PP MIKE NEWMAN got us started with the Pledge, followed
by the duo of LENNY FRIEDMAN and PP JIM DOWNIE who took us through
Home on the Range. Next up was DAN PRICE, who asked everyone to join
him in The Lord's Prayer - well done, DAN. Auxiliary President Shirley
More presented a check for $220 to ANN ELKIN to be used to buy books
for the Pediatric Reading Program, as started by NEVIN SENKAN. This
money was raised at their recent meeting, and will be well spent,
I'm sure. We just learned that DICK DAVIS is recovering from major
surgery - give him a ring at home.
Our two visiting Rotarians were Ben Turner, from LA
5, who is an expert witness - but he didn't say about what, and George
Fenimore, a past president of Beverly Hills. There were a number of
guests, led off by TED IHNEN with Special Guest Lawrence Hofstra,
who heads up the North American operation of Dragon Airlines, a partial
subsidiary of Cathay Pacific. MARK BLOCK introduced his seatmate,
Ann Marie Christian, who is with Best Buddies. TODD GURVIS brought
along his boss, Kevin Macintosh, VP of Trilogy Financial Services.
Next up was KEN KILPO, who had with him Special Guest Jack Berlin,
owner of B&B Printing, and a fellow member of the Board of Directors
of the Chamber of Commerce. The ever-active GEORGE DEA asked Sharin
Clisser to stand - she has just been listed as a prospective member,
and is involved with Parkinson Research.
Several upcoming events should be noted. Tuesday, Jan
30th - District Breakfast at LAX Marriott - call JIM GREATHEAD. Saturday,
Feb. 10th - Valentine Day Sweetheart Brunch at Shanghai Reds in the
Marina - contact is PETER MORE. And RUDY ALVAREZ had once again assumed
the mantle of collecting the reports of all Committee Activities -
e-mail to him, and soon, OK?
Under somewhat confusing circumstances, four students
then came forward, first purporting to be Rotaract members. However,
once at the mike, they revealed their true identity - they were conducting
a very high level Q&A, using Perky STEVE as their acknowledged World-Class-Authority,
who was reputed to know everything about everything - which they were
about to demonstrate. First question, from TODD GURVIS - "Why is it
that my two youngsters always have to wet the bed between two and
four a.m., rather than at a time when I'm not already asleep?" The
answer was somewhat disjointed, since Mr. Know-it-all was restricted
to uttering a single word, in-between two of the students who flanked
him (that means they stood on each side of Prexy STEVE). Next question,
by YOE - "My brother-in-law wants to know if Viagra works". Someone
at my table pointed out that my sister wanted to know the same thing
- and then things kind of went downhill, when it developed that I
am an only child…However, the day was saved by GENE PRINDLE, who asked
me if we had been put up to ask these searching questions. I could
only speak for myself, but I'm sure TODD would agree that we were
both dying to know the answers - and the question does authenticate
that these four students were really clever extemporary performers.
Tracking them down afterward, Sean Hart is from Carmel,
Myles Nye from Oakland, Jessica Moss from LA, and Jeff Parker from
San Diego - all are sophomores in the drama department at UCLA, and
they were quite good at their shtick. Other questions followed, one
referring to the final tally in Florida, and a final request for clarification
as to why Prexy STEVE referred to Claude in the Rotary Handbook as
his Hostess. They next moved to an interview with RUDY ALVAREZ and
Coach BOB WESSLING, in which Prexy STEVE signaled if the answers to
various questions were right or wrong. Needless to say, everyone present
knew a lot more about these matters after this presentation - and
it WAS fun. The finale was when Prexy STEVE was presented with the
Official Hump Day Plaque - and those of you who so carefully read
each word of this publication will recall that this second Hump Day
performance was alluded to in last week's publication.
After this somewhat tumultuous interval, PP ROY BELOSIC
introduced our Speaker, Capt. Wally Graves of the Los Angeles Police
Department. ROY knows Capt. Graves personally, since he was the lead
investigator in a vicious assault upon one of ROY'S sons, demonstrating
that only the highest standards of police conduct and expertise would
be applied to every case. He is a native son, graduated from Lynwood
HS, has a BA from Cal State LA, and from the FBI National Academy.
In February, Capt. Graves will have been with LAPD for 30 years. Until
a couple of weeks ago, he was was in charge of our Police Station
in WLA, and now works downtown.
Wally Graves started by stating that he was extremely
proud of the LAPD, and he tells those under his command to show their
pride also. He pointed out the Rampart was discovered by the LAPD,
itself - NOT by some other government body, and certainly not by the
LA Times! In their internal investigation the LAPD came up with 108
recommendations to improve supervision and control - but this activity
is not generally known, even thought 3/4ths of the total improvements
are already in effect! The Times, for example, repeats the same charges
over and over, perhaps based on the theory that constant repetition
will establish the charges as facts.
Also, he pointed out that three of the first four officers
charged in the Rampart scandal were not accepted by the LAPD for enrollment
- but they were passed by the independent Personnel Department, who
have the final say in these matters. There is a constant shortage
of money in the budget - LAPD has never been supplied with polygraph
equipment, for instance, and this is controlled by the City Council.
The definition of corruption is abuse of power, and
this is where Rampant fell far short. Chief Parks has put into effect
a number of reforms, which are often not popular with the officers
on the street. Every complaint is investigated, for instance. Capt.
Graves feels they have an opportunity to regain the position they
once had, and Chief Parks will lead the way. During this process,
however, morale does suffer. Today there are 8400 officers in the
LAPD, which is very small in comparison to New York, or Chicago, both
of which have less than 15% of the territory of Los Angeles to patrol.
Q&A - How do the Police Union and Management get along
- not very well, at present. The fastest growing crime today is identity
crime - that is, stealing ID and using it for credit card purchases,
etc. This is where Capt. Graves is now working, being in charge of
the Financial Crimes Division. How do you break the so-called Code
of Silence - strong leadership can and will do this. A fine report,
and we can well understand PP ROY BELOSIC'S admiration for both Capt.
Graves and the LAPD itself.
Thought for the Day - "Speak when you are angry and
you will make the best speech you will ever regret" - Ambrose Bierce.
YOE, Ernie. Wolfe