February 12 - Craft Talks
Kathleen Andersen of Catholic Education Foundation
February 10th Auxiliary Meeting, 11:30 at the home of Eloise Siskel, Speaker is Bill Bloomfield, on his experiences working for the McCain Campaign. Margie Downey can take your reservation but HURRY!
Sweetheart Valentine Brunch, Lawry’s
District Breakfast - LAX
All Officers and Committee Chairs should (must!) attend
Westin Hotel, 5400 W. Century Blvd.
EMEMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS at WVRC on February 5th.
I was late, so some of this is relatively second hand. Anyway, DAVID FRIEDMAN led the Pledge. ED GAULD gave the Invocation. “Dear God, bless that which we are about to eat. Make us mindful of the needs of others. Thank you for bestowing us with friendship, love, and importantly, service”. Well done again, ED. We had a duo of song leaders, LENNY, of course, and RICK BROUS, and let’s be factual, he has a better voice than some of us.
There were several guests. JR DZUBAK brought Alex Londre. He is currently a Rotaract member in Italy, and is visiting the Dzubaks. SHERY DEWANE was accompanied by Berkley Harrison, who not only works for Wachovia with SHERRY, but also was an Ambassadorial Scholar in Mexico for a year. CURT SMITH had two guests both of whom will be speaking to WVRC on April 30th, and they are supported by the Jack and Denny Smith Memorial Fund, which was formed to honor CURT’S parents. Debbie Navarro is a Regional Program Coordinator of the Greater Los Angeles, Reach Out and Read California program. They are a national, pediatric early literacy program based in Boston. His second guest was Jessica Tritsch, a Program Director of Reading to Kids, which works to inspire underserved children with a love of reading. So save the date of April 30th it promises to be inspiring!
ELLOITT TURNER came forward with another Inspirational Message, based on why some men have dogs, rather than wives. The later you are, the more your dog loves to see you. Dogs don’t notice if you call them by another dog name. Dogs like it if you leave a lot of things on the floor. A dog’s parents never come to visit (this was particularly well-received). Dogs agree that you have to raise your voice to get your point across. You never have to wait for a dog they are ready to go, 24 hours a day. Dogs find you amusing when you are drunk (another good reception). Dogs like to go fishing and hunting. A dog will not wake you up in the middle of the night, to ask, “If I die, would you get another dog?” (again, well received). If a dog has babies, you can put an ad in the paper to get rid of them. (yes, this also seemed to hit a nerve). This next aphorism is reputedly President SEAN’S favorite a dog will let you put a stunning collar on it without calling you a burglar. If a dog smells another dog on you, they don’t get mad they just think it’s interesting. Dogs DO like to ride in the back of pickup trucks. And lastly, if a dog leaves, they won’t take half your stuff!
It was time to get serious, so President SEAN shifted the focus to Pins. Everyone was OK, except ALY SHOJI. SEAN collected five bucks from her, and I provided a new pin (They cost ten bucks at retail, by the way). He then asked KEVIN BADKOUBEHI to come forward and explain what was new with him. KEVIN first noted that he, too, now had a dog which, as it developed, came with his new wife. They got married on November 30th, and had a lovely honeymoon in Hawaii. However, this good news cost him a hundred big ones!
It will reassure most of you to know that Irish history was not forgotten. Two dates are featured in 1820 William Drennan died. He was a physician, poet, educator and political radical, and one of the chief architects of the Society of United Irishmen. He is also known as the first to refer in print to Ireland as “the Emerald Isle’. His burial was in Clifton Street burial-ground in Belfast, and according to his will, his coffin was borne to the grave by thee Catholics and three Protestants. One hundred years later, the Irish Republic was formed which of course led to over eighty years of conflict, but has now been resolved. At this point, the date of 1880 appears for this is when the Irish Rugby Football Union was founded in Dublin. In case you are unaware, rugby is the favorite sport of the Irish. Enough, for now
PP STEVE DAY next announced two new Benefactor Awards. This is given to those who make a gift through their will to the Rotary Foundation in the amount of $1,000. We honor today PP CHRIS BRADFORD and SHARON BRADFORD as members in this distinguished society.
The usual almost-no-fine rule applied to those at the Head Table. They included new member JOHN HEIDT, who put that school across town on notice that the Bruins have an excellent football recruiting class this year, so it’s time to get nervous about next November. RICK BROUS had some comments about being retired. ED GAULD first reminded everyone about the Sweetheart Brunch coming up on the 15th, and then admitted that he no longer skis. This led to his asking SEAN about his skiing, and SEAN modestly admitted that since he was a world-class athlete, it was no problem! LEAH VRIESMAN reported that she was the speaker two weeks ago at the Bel Air Women’s Club. She told them about Earth Angels, and they provided a donation.
Shortly thereafter, LEAH introduced our Speaker, Aram Dobalian. In addition to being an attorney, he received his PhD at UCLA in Human Services. He is currently a Health Research Scientist at the VA. His two specialties are Emergency Preparedness, and the Nursing shortage. He began by noting that questions as he went along were OK.
As background, he will emphasize natural and man-made disasters, plus what is being done at the federal and state level to aid in preparedness. Natural disasters include Katrina, of course, plus earthquakes, floods, tornados, the Flu the many things that can happen. Examples of man-made disasters are the bombing of 9/11, or the Anthrax attacks.
He showed a photo of a very large warehouse lined with hundreds of beds taken in 1918 at the height of the Spanish Flu epidemic. The intent was to separate those who were infected from the rest of the population. In the U.S. alone, 675,000 people died in that epidemic, with 20 million dying worldwide. While we have done better at controlling these outbreaks, a nagging concern is the current Bird Flu Epidemic.
Again, looking at the 1918 outbreak, we see that as many as a third of health care professionals could be incapacitated and this in turn reduces the amount of care that can be given. Such a situation could last for months. An epidemic affects many areas transportation, commerce, utilities, for instance, since the number of workers in each category would be considerably reduced. Going back to the 1918 Flu, it started with a small outbreak on a military base and within two weeks it was nationwide!
The widespread effects of Katrina were an example, although it is probably the worst natural disaster of recent times. It flooded 80% of New Orleans, and less than a month later, Hurricane Rita came along. This caused those who had left New Orleans to be once again evacuated, in many cases, and thus our roads were almost unusable. Services, which were disrupted included health and food, with over 200,000 people evacuated.
Because so many people were crammed together, this created lots of instances of dishrag, vomiting, flu, etc. Perhaps a third of the victims were diagnosed with some type of mental disorder. Alcohol abuse increased. The VA supplied a lot of care during this period, to both Veterans and non-vets after all, when they come asking for help, you don’t often know who is who.
The big issue on the man-made side of disasters is terrorism. During 9/ll, the two towers were hit within 18 minutes of each other, and they collapsed within two hours. The NY Dept of Health was on the scene 32 minutes after the first crash. There were millions of people in the immediate are who were impacted by air pollution and psychological trauma. Thousands of people flooded the hospitals looking for people, volunteering to help, etc. Forty-eight hours later, there were 1700 people getting care directly related to the bombing. There were over 2,000 tons of asbestos used in the construction of the World Trade Centers, plus freon, fiberglass, lead and other elements. which were released over the 8 million people living nearby. 40% of residents in lower Manhattan reported symptoms of PSD, and less than a third of them received any kind of mental health treatment.
Shifting now to the state and federal role, it started in the early 90’s when the need was becoming apparent. The many public health departments around the country were alerted this was not something they sought, but no one else wanted to be responsible. And in retrospect, they are, indeed, for public health. The problem begins with the many, many levels of local, state, and federal programs, and they aren’t used to working together very well. With a large number of people without health insurance, that certainly complicates the problem. The actual demise of FEMA was considered, but eventually rejected, warts and all. Its problems increased when it was integrated into Homeland Security, of course.
On the federal level, the major responsibility is with the CDC (Centers for Disaster Control). And the VA is busy, responding to problems all over the U.S. PDG ANDY ANDERSON asked how the VA was involved with the Olympics (which of course he was much involved with here in 1984). A lot was involved with the consideration of logistical support, which they would need in order to respond to a bombing or natural disaster during that time. PP MIKE NEWMAN asked about how earthquakes would affect the many tall buildings now in LA. The problem here is that there is no fire equipment with ladders that reach nearly high enough to evacuate upper stories. It might eventually fall to the EPA to take responsibility.
The potential problems in California are many. We have over 36 million residents, plus the nuclear facilities we have all driven past at San Onofre, for example, or our many ports and airports which are potential targets. He showed a map, overlaying our state over the eastern seaboard we cover over 3/4ths of that entire section! Each county has its own health department, police and fire departments, and the need to coordinate services becomes apparent.
A few final thoughts. It will take 3 up to 7 days for help to arrive, so you need to be prepared to get by for that long. This includes shelter, food and water, plus sanitation. And I learned that bottled water isn’t really necessarily OK after a year (that’s practically all the emergency supplies we have). You should check batteries in your flashlights periodically, of course. Medications and drugs should be checked. WOW there is lots to think about here. Thanks to Aram Dobalian for his good information.
Closing Words of Wisdom
A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul. That’s according to George Bernard Shaw. But G. Gordon Liddy described a liberal as …Someone who feels a great debt to his fellow man, which debt he proposes to pay off with your money.