March 16, 2000


Nardo Zacchino at WVRC on 16 March -
In an unprecedented act of mercy, or some such word like that, Prez Bob once again excused YOE from having to blurt out the famous Three C's - and a good thing, too, since I can only remember Continuity, somehow. His next announcement of 35 down and just 16 to go was greeted with thunderous applause, as it should be. We then moved ahead with the Pledge, by PP ERIC LOBERG - and since he confined himself to "just the facts" it went off well. JACK HARRIS and BILL MAXWELL joined us in rendering Working on the RR, which perhaps took the place of their first choice, whatever that was to be. JIM GREATHEAD gave a Thought for the Day from Robert Louis Stevenson, on the theme, We Give Thanks. Our excellent parking lot Attendant, Kevin, then added an Irish Prayer, ending with the line, "You'll know them by their Limping". This in turn inspired JACK HARRIS to come forward with his story about the thirsty Irishman who carried his dead friend into the bar, so he could get a free drink. It's a good story, and JACK tells it very well - but YOE is tempted to wonder if this is more about a legal case than a collection attempt…

DON PARK introduced two Rotary visitors from LA Westside Sunrise, Jeannie Segal, who is in Psychology, and Karen Bauer, in Travel. Dave Jones was next introduced - also in the Travel business, from Vancouver Island (and that's pretty country.) RUDY ALVAREZ was commended by Prez BOB for not only collecting the material, but getting our Awards Book in ON TIME! There were a whole slew (that means a LOT) of birthdays in March - must have been all those June weddings a few years ago… The list includes JIM BECHTEL, WALLY FISCHMANN, PP MIKE NEWMAN, TERRY WHITE, BRUCE HARRIS, PP CHRIS GAYNOR, JULIE THOMPSTON, PP JOHN SINGLETON, SHARON RHODES-WICKETT, PDG ANDY ANDERSON, MYRON TAYLOR, and Honorary Member URI HERSCHER.

GAEA SCHWABE gave an excellent report on her recent attendance at the Rotaract Convention in Hong Kong. She met a large number of students, saw some great territory, and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. She also announced that they are planning an Anniversary Program --stand by for details, but let's be most supportive when the event occurs, OK? Prez BOB was going to skip the Announcements, but succumbed to a piteous plea from PP JIM DOWNIE, the central theme of which was that he (JIM, that is) really couldn't manage to exist for an entire week without knowing about these events:

21 March - Board meeting 6:30 p.m. - TED IHNEN. 25 March - DEADLINE for Japan Student Exchange - PETER MORE 28 March - District Breakfast - JIM GREATHEAD 29 March - Yearling Reception, 7 p.m. at SALLY BRANT'S - HARLAN LEWIS and May 4th to 7th - District Conference in Palm Springs - RON KLEPETAR.

AND NOW - THE NEWS YOU HAVE ALL BEEN WAITING FOR!!! The Singles Benefit will take place on Friday, April 28th, from 6 to 9 p.m.. (But you already knew that, right?) Karen Bauer and Jeannie Segal went on to detail the drill - and this is for those from age 25 to 55, only -the first 75 PAIRS to sign up for 35 clams each will be served an excellent dinner at the Carousel on the Santa Monica Pier - this will benefit the Venice Family Clinic, and the aforementioned pairs must consist of one girl and one boy, ONE OF WHOM MUST BE A ROTARIAN, or, alternatively, be able to spell the word! This is a copy of an event started in Seattle (maybe because they have a lot of Sleepless People there?) and the only other condition that applies is that you must be single, of course. This last condition was not a surprise, but those at the same table with RUDY ALVAREZ had to remove all the knives from nearby, since RUDY has known suicidal tendencies, they say, and he had planned to attend. Oh yes - one more thing - the person you bring (or who brings you) is not your date, but should be considered as one more Singles candidate. If you need more facts (which in view of the above paragraph, will be taken personally by YOE) the number to call is (3l0) 205-0050 x 288. And this final word - Good Luck to our four single members, and we'll expect a full report, please!

Once again, SALLY BRANT brought us a fine speaker - Narda Zacchino, an Associate Editor of the LA Times. She was substituting for her husband, Robert Scheer, who was called away to San Francisco on an emergency - their first grandchild needed baby-sitting, And that is certainly a better offer than speaking to WVRC, at least as far as YOE is concerned. (She touted his absence as an example of Republican Family Values, for which the Times has not always been famous…) Ms Zacchino has spent her entire 30-year career with the Los Angeles Times, serving in a number of ever-increasing capacities, and it was particularly timely to have her with us just after the takeover of the Times by the Chicago Tribune was announced. She is a UCLA graduate in English, and created the Times Festival of Books, held annually at UCLA. If you haven't attended, do so - it is most worthwhile.


f the 25 people listed on the masthead of the Times, only five are still there from just five years ago, which is one illustration of the changes that have been occurring. Another is the changes in Publisher - six in her 30 years, but including three in just the last three years. One new 'local' edition is called Our Times, which is to be included in all outlying areas of LA - Santa Monica, for instance. They plan to have fifty of these local editions in place eventually.

A major recent flap occurred when it was found that the Times and the new Staples Center had cooperated on an advertising program that allowed both to share in profits. This did away with the 'wall' between advertising and editorial, and was terribly offensive to purists. The Times received over 650 calls and letters on this subject alone - and as a result, that Publisher is no longer aboard! We were assured that the Tribune retains the wall between the two newspaper areas, and this is one of the good results of the Times being bought by newspaper people, not by bottom-line accountants.

Another obvious concern is Editorial Policy - will it change? Certainly the Tribune is more conservative than the Times ever was, and so the Times staffers (and most readers) hope they leave the Times alone in this regard. As a couple of examples will show, the Times has many more out-of-office reporters involved than does the Tribune - a staff of 60 in their Washington office, compared to just 15 for the Tribune, and a total of 22 foreign bureaus, while the Tribune has just 7.

Q&A. Will the Times remain independent - this depends upon the new Publisher, who has not yet been appointed, since that person literally controls the editorial direction of the paper. What do you think of the continuing transfer out of Los Angeles of major corporations - we will soon have not ONE of the Fortune 500 headquartered here. This is a serious problem - what are we, a nothing town? How are endorsements arrived at? There is an Editorial Board, and they make recommendations - but again, the Publisher has the final word. These recommendations appear, by the way, on the Sunday before the election, and on Election Day. RON KLEPETAR grew up in Chicago, and his family still lives there, so he added to the voices of concern about editorial direction. Finally, what was the motivation for the Chandler family in selling to the Tribune - money!

SALLY, thanks for your continuing good work with speakers. And one final word - with the best intentions to fully come into the new Millennium, YOE once again tried out his trusty tape recorder. Last weeks meeting was fully covered…Stay tuned.

YOE, Ernie Wolfe