EDITORIAL The Windmill
I wanted to start out this issue by telling you that we are well aware that the Windmill transition to email has its problems. The two concerns are, first, Distribution, and later, Format and Content. DON NELSON and I will be visiting with Jan, who produces the Windmill, this coming Monday, the 15th. We will talk mostly about Distribution at this time, since several (many?) of you are not getting it, or at least having difficulty in getting it off the Internet.
As to Format/Content, we are planning a Club Assembly on Thursday January 13th, at which time we will discuss some changes and hopefully, improvements. So, hang on, please (and save those ideas, OK?)
YOE, Ernie Wolfe
Improving the Business Climate WVRC on November 11th
But back to today the Pledge was led by ‘volunteer’ GORDON FELL, who did well.
LENNY FRIEDMAN and PP JIM DOWNIE took us through You’re a Grand Old Flag.
HENRIETTA LIAN gave a thoughtful Invocation. It was built around this being Veterans Day, and she first noted that yesterday is but a dream, and tomorrow is only a vision, while today, well-lived, can make any day a dream of happiness. Look well, therefore, to this day. Well done, HENRIETTA.
PP ERIC LOBERG announced that we had THREE Visiting Rotarians. Our former member and PP, BILL BLOOMFIELD Jr, who now belongs to Manhattan Beach, was present along with PEGGY BLOOMFIELD, one of our Honorary Members they may be related. This became evident when BILL Jr rose to admit that one of the draws about visiting WVRC was that we now have dessert, and that PEGGY was pleased to be an Honorary Member but was almost chaffing at the bit to be more involved. There appeared to be a bit of lack of agreement about this attitude on PEGGY’S part. This in turn led to a brief exchange between Senor RUDY and PEGGY, in which each seemed to be angling to preside at the other’s Club for Peggy, the Auxiliary, and us’ens (this is short for the mostly male side of WVRC) for Senor RUDY. Having surfaced this little game, the other two Rotarians were then introduced Mary Amfli, an attorney from Rancho Park, and Guite Javid, who is a banker from the same club. Just to add to the intrigue, it turns out that Mary was a classmate of GORDON’S at the Hass School of Business at UC Berkeley.
At that same table was Carlo Lustrissimi, who was a member of the Group Study Exchange team from Italy who visited us a couple of years ago.. Carlo is a Mechanical Engineer, and is job hunting, as we speak. Senor RUDY noted that Carlo had been most helpful to our Group Study Exchange team when they were in Rome recently.
SHANE WAARBROEK had as his guest Peter Bylsma, the Executive Director of the Los Angeles County Lincoln Clubs. Finally, Muffy Hayes returned to visit she is in charge of publicity for the Southern California Family and Adoption Agency, of which Senor RUDY serves on the Board. So, lots of guests, and that is always fun.
We enjoyed having several Rotaract members with us, led by President TORI HETTINGER. She introduced the others, Jordan, Candice (who has been with us before) and Ti, pronounced Tea. These kids are so eager to participate and mingle that they refuse to eat lunch, figuring that is too expensive for the Club to handle! Bring ‘em again, CATHY. REZOS. (And after the meeting, Candice came up with a bid for the two tickets to the Ten Commandments so announcements do pay off sometimes).
PDG ANDY ANDERSON will be having arthroscopic surgery on his knee shortly. BRUCE ROLF remains at Berkeley West give him a call, or stop by, please. MAX LICHTENBERGER has a hand injury again, calls are welcome. An Invitation, from LENORE MULRYAN a Power Point Presentation, “Rotary Ambassador Scholar’s Interviews & Voice-overs” It is for anyone interested in being on the Selection Committee, both Rotarians and Auxiliary. The date is next Thursday, the 18th, 11:15 at the Bel Air Hotel. And a late acknowledgment of a nice letter from Clover Avenue Elementary School, dated Oct 18th “We thank you (LILLIAN KLIEWER) and the Westwood Village Rotary Club for your generous donation of three Canon copiers to our school…Your generosity has helped us do the job of providing an enriched and challenging curriculum for every student at Clover”. signed by Elizabeth Calvert, Principal. Good Job, LILLIAN.
A Sad Note
For those who remember JOHN McGINNIS passed away on the 5th in Santa Barbara. There was an extensive Obituary in the LA Times - here are some highlights: He graduated from Lincoln High School in LA, and was one of the first graduates of UCLA after they moved to Westwood. JOHN served in the Aleutians and Europe during WWII, retiring as a Lt. Col. He received his MA and PhD from USC, and became Director of Educational Training in the LAUSD, retiring in 1970. He and Esther lived in Westwood, where they were both active at the Westwood United Methodist Church and the Westside YMCA. They moved to Santa Barbara in the summer of 2000, and Esther passed away in March of this year. They were both devoted and vociferous fans of UCLA sports. Indeed, the world will be a little poorer place without the McGINNIS’S.
The recent Paul Harris Celebration was reported on briefly. The highlight, at least from the standpoint of WVRC, was that we won a majority of the Grand Prizes! PP JIM DOWNIE, (who may have attended several hundred of these events) was the big winner, collecting the top prize of fifteen hundred big ones! However, Senor RUDY had him on the carpet upon notice of this largesse, suggesting that PP JIM should be fined at least a thousand of his fifteen hundred winnings. JIM, to his credit, managed to get back five hundred bucks, so, as he put it, “When the check clears” he will fork over a third of his loot. Ah, it must be nice to have these kinds of choices to survey and select… And JACK HARRIS, who was under the weather and thus unable to be with us today, won the Caribbean Cruise that was offered so his turn will come, when he dares to return for a meeting. But really, having us win two of the three big prizes was quite a coup and the winners are glad they attended.
SOL DRESNER gave a good Craft Talk. He was born in Rochester, NY, where his dad had a shoe store. His father was a widower, and he met SOL’S mother when she came into his store to buy a pair of shoes. However, she decided they were too expensive, so left and he immediately inquired of his cousin, ”Who is that beautiful woman who just left?” Told that she was a widow from New York, he took the pair of shoes over to her after the store closed, as a gift. They clicked, and were married SOL was their first born, and 9 years later they had twins. He was doing well in the shoe business, and had acquired some income property but the crash of ’29 wiped him out. They moved to Detroit, where his mother opened a grocery store the whole family worked there.
When he graduated from High School, he didn’t know what he wanted to do. A friend was enrolling in Podiatry School in Cleveland, so for $3.00 he took the ferry there and then found out that the tuition was $300! He called his mother, and she said, “I’ll get the money for you”. She pawned her engagement and wedding rings, and sent him the money. While studying Podiatry, he needed a job, so applied at a shoe store. He was so good at the store that he repaid the $300 before the year was out, and his mother retrieved her rings.
When he graduated, he came home to Detroit, married his childhood sweetheart, and opened an office. Then he got his draft notice! At Camp Roberts, he was selected for OCS but began to hear that the 2nd Lts. were the first ones killed, since they always led the attack. He transferred to the Medical Corp, spent two years at a hospital in England, and when the war was over, returned home. His 2-year old daughter rejected him she had never known him before, and preferred her grandfather. But they got together.
He opened an office in Mt. Clemens, Michigan. When he joined Rotary, they met in a local church, and the ladies served the meal it cost $3.00. He took his associate to a couple of meetings, the associate loved it. So SOL resigned, to make way for his associate and, as he explained it, this allowed him “to go to the Country Club and play Gin in the afternoons”. When his accountant told him that he had more outside income than what his practice was making, he sold the practice to his associate right away!
SOL has three kids his son is an Ophthalmologist here in Santa Monica, his first daughter is married to a Plastic Surgeon in Oakland, and his other daughter is the President of Longman Publishing they specialize in Spanish-language books. His family prevailed on him to move to California after he retired, and after a few years in Coronado, he moved to LA. SOL was sponsored by AL BELLANCA and AL, you done good!
SHANE WAARBROEK introduced our Speaker, James R. Bognet. Jim graduated from Penn State, then got his law degree and MBA from UCLA. He has worked in the financial services industry with Merrill Lynch, Skadden Arps in NY, and Shelter Capital in LA. In the political arena, he managed a U.S. House campaign in Pennsylvania, worked for Senator Rick Santorum, and is now the Chief Deputy of the Jobs and Economic Growth Office for Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. His focus, as you can imagine, is to ensure that California continues to be a powerful job-creating machine, thus improving the lives of all Californians.
Jim began by thanking us for inviting him apparently, we are the first Rotary Club he has spoken to. The Governor is currently in Japan, on a mission to improve business between the two countries. But on the local level, some disturbing stats - the tax on business activity in California is 6% - in Arizona, it’s just 2 %. Workman’s Compensation cost $30,000 six years ago today the figure is $260,000! A new bill reduces this by 15 to 20%, but more help is needed. Governor Schwarzenegger has formed The California Commission on Economic Growth, composed of 35 members, most of whom are CEO’s their job is to get the word out that California is business-friendly.
The Governor wants to bring Japanese tourism back to where it once was a million visitors a year, and today there are only 400K. He gave an example of how we can help we passed Prop. 64, which will cut way down on shakedown lawsuits. And note, BILL BLOOMFIELD JR was a guest today, and he has long sponsored an organization named Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse - thank you, BILL. Unfortunately, Prop 72 failed and what it would have done, if passed, would be to make the standard more flexible for who MUST provide medical coverage. He is hopeful this can be resurrected on a County-Wide basis. He reminded us that it takes six years to build a working energy generator which is one reason why we are still short of energy.
Because of Gerrymandering, all incumbent state officeholders were re-elected. If we could change this so Judges would set the boundaries, it would provide true representation, which the present ‘tailored’ districts do not provide. This would require a Constitutional Amendment, and they are tough to pass. Jim concluded his remarks with a story about meeting Governor Schwarzenegger in the gym, where both were working out.
As the Governor was leaving, he came back to Jim, felt his biceps, and said, “You’ve got a lot more work to do”.
Q: DONN CONNER, Since people don’t know that things are changing, do we have a budget to get the message out?
A: Yes, there are more and more billboards located in the states surrounding California. Gov. Arnie went to Nevada, pitched in carrying boxes he is involved.
Q: SALLY BRANT, Did you get to ride in his Hummer?
A: No, but I did retrieve a package from inside.
Q: Are you exempt from punching a time clock?
A: I am, but the law says if you work over 8 hours ANY day, you must be paid overtime, even though you might not total over 40 hours for the week.
Q: BILL BLOOMFIELD Jr, Is the Governor a good spokesman?
A: Yes, he is but the problem with Propositions is that they cannot be amended thus not at all flexible. It is not legal to single out groups by income, by the way.
Q: CATHY REZOS, Why do the schools spend so much on administration?
It’s a huge problem, and whatever you do, there are many who object. He does like Charter Schools.
Thank you, Jim Bognet, for your timely update.
SHANE WAARBROEK provided the Toast to our Veterans, and I just had a call from Marie Rolf. BRUCE has moved to room 107 in Berkeley West, at 17th and Arizona in Santa Monica. His direct phone number is 453-1931.