In-between watching the vote count, here's
what happened on November 16th.
We began with the usual litany of themes, and then PP RALPH WOODWORTH
broke through with the Pledge. This was followed by the duo of PP
STEVE DAY and
JACK HARRIS assisting us in our rendition of America. Looks to YOE
as though JACK'S hand is completely OK once again, which is certainly good
news. Birthdays were next, and they included SUSAN ALLEN, MIKE
YOUSEM, TOM LENEHEN, NEVIN SENKAN, LEE DUNAYER, RON WANGLIN, DON NELSON,
and JIM SUMNER - not NORTH but South Carolina, as corrected. The
Invocation followed, by MARK BLOCK, and it was excellent as expected.
PP RON LYSTER gave a report on the International Federation of
Motorcycling Rotarians, which he founded. There are now 1400 members
worldwide, with about 600 in North America, including WVRC members
KEN LEVER, JIM BECHTEL, and BILL PIERCE. To form such a fellowship,
you need members from three countries, and it's obvious that PP RON and
our other members are part of a going concern. This report was
followed by an announcement of the 2nd District Task Force on
Anti-Violence, which will take place on December 8th - check with Prez
STEVE for details, please. ANN ELKIN spoke on the used book drive, which
will be co-chaired by KEN KILPO and SLOS VIAU. These books make an
excellent Christmas present - think about getting your grandchildren
involved in this very worthwhile project. GEORGE DEA introduced his
Special Guest (for the second time), Takumi Noma. And did you know
that DENNIS CORNWELL is the new Vice Chairman of the Westwood Village
Community Alliance? Congratulations, DENNIS - they can use your good
MIKE YOUSEM reminded us of the Venice Boys & Girls Club shopping trip
on December 14th - he still has a couple of spaces open, so give him a
ring. And at our meeting that day, the PaliHi Madrigal singers
will be with us once again - save the date. The next day, Friday the
15th, PP HOWIE HENKES is gathering WVRC members to serve during the
Christmas Program at the Braille Institute - it's an
excellent way to begin the Christmas season, so give HOWIE a ring for
details. RUDY ALVAREZ spoke about the Gift of Life Program, in which
two children and their mothers, plus a translator, will be here for
surgery at the UCLA hospital. They arrive right away, and need
housing until late December - can you help? GEORGE DEA spoke about
the forthcoming RI Convention in San Antonio, from June 24th through the
27th - it's an interesting city to visit, so check with George if you can
attend. Some of our WVRC motorcyclists will also be there - here's
your chance to piggyback a ride!
SLOS VIAU reported on the Westwood Transitional Village, which is located
just south of Wilshire on Sepulveda. The program is designed to
provide formerly homeless families with long-term supportive assistance so
they can become fully independent, and they can use our concern and help.
There are 40 apartments, with from one to four bedrooms, plus a separate
child development center for up to 70 children. We have discussed
having a meeting there, and this would be an excellent way to see and
appreciate the work that is being done. In the meantime, on our last
meeting of THIS month, the 30th, SLOS will be collecting clothing for the
use of those living at the Transitional Village. There are 34 women,
15 men, and 80 children - so any wearable clothing would be welcome.
Look through your closets - surely there
are some items that would be better used by these needy people.
Next, for what appeared to be the forty-seventh meeting in a row, 'Coach'
BOB WESSLING updated us his latest mentoring achievement. Last
Saturday, his DePauw Tigers once again triumphed, this time over Wabash by
27-17. And just to add a local touch, the game was in Crawfordsville,
Indiana, which is where JACK HARRIS had his car accident. But this
constant and shameless self-promotion by PP BOB is beginning to be
terribly embarrassing to those of us who are a bit more modest. This
makes the 12th game in a row that his Tigers have prevailed, counting from
last season when they also benefited from Coach BOB's advice and
inspirational appearance at a team meeting.
However, believing as I do in eventual justice, and knowing that my many
readers join me in my gathering outrage, YOE does expect that Prez STEVE
will soon assess an appropriate fine for this continuing braggadocio.
If you take the standard fine of l00 clams, times, say, just the 12
victories, that begins to come up to a respectable figure. And no
doubt Prez STEVE can add some small amount for taking time away from our
otherwise businesslike meetings, plus communication charges - the number
gets really interesting, obviously. The good news here is that the
season is probably over, and thus we may be spared further updates. And
please be assured that this concern has nothing whatsoever to do with the
disappointment, and indeed, dispair, felt by certain other WVRC members
regarding the performance of their more local
team… Difficult though it may be, we must strive to keep all this in
At the point, the Bell Tolled - which means MONEY is coming in!
After some questioning by Prez STEVE, it appears that DONN CONNER'S firm
has joined forces with City National Bank, thereby catapulting DONN into
the rarefied financial atmosphere of all those rich bankers. This elicited
a fine of $250, to which DONN tried to respond, reminding all that any
such eventual windfall would be years in actually taking place, and thus
suggesting an alternate fine of $l5 at this time. This was taken under
advisement, and we'll keep you posted, of course. Next, and in spite
of his excellent report on how to form a Rotary Fellowship, PP RON LYSTER
was nicked for $100 - seems he THOUGHT about riding a BMW when his own
machine was non compus mentis (that means it didn't work) and you all
remember what President Carter said about your thoughts - it's almost the
same as doing the deed itself, or something like that.
Both our new members who gave their Craft Talks today were formerly
members of West Hollywood Rotary, which had to fold last June after 72
years as a Rotary Club.
Both of our new members were co-sponsored by Prez STEVE and PP RON LYSTER,
and just to confuse us further, both of them first introduced their
sponsors, who in turn introduced them. That done, we now hear from
NEAL ZASLAVSKY, whose classification is Political and Business Consulting.
NEAL was born in New York, and consistently migrated westward thereafter.
In 1986 he had completed two bachelors degrees, and while working on his
masters, was teaching at the University of Arizona in Tucson. This
was also the year that John McCain was elected to fill the Senate seat
long held by Barry Goldwater, and NEAL became involved in that campaign.
He found that he loved politics, but when he moved to California in 1993,
the local polls were not nearly as welcoming as they had been in Arizona.
- who was this outsider, anyway? So he concentrated on
business, starting several companies, writing business and strategic plans
for others, and running the largest Russian language media operation in
the U.S. When Tom Campbell announced that he would challenge Diane
Feinstein for the U.S. Senate, NEAL was willing to help. Eventually,
the powers that be asked him to run the campaign for Campbell in Los
Angeles County - and he was back in politics, 18 hours a day!
Campbell lost, but will certainly run for office in California again.
One office he will not seek is the Governorship, now held by Gray Davis -
who currently has 23 million dollars in the bank to finance his
re-election in 2002. Two Republicans who may run are Tim Draper, the
sponsor of Prop. 38, and Ron Unz, who ran before - both of these men
have sufficient private means to match Davis in campaign spending,
estimated to be perhaps 40 millions dollars. The only Republican now
holding statewide office in California is Bill Jones, and he will continue
in politics once term limits force him out as State Treasurer. But
back to NEAL - he is busy with business consulting, but cannot resist the
political life when the season comes again.
TODD GURVIS had less speaking time than NEAL, but made the most of the
time left to him. He, too, was born in New York, attended Brandeis
University and graduated from the State University of N.Y. at Binghamton
with a degree in English and Rhetoric (which YOE had to ask him how to
spell…) His first job, at age 23, was on the staff of the Statue
of Liberty renovation project, chaired by Lee Iacocca. The way money is
raised for these projects is that a CEO of one of the major corporations
really can't refuse Iacocca, and thus agrees to a sum - but the money is
paid out over time, which means that the sponsor can quit paying if he
becomes unhappy. Seagrams was a sponsor, and Anheuser Busch was a major
donor. TODD was one of those who suggested that they sue
Coors, who had annoyed the Budweiser people by trying to ride the
coattails of the campaign - his job was to keep the sponsors and donors
happy. His reward, after two years, was 30 days notice!
He then managed tours and special events for Philip Morris, and from there
went to work for RI in Evanston in their Development Office, under Larry
Shawver. Over the next six years, he worked with many districts,
essentially teaching them how to raise money - some of you may remember a
presentation to our own VIRGINIA GANDY from RI - TODD was the presenter.
He moved to San Diego in 1993, and in 1995 came to Los Angeles, where he
and Wendy Bat-Sarah were married. They have two sons,
Avidan and Eitan. For the next four years he was with Independent Capital
Management, and in 1999 helped to found Trilogy Financial Services, where
he is VP of Client Services. So there he is, still keeping clients
happy - and probably pretty good at it, too.
YOE has to comment that Craft Talks are
usually our best programs, and these two certainly upheld that tradition.
The demise of West Hollywood is certainly to our benefit, and we welcome
these two outstanding new members. Thought for the Day -
"Where we stand politically is determined by where we sit".
YOE, Ernie Wolfe