LAX update at WVRC on May 1st

HENRIETTA LIAN started us off with the Pledge. We then had a triumvirate (that means three) who led us through The Battle Hymn of the Republic. PP JIM DOWNIE played his harmonica, JACK HARRIS was at the keyboard, and PP STEVE DAY led the procession - it was good. MYRON TAYLOR came forward with an Invocation, pointing out that he was subbing for someone else, and of course MYRON did his usual excellent job. He thanked God for the gift of life, reminding us that our being here at all showed that we had a purpose, and it was up to us to be aware and carry out whatever good we can do. He asked for wisdom for our leaders, and concluded by being thankful for being a Rotarian, plus reminding everyone that living up to the standard of a Rotarian was important.

There were no visiting Rotarians. SALLY BRANT introduced Carl Morgan, who is an associate of our Speaker, Jim Ritchie. I asked the visiting firemen from Station 37 to stand, and they were given a nice round of applause. Joining me at the Head Table were Firefighter Larry Fuller and Captain Frank Lima. I introduced Larry Fuller as our Firefighter of the Year, pointing out that he was a 22-year veteran of the Fire Department, serving the last nine years in the Westwood area. He has produced several public safety programs locally, lives in Ventura, and puts in a lot of his off duty time as a volunteer for the local Search and Rescue team. He is a scuba instructor, and has designed a "dunker" program, which prepares the Team for the occasional dip into the ocean which can occur.

Larry is married to Roberta, they have twin 10-year old boys and an 8-year old daughter - in addition to his professional work, he is an example to all of us of what volunteering is all about. We presented him with a Paul Harris Fellowship, including the certificate and medallion, plus a Plaque naming him the firefighter of the year in Westwood Village.

Larry spoke briefly, pointing out that he was part of a team - and that every firefighter present deserved the award as much as he did. Captain Lima then added his comments, emphasizing the many ways in which Firefighter Fuller was a role model for all the personnel at Fire Station 37.

DON PARK was recognized as having joined WVRC exactly THIRTY FIVE years ago today. This was significant enough to earn Don a hundred buck fine!  (There's no escaping these 'rewards', apparently). PP GEORGE DEA is recuperating from his recent surgery - give him a call, please. LENNY FRIEDMAN checked into St. Johns, and may be getting a new pacemaker installed. The upcoming District Training Breakfast for all incoming officers and Board Members is set for Saturday, May 17th, starting at 0700 at the LAX Marriott - it ends with lunch, and please notify KEN LEVER whether you can be there or not. YOE has attended several of these, and they are definitely worthwhile.

RUDY ALVAREZ was off for the District Conference at Pechanga, and he and his Group Study Exchange Team will leave right afterward for their month in Italy. Since he is there anyway, RUDY will be staying an extra month in Europe, so we will see him next in JULY! But before he could escape, PP DAVE WHITEHEAD caught him with a series of slides showing his new RED CHEVY CORVETTE. Dave pointed out that it sits very close to the ground - clearance is six inches, and since the body is fiberglass, that helps it to move right along.. RUDY is reputed to have applied for several personalized License Plates, all of which have been rejected so far. This machine has a lot of zip - RUDY admitted to taking it up to 142 mph - and these things usually cost money, so the magic fine was announced at $142.00!

SALLY BRANT introduced our Speaker, Jim Richie, the Deputy Executive Director of Strategic Planning and Development at all four of Los Angeles's World Airports. He has had 32 years of aviation management experience, as General Manager of Mercury Air Center at LAX, prior to that in planning the closure of El Toro and Naval air stations at Camp Pendleton and Miramar. He has several Masters degrees, including systems Management at USC, National Security and Strategic Studies for the Naval War College, and International Relations from Salve Regina College in Newport, RI. He is a FAA Certified Flight Instructor, and holds an Airline Transport Pilot Rating. He lives in Mission Viejo with his wife and two daughters.

Mr Ritchie began by complimenting our visiting Firefighters on the excellent - and dangerous - work they perform so well. His report reflects Mayor Jim Hahn's ideas and the plans will be presented to the City Council later this year for LAX and Van Nuys.
His slides were quite helpful in understanding a complex subject. 9/11 and other related incidents have reduced air travel considerably in the near term. In 2000, there were 67 million passengers flying into the Los Angeles area. Last year the figure was 56 million - a major decline. By 2020, they are forecasting an additional 80 million annual passengers, so expansion is a pressing problem. LAX must be modernized to compete with the new Asian Pacific Airports.

LAX was last changed in 1984 - a long time ago, considering the continual increase in passengers. A major redesign of the taxiways at LAX is now actively underway. Ontario now handles 6.5 million, and will expand to handle 30. This will provide up to 60,000 jobs in the Ontario area.  Palmdale was bought in 1974, and has 17,000 acres - but it is tough to get there. Long Beach is not a player, since they have a cap on how many flights they can accept. Burbank also has problems, but must be expanded somehow.

Q&A: LEE DUNAYER - Growth at Burbank needs a rapid transit system, right? We are certainly supportive of this need, and Magnetic Resolution Trains may help in the future.  Would airlines find that attractive? We will MAKE it attractive!

SEAN MCMILLAN - What about Security at LAX? We will install a People Mover, which will only add four minutes to the time to get to the terminal.

BILL EDWARDS - What are the plans for Van Nuys? A People Mover here would help, but Van Nuys probably won't be planned as a commercial airport.

RAY ZICKFELD - Why don't the new train lines go to LAX?  The Green Line is not compatible with LAX electronics since it would upset navigational aids. This is a prime example of dueling bureaucracies, unfortunately.

JACK HARRIS - Will American Airlines survive? I hope they make it - the profitable carriers now are Southwest, Jet Blue, and Alaska.

ELLIOTT TURNER - Realistically, what can we do to improve security?  Screening and profiling will improve, but we can't go too far.

RALPH BEASOM - Is the 405 freeway a problem with LAX expansion? Not really, since the 405 only provides 7% of freeway congestion.

LILLIAN KLIEWER - Who will pay for all this? Airports are profitable, and they generate sufficient income.

BURLEIGH ARNOLD - What happened to the plan to extend runways into the Pacific?  This is a very tough environmental problem, and gets involved with the Coastal Commission.

PP HOWIE HENKES - What is the reliability record for People Movers?  They are designed with backups.

PP JIM DOWNIE - Now we land closest to the community - will central taxiway help? Yes.

PP STEVE DAY - Will Nelson field be touched? No.

And that covers it - thanks for all your information, Bill Ritchie.

YOE, Ernie Wolfe