Mid-August - the 15th, at WVRC

Alas, it's hard to complain about my lack of BD presents when today's meeting is named in my honor -  Gelati, after my favorite food!  But to refresh your memories, you will perhaps recall my subtle innuendos in the last two Windmills about August 11th, coupled with the cleverly phrased hint that such gifts might influence editorial policy when the giver needs special treatment.  However, the day has now come and gone, with no discernible result - thus, my beginning this report with Alas… Of course, I was also going to point out that this birthday leads me into the fourth quarter of my life, which obviously entitles me to be a paragon of great knowledge and philosophical genius - but regular readers are already aware of these traits of mine, I'm sure.

But I digress.  Prexy TED spoke of his visit last week to the "sunny barrier Islands of South Carolina" which then segued into a reminder that SUNNY JIM SUMNER hails from that part of the country. Naming PP JIM as the Senior Senator from South Carolina cost JIM a hundred clams, however.  We then started with the Pledge, led by BILL MICHAELS -   (Which reminds me, was ownership of that fancy Lear Jet in which BILL was last seen ensconced ever determined? Really, TED, you cannot allow such consequential loose ends to slip by incomplete, OK? )  But there I am, digressing again. Our two D's - PP STEVE DAY and PP JIM DOWNIE provided leadership for the song - When the Caissons Go Rolling Along. LENNY FRIEDMAN allowed us to be seated before providing a good Invocation.

RAY ZICKFELD then introduced our Visiting Rotarians, of which we had three.  Dr. Renu Sharma belongs to the Delhi Pitampura Club, where she also serves as Secretary.  In her spare time she is a gynecologist - and her sari worn today was certainly attractive.  Chris Baker is an attorney, who belongs to the Santa Monica group, while David Carroll is in trucking sales, and he hails from the Columbus, Ohio club.  PP BOB WESSLING again introduced his Special Guest, Skip Tisherman.  Skip is a headhunter, and is officed in Westwood.  ELLIOTT TURNER brought Vicky Morales, who he introduced as the Queen of the Ensenada RC.  YOE wasn't aware that such terms of royalty existed in an egalitarian organization such as Rotary, but she certainly did brighten up the room…

SALLY BRANT reminded us of the upcoming Joint Meeting with LA #5, which will be held on November 22nd, Friday, at noon.  They meet in the Reception room at the just-opened Our Lady of the Angels Cathedral downtown. Bus transportation will be available for five bucks from the WUMC parking lot, and there is a rumor that the UCLA Cheerleaders will be seated among our membership - another reason to attend, certainly.

PP STEVE DAY invited HARLAN LEWIS up front to be acknowledged as a new Benefactor of the Rotary Foundation.  HARLAN, thanks for your good help here.  PP GEORGE DEA was complimented by Prexy TED for making special friends with the Editor in Chief of the Rotary International Magazine while in Barcelona.  GEORGE has written an article on the Parkinson's PLLUS Exercise Therapy Program, for submission to the magazine.  If published, it will provide worldwide recognition to the Parkinson's PLLUS program and be a special honor for WVRC. GEORGE, this is just one more example of your constant help and efforts to promote Rotary. Thanks, from all of us. 

Methinks there was a bit of subterfuge involved in my being seated at the Head Table.
As is usual, those so placed were introduced, with Prexy TED noting that he "wasn't sure why I was up there".   Turns out that some questioning of me by TED provided verification that my favorite food is Ice Cream, also known as Gelati in other climes.  Further inquiries led to my admission that our 95-lb Doberman, Bentley, also favors Gelati.  That, combined with my email address being Gelati and my car license Gelati, the meeting of today was thereby christened Gelati Day. All this led up to the presentation of a dish, entitled BENTLEY, containing FIVE scoops of Gelati.  It was of course delicious - but a hundred bucks for dessert?   Seriously, TED, Thanks - Bentley will enjoy his new water dish, and I'll be looking forward to more Gelati as your term progresses.

PP RON LYSTER is again doing a wondrous job, now as our Webmaster.  He has provided two different email addresses for each of our four WVRC topics.

MEMBERS - Rotary related announcements, members@wvrc.net OR members@westwoodrotary.org.
BOARD - Essentially for the use of the Board, but anyone can send, board@wvrc.net OR board@westwoodrotary.org.
CHAT - the lighter side, jokes, etc, chat@wvrc.net OR chat@westwoodrotary.org.
FORUM - somewhat more serious, but not official, forum@wvrc.net OR forum@westwoodrotary.org.
ROTARY AUXILIARY list is forming - send yours to ronald.lyster@lyster.com, and access is auxiliary@wvrc.net OR auxiliary@westwoodrotary.org.

Now, I don't want to be the one giving away any secrets, BUT if you look carefully above, you can access any of our sites by using either @wvrc.net or @westwoodrotary.org, preceded by Members, Board, Chat, or Forum, OK?

Our Speaker was
Ellis Stanley, General Manager of the Emergency Preparedness Department of the city of Los Angeles.  Ellis has spoken to WVRC before, and is a good friend of Prexy TED, who introduced him.  He has a distinguished background  in emergency management, working with the Olympics, the Democratic National Convention, Super Bowl games and the World Series.  Since his prior visit with us was BEFORE 9/11, his perspective on changes and events since then are particularly timely.  On the Rotary level, our Club is looking to partner with Ellis's department in a Rotary Partnership for Community Emergency Preparedness.

Ellis reminded us that disasters are local, and if you are prepared, it helps, a lot. An example of a recent high point was his appearance on the Emmy Show with Chick Hearn -they highlighted Angel Flight and their Air Response Wing, which provided 8 aircraft and coordination of ALL the aircraft in the recent successful rescue in the San Diego area.  As a result of recent disasters, equipment to measure radioactive exposure has been redeployed in most police cars. On the air, someone asked Ellis who would run the city if all the managers were killed in a disaster?  His reply, "the secretaries, just like they do now!"

In the 9/11 disaster, NY lost their Emergency Operations Center - and we were able to provide them with access to ours.  We now have FOUR backup systems in place. LA has voted to build a permanent new Emergency Operations Center, which will incorporate all the latest communication equipment - providing what is called a Circle of Help, so we can move closer to disasters as they occur. His department is now training people to operate these systems.  When they checked, they found there were over 800 reported incidents - and they realized that the severity of each one varied.  So they now evaluate each one much more carefully before a decision is made as to how - or if - to respond.

Congress has allocated forty billion dollars for preparedness, with NY getting half.  We will get our share of the rest, with the money mainly being used to provide better risk communication.  Some of the new regulations now in effect include workers who need access must carry ID saying so, and the various types of terrorism have been greatly redefined for more precise response.  Everyone recognizes that whatever money comes in must be prioritized so it will be spent wisely.

Q&A - PP STEVE SCHERER - what is your worst disaster.  Earthquakes, in this area, but floods can be terrible also.  Explosives and terrorism in general has many varieties.
RAY ZICKFELD - what other terrorism targets are important.  Cyber terrorism, and of course bio terrorism.  We must learn to share intelligence better.  CATHY REZOS -why don't we hear anymore about Civil Defense.  It just faded away almost forty years ago, but the new Homeland Security will replace it.   LENNY FRIEDMAN - do you expect a major attack on this coming 9/11.  We have no advance word, but have talked to the Mayor.  Schools are not to be closed, for instance.  PP RALPH WOODWORTH - After Chernobyl, people returning from Europe had trouble finding out if they were affected. Is this still a problem.  Fire trucks now have Geiger counters, and the National Guard has some capability. An interesting capability, which exists already, is that your present TV can be turned on to broadcast terrorism announcements - but it hasn't been turned on.

Ellis Stanley, thanks for your timely update on the state of our emergency preparedness.

YOE, Ernie Wolfe