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Program Chairs:
George Dea & Ronald Lyster
DECEMBER 1, 2005   

December 9:

Joint Meeting
Riviera Country Club

Program for Friday, December 9
Joint meeting at Riviera Country Club
with RC Santa Monica (Noon)
[December 8: No Meeting at Bel Air Hotel.]

Coming Programs
December 15:
"Holiday Party"
- Spouses Day

December 22:
Merry Christmas - Dark Today

December 29:
Happy New Year! - Dark Today

A SHORT DECEMBER at Bel Air – the 1st for WVRC
SHANE  WAARBROEK started us off with the Pledge.  The accomplished duo (that means two) of LENNY and PP JIM took us through You’re a Grand Old Flag.  LEO TSENG came forward with the Invocation, first asking that we fill in the questionnaire that was left on each table.  It listed a huge number of possible activities, and we were asked to check off those in which we personally participated.  LEO collected them afterward, and will summarize the results at a later meeting.  As I said to my seatmate, LENORE, “Heck, you could put down anything – they weren’t signed!”.  Seriously, it’s a nice idea, and I hope everyone did fill a sheet in – certainly the silence (unusual for this group) during the next two minutes was a good sign.  LEO then gave a short prayer, thanking God for Rotary, asking that our eyes be opened to the opportunities for service, that our hearts be filled with the desire to participate, and ended by reminding us to ask the reason why we joined Rotary.  An excellent combo. LEO.

We had several visitors.  ANN SAMSON brought Cathy Hession (she is related to Mr. Collins, I believe).  CANDICE DANESHVAR introduced Felicia Brannon, the Executive Director for UCLA Government and Community Relations.  LENORE MULRYAN was with Mina Saroosh, who has just returned from her Ambassadorial Scholar visit to Spain – she will be talking to us shortly in detail about the trip. PP JIM COLLINS brought Patricia O’Brien, the executive dean of the UCLA College of Letters and Science – she is to be our Speaker today.

Recipients of the Benefactor Award, Chris Bradford, PP Rudy Alvarez, Ed Gauld and Sean McMillan (not present)

UCLA Representatives, Felicia Brennon, Patricia O'Brien, Tracie Christensen

Presentation of WVRC award to YMCA
Birthdays were the next subject, and we still had some catch-up to complete those who had not been present when their month came along. (I note these here, since they pay a fine for missing the actual event!)  PP RUDY ALVAREZ was the first pigeon who surfaced – he was born on October 23rd in San Antonio. Moving right along, to December, DICK LIVERMORE came along on the 1st, in Crown, PA.  CHRIS BRADFORD – who just returned for a short hop over to Paris – elected the 2nd, but stayed close, arriving in L.A.  PP RALPH WOODWORTH liked Milwaukee, on the 4th.  PP DAVE WHITEHEAD chose the 6th, in nearby Glendale.  Next up was our new member PETER TOMARKEN, who came along on the 7th in Olean, NY.  ANN SAMSON liked the north, in Tacoma, WA, on the 14th.  The same date was favored by NORA AQUINO,  from far-away San Luis, Pampanga, Philippines.  PP HOMER NEWMAN favored Brawley with his presence on the 18th.  PP JIM COLLINS chose the 20th, in nearby Huntington Park. ELOISE SISKEL liked tiny Gosport, Indiana, on the 23rd.  BILL PIERCE was unlucky enough to arrive on the 25th – in LA – but it does cut down on your birthday presents, we suspect.  PP TED IHNEN – and we miss you, TED, came along on the 27th in St. Louis.  And Dr RALPH BEASOM ended December arrivals, choosing the 29th in Seattle.  Did you know he is an identical twin – and his brother is also a physician. The drill on this, I believe is that all those December BDs get a fifty buck fine, and then if they aren’t there on the presentation day, they get an additional hit – seems fair to me, anyway.Four members were then called forward – CHRIS BRADFORD, PP RUDY ALVAREZ, ED GAULD, and SEAN McMILLAN (who couldn’t be present).  They have all just become Benefactors in Rotary International – which they achieved by including Rotary in their Estate Plans, or by a gift of $1,000 of more.  Congratulations to you all – and you join another 40 members of WVRC who are already Benefactors. As President DON reminded us, put it in your will, and it’s painless!  MIKE YOUSEM reminded us that the 27 members and friends of WVRC who have signed up to be chaperones/sponsors of the kids on the Holiday Shopping Spree are expected to be ON TIME next Thursday evening, December 8th – that’s five thirty,..  Seriously, it’s tough to explain to an expectant child if you don’t show up, OK?  The Braille Luncheon is next Friday Dec 9th.– please be there by 10:30 for instructions, etc.  JACK HARRIS is the contact. This does count as a makeup, by the way. For those who make long-term plans, note that the dates for two International Conventions have been switched – 2007 will now be in Salt Lake City, and 2011 will be in New Orleans.

And one more unrelated Announcement, if I may: I used the parking at The Parking Spot at LAX over Thanksgiving.  They are on Sepulveda, right next to In and Out Burgers.  The parking is covered, it worked beautifully – and it’s FREE! I have passes which I’ll be glad to give you, allowing a week free, or first day free if you won’t be there for a week – it’s really a nice deal, and lemme know if you would like a pass, please.

ANN SAMSON brought her guest, Cathy Hession, forward.  Cathy is the current President of the Westside Family YMCA – doing a great job, no surprise – and President DON presented her with a check for $1,000 from our Community Service Committee. Cathy thanked us very graciously. and reminded us all of the long-time support and association that the Y has had with WVRC.  Her own daughter goes to the Y Camp in the summer, and it’s always a rewarding experience.

At this point, President DON reminded us that we are bound by the rules of our By Laws. Accordingly, he called us to order for our Annual Meeting, to elect the officers for the coming year.  Since our slate of new officers is not yet ready for presentation, President DON suggested that we adjourn the Annual Meeting, to be resumed on 15 December when we will be back at the Bel Air Hotel.  This was passed unanimously.

President DON then gave us two stories, in honor of the upcoming game between UCLA and SC this Saturday. The first concerned a Bruin and a Trojan who were both on Death Row. The warden asked for their last requests. The Trojan said, “I’d like to hear Conquest one more time.”  The Bruin then spoke, “Kill me first”.  The second recital concerned a Bruin and a Trojan who were sitting next to each other at the bar.  The Bruin leans over and asks, “Do you want to hear a USC joke?”  The other guy points out that he is 6 feet tall, weighs 200 lbs  - the person next to him is also from SC, he’s 6’3” and weighs 230 lbs, and the person next to him is 6’5”, weighs 250, and he’s from USC – so the question is, “ Do you really want to tell this joke?”  The reply, “Nah, not if I’m gonna have to explain it three times”.

PP JIM COLLINS reintroduced our Speaker, Patricia O’Brien, who is in charge of the College of Letters and Science – the largest of the colleges at UCLA, with 24,000 students.  She assumed her position in July 2004, having served previously as Dean of College of the Humanities at UC Riverside, and before that, as director of the UC Humanities Research Institute at UC Irvine.  Pat is an expert on modern French social and cultural history, having held the post of directeur d’etudes associe at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris, France.  Her Masters and Doctorate are both from Columbia.  Before her present appointment, JIM was asked to be on the Search Committee for this position.  There were 71 applications  - he has thus known her since that time.

Pat began by pointing out that she had known about Rotary and the good works we do since she was a student. She also noted that DON’S jokes were good – but they could be applied the other way, of course. The task of a research university is to interact with the community, and she gave several examples of this. UCLA has just received a major grant from the EPA to study air pollution, and they continue to lead in the study of the Environment, both of which impact the local community in major ways.

UCLA has jumped into Stem Cell Research, as mandated by Prop. 79.  A Stem Cell and Biology Department has been created. They are committed to Transitional Research, which means connecting it to diagnosis and treatment. The advantage of having related facilities on the same campus is that it makes cooperation between them much easier. UCLA also is a leader in the treatment of mental disorders. She feels that the need of society in these fields is what is driving this major research.

The lack of nurses is a major concern, particularly in California where we rank 49th out of the 50 states in the ratio of nurses to patients.  We have established an undergraduate major leading to a BA in Nursing, and will be bringing in the first students next quarter – making us the first UC Campus to provide this undergraduate training.  UCLA also is dedicated to improving the math and science education of elementary and high school students, where we now rank very poorly.  Our program is called UCLA Teach, and it emphasizes placing teachers in the specialties they studied in college.

One major problem with which Pat is concerned is the high cost of living in Los Angeles – a real problem in our recruiting of new faculty. We do not compete well with other Universities in this, and progress must be made. We are also greatly expanding the opportunity for Internships for undergraduate students, which will help them in their chosen fields of endeavor.  A new major has been created, called Civic Engagement, which will allow much better interaction between students seeking to serve their communities.  As a result of this emphasis, we have more departments in the top ten – and the top twenty – research departments in the entire U.S.  Both USC and UCLA are listed in the 81 Colleges with a Conscience. In a recent survey, we came in #two in the country in terms of social engagement and social responsibility. MIT was first, because of its technological contributions to the world.    We have more students than any other University in the U.S. who receives Pell Grants – this is for students with a family income of $40,000 or less.  Over 35% of our students qualify for Pell Grants.  Our time to graduation is 4.1 years – best in the U.S.  We get only 15% of our support from the State Legislature, raising the rest by means of Research Grants and donations from family and friends.

90% of our freshmen live on campus, and as sophomores, 70% still do and this helps to explain our continuing community involvement. Her final summation was what makes a great university – great faculty, who depend on great students, an excellent staff – plus the community and family concerns shared by all. 

Q&A – I asked if there was parking at the new Graduate Student housing between Veteran and Gayley – yes, more than they currently need.  GEORGE COX, what part does Diversity play in our student intake? Prop #209 says race cannot be a factor, and we are not doing as well with African Americans as we would like. PP HOWIE HENKES, Are we making progress is teaching math and science?  It takes a long time, but steps are being taken.  CHRIS BRADFORD, What is our biggest problem in attracting top faculty? The cost of living, and housing in particular. PP HOMER NEWMAN, It cost $25 per semester when I attended UCLA!  PP MIKE NEWMAN, what is our salary comparison with other Universities?  We can match top salaries, but mid-level is not as high as it should be. Dr Patricia O’Brien, thank you for a wonderful presentation!

Two notes – we will NOT be meeting at Bel Air next week – we meet with Santa Monica Rotary on Friday the 9th, at Riviera.  And, December 15th will be Spouses Day.

To Ponder – what happens when you smile, and it DOES get worse?

                                                —YOE, Ernie Wolfe


Don A. Nelson

President Elect
Michael Gintz

Vice President
Christopher Bradford

Sean M. McMillan

Gordon A. Fell

Executive Secretary
Ernie Wolfe

Past President
Rodolfo Alvarez

Community Service Chair
Margaret Bloomfield

International Service Chair
Edwin S. Gauld

Membership Chair
Shane Waarbroek

Vocational Service Chair
Lee J. Dunayer

Youth Service Chair
Ann Samson



Carl-Wilhelm Stenhammar

    Ingo Werk

Monday, Beverly Hills, BH Hotel, 9641 Sunset
Tuesday, WLA/Brentwood, Chez Mimi, 246 26th St, Santa Monica
Wednesday, Century City, Century Plaza Hotel, or
    Culver City, Wyndham Hotel, 6333 Bristol Parkway, CC, or
    Wilshire, The Ebell, 743 S. Lucerne Blvd, LA
Friday, Santa Monica, Riviera Country Club, 1250Capri Dr, Pacific Palisades