October 12, 2000


Minutes of 12 October Meeting

Another boffo program! We had scads of visitors, who had to be impressed with both Tom Campbell and Ayuyoe Graham, as YOE certainly was. I only hope I can include everyone who was there as a guest - stay tuned.

PAUL SORRELL started us off with the Pledge, followed by a triumvirate (that means three) co-song-persons, to sort of coin a phrase. LENNY FRIEDMAN was the overall major domo (that means he paid the other two to perform), and was thus assisted by both JACK HARRIS and PP JIM DOWNIE on the ivories. After a somewhat tentative start, we came through with at least several verses of I Been Working on the RR. SALLY BRANT was up next, with an Irish Prayer - good, and short, always an excellent combo.

KEVIN KOMATSU had a lot of introductions. ANN ELKIN brought Accuse Graham and Lynn Kitchen, both from Spirit Awakening Foundation. Accuse was originally from Ghana, and will be returning to WVRC on November 2nd to tell us more about her excellent organization, which helps at-risk youth plus doing some literacy training. It was good to see former member Bruce Blickensderfer again (now with the Santa Monica Club), and the junior member of the Broomfield family was there with Peggy and BILL. If you want to make Bill Jr's day, ask him what he will be doing shortly, down in Cabo San Lucas. YOE sat next to new member ATHENA JACKSON, who introduced her guest, Leslie Scott, of I'm Blessed. DON NELSON brought Ambassadorial Candidate Suzanne Karpilowsky, who gave a lovely overview of her educational plans - she will attend the Sorbonne. And then PETER MORE introduced Shirley, who was thanked by Prez STEVE for hosting yesterday's Rotary Auxiliary Meeting at the MORE'S home. PETER then introduced Umi Hara, Co-President of Rotaract, who spoke about their involvement in the Aids Walk, LA, which we were asked to support. Umi also was pleased to report that they just brought in 33 NEW members - this is really a going organization! PP STEVE SCHERER introduced his good friend and long-time partner, Chris Bradford. PP JIM DOWNIE commented that his guest, Margie, and he had been married for FIFTY years!

The aforementioned Mr. NELSON, along with SALLY BRANT and PP JIM COLLINS, having been caught with their hands in the cookie jar, so to speak, were each fined two hundred big ones for attending the Olympics in Sydney - you really can't afford to leave town, apparently. Next up was PP BOB WESSLING, who was pleased to announce that we have received a gift from the Gene Raymond Living Trust in the amount of fifty thousand dollars, which brings our WW Village Rotary Foundation cash-on-hand to over $130K - now it's up to the Past Presidents to decide if we should begin to spend the interest this will generate. BOB THOM is the trustee for Mr. Raymond, and we owe BOB a real Thank You for directing this gift to us. However, in fairness (which is always the ultimate goal of this publication, as I'm sure you would agree) it should be mentioned that PP WESSLING then spoke somewhat self-servingly about the help and counseling he has provided to his beloved DePauw Tigers. They have been in the midst of another 0 and 4 start, but after his meeting with the team, they went out and beat the hell out of Sewanee, that well-known University of the South. Last year, the same thing happened - that is, they were 0-4, Bob counseled, and they won their last SIX games. That's a tough act to follow, but I'm sure we will be kept up-to-date on their progress, and we thank PP BOB for sharing this good news with all of us. However, again referring to our obvious record of past fairness, it would seem that some minor fine for self-promotion - call it a communication charge, perhaps - might be in order here. Just a thought, of course.

Raffle tickets should be returned pronto to PP STEVE DAY - you can't win if you don't turn them in, and we are two weeks away. Don't forget to RSVP to HARLAN LEWIS so you can attend the Yearling Breakfast on the 24th at the Holiday Inn - all are invited, and if you haven't been before, or even recently, give it a try - it's always a nice event.

On the more serious side, two of our members could use some help - BRUCE HARRIS is again home, and doing OK. But he has been an avid reader, and at least for awhile, that isn't possible. I'd like to propose a reading chain - that is, five of us, each taking a day a week, and going over between eleven and two o'clock, to read the Times or whatever he suggests. This has the double benefit of keeping BRUCE abreast of what is going on news-wise, PLUS giving Caroline a bit of time off to do some errands and have a break in her routine. I'll be calling some of you retired types - plus Rotary Anne's, OK?

DAN PRICE has now been at St. Johns for two weeks, and has at least another week to go, recovering from pneumonia. He's been pretty sick, has lost a lot of weight (which he didn't have that much extra to lose), and will be quite weak for awhile. BRUCE ROLF and Marie have been visiting, and more of us should step forward. Cards and telephone calls will help, please. (310) 829-5511x376-2, or 1328 22nd Street, room 376, Santa Monica 90404.

NEAL ZASLAVSKY gave an excellent intro for Tom Campbell, pointing out that he has a Ph.D. in Economics, teaches at Stanford, was a State Senator, is currently in his FIFTH term in the U.S. House of Representatives, and is running as the Republican nominee against Democrat Diane Feinstein for the U.S. Senate. Representative Campbell began by reminding us that interest in the electoral process has declined markedly in the last twenty years, which is not a good trend He then pointed out, quite convincingly, that there IS NO BUDGET SURPLUS at present. Federal accounting procedures are done with smoke and mirrors, all revolving around the present surplus in the Social Security System, which is used quite creatively. And the famed "Lock Box" contains only IOU's, in the form of government bonds - not an asset, but a liability. Tom went on to suggest that both presidential candidates are guilty of planning to spend money they don't have now, and may never have. Projecting this 'system' TEN YEARS down the road and believing the result might work with those who are a year old now, but for us adults, it sure shouldn't be believable. His solution to the use of any surplus that may show up is to apply it directly to our current national debt - which of course is simply a mortgage to be paid by our children.

Campbell suggests that a portion of our Social Security trust fund should be invested in municipal bonds - that is, airports, toll roads, toll bridges - which pay a real rate of return. Another option would be to allow younger workers to designate part of their FICA contributions to mutual fund investments, which have been proven, over many years, to provide a better return than 30-year Treasuries. This would mean changing the present law, of course - plus depriving the politicians of controlling these fund

s entirely, as they now do (and enjoy doing).

Tom Campbell has been urging Senator Einstein to debate him, and she responds that that is an interesting THEORY. He assumes this must be a California town, perhaps just north of Bakersfield, but wherever, he's willing…He would like to discuss America's war on drugs - our recent 1.3 billion dollar donation to Columbia, will, apparently, solve this 37-year old internal rebellion (just like in Vietnam). Is a change worth considering? Where has our current energy policy led us - we are more dependent on foreign oil now than we were in the crises days of the 70's. There is still time for a Senatorial Debate - let's hope it happens (even in Theory).

In the Q&A period, he strongly came out FOR Prop 36, and AGAINST Prop 38 - read the fine print, and you'll probably agree. And he predicts that the sponsor of Prop 38, Tim Draper, an industrialist from the Silicon Valley, will run against Governor Gray Davis in the next election. Stay tuned - and for Tom Campbell, our best wishes, and thanks for bringing him, NEAL


Next week, our own DR RALPH BEASOM will be reminiscing about his 50-year career in medicine. For those of you who may not know RALPH, be prepared for a real treat. RALPH is WVRC's RENAISSANCE MAN, and you'll agree after next week!

Thought for the Day, directed, somehow, toward YOE - "Do not the most moving moments of our lives find us without words?" Marcel Marceau.

YOE, Ernie Wolfe