Lively Talk Radio at WVRC on February 15th
NICK KAHRILAS got us underway with the Pledge. LENNY came forward to lead America the Beautiful, A Capella, of course. As a kind of Invocation, SLOSS VIAU gave thanks for the many who have served as President of WVRC during his time. Starting with Prexy MIKE GINTZ, he noted DON NELSON (hiding out in Palm Springs this week) RUDY ALVAREZ, PETER MORE, GEORGE DEA, BOB WESSLING, HOMER NEWMAN, and the two who brought SLOSS aboard, DAVE MORE, and JIM SUMNER. For all these, putting the Club into its present high position, God Bless Them All! Nicely done, SLOSS that kind of history is always worthwhile.
Our Visiting Rotarian was Bret Carter, a lawyer from Santa Monica. NICK KAHRILAS had a guest, Urban (Harp) Didier, who hails from Sacramento. Prexy MIKE noted that since we have moved to the Faculty Center, we have had at least one Visiting Rotarian every week! Clara Celati (close to Ice Cream in Italian), who is the Consular Officer for Cultural Affairs for the Italian Consulate, was present. Our last guest was Lores Rizkalla who hosts a Talk Show on KRLA (Public Radio) and will be our speaker today.
Secretary PEGGY BLOOMFIELD started the Announcements. “Please, when you come in late, check in with me I’m at the first table, and we need to know if you are here”. In answer to some wise guy, she did, too, have PP JOHN SINGLETON down as present! The District 5280 Conference is set for April; 26th to the 29th, at the Bahia Resort, Mission Bay in San Diego. If you want to play golf, that’s the day before, on the 25th. She has Applications, and note that the newest members are particularly invited, as a way of learning about the breadth and depth of Rotary activities. With a bit of prodding, PEGGY was nicely thanked for her announcements, plus being in charge of our lovely Valentine Brunch this past Saturday at Lawrys.
SEAN McMILLAN reported on his meeting of yesterday with the Board of the Santa Monica Rotary Club. They finalized arrangements for our Joint Project to put together the Earth Angel/Angel Flight hospitality lounge at Santa Monica Airport. We will coordinate pickups and deliveries of patients to/from SM Airport when they are patients at UCLA or Santa Monica Hospitals. Our members who participate in Angel Flight include SEAN, PP PETER MORE, and LEE DUNAYER you may remember that our recent member PETER TOMARKIN was flying off to pick up a patient when his aircraft crashed into the ocean just off Santa Monica. He and his wife both died. We will share the rent for the space, and stock the room with a sofa, desk, TV and refrigerator and donations of these items are most welcome, of course. This facility will provide a place for patients, both before and after their hospital visit, to relax. SHANE WAARBROEK will handle the ground transportation involved. They need volunteers to do the driving, of course let SHANE know if you are interested, please. SEAN, thanks for your good work.
Clara Celati spoke about the branch of the Italian Consulate, which is devoted to cultural affairs. Her office is located at 1023 Hilgard here in Westwood. They bring interns to learn about what they do, and these students are here for three to four months. They are seeking a room, or garage apartment, during that time. It should be close enough to UCLA that they can walk, or with good bus connections. You can reach Clara at (310) 443-3250 x102. She also pointed out that their office has several events each week, which are free, and urged us to consider attending. The folder she left is for “A Prince Named Toto”, which commemorates the 40th anniversary of the death of Antonio De Custis (Toto) and this will run from March 2nd to the 9th, for example.
ED GAULD announced a coming partnership with the Manhattan Beach Rotary Club on March 24th, Saturday. We will drive down to Tijuana, and each build a house that day. This is similar to our Corazon Project of the last several years, but with a different sponsoring organization the American Martyrs Church in Manhattan Beach. Each group will be composed of twenty Rotarians and Rotoract members, and they will need three vehicles (at least) to transport everyone to and from Tijuana. So, to repeat, this is a one-day trip, returning to LA after we finish the house. It’s an excellent project, but there isn’t much time to put it together call ED at (310) 474-5670 right away if you are interested in going, please.
SHERRY DEWANE updated us on the shipping of materials to our troops in Iraq. They are most appreciative, and every arrival of supplies is a boost. “Dear Dad, I got some more boxes. Seriously, the guys really appreciate what the Rotarians are doing. We are really busy here.“ Their unit of about 60 men is at a location that cannot be identified, but the gifts do reach them quickly. Whenever you have something to deliver, let SHERRY know and she will see that it gets going right away. Personally, I don’t know of anything we can do that will be as meaningful to our troops. Call SHERRY!
I made a brief announcement, reminding everyone that I have two items that are useful. The District Directory shows every club, and is a great tool for reaching others in our District. I still have some WVRC Directories, again very useful when you need to contact any of our local members. I’ll bring more next week and note, while I’m writing, that we will be in an alternate room next week (the 22nd), so check the lighted directory in the lobby when you arrive, OK?
There was a brief byplay about turning off your cell phone during the meeting, with a ten or twenty buck fine for those who don’t. This in turn led to the story: This is an actual transcript of a radio conversation between a US Navy warship and the Canadians, off the coast of Newfoundland: American, “Please divert your course fifteen degrees north to avoid a collision” Canadian, “Recommend you divert YOUR course fifteen degrees to the south to avoid a collision”. American, “This is the Captain of a US Navy Ship. I say again, divert your course”. Canadian, “No, I say again, YOU divert your course.” American, “This is the Aircraft Carrier United States Lincoln, the second largest ship in the entire Atlantic fleet. We are accompanied by three destroyers, three cruisers and numerous support vessels. I demand that you change your course fifteen degrees north that’s one five degrees north or counter measures will be taken.” Canadian, “We’re a lighthouse it’s your call”. Next week we’ll have ELLIOTT TURNER’S offering…
SHANE WAARBROEK introduced our Speaker. He met Lores Rizkalla several months ago and thought it would be interesting to learn something about the Talk Show arena in LA. She graduated with a degree in history from UCLA, and her subjects are political, social, and gender issues. She taught public school for a while, then almost accidentally got into talk radio a year ago on KRLA 870 AM. Her show airs at 7 pm on Sundays.
Lores was pleased to be back at UCLA and even more pleased when a show of hands indicated there were lots of fellow Bruins in the audience. She was born and raised in LA, but her family comes from Egypt. She had heard for years that Jews and Christians were disliked in Egypt. When 9/11 occurred, she was in Washington DC., and she knew immediately that those who caused it were the same people she had heard about from her parents. That event converted her into being a news junkie, and she began calling the Talk Radio shows. And of course, we all know what we think of people who call Talk Radio shows! She was just so passionate about the welfare of our country that she couldn’t help calling. And she reminded us that in so many cases, major shifts in attitude are triggered by events we cannot anticipate or control.
When she was still at UCLA, she wrote the Daily Bruin so often that many people thought she was on staff there once she started, she kept it up. She started blogging writing about political events. On the Sean Kennedy show, her blog address we given out, and that put her in direct touch with many listeners after all, with an audience of 13 million, that’s a lot of exposure. So the combination of hearing her on the radio, and reading her blogs (an unsolicited article or subject on the internet) provided her with an identifiable audience. Many of them suggested she should have her own show, but she managed to avoid that move. Finally, a regular fan (Tony, from Colorado, whom she still has never met) sent her the particular information needed to apply for a spot on talk radio. She still ignored it, but his second urging caused her to ‘make that call’. No response, but Tony urged her to give it one more try.
“Why am I doing this?” But sure enough, she heard back within the hour, and now she has had her own show since February 6th of 2006. One of the biggest issues people want her to talk about is the War on Terror, because they think it is unique, coming from an American-born Christian Egyptian woman. Finding something that you are passionate about makes you willing to do whatever it takes to carry out that passion. There is work to be done, and she now finds herself loving doing it. She asked if we remembered “City Slickers”, and the mysterious character in it Jack Palance. When asked what was the meaning of life, he held up one finger and said, “It’s this”. “What’s this one thing?” was the chorus of questions. “Well, you have to figure that out!” Her hope, for all of us, is that whatever our one thing may be, we are helping that cause in this life.
Going back to her teaching experience, if you don’t have that passion, you are doing both yourself and your students a disservice. She had students who took her classes as a novelty a young teacher; she might be interesting, etc. Yet they came back the next semester, even after getting a D or F, because they learned something from her. Her passion showed and again, that makes the difference, in teaching or whatever each of us is doing.
Lores spoke about newspapers, and their possible future. When she asked how many of us read the paper, she pointed out that we were now in the minority. A recent article in the NY Times theorized that in the next five years, there may no longer be a paper NY Times! Everything is going digital. Remember, we at WVRC recently had this same kind of discussion about the Windmill and for now, agreed that most of us still wanted it on paper. Apparently, that paper-preference is sure to decline over time. The good or bad, depending upon your perspective news is that it will still have to be written on something!
Maybe we need and this is politically incorrect to create a profile of what our enemies are. Remember, we haven’t had any 95-year-old Caucasian women who have committed these acts of terrorism. The man who was shooting in Utah was of Muslim heritage yet in NY City, they are opening a public school for Arabs! She is concerned that we teach English in school, since that is the path to success in this country. If we do call in on her program, we are certain to know a great many people she would never reach, and that is how we can spread her words.
She asked if we had heard of Elizabeth Everest. She was a Nanny in England, and was hired by the parents of a particularly troublesome child to be with their son. When that son died, the one picture over his deathbed was of Miss Everest, who had died seventy years before he was Winston Churchill.
I asked Lores how she prepared for her show each week. She reads a great deal, to get the latest political or social information you never know what kind of questions may come up! We thank you for this entertaining view inside Talk Radio, Lores Rizkalla.