Mt Wilson Observatory
Elliott Turner & Friends
Mortages - Part II
League of Women Voters on November Propositions
WVRC-Auxiliary Summer Picnic, Eloise Siskel's home
District Breakfast - LAX Westin Hotel
Paul Harris Celebration, Medieval Times
President Pro-tem Ed Gauld opened the meeting with the observation that our President was off at a so-called “retreat” at the Bellagio in Las Vegas.... So to put us all at ease, acting President Ed attempted (without success) to paste on a mustache and he produced Sean’s coffee cup! If you thought Denny’s was famous for its never-ending coffee pot, take a look at this one! Sean will be jealous.
Shane Waarbroek led the pledge, and PP Don Nelson mercifully gave perhaps the shortest invocation in memory. Acting President Ed then explained that he sings in the church choir. A short history lesson ensued during which we learned not of the Irish but of legendary conductor Arturo Toscanini, who on April 4, 1954, suffered a memory lapse while conducting Wagner's "Tannhauser." It was his last broadcast performance after which, it is said, Lenny Friedman took the job. Rather than pull his pitch pipe, Acting President Ed presented his pitchfork (which, we later learned, kept our devilish incoming president from riding his bicycle to the meeting). In an act of apparent open rebellion against the current regime, we were led by song-master Lenny Friedman in TWO (count ‘em - TWO) songs, “God Bless America” and "Side By Side (We Ain't Got a Barrel of Money)." Glory be!
Acting president Ed reminded us that The city of Los Angeles was founded by Spanish settlers on this day in 1781. Also of note are the facts that Tony Marrone was born on the sixth of September, 1924, and Lenny Friedman joined the club on the fifth of September, 1990.
President Ed announced that London Megumi Shoji arrived Saturday morning at 6:45 a.m. She weighs 5.8 lbs and is 18 inches long. Aly is feeling great, and little London is strong and healthy!
This is an historic event for the club, as Aly is the first Rotarian to give birth while a member! Congratulations, Ali and Aaron!
Our visiting Rotarians today were also the special guests of PP Steve Scherer, Rick and Marcia Brous. PP Don Nelson introduced his “better half,” Roslyn; Don also introduced incoming Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar (from South Korea) Jong Jin Kim. Ro Shaw introduced Ingrid Chang, while Clawson Bleak introduced Rotaractors Nikkole Valdez and Robert Ochs. Last (but not least), Gordon Fell introduced last week’s speaker, and Ambassadorial Scholar, Jamie Feld.
Sitting at the head table today were Steve Lore, PP Tom Lenehen, and Nick Kahrilas. PP Tom encourages each of us to come see the Bernini exhibit (“Bernini and the Birth of Baroque Portrait Sculpture”) at The Getty (now through October 26). The table was introduced by our Acting President, but it wasn’t until sometime later, after a quick reminder from PP Jim Collins of prevailing policies, that these Rotarians were offered the fine-free opportunity to say a few words.
Leah Vriesman announced that on Tuesday, September 9, at 4:00 p.m. there will be a reception for the Earth Angel project; the reception will be at 3161 Donald Douglas Drive (Santa Monica airport), with a Westwood Village Board Meeting to follow.
PP Steve Day reminds all to return their drawing tickets for the Rotary Foundation Fundraiser to be held at Medieval Times on October 12. Tickets earn Paul Harris credit, and you don’t need to be present to win. It might be worth attending the event, if only to see Ed Gauld in costume (“Star Wars, Venus Wars, Moon Wars, or whatever”). Later, PP Steve announced that memorial gifts are being collected for Lenore Mulryan, who passed away August 26, the day after her 81st birthday and her and her husband’s, Joe’s, 60th wedding anniversary. Lenore, who joined Westwood Village on May 4, 1995, was a very active and vivacious member who had a special place in her heart for Ambassadorial Scholars. A memorial for Lenore was held yesterday (Wednesday, September 3), at which our club was well represented. Please make your check payable to The Rotary Foundation with a notation that it is in memory of Lenore Mulryan, and deliver it to our Foundation Chairman, PP Steve Day. Our thoughts and prayers are with Joe in this time of terrible loss.
If you were expecting a blow by blow report on our speaker’s presentation today, forget it! Next time, come to the meeting! What I will say is that if you were not there you missed a good one. Our speaker was Dr. Brooke Stearns Lawson, World Peace and Ambassadorial Scholar. The Rotary Centers for International Studies in Peace and Conflict Resolution are relatively new, so Dr. Lawson was one of the first graduates of this program which leads to a masters degree. Dr. Lawson previously served as an Ambassadorial Scholar, and undertook her studies in Eastern South Africa. Dr. Lawson earned her PhD in Policy Analysis at Pardee Rand Graduate School (Santa Monica). Dr. Lawson left plenty of time for questions, and our members obliged her:
- Lee Dunayer: Is it frustrating to undertake all these studies and find no practical applications? Answer: Yes, you only need to refer to the study on male circumcision (you should have been there!).
- Rick Brous: How safe do you feel in South Africa? Answer: Very safe. Americans are liked there. As a young woman, the South Africans tend to under-estimate her abilities. She finds safety to be largely governed by a person’s attitude.
- Kevin Badkoubehi: How is your security being handled in Afghanistan? Answer: Not very well thus far she is disappointed.
- Shane Waarbroeck: What is micro-financing? Answer: Financial services on a small scale. A typical example would be a loan of $50 to $250 to poor women starting a business. Rather than require collateral, the group of women will jointly guarantee repayment.
- PP Don Nelson: What is the repayment history for these loans? Answer: Ninety percent (90%)
- PP Steve Scherer: Where do you think you’ll be living and what do you think you’ll be doing in ten (10) years? Answer: Perhaps working for a large foundation identifying programs to fund.
- Steve Pettise (who reports that he’s been making up in Mississippi for the past three months): What should we do to increase our membership? Answer: Go after young people; get the word out about PolioPlus.
Next Week: Michael Long on Mount Wilson Observatory: Window to the stars, past present and future.