Pres. Chris' Swan Song
Mexican Buffet luncheon - Don't miss it!
GOVERNOR SCHWARZENEGGER’S BUDGET, at WVRC on June 19th
DON PARK led the pledge. LENNY came forward, explaining that the song we were about to perform was something he wanted us to learn, and we did the best we could with Sing A Song. MARK KRAUSE gave the Invocation “From the cowardice that dare not face new truth, From the laziness that is contented with half truth, From the arrogance that thinks it knows all truth, Good Lord, deliver us.” Good job, MARK.
This in turn led to the Joke: A Physics professor, a Law professor, and a Math professor were assigned to count and clear out anyone in a campus building that was about to be destroyed. After their inspection, they reported no people inside. But as they waited across the street, they watched in horror as two people walked in, despite the warning signs. They were paralyzed with inaction, but after about 90 seconds they were even more horrified when three people walked out. None of them wanted to admit they might have made a mistake, but they didn’t know what to do. So this is what they said:
Physics Professor we cannot predict the number of people in the building because of the chaotic nature of the quantum realities of the universe. Someone may have entered through a black hole we did not perceive.
Law Professor Our eyewitness testimony is worthless. I will file a petition to have it suppressed.
Math Professor Guys, don’t worry. Let’s just wait a few more minutes. If another person goes into the building, we’ll be back to zero and all will be right.
There were no Visiting Rotarians, but we did have a Visiting Honorary Member from Wilshire, Gail Myer. She brought along a former Ambassadorial Scholar, Henrik Simon, who had been at USC. And both FRIEDMAN’S had guests LENNY with Sunny, and DAVID with his daughter, Georgina.
A tribute to all who attended the Reception for Visiting Rotarians to the Convention We had about 35 Visitors here at the Faculty Center, and many of our Members and spouses were present to greet them. Afterward, they moved out to various member’s homes for dinner, and then returned to UCLA for the bus back to their hotels. As an example of what was discussed at dinner, we had a couple from Nigeria, and he noted that in a country literally awash with oil, their school children sit on the floor, since they have no desks, and teacher have to write on the walls, since they have no blackboards.
I’m sure others had the same moving experience it’s what Rotary is all about. However, Incoming Prexy McMILLAN did have to report that he got a Parking Ticket while returning his guests, so as he said, “No good deed goes unpunished”!
Vice President ED GAULD deserved and received - warm applause for his efforts to put all these activities together. But for a REALLY ROUSING APPLAUSE, you should have heard the Cheer when President CHRIS reminded us of his upcoming Demotion! It will be at the Beach Club, Saturday, starting at 6pm we’ll see you there.
PP STEVE SCHERER asked the two FRIEDMANS, LENNY and DAVID, to come forward at this time. Each of them was invited to speak about DAVID being Inducted, and this produced some mild chaos but we got the job done! Welcome Aboard, David.
I invited out two Army guests to come to the Podium. Major David Kramer is the new Army ROTC Commandant at UCLA, and he was accompanied by Lt. Tamara De Jesus.
KEVIN BADKOUBEHI represented WVRC at their Awards Ceremony, and we presented then Cadet De Jesus with a sabre as the Outstanding Graduate this year! Major Kramer is a West Point graduate, recently returned from duty in Afghanistan, and Lt. De Jesus will join the Signal Corps. Both of them spoke and a little bird told me we should invite Major Kramer to join WVRC while he is here at UCLA…
PEGGY BLOOMFIELD introduced our Speaker, Billie Greer, who is the Director of Governor Schwarzenegger’s Los Angeles, Office. She is also a member of his Senior Board. She recently was the founding partner of Greer, Daly, Netcher, an LA firm specializing in Public Affairs and focused on land use and environmental issues. She is a Trustee of the Lowe Institute of Political Economy at Claremont McKenna College, plus several other Boards. Billie has received several prestigious awards, in 2004 and 2005, prior to joining the Governor’s staff.
Ms Greer began with a story about the role of LA in seeking the 2016 Olympics. There was a Press Conference at the Coliseum, attended by some 60 Olympians, and the local and international Press. Mayor Villagrosa began the meeting with a speech, which he then translated into Spanish, for the benefit of any Spanish-language TV reporters who might be present. He then introduced the Governor, who began HIS speech in German! She felt this was an excellent example of his sense of humor and his timing. She then reviewed some of the Milestones during his five years in office. These included the reform of Workers Compensation, establishing tough regulations to confront Climate Change, and voter approval of the 43 billion dollar infrastructure bond issue, which was badly needed after almost four decades of neglect. This year he continues to work with the Legislature, and they came very close to enacting Health Care Reform. She proposed to speak mainly on two current and quite important topics our State Budget, and our Water Crises.
The budget crises is fully upon us. California has one of the most diverse and dynamic economies in the world, and over time our state revenues have continued to increase but right now our revenues are well below expectations. Reasons include the depressed housing market, the high price of oil, and now, the increasing food prices. The current estimate is a shortfall of 17 Billion dollars! Anticipating this, the Governor called a special session of the Legislature, and they did what they could to lower the shortfall without this action, the figure would have been 24 billion! His original budget for 2008-09 called for a 10% reduction for all Departments that is, every program that received General Fund money. But last month he revised that budget, as follows: Education is fully funded, according to the provisions of Prop 98, the prison budget assures that felons will serve out their full terms, and establishes a Rainy Day Fund of five billion dollars each year for future budgets.