DECISION DAY at WVRC, plus the meeting on August 5th

To almost no one’s surprise, the vote was 66 to stay at the Bel Air, and 8 to move to the Luxe. So that is behind us – and we didn’t even have any ‘pole watchers’ checking on us as we counted! The immediate task before us is to grab the moment, while we have their attention, and upgrade and diversify the food. Your suggestions are most welcome, and if you speak before our Board Meeting next week on August 10th, your views will certainly be heard. Phone or send comments to DON or YOE, please.

ANN SAMSON led us in the Pledge. Senor RUDY tried to slip in the Invocation next, but the rumblings against such heresy brought him back to reality, and so the Song was next up. PP JIM DOWNIE was on the piano, and the leaders were LENNY FRIEDMAN and JACK HARRIS – the song being Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory. At this point,

ED GAULD came forward, having been ‘in the wings’, so to speak, since Senor RUDY’S earlier attempt to insert him BEFORE the song. We welcomed the suggestion that we sit down, and the ED spoke about Leland Stanford, who was devastated by the death of his only child. In a dream, his son reminded him that he could still help others in their quest for an education, and thus, Leland Stanford Jr. University was founded. (No, this isn’t a typo – he really used the Junior in the name). In the prayer that followed, “Stir us to be active in the service of others. Teach us to give, and help”. Another good job, ED – Thanks.

In what was the poorest recitation of Birthdays ever, the following were, more or less, named as coming along in August. (Editorial note – by meticulous research, your humble Editor has surfaced the further details that should have been included. To wit…) KACY ROZELLE, choosing Basking Ridge N.J. on the 1st, RALPH SMITH, jumped aboard on the 4th while passing through Brockton, Mass, BRUCE ROLF (and he loved the card, which was delivered today) landing in McPherson, Kansas on the 8th, while YOE stayed with the 11th, in good old LA. JACK HARRIS thought that was such a good idea that he allowed LA to be his choice, on the 13th. August 16th came along, and DAN PRICE agreed that LA was fine, his date being the 16th. MARK BLOCK liked Passaic, N.J., and he chose the 25th, which LENORE MULRYAN agreed with, but in nearby Lompoc, CA.

Sad to say, MARK’S father-in-law, Bob Berman, was his guest and thus present to see this sad performance. After the Song, PP STEVE SCHERER collared KACY, and pointed out that this was a BIG B.D. for him – turned out to be his 40th! RUDY recovered somewhat by suggesting that we should honor him for bringing the average age of the Club down.

Senor RUDY then introduced PDG Len Wasserstein, from Beverly Hills Rotary. After some delay, HARLAN LEWIS was allowed to name other Visiting Rotarians. As noted above, PDG Bob Berman, from Jackson, Miss, was introduced – he is in the Food Distribution and Investment business. Michael Graves, a Urologist, was from the Plainview, Texas club. He had a flag to present, and when Senor RUDY asked BILL MICHAEL to shoot a picture, BILL gamely said, “I’ll take it again, if you want”. Curt Smith, who is in Insurance, was from nearby Century City. Curt was accompanied by his son, Trevor, who has just graduated from college. DON NELSON introduced his Granddaughter, Marissa McIntosh, who graduated from Cal a year ago and is now a teacher at the John Dye School. KACY ROZELLE brought a Special Guest, Reza Bundy, who is the CEO of Viatrade, and an old friend

Four announcements – we have TEN members attending the first District Breakfast, which will be at the LAX Marriott on August 11th – that’s real participation! SEAN McMILLAN needs volunteers to help with the Japanese Student Exchange – we will have the Japanese students with us on a Thursday, soon. Drivers are needed – please call SEAN for more information. On August 27th, there will be a Literacy Breakfast at Lawry’s – contact is LEE DUNAYER. And on November 6th, the Paul Harris Centennial Celebration Dinner will be held – save that date. JOHN SINGLETON and RALPH WOODWORTH did not provide satisfactory answers for Rudy’s World, so they are subject to a fine, I guess. There are about twenty members who do not have computers, but it doesn’t seem fair for me to list them – they cannot participate in Rudy’s World, of course.

It was really good to have PP HOWIE HENKES back with us. He is still in something of a testing mode, since they aren’t sure just where his internal bleeding came from – but he’s up and about, and certainly that is good! BRUCE ROLF remains at Berkeley East, at the corner of 20th and Arizona, and he can have visitors. The next best thing to a visit is a card or note, and BRUCE needs the encouragement, please. And while on the subject of illness, DANNY SKINNER has finally closed his flower shop, which was on Westwood Blvd. DANNY tells me he has only been working one day a week recently – and after that, he spent the next day in bed! Cards, or a phone call, would be most welcome. Do it - it will make your day – and DANNY’S, too.

SALLY BRANT introduced our Speaker, Harry Jacobs. Harry is a Rotarian, from the

Whittier Club, and he is currently volunteering with the Dept of Registrar-Recorder’s office of the County Clerk. His task is to tell us about the shortage of Poll Workers, and to enlist some of us in helping with the problem.

Harry had some excellent visuals to tell his story. His group has already made almost 100 presentations to Rotary Clubs in four Districts, and they have other volunteers speaking to Kiwanis and other service clubs. He noted the nationwide decline in Volunteerism, which has been increasing over the last ten years. The numbers for Los Angeles County – we have 4,571 polling places, which require 22,000 poll workers to staff them, and we are short by almost two thousand workers. If we have to staff them with government workers, not volunteers, it raises the cost of the election by a huge amount – we are budgeting forty MILLION dollars for the Primary and General elections, because not enough volunteers are coming forward.

Part of the solution to this problem is to have corporations provide a limited number of their employees for the one day of the General Election on November 2nd. They need to be at the polling places by 0630, and will have to stay until 9 p.m., so it is a long day.

In addition, volunteers must complete a 90-minute training session. 50% of the present volunteers are over EIGHTY years old, and in declining health. They now need to pick up all the supplies for a polling place, take and install it, and then return the booths, etc, to where they were picked up. This new requirement is almost impossible for many of the present volunteers – and it was not in effect until recently, but must now be handled, somehow. There is now legal permission for 16 to 18 year olds to serve as poll workers. They expect to recruit many volunteers from the colleges and universities – and if they have at least 25 volunteers from one Rotary Club, their total pay of $2000 will be donated to defray the other costs

Q&A – DON NELSON, Does voting by mail help the problem? Yes, but not enough at this time. PP STEVE SCHERER, Do you have people assigned already? We are planning to overstaff this time. SALLY BRANT, Do you allow split shifts? Technically, yes, but pay and training must be shared. PP JIM COLLINS, 16 and 17 year olds seems young. The training session will bring them up to speed. PP MIKE NEWMAN and PP PETER MORE questioned how the signatures can be authenticated if voting by mail. It is now necessary, and it will certainly add to the cost. KACY ROZELLE, What is the future of Internet Voting? It will come in time, but the potential for fraud must first be solved. HANK HEUER asked for advice on how you stuff the ballot box…And as a serious answer, with five polling workers at each polling place, they would all have to be involved, and that just isn’t likely to happen. JACK HARRIS, What are we doing about chads? This was only a problem in TWO COUNTIES in the whole United States – both in Florida, and it has now been solved. CATHY REZOS, If we have a Rotary Emblem at the polling place, doesn’t that suggest a way to vote? That’s probably a bit of a stretch.

Senor RUDY, Could the State Legislature mandate election services. No, we will need to do it voluntarily. Final note – I have copies of the Volunteer Registration Form – so please ask, OK?

YOE, Ernie Wolfe