leone, in the middle of the biggest Ebola outbreak the world has yet to see.
Steve has been adventurous his whole life, but started out just like any of us. His parents were from the Jersey shore, and he grew up in Philly, playing street hockey with his friends, couch cushions strapped to his body for protection. As an adult he did construction, brick and mason.
At 28, things started to get more interesting. He joined the peace core and flew off to Honduras to build water systems. "This is where I learned to be humble," he says. How could he not, when next thing he knew, he was in the middle of Hurricane Mitch, a major hurricane that hit Central America (particularly Honduras and Nicaragua), the Yucatan Peninsula, and South Florida, killing over 19 thousand people.
From there, McAndrew joined the Red Cross as a volunteer, where they trained him for international response. He went to India first, and then learned about food aid in Africa. "This is where I learned to listen," Steve says.
Eventually Steve made his way up the ladder, and got the title he has today. As head of emergency ops internationally, he helps to organize the Red Cross' 187 national societies. And as I noted earlier, his latest heroic endeavor has been to help with the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.
McAndrew says that Ebola is sweeping around Africa at great speed, the worst hit being Guinea, Liberia, and of course Sierra Leone where Steve has been helping. This incredibly infectious malady has also taken a toll on Nigeria, Senegal, Mali, and Spain, even limited cases in the UK and here in America. There have been 23,337 cases, and 9,442 deaths so far. "The world is having to adjust," Steve says. "We have seen Ebola before, but this is the largest and longest issue with it that the world has faced. It starts in one place, rapidly moves around, often ending up back where it started, and all the while we are chasing it."
There is no known cure for Ebola, but Steve says that there are a few different ways to battle this disease, including treatment, safe and dignified burials, surveillance and contact tracing, social mobilization and communications, and psycho social support.
Social mobilization and communications is pretty straight forward....educate people! The Red Cross is constantly trying to teach about this disease, talking about it on radio and TV shows. In Africa, the system is ignorant with human dysfunction. People don't know what to look for or what to do if they have it. In the later stages people come down with dementia, so there is a lot of room for error. Folks often think they have something else, like malaria or some tropical disease, or even blame witchcraft.
Surveillance and contact training speaks for itself on intent, but things are easier said than done. The people down there do not trust their government, and it's hard to keep track of who is where. The people are suspicious of everything, and with good reason, after all their history includes being colonized, enslaved, and forced into diamond mines. Here in the USA we can watch in typical "big brother" fashion as cameras line the streets and traffic lights, and the likelihood of transporting the disease is limited, but there are no traffic lights in Sierra Leone, no big brother watching out.
As far as medical treatment goes, there's only so much they can do. You can give a patient pain killers, hook them to an IV, hydrate. They think that we can increase survival by quicker treatment, but aren't sure. They've noted that kids who drank coconut milk seemed to recover better, but this is also mere hypothesis. By getting a person to a hospital, they can provide that other illnesses or injuries are treated, which likely helps, but there is still no cure for Ebola. Whether there was a cure or not, some would never turn to western medicine anyway. With seldom a doctor to be seen, many turn to natural healers. Unfortunately, unless those healers are educated, they can be part of the problem, getting the disease and then passing it around to all their patients. Steve says that the thing is to have hospitals up and running with 24/7 staff, in locations out of town, and to make sure that those running the hospitals are doing it safely and securely. This is hard when at every turn there is the possibility of infection. The suits they wear to protect against this disease are great, but only if you use them correctly. There are many steps to getting into, and especially out of, these terribly hot suits. You miss just one step, and you are going to get it.
One of the most difficult areas to deal with is safe and dignified burial. This seems like a simple task, but there they have a different culture, one where they touch the dead body, wash the body. One dead person can infect another 20 who go home and spread it some more. There have been extensive efforts to work with spiritual leaders on this, to explain how it all works, and they are starting to change but it’s slow.
Teams are sent into quarantined areas to retrieve bodies, often finding more dead in a house than was reported. Imagine if you will, being in the shoes of these team members. You walk up to a quarantined area, and you see one guard, and he's sleeping on job. The idea of restriction has already flown out the window. You head to the house, and there everything has to be sprayed down... the walkway leading up, the door, the roof, and then inside. You carry out the body (or bodies rather) while family and friends are gathered, weeping and wailing. You have to keep going. In the end, you finally get to take off your suit, but not before being sprayed off yourself, and then slowly removed from each piece. If you are lucky, you're job for the day is just dealing with suits, making sure each team member has theirs on correctly and helping them off afterward.
As you can see, there are so many things to think about when it comes to Ebola. Steve says that the response isn't so much about money, though that helps, too. It's really about volunteers and workers jumping up to help. And Steve McAndrew has certainly been doing his part!
February 20 Speaker, Steve McAndrew - Ebola Operations in Sierra Leone
Last week was the 15th of King George's reign. We witnessed fellow plebes, er, uh, I mean fellow Rotarians -- architect and furniture designer Vlado Vlakof and Santa Monica Mirror publisher TJ Montemer -- give their Craft Talks.
Architect and Furniture Designer Vlado Valkof
Santa Monica Mirror Publisher
Carlthorp School Headmistress and Past President Dee Menzies presented $2 ,500 grant to the Museum of Flyingat the Santa Monica Airport Executive Director Dan Ryan.
Iao Katagiri was recognized for her many fabulous contributions to our Rotary Club.
Additionally, visiting Rotarian John Coker (RC-Fredericksburg, Virginia) got to know American Red Cross-Santa Monica Chapter Executive Julie Thomas and SM Fire Chief Scott Ferguson reported on meeting with President Obama.
Rotarian and Santa Monica Fire Department Chief Scott Ferguson nominated President “King George” Collins to take the Ice Bucket Challenge.
Rick Ruby had the honor of dousing Collins with ice water. This challenge is to bring awareness to Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) commonly referred to in the United States as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease”.
ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their death.
Approximately 5,600 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with ALS each year. The incidence of ALS is two per 100,000 people, and it is estimated that as many as 30,000 Americans may have the disease at any given time. Life expectancy of an ALS patient averages about two to five years from the time of diagnosis, although 25% of patients live considerably longer.
The following quote is from ALS Foundation website,
"Please be thoughtful about water usage. If you’re in an area of the country or world affected by drought, please consider making a donation instead, or repurpose the water for later use."
The September 19 Rotary Club of Santa Monica meeting was particularly eventful as the members became more informed about where their funds are allocated and as President George Collins partook in the popular Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS.
The weekly meeting commenced with a group sing-a-long, per usual, as the cheery Rotarians livened up the atmosphere by collectively crooning "America the Beautiful" and "We Are The World."
The meeting continued on to introduce some of the visiting Rotarians, including special guests who ventured all the way from Europe: Geoff Hunt from Coventry, England, and Hatto and Ursula Brand from Westheim, Germany.
A recognition of the recent blood drive took place as well, with saluted blood donors and Rotarians Mitchell Kraus, Rob Santos, and Bret Carter making a toast with Ann Greenspun, Southern California Blood Services Board Chair, andJulie Thomas, American Red Cross of Santa Monica Executive.
The entire meeting was devoted to speaker VJ Smith sharing his tale about an exceptional and unforgettable Wal-Mart employee Marty Martinson, and how meeting him altered Smith's life. Marty's gratitude for all he had inspired Smith to write a book and become a professional speaker.
President Nat Trives and speaker VJ Smith
Former University of South Dakota Athletic Director SHOUTED about the need to HUSTLE and that the most important word is "CARE". Smith believes love is part of care, not that care is act of love.
Smith also SHOUTED at us to say "THANK YOU," and expressing gratitude was the underlying message.
April Birthdays were celebrated and all received hats and acknowledgment for being one more year older.
We saw a wonderful photo video of the Rotary Day of Service Event and everyone who helped out wore their Rotary Day of Service t-shirts to the meeting. The principal of the school presented Rotary with a giant card signed by all of the kids at St. Anne's School. Thank you to everyone who did help out, it was an amazing day!
George Collins introduced our speaker who discussed our founding fathers. His goal was to give us many interesting facts about what he called 6 great men. Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, John Adams, James Madison, and Alexander Hamilton. It's very interesting to get a more human idea of these great men who lived in the 18th century. We were able to get an idea of their size and weight, hobbies, and personal life.
We will be dark for the next couple of weeks, but we will see everyone in May for more for and more great meetings!
Speaker Lee Stanley with Program Chair Larry Mortorff
and Presiding Officer Bret Carter
VP CommitteesBret Carter presided over our meeting. VP Bret brilliantly fined Adam Lichtl $300 for getting engaged to Patsy Rincon, Iao Katagiri $100 for always taking photos at the Rotary meetings, and Mitch Kraus $50 for promoting the upcoming Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce's Sustainable Quality Awards.
Invocateur Jay Smith III brought our attention to those displaced by the earthquake in Chile, mudslide in Washington, and missing Flight 370 as well as their dear ones. Rotarians have been helping to address each effort, and we are proud that Rotary Cares.
Russ Warner presented a $1,500 Community and Youth Grant to Fr. Anthony “Tony” Gonzalez on behalf of St. AnneSchool and St. MonicaCatholic Community parish.
Ron Caul cheerfully led guest introductions.
Larry Mortorff introduced documentary writer, producer, director, and winner of five Emmy Awards (including best director and best film) Lee Stanley. Lee shared how repairing a film for California Youth Authority's Camp David Gonzales and screening his documentary about a paraplegic at the San Fernando Valley Juvenile Hall led to The Desperate Passage Series. The series shows how violent juvenile prisoners released into Lee's sole custody for 10-day at-sea expeditions aboard his 58’ sailboat overcome gang allegiances to work as a team aboard the vessel and regain their sense of humanity and hope. It took four years to obtain permission for the youths to be released to Lee, then Lee had to raise financing for shoe-string budget film. In addition to 10-days of principal photography, it took a year to complete and another year to get network to commit to airing it. KTLA's long-time General Manager was so moved, he was instrumental in securing Michael Landon as program host and scheduled KTLA airing which won the prime-time slot both on initial and first rebroadcast. The Desperate Passage Series was nominated for 33 individual Emmys and won 13.
Lee expressed it would be near impossible to raise similar financing today, and how fortunately philanthropists and Galpin Motors' owners Bert & Jane Bachman had an appreciation for the project. The first films success led to the Bachmans financing 5 additional films. Filmmakers know it takes a team to achieve success.
VP Scott Ferguson opened our meeting informing us that President Nat Trives is recovering well after having a defibrillator implanted last Wednesday, March 26.
In the spirit of tax season, carrot farmer Jim Menzies gave our invocation to “spare some taxes so we have something to share with Rotary.” And Tom Larmore lead an interesting revision of The Sound of Music’s “My Favorite Things.”
VP Scottfined Barbara Bishop for being named to the Board of the Orchestra Santa Monica.
Sharon Perlmutter-Gavin presented a check to Courtney Lockwood on behalf of the Venice High School STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, and Medicine) Magnet program. Our club partnered with Rotary Club of Playa Venice Sunrise and secured a District Grant resulting in a $3,250 award.
Roast Host Roger Davis emceed the Retirement Roast of “free-spirit” Rosemary Regalbuto and “sexy librarian-type” Judy Neveau.
Tish Tisherman played a “Roast for Rosie” video and Len Lanzi bestowed RoseMary with a chef’s hat and apron. Then Kevin McNulty gave us the real scoop. Ironically, RoseMary worked at Meals on Wheels West (MOWW) for 27 years but her cooking is so bad that her husband Joe won’t let her do it and having no sense of direction makes deliveries challenging!
Dick Lawrence provided voice-over to the “Joy of Judy” Neveau slideshow. Highlights included how Judy recruited many Rotarians to be SMC Associates, squeezed money out of SMC Associates, and used her charms for career advancement. Queen Judy enjoys “hob nobbing” with high profile dignitaries. This was one of the perks of her job at SMC.
We look forward to recent retirees RoseMary and Judy dedicating much of their free time to various Rotary activities!
Prophet's remarkable journey is one of determination and perseverance. Come hear how this young man went from prison to
become a college graduate, a community leader, a role model, and activist. Treat your youth clubs to this amazing program!
District 5280 Humanitarian Trip to Medellin, Colombia
Rotary District 4271 (Medellin, Colombia) hosted 106 District 5280 Rotarians, Interact and Rotaract Club members and their families -- Including our own adventurous travellers PP Judy Neveau, PE George Collins and wife Pat Collins, and Director Russ Warner -- for our annual District Humanitarian Trip March 19-24, 2014. During days packed with project site visits, Colombian Rotary Club hosted events and sight-seeing, we directly interacted with project grant recipients and saw projects which our Rotary funding supports.
These projects included delivering backpacks filled with school supplies to children in the agricultural small town of Alejandria; funding a new washing machine and other supplies for a remote medical clinic staffed by one doctor plus volunteers which serves over 4,000 rural families; providing wheelchairs and other equipment to an urban center serving babies and youth afflicted with spina biffida which also provides maternal health education and outreach; funding a remote locale river-water reclamation project; and providing equipment and supplies to an urban dental clinic and senior center. We experienced many very special "Rotary Moments". These continue to be reminders of why "Service Above Self" matters, and why we chose to be Rotarians.
In addition to fellowship and service, we had fun with other District 5280 Rotarians rafting, horseback riding, and visiting the National Heritage site town of Santa Fe de Antioquia. Columbian Rotarians were warm and energetic hosts, led by their gracious District Governor Monica Uribe. We were able to tour the impressive public transportation network of Medellin, including riding their cable cars which take rich and poor alike from the train stations high up into the surrounding hills - truly to be envied, especially from grid-locked Southern California.
Why not be part of this amazing Rotary experience of hands-on giving and cultural exchange next year? The 2015 Humanitarian Trip has been announced for February 1-5, 2015 to enchanting Guatemala and the World Heritage site of Antigua and the Lake Atitlan region, with a fabulous post-trip opportunity to Tikal to see the ruins of a major site of Mayan civilization being excavated in the jungles close to Belize? Mark your calendar for an unforgettable time, doing hands-on Rotary service while extending international friendships and learning about the culture of Guatemala?
Program Chair Laurel Rosen,
Speaker Bert Upson, and
President Nat Trives
Rotarians with the
New York Fire Department
Rescue 5 vehicle
Gita Runkle opened our meeting with a Rotary invocation, and Roger Davis led introduction of guests and visiting Rotarians, including two repeat visitors AbbeyFernandez (RC-Ybor Florida) and from Michael Reinprecht (RC-Vienna).
In celebration of spring, Tom Larmore led an up-beat Simon and Garfunkel's "The 59th Street Bridge Song."
"President's Pick" Santa Monica Fire Captain James Altman brought one of the two Rescue Mission trucks for us to view. This is the New York Fire DepartmentRescue 5 vehicle, which was the Staten Island sole rescue vehicle. On September 11, 2001, NYFD Staten Island received call to respond just as shift change was occurring. The six firemen going off shift and six fireman coming on shift jumped on this vehicle to respond to call. Unfortunately, all 12 lost their lives rescuing others in the towers. To build awareness among younger generations too young to remember horrible events, two Chicago firemen acquired and restored this and Rescue 4 (NYFD-Bronx) vehicles. Santa Monica Fire Department is the first to host Rescue 5 and take it to schools. Other local Fire Departments already committed to hosting the vehicle include Culver City, City of Los Angeles, and Los Angeles County. It is intended that the vehicle will travel up the west coast and into Canada before moving eastward to return to Chicago.
Laurel Rosen introduced 9/11 survivor Bert Upson, whodetailed his observations of the traumatic day.Life coach Bert was preparing to lead a seminar ironically entitled "Taking Charge of your Future" to an audience of fourteen sales consultants on the 78th Floor of the World Trade Center's South Tower (the floor that was hit second). Fortunately Bert got out of the building in time. He remembered complete pandemonium in the streets and the smell of burning steel, concrete, and flesh. At the end of his speech, Bert reminded us to "never forget 9/11."
Quinn Charles with Art Finalist Jared Valesquez and Music Finalist Elliot Sorgen
Rotary Club of Santa Monica sponsored Santa Monica High School Sophomore
Quinn Charles received 3rd place in Dance at the District 5280 High School Arts
Competition Finals held on March 1, 2014 at Loyola Marymount University.Quinn
performed modern ballet dance and currently studies dance at the
Debbie Allen Dance Academy. Congratulations Quinn!
When: Friday, April 4, 2014
Where: At your place of work!
What: Demonstrate to an SMC Rotaract
student your exciting career!
Rotaractors will spend the morning job shadowing you at your office
and then join you for lunch at the Riviera Country Club. The students
will then participate in the Rotary Day of Service on Saturday, April 5, 2014!
Daniel Bennett presented a $500 Community Youth Grant check to Brian Part of Humble Athletics. The money will be used to purchase new modern and safe workout equipment for student athletes, 80% of whom are either Santa Monica residents or Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District students.
We learned a lot about club members Julie Thomas and Tom Woods! Julie Thomas was a youngster in West Virginia, then moved to Detroit, Michigan with her family. One of her favorite memories was putting together a Heath Kit.
Julie loves to read and spent a lot of time at the Detroit Library when she lived in Michigan.
IT Is no suprise Julie studied Mass Communication in college and wanted to become a broadcast journalist on 60 minutes or NPR or a journalist with the Detroit Free Press. Julie proudly shared that she paid for college as a well-paid unionized worker scooping ice cream and serving in a bakery.
Throughout her career, Julie has worked in the non-profit social services sector. After college, she met her husband through a co-worker at the National MS Society. In 2012, Julie became the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the American Red Cross of Santa Monica.
Surprisingly,John Bohnand Eric Schmuttersponsored a self proclaimed "dork," Tom Woods. (Tom, if you hadn't told us, we would not have known.)
At 7-months-old, San Diego-native Tom moved to Santa Monica. Being of Midwestern stock, Tom's fondest sports memory is of attending the 1995 Aloha Bowl football game in Honolulu, HI when Kansas University beat UCLA 51-30. *boo hoo*
Community service is in Tom's blood and his spirit. His grandpa Ralph was a Rotarian and our member Bob Moore is the father of Tom's sister-in-law. Before becoming a Rotarian, Tom started his service by joining Boy Scouts Troop 1 ½,then graduating to Troop 2 and has earned the Boy Scouts rank of Eagle Scout.
After Boy Scouts, Tom went to college at the University of California San Diego. Although he studied Cellular Biology and Visual Arts, Tom chose to apply what he learned as a General Contractor. Today, Tom owns Woods Construction.
Last Wednesday (March 12) our Rotary Networking Group met to get to know each other professionally, build our referral networks, and become resources for each other.
We met and discussed many topics ranging from real estate to estate planning issues, where several of our Rotarian attorneys chimed in, including Lisa Alexander, George Collins, Bret Carter, and Connolly Oyler. Tom Woods gave us a good background on his general contracting business, which was also tied in to several issues surrounding contracts.
We also discussed referral relationships, where we get them, and where we give them. As might be expected, it was universally agreed that the best leads come from referrals from strong relationships, as opposed to general marketing. This was a strong validation of the importance of have a tight business community, like Rotary, to whom we can refer to for strong business partners.
Rotarians, please come out and read to kids! We will be reading in the eight elementary schools in the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District on Wednesday, March 19 and Thursday, March 20, 2014! This is such a great effort each year, bringing in members to read to students in Kindergarten-Grade 2 classrooms. We've also purchased a set of 24 newly published, award-winning books for each of the school's libraries. Each reading slot is 30 minutes. We need you!
Be sure to sign-up at our Friday luncheon meeting or contact Janie Yuguchi Gates at firstname.lastname@example.org or (310) 569-2668 as soon as you can!
The head table included "President's Pick" David Rosenfeld; Scott Ferguson, who gave a wonderful invocation about the importance of family; Mitchell Kraus, who introduced our guests; and Avo Guerboian who introduced our speaker Natalie Crawford.
Member Avo Guerboian with Speaker Natalie Crawford
Pardee RAND Graduate School Professor and Former Vice President and Director of RAND Project AIR FORCE Natalie Crawford told some amazing stories about her life and her journey to RAND and shared her thoughts about current events. It was evident that Natalie approaches all decisions and forms beliefs with considerable thoughtfulness and intelligence.
Natalie has repeatedly been recognized for her contributions, including being recognized with lifetime achievement awards from the Air Force Analytic Community, the National Defense Industrial Associations Combat Survivability Division, and the Air Force Association for contributions to advancements in aerospace, science, and technology. In addition, she was recently awarded the Thomas D. White National Defense Award given annually to civilians who have contributed significantly to the national defense of our country. Other recipients of this award include Ronald Reagan, Colin Powell, John McCain, and Condoleezza Rice. Natalie is the second female to ever receive this award.
We were truly honored to kickoff National Women's History Month with such a spectacular guest speaker. Thank you Natalie!
Rotarians for Healthy Living
Mount Hollywood & Griffith Observatory Hike
Rotarians and friends met at the Charles Turner Trailhead bright and early last Saturday (March 8) morning.
We ascended the trail and at every turn the views were gorgeous. Almost immediately we were treated to a close up view of the Hollywood Sign, the closest many of us had ever been. Farther along, we looked back to see the Griffith Observatory framed against the backdrop of Downtown L.A. and the entire Los Angeles Basin. Approaching the top we enjoyed a panoramic view of Glendale and Burbank. We took our time to enjoy the beauty. Atop Mount Hollywood we devoured refreshments -- bagels and cream cheese, and orange juice and relished in being at the top of the world!
On the way down we took a wrong turn, but quickly recovered and made our way back to the Observatory. Everyone had a great time!
Last Friday, 20 Rotarians and their friends showed up to play tennis and 12 others joined for dinner! Melissa Dagodag charmed everyone with not only her beauty and elegance, but also her racquet skills. Mike O’Hara drove everyone crazy with his heavy slices, spins, and dropped shots.
Join us for the next fun social and competitive event!
In honor of Black History Month, Dr. Williams spoke a little bit about Fisk University,in Nashville, Tennessee, and how it began in 1866 with the need to educate freed slaves. It was very fascinating.
Pictured left-to-right: Past President David Bohn,
Speaker NPR “Morning Edition” co-host Renee Montagne
Vice President - Programs Scott Ferguson,
Member Billy Howard, and President Nat Trives
We were so honored to have NPR “Morning Edition” co-host Renée Montagne speak at our meeting. Renée has quite an incredible journalistic resume and had some amazing stories to tell. Between major political moments in history and some seemingly near death experiences, Renée had quite inspiring stories to share with our club.
One of her most fascinating stories was her experience being at the inauguration of Nelson Mandela, and how she knew at the time how important that moment in history really was.
Landscape Architect Charlie Follette delivered a rock solid, earthy invocation.
1960 US Olympic Volleyball Team and club member Mike O’Hara not only was this week’s President’s Pick, but also asked for help re-branding four-person volleyball played on sand. Mike’s championing a new league to teach and encourage youngsters to play which has launched as a Girls’ league in Venice, California. The sport uses the same short courts as two-person beach volleyball and is not only intended to be fun, but also will prepare athletes to play team volleyball at the High School and Collegiate level.
Rosemary Regalbuto received $100 fine in absentia (Honorary Rotarian Tish Tisherman accepted fine on Rosemary’s behalf) for being recognized by the Lions Club of Santa Monica for her contributions during 27 years running Meals on Wheels West. President Nat Trives agreed to the Club’s recommended $200 amount as a fine for being the one to emcee the February 27, 2014, Lions Club event honoring Rosemary.
Director of Vocational Services Julie Miele and Committee Chair Pam Brady introduced the three Rotary Club of Santa Monica High School Arts Competition finalists who will advance to the District 5280 competition:
Dance Finalist: Quin Charles - Santa Monica High School Sophomore – performed modern ballet dance. She currently studies dance at the Debbie Allen Dance Academy.
Art Finalist: Jared Valesquez -Santa Monica High School Senior - exhibited an intricate metaphorical pencil drawing symbolizing one’s struggle between hedonism and wisdom, with civility winning by the mind-body-spirit alignment for infinity.
Music Finalist: Classical guitarist Elliot Sorgen - Santa Monica High School Senior – Audience listened intently as Elliot played a modern, classical-style song on acoustic guitar accompanied by Tim Beckman. Cannot recall anytime that our members have been so quiet. Elliot’s applying to the Berkeley Academy of Music.
March 1, 2014, District 5280 High School Arts Competition Finals will be held at Loyola Marymount University.
Rotarians for Healthy Living
Mount Hollywood & Griffith Observatory Hike
Saturday, March 8, 2014 -- 8:30 a.m.
Rising high at the heart of Griffith Park stands 1,625-foot Mount Hollywood with its amazing vistas of Los Angeles. We will hike the most popular route, starting at the Charlie Turner Trailhead at Hollywood Trail. After hiking north 1.5 miles to the summit, we will be rewarded with an amazing 360-degree panorama of Los Angeles. We will finish with no-host refreshments at the Café at the End of the Universe, after which you are free to stay and enjoy the observatory on your own.
Meet at the Charlie Turner Trailhead (north end of Griffith Observatory parking lot). Bring a hat, water, sunscreen, and binoculars. The hike is moderately strenuous.
For carpooling or questions please contact trip leader Lisa Alexander at email@example.com or (310) 656-4310.
Mount Hollywood & Griffith Observatory Hike - March 8, 2014
Rotary Club of Santa Monica Board of Officers & Directors have allocated funds to match member contributions toward Typhoon Hiayun and southwest Illinois Tornado disaster relief efforts. The Club will match all member contributions up to cumulative $2,500 for Typhoon Hiayun and $2,500 for Tornado.
Please contact Treasurer Alan Glick at firstname.lastname@example.org or (310) 392-5970 regarding your contribution.
Ricardo Escobar wowed us with his classical guitar performance
Our meeting began with a wonderful performance by the Orchestra Santa Monica Woodwind Quintet.
The head table consisted of "President's Pick" Stan Bots;Invocateur Ken Waltzer, who shared a wonderful quote; Patricia Farris, who introduced meeting guests; and George Collins, who introduced featured entertainer Classical Guitarist Ricardo Escobar.
We also sang happy birthday to all of our Rotarians with birthdays in January and February. They received gifts and a Rotary hat! Happy Birthday Rotarians!
We were all touched by an amazing Classical Guitar performance by Ricardo Escobar. He played some songs from all over Latin America and showed off the speed and skill that his fingers had on his guitar. Thank you Orchestra Santa Monica and Ricardo Escobar!
Invocateur Linda Teixiera shared lovely and concise message to kick-off our meeting. Michael Cates introduced the meeting’s guests, followed by Ken Waltzer keying a deliberately-paced rendition of "What a Wonderful World" on the piano. President Nat Trives fined himself once, although it should have been for Portugal mischief rather than being eer-so-slightly less sharp than normal due to cold meds.
Mitch Kraus presented a check to ClarisHealth CEO Talitha Philips to buy furniture for the Teen Pregnancy Outreach and Parenting Program. And, visiting Rotarian Anna-Lissa Lavila (President of Hamina-Vehkalahti (Finland) Rotary Club) presented a cookbook and photo guidebook of Finland to President Nat Trives.
Erik Jorgensborg with speaker Marcos Guillen
Erik Jorgensborg gave a touching introduction to our speaker Marcos Guillen. As a high school freshman, Marcos was forced out of his childhood home and spent the next two years on the streets where he found "family" in a local gang and began selling drugs to survive. He was arrested at a gunfight, then sentenced to eight and one-half years in prison.
While incarcerated Marcos prioritized completing his education and preparing to re-enter civil society. He overcame poor literacy, earned his GED, learned to be a dental technician and was trained in substance abuse counseling.
Shortly after his release, Marcos realized he needed to obtain basic computing skills. He went to Chrysalis where he gained computing and other job skills, preparing to re-enter the workforce. His first job was with the Salvation Army. As someone who has gone through the justice system and struggled with addiction, Marcos is passionate about helping others who are in similar situations. Due to his determination, Marcos eventually landed a position as a Client Supervisor at Passages Recovery Center in August 2012.
Marcos now lives in a house with his wife and eighteen-month old son and four-month old daughter. Marcos' goal is to earn his Masters degree in Clinical Psychology.
Rotarian Mel Powell speaks about Membership, and cajoles Santa Monica Rotarians
to begin focusing on bringing in new members. Steve Alexis laughs while Connie Maguire
and President-Elect George Collins take the pledge.
The head table consisted of President Nat Trives’ "President’s Pick" Nora MacLellan; Melissa Dagodag, who led the Invocation; RoseMary Regalbuto, who introduced the meeting’s guests; and Bret Carter, who introduced speaker Mel Powell (Rotary e-Club ofthe Greater San Fernando Valley).
Larry Mortoff announced Friday was a special day. The Clean Water projects at orphanages throughout Myanmar that J.T. Waring (LA5) has been championing (and our PPJim Dyer got our Club involved) led to the Myanmar government considering allowing Rotary Clubs to organize and form within the country. After 20 years, Rotary is again official in Myanmar.
Two visiting Rotarians attended last week's meeting, including Vision to Learn Outreach Coordinator Nora MacLellan (Rotary Club of Westchester), and Japanese Rotarian Ari Tanaka. Other guests included Ethan Brown, Scott Heelee,and Vision to Learn Program Manager Carissa Waldriff.
All of us want ours to remain the BEST Rotary Club in the BEST Rotary District, right?
Recruiting civic and globally-minded professional, business and government leaders whom live by the Four-Way Test will help us do so.
Below is our simple four-step process to propose new members:
1. Invite the person to a Rotary Meeting and other Rotary Club events.
2. Introduce the person to fellow Rotarians.
3. Complete and submit application form to Savi.
4. Be discrete and patient.
The head table at the first meeting of the new year consisted of President Nat Trives’ "President’s Pick" and President-Elect Designate Tom Loo; Andrea Gressinger, who led an Invocation about love and healing; Myles Pritchard, who introduced the meeting’s guests; and Susan Annett, who introduced the meeting’s speaker RAND Senior Sociologist Chloe Bird.
It was a big day for our Community & Youth Grants Committee:
Red Kettle Day committee co-chair Myles Pritchard announced that our club collected $6,000, sadly losing to Kiwanis International which raised $9,000. The competing local Service Organizations raised a whopping $25,000!
Director Sharon Perlmutter-Gavin presented a check of $2,500 to Connections For Children Executive Director Patti Oblath. Connections For Children is the non-profit Child Care Resource and Referral agency serving child care providers, educators, and parents in the West Los Angeles and South Bay communities.
PP Jack Gregory presented a check of $2,500 to Santa Monica-Malibu Education Foundation Chairman Linda Gross. The mission of the Santa Monica-Malibu Education Foundation is to engage the community to invest in a vibrant educational experience for all students in the Santa Monica and Malibu public schools.
President Nat prematurely announced that Gita Runkle will be Santa Monica College's Acting Associate Dean - Emeritus College. It's official TODAY! Brown-noser Nat waived Gita’s fine since she is now his boss...power has privileges!
Michael Reinprecht, a visiting Rotarian from Rotaract Club Wien-Stadtpark (Vienna, Austria) attended last week's meeting. Other guests included Rotaractor President Manny Ramirez;Rotoractors Pavel Bokarev, Rafael Solari, Esther Park, and Demetrius Polychron;Grant Recipients Connections for Children Executive Director Patti Oblathand Santa Monica-Malibu Education Foundation Chairman Linda Gross, Faculty Advisor Aileen Huang, Meals on Wheels West Executive Director Chris Baca (guest of Tish Tisherman), Abby and David Wisen (guests of Tom Loo),and Ethan Brown (guest of Charlie Follette).
Reminder - We are dark Friday in celebration of Martin Luther King Day!
RAND Senior Sociologist, Pardee RAND Graduate School Professor of Policy Analysis, Associate Editor of Women’s Health Issues, and Deputy Editor of Journal of Health and Social BehaviorChloe Bird spoke about the gender differences in the quality of care for cardiovascular disease and diabetes in California.
Gender stratified reporting is necessary to be able to gain insights and understanding so that treatments can be developed and delivered.
When it comes to the two health issues which are the significant causes of death -- cardiovascular disease and diabetes -- there is a large discrepancy in the proportion of men versus women who are screened and receive treatment as well as a significant difference in the outcomes. For example, in California the gaps in screening are much smaller than the gaps in treatment. More than 50% of women's heart disease is microvascular, while men's is coronary artery. The symptoms are different and often ignored. As a result, since 1984 more US women die from heart disease than any other cause each year.
Three things to do:
(1) Enjoy a Mediterranean diet. People following this regime have lower instance than others of heart disease.
(2) If you have pain anywhere in body between nose and hips, even if it goes away when you relax, get checked by health provider!
(3) If you have heart disease, get your LDL cholesterol checked annually.
Having heart disease is not a death sentence. In recent years, treatment guidelines have changed. Once heart disease is present, very often doctors will prescribe statins. Just watch those interactions.
Speaker Chloe Bird Shared Insights About Gender Inequality in Healthcare Treatment and Outcomes
District 5280 2014 Rotary Youth Exchange
July 24, 2014 to July 26, 2014 Guest Abroad
July 26, 2014 to August 17, 2014 Host at Home
District 5280 is offering a short-term Rotary Youth Exchange to all students 15- to 18 1/2-years-old as of June 2014.
Each student will travel abroad to one country (Austria, Brazil, England, India, Italy, Spain, Taiwan, or Turkey) and stay with a Rotarian host family for three weeks. A child-member from the foreign host family will return with the U.S. student and stay in his/her home.
President Nat Trives returned looking well and presided over our annual Holiday Luncheon. Michael Cates delivered a heart-felt Invocation recognizing those serving in the US armed forces abroad and Barbara Bishop led us in the Pledge of Allegiance and singing God Bless America.
We were joined by visiting Rotarian Mike Moult (Teignmouth) and his wife visiting from the United Kingdom.
Carlthrop Choir comprised of Grade 1 through Grade 6 students sang 10 Christmas, Hanukkah and Kawanzaa holiday songs and played Bells previously donated by Rotary Club of Santa Monica at the direction of Laura Bickel. Each song was announced by Hayden Hill. Each performer was presented with a candy cane by Elf Savi as they exited.
A special visitor from the North Pole arrived late, bringing gifts for all the nice guest girls and boys.
We recognized the Riviera head chef, his sous chef, and our special dessert pastry chef Sheila Cutchlow. Sheila not only makes scrumptious desserts who works on Venice Boardwalk, but is a SAG member and producer.
For the second Spirit Competition, Timur Berberoglu won the ugly sweater contest. VP Programs Scott Ferguson presented the award.
VPScott Ferguson presided over a hilarious meeting and launched our Spirit Competition. The previous week Scott encouraged members to attend dressed in flower child, Rasta-style, or other 1960s clothing to keep with the program topic marijuana legislation. Club Director Larry Mortorf won our very first spirit competition!
Matt Williams gave a soul-full Invocation; Judy Iriye introduced our visitors and guests; and PatBofird led a rousing rendition of "Let's Go Smoke Some Pot" to the tune of "Let's Go to the Hop."
Mitch Kraus presented a check to Santa Monica Fire Chief Mark Bridges. The funds will be used to buy stuffed animals to carry on the fire trucks and give to children!
Iao Katagiri along with a humorous video starring "doped-up" Avo Guerboian and TJ Montemer introducing the meeting's speaker.
Speaker Beau Kilmer and VP Scott Ferguson
The group singing "Let's Go Smoke Some Pot"
Our speaker Beau Kilmer, as a senior policy researcher at the RAND Corporation and RAND Drug Policy Research Center co-director, focuses on developing public policy. His research lies at the intersection of public health and public safety, with a special emphasis on substance use and the economics of commercial and illicit markets, law enforcement, and correctional facilities. Kilmer discussed the pros and cons of legalizing marijuana and informed us about the current marijuana legalization in Amsterdam, Colorado, Washington, as well as past and anticipated future efforts within California.
We also held the Club Elections for 2014-2015 officers and directors. View the winners below!
One visiting Rotarian attended the meeting, art gallery owner Martin Suppan (Rotary Club of Vienna). Other guests included photographer and trainer Fabian Lewkowicz (guest of Scott Ferguson), Tish Tisherman (guest of John Bohn), Upward Bound House Director Christine Glasco, and Jessica Rice (Jillian Alexander's assistant).
Have you ever dreamed of traveling to Japan? Well, here is a great opportunity!
The Friendship Exchange is for Rotarians and their spouses to stay 7 days with Japanese host Rotarians in their homes, then host the same Japanese Rotarian and spouse in your home for a week. All it costs is airfare plus hosting guests here.
Deadline to apply is December 31, 2013.
If you want to go, sign up today!
The head table at last week's meeting consisted of Nat Trives’ guest and "President’s Pick" Dale Bell, who gave tribute to Nelson Mandela; Lisa Alexander, who led our Invocation; Roger Davis, who introduced the meeting’s guests, and Mitch Kraus, who introduced the meeting’s speaker.
Instead of joining together in song, we viewed the “Electric Car” music video from Grammy Award Winning artists They Might Be Giants. For those of you who missed it click here.
In addition, Director-Community & Youth ServiceSharon Perlmutter Gavin presented $2,300 check to the Clare Foundation. The funds will be used to purchase new kitchen equipment, as the Clare Foundation serves over 150 meals per day to homeless men.
President Nat Trives with Speaker Paul Scott
Director Sharon Perlmutter Gavin
with Clare Foundation's Tamara Pompey
Mitch Kraus introduced Speaker Plug In America (PIA) co-founder Paul Scott, a lifelong environmental advocate who actively promotes wide adoption of Electric Vehicles and plug-in hybrids to reduce both environmental damage and America’s vulnerability due to dependence on petroleum. Paul emphasized that
to protect our oil interests, in the last 10 years the U.S. Government has spent $2.1 trillion on wars in the Middle East plus U.S. Defense agencies $80 billion in non-war regions.
However, not all Americans embrace the shift to electric and hybrid vehicles. Paul pointed out that 14 states have passed laws that prohibit the sell of Tesla vehicles, which he attributes to existing dealers lobbying against competitively superior products.
For those concerned about the toxicity of disposed electric vehicle batteries, Paul mentioned that utility companies are reviewing obtaining the used batteries, placing them in facilities, where electricity generated from clean energy sources (e.g. wind) could be collected overnight and stored in those cells for use during peak hours during the following day. This could replace use of natural gas.
Two visiting Rotarians attended last week's meeting, including Noel Develter from Rotary Club of Menen (Belgium) with a classification of Finance and Stockton Gaines from Rotary Club of Pacific Palisades with a classification of Computer Technology. Other guests included Matt Wolf (guest of Scott Ferguson), Dale Bell (guest of Nat Trives), Tamara Pompey (guest of Sharon Perlmutter-Gavin), Dennis White (guest of David Bohn), Jessica Wyeck (guest of Tod Lipka), and Elza Ruhman (Lionel Ruhman's wife).
Rotarians show appreciation by serving
Santa Monica Police & Fire Departments on Thanksgiving
Dee Menzies and Jim Menzies arranged for the Jonathan Club to donate a traditional Thanksgiving feast, procured pies and beverages, brought serving equipment and decorations, and organized team of Rotarian and their family and friend volunteers to serve the Santa Monica Police officers, Fire and support personnel on duty Thanksgiving Day.
More than 60 SMPD personnel enjoyed a full meal, and our volunteers delivered desserts to each fire station.
Thank You to our VOLUNTEERS:
Monte Herring & friend Len Rolenta Sibarani
Alonzo, September, Hayden & Autumn Hill
Judy Iriye & daughter Saya Feldman
Mitchell & Zack Kraus
Dee, Jim & Jamie Menzies
Con Oyler & friend Oscar
George Collins led a fearless crew of Bruins and Trojans to the LA Live JW Marriott for a spirited pre-game lunch headlined by former head coaches John Robinson (USC) and Terry Donahue (UCLA, the winning-est coach in Pac-10 history). They were quite entertaining.
No one expected UCLA (ranked #22) to beat USC (ranked #23) by three touch-downs!
Rotarians for Healthy Living
Rotary Club of Santa Monica Saturday, December 7, 2013
10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
This 2-hour event includes class and a light reception afterward.
Naam Yoga LA
1231 4th St. Santa Monica
(between Wilshire and Arizona)
Parking across the street
Naam Yoga LA Executive Director Jane Mirshak will lead this Naam Yoga class custom-designed for Rotary members.
Creativity, Health, Joy, Love, Power, Stress Relief, Strength, Laughter, and FUN are the focus of this special Rotary class!
Learn simple practical techniques to:
boost your energy, make you happier, de-stress,
get rid of wrinkles, open your heart, bring balance to the brain,
support healthy function of the glandular,
nervous, and digestive systems,
relax, and much more!
Yoga mats and blankets will be provided or you can bring your own. All fitness levels welcome!
Daniel Bennett presented a $1,500 check from Community & Youth Grants committee to Westside Ballet of Santa Monica director Caprice Walker. These funds go towards gorgeous, well-constructed Waltz of Flowers costumes worn during The Nutcracker performances. These are the first new costumes in 40 years, and include tags indicating donated by Rotary Club of Santa Monica.
Community & Youth Grant to Westside Ballet of Santa Monica
This week's meeting picked up speed with Attorney Conn Oyler leading our Invocation and President Nat introducing his pick o' the week, newspaper Diane Margolin (one of our fabulous festive party planners).
SMMUSD Board Member and Former President of California PTA Pam Brady introduced guest speaker and FBI Assistant DirectorBill L. Lewis. Mr. Lewis supervises 700 Agents plus 700 support staff spanning from San Luis Obispo to San Clemente. He has extensive experience leading domestic terrorism and drug trafficking investigations as well as counter-intelligence and counter-terrorism efforts. Mr. Lewis was integral in solving the Centennial Park bombing and linking double bomb cases in Georgia and Alabama. Promotions took Mr. Lewis to Iraq, and eventually heading the FBI in this region.
As with other Federal agencies, the FBI must reduce its budget by $700MM due to sequestration. To do so, FBI will reduce its workforce by approximately 10% and it is anticipated this will be achieved through attrition of 3,500 employees. Yet, Mr. Lewis assured us we are fortunate to live and work in Santa Monica, a "very progressive law enforcement area." FBI Agents in this region participate in the Police Officer Standard Training (POST) that all California law enforcement officers complete, which affords them to be quickly deployed and effective serving in another California jurisdiction as we witnessed earlier this year.
We were greeted by Bill Wood and Avo Guerboian.
Non-profit executive Julie Thomas introduced guests.
You are a bell-ringer. Come raise funds for the Salvation Army and help our Rotary Club of Santa Monica beat other Santa Monica service clubs in fundraising. Click here for the origin of the Salvation Army's Red Kettle campaign and various ways funds are used.
Our adventure began at the Metro Expo Line Station in Culver City where we all purchased our “Tap” Cards and loaded them with train fare for the day. For most of us, it was our first ride on the Metro Line. Downtown we switched trains to ride all the way to Union Station, then crossed the street to Olvera Street.
Rotary Club Director and Boy Scouts Silver Beaver Lisa Alexander arranged for docent tour led by Ute Passey. (In Ute’s other life, she approves all the Eagle Scout projects for our local Scouts in the Crescent Bay District.) Ute shared the history Los Angeles' settlement, including Spain recruiting 11 Mexican families to colonize California. El Pueblo de la Reina de Los Angeles (the Town of the Queen of Angels) was founded in September 1781.
We toured the Avila Adobe (c. 1818) and viewed David Alfaro Siquerios' 1932 outdoor fresco masterpiece “America Tropical”. After our tour we had lunch at La Luz Del Dia. We could have spent many more hours touring the Sepulveda House and the Chinese American Museum but will save them for another day.
We made our way back home on the Metro and partied with the Trojan fans on their way to the USCgame. It was a great day!
Olvera Street & El Pueblo Los Angeles Historical Tour - November 16, 2013
November is National Adoption Month. Every November, a Presidential Proclamation launches activities and celebrations to help build awareness of adoption throughout the nation. Thousands of community organizations arrange and host programs, events, and activities to share positive adoption stories, challenge the myths, and draw attention to the thousands of children in foster care who are waiting for permanent families.
In addition to being a weeknight newsanchor, Christine Devine hosts the “Wednesday’s Child” segment of the KTTV Fox 11 newcasts. The segment showcases children currently in the Foster Care System who are eligible for adoption and are difficult to place due to being part of a sibling group, age, or disability. Christine and FOX have helped more than 500 children from foster care find forever families over the past 18 years.
Christine also screened a video she produced of former foster child Jamaal, whom she is working with to develop his songwriting and Rapper talent. Although we had technical difficulties transmitting audio to house system and I lost count of how many Rotarians it takes to connect A/V at Riviera, eventually VP Programs and Santa Monica Fire Chief Scott Ferguson came to the rescue and in seconds connected the system!
Interested in mentoring and supporting these at-risk youth? KidsSave works to create change so older forgotten orphanage and foster kids grow up in families and connected to caring adults. New Visions Foundation (President Nat Trives is a board member), based in Santa Monica, gives scholarships to foster children.
Christine Devine - Guest Speaker - November 15, 2013
Last Friday’s Rotary meeting was very educational! Featured Rotarians included First Presbyterian Church Board Member John Bohn, Law Enforcement Consultant and former Santa Monica Police Department Chief Tim Jackman, and Community Business Center Management Banker Ron Call. Larry Maher delivered the meeting’s Invocation, while Pat Bofird led the meeting song “We Are The World.”
Jim Menzies presented a Santa Monica Boulevard sign to Mr. Santa Monica Nat Trives. In addition, Alan Glick was fined for winning four tickets to Disneyland at the Paul Harris Celebration, and Bret Carter was fined for disappearing for the evening at the Paul Harris Celebration.
Tim Jackman introduced speaker veteran Television News Anchor, Reporter, and Producer Christine Devine who focused her discussion on the Foster Care System. Christine anchors the weeknight newscasts on KTTV FOX 11 and KCOP Channel 13. She has 16 Emmys, including the prestigious Governors Award. In 2012, she was named by Los Angeles Magazine among the “50 Women Changing LA.”
One visiting Rotarian attended last week's meeting: Ed Jackson from Westwood Village Rotary Club, who brought his friend Dirk Herman. Other guests included Santa Monica College Workforce Development Program Manager Sasha King (guest of Gita Runkle), Santa Monica and Malibu Education Foundation Director Ed Lim (guest of Tom Larmore), and Vlado Valkof, a Rotarian looking for a new club to join.
Our last Rotary Networking Hour kicked-off by briefly discussing the history of debt. This was prompted by a book MitchKlaus was reading by David Graber called Debt: The first 5000 Years. (Daniel Bennett recommended it some months back). This segued into a lively conversation about our planned topics -- Purpose-Driven Investing and the new "B Corp" legal entity form that is intended to couple the traditionally perceived disparate aims of non-profit organizations and for-profit enterprises enjoyed by all participating Rotarians.
Click "more" below for details about December's meeting.
This year’s Foundation Celebration was an out of this world experience. Hosted at the California Science Center, over 600 Rotarians sat under the wings and the belly of the Space Shuttle Endeavor. While attendees supported The Rotary Foundation, they also enjoyed a keynote speech by Space Shuttle Endeavor pilot General Kevin Chilton, entertainment from emcee Fritz Coleman, and of course, the breath-taking views of the space shuttle itself, floating just a few feet above their heads.
Last Friday our Club celebrated Veterans Day early! The head table consisted of President Nat Trives; Mitchell Kraus, who delivered the Invocation with his four year-old son Zachary on his shoulders; Past President Herb Rooney, who led the song The Marine's Hymn in honor of Veterans Day; Past President Judy Neveau, who introduced the meeting's speaker; and Jim Reidy, who introduced the meeting's guests.
Speaker Santa Monica College Geography and Earth Science ProfessorWilliam Selby educated our club on the natural history of California, and emphasized how everything in nature is connected. Using photos of California flora and fauna, Professor Selby explained the connections between each element. He also shared that due to not being in-touch with our surroundings, many are now suffering from "nature-deficit disorder." Professor Selby encouraged us to get out in nature and appreciate its beauty!
Two visiting Rotarians attended our meeting: Employment Consultant Kelsey McFarland (El Segundo Rotary Club) and Movie Distributor Laurent Zameczkowski (Rotary Paris Courbevoie). Our guests wereDave Afral (guest of John Dravillas), Bill Branch and Realtor Fred Votto (guests of Lionel Ruhman), Everett Maguire (Connie Maguire's father), Architect Vlado Valkof (guest of La Vonne Lawson), and Jessica Rice (Jillian Alexander's Executive & Marketing Assistant).
Ride the Metro to Union Station, walk across the Street to Olvera Street, explore museums and historic structures,
guided tour of the Plaza, followed by Lunch
Saturday, November 16, 9:30 a.m. Meet at the Metro Station in Culver City. One-hour tour starts at 11:00 a.m. Lunch follows. Parking at Culver City Metro Station is free. Only cost is Metro ticket and lunch.
Award Winning Photo Journalist David Hume Kennerly spoke about his amazing career, showing the most meaningful photos he has taken over the years. Kennerly's photographs have captured history-making stories for more than 45 years. He has photographed eight wars, every American president since Richard Nixon, and has traveled to dozens of countries along the way. The day after the 1971 Madison Square Garden Ali-Frazer fight, he departed for Vietnam where he shot the 1972 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography winning image. Since then Kennerly has had 25 images appear as the Time Magazine cover photo.
In addition, Past President Dee Menzies presented a $5,000 check to the Santa Monica Mounted Police, the oldest mounted police unit in California, which was formed in 1930.
Two visiting Rotarians attended last week's meeting: President of Rotary Club of Sierra Madre and Sierra Madre Police Chief Marilyn Diaz, and Rotary Club of Beverly Hills' Fred Holiday (guest of Karim Jaude) whose classification is Banking. In addition, nine non-Rotarian guests attended, including Santa Monica Mounted Police Neil Looy, Jamie Menzies, Ron Wechler,and Vice Captain Byron Hollins, as well as Joanne Trimborn (Bob Trimborn's wife), Attorney Rick Green (guest of Steve Litvack), Carol Alexander (Lisa Alexander’s mother), and Ramin Nematollahi (Judy Neveau's new assistant at SMC).
LA LIVE: JW Marriott 800 W Olympic Blvd; Los Angeles, CA 90015
Meet former head coaches John Robinson and Terry Donahue (the winning-est coach in Pac-10 history), USC Song Girls, USC Band, UCLA Dance Team, and Joe and Josephine Bruin. Ring the Victory Bell and join Live Auction.
On Friday, October 18, Santa Monica Rotarians prepared and served dinner to nearly 40 residents at OPCC's Turning Point facility in Santa Monica. They also prepared "late trays" for residents who couldn't make the meal, and sack lunches for the next day. Chair Bill Buxton said, "we saw lots of smiles" as the residents expressed their appreciation.
We proudly recognized and honored the remaining Public Service employee called away to his duties on June 4, 2013, at last Friday's Rotary luncheon. Santa Monica City Manager Rod Gould presented the 2013 Public Service Recognition Award to Ken Semko. Since being selected for this award for his work establishing the city's three-person Office of Emergency Management, Ken has been reclaimed by the Santa Monica Police Department and promoted to "Captain."
Guest Speaker - Michelle D'Angelis
Barbara Bishop introduced Business and Executive Coach Michelle DeAngelis, founder and President of management and consulting firm Michelle Inc.,Shespoke about Emotional Intelligence -- the ability to identify and assess the emotions ofothers and self, as well as control one's own emotions.
Visitors & Guests
One visiting Rotarian, Policy Analyst Maureen Alice Torr from Rotary Club of Saskatoon, attended last week's meeting. In addition, seven non-Rotarian guests attended, including OEM award recipient Ken Senko and his guest Santa Monica City Manager Rod Gould, Speaker Michelle DeAngelis, Vlado Valkof (guest of La Vonne), and OEM officials Tatiana Morrison, Paul Weinberg, and Robert Almada.
Saturday, October 19, 2013, Larry Maher led Rotarians and their guests hiking the Solstice Canyon Trail.
While hiking through beautiful scenery, observed were waterfalls and water pools. It was amazing to see that water was still running at this time of year!
Along the way, Eric Schmitter explained the natural California Oak trees are several hundreds of years old.
The group explored the ruins of interesting architecture. First was the Robert’s Ranch House, which was destroyed during the 1982 fire. Then, the remains of old Keller Hunting Lodge, one of the oldest standing stone structures in the local area.
Upon completing the two hour hike, they enjoyed a casual lunch nearby at the Malibu Seafood Restaurant overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
October 18 we hosted the presentation of the Santa Monica Jaycees'2012 Distinguished Service Award (DSA) to one Jaycee for outstanding community service and civic dedication in the year. The 63-member Santa Monica Jaycees is a social and service organization focused on developing the next generation of civic leaders. This year's DSA recipient, Kamille Rudisill, was selected from nominees submitted by local service and civic organizations. For more about Kamille and four other exceptional nominees, click here.
Three visiting Rotarians attended this week's meeting, including Craig Smith from Rotary Club of Big Bear Lake and Rita and Eric Brandin from Escondido Rotary Club. Eric is also a past Santa Monica Jaycee DSA Award Recipient.
Nine non-Rotarian guests also attended: Past Santa Monica Jaycees' DSA award recipients Kevin Reed and Hank Walther; Soroptimists Marguerite de la Rena, Kai-Li Quigley (wife of Hal Quigley), and Elsa Ruhman (guest of Lionel Ruhman); Rotarian offspring Saya Feldman (daughter of Judy Iriye); and local professionals and businessmen Alan Parr (guest of Dee Menzies), Bruce Hunt (guest of Dan Bennett), and Robert Lemce (guest of David Rosenfeld).
The Rotary Club of Santa Monica is currently accepting applications for its Community and Youth Grants program from non-profit organizations that serve the Santa Monica area and address the needs of those less fortunate in our community.
Grant applications are due by October 31, 2013, for the next funding cycle. Grants offered by the Community and Youth Grants program range from $500 to $3,500. Funds may be requested for capital, equipment or new program development. Funds are not available for annual operating needs or special events.
Click here for the Community & Youth Grants Application.
Click herefor the Community & Youth Grants Guidelines.
Community & Youth Grants - Application Deadline October 31, 2013
At last week's meeting Nat Trives was flanked by Trojans Bob Klein and Paul Leoni, our brainiac scientist Bill Wood, and Sharon Perlmutter Gavin. Gita Runkle and Rick Mateus were there to greet attendees at the door.
PP Paul Leoni introduced Marty Fabrick, California Science Center Foundation’s Project Director who orchestrated transporting the Endeavour Space Shuttle from Florida's Kennedy Space Center to the California Science Center in Exposition Park (near Downtown Los Angeles). Mr. Fabrick led the Endeavour Project team that planned the move, developed technical approaches and assessments, acquired necessary permits, prepared the route, communicated with the city agencies, police departments and local communities, provided media relations, coordinated Endeavour’s arrival at LAX, and moved it on a 3-day around the clock 14-mile journey.
Two visiting Rotarians attended. Ethiopian YirgalemYetemgn is now living in the area and is looking for a local club to call home. Jerry Friedman, a mortgage lender from the Rotary Club of Torrance, was a guest of Roger Davis.
Five non-Rotarian guests attended. Scott Ferguson introduced Steve Castillo.Iao Katagiri introduced her sister Laurie Katagiri-Hoshino, who was visiting from Honolulu.Isabel Cervello introduced her mother Karin Cervello, who was visiting from Europe. Jillian Alexander introduced her Executive & Marketing Assistant Jessica Rice, who will be helping us with maintaining the club website, publishing the RotaMonica, and posting to Facebook.
Please join us as we serve dinner October 18, 2013, to around 55 homeless adults.
Dinner prep starts at 4:30 p.m. and will be served at 6:00 p.m.
We will wrap up by 8:00 p.m. You can join us for any or all of the time!
Date: Friday, October 18, 2013
Time: 4:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Location: OPCC Turning Point
1453 16th Street, Santa Monica, 90404
There is parking in a lot off the alley behind the facility.
Five hearty Rotarians attended the October Rotary Networking Hour. Mitch Kraus led a great discussion on marketing to the various generations of Swing Generation, Boomers, Gen X and Gen Y, outlining their differences in terms of relationship building, engagement, and expectations.The group also discussed our key referral sources and how we cultivate our relationships with them.
It was an informative al fresco session. Thanks to attendees Daniel Bennett, Izzy Cervello, John Dravillas, Mitch Kraus, and David Rosenfeld!
Click through for details about November's meeting.
Rotarians have been leading the charge to eradicate polio from the world for since the 1970s.
In 1988, Rotary's PolioPlus campaign was aligned with the United Nations and specific Governments to form the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. PolioPlus is the first and largest internationally coordinated private-sector support of a public health initiative.
Join 100 District 5280 Rotarians and meet many more Columbian Rotarians on an unforgettable trip
filled with humanitarian work, fellowship and sightseeing.
Travel dates: March 19-23, 2014.
Registration forms are due November 1, 2013.
Sunday's International Wine & Jazz Festival at the
Annenberg Community Beach House was a big hit!
Committee Chair Ken Waltzer and committee sub-chairs
Suzan Allbritton (Ticket Sales), Daniel Bennett (Sponsors), Donna Byrd (Auction Donations), Andrea Gressinger (Hospitality), and Len Lanzi (Ticket Sales) planned and organized a fun and fanciful event!
Special thank you's go to our generous sponsors!
Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows
Sharon & Andy Gavin
Kenfield Capital Strategies
Quigley & Miron
George & Pat Collins
Agency Capital Partners
Guest Speaker J.T. Warring (LA5) provided an update on Rotary Myanmar Orphanges Water Project and on Rotary Club formation in Myanmar.
To date, 22 complete, functioning safe water management systems have been completed for as many orphanages. Orphanages must already have an existing water well. Each site uses a gravity system, are very simple to maintain and built to be durable for at least 50 years. The focus is now shifting from orphanages to communities of 400 to 2,000 inhabitants.
Due to his work in Myanmar, J.T. was tapped to help re-establish Rotary Clubs in Myanmar. On June 4, 203, the Rotary Club of Yangon was awarded a provisional license and is now in the the process of forming.
J.T. Warring -- Myanmar Orphanage Water Projects and Re-establishing Rotary Clubs in Myanmar
Our District continued its Japan Youth Exchange with District 2550 in Tochigi (annual exchanges began in 1960) and had its first exchange with District 2620 in Shizuoka and Yamanashi.
Special thank you's to Japan Youth Exchange chair Dr. Vicki Radel for organizing fantastic experiences for all students involved as well as Tom & Stephanie Loo for often acting as day-hosts throughout our five guests stay in District 5280.
Please bring your new and gently used books (for adults or children of any age) to our weekly meeting and drop them off in the box by the door! We are collecting between August 23, 2013, and September 27, 2013.
The books will benefit local organizations including the Berkeley West Convalescent Center, the Boys and Girls Club of Santa Monica, the Ken Edwards Center, and the Police Activities League.
Search your bookcases for books your family no longer needs!
For more information contactLinda Teixeira via email atLinda@LaTaxAssociates.com or telephone at either (310)477-7092or (310) 795-3926.
Entertainment Attorney Alan U. Schwartz quick quips entertained the audience as he described the transition of film financing deals from the beginnings of the motion picture history through today.
Schwartz articulated the financing options available and commonly used by today's studios and independent producers. He emphasized that as production, print and advertising expense are no longer recouped via box office receipts, many filmmakers are foregoing theatrical release window and opting for TV or internet distribution as the first release window.
As many will recall, the activities on June 4, 2013, pre-empted our honoring those who serve our community. Yet, on that day, many of us witness the exemplary fashion with which our local peace officers, public school leaders, transit providers, and city management conduct their work. What we observed as a well orchestrated response, quelled fears and made most feel safer than ever to live and work in the community.
August 9, 2013, we CELEBRATED both the individuals who have extraordinary heroes during the past year, but also their colleagues for quickly securing Santa Monica and restoring peace in our community. Santa Monica Police Department Chief Jackie Seabrooksand Santa Monica Fire Department "A" Platoon Battalion Chief Mark Bridges introduced this year's award recipients from their departments, Police Sergeant Jon Murphy and Fire Captain Pat Nulty.
Thankfully, no notice of the Rotary Club of Santa Monica being banned from Riviera Country Club has reached this desk.
The August 9, 2013, set performed by School of Rock! students shook the house. Many were grooving in their chairs, and George Collins even got PP Judy Neveau up out of her seat to bust a move on the floor.
We're An American Band by Grand Funk Railroad Master Blaster by Stevie Wonder Long Time by Boston Bottoms Up by Van Halen Crazy On You by Heart
Performers Vocals - Taylor Schonbuch Guitar - Chad Warren Guitar - Robert Heckerman Guitar - Jonah Feingold Guitar - Josh Hayes Guitar - Michael Edwards Bass - Nolan Barbee Drums - Ryley O'Blanca
We want to both thank and congratulate the entire band and School of Rock's General Manager Kelly Scutchfield and Music Director Ryan Schiff for a fantastic performance.
This year's DG visit was both fun-filled and bitter sweet. Fun -- with "Bigger, Better, Bolder" mantra stating Doug Baker reprising the District Governor role. Bitter-sweet -- with ceremonial bagpipes playing and assistance from Bill Werner, the banner displaying "Home Club of the District Governor 2013-2014" in honor of Jim Dyer was carried in and hung during our August 2, 2013, meeting.
We were blessed to have many District guests -- PDG Pat Cashin, Executive Aide Jaime Sul Cantrel, Senior Assistant Governor Club Service Joe Vasquez and his wife, Club Assistant Governor Bill Bloomfield,
Senior Advisor to the Governor Mel Powell, e-Rotary Club member Yoko Matsui (Mel's wife, but he's not telling), DGE Elsa Gillham and most importantly, District Governor's wife Connie Baker and Jim Dyer's widow Sharen Dyer.
District Governor kicks-off official DG/PDG Club Visits at RC-Santa Monica
Is your Rotary Avenue of Service International Service? Is there an opportunity to help a foreign community within Rotary's Six Areas of Focus that you will champion?
Rotary's Six Areas of Focus
Peace & Conflict Prevention/Resolution
Disease Prevention & Treatment
Water & Sanitation
Maternal & Child Health
Basic Education & Literacy
Economic & Community Development
If so, attend the World Community Service meeting this 11:30 a.m. Friday, August 16, 2013, immediately prior to our Club meeting. We will discuss our current and anticipated budget and project involvement proposed by District Rotary Foundation Chair David Moyers.
Congratulations! As each member of the Rotary Club of Santa Monica is now a Paul Harris Fellow, today we celebrated reaching this milestone.
District Governor Lew Bertrand presented to Club President Judy Neveau the 100% Paul Harris Fellow recognition banner. Other District leaders who played significant roles in our realizing this goal: PDG Pat Cashin, PDG Rick Mendoza, PDG David Moyers, and matching program architect and LA5 PP Marc Leeka.
Our contributions to The Rotary Foundation fund projects within the six Areas of Focus. Let's continue to both contribute to The Rotary Foundation and initiate projects and identify scholarship recipients that will leverage funds raise to enhance the world we live in and that our children will inherit.
Rotary Club of Santa Monica achieves 100% Paul Harris Fellow Status
The May 10, 2013 “BBQ, Beanies, Brews (and Bonnets)” meeting held jointly with Westwood Village Rotary Club was the 37th meeting of the 91st year of the Rotary Club of Santa Monica.
President Judy announced our club received 11 District Recognition Awards for Community Service, Vocational Service, Fundraising and other service at the 2013 District Conference, Bret Carter received an individual District Service Award for his outstanding effort on behalf of the Rotary Foundation, and Past President Jim Dyer was post-humously received the Ian Jones Humanitarian Service Award recognizing Jim for his Distinguished Humanitarian Service and Devotion to the Ideals of Rotary International 2012–2013. This award was presented by President Judy to Sharen Dyer.
Additionally, Bill Randle received a new Rotary 30-Year Pin in recognition for his years of membership.
Past President Dick Lawrence led the induction of four new members –– Ron Call, Andrea Gressinger, Billy Howard, and Julie Thomas.
After a lengthy introduction by Director Club Service–Membership Russ Warner which culminated in a very brief rendition of “Home On the Range”, our guest speaker True Blue triple-degreed Bruin and much esteemed Biology Researcher and Professor Dr. Garen Baghdasarian informed us of plastic pollution effect on coral reefs, marine life and our food supply as well as how each of us can help reduce adverse ecological impact and improve food chain safety.
For details about our newest members, our guest speaker's presentation, our guests, and the entire meeting, click through to read the RotaMonica.
President Judy Neveau reminded us quality education is a critical component to a community's economic viability and recognized all involved our inaugural Rotary Cares Day project -- improving Olympic High School. Veterinarian Frank Lavac demonstrated his expertise in herding cats -- cool cats, crazy cats and tom cats of the Rotarian variety -- beginning with our construction cartel comprised of Steve Eorio, Charlie Follette,Glenn Ricard, Lionel Ruhman, and Tom Woods who contributed tools and expertise. Together they led a crew of Rotarians charmed to participate by beguiling Family Law Attorney Lisa Alexander and Rotaractors coaxed by Upward Bound House's David Snow and YWCA Santa Monica's Julie Miele. In addition to the effort of all who participated, we greatly appreciate John Rucci and Matthew Lehman arranging for 100 Fig Restaurant prepared box lunches donated by the Fairmont Hotel and Publisher-Producer TJ Mortimer having his Santa Monica Mirror crew produce a short video of the day's effort and fun with everyone wearing "very high quality" Rotarian T-Shirts donated by Jeweler Avo Guerboian. In addition to beautifying the campus, Past President John Bohn presented a $5,000.00 check for classroom technology from the Santa Monica Rotary Club Foundation to Olympic High School Principal and fellow Rotarian Janie YamaguchiGates.
Our Rotary Reads project was a great success this year. Forty-six Rotarians volunteered to read in 58 K-3 classrooms at eight of the local elementary schools (Edison Elementary, Franklin Elementary, Grant Elementary, McKinley Elementary, John Muir Elementary, Will Rogers Elementary, Roosevelt Elementary, and SMASH). The Rotarians also discussed their career pathways with the students. The accompanying photo from Roosevelt is just one of the thank you messages we received from the schools.
Books are also donated to the school libraries. Our initial book budget this year was $2000, but we received a matching district grant that resulted in a total budget of $4500 for books. We were able to donate 52 books to each of the seven elementary school libraries, a total of 364 books. These books were greatly appreciated. One school, for example, indicated they had no budget for books this year so the donation of these books made a big difference to the school.
Our “Rotary Reads” week will conclud with a special culminating luncheon program on Friday, March 8, 2013. At this luncheon, local children’s author Beth Wagner Brust will speak about “Just Where Do Bookworthy Ideas Come From?”
Looking to help the next generation? Our Club’s new Financial Literacy Committee has partnered up with Olympic High School to teach their students financial literacy. We need you to help us.
We are going to teach six classes over 12 sessions and are looking for volunteers. We have the books. We have the lesson plans. We have the students. All we need is your time. This isn’t only for those of you in financial professions. We need to teach real life experience and not sophisticated theory. Classes will be taught during period 5 from 12:28 to 1:13pm.
Classes are being taught in February and March and we’ll have an orientation on January 31st for lunch at Olympic High. If you are interested, please contact Rob Kohn email@example.com or (310) 461-1520.
Today under the bright sun we gathered to honor and fondly remember our friend and fellow Rotarian Jim Dyer. About two hundred were there to show their respect and bid farewell to Jim and demonstrate their support for Sharen and the family. We already miss him and his incredible energy and passion. He made us want to be better Rotarians. As I said at the memorial service, we have to believe that right now he is sitting with Paul Harris, the founder of Rotary, advising him and catching up.
In Jim’s memory, we in his home club want to honor him by funding a Shelter Box. Shelter Box was Jim’s passion and he was its Ambassador and spokesperson. (See the video link below to learn more)
If you can and would like to participate at any amount, please make out a check to the Santa Monica Rotary Club Foundation and put “Dyer Shelter Box” in the memo line. Mail to Rotary Office: PO Box 586, Santa Monica, CA 90406. If you would prefer to have Savi bill you for this, you can email her and make your wishes known. We will aggregate the donations in our foundation and then send one single check to fund the Shelter Box. The deadline to make your contributions is February 1, 2013, two weeks from today. But please don’t wait, do it now. (If you prefer your donation to stay in our own Santa Monica Rotary Club Foundation, mark “Dyer Donation to SMRCF” in the memo line.)
If you have any questions, please call me or Savi.
In Rotary, and in Jim’s memory,
Rotary Club of Santa Monica
Dr. Kalfuss is a retires Speech Pathologist who specialized in post-operative head and neck cancer patients and organic voice disorders. She is now a full time Rotarian who frequently speaks on Rotary, The Rotary Foundatio and Rotary Membership. She is a past President of the Palm Springs Rotary Club in Palm Springs, California. Dr. Kalfuss also served as District 5330 2006-2007 District Governor. Dr. Kalfuss is currently the District 5330 Chair for Grants Over site Committee and District Foundation Chair.
Here are a few of Dr. Kalfuss's
2007, 2010 - Rotary Foundation Trainer at the Souther California/Neveda PETS
2008-2012 - Presentation at TRF Zone 26 Workshop
2009- Panelist for "Raising Funds for Rotary Foundation Workshop in the UK at the RI Convention
2011- Rotary International President's REp to District 3201 in India
Dr. Kalfuss is a Paul Harris Society Fellow, Benefactor, Bequest Society Member, Major Donor and has been awarded the Citation for Meritorious Service from TRF. She has traveled to several developing countries. She has participated in TRF Cadre and Site inspections with her husband in India. Dr. Kalfuss is married to Dr. Leonard Kalfuss, orthopedic surgeon for 47 years and reside in Palm Springs.
If you look around non profits in the United States, there is an aging of the volunteer population. You can see this in all sorts of organizations, and even in most Rotary Clubs. A few of the members of this club got together and talked about the problem and what we could do about it here in Santa Monica. We asked what we could do to help create and train the next generation of leaders to help our community get better.
After several months of meetings and calls we came to a tentative agreement with the Riordan Leadership Institute to have our club be the title sponsor for a Santa Monica based pilot program. Founded by former Mayor Richard Riordan the Institute has spent the last 20+ years training the next generation of leaders, specializing in training business professionals between 21 and 45.
Their program is a 10 month class teaching skills such as Board Governance, Fund Raising and Strategic Planning and includes and internship on a non-profit board that is designed to lead to placement on that board.
The operating cost of the class is over $3,000 per student. Because of sponsorships that they have from some of the biggest companies in Los Angeles, the cost for each student is $1295.
The formation committee believes that offering this class locally, we can make a huge difference moving forward in our community, but we need your help.
First, we need students. We hope all of you, no matter your age, consider taking the class and/or sponsoring someone you know who could benefit from this sort of leadership training.
Second, we need a place to hold the class. The location needs to be able to hold about 25 people and be available after hours once per month and on a couple of Saturdays. Since it is right after work, we need to have some food served there.
Finally we need a couple of sponsors. The Leadership Institute already has sponsors that cover much of the cost, but we need to raise a few thousand dollars more. All sponsors will be promoted on both our website and their website and will get further recognition through various outreach efforts that are part of the class.
'When I played pro football, I never set out to hurt anyone deliberately - unless it was, you know, important, like a league game or something.'
Richard Marvin "Dick" Butkus (born December 9, 1942) is a former American football player for the Chicago Bears. He was drafted in 1965 and he is also widely regarded as one of the best and most durable linebackers of all time. Butkus started as a football player for the University of Illinois and the Chicago Bears. He became a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1979. He played nine seasons in the NFL for the Chicago Bears. Billed at 6 ft 3 in, 245 lbs., he was one of the most feared and intimidating linebackers of his time.
Since his career as a player, Butkus has become a well known celebrity endorser, broadcaster, and actor. He has appeared in films such as The Longest Yard (on the practice team), Gus, Cracking Up, Necessary Roughness, Any Given Sunday, Mother, Jugs & Speed, Hamburger... The Motion Picture and Johnny Dangerously, and as a regular character on TV shows such as Blue Thunder, My Two Dads, and Hang Time. In the critically acclaimed TV movie Brian's Song (1971), he portrayed himself. He made one television appearance on the first episode of the 1976 ABC hit Rich Man, Poor Man, where he played 'Al Fanducci', a World War II army soldier who gets into a street brawl with 'Tom Jordache' (played by Nick Nolte). In 1980, Butkus portrayed Brom Bones in the television movie production of "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow." He made two appearances each on the TV shows Coach, Growing Pains, and three on MacGyver. In an oft-rerun episode of Murder, She Wrote, Butkus appeared in a locker-room scene wearing nothing but a towel wrapped around his waist. Butkus had a cameo appearance in the second season episode "The No-Cut Contract" of the television show The Rockford Files. Butkus also appeared on an episode of Magnum, P.I. as the coach of the fictional football team, the "New Jersey Blazers". On November 22, 2010, the 9th episode of Conan aired under the title, "A Prayer for Dick Butkus".
Sam first came to the Santa Monica Rotary Club in 1979 as a Palisades High School student in a "Rotary Bowl" match between Pali and Samo. He has spoken to the club about the John R. Wooden Award. One of his hero's was our own Bill Fritzche.
Mr. Lagana is responsible for defining, executing and directing an Advancement effort that benefits Waves Athletics and specialized University-wide programs and campaigns. A primary focus is assisting University alumni, parents and friends with charitable giving that improves the University resources, scholarships, operations and endowment. Interacting on a regular basis with many constituents of the University, bringing new friends into the Pepperdine Family, planning and implementing a number of regular and special activities as well as hosting meetings of the Pepperdine Athletics Board are among Lagana's responsibilities.
The Commission on Judicial Performance broke precedent when Lawrence J. Simi was elected its first non-lawyer chairman in March 2012.
Simi has a bachelor of arts degree in political science from San Francisco State University and a master of arts in government from California State University, Sacramento. He was a program manager for San Francisco Mayors Joseph Alioto, George Moscone and Dianne Feinstein from 1972 to 1980.
He left government in 1980 and joined Pacific Gas & Electric as a public affairs representative, rising through the ranks to become public affairs manager, regional public affairs director, division manager and then director of community relations and local government relations.
Bill Shaikin Covering baseball on and off the
field for the Los Angeles Times.
AUGUST 24, 2012: This week our speaker was Bill Shaikin, the national baseball writer at the Los Angeles Times!! For close to three years, he covered the off-the-field drama surrounding the Dodgers, including the bitter and protracted divorce of Frank and Jamie McCourt, the bankruptcy court battle for control of the team, and the eventual sale of the Dodgers, for the highest price of any sports franchise in the world. He also covered the litigation between the Angels and the city of Anaheim when the team decided to call itself by the Los Angeles name. On the field, he covered the Angels' World Series championship run of 2002. He just got back from London, where he covered Michael Phelps and the rest of the U.S. swimmers in the Olympic Games.
Dr. John Robert Hall III is the author of Am I Still Autistic?: How a Low-Functioning, Slightly Retarded Toddler Became CEO of a Multi-Million Dollar National Corporation, John chronicles how he overcame autism, what it was like, the pain of moving from his autistic state to the mainstream world, things he had to learn that most people take for granted, and what he was able to accomplish against all odds. John was able to eventually make friends, graduate from high school, put himself through college, earn a doctorate from USC, start a successful company, and have a family!
Today we had our 2012 Rotary scholarship awards presentation. We honored students from 2 middle schools, 4 high schools, and SMC – a total of 11 students who excel in academics, leadership, and community service.
Nancy Fox, The Business Fox, will share her top tips for creating and maintaining a memorable, influential personal brand to help you turn contacts into prospects, prospects into clients, and clients into eager fans in the online world as well as the face-to-face world.
Nancy Fox is the founder and president of The Business Fox, a business coaching and training company specializing in helping service-focused businesses and professionals with high-level client attraction, and business and marketing strategy. She is an engaging, energetic and inspirational coach and speaker, guiding business professionals to optimum performance and breakthrough results.
Anita L. DeFrantz, an attorney and member of the International Olympic Committee and 1976 and 1980 Olympic teams, is the president and member of the Board of Directors of the LA84 Foundation, which is managing Southern California's endowment from the 1984 Olympic Games.
Born in Philadelphia, PA, DeFrantz grew up in Indianapolis, IN and began her formal involvement with sports at the age of 18 when she was introduced to rowing at Connecticut College. After graduating from Connecticut College with honors in 1974, she studied for her law degree at the University of Pennsylvania Law School while training at the prestigious Vesper Boat Club. She was admitted to the Pennsylvania State Bar in 1977. She competed on every national team from 1975 to 1980. During that period, DeFrantz served as a director of the Vesper Boat Club and as a member of the Board of Directors of the U.S. Olympic Committee and U.S. Rowing Association. She was a trustee of Connecticut College from 1974 to 1988 and from 1990 to 2000. She now serves as trustee emeritus of the College.
At the head table, seated at far stage right of the podium we have our Invocator for today: David Snow. Next to David we have Sharon Perlmutter Gavin. Stage left of the podium and here to introduce our Speaker for today, we have Lisa Alexander. Next to Lisa is our speaker for today, Dr. James Cuno, the CEO of the Getty Center. Far stage left of the Podium and here to introduce our visiting Rotarians and guests, we have David Rosenfeld.
Our song leader wasPat Bofird with Ken Waltzer on piano, and our greeters were Julia Miele & Moira Doherty.
We had no visiting Rotarians.
Dienna D’Olimpio was a guest of Barb Bishop. Pam Brady was a guest of Jean McNeil Wyner. Leile Taeoffe was a guest of Iao Katagiri. Joseph No-fleet was guest of Alonzo Hill. Karen Perlmutter was a guest of her twin sister Sharon Gavin.
We had 250 people in attendance last Sunday, and it was a great party. Unfortunately, Tom is not here to receive his well-deserved accolades, but he sent me a list of all who contributed. First and foremost we need to thank Tom and Stephanie Loo, who opened their home to 250 of us. But he didn’t do it alone. David had every one who was on Tom's committee stand and be recognized. This year Tom invited sponsors to help with the cost of the party, and he received contributions from all corners of the club.
The lawyers sponsored the bar… pun intended. The non-profits sponsored the delicious Indian food. The National Bank of California represented by Dick Lawrence and Rick Mateus, sponsored the music.
Other members made direct contributions, and we thank you, as well.
Michael Cates and staff set up the trampoline, and the Menzies allowed us to use shade covers from Carlthorp.
We also had a large contingent of Rotaractors, led by Lynette Shishido.
Sharon Gavin - 2nd Senior Book Drive. Please bring in your books starting next week. The will be distributed to the Senior Centers in Santa Monica. Deadline is 6/8/12.
Bret Carter - still able to become a Paul Harris Fellow for only $250.
Bret Carter - they are beginning to look for sponsorship for the Wine and Food Festival.
Survey Time - make sure you fill out your survey.
Recognized everyone who attended the District Conference. Spyros, thank you for the annual baklava, thanks to all of you for your support, and thanks to my vice Presidents, Mitch and Myles, you can see that I have attached the nine awards we received to the banner. You can be proud of our achievement this year.
David Poter - shown a picture that was titled 'Boy Toy' and given the choice to pay $50 to keep it off the internet, 49.99 to have it framed or $79.99 to have it listed in three search engines. David wanted it on the internet. Here you go David. That will be $79.99.
Frank Lavac - $50 publishing fee for his photo of a sea anemone in the February 16th Malibu Times.
Connolly Oyler - had his fined reduced to $75 for an article published in the Santa Monica Mirror since he mentioned Rotary. Connolly argued that the publisher should be held accountable for the article, but the jury was not convinced.
Ken Walter - was fined $50 for attending a 'Medical Convention' in Napa.
James Cuno was born on April 6, 1951 to an Air Force family in St. Louis, Missouri. After living in Louisiana, Ohio, Florida, Washington State, California, and Bermuda, Jim returned to California with his family and attended high school at Travis Air Force Base. After graduating in 1968, Jim attended the U.S. Air Force Academy Preparatory School in Colorado Springs for one semester. Preferring travel to military school, he left for London, where he worked as a short-order cook and hitchhiked up and down the U.K.
In the fall of 1969, he started university at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon. After one year, he returned to Europe to study at the European Studies Center of Miami University of Ohio in Luxembourg. Ideally suited for inexpensive train travel, Jim was as often as not in Paris, Frankfurt, and Munich. It was in Paris that he first went to an art museum.
Jim returned to Willamette in the fall of 1971 and two years later graduated with a B.A. degree in History and moved to San Francisco. There he worked in the warehouse of Design Research Inc., and drawn by contemporary theater (he acted a little at Willamette) he produced and acted in a program of short plays for voice in a dance studio in Berkeley. There he met the tape-music composer Tony Gnazzo, through whom he met and worked with composers John Adams, Charles Amirkhanian, and Ingrahm Marshall, among others. Wanting to work more in theater, Jim returned to Willamette and worked as a janitor and acted in and produced a number of new performance programs in the university theater.
Two years later, facing a slim future as an actor/janitor, Jim applied to the M.A. program in Art History at the University of Oregon and was accepted. At the same time, with Tony Gnazzo and John Adams, he formed a neo-Dada theater/music group, “The Unfortunate Duck,” which performed in art galleries and universities from Vancouver, B.C. to Mills College in Oakland, California. There was no second tour.
In 1977, Jim married Sarah Stewart, whom he met at Willamette where she was a theater student (from which she went to work in the costume department of the American Repertory Theatre for a season). A year later Jim completed his M.A. at Oregon, writing a thesis on the work of the Russian constructivist, Vladimir Tatlin. And in the fall, Jim and Sarah moved to Boston, where Sarah studied theater at Boston University and Jim, art history at Harvard. (Sarah took her M.Ed. degree from Harvard in 1981.)
While working on his Ph.D. on the 19th-century French publisher of prints and printed journals, Charles Philipon (which took Jim, Sarah, and their newborn daughter, Claire, to Paris for a year, 1981-82), Jim worked as the Assistant Curator of Prints at Harvard’s Fogg Art Museum. In 1983, Jim, Sarah, and Claire moved to Poughkeepsie, New York, where Jim took a job as an Assistant Professor in the Art Department. Kate, Jim and Sarah’s second daughter, was born a year later and Jim completed his Ph.D. in 1985.
In 1986, Jim, Sarah, Claire, and Kate moved to Los Angeles, where Jim became director of UCLA’s Grunwald Center for the Graphic Arts and taught art history. Three years later, the family moved again, this time to Norwich, Vermont, across the river from Hanover, New Hampshire, where Jim worked as the Director of Dartmouth College’s Hood Museum of Art and taught art history. In 1991, the family moved once again--and for the final time as a family—to Lexington, Massachusetts, as Jim took up the directorship of Harvard’s Art Museums (the Fogg, Busch-Reisinger, and Sackler museums) and a professorship in the Department of Fine Arts. Jim served in these positions until January 2002, when, with Claire and Kate in college, Jim and Sarah moved to London where Jim took up the position of Director and Professor of the Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London.
Eighteen months later, Jim and Sarah returned to the U.S. where Jim took up the Presidency and Directorship of the Art Institute of Chicago, a position he held for seven years. In August 2011, Jim became the President and CEO of the J. Paul Getty Trust.
For years, Jim has lectured and written widely on museums and cultural and public policy. Since 2003, he has published three books with Princeton University Press—Whose Muse? Art Museums and the Public’s Trust (author and editor), Who Owns Antiquity: Museums and the Battle Over Our Ancient Heritage (author), and Whose Culture? The Promise of Museums and the Debate Over Antiquities (author and editor)—and another with the University of Chicago Press, Museums Matter: In Praise of the Encyclopedic Museum (author). He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Jim and Sarah live in Santa Monica, California. Claire is a social worker/community activist in Brooklyn, New York. And Kate is completing her Doctor of Psychology degree in Washington, D.C.
Through the work of the four Getty programs—the Museum, Research Institute, Conservation Institute, and Foundation—the Getty aims to further knowledge and nurture critical seeing through the growth and presentation of its collections and by advancing the understanding and preservation of the world's artistic heritage. The Getty pursues this mission with the conviction that cultural awareness, creativity, and aesthetic enjoyment are essential to a vital and civil society.
Engaged Locally and Internationally
Mogao Grottoes Under a collaborative agreement with China's State Administration of Cultural Heritage (SACH), the Getty Conservation Institute (GCI) has been working with the Dunhuang Academy since 1989 on conservation at the Mogao Grottoes. The first five years of collaboration addressed site-related issues, culminating in an international conference at Mogao in 1993, Conservation of Ancient Sites along the Silk Road, which also commemorated the fiftieth anniversary of the Dunhuang Academy. Since 1997, the collaboration has focused primarily on the conservation of wall paintings at Mogao.
The Ahhichatragarh-Nagaur Fort consists of a vast complex of palaces, buildings, and gardens contained by a two-tiered city wall located in Nagaur City in Rajastan, Jodhpur, India. Much of the existing site dates to the 18th century, and the complex is considered one of the most important historic sites in northwestern India. Structural damage, water penetration, and the sheer size of the complex have created a number of extensive preservation problems for the buildings. The Getty's funding helped to restor the fort and it's contents.
MEGA-Jordan The MEGA–Jordan project was launched as a collaboration of the Getty Conservation Institute (GCI) and the World Monuments Fund (WMF) with the DoA for the development and implementation of a GIS to inventory and manage Jordan's numerous archaeological sites.
The Ghent Altarpiece Conservation Project The Getty funded the conservation of the panel art and published thier findings. Hign resolution images of the rstored panels can now be viewed online. They were even able to photograph the artists sketches below the painting.
Panel Paintings Initiative The Getty’s Panel Paintings Initiative is funding a range of coordinated efforts to create new avenues for training emerging and mid–career professionals, to notch up advanced practitioners, and to increase knowledge on panel preservation.
MOSAIKON MOSAIKON is a partnership of four institutions: the Getty Conservation Institute, the Getty Foundation, ICCROM (the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property), and the International Committee for the Conservation of Mosaics (ICCM). It addresses the need for enhanced capacity in the conservation and management of archaeological mosaics in the Mediterranean region through strategic targeting of priorities and deployment of resources in four components:
strengthening the professional network and information exchange
in situ mosaics
mosaics in museums and storage
university-level conservation education and training of trainers
Connecting Art Histories Connecting Art Histories seeks to strengthen art history as a global discipline by funding visiting professorships in select art history departments and research centers in countries where art history is an emerging discipline, as well as by supporting intensive research seminars that enable sustaining regional and international scholarly dialogue. Efforts focus on regions outside of Europe and North America.
Pacific Standard Time Pacific Standard Time is the culmination of a long-term Getty Research Institute initiative that focuses on postwar art in Los Angeles. Through archival acquisitions, oral history interviews, public programming, exhibitions, and publications, the Research Institute is responding to the need to locate, collect, document, and preserve the art historical record of this vibrant period.
Local Programs with Schools Art Together is a multiple-visit program created in partnership with local Title 1 elementary schools. This program brings students to the Getty Museum on consecutive visits and periodically places Getty educators in the classroom.
Thought for the Day
“Art is either plagiarism, or revolution. “
- Paul Gauguin
“Art, like morality, consists in drawing the line somewhere.”
- Gilbert K Chesterton
“The art of protecting flat surfaces from the weather, and exposing them to the critic. “
- Ambrose Bierce, who offered a definition of the noun, “Painting”
Rotary Club Meeting May 4, 2012 - James Cuno, the CEO of the Getty Center
At the head table, seated at far stage right of the podium we have our Invocator for today: Jay Smith. Next to Jay we have one of our newest members, Matt Williams. Stage left of the podium and here to introduce our Speaker for today, we have Grace Wang. Next to Grace is our speaker for today, Dr. Ben Weitz. Far stage left of the Podium and here to introduce our visiting Rotarians and guests, we have Thomas Larmore.
Our song leader was Savi Labensart with Ken Waltzer on piano, and our greeters were Isabel Cervello & Moira Doherty.
Visitors: We had no visiting Rotarians.
Jamie Menzies guest of Dee Menzies. Chris Wilson was a guest of Don Dickerson. Lee Harrison and John Ashkar were guests of Jim Rushta.
Staff Support Day - Where we honor our support staff that make our jobs possible.
David thanked his staff.
David thanked Savi for her support during his term and presented her with roses.
John Bohn presented a $3,500 grant to the Boy Scouts of America. The grant will be used to make repairs to the swimming pool at Camp Josepho.
Judy Neveau - Club Survey time again. Please complete the survey and return. It only takes 4 minutes.
Support Staff Guests:
The Support Staff games were led by Grace
Dr. Ben Weitz is a certified sports chiropractor, nutritionist, and strength and conditioning specialist in Santa Monica for over 20 years. Dr. Weitz graduated from UCLA in 1983 with a BA in philosophy and he graduated from the Pasadena College of Chiropractic in 1987 as a Doctor of Chiropractic. Dr. Weitz wrote a book on back rehabilitation, The Back Relief Book, published in 1998, and he is currently at work on a book on sports nutrition for kids. Dr. Weitz will be speaking about how to prevent and reverse chronic diseases like obesity, diabetes, and heart disease by adopting a healthy lifestyle.
Dr. Ben Weitz is a certified sports chiropractor, nutritionist, and strength and conditioning specialist in Santa Monica for over 20 years. Dr. Weitz graduated from UCLA in 1983 with a BA in philosophy and he graduated from the Pasadena College of Chiropractic in 1987 as a Doctor of Chiropractic. Dr. Weitz wrote a book on back rehabilitation, The Back Relief Book, published in 1998, and he is currently at work on a book on sports nutrition for kids. Dr. Weitz will be speaking about how to prevent and reverse chronic diseases like obesity, diabetes, and heart disease by adopting a healthy lifestyle.
Fridays the 13's meeting had it all; good freinds, good food, good music and an excellent talk given by Even Kleinman of Good Food on KCRW. To find out who was their, who saiod what and see all the photos to prove it, including one of Bob Klein with Ken Waltzer preparing thier much loved version of "That's Amore", See below.
At the head table, seated at far stage right of the podium we have our Invocator for today: Tod Lipka. Next to Tod we have Stephanie Felix. Stage left of the podium and here to introduce our GSE Team, we have Dr. Monika White. Next to Monika is our visiting GSE Team Leader, Gnanavelan. Far stage left of the Podium and here to introduce our visiting Rotarians and guests, we have James B. Reidy, Jr.
Our song leader was Bob, and our Greeters were Jillian Alexander & Petra Haffter.
It was a very busy day at the Riviera Country Club we had 4 visiting Rotarians not counting the GSE Team; Carmela Raack and Ann Murakami from Culver City,Rich Musella from Westchester and Alan Monroe from Sarasota Southside who exchanged banners with the club.
We also had a full roster of guests; Emily Sperling was a guest of Jim Dyer. Norton Wyner and Pam Bradly were guests of Jean McNeil Wyner. Richard Thompson was a guest of Diane Margolin. Janeen Jackson was aguest of Rochelle LeBlanc. Doger Goodman was a guest of Monika White. Eric London was a guest of Dee Menzies. Julia Ladd was a guest of Lauren Rosen. Kara Rosenthax and Rich Greenspun were guests of Ann Greenspum. Maria Miranda was a guest of Sharon Gavin.
Last week we had our 90th Birthday Party. It was a great success and there are so many people to thank, but so little time today. My biggest thanks go to George Collins and Diane Margolin, but there are many more.
First Tuesday is next week at Lula’s on Main Street
Sharon Gavin- presented Maria Miranda from the YMCA with a youth grant.
Avo 'Elvis' Guerboian - Thursday April 12, 2012, Savi is being installed as the new president of the Santa Monica Jaycees. John Bohn and Judy Neveau will be honored as well.
Jim Dyer- reminder about the upcoming district conference.
Gila - Staff support Day 4/20/12.
Emily Sperling thanked Jim Dyer for all his work and efforts on behalf of Shelter Box.
Outgoing District Ambassadorial Scholar Stephanie Felix
CBA Student Wins $27,00 International Rotary Scholarship
as a Social Entrepreneur
Stephanie Felix, an international business and marketing major in the College of Business Administration, was recently named a Rotary International "Ambassadorial Scholar". The award provides her with up to $27,000 to study and earn a masters degree at an international school of her choosing. She has a preference list of five schools in Europe, Australia and South Africa, and will soon learn which study program will be approved by the rotary group. Stephanie expects to earn a masters degree in developmental studies, which explores "the challenges of managing change toward ethical, economical, environmental and political sustainability," according to Felix.
Stephanie spent the summer participating in a Global Exchange project in Cambodia, where she worked with women from a small village on a sewing program in hopes of helping them start their own business. She also spent six weeks at Princeton at a summer studies program. Rotary International is a worldwide service club with well over a million members in 75 countries. Their focus is on international projects such as eradicating polio, and helping to improve international understanding and cooperation. Stephanie Felix is the 25th Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar from LMU in the past 20 years. In addition to her studies, she will work with and network with local Rotary Clubs to help improve the international understanding of America and her people
Group Study Exchange Team
Today we got to learn a little more about each member of the team as they shared about their lives with individual PowerPoint presentations.
Gnanaprakasam Gnanavelan, "Gnan" Incoming Team Leader: The Director of Zen Builders, Pvt. Ltd, Construction Company
Chitra Priya Rajalingam, "Chitra": A Motorcycle Racer and Events/Media Coordinator Head of Wild Origin Entertainment.
Umamaheswari Thirupath, "Uma": A Dr., MGR, Professor, Management Studies Educational & Research University.
Gunasekaran Muniachetty, "Guna": A Sr. Newspaper Special Correspondent Editor, News Presenter, Debate Moderator.
Ganesh Velayutham, "Ganesh": A Technical Head and Partner, Jason Fx Graphic Design/Management Business.
Thought for the Day
"Democracy is a device that ensures we shall be governed no better than we deserve."
- George Bernard Shaw
Rotary Club Meeting March 30, 2012 - Group Study Exchange Team & Outgoing District Ambassadorial Scholar Stephanie Felix
On Friday, March 23, Rotary through the Decades was the theme of the 90th birthday celebration of the Rotary Club of Santa Monica. Each decade was represented by a song, dance, or surprise interruption by the Club's talented members. The entertainment, conceived by George Collins, was directed by the Club's Executive Secretary, Savi Labensart, who is a wonderful singer. John Lehne was responsible for rounding up the Past Presidents. Susan Gabriel Potter felt top hats and moustaches would add a touch of class with their Past President sashes when they sang their "Happy Birthday Rotary" song at the culmination of the program. That is, before they were led off the stage in an energetic Conga line by Savi.
Thanks to the 13 generous sponsors in the Club, the party at the Casa del Mar will be remembered for years to come. They were Allan Young, Susan Gabriel Potter, George Collins, Con Oyler, Tom Loo, David Price, Scott Kunitz, Barbara Bishop, Monte Herring, Hal Quigley, Ron Davis, The Menzies Family and John Bohn.
The Dynamic Duo of George Collins and Diane Margolin worked closely with the amazing hotel staff to create an elegant, yet relaxing, atmosphere for Rotarians and their guests to dine, dance, and have fun in the hotel ballroom. They are already thinking about the 100th birthday party. But, not for awhile, yet.
Much appreciation to Klaus Mennekes, Toby Lent, Casa del Mar Captain Kathleen and the servers; plus Susan Gabriel Potter, Helene Winkler, Rotaract Club members Micolee Lazaro and Ava Haghighi; Sharon Johnson, Kris Andresen, Kai-li Quigley, Steven Freedberg, Jean McNeil Wyner, Paula from Pure Sense; Abe from Ann's Flowers; and the very talented entertainers. We also had a terrific jazz trio from Crossroads High School who performed during the cocktail hour. Members could get their pictures taken in the photo booth wearing hats and accessories that gave revealing clues into their personalities. DJ Eric Greenberg kept the music going, even after the party was over. The performers needed a screen to change behind and thanks to new member, Salvation Army Captain Mario Ruiz, that problem was solved. He brought it to the hotel and picked it up when the party was over! Dee Menzies lent us easels for the Rotary memorabilia exhibit.
In sparkling green dresses RoseMary Regalbuto and Barbara Bishop started the entertainment with their dazzling Charleston dance. Who will ever forget Avo Guerboian's impersonation of his Dad, Eddie, when he impersonated Elvis Presley years ago? Greg Hargrave in his colorful clown costume always seemed to appear at the wrong time, but his juggling timing was perfect. Emcee Paul Gaulke did a great job of keeping the program moving. We did hope he would "play his cheeks," but perhaps another time.
Savi entertained us with her beautiful voice in a few numbers. She began behind a shower curtain deftly held up by Bill Werner and Jim Dyer. Why did Jim keep taking photos behind the curtain?
You had to be there....
Monika White serenaded us with the spoons while her husband, Roger played his harmonica. Tom Larmore and John Pacheco strummed and sang with their guitars. Carol Jackson did a breathy rendition of "Happy Birthday, Mr. President," to David, a la Marilyn Monroe.
Savi joined Pat Bofird and Carol Jackson dressed to sing like the Andrew Sisters. Bill Werner came up on stage to play his harmonica with them. Savi later tried a Madonna song, only to be interrupted by Greg and his juggling, but kept the crowd entranced when she sang "Heroes," accompanied by the fabulous pianist T.J. Montemer.
Barb Bishop and Avo once again kept our toes tapping with their rendition of John Travolta's dancing to "Staying Alive." Those shoes Avo wore were something else! Our realistic stunt men, Nick Goehner and Torrey Vogel fooled a few people who were ready to call the police when they started sword fighting, and even breaking a table. Luckily former Police Chief Tim Jackman was at the dinner with his wife, Lisa. She handcuffed Nick and led him out of the party. Russ Warner proved to be a distracting interruption when Avo was performing.
It was a night filled with memories of the fun and camaraderie created by the members in our wonderful Rotary Club.
At the head table,Far Stage Right we had Invocator Connie McGuire; Next to Conniewe have Dr Janee Yuguchi Gates. Stage left of the podium and here to introduce our speaker for today, we have Sharon Gavin. Next to Sharon is our speaker for today, children's book author Alexis O'Neill. Far stage left of the Podium and here to introduce our visiting Rotarians and guests we have Scott Kunitz. Our song leader was Tom Larmore with Ken Waltzer on piano, and our Greeters were Jillian Alexander & Bill Rayman.
We had no visiting Rotarians today. We had only 1 guest of our Rotarians, Matt Williams who was a guest of Lisa Alexander.
Connie McGuire's Irish Prayer
You blessed us with friends and laughter and fun, with rain that's as soft as light from the sun. You've blessed us with stars to brighten each night, you've given us help to know wrong from right. You've given us so much, please Lord give us too, a heart that is always grateful to you.
Thank you all the Rotarians who participated in Rotary reads. It was a big success. 67 class rooms, 1000 students. A lucky reader was randomly chosen to receive a Kindle Fire. That reader was, Patricia Farris, congratulations!
On each of the tables was a copy of the "city wide reads" book by Raymond Chandler. A lucky winner from each table who participates in the quiz could win the book.
Grace Wang staff support day April 20th, bring your staff and support them. Please fill out the fliers so they can get final numbers.
Bill Buxton, Next Supper Service at OPCC is today at the Turning Point Facility on 16th and Broadway. We start cooking at 4pm and serve at 6 pm.
District Conference is coming April 19th through 22nd. It starts off Thursday with a golf tournament. Hole in one Mercedes S-Class or Audi A8. And a lot of goodies and surprises throughout the week.
CharlieFollette, International Food and Festival Committee. Next festival Sunday April 29th at 1:00pm. Plenty of food from many parts of the world. There will be events for children, and the whole family as well as wonderful music. The event is free of charge and counts as a meeting.
Thanks to Sharon Gavin and Janie Gates for putting on the "Rotary Reads" project event.
Recruiting committee, we want to get more people in to our club. New programs in place including 40 and under program to get our younger Rotarians in. There has also been a lunch subsidies program in place that hasn't been used. This allows guests to come in and eat lunch free of charge. There are 20 of these and only 1 has been used. You can also let the Recruiting Committee know of any individual or company you'd like to see join, and they will handle it for you.
Tim Jackman's retirement party coming up
Our next Healthy Living event will be a historic tour of Downtown Santa Monica on the 24th of March.
90th Anniversary party on the 23rd. Thank you to all the Rotarians who have donated $1000 each.
Diane Margolin, great mannequin fine $100.
To everyone who attended Diane Margolin's wonderful event $50.
Alexis O'Neill is a local children's author. She is the author of "Loud Emily" which was featured in Newsweek magazine. "The Recess Queen" which was on the Los Angeles Times children's best seller list. And "Estela's Swap" which is a multicultural book about generosity, highlighting a unique Los Angeles experience. Her non-fiction and fiction work has been featured in such publications as Crickets, Spider, Writer's Digest, and Children's Book Review Magazine.
Alexis also teaches writing for the UCLA extension writers program. She's a regional advisor for the society of children's book writers and illustrators. And a founding member of the children's authors network. She is a former Elemetary School teacher. She holds a B.S. from Skidmore College and an M.S. in Instructional Technology and Ph.D. in teacher Education from Syracuse University.
In addition to writing, Alexis has served as an education consultant for a variety of museums across the country, including the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Ventura County Museum of History & Art, the Everson Museum of Art and the Erie Canal Museum. In her community, she chairs the annual Children's Book Week Celebration for the Simi Valley Friends of the Library and serves on the board of the Ventura County Reading Association. Alexis lives with her husband, David, in Simi Valley, California.
Alexis began with a saying "C'ead Mile Failte" which means "A Hundred Thousand Welcomes" in Gaelic. And after testing her slide show she began to take us through her journey from growing up in Southey. She grew up in a very Irish family and spoke of how enjoyable each St. Patrick's Day was in her family. She then showed everyone a picture describing how she dressed up for Halloween being an Irish American, she was dressed in a nun's habit. And told stories of how while everyone else trick-o-treated a houses, she did it at the convent.
in 1979 she was given the honor of being chosen as a Rotary foundation fellow. She was chosen when she was right at the limit of how old one could be to receive the fellowship. Living with her Rotary parents in London gave her the opportunity to study in England for a full year from 1979 to 1980. She had already begun her doctoral at Syracuse university but she had gone back to teaching to get more experience. And this year would allow her to do a lot of writing and through her experiences gave her a lot of writing material for the rest of her life.
Alexis has been in a number of careers, but she states she has definitely found her last. She absolutely loves writing for children. About 20 years ago she embarked on a journey to do everything she could to become a published author. She started by publishing in children's magazines. At the same time she was also working on her books, the 3 stated earlier and the most recent, "The Worst Best Friend."
She commented on Rotary Reads and how reading to children and bringing those experiences to people are so important because it's a personal experience. And when a child is read to and has that personal connection, in her experience, she has been told by librarians that library checkout always goes up.
The current educational system are in tough times, and some places can't afford to bring in authors. It's up to all of us to what we can to keep the arts alive in schools and give children the opportunity for artistic expression.
Picture books, which are what Alexis writes, are a different, and traditionally misunderstood, form of writing than a traditional novel that one might find at a book store. She pointed out how there are two names on the front of her book, that of hers, and that of the illustrator. This is an interesting point because she's never met the illustrator on her book. When Alexis writes a story she sends it off to multiple publishers. Once she finds someone to buy it, that publisher has an editor who then finds an illustrator to bring the story to life.
She showed us the original manuscript and read a few lines to us. She then described the images that were produced by the illustrator, and described how imaginative they were. A lot of thought went into the illustrations, down to the smallest child in the background. Each image tells everything about the text and tells even more about the back story and the behind the scenes. The illustrator carries the main character and all the other characters through each page of the book.
Each character has their own personality and a through-line. The illustrator shows how each character changes and evolves through the story, and each character seems to represent all types of children so all readers could relate to one of the characters in the pictures. Alexis showed examples of each character type and their actions throughout the story. By the end of the story, where everyone was sad and afraid, everyone became happy and playful. One example as well of the difference between the illustrators initial draft and final work was that originally there was a dog in the book with the kids on the playground. This had to be taken out because there are no dogs on the playground and children reading the book would have been taken out of the story because of this
She described how she came up with a lot of the inventive words and the difficulty in writing a rhyming book. There is a definite rhythm in a rhyming picture book.
The last thing that she touched on was the cost of a picture book and how the profits were distributed. Her book sells for $16, here's what's interesting. 10% of that total goes back to the creators, so Alexis gets 80 cents per book. 40% goes to the book seller. And then 50% goes to the publisher. The reasons behind all of this are because of the color printing and processing of each book. $17,000 for paper printing and binding, $6,400 for plates, $32,000 for overhead, and different amounts for the advances. Alexis' advance on "Loud Emily" was about $2,500 and that advance has to be paid back before any profit is made. So that amount has to be made back in 80 cents incriments. certainly not what I expected as compensation for an author.
She also shared with us her first book "Loud Emily." She described one scene in the book that was actually an event that happened to her when she was younger, when she almost got blown away in a hurricane.
She recently published through e-publishing 3 short stories called 3 Irish tales, and recommended everyone look it up on their ipads and kindles, etc.
She had a couple of quotes that she shared with us in closing.
"Stories are the single most powerful weapon in a leader's arsenal." - Howard Gardner
"If you don't know the trees you may be lost in the forest. But if you don't know the stories, you may be lost in life" - Siberian Elder
Our lives are made up of stories and we should pass those stories on. It's so important for knowledge and growth and each and every one of us has their own unique story, and who we are, makes the story.
She closed with a song, that was always sung, in parting from a get together. She left us all with a great feeling and a pure smile.
"Oh of all the money that err I've spent
I spent it in good company
and all the harm that err I've done
Alas it was to none but me
but since it falls unto my lot
that I should rise and you should not
I'll gently rise, and I'll softly call
goodnight and joy be with you all"
Thank you Alexis O'Neill!
Thought for the Day
A quote published by Fortune magazine said:“Some people will lie, cheat, steal, and backstab to get ahead. And to think, all they have to do is read.”
Rotary Club Meeting March 16, 2012 - Children's book author Alexis O'Neill
Public Service Recognition Day, held on February 10 this year, is a program our Rotary members eagerly anticipate. It gives us a chance to recognize those who help to make our community a better and safer place to live. Traditionally we honor a firefighter, police officer, teacher/administrator, and bus driver. Plaques are ordered for each honoree to receive from his or her supervisor.
Honored this year were Big Blue Bus driver William Alvarenga; Dr. Sally Chou, Santa Monica-Malibu School District Chief Academic Officer; Crime Analyst Debbie Anderson from the Santa Monica Police Department; and Captain Matthew Norris of the Santa Monica Fire Department.
Thanks to generous contributions of fire hats from the Santa Monica Fire Department; buses, pens, and key rings from the Big Blue Bus; whistles, pencils and pens from the Santa Monica Police Department and samples from The Art of Shaving, everyone went home with lots of favors.
The committee that put the popular event together included Joe Metoyer, Jean McNeil Wyner, Susan Potter and Diane Margolin.
Santa Monica Rotary Club Meeting February 10, 2011
At the head table,Far Stage Right we had Invocator Bill Buxton; Tom Larmore sat next to President David Bohn and introduced our visiting Rotarians and guests.Left of Podium we had Barbara Bishop, who introduced our speakers Jessica Limpertand Ramon Medeiros .Our song leader was Savi Labensart with Ken Waltzer on piano, and our greeters wereLisa Alexander and Gaby Schkud.
We had no visiting Rotarians today. Char Lawrence and Todd Lawrence visited us as guests of husband and father, respectively, Dick Lawrence;Jamie Menzies and Rob Dawson were guest of Jim Menzies.Shelly Locks visited us as a guest of Laurel Rosen Linda Teixeira, guest of Suzan Allbritton and Matt Williams, guest of Lisa Alexander, visited us again.Jennifer Gaulke, wife and guest of Paul Gaulke, Tricia Ricard, wife and guest of Glenn Ricard, and Roger Goodman, husband and guest of Monika White all came too!
A special thank you to all the Rotarians and their families who helped honor the police officers and personnel who were on duty on Thanksgiving Day. We fed over 60 people and provided each with a $5.00 Starbucks gift card. The food, provided by Casa del Mar and Shuttters, was amazing. Thank you Klaus for making this possible.
A giant Thank You to our VOLUNTEERS:
Charles Follette and his son, Jimmy Monte Herring Alonzo Hill and daughters Autumn & Hayden and wife September Iao Katagiri
Rochelle LeBlanc and her partner Margaret Paul
Len Lanzi's friend-Darren and his son Eli
Jean McNeil Wyner
Dee, Jim, and Jamie Menzies
Brendan Murray and his daughter Elise
Glen Ricard and his sons Matthew & Brandon and their friend Jen
David Snow and his son Sam
Jim Westbrook Alonzo Hill and daughters Autumn & Hayden and wife September
Rotary Serves Thanksgiving Dinner to Santa Monica Police
We enjoyed sharing the meeting with the Westwood Village club, which we helped establish years ago. Chicago native and 30-year Rotarian, Paul Leoni, offered the invocation. Rochelle LeBlanc, who originally hails from Louisiana, introduced our guests. Westwood Village President Ed Jackson, a Rotarian since 1983, joined President David on the dais, and
Jim Collins Tom Loo
Westwood Village member Jim Collins, a Rotarian for 58 years, introduced our Bruin speaker, Donn Moomaw. Tom Loo, whose Rotary service started in 1975, introduced our Trojan speaker, Willie Brown.
In addition to Westwood Village Rotary Club members, Ada Kahn from Evanston, Illinois, was another visiting Rotarian. As for guests, Jean McNeil Wyner welcomed back her husband, Dr. Norton Wyner. Mitch introduced former member Sally Pai, who is co-chairing the Red Tie Affair event for the American Red Cross. Tom Loo hosted fellow attorneys Norman Lane and Sean McMillan and USC Track and Field Coach Ron Allice. Mario Gallo was Karim Jaude’s guest.
Rochelle LeBlanc, Dr. Norton Wyner & Savi Sally Pai
Connie DeGroot hosted Adrian Fulle, who produced our fabulous wine festival video. (Go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=upHO1ZWDMoY to see what all the buzz is about!) Donna Byrd hosted Roy Houghton; Alan Glick’s guest was Chuck Husting; Avo Guerboian hosted Christine Cassiano; and Jamie Menzies accompanied Dee and Jim.
Adrian Fulle & Connie DeGroot Jim Parr & Bill Dawson
Frank Lavac hosted CPA Jim Parr, who will be sponsoring the buffet for the Red Kettle Day’s counting party. John Pacheco introduced us to Marcia Caldirola and Kelsey Howard, both American Red Cross staff members.
Frank Lavac reminded us that Red Kettle Day is Friday, Dec. 9. The Counting Party will be at the YMCA’s second floor assembly room, courtesy of Jean McNeil Wyner. Parking is free in the underground garage; enter from 6th Street, just north of Santa Monica Boulevard. Myles Pritchard will be coordinating signups for the bell ringing.
The Santa Monica Jaycees are having a canned food drive over the next month. We’ll have a box set up at the check-in table during the next few meetings. Please bring canned and packaged goods to support the Jaycees, and their incoming President, our own Savi Labensart.
Frank Lavac Dee Menzies Charlie Follette
Show your appreciation for our public safety employees who are working on Thanksgiving Day by helping us serve lunch to our on-duty officers and civilian employees at the Public Safety Facility (333 Olympic Drive). We’ll need volunteers on Thursday from 10:00 am until 7:30 pm. Check with June Doy at Carlthorp School (firstname.lastname@example.org, 310-922-6274) if you’re interested. A BIG THANK YOU to Klaus Mennekes and Casa Del Mar for donating the food.
Charlie Follette will be donating funds to the “Parks as Classrooms” program that brings inner city children to the Santa Monica Mountains. Come by his nursery, The Rose Garden, on Stewart Street, just south of Olympic Boulevard, and buy a rose bush. Talk about a gift that keeps on giving!
Santa Claus and his precious elves are planning their annual visit to our holiday luncheon on Friday, December 16. Please let Savi know if you are bringing children that day so Santa will know how many gifts to bring.
Past President Carol Jackson announces candidates for Club Elections which will be held at our meeting on Dec. 9. See separate story for more information on the nominees.
Willie Brown is a former USC varsity athlete in football and baseball. Mr. Brown was a member of the 1962 USC National Championship Football team and captained the 1963 National Championship baseball team. He was an assistant coach during OJ Simpson’s senior year in 1968 and coached for the National Championship baseball team in 1968. He was also a member of the coaching staff for the National championship football teams of 1972 and 1974. He coached with two Hall of Fame coaches — Rod Dedeaux (baseball) and John McKay (football). He coached our very own Bob Klein!
Ron Allice, Tom Loo and Willie Brown
In 2004, Mr. Brown was inducted into the USC Hall of Fame. After earning his Bachelor's Degree in Public Administration from USC, Willie joined the USC football and baseball coaching staffs from 1968-1975. He reflected on the spirited, good-hearted rivalry between UCLA and USC. Nowhere else are there two such outstanding football programs in the same city where the strong qualities of both help strengthen each other.
Donn Moomaw represented UCLA. Donn played center and linebacker from 1950-1952 and went on to play professional football before retiring to join the Presbyterian ministry. Each year, UCLA gives out the Donn Moomaw Award for Outstanding Defensive Player against USC.
Jack Gregory, Donn Moomaw and Gabby Schkud
He spoke of his decision to attend UCLA despite USC being viewed as more of a football school at the time. He shared impressions of his days training with UCLA football coach Bo Sanders, of his prayer day before an Oregon game, and of serving as pastor to President Reagan (he gave the invocation and benediction at Reagan's 1981 presidential inauguration). Rev. Moomaw is thankful to live in a community with two wonderful universities with outstanding football programs.
November 18 @ Rotary with Westwood Village Club - USC ~ UCLA
Ron Davis offered the invocation, new member Nick Goehner sat next to President David Bohn. Scott Wagenseller introduced our speaker, Scott Sale. Judy Neveau introduced our visiting Rotarians and our guests. Irene Passos, Rob Kohn and Lisa Alexander greeted us at the door. Ken Waltzer accompanied our song leader, Herb Roney.
We had no visiting Rotarians today, but lots of guests of members: Norton Wyner hosted by his wife, Jean McNeil Wyner; Steve Senfp, guest of Con Oyler; Arthur White, New Directions graduate, who was a co-presenter with our speaker; Maria Ferguson, wife of member Scott Ferguson; Autumn Hill, daughter of member Alonzo Hill; Christine Cassiano, guest of Avo Guerboian; and David Rosenfeld, guest of Donna Byrd.
Frank Lavac announced that Red Kettle Day is Dec 9. The counting party will be at the YMCA on the second floor (courtesy of Jean McNeil Wyner), and Myles Pritchard will be coordinating signups for bell ringing.
The Santa Monica Jaycees are having a canned food drive over the next month. We’ll have a collection box available at the next few meetings. Please bring in canned goods to support the Jaycees and their incoming President, our own Savi Labensart.
Bret Carter reported on the Rotary International Foundation Paul Harris Celebration at Circus Vargas. We had good attendance, and raised 6% more money that last year with the lottery tickets.
The birthday committee is looking for promotional items to add to its birthday gift stash. See Laurel Rosen if you have something to donate.
Third Thursday Breakfast is coming up November 17. Come by between 7:30am-9:00am at Le Pain Quotidian, 13050 San Vicente, Brentwood (just east of 26th Street).
Santa Monica History Museum’s Gala Tribute Dinner was held on Sunday, November 6, at Casa Del Mar to recognize the city’s service clubs. Iao Katagiri made us shine at the event with her PowerPoint presentation – go Iao! Prez David accepted the award on behalf of Rotary with remarks that sounded as though he’d been practicing for weeks instead of minutes – quick thinking, David!
We had no time for fines today… some of you got off lucky. “-)
Selling Coffee for a Cause http://www.rotary.org/en/MediaAndNews/News/Pages/111110_news_alumdaf.aspx
By selling fair trade coffee to Rotary clubs throughout the United States, a former Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholar is helping to raise money to fund worldwide clean water initiatives.
Five for Water, a project started by Bill Prost, Rotary Club of Cape Girardeau, Missouri, finances a Rotary Foundation donor advised fund for water projects in coffee-producing countries. After forming a partnership with Green Mountain Coffee, Prost invited clubs to purchase the organic coffee and sell it in their community. Funds generated from the sales would go toward water projects throughout Africa, Central and South America, and Indonesia.
A village in Bolivia now has access to clean water as the result of a project supported by The Rotary Foundation’s Clean Water for Coffee Growing Countries Donor Advised Fund. Photo courtesy of Five for Water
A pump provides water to a village in Tanzania -- part of a project made possible by the Foundation’s donor advised fund. Water and sanitation is one of Rotary’s areas of focus under the Future Vision Plan. Photo courtesy of Five for Water
“I wanted to create a year-round project that’s fit for any size club,” says Prost, who studied in England as a 1979-80 Rotary Scholar. “Any club, no matter how large or small, can help be a part of this. It’s a really simple project.”
Even though the project was launched only a year ago, more than 300 clubs in the United States are already selling the coffee. Their efforts have netted nearly $184,000, providing more than 50,000 people in 10 countries with access to clean water.
An estimated two million people die every year from waterborne diseases, and more than one billion lack access to clean water, according to the World Health Organization. “I told myself that, as a Rotarian, it was my responsibility to do something about [that],” Prost says.
After the money is raised, clubs seek an international partnership with another club and apply for a Rotary Foundation Matching Grant. A big focus of Five for Water has been funding the installation of wells to serve schools, orphanages, and medical clinics -- but, according to Prost, the project’s scope goes beyond that.
Wells in Bolivia
Recently, Five for Water installed eight wells in Bolivia and pump stations near a reservoir in Sumatra. Prost has also partnered with a club in Missouri and Engineers Without Borders to create a pipeline in Honduras that supplies water from an existing well and a water tower. The project’s goal is to provide more than 300 families with clean drinking water.
Scott Sale, M.D., is a board member and Program Committee Chair for New Directions, Inc. New Directions is an agency serving veterans who are struggling with homelessness, mental illness and physical disabilities, and substance abuse. Scott shared some statistics about our homeless population and the portion of it that is made up of veterans. The latest numbers show that 18 percent of the homeless population are veterans as opposed to only eight percent of the general population. Among homeless veterans, 75 percent are dealing with substance abuse issues that compound their medical, emotional, and financial problems. New Directions was founded in 1992 in Mar Vista. It now occupies five buildings on the Veterans Administration campus in West LA. Some of the programs they offer include anger management, help in obtaining high school GED, job placement, and family reunification. The program can last between six and 18 months, is very rigorous, and requires significant personal commitment by the veterans who sign up for it. They also have an a cappella choir that was on America’s Got Talent – you can see the on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b5z-h92h6Ks . The choir performs regularly around Los Angeles, especially in support of other nonprofit social service agencies.
Arthur White, a graduate of New Directions, spoke about how much New Directions changed his life. He entered the program with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which led to drug and alcohol problems. Too many programs do not treat the whole person - and this is where ND is different. Arthur said, “If you have two hands on fire and you only put it out on one hand, you have not really addressed the problem.” ND provides the opportunity to make changes – but every individual must step up to the plate and make their own choice to move forward. Arthur did this and is now employed as a financial supervisor by LA County and is looking forward to a promotion on Monday!
Thought for the Day (TFTD)
President John F. Kennedy said on Veterans’ Day, “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”
November 11th at Rotary with Scott Sale and Arthur White for New Directions, Inc.
Mary Ann Powell gave a moving invocation. Craft Talker #1, Roxana Janka sat next to President David Bohn. Charlie Follette, who chaired the program, sat next to Craft Talker #2, John Dravillas. Donna Bryd introduced our visiting Rotarians and our guests. Carol Jackson skillfully and vigorously pounded the keyboards while Tom Larmore attempted to lead us by example in song.
Visiting Rotarians and Guests
Our only visiting Rotarian was John Clay, from Oxnard. Ed Morrison was a guest of Russ Warner, Steve Senft was John Clay’s guest, and Christine Cassiano joined us again – introduced in the past by Avo.
We celebrated two months’ worth of birthdays. Our September babies are: Ron Davis, Grace Cheng Braun, Msgr. Lloyd Torgerson, Avo Guerboian, Carol Follette, Steve Eorio, Lisa Alexander, Vince Muselli, George Pickell, Jim Dyer, Len Lanzi, Jim Westbrook, Rex Minter, Joe Metoyer, Fred Rafeedie, and Bill Werner.
October brought us: Bill Wood, Diane Margolin, Bret Carter, Karim Jaude, Jeff Moskin, Tom Loo, Allan Young, George Collins, Hal Quigley, Nicole Ryan, Janie Yuguchi Gates, Scott Wagenseller, David Bohn, Greg Hargrave, Bill Buxton, John Rucci, Paul Leoni, Dick Rice, and Iao Katagiri.
* Healthy Living Committee announced Step Aerobicsat the YWCA on Saturday, November 19 at 8:30. The YWCA is located at Pico and 14th Street. RSVP to Judy Neveau. Brunch at Judy's afterwards.
* Suzan Allbritton will be leading another Upward Bound House Apartment makeoveron Saturday, October 29. Let her know if you'd like to be part of the fun
* First Tuesdayis coming up next week, and we'll be meeting at The Galley at 2442 Main Street. We'll see you there this Tuesday, November 1, at 5:30.
David Snow was fined for being awarded almost $6,000 for Upward Bound House at the Westside Shelter & Hunger Coalitions Celebrate Success breakfast event. John Pacheco was fined for an “appearance” on KPCC about disaster preparedness.
Roxana Janka started off our Craft Talks program by telling us three things no one ever believes about her: 1) She’s never been arrested; 2) she’s gifted; and 3) she’s a princess. Roxana was born in Tehran, Iran, and has three sisters. As a sixth generation descendant of Kaykavoos Mirzah, son Fatali, Shah of the Qajar Dynasty, she is, technically, a princess. In 1979, when she was still just a little girl, Roxana and her family fled the revolution in Iran. After a little time in Los Angeles, the family moved to Orlando when Roxana was five years old. There, she won the fifth grade spelling bee – with the word “pasteurize” (i.e., gifted).
Roxana went to work in the PR business, and after making a splash by arranging for a bull to be herded down city streets to publicize the Silver Spurs Rodeo (you’ll have to have her tell you the story), she was on her way. She met her husband, Chris, at the Gap. They moved to Barcelona and then to New York. When Chris was transferred to Los Angeles, he proposed marriage, Roxana accepted, and they moved once again. She feels that she’s finally found her home in Santa Monica. Roxana is passionate about community service, passionate and honored to be member of our Rotary Club, and, by the way, completely proud to be a Bohn Girl (one of several women members sponsored by that Debonair Devil, John Bohn). Roxana says she has a lucky star and a very happy life. Roxana, the club feels pretty lucky to have you!
John Dravillas tells us his story in his own words: I was born in Chicago on June 30 to Pat and Paul Dravillas. Both my parents are children of Greek immigrants. Before I started school I thought everyone was Greek, but once I arrived I realized that nobody else was Greek (until he found Spyros, of course)!
I was born 10 months after my parents married. Three years later I was joined by my brother, Mark, and five years after that came Paul. Family life was uneventful. Dad was originally in sales and then started his own business. Eventually he sold his part of the business and went into teaching and writing. Mom was very religious. We spent a lot of time in church, and there was always an emphasis on acceptance and inclusivity, and on taking the high moral road regardless of the situation. Our family made Ozzie and Harriet seem like Ozzie Osborne.
Until I hit puberty, I was a terrible athlete and did poorly in sports, but I did well in school and good grades came easily. Growing up on the south side of Chicago, I would have given anything to trade those two qualities. As a teenager, I was a decent offensive lineman in football and guard or forward in basketball. Although I kept goin