Program Chair:
  Peggy Bloomfield
April 16, 2009   

May 7
Steve Day

May 12
District Breakfast

Next Week...
April 23
Craft Talks: Susan Klein and Scott Fitch

Upcoming Programs...
Apirl 30
Curt Smith - "Reach Out and Read"

May 7
Foundation Chair Steve Day on Paul Harris Society,
PH Fellows and Rotary Foundation

April 30 - May 3
District Conference, Westin Costa Mesa
All Officers and Committee Chairs must attend

May 12
District Breakfast - LAX
All Officers and Committee Chairs must attend
Westin Hotel, 5400 W. Century Blvd., Los Angeles

Field Trip to the renovated Griffith Observatory

May 16
District Assembly
All Officers and Committee Chairs must attend

June 27
Demotion Dinner, Beach Club

This Week...
Windmill for Thursday, April 16, 2009
President Sean called the meeting of the Friendly Westwood Village Rotary Club to order. PP Peter More led us in the Pledge of Allegiance. Visiting Rotarian Colin Walker gave us a stirring invocation. Our song was Home on the Range.

Our visiting Rotarians included Colin and Josephine Walker, Brad Robinson from Beverly Hills, and Joe Mulryan from LA5. Lenny Friedman’s guest was his lovely wife Sunny. Peggy Bloomfield brought guests the Gregorys. Don Nelson’s guest was Gabe Cogwin.

The head table included President Sean, Peggy Bloomfield, Colin and Josephine Walker. Elliott Turner provided us with our inspirational moment. Brad Robinson reminded us about the District 5280 Conference, coming up at the end of the month. He highlighted some of the planned events and showed a promotional video.

President Sean presented some historical facts: On April 15, 1912, the Titanic sank on her maiden voyage; 1,513 died, and 732 survived. On April 16, 1752, the first regular stagecoach service began between Dublin and Belfast. On April 16, 1782, the Irish Parliament declared its independence from the English Parliament.

In Dublin, Thomas Francis Meagher presented the tricolor national flag of Ireland to the public for the first time at a meeting of the Young Ireland Party. Five regiments of Irish soldiers who would form the nucleus of France’s famed Irish Brigade set sail from Ireland for France. In Scotland, the Battle of Culloden Moor was fought.

Peggy Bloomfield introduced our speaker, Brian Center, Executive Director of A Better LA. Mr. Center received his J.D. from UCLA in 1993 and was a business litigator for over eight years. He became Justice Deputy for County Supervisor Gloria Molina in 2001, helping with both budgetary matters and law enforcement efforts, including crime prevention and police oversight. He began working with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department in 2005, addressing homelessness and ex-offenders re-entering society after their incarceration. He is currently Chair of the Los Angeles County Re-Entry Advisory Board.

Mr. Center has been active in a variety of community activities, including serving as a temporary judge in the Los Angeles Superior Court, helping to found CalAware, an organization dedicated open government, and serving on the advisory boards of Family Services and Art Share LA, nonprofit organizations helping at-risk families and youth.

Mr. Center joined A Better LA in 2007. This organization was founded about six years ago when Pete Carroll, head football coach at USC, decided to do something about senseless killings in the inner city. He contacted Lou Tice of The Pacific Institute, and they formed A Better L.A. The organization is guided by two principles: Address those who no one else will help—those involved in violence—and individuals can change their attitudes and behavior—they can set positive goals and objectives. In order to give effect to these principles, A Better LA takes three steps: engaging outreach workers, meeting individual needs, and locking in success by providing the resources needed for success.

Mr. Center noted the irony of graduating from UCLA and now working for Pete Carroll. He discussed what causes young people to engage in gang violence and the impact of this violence in the inner city. A Better LA began by teaching classes on self empowerment and positive thinking, bringing together people from various backgrounds to come up with ways to solve the problem. Jailing offenders has not worked, because it merely results in recidivism.

The organization uses ex-gang members who have turned their lives around to reach out to kids and help them to stop the violence. Gang intervention workers are working together with law enforcement and are helping to decrease gang violence. Homicide rates are lower as a result. Mr. Center pointed out that similar techniques are being used in the war against terrorism.

A Better LA is working through community organizations, providing support, to empower those organizations and increase participation by those in the community. Even formerly hardcore gang members are getting involved to help make parks and neighborhoods safe for kids.

Mr. Center was encouraged that once kids become engaged in community programs, their lives and attitudes are changed for the better. They become productive rather than becoming involved in gang activity. Then social service and sports organizations can come in with programs to help improve kids’ lives. He was encouraged to see ways in which his organization has helped to stop the cycle of gang violence and retaliation.

In a question and answer session following his presentation, Mr. Center emphasized that it is important to stop the violence in the inner city, so that people will be willing to go into inner city neighborhoods to provide necessary services.

As a historical note, substitute editor Ed Jackson notes that in 1981, when he was teaching at Venice High School, there was Black-Brown gang warfare over a new drug called crack. He was introduced to the leader of an organization called Just Say Yes, who was called in to mediate the dispute between the gangs. It was interesting to find out that the mediator had to broker the truce among the adult groups, the high school groups and the junior high school groups. By the time the violence was over, over fifty of Mr. Jackson’s “babies” were dead.

—Ed Jackson, for YOE, Ernie Wolfe


Sean McMillan

President Elect
Ed Gauld

Vice President
Mark Block

Don Nelson

Shane Waarbroek

Executive Secretary
Ernie Wolfe, Jr.

Past President
Chris Bradford

Community Service Chair
Leah Vriesman
International Service Chair
Mark Rogo
Membership Chair
Steve Scherer
Vocational Service Chair
Curt Smith
Youth Service Chair
J.R. Dzubak



Dong Kurn Lee

   Chuck Anderson
Redondo Beach Rotary

NEARBY MAKEUP SITES: Monday, Beverly Hills, BH Hotel, 9641 Sunset / Tuesday, Hollywood, Trastevere Ristorante, 6801 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood, and
Inglewood, Hollywood Park Casino, 3883 W. Century Blvd, Inglewood
/ Wednesday, Century City, Hyatt Regency Century City, in the Breeze Cafe, Culver City, Raddison Hotel, 6161 W Centinela Ave, CC, or  Wilshire, The Ebell, 743 S. Lucerne Blvd, LA / Friday, Santa Monica, Riviera Country Club, 1250 Capri Dr, Pacific Palisades
For information about on-line makeups,