Supervisor Mike Antonovich at WVRC on March 13th.
GEORGE COX started us off with the Pledge, which he preceded with a bit of
history. Our Pledge was first used in 1892, and it has been amended a couple
of times. A word of warning here – when YOE is next asked to lead, I’ll go
into my routine about extending our hand at the word ‘”Flag” – this practice
was abandoned in 1942, since it resembled the Nazi salute, and I’d like to
start a campaign to bring it back. But I digress. PP JIM DOWNIE and
FRIEDMAN took us through America in their usual melodious fashion. PP STEVE
SCHERER provided the Invocation, first explaining that it was based on the
teachings of Aristotle – moderation in all things. There are three
things that do not come under the restraint of Moderation – they are
Friendship, Good Health, and Wisdom, and it’s good to have an excess of all
three. Thank you, STEVE – ancient but good thoughts, certainly.
We had a Visiting Rotarian, Bert Kreisberg, who now belongs to the Beverly
Hills Club – he was also with us last week, and is certainly most welcome.
SHARON RHODES WICKETT introduced her Special Guest, Waverly Johnson, who is
the Western Area Director of PATH – this is his second visit with us. It was
birthday time, and it seemed to me that we had more than the usual average
attendance. Perhaps this was due to a leak somewhere along the line that
each March birthdayer would receive Big Bucks – a hundred clams, as it
turned out! Those who rose to the bait included JIM BECHTEL who started
March on the 1st, arriving in Philadelphia. WALLY FISCHMAN and PP MICHAEL
NEWMAN chose the 3rd, WALLY in St. Louis, and MICHAEL in good old Santa
Monica. TERRY R., WHITE preferred Oceanside, on the 4th, while BRUCE HARRIS
elected Chattanooga (surprise) on the 5th. PP CHRIS GAYNOR raised the flag
in LA, on the 11th, while both URI HERSCHER and PP JOHN SINGLETON combined
on the 14th – URI in Tel Aviv, and PP JOHN in Salt Lake City. SHARON RHODES
WICKETT arrived on the 20th, in La Grande (and I know you knew that is in
nearby Oregon), while PDG ANDY ANDERSON came along the next day in Buffalo.
Last of the Marchers was MYRON TAYLOR, on the 26th, in Goodwill, W.Va. – and
it’s worth reminding us all that MYRON’S dad refused to allow him to work in
the local coal mine. This insistence on his dad’s part allowed MYRON to work
his way through college, plus providing us all with one of the real
preachers of our time. Good Job, Mr.Taylor!
PP BOB LUSK has written Prexy TED that he will be retiring from the
Singleton Company as of April 1st – which will also end his need to commute
FORTY SIX miles each way to work, from Camarillo. So BOB will be resigning
from WVRC, where he has been a member for just FORTY EIGHT years! WE gave
him a well-deserved sendoff, even ignoring LENNY’S suggestion that we not
accept PP BOB’S resignation. BOB followed me as President of WVRC, and was
responsible for providing a memorable Demotion, complete with color slides
depicting a supposed tour I was conducting on a Ford TriMotor. BOB, we’ll
miss you – but don’t be a stranger, please.
PP GEORGE DEA will undergo back surgery, having two discs fused, in early
April – let’s stay in touch, since he will be out of commission for awhile.
Note that the District Breakfast is on March 25th – KEN LEVER is the
contact. However, pushing his luck, as is sometimes his wont, KEN then
responded to a request for information from Prexy TED to define Pechanga.
Since all of us already know that this is the name of the resort in Temecula
where the District Conference will be held from May 1st to the 4th, KEN
pointed out that his research suggested that we should be aware that eating
there could turn us into pigs. While this was perhaps a way of getting our
attention, it still cost KEN a hundred big ones. However, it should be noted
that for those of us who didn’t have to pay the fine, we probably owe KEN a
drink for the cautionary word… RUDY ALVAREZ attempted once again to elicit
sympathy for his task of shepherding four Group Study youngsters to Sardinia
and Rome starting this May, and noted that the group from Italy will be
arriving on April 6th – anyone wishing to host them should give RUDY a ring,
please. A final note – KACY ROZELLE announced the arrival of Andrew Joseph
Rozelle on February 28th – and Prexy TED reminded us that the Rozelle’s now
have three youngsters under five! This provided a fining opportunity of
$100, which Prexy TED was quick to accept.
SALLY BRANT provided us with another outstanding program, featuring Los
Angeles County Supervisor Mike Antonovich as our Speaker. Mike was born in
LA, holds both a Bachelors and Masters from Cal State LA, and has done
graduate work at Stanford and Harvard. He is a member of many significant
Boards and Commissions in Southern California, starting his elective office
career in the California State Assembly in 1972. He is one of just five LA
County Supervisors, and his geographic area covers part of the S. F. Valley,
parts of Glendale and Pasadena – a huge tract.
Mike started off by announcing that he and our own PP BOB LUSK were fellow
members of Sigma Nu fraternity. He pointed out that while there are 88
cities in LA County, there are an additional 134 unincorporated communities,
the largest of which is Altadena. The largest city if of course LA, with 3.7
million, followed by Long Beach with 480,000 and Glendale with 200K. The
County is actively working on Emergency Preparedness, with frequent training
sessions. He specifically mentioned that local Fire Departments all work
well together – geographic boundaries do not exist.
We are facing a severe budget crunch, particularly at the state level.
When he was in the Legislative, then-Governor Reagan convened the members,
and they passed a bill to help the fiscal situation THAT SAME DAY. The
current Legislature, perhaps handicapped by lack of long-term experience, is
still dithering about what to do with our present crisis. A few years ago we
had an eight billion dollar surplus – today we face a deficit of between
twenty five and thirty billion! The longer this inaction goes on, the worse
it will get – soon we will be letting policemen and teachers go, since we
cannot pay them. In summary, the public-private partnership that existed for
so long has been badly damaged.
An example of this ‘dithering’ is our regional airport concept. As far back
as 1960, Ontario Airport was started, and plans were underway to expand
Palmdale. LAX, today, covers only 350 acres – the smallest major airport in
the U.S. Yet the government bodies that control these facilities continued
to make parking and landing fees higher at both Ontario and Palmdale – thus
driving clients back to LAX. The good news is that Mayor Hahn is a true
believer in the Regional Airport concept, and we are beginning to move
toward some solutions.
We are all concerned with highway congestion – and again, in 1960 or
thereabouts, we decided to build subways to solve the problem. So we now
have 17 miles of subways that cost FIVE BILLION dollars. On the other side,
by a cooperative effort in the Pasadena area, they have provided 14 miles of
above-ground rail transport for just 700 million dollars – above ground is
the way to go.
His final subject was the 30,000 children in Foster Care in LA County.
When these kids reach 18, they are automatically ‘emancipated’ and must
begin to fend for themselves, without any adult supervision. This is a
self-defeating policy, and he strongly suggests we need a program that will
provide senior foster care parents, to handle these youngsters who just
aren’t ready to be fully on their own. The good news here is that there is a
new Head of this agency, who promises some quick action to bridge this gap.
Q&A – RAY ZICKFELD, Are the old Pacific Lines still available? Yes, and some
are being used. PP MIKE NEWMAN, Must adoptions still be confined to ‘same
race’? No, the law has been changed, and if you hear of a problem, let me
know personally and I’ll check on it. LENNY FRIEDMAN, what came of the idea
to extend LAX runways into the ocean? There are much less expensive land
areas available – and the Regional concept must be expanded. YOE asked about
the present status of the proposal for a Borough System in LA. The City
Council, AND the Mayor, won’t have it, period. BURLEIGH ARNOLD, Do we have
sufficient Emergency Equipment and it is properly funded? The Budget is
short, but we are trying.
Mike Antonovich, thank you for your sobering overview of where we are going
in Los Angeles.
YOE, Ernie Wolfe