Program Chairs:
  Peggy Bloomfield
May 1, 2008   

May 8
"The Once and Future
Griffith Observatory"

May 13
"Art In Flowers
and in Paint"

Next Week...
May 8
"The Once and Future Griffith Observatory"
Melissa Devor
Director of Development, Friends of the Observatory

Upcoming Meetings...
May 15
"Working With a Presidential Candidate"
Bill Bloomfield, Jr.

Upcoming Events...
May 13
Rotary Auxiliary:
Art In Flowers and in Paint
Shirley More demonstrates floral arrangements with lilies and other blossoms while Pat Anderson paints her impressions of the flowers in watercolor. The two-woman show follows lunch at the meeting in the home of Peter and Shirley More. Call Marjorie Downie for reservations.

This Week...
BEN HOWLAND at WVRC on May 1st

chaired the meeting
PP RON LYSTER led the Pledge.  LENNY came forward, attempting to get us to sing along with the UCLA Fight Song, which was being played on the PA. This was not too satisfactory, so we switched to Oh Say Can You See, which was better.  ED WRIGHT, substituting for LORIN RUTTENBERG, gave the Invocation. "May today there be peace within you.  May your trust your highest power … May you not forget the infinite possibilities … May you use those gifts that you have received … May you be content … Let this presence settle into your bones - it is there for each and every one of us each and every day."   Thanks to both ED and LORIN.

PP CHRIS GAYNOR chaired the meeting, and he led off with a story.  Seems there was this small bar in a country town, and they had a famous strong man.  There was a standing bet that anyone who could get juice out of a lemon after their Strongman squeezed it would win a thousand bucks.  Many tried, but no winners.  Then along came a rather small man, with thick glasses, but dressed in a business suit.  After receiving the lemon, the new challenger began to squeeze – and lo and behold, six drops came out! The bartender paid, then asked how the little man what he did for a living?  He looked the bartender in the eye, and said, “I’m with the IRS”.

This obviously led to the introduction of guests, of whom we had many. There were two Visiting Rotarians, Daidra Martinez, from Brentwood, and former member Jim Bechtel, who now lives and has his being in Montecito.  J.R.DZUBAK brought Shelly Bay who is with Boeing Aircraft. STEVE PETTISE was accompanied by O.J. Freed, who is in the Restaurant business.  PP JIM COLLINS had three guests – his wife, CAROL, plus our former member Jim Bechtel, and Shawn Heilbron, who is an Assistant Athletic Director at UCLA, in their Development Office.  ROSE GAYNOR was with CHRIS, who also hosted Abram Salkin and Dennis Perez.  CHRIS pointed out that their law practice specialized in tax controversy.  MIKE YOUSEM brought a friend from grammar school days in Omaha, Marvin Steinberg.  PEGGY BLOOMFIELD was with Steve Deichmann.  ELLIOTT TURNER came with Thomas Schiff, who is an Associate.  ROZ was with DON, and SUNNY of course accompanied LENNY.  I brought George Vulich, who was a guest of WARREN DOD SON.  ED GAULD brought Katherine, who sings in the church choir with him.  Our Rotaract President, KATIA VAISBERG, had three members with her – Marian Pavlovich, Rebecca Mendoza and Nikkole Valdez.  All these guests do add to the meeting, and the applause certainly demonstrated that.

Ann Samson and Steve Scheer with Rotoract group.

PP STEVE SCHERER then invited TOM BARRON and the rest of the Yearling Table to join him.  In celebration of TOM’s becoming a full-fledged WVRC member, PLUS not having to sit with those dreadful Yearlings any more, STEVE and TOM then repeated the words of “Let Service Turn the Wheel”.  This is of course our WWVillage Rotary song – the good news is that they said, rather than sang, it!  Actually, it was written by our former member, JOHN HOAG, and it is well done, even in song.

Only one announcement, quoted as received by me from PAT ANDERSON: Art - in flowers and in paint – will be explored at the next Rotary Auxiliary meeting on Tuesday, May 13th, when Shirley More demonstrates floral arrangements with lilies and other blossoms while Pat Anderson tries to paint her impressions of the flowers in watercolor.  With luck the painting and the floral arrangement will be completed at the same time. The two-woman show follows lunch at the meeting in the home of Peter and Shirley More, 10437 Kinnard Ave, Westwood.  Guests arrive at 11:30 a.m., according to Cathy Gauld and Eloise Siskel, co-presidents, and reservations should be made by phoning or writing a $5 check to Marjorie Downie, 633 Burlingame Ave, Los Angeles, 90049.

PP CHRIS GAYNOR resumed the Chair, telling a story of UCLA involvement that probably defies comparison.  Not only are CHRIS and ROSE UCLA Grads, but CHRIS’s father and mother came from the same, as well as his sister, brother and I guess some uncles and aunts!  This brought forth PP JIM COLLINS, who made the formal introduction of Coach Ben Howland. Coach Howland’s bio includes HS in Santa Barbara and on to Weber State where he was named the Defensive Player of the Year. He spent some time as an Assistant Coach at Santa Barbara, then was offered the Head Coaching challenge at Northern Arizona.  In five years he brought them back to NCAA contention – and was named the Head Coach at Pittsburgh.  His four years there produced similar results, and when UCLA called, he was ready.  Now completing his fifth year at UCLA, the Bruins under Howland have been to the Final Four the last three years in a row – something only done twice before in the last 25 years. As JIM pointed out, we needed help, having been under the guidance of a Broadcaster, not necessarily a coach.

Coach Howland began by pointing out to PP CHRIS that the entrance requirements have changed somewhat since he came here – it’s tougher now.  Ben’s sister graduated from UCLA, and now is in Development at Johns Hopkins, but he takes real pleasure in being able to represent the “finest academic institution in the world”. Our hospital is one of the three best in the entire U.S., receiving about 800 million dollars annually from the National Institute of Health for research.  His daughter works at the hospital, and his son will be transferring to UCLA as a Junior next fall.(Sounds to YOE like he is trying to sneak up on PP CHRIS’s record!)

He has been a UCLA fan since he was a kid.  Later, as a young coach, he oversaw the development of John Stockton, and because of a shortage of players, ended up playing against John – and he credits his defensive tenacity with that experience. This is his dream job – he was offered a huge increase recently to move to another program, but this is where he chooses to stay.  He points out that he doesn’t know who will be on the team next year.  As an example of the draw of the Draft, last Sunday at 10 pm was the deadline for players to declare – and there were SEVENTY names submitted. These are only underclassmen, since seniors don’t have a deadline. Kevin Love will probably be a lottery pick.  Russell Westbrook has declared, but unless he is in the top 20, he will return to UCLA instead – and Ben doesn’t expect him back.  Luc Richard Mbah a Moute and Josh Shipp have put their names in, to test the waters.  That’s four of your five starters, with only Darren Collison returning for sure. Darren will be a senior, and he wants to leave his legacy at UCLA.

The NBA teams can now pay prospects to work out for them, between June 3rd and the 26th.  But back to UCLA – returning will be James Keefe, who came on strong at the end of the season, and Michael Roll – both will be juniors. One of the adages of coaching is that you are only as good as your seniors – last year we had none, and this year we had one.  So you have to learn to adjust to some players leaving before their four years are complete.  That’s why the Mid-Majors – Gonzaga, Drake, Butler come to mind –are advancing so far into the Tournament – they all have seniors.

Alfred Aboya and Darren Collison will be seniors (Aboya will graduate this summer, after only THREE YEARS,) and depending on what happens, Luc Richard and Josh Shipp will be seniors if they return. We’ll know about them by June 16th, apparently.

This year, absent the NBA, Jordan Farmar and Aaron Affalo would have been our seniors.  The premium today is on size – plus being a good student, with high skill level.  This leaves a small skill pool of players that fit those conditions.

Ben is a real non-fan of the internet,  Anyone can say anything, and because they read it, some people will believe anything.  He suggested that if any of what he says today appears on the internet, this will be his last appearance in this venue!  He is bringing in four freshmen. For the second year in a row, we have the National HS Player of the Year, in the person of Drue (sp) Holiday from Campbell Hall HS. (And I know you need to know this, since my daughter, Andrea, was Student Body President there, and of course graduated.)  Drue is a great kid, and we are delighted he will be with us.  Another freshman is Malcolm Lee, a guard who can play three positions.  Jeremy Anderson from Orange County is a Point Guard, and he has all the attributes to be great.  Our fourth freshman is Drew Gordon.  He is 6’8, 240, and is the best shot-putter in the state, as a sideline!  A couple of weeks ago there was a game between international players and those from the U.S. and all of our four freshmen were on that team – Ben refers to it as a highlight film for UCLA recruiting. 

The Pac Ten this year will be tough, particularly Arizona State with all starters returning, Cal with former Stanford Coach Mike Montgomery at the helm, and Lute Olson back at Arizona.  There could be eight players taken in the first round! However, Ben did promise us that he will never coach at USC – wow, that’s a relief!   He took a couple of questions – something he wouldn’t do for anyone but Jim Collins, he avers. PP MIKE NEWMAN wanted to know where the program was going, and his answer was that it was coming back to the days of John Wooden. MARK BLOCK asked if there might be any foreign players who could fill the #5 position.  Well, we are always looking for good players.  PP STEVE SCHERER asked what Ben would be doing if he wasn’t coaching. The answer – there are several teachers in his family, and that’s probably where he would be.  Ben Howland, Thanks for being with us!


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, Hyatt Regency Century City, in the Breeze Cafe
    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