The Flywheel

December 4, 2015

NEXT MEETING: December 4, 2015

It's Our Annual Holiday Auction!

HolAucction-Drum-2015We won’t mince words. The money raised in this hour-and-a-half will fund our community programs and grants for the remainder of the year. It’s that important.

Please be there early– at least by 12 PM. Bring friends or colleagues. Check out the auction items, drink, and eat. We want to start the Live Auction promptly at 12:30. Plan to spend more than you had planned to spend. That’s not a lack of fiscal discipline, it’s yielding to your better angels. (C’mon, you know you have them.)

Haven’t submitted your auction gift yet. Please do it now.


  • Webmaster Nick Despota and Holiday Auction Chief Don Lau told us that 50% of the club’s members are on the naughty list (see column on right of this page) for not donating an auction item for the Friday, December 4 Holiday Auction. If you’re still among the naughty, please redeem yourself by either:
    1) Posting an item for auction. To do that visit our Holiday Auction page, scroll down for inspiration, then use the Post item button near the top, taking you to our auction donation form; or,
    2) Donating at least $100 to the Club. If you prefer that, please go to the Auction page, then click the yellow Donate button below the page introduction.
  • Community Services chair Joe Bagley reminded us that the 2015 Holiday Party mixer is Friday, December 11th, at the Richmond Art Center, from 4:30-7:30. All are invited for appetizers and a no-host bar. Please RSVP by Friday November 27 to or (925)324-1280. We’re folding into the event our annual Richmond Fire Department Holiday Toy Drive, so please bring an unwrapped new toy!
  • Membership Committee member Pam Jones invited members to volunteer at Salute (1900 Esplanade, Marina Bay, Richmond) on Wednesday, November 25 at noon to help prepare the toiletries/necessities bags for Menbere Aklilu’s Giving Thanks Event for veterans and the needy. You can also volunteer during the event on Thursday, November 26 from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm. Find out more here.
  • Membership Committee member Alan Baer mentioned (1) the District 5160 Conference is April 1-3, 2016, in Woodland. (Events and tickets here) and (2) Rotary International President KR Ravi Ravindran will be in San Jose. Learn more here. (And here’s a calendar of District 5160-wide events.)
  • Treasurer David Brown told us that for just $47, you can give a local child a bicycle and helmet. Use the Donate button (PayPal) on the right, or if you avoid all appeals from the right, click here.
  • Happy 97th birthday Charlie Fender! He’s been a member since 1967 and has been married to Clovel for 73 years. Congratulations!

MEETING OF November 20, 2015


President Alan Blavins called the meeting to order, asked Program Coordinator Stacey Street to lead us in the Pledge of Allegiance, and asked for a silent prayer for peace. Menehune Don Lau offered a holiday auction-themed the quote of the day: “It is better to give — and then buy it back.”

Visiting Rotarians and Guests

Jim Young introduced as his guest his lovely wife Linda Young.

Special Events

Stacey Street introduced and Alan Blavins inducted new member David Cole. David owns Bay Tree Publishing and is on the board for Masquers Playhouse. Welcome David!

Who Is She?

Scribette Shana Bagley Howefinally gave her “Who Am I?” to rousing applause. Congratulation, Shana!

Recognitions and Happy and Sad Dollars

  • Erle Brown had happy dollars for the Big Game as he expects Cal to beat Stanford. (Go Bears!)
  • Secretary Jonathan Lawlis gave 20 happy dollars because Charlie and Clovel Fender were at the meeting and for surviving a weekend that some might want to forget: back to back Holiday Auction social events of tequila tasting and a pub crawl.
  • Foundation Chair Connie Tritt donated happy $$ because the Oregon Ducks beat Stanfurd (is Josh Genser in hiding??)
  • Mark Howe celebrated surviving Bill Koziol’s pub crawl by leaving early (around midnight).
  • Shana Bagley Howe gave happy dollars for just being happy. J
  • Norm Lundberg, Esq. had happy dollars because he just returned from a month-long vacation with his wife in Australia (and happy dollars for the exchange rate, no doubt!).
  • David Brown gave happy dollars because the bikes for kids drive has already raised $2,930.00 from members and friends!
  • Joe Bagley donated happy dollars for being one of the last people out of the pub crawl van.       It was a great time!


adam-eveJim Young introduced Rev. Dr. David Vásquez Levy, President of Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, to talk about migrating faith. He explained:

California and our nation were shaped by the aftermath of the Gold Rush, the Civil War, and the completion of the transcontinental railroad that connected east to west across the United States. Conflict and opportunity brought people from everywhere, gathering this “most heterogeneous mass of humanity ever assembled since the confusion of tongues.” People have migrated to California, and the United States following trade, just like Joseph in the book of Genesis, and people currently risking their lives to leave Central America, Africa, Syria, and elsewhere in the Middle East to find a better life.

In this time of tragedy (the push of conflicts around the world), we must remember that, historically, people’s movements follow the trade routes (the pull toward opportunity) and the positives of migration (52% of Silicon Valley startups such as Yahoo, Intel, Google, and Amazon were founded or co-founded by foreign born people).

Reflection is desperately needed to discover alternate ways to engage our increasingly interconnected world. The experiences of people on the move can offer wisdom and open our minds as we seek to find ways to respond to this time of unprecedented migration. In forming our policies and opinions, we must not forget that migration is at the core of our own story.

- Shana Bagley Howe, your rotating Scribette (whose great grandfather Capitano Luigi Baglietto migrated to San Francisco by jumping his Genovese merchant ship in 1886 and was never naturalized). (Cellphone Police: Mark Howe please turn off your ringer!)