Mid-November at WVRC, the 16th, and the Good Programs Continue

PP BOB WESSLING started us off with the Pledge. Before he began, BOB reminded us that earlier this week we had celebrated Veteran’s Day, honoring both those who have served and those who are now serving. Well done, BOB. PP STEVE SCHERER and PP JIM DOWNIE led us through American the Beautiful, which remains one of our better numbers. PDG BILL GOODWYN came forward with the Invocation, which included a number of condition statements, always followed by a caution, the inclusion of which considerably expanded the original statements. The result usually was that barring the caution, the speaker had not been educated. One example would be if the speaker had read John Locke and Shakespeare and could discuss their thoughts in detail – but had not read the Bible, and thus was not an educated man. Thought-provoking material, BILL, and we thank you for sharing it with us.

DENNIS CORNWELL was asked to name our Visiting Rotarians – and there were three.

Hotta Masao belongs to Nagoya North in Japan, and his classification is office building management. Our other two visitors were from UCLA, and had called me earlier today to be sure we were meeting, etc. Alfred K. Louis belongs to then Saarbaruecken Club in Germany, and he is a Mathematician. Dr. Heinz Engl comes from the Linz-Sup Club in Austria, and his classification is Science. I introduced Shane Waarbroek, my Special Guest, who is being circularized this week. Shane is in Private Banking with Merrill Lynch.

Some historical event, which occurred on the 13th of November: In 1789, Ben Franklin wrote, “In this world nothing is certain but death and taxes”. The Vietnam War Memorial in Washington D.C. was finally dedicated in 1982. PP HOWIE HENKES came forward to brief us on the schedule for the Braille Institute Holiday Party, which will be on Friday, December 12th. This is a major gathering of the many students who attend the Braille Institute, and hundreds of them are bussed in from outlying areas. It starts at 10:30, with some instructions, and the actual luncheon begins at noon. Our job as hosts is to assist as needed – in many cases simply overseeing part of a table with the blind or sight impaired. I’ve done this before, and it is a worthwhile event – you are NEEDED, and afterward you’ll feel good about giving them a hand. Call HOWIE to sign up, please.

Secretary/Treasurer KEVIN KOMATSU presented an outline of what is needed to get us started on Angel’s Flight. This is a very well-organized program which fills the gap between getting outlying patients, once they are at the local airport, delivered to the local hospital where their treatment is scheduled. Once treated, they must then be returned to the pilots – who, note, provide all their services free – their aircraft, fuel, landing costs, whatever. So we provide a sort of taxi service, which is quite important to complete the link between the patients arrival into LA and their return to the Angel Flight pilot who returns them home. A show of hands was requested, and several of us said we were interested. This is really a worthwhile service which we not only CAN, but SHOULD, provide, and I urge you to contact KEVIN with questions, please.

Pres. PETER gave a nice plug to PP RON LYSTER’S son, Marty. Less than a year out of University, Marty and a friend started their own mobile Pet Service, under the name of California Paws. They have a brand new van, and will come by on an appointment basis to give your pet a real shampoo. The dogs seem to enjoy it (no report at this moment on the cats reaction), and it’s certainly less trouble than trying to do the job at home. The phone number is (310) 453-3007, www.CaliforniaPaws.com. After this plug, the idea of a fine crept in, and it was fixed at $88.00. KACY ROZELLE offered four excellent UCLA/Oregon football tickets. ELLIOTT TURNER bid $100.00, and hearing no challenges, raised his own bid to $110.00. Sold!

SHARON RHODES WICKETT made an interesting presentation. “The honor of your ABSENCE is requested – the PRESENCE of your money is”. SHARON is an active Board Member of PATH, and they are conducting an “Imaginary Feast” for Thanksgiving. PATH has used this ‘feast’ for the last twenty years to provide a real Thanksgiving Dinner for their clients. They are requesting gifts of any size, but the stated numbers start at $50, going to $100, $250, $500, $1,000 and $2,500 – so obviously they are receiving some major donations. You can charge it on your card, also – the information number is (323)644-2205, or you can reach SHARON at (310)474-3469.

PP DAVE WHITEHEAD and Pres. PETER combined for a brief visual report on Burt Rutan and his Scaled Components program based in Mojave. They are actively proceeding toward a flight to outer space, which will be privately funded! A one million dollar prize has been offered for the first outfit to reach this goal. They will use a twin jet aircraft to carry their spacecraft to 50,000 feet, where it will be released. With a ONE MINUTE burn they should reach 100,000 meters – that being the goal to collect the prize. High tech stuff, for sure.

As we continue toward our 75th Anniversary, Pres. PETER is asking various Past Presidents to capsulize their year. This is designed to be about a ten minute shot, and you will recall that a couple of weeks ago, PP ERIC LOBERG started us off with an excellent presentation on his term, 1982-83. Today it was PP MIKE NEWMAN’S turn, and he provided a very well thought out review of 1992-93. While I enjoy what they are giving us, in the back of my little mind I’m wondering if maybe I can crawl under a rock somewhere and get passed over. After all, where you were President in l967-68, some of these events tend to get a bit blurry – but I digress.

PP MIKE began by outlining his plans for the year. This included naming those who helped him – CHRIS GAYNOR, STEVE SCHERER, RON LYSTER, RALPH WOODWORTH, JIM BECHTEL, HENRIETTA KNAPP and STEVE DAY, with his two Sergeants at Arms, JIM DOWNIE and JIM EDWARDS. He noted that by elevating daughter Amy to a Paul Harris Fellow, she became the youngest such, overtaking Brian Wanglin. The first fines were assessed on PP DAVE WHITEHEAD and PP RON WANGLIN, since they had both fined MIKE at their first meeting! And thus it was necessary to fine PP ANDY ANDERSON because he had FAILED to fine MIKE when he could have. Along about this time, an attractive lady police officer appeared, immediately cuffed MIKE for some unspecified crime, and started to lead him away.

HENRY HEUER leaped to the defense, providing a write of Humongous Corpus. This caused PP SUNNY JIM SUMNER to get involved, but the loud voices of protest soon led to the release of MIKE. Amy and Patrick presented MIKE with a huge gavel, which was suitable displayed.

MIKE had a whole bunch of prior Rotary connections – Bob Perkins taught him to swim, Erny Pinckert lived around the corner, Tom Biner was his dentist, with Mike O’Connell as his partner. Dick Walker was his Little League Coach, Brian Bumpas was his first boss, and Doug Desch was always providing Rotary history. Henrietta provided the following copy, which was displayed on the pier at Malibu – “Wanted, Woman to Cook and Clean Fish, Dig Worms and make Lures. Must have good boat and motor. Send picture of boat and motor”. In summary, MIKE reminds us “We had fun – and we got it done”. MIKE, you did indeed get it done, and WVRC is better off for your efforts.

TONY DERYAN introduced our Speaker, Albert Perdon, P.E. Mr. Perdon’s firm specializes in management of large transportation programs, and since 1999, the firm has provided strategic program management services to the Southern California Association of Governments for the California Maglev Deployment Program. Mr. Perdon is a Professional Engineer in California, and serves on the Board of Directors of the American High Speed Ground Transportation Association, based in Washington, D.C.

The Maglev Program will carry passengers and freight at speeds over 200 mph, above Southern California’s congested freeways. His firm will be managing the Orange Line deployment program, a 35-mile Maglev system connecting Los Angeles and Orange Counties. He began by pointing out that we wouldn’t see much change in the next two or three years – but 20 or 30 years from now, most major freeways will have a Maglev line installed. He showed an excellent video of the October 2003 opening of the Shanghai Maglev System, which provides top speeds of 260 mph. going up to 315 mph. The

Southern California governments are considering four routes: LAX to downtown, to Riverside, south to Irvine, and along the 405 to Palmdale (which would take 35 minutes).

These systems can be built without subsidies, and the next stage at present is project implementation. The first route should be operating by 2011 or 2012 – and of course it’s faster to get underway in China, where the Government has total control. Are the cars noisy – no, mainly there is a whoosh as they fly by. DON NELSON – Are the routes all elevated? Yes. They run on electricity and are very efficient. Maintenance is minimal because there are so few moving parts. MAKR BLOCK – What will rides cost? LA to Santa Ana, $10, LA to downtown $8 or $9. ELLIOTT TURNER – Will they actually be able to originate at LAX – nothing can at present? A lot of public pressure will be exerted, and it will prevail. The Orange line will open up residential land in Orange County – which will ease the approvals needed by local governments. Some of the problems which must be solved include location of stations, with parking needed, plus which route to begin first. Mr Perdon suggested we would be using Chinese technology, since they are far ahead of us – which in turn brought our two visiting Rotarians into the discussion, reminding us that Germany also has an existing Maglev System. Other areas in the US that are currently interested include Pittsburgh and Las Vegas.

Again, this is high tech stuff – but we do need to know about it. Thanks, Albert Perdon.

YOE, Ernie Wolfe