Meeting notes for 24 August, by the late YOE
No, this is not an announcement of my demise, but a factual admission
of my failure to be prompt in attending today. I mention this now, so
that I will have an advance excuse for whatever errors may henceforth
New member TODD GURVAS led the Pledge, followed by a triumvirate of
musically inclined types, the essential division of labor being that LENNY
FRIEDMAN was the Conductor, with PP JIM DOWNIE and JACK HARRIS sharing
the keyboard in a nice rendition of The Battle Hymn of the Republic. This
is a continuing example of the variety of tunesmiths otherwise unknown
to the general membership of WVRC - and of course, our stage is available
to others, should they have the temerity to step forward.
Once again, MARK BLOCK provided an excellent Thought for the Day.
Alas, there were no visiting Rotarians, as KEVIN KOMATSU dutifully reported.
However, LEO TSENG introduced his guest, Athena Jackson, who is a fellow
toiler with LEO at Merrill Lynch. Athena is a former member of Palos Verdes
Rotary, and thus probably could be considered a Special Guest. The head
table deserves mention, populated as it was by a preponderance of former
brass, namely PP/PDG ANDY ANDERSON, PP HOWIE HENKES, PP ERIC LOBERG, PP
DAVE MORE, and PP/PDG BILL GOODWYN. Since he was introducing our Speaker,
TED IHNEN was willing to be seen publicly with the above crew, along with
our Speaker and Prez STEVE, of course.
PP BOB WESSLING made a nice introduction of RALPH BEASOM, who has agreed
to serve as WVRC Historian. RALPH will thus become the custodian of all
trophies, photos and related material - thank you, RALPH for stepping
forward for this much-needed position. It was announced that we are progressing
in our program to aid the armless teenager in Calicut, state of Kerala,
in India - we are working through the District Governor there, and this
young artists' prosthesis should soon be ready. This is another program
of which we should be justly proud. RUDY ALVAREZ showed off our new WVRC
Brochure, which was well done, as expected. We had two unfortunate health
announcements - BRUCE HARRIS had a fall, and is at UCLA Hospital recovering
from an eye injury. PP JIM SUMNER also fell, and injured his leg.
Some meetings loom:
Sept 7th - two weeks away - ANN SAMSON has called a Community Service
meeting starting promptly at ll:30.
Sept 23rd - American Heart Association Walk at Mattel, and our new member
KEN KILPO is our contact. He'll be glad to sign you up.
Sept 24th - the justly famous SISKEL picnic, our organizers being SUSAN
ALLEN and TED IHNEN.
Our Speaker, Ellis M. Stanley, was introduced by TED IHNEN. Mr Stanley
has had over twenty years experience in the field of emergency preparedness,
his most recent position prior to coming to Los Angeles in 1997 being
as Director of the Atlanta-Fulton County Emergency Management Agency since
1987. He is a graduate of UNC at Chapel Hill, is married to Iris and they
have two sons, Ellis Jr and Chris.
When Ellis was hired by Mayor Riordan, the Emergency Preparedness Division
was in the process of formation - it was formally begun in July 2000,
and is now functioning. Essentially, it is a unit that coordinates and
oversees relief efforts in case of disasters, such as earthquakes, floods,
and fires. The entire culture of the agency is being transformed from
reactive response to pro-active response, in keeping with problems expected
in the 21st Century.
One of the major initiatives brought in by Ellis is the Global Partnership
Program, which pairs areas and cities with similar problems all over the
world. This enables each of them to learn from the other - an example
is our partnership with Mexico City, where both communities have similar
earthquake concerns. Other recent partnerships were with Israel during
the Golan Heights dispute, and in Shanghai, an urban search and rescue
program has been helpful to both parties. EPD works in outreach with 51
local Consulates, and has been well received.
Their job is to look at the worst case scenario, and prepare well in
advance with contingency plans. This past April they brought together
185 local officials for a week of training, prior to the just-completed
DNC. Asking for a show of hands as to how many approved of what went on
during this busy week, EVERYONE agreed - it was a job well done! The LAPD
did itself proud - and a good part of that success was from studying what
went wrong in Seattle during the WTO meeting earlier this year. We should
remember that only about 1% of demonstrators are looking for trouble -
but they are the ones who must be controlled.
We thank Mr. Stanley for his exposition on an area of local government
that most of us knew nothing about. But, not to forget the Thought for
the Day," Forgiveness doesn't change the past, but it does enlarge
The late YOE, Ernie Wolfe