PP JOHN SINGLETON abruptly reminded me of why we should again consider
impeaching Prez BOB WESSLING. JOHN pointed out that I, YOE, the best-known
supporter of desserts (as opposed to that lousy salad they usually serve),
failed to leap to my feet and lead a rousing opening cheer for STEVE
ADLER, since it was obvious that STEVE is a closet member of the 'dessert-always"
clique within WVRC. The dessert was splendid - (although it should be
admitted that my standards aren't very high - all desserts taste good
to me). However, it may be possible that there is light at the end of
the tunnel (another of my catchy and original phrases, as you undoubtedly
already know), in that STEVE obviously planned this dessert as a teaser
into his coming term as President. Just to carry this wonderful prospect
a bit further, if we got rid of Prez BOB now, we could look forward
to an early menu change. Supporters of Desserts, ARISE!
Anyway, STEVE was up front because Prez BOB was back at that school
in Ohio, having been summoned to again help the football team with strategy,
etc. So STEVE started us off with the usual themes.. CLARK McQUAY led
the Pledge, followed by JACK HARRIS and PP JIM DOWNIE leading us in
America. That synthesizer of yours, JIM, really provides a wonderful
variety of musical instruments - and it's no secret that WVRC needs
all the help we can get in our choral efforts. Keep up the good work,
please! Next up was MAX LICHTENBERGER, who recited the well-known "I
shall not pass this way again", a double winner since we all need
to be reminded of that fact, plus, MAX allowed us to sit down during
SALLY BRANT introduced the visiting Rotarians: Andrew Binns, who is
from the Latrobe Club in Melbourne in Dental Supplies, and John Binns,
from Box Hill - yes, that's still in Australia - who does orthodontics.
Next was Jane Siegal, from Beverly Hills, like SALLY in residential
real estate. Sitting next to me was Max Braeuer, a real estate attorney
from the Berlin club, and last, Stefan Baverud, who is from Vadstena
Rotary in Sweden - he produces carbon brushes. Quite an international
assortment - perhaps they were drawn by the prospect of the dessert
menu… Other guests included Sunny Friedman, wife of LENNY - and YOE
has to be on LENNY'S side in protesting that just because he fell below
the high gaze of acting Prez STEVE, he shouldn't be excluded from being
recognized! Our former Ambassadorial Scholar Rob Greenhalg had two guests
with him from Argentina, Carla Latino and Patricia Perez. Finally, RUDY
ALVAREZ brought Bruce Rankin, the Executive Director of the Westside
Food Bank, and his wife, Catherin Wagard, who is on the Board of the
St. Joseph's Center in Venice.
RUDY spoke of the good work done by the Westside Food Bank, and Mr.
Rankin reported that WVRC has collected the equivalent of 10,000 meals
in the year we have been supporting their operation. They also received
our check for $300.00. And if you haven't visited St Joseph's Center,
it is worth doing - their 'restaurant' itself is worth the trip. Acting
Prez STEVE asked long-time-missing GREGG ELLIOTT to stand, and as a
sort of catch-up on costs, GREGG was fined one hundred clams. At this
time, GEORGE DEA introduced Rob Greenhalg. Rob told us what he has been
doing the last three years, the first of which was as our Ambassadorial
Scholar. He graduated from UCLA in Political Science, and went to Buenos
Aires to get his masters - and, of course, he's still there. A very
impressive young man, and he'll be back home in time to be with our
WVRC members who will be attending the International Convention. And
before that, ALL Officers of WVRC are expected to attend the District
Assembly in Torrance, starting at 0700 on Saturday May 20th - contact
Prez-to-be STEVE ADLER, and arrange to carpool down.
Starting this Sunday, the GSE team from Bavaria will be with us for
a week. Marian and LEO TSENG are hosting a Reception and Buffet Dinner,
starting at 4:30, so we'll begin to get to know our guests at that time.
Here are some brief biographies -
Georg Eschenlohr, Team Leader. He is Managing Director of Land Surveying
in Landsberg am Lech and would like to meet urban planners, developers,
environmental control personnel and those in related fields. Founding
Member of Landsberg Rotary Club in 1973, he served as President in 1994/95.
It is not known if he likes desserts… Ernie Wolfe is his host, so call
(3l0)474-5137 to get together with Georg.
Peter Herfert (and all other team members) are not Rotarians. He is
a banker, age 37, and would like to meet others in that profession -
enjoys hiking and skiing. His host is David Bohn of the Santa Monica
club - (3l0) 393-9688.
Katrin Jockel is 27, and trains sales people. She is interested in
personnel and retailing, since she works for a large department store
in Munich. Her host, from Santa Monica, is Dr Sam Muslim, (3l0) 452-9532.
Holger Klug is in Advertising, and is interested in all aspects of
that field, including TV, radio, and print media. He is 29, and has
done some fashion photography. His host is David Bohn, who is also hosting
Peter Herfert - and that number is (310) 393-9688.)
Christine Lohse is a teacher of music. She is 39, would like to visit
high school and college music departments, and is also interested in
the history of American Indians. Her host, from Santa Monica (again)
is Monika White, Minikawhite@earthlink.net.
So - there you have it - four team members and one team leader. LEE
DUNAYER has spent a lot of time trying to round up people who could
spend an hour or two with these bright, young individuals from Germany.
Some slots are filled, but there is plenty of open times to get together
- and you will be the winner when you share your knowledge with our
That stands, by the way, for Graduate Student Exchange. C'mon now -
if we really are members of Rotary INTERNATIONAL, let's get off the
dime and MEET these visitors.
But they are gone by Friday - so you will have to call their hosts
right away, as soon as you get this Windmill, PLEASE!
JIM BECHTEL introduced our Speaker, Ann Reiss Lane, who is an advocate
of gun control, and later this year, we will hear from the other side.
Ms Reiss Lane has a 20-year history of working with former Mayor Tom
Bradley, as a member of the Board of Library Commissioners, then the
Fire Commission, and most recently, the Police Commission, plus graduating
from Beverly Hills High, UCLA, and Stanford. She is the co-founder of
Women Against Gun Violence, and her intent is to put a human face on
gun deaths. As many children die in Los Angeles County every month as
died in the massacre at Littleton High School in Colorado - and this
is EVERY month in Los Angeles.
The Police Chiefs Association proposed a number of effective gun control
measures, but the plans were emasculated by the state and local authorities
- the NRA has a major influence with legislators, and thus showed their
muscle once again. Again, she is trying to end our 'tolerance' of gun
deaths - and Assemblyman Wally Knox finally got a bill passed that limits
sales to one gun per person per month - this to stop persons from buying
in quantity, and then reselling them to 'distributors' who sell to those
who could not otherwise buy a gun.
The crime rate is dropping, but gun suicide is increasing every year.
Of the 20 gun suicides by children in 1998, the youngest was a 12-year
old girl - and you have to know that she didn't BUY that gun. She found
it at home. In answers during the Q&A, she pointed out that most people
are killed by someone they know, rather than by a stranger - where did
the killer get that gun? Suicides exceed homicides - and it has to be
easier to control guns in homes than guns sold at swap meets, for instance.
She suggests that parents talk to their children about guns - and when
they are going for an overnight, you would be well advised to phone
the host parents and ask if they have a gun in the house. If they do,
you put your children at risk by allowing them to stay in such an environment.
Success in these efforts is incremental, but it is increasing, which
is certainly good news.
Thank you for presenting your side of the argument, Ms Reiss Lane.
YOE, Ernie Wolfe