Zev is Back at WVRC - September 14th
Yes, Zev was our speaker and a good one. But before that, CLAWSON BLEAK led the Pledge. LENNY FRIEDMAN and PP JIM DOWNIE accompanied us in America. TONY MARRONE came forward with the Invocation, suggesting that we remain standing. This brings to mind a long-time ago member, PAUL WELLMAN, who was also a well-known author. PAUL literally TIMED the Invocation, and if it went over thirty seconds, the fur did fly! TONY’S spoke of Compassion, and being thankful if someone understands. Insecurity is trumped by affirmation, and gratitude follows.
A broken heart is set right by someone being there an act well remembered. And take no kindness for granted love is essential for life, so teach us to be kind in return.
First guest announced was SUNNY FRIEDMAN for the THIRD week in a row! CURT SMITH introduced his Special Guest, Jan Gabriel son, who once belonged to the Century City Club. Dan is a retired attorney, who acts as a consultant advising other attorneys, and CURT wanted us to be sure to know that Jan is OLDER than he is! Our last guest was Corbett Parker, an Ambassadorial Scholar in 2005-06, who has been studying in Holland. He is now a senior at Pepperdine School of Law, and will be reporting to us on November 9th on his year abroad he sounds good (even with his southern accent).
SHANE WAARBROEK reminded us that The Light The Night Walk is this Sunday evening, Sept. 17th (in case you get this message in time). Benefiting the Lymphoma Society, it starts at Dickson Court, gathering about 6 pm. And if questions, call SHANE at (310) 927-5351.
Next up is the Rotary Auxiliary 70th Anniversary, starting at 11 a.m. at Lawry’s on Sunday the 24th tab is $45, and they have almost eighty signed up already (contact Marge Downie).
Final note A Night To Remember, our 22nd Annual Paul Harris Celebration is Saturday, November 4th the Raleigh Studios. Please return your completed raffle tickets to PP STEVE DAY, plus your event registration the tab here is $100.00. These are big events don’t delay, please.
The Joke Wealthy man is having an affair with Italian women. Two years on, over dinner, she confides to him that she is pregnant. To protect his reputation, etc, she offers to go to Italy and have the child further condition being that he is to provide child support until the child is eighteen. To complete notification, and maintain confidentiality, she will send him a postcard upon the birth, with the word spaghetti on the back. Months later, his wife tells him she has received a very strange postcard. He asks her to give him the card he’ll take care of it. However, when he does read the card, he falls over in a dead faint! On the card is written, spaghetti, spaghetti, spaghetti, two with meatballs, one without.
I wanted to publicly thank the four members who stood in for me while I was away. SUSAN ALLEN on August 10th, PP RON LYSTER on the 17th, TERRY M. WHITE on the 24th, and ED GAULD on the 31st. Note only did they provide good reports, but they got them in on time! We all owe them our gratitude.
MARK ROGO introduced our Speaker, Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky. They have known each other for some time, and MARK was an early supporter when Zev ran for mayor. Zev is certainly well known in our city, and as Mark points out, he has done what any good politician should do that is, make the trains run on time and make our city a better place in which to live.
Zev began by saying he enjoyed the joke, and he has a good one also. However, he can only share his privately…He noted that he has been with us before, and his intent today is to outline some things that are happening and then open it to questions. We were reminded that twelve years ago, when he became a Supervisor (and there are only five for all of Los Angeles County) we were on the verge of bankruptcy. Our budget then was 12 billion, and today it is 20 billion the difference being that we only take on projects that can be sustained. Any new project has to be funded by closing down or changing an existing program. Our credit rating today is the highest it has ever been, our reserves are healthy, and we are now able to tackle some of the delayed maintenance that has to be funded. An example is the refurbishing of our jails inmates today are much more violent, and this requires structural adjustments.
Our public health system operates five hospitals we have closed one, and are struggling to maintain Martin Luther King, but we operate over 30 regional health centers plus contracting with a number of hospitals for specialized services. When Zev became a Supervisor, the structural deficit in health care was 30% - today it is about 8%. Measure B won approval four years ago, providing a tax that funds much of the health care budget. We still have problems, particularly with our criminal justice system and our jails.
We are today living through what has to be the golden age of arts and culture. In our County, we have more theatres than New York, for instance. This field of entertainment is also a boon to tourism, and the outcome is all-positive there is no residue of debris to clean up, and everyone benefits. This is major economic engine.
Q&A. I asked the first question, It was my impression that we had decided not to run the subway out Wilshire Blvd. No, the methane gas problem that was the obstacle is being solved scientifically, and Rep. Henry Waxman has a bill pending in Congress to realign the plans. The subway will continue in stages, from Western Avenue, reaching the sea in another fifteen years or so. RAY ZICKFELD Is NIMBY a problem? No, there doesn’t seem to be any serious opposition to subway development. There is growing interest in public transportation. PP HOWIE HENKES Can methane gas be converted to usable fuel? Yes, and it is. LEE DUNAYER Is the Santa Clarita area becoming a transportation problem? What about Palmdale Airport? We absolutely must have high speed rail between LAX and Palmdale if it is ever to be workable. The Antelope Valley is the most serious problem in the County parents are not home, there is no social infrastructure or social services. PP RON LYSTER Are there plans to increase construction along the route of the subway? No, the intent is to route subways (which now cost three times as much per mile as surface rail) to where the PRESENT concentration of population is, to relieve that congestion. Zev predicted that where the Valley subway and the present light rail line come together will begin to boom, and bloom, and thanked us for our interest and support. Prexy MIKE ended by noting that his daughter, Whitney, was able to take public transportation to her summer job, making the job possible. An excellent report thank you, Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky.
Prexy MIKE provided a lovely final tale. There was a woman who carried water from the distant well to her home each day, However, one pot was cracked, so by the time she reached home, that pot was only half full. The cracked pot told the woman how sorry it was for this loss, but she pointed out that, expecting the spillage, she had planted seeds along the way, and thus the whole path was lined by lovely flowers.
A nice touch, MIKE thanks.