Program Chairs:
  Shane Waarbroek and Elliot Turner
November 30, 2006   

December 12
Rotary Auxiliary Holiday Party

February 10, 2007
Sweetheart Brunch

Program for...
Thursday, December 7

Friday, December 8
Joint Meeting with Santa Monica
Riviera Country Club

Upcoming Events...
December 12, 11:30 a.m.
Rotary Auxiliary Holiday Party

The Rotary Auxiliary’s famous Holiday Party, a catered lunch followed by a surprise musical program, will be in the home of Clark & Audrey McQuay, 15010 Altata Dr., Pacific Palisades. Please bring cosmetic samples for the Salvation Army & donations for the money tree. Make reservations by sending your $25 check to Treasurer Marjorie Downie, 633 Burlingame Ave., Los Angeles 90049. Rotarians are always welcome at Auxiliary events.

February 10, 2007 - Sweetheart Brunch
Lawry’s The Prime Rib, Beverly Hills

Hudnut Was Great, WVRC on November 30th
CLAWSON BLEAK led the Pledge, on this Spouses Day.  LENNY FRIEDMAN and PP JIM DOWNIE gave us Silent Night, with JIM’S keyboard providing a lovely background. Some discontent (from that famous back table) protested that this was still November, but he was quickly schussed. I have to confess I didn’t know we could sing that good. Before our Invocation, Prexy MIKE suggested a moment of silence in honor of the passing of Louise Dewhirst.  She had been quite ill for over a month, and slipped away quietly at home. The Memorial Service will be at All Saints Episcopal Church, on the corner of Camden and Santa Monica Blvd. at 1pm on Saturday December 9th.

PDG BILL GOODWYN followed with the Invocation, pointing out that we were now taking a Test.  Can you name the five wealthiest people in the world, the last five Heisman Trophy winners, the last five winners of the Miss America Contest, who won Nobel Prizes, who was best actor/actress at the Academy Awards, who won the World Series.  None of us remember all these – they are fleeting celebrities.  Now, a new part of the test – list a few teachers who aided your journey through school, name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time, name five people who have taught you something worthwhile, think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated, think of five people you enjoy spending time with, name half a dozen heroes whose stories have inspired you.  People who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials, the most money, or the most awards – they are the ones that care. Well done, BILL – thanks.

There were a number of guests. PP PETER MORE introduced Dr. Kasree Chiewcharnvalijkit, a dentist who is studying Implantology at UCLA – you may remember our asking if someone could provide housing during her two-week stay here. and RO SHAW and ED GAULD have responded – thanks, Rotarians!
She exchanged flags with us. PDG BILL GOODWIN was with his wife of 23 years, Judi.  PP JOHN SINGLETON brought “one of those five people I like to spend time with”, his son, Todd. I introduced Joy.  SEEMA PATEL brought Wendy Medina, the Fund-Raising Chair for Rotaract. PP GEORGE DEA introduced Janice Koyama, who is both his wife and President of our Auxiliary. HENRY TSENG brought his wife, Annie.

MYRON TAYLOR introduced his wife, Sara, “who is bringing the season to us”.  MARK ROGO had a guest, Frank Kagarakua.  Prexy MIKE then re-introduced one of our newer members, BARRY MARLIN, who is back from a couple of months taking care of law clients in Europe.  He spent a month in what he called “The Flower of Italy, Florence” and met a number of Rotarians there.  Four times a year all eleven of the Rotary Clubs in Florence meet together, and that occurred while he was in town.  They are currently engaged in renovating a church many of us will remember, Santa Maria Della Croce, and he presented a flag from the host club, Florence North.

MIKE YOUSEM reminded us of the forthcoming Shopping Spree, which takes place next Thursday evening, starting at 5:30 from the Westside Family YMCA – please be on time.  There are 28 signed up, and having done this a few times myself, you will be helping some kids – and you’ll feel good about it.  And while there was general mumbling about fining MIKE since FLORENCE SAMPSON didn’t get her instructions, Prexy MIKE bravely resisted the intense pressure, contending that the event itself deserved leniency.

We were reminded that we will NOT be at the Bel Air next Thursday, since we have a joint meeting with Santa Monica Rotary the next day, Friday the 8th, at Riviera CC.

It looks like PP PETER MORE and I will be able to get DAN PRICE to that meeting.
SHANE WAARBROEK reminded us that the Braille Christmas Luncheon will be held on that same day, Friday the 8th.  He has about a half dozen helpers signed up, and urges them to arrive by 10:30 to get instructions.  We will miss PP HOWIE HENKES, who has chaired our visit for many years.

SHERRY DEWANE came forward to make a lovely pitch about remembering our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan this Christmas.  Her boyfriend’s son is in the Army, stationed in Iraq. A detailed list was passed out noting things they would like to receive – note that MANY soldiers and marines do not have family who can send them anything.  Among the items are music and movie CD’s, paperbacks, Kool Aid Singles or Crystal Life Singles, cookies, candy that doesn’t melt, Suntan lotion (high SPF), eye drops, lip balm, eyewash, and seasonal stuff.  We can bring this to the meetings, and SHERRY will see that it gets shipped to the troops.  And the MOST IMPORTANT thing we can provide are letters, describing what YOU are doing – any news of this type from home is most worthwhile – again – bring the letters to our meetings.  If questions in the meanwhile, you can reach SHERRY at (213) 346-1493.

SC/UCLA football tickets were donated by PP YOSH SETOGUCHI and PP MIKE NEWMAN, and our guest from Rotaract, Wendy Medina bought them with her donation to our Foundation.

PEGGY BLOOMFIELD reminded us that the next District Breakfast will be in January, the 9th, 0700 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel at LAX.  Please sign up with her.
Mark, the Manager of the Westwood Farmers Market, made a brief presentation.  The Market has relocated to the Veterans’ Administration property, and you enter from Sepulveda, opposite the cemetery entrance gate on Constitution. The Veteran’s Garden is a nicely planted area tended by the Veterans, and the Market features the freshest produce at good prices. They open at noon every Thursday.  Give them a try – you’ll be pleased.

And the final announcement – Santa Monica Rotary will be holding a fund-raiser for the library, so if you have new books you wish to contribute (or buy) please be aware.

Two email address changes, please:

The Story was next.  A man drives his Rolls Royce to his bank in New York City.  He then asks for a $5,000 loan. The bank manager says, “We can’t loan without collateral” The man says he’ll put up his Rolls. This is accepted, and the car is driven to their underground parking for safekeeping. The man pockets the 5K, and leaves his keys. Two weeks later he returns, says he wants to pay the loan, and asks what is the cost. Well, it’s $5000 in principal, and $15.40 in interest. He pays – and at this point, the Manager asks, “Sir you’re a millionaire.  Why in the world would you ask to borrow $5000?”  “Where else in Manhattan can I get a safe parking place for two weeks for $15.40?”

MARK ROGO was pleased to introduce our Speaker, Tom Hudnut, the CEO and Headmaster of Harvard/Westlake School. Graduating from Harvard and MIT, over the last thirty year, Tom has become the leading expert on secondary school education in the United States. Since his appointment, he has established Harvard/Westlake as the leading secondary school in Los Angeles.  One example – their Science department has raised more money than the Science budget for the entire Los Angeles Unified School District.

One third of their teachers are PhDs.  MARK has two daughters who attended Harvard/Westlake, and the self-confidence and self-respect that was ingrained in them has made a real difference in their lives.

Tom began by asking us to think back to when we were in the fourth grade!  For him, this was just fifty years ago – the mid-1950’s.  He went to a public school, walked or rode his bike to and from, and even went home for lunch.  His teacher was a woman, and after school he played in the neighborhood with his friends – not supervised by any adults.  He returned home for dinner with the family, had no homework, and sometimes watched a bit of TV or listened to the radio. He would read something, and go to bed.  All this was before the parental involvement which is so prevalent now.

He wonders how many fourth graders today can recite the Pledge of Allegiance, as we all did today.  The end of widespread optimism began with Prop. 13 – which slowly strangled school budgets all over California.  By the time he moved to California in 1982, funds for music, art, and phys ed were largely eliminated, particularly in the poorer schools.  The wealthier schools were holding fund-raisers to keep these programs going.

An example – Tom was President of the Marin Symphony, an internationally known group of high school musicians, who traveled extensively and had great success. However, as funding for music receded, the high school group eventually had to disband.

As a community got older, and the citizens no longer had kids in school, they tended to vote their pocketbooks, assuming that the shortfall would be picked up by others – which it wasn’t.

What makes a good school?  It starts with the Principal.  If that person is unencumbered by union restrictions, tenure, or considerations of who teaches where, they have the necessary freedom to create a productive teaching environment. The ability to hire and fire, and allowing teachers to specialize in the subjects they majored in frees up their creativity. You also need students who are supported by their parents, and well-maintained facilities - toilets that work, for instance. The State of Texas has become the standard for what books are produced, because they are the largest purchaser of school supplies and texts.  So if Texas likes it, that’s what you get, and there are 49 other states which may have different preferences.

He is appalled when he goes into a home and sees no books – and I’ve seen this myself, by the way.  If there is nothing to read, why bother to learn to read?  A study by the University of Michigan showed there was one common denominator among all the National Merit Scholarship finalists in the country – they sat down to dinner with their families!  Values are taught at home.  Kids who don’t eat with their families don’t have the benefit of intercourse with adults, of learning from others – they are often “baby sat” by TV or, today, their computer. Tom learned to love history from his grandfather, who was born during Abraham Lincoln’s presidency, and died during Kennedy’s term – and listening to his grandfather ignited his interest in what he had seen over those many years.   Don’t forget that those of us who are grandparents have a wonderful opportunity to tell our grandchildren about what life was like as we were growing up – who can be a better source for these eager young minds than us?

Among the staff reductions that now occur in public schools are counselors. Tom knows of one school with 900 students who have ONE college counselor – and that can be typical.  He quoted an article in the Wall Street Journal which suggested that if your child isn’t in the top ten percent of his independent school class, move him to a public school! Not good advice – if you want to learn to swim fast, go to where people swim fast, right? If you are surrounded by students who are excelling, it is bound to move you along to keep up with them – as they say, a rising tide lifts all boats.  Another myth – you have to be rich to attend private school.  Harvard/Westlake gives away over five million dollars each year in financial aid, as do many other independent schools.  You have to be a genius to attend private school – yet the common denominator among geniuses is perseverance, not necessarily IQ.  He gave an example of a letter he received “from his good friend, Al Gore” recommending a student for admission.  These are jokes among admission officials – usually the writer has never even met the student.

What is the purpose of schools?  Tom suggests it is to uplift and civilize us, to expose us to worlds beyond our own, to let the world in, not keep it out.  He concluded by saying he is not an optimist but he does live with hope.  Following was a brief Q&A.

SUSAN ALLEN, What is your reaction to the ten million dollar gift from Eli Broad to charter schools?  It’s bound to help.  PP JIM COLLINS, What is your opinion of single-sex education?  I prefer mixing the sexes, since that is the competitive atmosphere we all enter after school is finished.

Tom Hudnut, we thank you for a most challenging message..

—YOE, Ernie Wolfe


Michael Gintz

President Elect
Christopher Bradford

Vice President
Sean M. McMillan

Gordon A. Fell

Peggy Bloomfield

Executive Secretary
Ernie Wolfe

Past President
Don A. Nelson

Community Service Chair
Shane Waarbroek

International Service Chair
Edwin S. Gauld

Membership Chair
Shane Waarbroek

Vocational Service Chair
Elliot Turner

Youth Service Chair
Ann Samson



William B. Boyd

    Scott Clifford

Monday, Beverly Hills, BH Hotel, 9641 Sunset
Tuesday, WLA/Brentwood, Chez Mimi, 246 26th St, Santa Monica
Wednesday, Century City, Century Plaza Hotel, or
    Culver City, Wyndham Hotel, 6333 Bristol Parkway, CC, or
    Wilshire, The Ebell, 743 S. Lucerne Blvd, LA
Friday, Santa Monica, Riviera Country Club, 1250Capri Dr, Pacific Palisades