Program Chairs:
Kevin Badkoubehi
February 21, 2008   

February 28

March 11

March 13

Next Week...
February 28
Craft Talks
Lorin Ruttenberg and Aly Shoji

Upcoming Meetings...
March 6
Next Level Marketing
Deborah Rodney and Don Spector

March 13
Dr. Gary Small, head of the Center on Aging at UCLA

Upcoming Events...
March 11, 11:30am
Auction of Treasures

World famous auctioneer Don Nelson will get the ladies bidding against each other for treasures when the Westwood Village Rotary Auxiliary holds its traditional Treasures Auction at the home of Don and Roz Nelson.

Make your reservation with Marjory Downie, 310.394.4827.  The auction will follow lunch at 12 noon.  Members are urged to bring treasures to auction off, with the proceeds helping to finance the group's Summertime Fun Party.  Popular items to auction include baked goods, antiques and gifts that could not be used by the recipient.

This Week...
DAN HILDEBRAND on Eco-Shell Buildings at WVRC on Feb. 21st
RAY ZICKFELD came forward with the Pledge, and YOE is glad to know that President CHRIS appreciated my statement of the correct facing position in these matters.  LENNY led us in Home on the Range, and LEE DUNAYER once again was our Invocator. Apparently this concerned a contest between the Devil and Angels as to which was better at using the computer.  It was a two-hour exam, and both participants took it quite seriously. As time began to expire, lo and behold there was a flash of lightening, and all electricity failed.  This was very upsetting to the Devil, but his protestations were to no avail.  Eventually the rain stopped, and things came back to normal.  The Devil screamed, “I lost it all – what am I going to do?”  The Angel, on the other hand, just watched when the electricity came back on – her copy was all in place.  The Devil again protested, but God replied, “Our Angel saves”. This led to a few scattered calls for ELLIOTT TURNER…

There were several guests.  SUNNY came with LENNY, and DEBBIE SCHERER was with PP STEVE. STEVE also brought Dr. Soroosh Motivala, who is a Psychologist at UCLA and has been circulated.  STEVE’S Special Guest was Gina Minerveni.  She is a filmmaker. LENORE brought JOE, who belongs to LA 5, and there was a late Visiting Rotarian from Newport/Irvine, who claimed he didn’t do much…

President CHRIS thanked MARK BLOCK for putting together the lovely program which was enjoyed at the Sweetheart Brunch last Saturday.  On the Auxiliary side, PAT ANDERSON, ELOISE SISKEL and KATHIE GAULD were especially helpful, as always.  Ambassadorial Scholars applications are due on March 14th, with interviews at UCLA on April 16th.  WVRC has an excellent record of success in choosing scholars, and we were reminded that now is the time to proceed.

The Japan Student Exchange Applications are due on March 30, with our kids departing on July 7th for their month in Japan – followed by the Japanese students returning with them for the next month.  ELLIOTT TURNER has the forms, etc.  MARK ROGO brought us up to date on the Earth Angel Project.  It has been well received, and you are reminded to respond about your availability when the announcements come out, weekly. Call MARK with questions, of course. And finally, we were taken ahead to the R.I. Convention here in Los Angeles next June.

On Monday, the 16th, WVRC will be hosting some FIFTY visiting Rotarians.  This starts with a cocktail reception at the Faculty Center, followed by dinner in the homes of the following Rotary Hosts – PDG ANDY ANDERSON, PEGGY BLOOMFIELD, SALLY BRANT, GEORGE COX, J.R. DZUBAK, ED GAULD, PP CHRIS GAYNOR, PP DON NELSON, PP HOMER NEWMAN, MARK ROGO, PP STEVE SCHERER, LEO TSENG, PP BOB WESSLING, PP ERNIE WOLFE and MIKE YOUSEM.  Each of us will have an additional Rotary Host – and if you wish to come aboard, please let ED GAULD know.

PP STEVE SCHERER next inducted our newest member, DWIGHT HEIKKILA. His classification is Retirement Planning, and LEO TSENG sponsored him. His wife, Soak, is a Methodist Minister, and they have two children, Jennifer and Jean. DWIGHT has a particular interest in the Homeless issue, and he loves to play tennis.  Welcome aboard, DWIGHT.

New member MARK KRAUSE, who may be edging in on ELLIOTT’S franchise, came forward with a touching tale concerning a new bell ringer needed at Westwood Hills Christian Church.  It seems the previous ‘old reliable’ had stepped aside, and thus the call went out for a replacement – to be chosen by head-to-head (so to speak) competition.  On the first day, a bunch of applicants showed up, and each was taken up to the Bell Tower to show his (or her) skills.  The last applicant that first day was unusually short, but what really set him apart was that he had no arms.  He quickly explained that his procedure was to knock his head against the bell, for whatever number of rings might be required.  In demonstrating this, he really got going – and lo and behold, a gust of wind came along just as he was leaping for the bell, the gust caught him - and wafted him out the Bell Tower Window.  MARK of course hurried downstairs, finding the fallen candidate flat on the ground, and a policeman soon showed up.  MARK was asked if he could identify the person.  When he was turned face up, MARK stated that he still wasn’t sure, but he did recognize the face…Would you believe that on the second day of try-outs, the previous applicants twin brother showed up?  As best I recall, the wind once again swept him out the window, to a similar fate below.  Truly, a touching tale.

Before we get to the Program, an Auxiliary Announcement:
The world-renowned auctioneer DON NELSON leads the action at the Rotary Auxiliary Auction on Tuesday, March 11th, 11:30 am at the home of ROZ and DON NELSON.

Members can bring holiday gifts they cannot use, antiques they can no longer use, treasures they have finished using and duplicates which they never will use. All kinds of exciting items will be auctioned by DON to eager Auxiliary members and the proceeds traditionally are used at the group’s Summer Fun Party. And just to whet your appetite – NEXT WEEK, Auxiliary tips on exercise, diet, whatever! Stay tuned!

New Program Chair PEGGY BLOOMFIELD introduced our Speaker, Dan Hildebrand.  He is a Director of Hildebrand Corporation, and will be talking about their not-for-profit Arm, Domes for Homes.  Dan’s background is in custom design, including architecture, furniture and vehicle design, plus of course, the construction industry.  He will explain how and where these domes are constructed.

Dan was aided by a Power Point presentation – and it remains true that a picture is often worth a thousand words.  The division that he was talking about concentrates on these Dome Homes.  They were first built following the recent tsunami in Indonesia, where 1.5 million people were left homeless. Often, the relief pattern is that help arrives in the form of tents and temporary structures – and a few months later, the aid agency departs about the time the emergency tents and structures begin to wear out.  What Hildebrand does, instead, is to construct their Dome Homes – only in places where they are culturally acceptable – leaving the newly rebuilt community with permanent structures and giving rebirth to the former devastation.

Their homes are 15 feet high and 22 feet in diameter.  This allows for a second story.  The ground floor is 415 square feet, and the second floor about 270 square feet.  Thus they provide a front room and kitchen, plus two bedrooms upstairs. For each group of twelve homes, a communal restroom and bathing facilities are provided. They sink 100-foot wells – where the average is often only 30 feet, and thus does not provide potable water – and each six wells serves two homes.  They have a water line to each home. And the cost of each home is about $7,000.

The homes are made of reinforced concrete.  First they pour a slab, and then a nest of rebar is put in place overhead.  When the concrete is poured, it settles over the rebar, and a permanent shell is created.  They attach a reusable balloon to the slab, and it is inflated under high pressure to support the entire structure.  The poured concrete is 2 to 3 inches deep. and once painted, highly resistant to leakage. They can build a shell a day.  These domes are practically indestructible – they are not damaged by fire or flood.  Insect infestation is not a problem – they are here to stay.  For most users, living in a Dome Home means they have no annual rebuilding of their home – a great saving in time and energy.

The procedure takes place, the local residents are taught how to operate it, and then the necessary materials are left on the scene for the community to continue the rebuilding. In their first project they started with nine men – and by the time they were ready to move on, they were employing 375, all of whom were now trained and able to continue building. The obvious shortage here is money.  Ultimately, the need is to provide micro-mortgaging and financial assistance – and that is where Rotary can come in.

Before a project is begun, they have a 150 questionnaire form which must be completed.  This will outline what the local residents want and need, and always includes the cultural differences that may exist. In answer to questions, a reusable balloon costs about five thousand dollars – but it can be used at least 100 times.  The other basic needs are a fan to support the balloon, a cement mixer and generator.  The cooking facilities are propane bottles with a grill – and again, note that no wood is needed.  The outer limit as to size is about 45 feet in diameter – remembering that this all sits on a balloon during construction, and in the event of a power failure, those up on top are in real danger.  As to supplies, any country where there is an office building already has a concrete supplier.

They use #three rebar, and weave them 12 to 15 inches apart for maximum strength and durability.  President CHRIS reminded us that knowing the Leekkas from LA 5 should help us to put together a program to move this whole process along.

Words of Wisdom by Mark Twain:
Sometimes it’s better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt.

—YOE, Ernie Wolfe


Christopher Bradford

President Elect
Sean McMillan

Vice President
Ed Gauld

Mark Block

Exec. Treasurer
Don Nelson

Shane Waarbroek

Executive Secretary
Ernie Wolfe

Past President
Michael Gintz

Community Service Chair
Mark Rogo

International Service Chair
Elliott Turner

Membership Chair
Steve Scherer

Vocational Service Chair
Sherry Dewane

Youth Service Chair
Ann Samson



Wilfrid J. Wilkinson

    David Moyers
Palos Verdes Sunset Rotary

Monday, Beverly Hills, BH Hotel, 9641 Sunset
Tuesday, WLA/Brentwood, Chez Mimi, 246 26th St, Santa Monica
Wednesday, Century City, La Cuchette Restaurant, 10506 Santa Monica Blvd.
    Culver City, Wyndham Hotel, 6333 Bristol Parkway, CC, or
    Wilshire, The Ebell, 743 S. Lucerne Blvd, LA
Friday, Santa Monica, Riviera Country Club, 1250 Capri Dr, Pacific Palisades