August 24, 2000



Meeting notes for 24 August, by the late YOE

No, this is not an announcement of my demise, but a factual admission of my failure to be prompt in attending today. I mention this now, so that I will have an advance excuse for whatever errors may henceforth appear.

New member TODD GURVAS led the Pledge, followed by a triumvirate of musically inclined types, the essential division of labor being that LENNY FRIEDMAN was the Conductor, with PP JIM DOWNIE and JACK HARRIS sharing the keyboard in a nice rendition of The Battle Hymn of the Republic. This is a continuing example of the variety of tunesmiths otherwise unknown to the general membership of WVRC - and of course, our stage is available to others, should they have the temerity to step forward.

Once again, MARK BLOCK provided an excellent Thought for the Day.

Alas, there were no visiting Rotarians, as KEVIN KOMATSU dutifully reported. However, LEO TSENG introduced his guest, Athena Jackson, who is a fellow toiler with LEO at Merrill Lynch. Athena is a former member of Palos Verdes Rotary, and thus probably could be considered a Special Guest. The head table deserves mention, populated as it was by a preponderance of former brass, namely PP/PDG ANDY ANDERSON, PP HOWIE HENKES, PP ERIC LOBERG, PP DAVE MORE, and PP/PDG BILL GOODWYN. Since he was introducing our Speaker, TED IHNEN was willing to be seen publicly with the above crew, along with our Speaker and Prez STEVE, of course.

PP BOB WESSLING made a nice introduction of RALPH BEASOM, who has agreed to serve as WVRC Historian. RALPH will thus become the custodian of all trophies, photos and related material - thank you, RALPH for stepping forward for this much-needed position. It was announced that we are progressing in our program to aid the armless teenager in Calicut, state of Kerala, in India - we are working through the District Governor there, and this young artists' prosthesis should soon be ready. This is another program of which we should be justly proud. RUDY ALVAREZ showed off our new WVRC Brochure, which was well done, as expected. We had two unfortunate health announcements - BRUCE HARRIS had a fall, and is at UCLA Hospital recovering from an eye injury. PP JIM SUMNER also fell, and injured his leg.

Some meetings loom:
Sept 7th - two weeks away - ANN SAMSON has called a Community Service meeting starting promptly at ll:30.
Sept 23rd - American Heart Association Walk at Mattel, and our new member KEN KILPO is our contact. He'll be glad to sign you up.
Sept 24th - the justly famous SISKEL picnic, our organizers being SUSAN ALLEN and TED IHNEN.

Our Speaker, Ellis M. Stanley, was introduced by TED IHNEN. Mr Stanley has had over twenty years experience in the field of emergency preparedness, his most recent position prior to coming to Los Angeles in 1997 being as Director of the Atlanta-Fulton County Emergency Management Agency since 1987. He is a graduate of UNC at Chapel Hill, is married to Iris and they have two sons, Ellis Jr and Chris.

When Ellis was hired by Mayor Riordan, the Emergency Preparedness Division was in the process of formation - it was formally begun in July 2000, and is now functioning. Essentially, it is a unit that coordinates and oversees relief efforts in case of disasters, such as earthquakes, floods, and fires. The entire culture of the agency is being transformed from reactive response to pro-active response, in keeping with problems expected in the 21st Century.

One of the major initiatives brought in by Ellis is the Global Partnership Program, which pairs areas and cities with similar problems all over the world. This enables each of them to learn from the other - an example is our partnership with Mexico City, where both communities have similar earthquake concerns. Other recent partnerships were with Israel during the Golan Heights dispute, and in Shanghai, an urban search and rescue program has been helpful to both parties. EPD works in outreach with 51 local Consulates, and has been well received.

Their job is to look at the worst case scenario, and prepare well in advance with contingency plans. This past April they brought together 185 local officials for a week of training, prior to the just-completed DNC. Asking for a show of hands as to how many approved of what went on during this busy week, EVERYONE agreed - it was a job well done! The LAPD did itself proud - and a good part of that success was from studying what went wrong in Seattle during the WTO meeting earlier this year. We should remember that only about 1% of demonstrators are looking for trouble - but they are the ones who must be controlled.

We thank Mr. Stanley for his exposition on an area of local government that most of us knew nothing about. But, not to forget the Thought for the Day," Forgiveness doesn't change the past, but it does enlarge the future."

The late YOE, Ernie Wolfe