Rotary in Westwood
February 7th at WVRC
RICK LIVERMORE started us off by leading the Pledge. Then came
LENNY FRIEDMAN and GREGG ELLIOTT, and we once again sang America.
Note, there was a minor change of key, which was requested -
but tough for some of us who were never sopranos. BRUCE ROLF
was pleased to give the Invocation, since he felt he owed the Club
some time, after last week. His initial subject was Who Will Write
Your Obituary?, and you don't get to choose, probably - so be on
your best, OK?
RUDY ALVAREZ told us there was one visiting Rotarian, Richard
Marcusi, a Contractor from Culver City, where he once Mayor. Several
brand new members were introduced. LILLIAN KLIEWER is a Realtor,
sponsored by two Past Presidents, HOMER and MIKE NEWMAN. DON
PARK sponsored ALON DORON, who is in Publishing and JAY HANDAL was
brought in by KEN KILPO and Pres. GEORGE. JAY owns the two San
Gennaro restaurants nearby, in Brentwood and Culver City. As
before, our thanks to these thoughtful present members who went the
extra mile in spreading the word about WVRC - the NEWMANS, DON PARK,
KEN KILPO and Pres. GEORGE. PAUL SORRELL introduced his two
guests, Bob Martin and Ellen Prystajko - both are with Gavin De
Becker & Associates - and Bob will be our speaker today. YOE
recalls that Bob Martin was a guest at our meeting last week -
wanted to check us out before speaking, apparently. Sometime during
these proceedings, Pres.GEORGE fingered LYNDON PARKER, who was
questioned about having neither a sports jacket nor a Rotary pin on.
When LYNDON replied that his pin was truly, "in his
heart", Pres. GEORGE'S intention of a confiscatory fine simply
I guess. PP RON LYSTER brought Greg Jones, who is with Sanford C.
Bernstein & Co. BRUCE ROLF was with Marie. And keep those
visitors coming, please - they do add to the festivities.
There were several announcements. Remember that next
week we are meeting at the LAX Marriott, to hear Rick King, RI
President - and all our forty tickets are already spoken for -
please don't show up without a ticket. Our District
Conference, chaired by our own PP RON LYSTER is set for May 2nd to
the 5th at the US Grant Hotel in San Diego. Round-trip rail
cost is a bargain at $50, and the scenery enroute is certainly
attractive. KEN KILPO presented a check for $300 to Meals On Wheels,
which was accepted by PP ERNIE WOLFE. ERNIE pointed out that
those who deliver the meals are sometimes the only person the
recipient will see that day - so it is a most worthwhile service.
We average delivering about one hundred meals per day, five
days a week. Among our members who deliver meals are PP JIM
SUMNER and Doris, Carol Collins, and YOE. A brief pitch, if I
may: the delivery takes about an hour and a half, the people you
meet are interesting, and most important, this is a service which
needs more volunteers, always. Please think about coming
aboard, OK? Call me!
PP STEVE DAY came forward to present a Paul Harris membership to our
Volunteer of the Year. STEVE explained that funds for this
activity come from the trust established by GEORGE and Marian
SCHWARTZ - the trust being established when he passed away some time
ago. KEN KILPO came forward to speak about this year's
recipient - our own new member JAY HANDAL! JAY was born in NY,
coming to LA in 1975. His list of accomplishments and awards
is most impressive. He is currently the President of the WLA
Chamber of Commerce, which under his leadership has grown from less
than one hundred members to almost one THOUSAND today! Along
the way, he helped with the revitalization of downtown Culver City,
and led successful programs involving youth, the Brentwood-Westwood
Symphony, and other organizations (literally, too many to mention by
name). I was seated next to him today, and, in response to my
question, he said both San Gennaro restaurants have the same menu,
and are mirror images of each other. They provide some major
help to various homeless programs, also.
Pres. GEORGE next picked on those with birthdays this month. He
first pointed out that Sagatarians, and (I think) Pices were known
to be both cheap and expensive - which gives a lot of opportunity
for derogatory comments, of course. The first three
named were LEO TSENG, PDG BILL GOODWYN, and DONN CONNOR, who
apparently were grouped together because they have something to do
with Finance. GEORGE appeared to be genuinely surprised that
DONN was present - which in turn led to DONN"S retort, "I
didn't know you were still President!" Into the mix went
LENNY FRIEDMAN and MIKE O'CONNELL - maybe because they both work in
the Village. Apparently, only those in attendance were honored
today. If there were other birthday people mentioned, I
apologize - and I do guarantee BANNER COVERAGE next week for any
errors or omissions when called to my attention, OK? PDG ANDY
ANDERSON came forward to announce that $6K was recently sent to
India to refurbish the HOWARD PHILLIPS wing of Dr. Borrati's
hospital, plus another $2K which will be used to buy twenty
wheelchairs for polio victims who cannot be helped by surgery. - all
funds coming from the Howard Phillips Foundation. Good job,
ANDY. Finally, TED IHNEN was seen and recognized - he reported
that he had absolutely reliable intelligence that PP RON WANGLIN was
involved with golf today ON THE WESTSIDE - but obviously didn't make
it to WVRC, somehow. Pres. GEORGE leaped at the chance to fine
RON two hundred big ones.
PAUL SORRELL introduced our Speaker, Bob Martin, who is
vice-president of Gavin De Becker, a firm specializing in advising
on terrorism and ways to meet the threats
which come with the territory. PAUL first stated that he and
Mr. Martin had discussed his presentation during lunch, and Bob has
agreed to keep it simple and not use any big words, in deference to
our members who hail from SC…He is a 28-year veteran of the LAPD,
retiring as a Captain and specializing in related security matters.
In 1990, for instance, he headed the newly formed Threat
Management Division of the LAPD, and during his watch the Rodney
King riots came along, plus the 1994 earthquake, so he has, indeed,
"been there". He has lectured extensively, and among
his audiences have been major universities, the FBI and the CIA.
Bob started off with a definition of an optimist - that's a person
who applauds your speech before it is given (and jumping ahead, YOE
will applaud this guy's speech anytime - he was outstanding).
Another speaker was lecturing before some 300 experts in the field,
and as he finished, one in the audience was heard to say,
"That's the worst speech I've ever heard". Ignoring
long-standing caution, the speaker started to accost this
individual, based on the theory that you shouldn't be allowed to
challenge authority. However, he was restrained by another speaker -
"That guy's a known idiot. Ignore him - all he's doing is
repeating what everyone else is saying".
Bob asked us some questions - Did you talk to your kids about not
speaking to strangers? and almost everyone raised his or her hands.
Did you tell them that their own relatives are most likely to
be child abusers? - and of course, no one raised their hand. Yet
the facts are that 80% of sexual or child abuse is carried out by
family members - people you know! His very first case was as a
junior partner with an experienced patrolman, who was driving.
They got a call to investigate a domestic violence incident,
which was going on right then. When they arrived at the
scene, his partner just strolled up to the front door, even though
they could hear cries and sounds of scuffling as they approached.
Finally, the man appeared at the front door - his shirt was
awry, he was red-faced, and breathing hard. The senior officer
could see the woman in the background - she was trying to cover the
bruise on her cheek from being struck. Both of them said there
was no problem. The officer then told them if there was
another incident of any kind, someone would be going to jail. As
they drove away, Bob said, "I think you did that well".
His partner replied, "We'll be back - just hope it isn't
tonight". Shortly afterward, another call, and this time
the lead officer rushed into the house, finding the man sitting atop
his wife, who had a kitchen fork driven into her eye - she was dead.
This was Bob's first homicide.
There is nothing new in human nature. We are all human, and
each of us has probably experienced all the emotions that are
possible - but we seem to think that there is such a thing as
inhuman behavior - not true. Violence is committed by people,
who look just like other people. Try to remember that YOU are
the expert - you've been there. If something doesn't look
right, obey your instincts - they are your best safeguard.
Example - That lion doesn't look very hungry! What does your
There are two categories of protection from violence. One is
to reduce the risk, and the other is to reduce anxiety. Only
reducing the risk works, yet much of what we do is basically aimed
at reducing anxiety. Starting in 1971 - that's THIRTY-ONE YEARS ago
- the first reported incident regarding a passenger entering the
cockpit of a commercial aircraft took place. The intruder was
eventually subdued, after mortally wounding the co-pilot and
shooting the pilot in both arms - but we haven't locked the doors to
the flight deck yet. There have been SIX recorded incidents
since then - what does it take to bring about change, please?
Bob blames the news media for our perception that violence is
everywhere. It if isn't gruesome, it doesn't get printed - and
thus the only 'news' we get is about isolated, and really,
infrequent violence. After the Columbine shootings, there was
a major effort to install cameras in schools - yet, at Columbine,
they already HAD cameras, and all they did was to graphically record
what the attackers were doing. They provided no protection -
but again, the media pounced on the idea that videos were the answer
to schoolyard terrorism. Remember that we lost over 3000
people in the 9/11 tragedy - but note that EACH YEAR, over 4000
women are killed by their husbands of boyfriends.
Many women are aware of these risks - but they deny them, because
there are so many other risks. The facts are that there has
been a major reduction in domestic violence since 1960, and life is
measurably safer now. But the media continues to exaggerate
isolated incidents, and what we see is what we believe (taken out of
context). TV uses fear to get an audience. They
perpetuate the myth that we cannot protect ourselves - but they
could teach otherwise. Why not show good people, volunteers
helping - an example is the 1.2 million members of an organization
we all know, whose motto is Service Above Self
Let's explore the positive. And Bob Martin, your message is
appreciated - thank you.
Mea Culpa - I know this report is long, but please note two further
We have a lovely letter from Virginia Tanner, BOB TROXLER'S
daughter, thanking us for the cards and letters he has received
during his illness. Please keep them coming, and I'm still
looking for some more people who can visit him occasionally, until
he can return to WVRC.
Last note - Monday is the 11th - FLY your flag that day, OK? Thanks,