MARLENE CANTER again at WVRC on April 1st
Our new member ALIYAH LEVIN led the Pledge. STEVE LOHR provided the Invocation, an ancient English prayer, attributed to Thomas H.B. Webb:
“Give me a good digestion, Lord, and also something to digest; Give me a healthy body, Lord, and sense to keep it at its best; Give me a healthy mind, good Lord, to keep the good and pure in sight, Which, seeing sin, is appalled, But finds a way to set it right. Give me a mind that is not bound, that does not whimper, whine, or sigh. Don’t let me worry overmuch about the fussy thing called I. Give me a sense of humor, Lord; Give me the grace to see a joke, To get some happiness from life and pass it on to other folk.“
A good choice, STEVE well done! And yet again, LENNY strode forward, to accept whatever his next assignment might be. It seems he has always sought adventure, and leaves on Saturday to enlist in the Foreign Legion in Algeria! This statement was authenticated with the production of a true Foreign Legion cap, which all admired but only Prexy ED could wear…Yet LENNY was able to recover sufficiently to lead us in Smile, Sing a Song with song sheets.
We had no Visiting Rotarians, but there were guests. PP DON NELSON was accompanied by his granddaughter, Marissa McIntosh, who teaches 2nd grade at John Thomas Dye School. NICK KAHRILAS brought his fraternity brother, Jeff Morris. PP STEVE SCHERER again introduced his Special Guest, Chris Hughes. Pat ANDERSON was with PDG ANDY, and PP MIKE NEWMAN spoke about Masaki Nakoda, who is apparently seriously considering repaying all his Ambassadorial Scholarship fees except that it’s April 1st! PP SEAN MCMILLAN was suddenly nicked for apathy is rendering our earlier song, costing him 25 big ones. This seemed like such a good idea that LEO TSENG was assessed the same amount for being LATE!
And alas, President Elect GORDON FELL fell (good trick, here, using fell twice, in case you didn’t pick it up already) victim to this rash of fines, the same amount being charged, and really, all he did was repeat what others had already spoken - that being, when someone asked if Prexy ED paid for these hats he collects, hizzoner looked over the crowd and asked, who said that? Sure enough, GORDON merely repeated the question already asked and I’m sure that this lucid explanation will go a long way toward reducing his 25 dollar fine, at the very least.
In the recording of those at the Head Table, the list included SHERRY DEWANE,
PP TOM LENEHEN, and PP HOMER NEWMAN. PP TOM reminded us that the Getty where he volunteers as a Docent is featuring many drawings by Leonardo De Vinci, and admission is free all you pay for is parking. This inspired PP HOMER to bring us up to date on the status of the Trust created by VIRGINIA GANDY. It presently has $56,000 in earnings, which should be spent for specified purposes. Thus the trust can provide half the cost of becoming a Paul Harris Fellow, and for your spouse, and children. For those who wish to achieve the Paul Harris Society, which requires an annual contribution of $1,000, the Gandy trust can provide half that sum, also. The Trust today has assets with a maturity value of $290,000. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has pledged to match up to $200 million towards PolioPlus, which is another recognized outlet for these funds, and we have raised $110 million so far. As you probably know, PP STEVE DAY is our current Paul Harris Chair, and LEO TSENG is the investment advisor. On the other side was MARK ROGO, who felt compelled to point out that GORDON, who was sitting next to me, with just 14 days left before tax deadline, was still attending meetings!
Yes, I am pleased to announce those who have stepped up in presenting our awards to the Military services at UCLA.
JOHN HEIDT will present an engraved clock to a Midshipman at the Navy Ceremony on April 10th
HENRIETTA KNAPP will present an engraved sword to a cadet at the Air Force Ceremony on May 16th. She will take the place of DICK ROBINSON, who did this most recently.
Dr. COLBY SMITH will present an engraved sword to an Army cadet at their Ceremony on May 24th.
WVRC has supported these organizations since 1946, and our thanks to those involved.
JACK HARRIS Memorial is set for Monday April 5th, 11.00 at Westwood United Methodist. Church. Memorial Service for DICK ROBINSON will be on Saturday, April 24th at 1:30 pm at his home. Please notify Prexy ED if you wish to attend.
READING TO KIDS is Saturday, April 10th, from 0900 until noon. ED JACKSON, MARSHA HUNT and YOE will be attending and we have room for more.
The District Breakfast will be on Tuesday April 13th PP DON NELSON will take your sign up.
Our Auxiliary also meets on the 13th, starting at 11:30 at the home of CAROL and JIM COLLINS. And PP MIKE GINTZ will be on his cello with a Beethoven Sonata! MARGIE DOWNIE can sign you up.
PP STEVE SCHERER reported on the very successful Yearling Dinner held at his home. Every Yearling was present, and a good time was had and information presented to all. RICK BROUS is now the Yearling Mentor, and it’s only fair to warn all concerned that he’s tough. He will be carrying out the Red Dot Program, so get ready for big things… ALIYAH LEVIN is in charge of the new Yearling Project, and she announced that on June 8th, both the Yearlings and our members will be serving dinner at the Ocean Park Community Center. Many of us are familiar with OPCC, and this will be the first of four times we will be called upon. Sounds great.
Once again it was birthday time! The only known and visible criminal who wasn’t present was you guessed it ELLIOTT TURNER! Yes, who else could choose the 1st of April, even though it was in Jacksonville, and then NOT BE HERE! This is truly a crime for the ages, and should be appropriately fined how about a vote on an appropriate amount when next he shows up? Stay tuned, please. SHERRY DEWANE was up next, liking the 5th in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. The same date appealed to DORIS OGILVIE, but she returned safely to Los Angeles. DEBBIE HEAP and Dr. CLARK MCQUAY both liked the 7th, DEBBIE in Pasadena, and CLARK in Alhambra. LORIN RUTTENBERG liked the 10th in Bayonne, NJ. Sweeping in to be announced was that sometime invisible DR ERIC LOBERG, claiming the 18th in Ithaca and if you don’t know that’s in NY, shame on you! The 20th appealed to Madelyn Fischmann, and Chicago was the place. NICK KAHRILAS liked New York City, on the 23rd. And DON PARK wrapped it all up in Bruning, Nebraska, on the 28th.
Prexy ED introduced our Speaker, Marlene Canter. She is a native Californian, and began her career as a Special Education Teacher in the LA Unified School District. In 1976, she and her husband established a teacher training program. She is the author of a popular book, “Assertive Discipline”, and in 2001 was elected to the Los Angeles School Board. She served for eight years, two of them as President of the Board. She is now studying to become a Rabbi, and also serves on the Los Angeles Ethics Commission. As you know, she spoke to us once before, recently.
Marlene began her report by telling us about three organizations that offer services to schools, particularly the LA schools. First was Education Pioneers: They recruit students from Law Schools, Graduate Business Schools, and Policy Graduate Schools, arranging for them to do their internships in the field of Education. Thus, they can and do bring talent and brainpower to our schools.
Teach for America recruits the best and brightest students all over the country to teach for two years in our urban schools. Many end up staying much longer, once they get their feet wet. However, seniority is why so many TFA teachers were laid off they had to be released before their more senior compatriots, due to strict union rules and the California Education Code.
City Year they recruit students out of high school and they volunteer for a year in the schools before they go to college thus they act as mentors, after-school leaders, etc.
She next spoke about some legislators who believe in education, and understand what it takes to make changes. In particular, she mentioned Mike Bennett, who is a new Senator from Colorado. Prior to that, he was the Supt of Schools in Denver, so he has both a working knowledge of schools, and the effect of outside influences on them.
There were a number of questions and YOE failed to keep track of them, I’m embarrassed to admit. Salaries were of course important. Starting in the 40’s, they can go well over 100 thousand, but the first ten years are usually well below what you might earn in other professions.
The other side of the coin here is that benefits are well above average. For instance, health insurance is provided both for the teacher and spouse, literally until they die and they pay nothing into this. In addition, retirement salaries are generous. The problem with both retirement benefits and health insurance is that they become unfunded liabilities. This in turn is a huge cost which has to be funded, and in some manner it must be changed but the unions are extremely difficult to deal with on these two subjects.
There are two different unions one for the teachers, and the other for Supervisors and Administrators. Their goals are different, and they are almost impossible to steer towards compromise. Marlene continually emphasized that the knowledge and input of parents and all citizens is vital toward achieving a better public education system.
Marlene Canter, we thank you for helping us to better understand where public education is in Los Angeles.
There followed the usual raffle for a bottle of what was described at Chateau Magone Bordeaux. which reputedly is what Napoleon served his troops during their invasion of Russia in 1812. This was followed by the reminded that it is indeed April 1st. The wine lottery was won by STEVE LOHR
Thought for the day Henry Ford speaking
If I had asked people what they wanted they would have said faster horses.