Ye old editor, Ernie Wolfe, is on jury duty, so you’ve got a substitute up on this soapbox today. Nice gig - once in awhile, that is. To do it every week of every month, year in and year out, takes a very special Rotarian - someone like PP Ernie Wolfe. Yours truly did this task for three (3) quarters, early on in my Rotary life. It was a hefty chore (more so then, before email and fax), but a joy in retrospect, and a wonderful way for a new Rotarian to learn a bit about the club and its members. I would encourage any Rotarian (whether as a Yearling or an “old timer”) to give this job a whirl should Ernie ever ask that you lend a hand.
This week’s Windmill trivia: What is the oldest edition of the Windmill available on the club’s website? January 20, 2000. Our club’s president at the time was Bob Wessling, and our speaker that day was Dr. David H. Shinn, former Ambassador to Ethiopia and then a Diplomat in Residence at UCLA.
In Memoriam: Past District Governor Oliver G. Hunt (1992/1993) passed away on Sunday, April 4, 2010 at his home in Rancho Palos Verdes. Monday, April 5, was the memorial for our own dear member, Jack Harris, and many of us were in attendance. Gifts may be made in Jack’s memory to the Rotary Foundation - see our website (wvrc.net) for a link to an online form for this purpose. And last, there will be a reception and celebration of Dick Robinson's life at his residence on Saturday, April 24, 2010, starting at 1:30 pm. Please let President Ed know at your earliest convenience if you plan to attend.
Our April 8, 2010, meeting started off with a tap on the bell by President Ed, who was decked out in is Duke Blazer. (More on that later.) Terry Michael White led us in the pledge, followed by Abraham Carons with an invocation appropriate for the upcoming “Tax Day.” (Did you know, by the way, that half of us Americans pay no income tax at all, and that one-tenth of us who do pay federal income tax pay three-quarters of the tax collected?) Maestro Lenny was absent today, so President Ed called upon his fluffy doll - whom he said sang as Kate Smith - to lead us in “God Bless America.” (You had to be there.)
Gracing our head table with President Ed were Bill Edwards, Youth Services Chairman Dwight Heikkila, PP Mike Newman, Program Chairman Steve Pettise, and our speaker, UCLA Police Chief James Herren.
PP Steve Scherer introduced his special guest, Chris Hughes; PP Mike Newman introduced our incoming Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar, Masaki Nakoda, and his special guest, Westwood Realtor, Terry deSousa.
Westwood Village is in the running for District Awards, thanks to our incoming president, Gordon Fell, who prepared our awards book for projects undertaken by the club this year. Awards will be awarded at the District Conference (May 13-16, 2010, at the La Quinta Resort & Club near Palm Springs).
Leo Tseng (PP, Hollywood club), was recognized for his terrific Easter basket project, supplying sick kids at the Mattel Children’s Hospital at UCLA with baskets of goodies to help put smiles on their faces.
Parking: PP Don Nelson announced the availability of one more parking space at St Alban’s church. Contact Don immediately if you would like to take this space.
Resignation: PP Don Nelson announced that Ray Zickfeld has submitted his resignation due to his inability to attend meetings.
Recognitions (“fines”): President Ed was serenaded by PP’s John Singleton, Steve Scherer, Mike Newman, and Bob Wessling, over Ed’s alma mater, Duke’s, NCAA win over Butler. When the dust settled, a long-standing custom and practice of the Friendly Westwood Village Rotary Club was broken, and the sitting President was fined $100.00. Bob Wessling and Steve Scherer were both fined $25.00, and Mike Newman got tagged $50.00 for “talking too much.” PDG Bill Goodwyn lamented that our president had lost control of the meeting!
Steve Pettise introduced our speaker, UCLA Police Chief James Herren. Chief Herren started police service in Torrance in 1974, and remained in the employ of the Torrance Police Department for 32 years, rising in rank to Chief of Police. When he learned of the opening at UCLA, he decided to come out of retirement, and he commenced work at UCLA in September, 2009. He supervises 62 sworn officers and emergency medical technicians, boasting a less than 4-minute response time anywhere on campus. Stabbings and 2000-person demonstrations were not things that Chief Herren expected to encounter at UCLA, but he already has. The more expected backpack thefts are also reported with regularity.
George Cox asked about “Gully Gus.” Few remember the gully that ran through the UCLA campus, and even fewer recall the story of Gully Gus. Ask George for more information if you are interested.
PDG Bill Goodwyn asked about police training and about how the UCLA campus police are connected with other University of California campuses. Each UC campus has its own campus police force and its own policy manual; there is an over-riding system-wide campus police manual as well. And the UCLA campus police undergo considerably more than the required 24-hour training every 2 years as is mandated by California law.
PP Don Nelson asked about parking tickets. (Got one, Don?). Campus police do not enforce parking regulations, but Chief Herren knows that these tickets are big money-makers.
Curt Smith asked about how “911" calls are routed. Cell phone calls to “911" are routed by the e-911 system by GPS, and could result in contact with the Highway Patrol, Los Angeles Police, or the UCLA Campus Police.
PP Steve Scherer asked whether the animal rights movement was still a problem on the UCLA campus, and Chief Herren reported that, yes, it was. The UCLA Campus Police, in cooperation with the FBI, are working to eliminate the more violent elements from this form of domestic terrorism.
Rotary Heritage and History Hall of Fame member Ralph Beasom was today’s raffle winner of a bottle of Coastal Estates Merlot.
Next Week’s Program (Tax Day!): Rotaract and Equador.