Club Assembly to Help Plan Our Year

(July 9, 2024)
PDG Dave Moyers chaired the meeting to assign our Club officers and plan for our activities. We always need good ideas for program speakers for our Club meetings and to continue supporting our fund-raising activities. We agreed on the following group of officers for 2024-2025:
2024-25 Club Officers:
  • Treasurer: Charley Ferraro
  • Community: Alberta Samuelson
  • International Service: Marylyn Klaus
  • Membership: Rob Katherman
  • Newsletter: Wes Bradford
  • Peace: Roger Schamp
  • Programs: Roger Schamp
  • Rotary Foundation: David Moyers
  • Club Service & Communication: Aurora Rysanek
  • Sergeant-at-Arms: Chuck Klaus
  • Social Media: Chuck Klaus
  • Fund-Raising: Chase Thacker
  • Immediate Past President: Victoria Perez-Thacker
Meetings in Charge, 2024-25:
  • July     Dave Moyers
  • Aug     Wally Christmas
  • Sept    Ralph Black
  • Oct     Chase Thacker
  • Nov    Evanswinda Valverde
  • Dec     Roger Schamp
  • Jan     Rob Katherman
  • Feb     Chuck Klaus
  • Mar     Steve Johnson
  • April    Aurora Rysanek
  • May    Alberta Samuelson
  • June    Lew Bertrand
Club Assembly to Help Plan Our Year Wes Bradford 2024-07-09 07:00:00Z 0

Demotion Party for President Victoria

(June 25, 2024)
We gathered for dinner at the Crème de la Crêpe Restaurant to reminisce about the past Rotary year. Background music on keyboard and bass was provided by Hong Wang, age 14, who has been playing since age 6 and was reported “famous in Beijing”. He moved here 8 months ago. His mother came to our celebration also, to help carry his heavy instruments (and to supervise). (Chase Thacker knows him from his Rolling Robots business.)
The restaurant served us a fancy dinner (filet mignon, duck, salmon, or ravioli) plus entrée & dessert. Recognition was given to the board members (with bottles of wine!), and President Victoria was sent into (hopefully temporary) retirement with a big bouquet.
NOTE: Our first meeting of the new Rotary Year will be at the restaurant on Tues, July 9 (Club Assembly, to help plan our year).
Demotion Party for President Victoria Wes Bradford 2024-06-25 07:00:00Z 0

Collage for Art & Culture, San Pedro, by Richard Foss

(June 11, 2024)
Richard Foss is Executive Director for Collage, “A Place for Art and Culture”, a 501c3 nonprofit organization that opened in July 2021, at 731 Pacific Ave in San Pedro. He also does reviews of restaurants for local publications, such as the Peninsula magazine and the Easy Reader.
He has been an author, theater director, culinary historian, museum consultant, science fiction author, and graphic designer, among other things. Before starting Collage along with George Woytovich (Collage Creative Director) and Patti Kraakevik (strategic planning), he had produced concerts and cultural events for groups such as the Culinary Historians of Southern California, Autry Museum of the American West, and other organizations.
Collage provides adventurous and accessible community art programs including the visual, performative, culinary, and literary world, and making culture inclusive to consider ethnicity, affinity, ability, and emerging ways people are brought together. Collage builds relationships with artistic and cultural communities and provides a space where they can come together to teach, learn, and entertain. Performances include live music, poetry, drawing classes, art shows, and culinary programs, and are open for jam sessions.
Collage has programs to donate instruments to young musicians who don’t have them, and to provide space so they can play there. It contacts local schools and private teachers to recommend students, and also offers services to disabled veterans, formerly incarcerated people, and others of any age for whom the community of musicians would be a joy and inspiration. They believe music brings value to every life.
Please contact to help with these programs, for questions, or to offer an instrument or monetary donation.
Collage for Art & Culture, San Pedro, by Richard Foss Wes Bradford 2024-06-11 07:00:00Z 0

Financial Management, by Tristan Pacleb

Posted by Wes Bradford
(May 28, 2024)
Tristan Pacleb works for Revolution Financial Management, a nationwide financial educational and advisory company headquartered in Nashville, TN, focused on helping working-class families, an underserved marketplace. His office is in Gardena. Many middle-class people have insufficient knowledge on managing short-term and long-term savings, insurance protection, debt solutions and wealth preservation. People need sound strategies on saving money for future financial success, reducing debt, protecting what is most valuable to them, and helping entrepreneurs create income streams.
Retirement support is shifting away from employer-provided pensions and more towards Social Security and personal savings. After paying for living expenses, taxes and debt management, saving enough for retirement is difficult for middle-class people. Managing your money involves more than just making and following a budget. A well-structured insurance strategy can help protect your family from financial consequences of unexpected events. It’s important to strike an appropriate balance between work and leisure, and consider steps to potentially accumulate the money you’ll need for the future.
He described the rule of 72, the number which can be divided by the annual return in percent to calculate the number of years needed for an investment to double its value. Investment returns of course fluctuate, and investing also involves risk including potential loss of principal. Also consider the effect of tax categories on saving: taxed annually, tax-deferred until withdrawal, or tax-advantaged during accumulation and distribution. Estate management includes personal affairs while you're alive as well as control of the distribution of wealth upon your death.
To take a serious look at your present and future financial situation, make an appointment with a financial-management associate. Tristan Pacleb is available at or (310) 897-1367 (located at 1515 W 190th St, Gardena). The company website is It has online financial information resources including finance calculators and investment and tax information.
Financial Management, by Tristan Pacleb Wes Bradford 2024-05-28 07:00:00Z 0

Rob Katherman, Water Replenishment District

(May 14, 2024)
Our new member Rob Katherman was elected in 2004 to the Water Replenishment District Board ( as Director of Division 2, including PV and the South Bay area.  He has a BS in Civil Engineering, MS in Environmental Engineering, and MPA in Urban/Regional Planning. He has also been a Trustee of the PV Library District and Board member of the LA Harbor College Foundation and the Ken Malloy Harbor Regional Park Advisory Board. He has been involved in land use planning, environmental impact analysis, and governmental and community relations.
The WRD serves 4 million residents in 43 cities in southern LA County, providing a reliable supply of high-quality local groundwater for almost half of the region’s water use. It monitors and tests groundwater, administers controlled pumping, water rights sales and leases, storage, and conversions. It owns 3 water treatment facilities: 2 advanced treatment facilities and a groundwater desalter. It also provides water education programs. Rob passed around a miniature version of a water filter, showing the filter layers.
The WRD was formed by popular vote in 1959 to protect groundwater resources and to avoid unregulated and unmanaged over-pumping that resulted in many water wells going dry. Along the coastline, groundwater levels dropped below sea level, allowing saltwater to intrude into the freshwater aquifers. The last 20 years have been the driest in the last 1000 years, so drought is the new normal. The short-term solution is water conservation, but in the long term we must reclaim local wastewater. Catchment basins (“un-paving” some of our runoff areas) can allow much more runoff water to be captured to replenish the aquifers.
The WRD has about 300 active-production water wells. It has water spreading grounds in Montebello and seawater barrier injection wells along the coast. Some salty groundwater can be cleaned up using reverse osmosis. Another new serious problem is contamination by PFAS (“forever chemicals”), from sources like pesticides, paints, nonstick cookware and stain resistant products. Safety regulations call for less than 1 part per trillion. Groundwater and surface water are being sampled for monitoring. Remediation must be quick to prevent closure of wells and preventing the spread of PFAS.
Rob discussed the geology in the LA water basin, with the prehistoric layers and history of uplift, sea level changes, and volcanic activity. The basin was originally below sea level with Palos Verdes being an uplifted island. Some layers are permeable (volcanic ash), and some are impermeable clay, so there are multiple layers of groundwater.
Rob Katherman, Water Replenishment District Wes Bradford 2024-05-14 07:00:00Z 0

Camp Pendleton Community Service Fund, by David Hensler

(Apr 23, 2024)
David Henseler, Past-President of South Bay Sunrise Rotary Club, has led community service projects for many years. He has been promoting the Camp Pendleton Community Service Fund (collecting baby products and household items for Marine families on the base). He and Karen Greenberg collect these donated supplies from District 5280 Rotarians at their home in Torrance several times a year to ship to Camp Pendleton. (Watch for announcements about the next collection date.)
The Pendleton Community Service Fund ( was started in 2004 by a new Rotary Club in Camp Pendleton, to help military families there. Donations are stored in the Warrior Warehouse at the North end of Camp Pendleton. Every Friday morning, the warehouse is opened so that young military families can select from goods such as baby products, glassware, linens, pots and pans, and lightly-used furniture, at no charge. The Rotarians also built and inscribed a Memorial Wall with names of over 1,600 Marines and Sailors who passed through Camp Pendleton and died in Iraq and Afghanistan. David is trying to recruit more Rotary Clubs in Orange County to support this ongoing project.
David is also active in Rise Against Hunger (, an organization established to provide support and packets of food to delivered to people in various countries where people are starving because of natural disasters and man-made disasters. Their goal is to pack and send out 50,000 meals per year, including soy, rice, vitamins, and other nutrients. These packets are shipped out in boxes of limited size and weight to minimize shipping costs. They periodically solicit volunteers and support to assemble these food packages. (The next scheduled date is Nov 9, 2024, at the Torrance YMCA; watch for announcements for volunteers.)
Camp Pendleton Community Service Fund, by David Hensler Wes Bradford 2024-04-23 07:00:00Z 0

Rolling Robots, Chase Thacker

(Apr 9, 2024)
Our Past-President Chase Thacker presented the latest information on his work with “Rolling Robots”, a group of age-appropriate robotics-design educational programs for children. Their students have done well on VEX Robotics international competitions. The major age-groups are:
  • VEX 123 (age 4-5) – basic login & commands
  • VEX GO (age 5-6) – (simpler version of VEX IQ)
  • VEX IQ (age 7-10) – plastic parts, motors, sensors, block coding, beginners competitions
  • VEX VRC (age 11-17) – metal parts, advanced motors & sensors, autonomous coding
  • VEX U (or AI) (age 17-university) – computerized design, 3-D printing, AI, 2 robots/challenge
The students learn coding by moving labeled colored blocks on a screen to assemble a program, rather than writing long lists of traditional complex coding commands:
Competitions are like athletic contests, with robots throwing & catching objects:
The winners:
Rolling Robots, Chase Thacker Wes Bradford 2024-04-09 07:00:00Z 0

Artificial Intelligence, by Tony Self

Posted on Mar 26, 2024
(Mar 26, 2024)
Tony Self is an REO broker in California & Nevada with over 6000 sales. He launched & ZipForms. (His email address is He discussed the development of Artificial Intelligence (AI), which is expanding rapidly. Some people fear it may “destroy humanity” because of its potential power for good and evil.
Tony showed a video of a life-size human-like android walking and using its hands with tools. He reviewed how AI tools can be used, including “marketing on steroids” and “glamour shots” with modified images. AI can generate text, books, videos, pictures, software, songs, androids, and “deep fakes” (already showing up in social media and politics). Over half of people can’t tell that AI generated its content.
Major AI players include ChatGPT (OpenAI,, Microsoft Bing AI (with a $13 billion investment in OpenAI), and Google Bard (80% of Google’s revenue is from advertising). ChatGPT gained 1 million users in its first 5 days and gets 1 billion website visits per month. Other major AI tools include Canva (, Leonardo (, and Artflow (
ChatGP can create anything text related: real estate property descriptions, prompts for other AI tools, and written articles. Canva is a social media creator for print, photos, videos and AI “Magic Studio”. Artflow can train an AI image engine to superimpose your likeness or other characters on images (such as putting your face on a chimpanzee).
Artificial Intelligence, by Tony Self Wes Bradford 2024-03-26 07:00:00Z 0

Try-Outs for District Pageant of the Arts

We had a very good turnout to see our candidates for the District Pageant of the Arts (scheduled for April 13):
Sophie Sun, 1st Place in Speech:
The Quartet of Iris Shia, Justin Back, Allison Yu, & Richard Zheng, 1st Place in Music:
Ola Bojorquez & Michael Wam, 2nd Place in Music:
Nation Dixon, 3rd Place in Music:
Gia Anna Wynne, 1st Place in Voice:
Avery Tyajaska, 1st Place in Dance (from video presentation):
The District's 2024 Pageant of the Arts will be on Sat, April 13, at the 1st United Methodist Church of Glendale. The 1st Place in each contest will receive $1,000; 2nd Place $500; 3rd Place $250. (See for details.)
Try-Outs for District Pageant of the Arts Wes Bradford 2024-03-12 07:00:00Z 0

Palos Verdes Kelp Forest, Michael Friedman

(Feb 27, 2024)
Michael Friedman is Chair of the Speakers Bureau of Los Serenos de Point Vicente (, a volunteer organization founded in 1984 by the city of Rancho Palos Verdes. It provides community interpretive and educational services about the natural and cultural history of the PV Peninsula and coastal waters.
Kelp is not a plant, because it has no roots. It is a multicellular form of algae that needs a rock surface to attach to, so that it can get nutrition from ocean currents. The Giant Kelp in our coastal waters can grow 2 feet per day, up to 200 feet, with the top floating on the ocean surface as a canopy. A multibillion-dollar industry uses it in food, cosmetics, industrial and medical products, foam on beer, toothpaste, humidifiers and lubricants. Only the top is harvested. Abalone mollusks eat it, and many fish shelter and breed there. The fishing industry complained about sea otters catching fish there, so the otters were removed in many areas, resulting in sea urchins multiplying and destroying the kelp beds by chewing through the kelp holdfasts. 75% of kelp beds have been lost.
DDT dumping offshore is a huge problem here. The Montrose company in the LA Harbor area produced half of the world supply of DDT from 1947-1982. Then the plant was closed, the area was designated as a US Superfund hazardous waste site, and the company was sold in 1987 to a foreign company (which has escaped liability). At least 27,000 barrels (thousands of tons) have been dumped off the coast. The DDT is leaking and poisoning ocean plant and animal life here. (Sea lions are now developing cancer, and brown pelicans’ eggs for years became too fragile for survival because of DDT contamination of their food.)
DDT is a known carcinogen that was banned in the US in 1972. DDT also disrupts the hormone system and promotes diabetes, obesity and nervous system hypersensitivity. In the body, DDT binds to fat and bio-accumulates because it cannot be metabolized. It is transmitted in the placenta and breast milk. There is no available method to detoxify vast areas of ocean water.
Palos Verdes Kelp Forest, Michael Friedman Wes Bradford 2024-02-27 08:00:00Z 0

Friends of Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, Caroline Brady

(Feb 13, 2024)
Caroline Brady is Executive Director of the Friends of the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium in San Pedro, which supports the Aquarium’s mission to promote exploration, respect and conservation of Southern California Marine life. It provides funding for many education and outreach programs and special events, and allows free admission to the aquarium. The Aquarium was founded in 1935 as a collection of shells & ocean specimens at the Cabrillo Beach bathhouse. Its current building opened in 1981 and now has an Exploration Center, Aquatic Nursery Research Lab and a Research Library. In 2007, a Young Scientists Program was established.
Among its many programs are grunion events, outdoor classroom and ocean outreach, as well as school programs and field trips. The Young Scientists Program, supported by the Honda USA Foundation, educates students about the ocean environment with research projects, and teaches them research skills and potential STEM career pathways. They learn data collection, record-keeping, and knowledge of animal diets, aquatic chemistry and water sampling techniques. Local colleges & universities help to identify a diverse group of students for paid internships.
Junior & Senior high school students are encouraged to pursue science-related college degrees. College student interns & graduates have been obtaining jobs in science-related fields within their local communities. Among past student achievements are a Bill and Melinda Gates Award (paying for the student’s entire education), a MacArthur Genius Award (for a student's work with moon jellies), and a world-renowned jellyfish expert who began at the Aquarium as a community college student intern. More information about activities and support opportunities is available at
Friends of Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, Caroline Brady Wes Bradford 2024-02-13 08:00:00Z 0

Our Future is Blue, by Robin Aube

(Jan 23, 2024)
Robin Aube is Director of Advancement at AltaSea in the Port of Los Angeles. AltaSea was founded in 2014 as a nonprofit ocean-focused science, business and education center at the Port of Los Angeles. Its purpose is to coordinate scientific collaboration, business innovation and education and job creation. The Blue Economy refers to the sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth while preserving the health of the ocean. Its educational function prepares today’s students for future jobs in science, technology, engineering, business and the ocean. The business hub provides assistance and support for innovators and entrepreneurs in this area, connecting them with several world-class research institutions and government regulators.
Education activities include K-12 learning in class, field trips, and an ocean research barge, teacher development and training workshops, and public open house and exhibition programs. There are high school mentorships, post-secondary internships, and aquaculture and marine energy-development programs.
$28 million has been raised so far for renovation of Berths 58, 59 & 60, planned for opening in May 2024, including wharf renovation. A master planning process is planned for expansion to Berths 70-71. A center of education is planned in Berth 57 by summer 2026. The facility is self-sustaining and operating at a net profit since the end of 2023, with over 140 partners including 30 universities, 40 business partners, and 15 community organizations.
Our Future is Blue, by Robin Aube Wes Bradford 2024-01-23 08:00:00Z 0

Club Assembly

(Jan 9, 2024)
Chase Thacker reviewed our Club’s projects & activities over the past year. Our biggest project was the Model UN Conference at Peninsula HS last year, supported by a Rotary Global Grant.
We had a successful July 4th beer & wine booth fundraiser at RPV City Hall, supported by good “beer weather”. We sponsored our young member Mark Szilagyi to the RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Assembly) in September at Running Springs. We participated in the decorated-vehicle “Trunk or Treat” Halloween event for children at RPV City Hall (a tyrannosaurus rex roamed the grounds but kept a safe distance from us).
We packed food supplies for “RISE Against Hunger” (, a global movement to end hunger by empowering communities, nourishing lives and responding to hunger emergencies. We had a Bird-Feeder construction project (ending bird-hunger?). Echo Lee generously hosted our Prospective-Member Reception at her home. We participated in the nation-wide “Be a Santa to a Senior” program (, by providing practical gifts to brighten a local senior’s holiday season.
Our Club Treasurer Charley Ferraro presented our projected and actual budget figures for monthly and annual income and expenses. We are within budget limits and have adequate reserves for planned activities.
Club Assembly Wes Bradford 2024-01-09 08:00:00Z 0
Holiday Celebration (Crème de la Crêpe Restaurant) Wes Bradford 2023-12-12 08:00:00Z 0

Diets & Dieting, by Dr Wes Bradford

(Nov 28, 2023)
1/3 of Americans are dieting at any time, and typical dieters try again 4 times/year! 80% start on their own, but some try groups or organizations like Weight Watchers, with special foods or menus, or healthful choices at restaurants, shopping and cooking. The US government publishes revised Dietary Guidelines for Americans every 5 years (they can’t make up their minds either!). The current 2020-2025 guideline has been criticized by whistleblowers for ignoring newer scientific evidence and for restricting communication between its members. It also recommends much lower sodium intake than 95% of the world population, without evidence of health benefits except in certain specified diseases.
Why such confusion? Many weight-loss trials are limited by small samples, limited generalizability (“the devil is in the details”), lack of blinded determination of outcome, lack of diet-adherence data, and large loss to follow-up. A hidden factor in government studies is lobbyists from fast food chains, food factory companies, manufacturers of additives, preservatives, pesticides & herbicides, & corporate agriculture (most family farmers are gone).
Many popularized diets have come and gone, like the Zone diet & South Beach diet, with variable proportions of the major food groups — carbs, protein, & fats. They tend to agree on the importance of eating healthful-sourced foods, including organic & free-range or wild-caught.
What about vegan diets? They avoid all use of animal products (not just diet, as in vegetarianism), including animal-tested products, and are concerned about animal welfare & environmental costs. They are lower-cost, more environmentally friendly, and potentially less chemically-toxic. Among their problems are vitamin B12-deficiency & vegan protein’s tendency to be more inflammatory on the immune system. Common plant-food sensitivities include GLUTEN (wheat, rye, barley), corn, soy & other legumes (bean family), & nightshades (tomatoes, potatoes). (Paleolithic people didn’t eat grass seeds or beans, so our biology is not well-adapted to these foods; they can trigger auto-immune diseases and other chronic health problems that are seldom suspected as food-related.)
Ketogenic (low-carb high-fat) diets promote weight loss by suppressing appetite (Obes Rev. 2015 Jan;16(1):64-76). This may help explain the increasing rate of obesity that has more than tripled since the early 1960s, when the “Low-Fat Diet” recommendation was introduced.
The different weight-response to dietary fat content seems to relate to the insulin hormone, which stores excess glucose (from digested carbs) in the form of body weight for “the next famine”. Without enough insulin, the blood sugar would go too high, which damages body tissues, but having enough insulin to control the blood sugar by storing it promotes weight gain (as diabetics know). However, the body can’t store excess dietary fat (because there is no insulin-equivalent for it), so the appetite shuts off instead. This seems to be why high-fat diets lead to more weight loss than low-fat diets (Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol. 2015 Dec;3(12):968-79). (Weight-loss also reduces coronary risk & diabetes.)
What about cholesterol effects of dietary fats? A British review found no evidence that coronary risk is affected by either lower saturated fats or higher polyunsaturated fats (Ann Intern Med. 2014 Mar 18;160(6):398-406). However, commercially-processed trans-fats, such as in “partially-hydrogenated” vegetable  oils, salad-dressings, margarine and commercial fried foods (potato chips, French fries, etc), cause major blood vessel damage and coronary risk (Atherosclerosis. 2009 Aug;205(2):458-65). Trans-fats are chemically different from the natural fats in healthful foods that the body is biologically programmed for. (Avoid trans fats; our bodies did better before we started our modern industrialized diets. Eat food with a variety of good-quality fats instead, including organic extra-virgin olive oil; there are many different kinds of fats, just like with vitamins & minerals.)
Diets & Dieting, by Dr Wes Bradford Wes Bradford 2023-11-28 08:00:00Z 0

Prospective Member Night (at Home of Echo Lee)

(Nov 14, 2023)
Our Club members met with several prospective members at the beautiful home of our member Echo Lee. After enjoying a bountiful selection of “heavy hors d’oeuvres” and personal mixing, we had presentations of Rotary’s 7 areas of focus, our local and international programs, and personal accounts of how some of our members became active in Rotary.
We welcomed our new prospective members attending, including Monica Varely Snyder, Rachel Castilla, Angel Estrada, Scott Schoenfeld, & Jacky Yoo. (Did we miss anyone?) Having more members can help us to expand our service projects and fellowship opportunities.
Prospective Member Night (at Home of Echo Lee) Wes Bradford 2023-11-14 08:00:00Z 0

Halloween Game & Costume Night

(Oct 24, 2023)
We had a Halloween-themed “Answer Battle” with attendees on 2 teams.
Then the best Halloween costumes were lined up for judging:
Halloween Game & Costume Night Wes Bradford 2023-10-24 07:00:00Z 0

LA County Solid Waste Management, Danielle Thomas

(Oct 10, 2023)
Danielle Thomas works with the Energy Recovery Section of Solid Waste Management for LA County sanitation districts. Their mission is to protect public health and the environment with cost-effective wastewater and solid waste management to produce recycled water, energy and recycled materials. Effective sanitation is considered to have been the most important health milestone in the past century, with improved sewage disposal and clean water supply to reduce epidemic infections such as cholera.
Los Angeles County has many separate sanitation facilities. For the South Bay area, she showed a map of active and closed landfills (such as the former Palos Verdes landfill under the Botanic Garden, and the Puente Hills landfill closed in 2013), energy facility, recycle and transfer stations, and compost facilities. There is a transfer station in Southgate, recycling and transfer facility in Downey, and a materials recovery facility in Puente Hills. Some plastics and metals can be recycled for materials resale. Waste is transferred on the Union Pacific Railroad from LA into Imperial County, past the Salton Sea to the Mesquite Landfill near the Mexican and Arizona borders. (This will also eventually fill up).
The Tulare Lake Compost Facility takes biosolids and amendments, mixes and covers them into aerated piles, then screens the output to produce high-quality compost. solid and water waste and refuse  are digested to produce 23 MW for district facilities and 52 MW for electrical power sales. Danielle showed photos of energy recovery facilities, including the Calabasas and Puente Hills Landfills gas-to-energy facilities. Processed and unprocessed food waste goes through anaerobic (oxygen-free) digestion to produce methane biogas for electricity, heating, and vehicular fuels. Post-treatment solid waste becomes compost for fertilizer.
LA County Solid Waste Management, Danielle Thomas Wes Bradford 2023-10-10 07:00:00Z 0

Palos Verdes Real Estate Market, PDG Dave Moyers

(Sept 26, 2023)
PDG Dave Moyers is a Past President of our Club and was District Governor of District 5280 in 2007-2008. He is a real estate broker who started his career in August 1973, now completing 50 years in real estate (
Residential real estate is popular in Palos Verdes because of its fine school system and community attractiveness. With the recent trend of working more from home, buyers often want a bigger home with more workspace.
Dave reviewed the current residential real estate market in the Palos Verdes Peninsula area. He passed out a packet of fact sheets on local trends for the most recent 12 months. This included monthly totals of single-family homes and condos/townhomes for sale, sold, or pended. Homes were on the market for an average of about 30 days, ranging from 20 to 66 days. Current 30-year mortgage rates can be viewed on (after answering questions about income, credit rating, etc). The average rate was 5.53% for 2022. The lowest recent rate was 3.15% in 2021, and the highest in the recent past was 16.64% in 1981.
Average selling prices were about $2.6 million for single-family homes, and over $1 million for condos and townhomes. The average price per square foot was about $920 for single-family homes and about $630 for condos and townhomes.
Affordability is a challenge for many young families with children. An old “rule of thumb” for buyers’ house price was that it should not exceed 2-2½ times the annual income. At the current median Los Angeles County income of $98,000, an affordable house would sell for about $250,000, but affordability is also affected by mortgage rates.
Palos Verdes Real Estate Market, PDG Dave Moyers Wes Bradford 2023-09-26 07:00:00Z 0

Mark Szilagyi, Craft Talk

(Sept 12, 2023)
Mark Szilagyi is one of our new members, and has helped us with setting up communications equipment at our Club meetings. He grew up in Redondo Beach and graduated from Torrance South High, where he took AP Computer Science courses. He is now pursuing these interests at El Camino College, while also working over the past year with Chase Thacker at the Palos Verdes center of Rolling Robots, helping to teach children about design and use of robots. The children are in several age groups, starting by learning basic computer logic and commands, and gradually progressing to electronics and building and programming hardware. He has a busy schedule balancing work and school.
Mark attended the recent District RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Assembly) Sept 8-10 at Running Springs in the San Bernardino Mountains. (See photos.)
Mark discussed his hobby of the past several years, picking & opening locks, which he learned from his father’s interests. He displayed several intricate tools and discussed how they work. He showed us transparent models of locks to show how different tools work on various parts of the lock mechanism.
Mark Szilagyi, Craft Talk Wes Bradford 2023-09-12 07:00:00Z 0

World Youth Day, Daisy Dominguez

(Aug 22, 2023)
Daisy Dominguez is a “youth activist” who grew up in Long Beach, where she enjoys family activities with her parents and 2 sisters and a brother. She works as a care associate at a cancer center in Long Beach, and helps to educate poor families in the community on how to save money. She has weekly church Bible study, teaches teens on Confirmation studies, and sings at 5:30 PM Mass on Sundays.
Daisy attended World Youth Day (WYD), an inspiring Catholic religious retreat Aug 1-6 in Lisbon, Portugal. She could never afford to go to big religious retreats previously, but this year she managed to raise $500 in March for her registration by selling cookies and coffee (in the rain!). She showed us many photos of her experiences there.
World Youth Day is a week-long Catholic gathering of young people from all over the world to promote ethical values and charity. It was founded by Pope John Paul II in Rome in 1986, and is repeated every several years in different host countries. The last one was in Panama in 2019, and the next one is planned for South Korea in 2027. Before each gathering begins, these young people are integrated into nearby dioceses in the host country to become better acquainted with the region’s culture, some of them staying in local family homes.
World Youth Day is organized to challenge the youth to reflect on the themes of Integral Ecology, Social Friendship, and Mercy. Events were organized in the areas of Music, Cinema, Exhibitions, Theatre, Dance, Conferences and Religious Events. An outdoor Mass was celebrated by Pope Francis to end the gathering.
World Youth Day, Daisy Dominguez Wes Bradford 2023-08-27 07:00:00Z 0

Humanitarian Trip to Ecuador April 2024

(Aug 8, 2023)
René Mejia is a past president of the Bellflower Rotary Club and helps with the Camp Pendleton donation collection. He is the founder of California Exchange Insurance Center, a health-insurance exchange for physicians, insurance agents and the public. He has participated in 3 past District humanitarian trips.
Dr Zoraida Suarez-Grossman grew up in Venezuela and came to the US in 1981 for medical training. She is a Neurologist in Encino and was married to the late PDG Leslie Grossman (who passed away in 2021). She is a past president of the Greater Van Nuys Rotary Club. She is a cochair with René Mejia of the District Humanitarian Trip to Ecuador in April 2024.
7 Global Grant Projects are planned for the Ecuador trip: environmental multimedia education, potable water for Andean communities and 8 water-treatment systems, educating teachers for Down Syndrome students, self-confidence training for adolescent girls, pacemakers for low-income cardiac patients, and Operation Smile (cleft palate repair). There are 4 other projects: instruments for youth orchestra, toilets for impoverished families in the city of Manta on the Pacific Coast, a peace garden in Quito, and oral hygiene training. These projects are sponsored by local Rotary Clubs and supported by District 5280 Rotarians and the Rotary Foundation. (Interested Rotarians can sign up for this trip on the District 5280 website.)
Environmental education for the San Pedro River will include promoting clean environmental practices and active engagement of schools and communities for participating in cleanup and restoration of the river.
A side trip will be available to the Galapagos Islands, which are on the equator 600 miles west of Ecuador. The Galápagos have a large number of unique species including the giant tortoise (Galápagos in Spanish), tropical birds & iguanas, sea lions, and the world’s only tropical penguins. These unique species and their potential relationships with other species elsewhere were studied by Charles Darwin in the 1830s and inspired his theory of evolution of species by natural selection. Most of the islands’ territory is protected as a National Park and Marine Reserve.
Humanitarian Trip to Ecuador April 2024 Wes Bradford 2023-08-08 07:00:00Z 0

District Governor Makiko Nakasone Club Visit

(July 25, 2023)
Our 2023-2024 DG Makiko Nakasone has been a Rotarian since 2004 and is a member of the Glendale Noon Rotary Club. She showed us her childhood photos growing up in Japan near Mt Fuji. From there, she became an American Field Service exchange student to South Dakota in 1975-76, and a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar to Germany in 1982-83. She majored in German at the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies and did graduate studies in Journalism at UC Santa Cruz. She has been a free-lance writer, financial news reporter, and a Japan Readers Digest Editor. She currently owns an educational services consulting company.
DG Makiko’s Rotarian interests have included Rotary’s Peace Initiatives and New Club Development. We remember her promotion of the Rotary Model UN Peace Conference at Palos Verdes Peninsula High School on Oct 22, 2022, where a Hiroshima ginkgo tree offshoot was planted at the High School as a memorial to the 1945 Hiroshima bombing victims. A survivor of that attack near Ground Zero spoke to the attendees, and we also heard 2 Ukrainian War refugees and an Afghanistan War refugee speaking of their wartime experiences.
DG Makiko’s 3 goals are:
  1. Support The Rotary Foundation:
    1. Attend the Foundation Celebration on Nov 19
    2. Special Dinner with RIP Gordon McInally on May 13, 2024
  2. Promote Rotary’s visibility in the community:
    1. Wear Rotary emblems in the community
    2. Join “Peace Walk” pm Oct 28
    3. Join Rotarians at Work” Day on April 27, 2024
    4. (No more “best-kept secret in town”!)
  3. Grow Rotary:
    1. Let’s offer a great Club experience!
    2. Let’s each sponsor at least one new member!
Important coming Rotary events:
  • Humanitarian Trip to Ecuador April 2-12, 2024
  • District Conference, Millenium Biltmore Hotel in LA, May 5, 2024
  • RIP Gordon McInally’s Luncheon, May 13, 2024
  • RI Convention in Singapore, May 25-29, 2024
  • Japan Trip, May 30-June 5, 2024 (following convention)
DG Makiko and Pres Victoria conducted the Induction of our newest member Evanswinda Valverde into our Club!
Pres Victoria presented a check for $200 from our Club to the Rotary Foundation!
District Governor Makiko Nakasone Club Visit Wes Bradford 2023-07-25 07:00:00Z 0

Long-COVID, Wes Bradford

(July 11, 2023)
Long-COVID is a group of health problems that either persist or begin after a typical COVID recovery period (3 months after onset), and is long-term, multi-system, and often severe. CDC COVID statistics say over 6 million Americans have been hospitalized from it and over 1 million have died (almost 400 times the deaths from the “9-11” attacks). Unvaccinated status has 6 times the risk of developing COVID and 14 times the risk of dying from it. (Most severe cases are spread from contact with someone with mild or minimal symptoms.)
The  most common Long-COVID symptoms are fatigue, shortness of breath, and memory problems (with possible increased future dementia risk). Every body system can be affected (to different degrees depending on previous health status, with poor health such as diabetes dramatically increasing risk of severity). These symptoms impact daily functioning, resulting in increased numbers of people staying off work or leaving their jobs, often due to chronic fatigue and low energy.
So many parts of the body are affected because of immune system malfunction; Long-COVID starts to act like an autoimmune disease in arteries, damaging everything else, including the immune system’s “memory function” which we depend on to protect against future recurrences. Long-COVID prevalence is estimated at 5-50% (tens of millions of Americans), depending on definition of diagnosis and severity. There are no standard lab tests for diagnosis, and no drug treatments for it. (You can’t repair biological damage with drug molecules that don’t exist in nature, because the body is made from nutrient molecules that do exist in nature.)
Although Long-COVID is less likely if the initial infection was milder, it can occur even after non-apparent initial cases. It overlaps with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and both can involve reactivation of old Epstein-Barr Virus (in the Herpes family of viruses, which hibernate lifelong in the nervous system).
Health factors with increased risk include diabetes, overweight, insulin resistance, hypertension, and lung disease, which are all mediated by biochemical inflammation. Lifestyle factors include poor nutrition, smoking, stress, and poor sleep (under 8 hours). (Sugar & high-carb diets increase risk even without diabetes.) The best lifestyle defense is to stay healthy (healthful “organic diet”, exercise, low stress, don’t smoke, low alcohol, and good-quality sleep).
People often ask about COVID nutritional supplements. Studies show help from antioxidants such as Vitamin C up to 2000 mg daily spread throughout the day, and Astaxanthin 1 gelcap daily (a potent oil-soluble antioxidant that penetrates cell membranes). Oil of oregano mobilizes the immune system quicker (take one gelcap immediately at onset of any viral symptoms; available at Sprouts Market; keep refrigerated for freshness). Other supportive nutrients (buy good quality) include vitamin D3 (keep blood levels of 25-OH D3 up to 50s or 60s), Magnesium, Zinc, and Selenium. (Minerals should be in chelated form for bioavailability, not as “oxide”. Anti-acid drugs interfere with absorption.)
Long-COVID, Wes Bradford Wes Bradford 2023-07-11 07:00:00Z 0

Club End-of-Year Celebration

(June 27, 2023)
We celebrated the very successful year of our Club President Victoria Perez-Thacker at the Crème de la Crêpe Restaurant with our family members and friends. We enjoyed conversation, great food and cool music from a 4-member band, while the kids entertained themselves (mostly).
Victoria thanked the Club officers & members for their support, and gave out service awards. Victoria will be continuing as our President for 2023-24, and most of our officers will also continue. The Rotary Theme for 2023-2024 is “Create Hope in the World”.
Club End-of-Year Celebration Wes Bradford 2023-06-27 07:00:00Z 0

Marketing in Palos Verdes, Branding Strategist Vince Olivieri

(June 13, 2023)
Vince Olivieri moved to California from Miami, Florida, 10 years ago. He and his wife are expecting  birth of a baby girl soon. He has been in marketing/sales management for 8 years. He has now become a branding strategist and publisher for “Neighbors of Rolling Hills & Estates”, a “Best Version Media” production expected to launch in Sept 2023. This will be a no-cost monthly magazine distributed to “high-value homeowners” in the South Bay area, as well as a digital version, and will be supported by advertising by local businesses and non-profit organizations.
The magazine will feature a new family each month and share their stories with thousands of local readers. His goal is to bring neighbors closer together and to support local businesses and nonprofit organizations. Vince is looking for interested organizations who need publicity. He displayed samples of several magazine covers published by Best Version Media in other market areas.
BVM provides the resources and training for individuals like Vince to develop their own business to become a local monthly community magazine publisher. These local publications can help to build brand awareness and make both print and digital advertising easy for community business owners by placing and managing local targeted ad campaigns on Facebook and Google as well as in print. It provides monthly reports to advertisers on how many people are seeing their brand every month. Digital advertising is a time-consuming task, so he wants to make this experience easy and cost-effective for businesses to build their brand-awareness in their local community.
Marketing in Palos Verdes, Branding Strategist Vince Olivieri Wes Bradford 2023-06-13 07:00:00Z 0

Aurora Rysanek, Craft Talk

(May 23, 2023) Aurora was sponsored into our Club by Past President Victoria Perez-Thacker. She is a marketing director and lives in Rolling Hills Estates with her husband, Miki.
Her father had an MBA degree, so she grew up in a business-oriented family. She enjoyed art, music, and sports, and got her first job as a dog-walker. She was a Girl Scout and was active in sports such as track and tennis. After graduating from Torrance HS, she majored in Art History at El Camino College and received a BA in Graphic Design from the Art Institute of LA in 2001.
Aurora has had a number of positions in graphic design and marketing for companies such as Staples Center, the Bay Animal Hospital in Manhattan Beach, and SCORE Sports in Wilmington, manufacturer of sports uniforms and equipment. She enjoys creativity, communication, and problem-solving. When not at work, she enjoys books, hiking in wilderness areas, snowboarding, yoga, soccer, surfing, sailing, and spearfishing. (Did we miss anything?) Now she has her new Rotary family to give of herself in service to others.
Aurora Rysanek, Craft Talk Wes Bradford 2023-05-23 07:00:00Z 0

Club Assembly

(May 9, 2023) Pres Victoria opened the meeting with announcements, including the coming District Assembly Sat, May 20, to prepare for the new Rotary Year.

Treasurer Charley Ferraro reviewed our Club budget for the year so far. Income is ahead of expenses. Our charity fundraisers on July 4, PV Concerts, and Whale of a Day, brought in a net $6705.

Our Siany Orphanage & School project in Kisumu, Kenya, has been completed, with $8000 from our Club including generous help from our late member Astrid Naviaux. They sent us photos of the construction in progress.

Coming Club Service volunteer opportunities (sign up!):

  • Club booth at the PV Street Fair & Music Festival, Sat & Sun, June 10-11, 10 AM to 6 PM, in the Norris Center Dr & Deep Valley Dr area.
  • Club Beer & Wine booth at the Concert in the Park, RPV City Hall, Sat, June 17, 4-6 PM.

Our District Grant Project, the Lomita Sheriff’s Memorial Center, has been completed and will have its opening Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony & Dinner Tue, June 13.

We have openings for next Rotary year for:

  • Opportunity Drawing Helper,
  • Happy Bucks,
  • Greeter,
  • Youth Chair,
  • Vocational Service,
  • President-Elect for 2025-26.

Rotary Growth Opportunities for all of us:

  • Spreading awareness,
  • Community visibility,
  • Bringing a friend to Rotary,
  • Contributing funds to the Rotary Foundation.
Club Assembly Wes Bradford 2023-05-09 07:00:00Z 0

District Humanitarian Trip to Belize, Wes Bradford

District Gov Ryans presenting a check for restroom upgrade to a primary school

(Apr 25, 2023) Wes Bradford presented his photos and experiences on the District 5280 Humanitarian Trip to Belize on March 23-28, 2023. About 100 Rotarians from our District participated with the Rotarians of District 4250 in Belize, for 15 life-changing service projects to improve the lives of their people, while enjoying international Rotary fellowship and unforgettable memories. Funding of about $215,000 was provided by both Districts and by Global Grants, and the projects were coordinated by local Rotary Clubs. This trip provided an opportunity for our Rotarians to visit the projects in progress and to do some hands-on work on-site with local Rotarians and students.

The projects included upgrades for school facilities, scholarships, tree-planting, and mentoring for youth at risk. Adolescent girls often miss several days of school every month because of lack of privacy for their sanitary needs, so upgraded private restroom facilities help girls in low-income families to stay in school, complete their educations, and enable them to contribute financially to their families and communities as adults. The government is unable to pay for education after primary school, so some high school scholarships are being provided to enable children from poor families to fulfill their educational potential.
The female Rotarians met one-on-one with adolescent girls from poor families, to show them as adult female role models how to work through stress and trauma and to show them that women can achieve educational and economic success beyond society’s traditional “homemaker” roles. The male Rotarians met one-on-one with adolescent boys who had gotten into conflict with the law enforcement system (for minor infractions), to discuss with them how forgiveness and focus on future goals and self-development can help them turn their lives around and become successful adults.
One school project involved enclosing cafeteria and school buildings with mesh screens to keep out disease-carrying biting flies and mosquitoes that thrive on agricultural activities nearby. Another project is providing a fence around a primary school to keep them safe from nearby vehicular traffic and pedestrian trespassers who often cross through the schoolyard. Another project provides a solar power system for a village school that lacks electricity for learning how to use modern electronic technology.
District Humanitarian Trip to Belize, Wes Bradford Wes Bradford 2023-04-25 07:00:00Z 0

David Mach, Torrance Transit Planning

(Apr 11, 2023)
David Mach is senior business manager for transit planning for the City of Torrance. LA Metro is planning an extension of the Metro C (Green) Line from the Redondo Beach (Marine Ave) Station to the Torrance Transit Center Station, and has prepared a Draft Environmental Impact Report. The Green Line will soon link to the LAX Connector system. Compared to many other urban areas, the South Bay area has been deficient in public transportation options, because it was built for an era of freeways with assumed universal auto ownership.
The Torrance City Council unanimously supports the option of keeping the light rail line on Metro’s existing Elevated/At Grade Right-of-Way, not on Hawthorne Blvd where construction would be disruptive. This Right-of-Way heads south between Hawthorne & Inglewood boulevards in North Torrance, then goes diagonally southeast, crossing overhead at Hawthorne & 190th St, and continuing southeast to the Torrance Park & Ride Transit Center at 465 Crenshaw Blvd.
This option is shown as the blue line on the accompanying map (see for details). It could be completed by fall 2033 at a cost of $1.96 billion. (This could be prioritized for the 2028 LA Olympics, for an additional ~$1 billion.)
2 other options under consideration, shown as green and orange lines on the map, would result in higher cost and later completion dates. The Trench option would follow the existing Metro Right-of-Way with major construction to create below-grade trenches, for $2.84 billion and completion in early 2036. The Hawthorne Blvd option would be an elevated train along the center of Hawthorne Blvd, for $2.96 billion and completion in fall 2035. Construction of either of these other 2 options would result in additional impacts to local businesses and residences.
David Mach, Torrance Transit Planning Wes Bradford 2023-04-11 07:00:00Z 0

Daisy Dominguez, Youth Activist

(Mar 28, 2023)
Daisy Dominguez was born and raised in Long Beach. She lives with her parents and 2 older sisters and younger brother. She enjoys watching movies and games with them, and visiting other family members.
Her extracurricular activities include serving and educating community members. She works as a care associate at a cancer center in Long Beach, and educating families in the community on how to save money. Mondays she has Bible study with the young adult group at St Margaret Mary’s, and on alternate Fridays they have “events”! On Wednesdays, she teaches Confirmation with Life Teens at the Holy Trinity parish, and sings at the Life Teen Mass at 5:30pm on Sundays.
She could never afford to go to “big retreats”; her community retreats were in the cafeteria. She is inspired as the first person in her generation to do this. She also wants to meet more of her “brothers and sisters” all around the world and exchange testimonies with them. When she’s “called to go”, she goes!
A quick story: She had a bake sale on March 4th, but had no money for registration, $500 due the following Tuesday. She sold cookies and coffee in the rain, and made it to registration by the end of the last morning Masses! (Then sang at the 5:30 PM Mass, feeling peace!)
Daisy Dominguez, Youth Activist Wes Bradford 2023-03-28 07:00:00Z 0

Palos Verdes Peninsula History, Michael Friedman

(Mar 14, 2023)
Michael Friedman is a docent at the Point Vicente Interpretive Center, and a retired attorney and long-time Palos Verdes resident. The Interpretive Center is located on the cliffs adjacent to the Point Vicente Lighthouse in RPV. It features exhibits on the natural and cultural history of the Peninsula, and on the Pacific gray whale whose annual migration can be observed from the Center. The Palos Verdes Peninsula is an elevated area on the southwest corner of Los Angeles County. It was one of the Channel Islands in prehistoric times before the Los Angeles basin emerged from the Pacific Ocean. It was occupied for thousands of years by the Tongva-Gabrieliño Native Americans.
Spanish explorer Juan Cabrillo made the first European contact in 1542, and it became part of “New Spain”. Franciscan priests led by Father Junípero Serra established 21 missions between 1769 and 1833 to “spread Christianity” among the local Native Americans. Missions were situated about 30 miles apart, one day’s journey on horseback, along the coastal El Camino Real (Royal Highway). Native Americans were settled around these missions with military assistance to perform construction, to raise crops and livestock to support the missions, and to learn Spanish and Christianity (a sometimes-brutal cultural conversion). Abuse, malnourishment, infectious diseases and overwork were common, and children were taken away from their parents to suppress Indigenous culture.
Spain was unable to maintain its colonies due to conflict with France, and Mexico achieved independence in 1821. In 1833, Mexico emancipated native people from the missions, and granted land to settlers, soldiers and some indigenous people. Some of these settlements eventually grew into cities that retained the mission names. In 1846, José Sepulveda and José Loreto received a Mexican land grant named Rancho de los Palos Verdes (“Green Sticks Ranch”), which was used for a cattle ranch, and also briefly as a whaling station on its southern coastline in the mid-19th century.
US rule came in 1846, followed by the Gold Rush. Ownership of the Peninsula passed to Jotham Bixby, who leased the land to Japanese farmers. Wall Street banker Frank Vanderlip purchased 25 mi² of the Peninsula in 1913, impressed by its beautiful scenery. He planned an Italian-style development to be designed by the Olmsted Brothers. Although delayed by World War I and then the Great Depression, eventual improvements included many sewers, water mains, roads, landscaping, parks, and a golf course. 1/4 of the land area was devoted to permanent undeveloped space. Palos Verdes was opened for public inspection in 1923, and the city of Palos Verdes Estates was established in 1939. Rolling Hills Estates and Rolling Hills were established in 1957, and Rancho Palos Verdes was established with most of the remaining Peninsula land in 1973.
Palos Verdes Peninsula History, Michael Friedman Wes Bradford 2023-03-14 07:00:00Z 0

Joseph Nwabuzor, Craft Talk

(Feb 28, 2023) Joseph Nwabuzor was born in Los Angeles and has 3 sisters and 1 brother. His parents immigrated from Nigeria. His family moved from Carson to Rancho Palos Verdes when he finished 5th grade. He attended Miraleste Intermediate School and Peninsula High School and loved playing basketball there. He transferred to Mira Costa High School in his junior year to play under a coach he admired there, and graduated in 2003.
Then he attended Orange Coast Community College, played basketball and football there, and obtained an associate degree in Business Administration. With an athletic scholarship, he attended Acadia University in Nova Scotia, but left after 2 years to make money playing basketball in Norway, where he lived for 8 years.
Joseph returned to Southern California and obtained a BS degree in Business Administration at CSU Dominguez Hills. Then he obtained licenses in insurance, contracting, and real estate. He works at West Shores Realty, 430 Silver Spur Road, Rancho Palos Verdes, and also for Douglas Elliman in Beverly Hills. He remains active in his church and community, and wants to serve others and make a difference as a Rotarian.
Joseph Nwabuzor, Craft Talk Wes Bradford 2023-02-28 08:00:00Z 0

Social Hour & Peninsula Symphony Concert

(Feb 19, 2023)

We met at the Maderos Cocina Mexican Restaurant on PCH in Redondo Beach for a Social Hour and dinner at 4 PM, prior to attending the Peninsula Symphony’s 2nd concert of its 2022-2023 season, in the Redondo Union HS Auditorium at 222 N PCH in Redondo Beach.

The Pre-Concert Lecture was presented by new Conductor David Cubek at 6:15 PM, to discuss the evening’s performance starting at 7 PM. (Thanks to Chuck Klaus for the notes on the program.) The concert theme was “French Rêveries”, with Claude Debussy’s “Prelude à L’après-midi d’un faune”, followed by Maurice Ravel’s “Ma mère l’oye” (Mother Goose), and Georges Bizet’s “Carmen Suites Nos 1 and 2”.

Concert admission is free. Coming concerts will include April 23 (works by Mendelssohn, Mozart, & Schuman) and June 25 (works by Coleridge-Taylor, Dvorak, Ginastera, Piazzolla, & Márquez). The Peninsula Symphony is a non-profit community organization that presents 4 admission-free concerts per year, supported in part by memberships starting at $75/year. For more information and to support this organization, go to

Social Hour & Peninsula Symphony Concert Wes Bradford 2023-02-19 08:00:00Z 0

Renewable Energy, Electric Vehicles, and Enabling Laws, Yuko Saito

(Jan 24, 2023)
Yuko Saito-Rodriguez is Regional Manager for Velur Enterprises (, a leading land-investment firm in Woodland Hills that offers a safe investment vehicle in land for solar and wind energy production, for cash and retirement plans. She has been a land investment consultant for private fund managers and has spoken at many Rotary clubs in Southern California. She is a member of South Bay Sunrise Rotary.
California is the most populous US state, with 40 million people in 2018 and estimated 50 million in 2055. If it were an independent country, California’s GDP would be the 5th largest in the world, and Southern California’s GDP would be 12th largest, ahead of the Russian Federation. California’s GDP is almost as large as Germany’s, the world’s #4 economy. Los Angeles is the “economic capital” of California, with 60% of its population, $60 billion in alternative energy installation, over half of its largest companies, and 67% of California’s international trade, with the 3rd busiest port in the world.
Although fossil fuels have caused an economic miracle over the past century, burning fossil carbon is promoting global warming. Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil producer, is selling off petroleum assets and preparing for a world beyond oil. Ford and other auto companies are chasing Tesla for electric vehicles sales. Los Angeles announced the largest E-bus order in history, and a $1 billion California EV charging project has been approved, mostly for trucks. The recent US “Inflation Reduction Act” includes money for the “green economy”.
Many land parcels of various sizes are being bought by solar companies in California, which has 7 of the 10 largest US solar farms. 100% of California’s electric power is planned to be renewable by 2035, and solar is the cleanest and most abundant energy source, now less expensive than from fossil fuels. The LA Department of Water and Power is planning a large battery electric storage system and switching station. Land in Kern County that sold for $24,000 per 2.5 acres in 2015 is now selling for $65,000. For utility scale solar & wind development, professional land consolidators and site selectors are allowing investment land ownership by individuals. Money can be made by owning land for transmission lines, easements, and purchase or lease.
The Clean Power Alliance purchases clean power for delivery by Southern California Edison. New buildings in California will increasingly be required to use clean renewable energy sources. Energy storage, such as in batteries, and renewable energy for transportation technology are also increasing. Sale of new gasoline-powered cars will be phased out in California over the next 13 years. Electric cars’ miles per gasoline equivalent (MPGe) are about 5 times as large as for comparable gasoline cars. The Redwood company is creating a supply chain for lithium-ion batteries across collection, refurbishment, recycling, refining and re-manufacturing of sustainable battery materials, with the goal of recycling 100% of EV batteries. The scale of renewable energy investments now is much greater than investments in the original Industrial Revolution. (“The best investment on EARTH is EARTH.”)
Renewable Energy, Electric Vehicles, and Enabling Laws, Yuko Saito Wes Bradford 2023-01-24 08:00:00Z 0

Club Planning Meeting

(Jan 10, 2023)
Pres Victoria asked us for our ideas & preferences for speakers for our meetings, and for what types of service projects we are interested in doing. A Club Questionnaire was passed out for written ideas. (Also, notify her if you are interested in serving in a Board position.)
We received the sad news that our long-time member Larry Andrews passed away on Jan 8, 2023. Our meeting attendees signed a condolence card, and took turns relating our memories of him. He was active in the community as well as in Rotary. He served as group leader of the Tuesday Writing Group at the Peninsula Center Library, while writing several novels (starting with “A Space Oddity”, available on Amazon). Many of us also remember him as an enthusiastic supporter of the Peninsula Symphony.
President Victoria discussed humanitarian issues related to the war in Ukraine. Many people of Ukraine have fled their homes and/or have family members lost or separated. What they need most is safety, and Rotary has been working with other organizations for humanitarian needs. Clubs have been providing food, water, medical equipment, and other supplies.
Rotary is also working with Welcome.US to engage Americans in welcoming and sponsoring Ukrainian refugee newcomers to offer them a stable environment. Download the Rotary-Welcome.US flyer to learn how we can help them. Through Uniting for Ukraine, Rotary and Rotaract Clubs and members in the US can sponsor individual or family refugees who have fled the war, and help them relocate to the United States. Sign up to get connected to a Ukrainian family. District Grant funds can help with resettlement costs. For more information, email to
Club Planning Meeting Wes Bradford 2023-01-10 08:00:00Z 0

Holiday Brunch @ The Original Red Onion Restaurant

Posted by Wes Bradford

(Dec 11, 2022)

We assembled at The Original Red Onion Restaurant at 11:30 AM Sun, Dec 11, for our Holiday Brunch. Our buffet line served roast beef, sausages, scrambled eggs, French toast with maple syrup, a beautiful fruit salad, and champaign & orange juice (plus the usual taco chips & salsa on the tables).

We brought our gifts for the Salvation Army Angel Trees program, that brings children and their incarcerated parent together on Christmas. We had picked up the children’s name tags at a previous Club meeting, with the individual child’s name, clothing sizes, and requests. (Joseph Nwabuzor brought a big pink bicycle!) After the Brunch, Pres Victoria & Chase Thacker loaded these gifts into their vehicles to take to the Salvation Army.

During the meal, we were serenaded by a holiday quartet (dressed like 1800s London!), with Christmas carols, and ending up with Mexican music accompanied by guitar (by Alberto, on the right in the photo).

Holiday Brunch @ The Original Red Onion Restaurant Wes Bradford 2022-12-11 08:00:00Z 0

Game Night: “Thanksgiving Answer-Battle!”

(Nov 22, 2022)

Pres Victoria set a Holiday mood by conducting a brain-teasing computer game, “Thanksgiving Answer-Battle!” Dividing the attendees into 2 teams, she had 4 events, with multiple answers in each event awarded points from 50 to 100 (accompanied by contest music).

The 4 events were:

1.    “Name a dish served at Thanksgiving besides Turkey”

2.    “What kind of pants are best to wear when you’re planning to overeat at Thanksgiving?”

3.    “Name a Thanksgiving craft children make at school”

4.    “Name a farm animal a turkey might imitate to escape being eaten at Thanksgiving”

One final Holiday reminder: Don’t forget to set your bathroom scale back 15 pounds the previous night at 1 AM!

Game Night: “Thanksgiving Answer-Battle!” Wes Bradford 2022-11-22 08:00:00Z 0

Operation Blankets of Love,  Eileen Smulson


(Nov 8, 2022, by ZoomEileen Smulson has worked in education, private entrepreneurship, and nonprofit development, with over 30 years of experience in fundraising, community building, business management, and strategic planning experience. She won top fundraiser awards as Director for 14 years of Corporate and Community Development for the Anti-Defamation League (the largest human relations agency in the US). She was also Associate Development Director for the American Cancer Society and Regional Director for the Western States for Magen David Adom (a relief/rescue service), increasing donorship by 400% and doubling financial goals.

In 2008, Eileen Smulson saw puppies shivering on a hard cold floor in cages at an animal shelter. She learned that animal rescue groups needed not only blankets and towels, but other comfort and care items such as leashes, collars, carriers, and crates. In several months, she had established 20 drop-off locations and collected over 3,000 items. She founded Operation Blankets of Love, a service organization with innovative solutions for both supporting and adopting these vulnerable shelter animals. OBOL’s mission is to inspire people nationwide to prevent animal cruelty and help these animals. Her efforts have been featured on national TV, radio animal shows, magazines, and news stations, and have been widely copied locally and nationwide. She showed 2 videos, one a feature of OBOL, and the other a recent ABC Channel 2 presentation:

OBOL information and contact (Eileen Smulson, Executive Director, Granada Hills, CA):

Operation Blankets of Love, Eileen Smulson Wes Bradford 2022-11-08 08:00:00Z 0

Offsite @ Cabrillo Marine Aquarium

(Oct 25, 2022)
We had a joint meeting at the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium in San Pedro, with the Carson-Gardena-Wilmington, San Pedro, & Wilmington Rotary Clubs. Our President Victoria Perez-Thacker presided (in her best Halloween finery).
After fellowship among the Club members, we went through the food line for chicken with mushroom gravy, pasta, and green salad, and choice of red or white wines at our tables in the patio area. Those who were brave enough to come in Halloween-themed costumes (including the kids) were voted on for the best (3 trophies were awarded). Past-President Steve Johnson provided security in his knight costume (he took off his helmet to avoid frightening anyone).
Each Club President presented and discussed current and planned service projects for their Club. Victoria reviewed our Club’s very successful Rotary Model UN Peace Conference at PV Peninsula High School last Saturday (a Rotary Global Grant project), with a visiting Japanese Rotarian and a Peace-Tree planting, and presentations by a 90-year-old Hiroshima Atomic Bomb survivor, Ukraine War refugees, and a Zoom talk from Afghanistan. The same day, our Club operated the Beer & Wine Booth at the RPV Harvest Festival. She also described "Rise Against Hunger" food packing Nov 5 at the Torrance YMCA, and our coming Salvation Army Christmas Angel Trees program. (Prizes weren’t given for the best Club presentation, because we didn’t want to embarrass the other Clubs.) Then we finished with an optional Aquarium tour, always an interesting experience.
Offsite @ Cabrillo Marine Aquarium Wes Bradford 2022-10-25 07:00:00Z 0

Model UN Peace Conference

(Oct 22, 2022) Jon Caplan organized our Club’s participation in the Model UN Peace Conference at Palos Verdes Peninsula High School, 9-4:30 on Oct 22. This was a Rotary Global Grant Peace Educational Project promoted by District Governor-Elect Makiko Nakasone (Glendale Noon Rotary Club) and supported by 9 Rotary Clubs in our District 5280 and District 2750 in Japan.
Student participants came from 6 High Schools in the South Bay area, as future peacebuilders to learn about conflict resolution and the importance of nuclear disarmament to prevent a future disastrous global catastrophe from miscalculation and misunderstandings. They listened to inspiring presentations from a Hiroshima Atomic Bomb survivor, fugitives from the war in Ukraine, and (by Zoom) an Afghanistan inhabitant, and they learned how Peer Mediation can work to avoid conflict. There was a tree-planting ceremony on the High School grounds of a ginkgo sapling, grown from seeds of a tree in Hiroshima that had been blackened by the bomb radiation, but began leafing out again the next year as an inspiring illustration of new growth and renewal; these are being planted all over the world now as a symbol of peace and reconciliation.
High School display of youth who have survived brutal conflict in the world
Ukraine refugees Oksana Zayachkivska and Ihor Kukhlevsky
Howard Kakita, 90-year-old Hiroshima A-Bomb survivor (near ground zero)
Tree-planting of Hiroshima Survivor ginkgo tree descendant at PV Peninsula HS, with Japanese Rotarian, PV Sunsetters Jon Caplan & Victoria Perez-Thacker, and Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi
Model UN Peace Conference Wes Bradford 2022-10-22 07:00:00Z 0

Sustainable Swaps, Bailey Duarte

(Oct 11)
Recycling is needed to minimize the increasing accumulation of trash, chemicals and micro-plastics in the environment. The disposables that we deposit in our curbside color-coded bins have important but unseen impact on the environment of all of us. Landfills release methane gas, which is 25 times more potent than CO2 at trapping heat and promoting climate change. Micro-plastics enter the soil, water and food supply, and are infiltrating every living thing on the planet. Landfill space is becoming increasingly limited. Climate change is driven by excess release of greenhouse gases, including CO2, methane, CFCs (chemicals), NOx & SOx (nitrogen & sulfur oxides). Southern California is in the 3rd year of La Niña with unprecedented drought & wildfires. We are getting stronger storm systems and rising sea levels threatening coastal structures and transportation systems.
Disposed plastics in the environment including the ocean are breaking down by solar energy into microscopic particles that are now found in the bloodstreams of all of us, spread by storm water, litter, gigantic trash gyres in the ocean, and defective recycling efforts. We can all contribute to reducing this accumulating burden by demanding less plastics when shopping for consumer goods.
Bailey reviewed the trash & recycling guidelines for the local cities. RPV uses EDCO, Rolling Hills uses Republic Services, and PVE uses Athens Services. Different companies have access to different types of facilities. Trash companies take recyclables to resell to the materials market. “Wishcycling” is putting in things you “hope” are recyclable, but inappropriate items have to be separated later, impairing recycling efficiency.
The blue bin takes aluminum, glass, cardboard & paper, but not soiled paper plates or grocery bags. Plastics #1 are easiest to recycle; #2 & #5 can be processed by Athens; Styrofoam can now be processed by EDCO.
The green bin takes organics under the new statewide organic recycling program, to break down food waste and other organic materials into fertilizer. This includes food and compostables and food-soiled paper, but not plastics, glass, metal, gloves, pet waste or Styrofoam. This helps avoid outgassing methane into the atmosphere from rotting organics.
Bailey recommends auditing our trash output, to address what we throw away often, whether we are sorting our waste properly, and whether we can get these items with less packaging, or as reusables, or making them ourselves. Important steps include removing the main sources of single-use plastic, minimizing less-used or more expensive items, and trying to go plastic-free! Minimizing consumption is an important lifestyle choice. (Questions can be addressed to
Sustainable Swaps, Bailey Duarte Wes Bradford 2022-10-11 07:00:00Z 0

DG Olivia Ryans, Club Visit

(Sept 27)
Our District 5280 Governor Olivia Patterson Ryans received a BS degree in math and psychology and a Master’s degree in Administration and Management of Schools from Pepperdine University. She taught high school algebra and geometry and became a school administrator with LAUSD. Then she became a manager in the auto industry and Executive Director of a nonprofit real estate agency. She now specializes in the commercial sector.
She was President of the Inglewood Rotary Club and has served in District positions and on the board of directors of Music Mends Minds. She has participated in our District’s Humanitarian Trips and observed Rotary Foundation donations at work. She and her husband support the Rotary Foundation and Rotarians Inspiring Hope.
She spoke about the aspirations and goals for our District, the Soul of Rotary 2022 Foundation Celebration at The Novo at LA Live on Sunday, Nov 20, and the District 5280 Humanitarian Trip to Belize Mar 23-31. She welcomed our new members: Aurora Rysanek, Joseph Nwabuza, and Mark Szilagyi (our new audiovisual technologist). She presented PDG David Moyers with a Diamond pin for his generous support of the Rotary Foundation.
President Victoria presented a $600 check to DG Olivia in support of the Humanitarian Trip to Belize ($200 from the Club, $300 from Pres Victoria, & $100 from Wes Bradford). Details on participation will be on the District website,
DG Olivia Ryans, Club Visit Wes Bradford 2022-09-27 07:00:00Z 0

Rotary in Ukraine, Ihor Kukhlevskyy, DDS

(Sept 13, 2022)
Ihor Kukhlevskyy, DDS, has been a Member of the Rotary Club of Ratusha Lviv (Ukraine) since 2010, & cashier (Treasurer) of the Club since 2019. He has been in Dental Practice in Lviv, Ukraine, from 1997-2022. (He is now in the US.)
Lviv is a city in western Ukraine (a “doorway” to western Europe). Rotary has been in Ukraine since 1930, and the Lviv Club was founded in 1936. As of 2021, there were 1100 Rotarians in Ukraine with 66 Clubs, including 9 in Lviv & 8 in Kyiv.
His Club has 25 members and meets Mondays at 7 PM. Among their Rotary Matching and Global Grant projects were incubators for newborns, a portable ultrasound diagnostic system, beds for tuberculosis treatment, a minivan for a family-type orphanage, an operating microscope for a regional burn center, a cardiology hospital procedural lighting system, water supply for a school & small community, a laparoscope for gynecological procedures, and preserving the Lviv University Library collection. They have had 8 grants since 2010 with partners from 5 countries including the US, and helping an estimated 10,000 people.
Their latest project, with RC Edmonton (Canada), is equipment for the Lviv Blood Station in August 2022. Their next project is for a quick-freezing system for blood plasma in Lviv. It is amazing what dedicated Rotarians can accomplish in the midst of war. Their example is an inspiration for all of us!
Rotary in Ukraine, Ihor Kukhlevskyy, DDS Wes Bradford 2022-09-13 07:00:00Z 0

Cardboard Boat Race!

Cardboard Boat Race results at the District Picnic on Sept 3 at the Seaside Lagoon in Redondo Beach: Our Club got 2nd in the first heat and 4th in the final. Thanks to our volunteers who constructed, painted, & paddled!
Cardboard Boat Race! Wes Bradford 2022-09-03 07:00:00Z 0

Project Amigo, Dora E Zúñiga

(Aug 23)
Dora E Zúñiga is the Donor Guidance Director for Project Amigo, a US charitable organization founded in 1996 by California businessman Ted Rose and his wife Susan Hill, after seeing the extreme poverty in the village of Cofradia de Suchitlan in the state of Colima in west-central Mexico.
Project Amigo’s mission is to provide educational access to disadvantaged children there, with material support, enrichment activities and healthcare services otherwise unavailable to them. Project Amigo provides service opportunities for volunteers from developed countries to provide humanitarian service there and to become friends with these disadvantaged children to broaden their horizons. Many of these rural children in Mexico have been able to continue their formal schooling up to and including college level and professional schools. (Our member Marylyn Klaus has sponsored children there annually for many years.)
Sponsor a Child (K-6th) and establish a relationship as that child grows into adulthood. Sponsors receive a photo of the child and annual updates, and you can visit your sponsored child there. Sponsorships fund their Christmas Fiesta and an annual field trip, and purchase a new set of clothes and a pair of shoes. The children participate in an annual Community and Culture Work Week.
Educational Scholarship (7-12th) ($600/year) provides junior high and high school, without which their education would end at sixth grade, and they would begin working in menial, low-paying jobs. A $600 scholarship provides school uniform, bus transportation, nutritional lunch, books & supplies. The student must maintain a high GPA, provide 10 hours of monthly community service and a letter to the sponsor, and attend a weekly homework club.
University Scholarships ($4,000 per year) are for recipients who successfully complete high school. It provides tuition, bus transportation, books & supplies, and room and board in Casa Amiga for those whose homes are far from the city. Students must maintain a high GPA, provide 10 hours of monthly community service and a letter to the sponsor, and attend a weekly homework club. Project Amigo graduates have become doctors, lawyers, teachers, engineers, and community leaders, breaking the cycle of poverty that has imprisoned their family for generations. (Sponsorship funds are pooled to assure that every child and higher education student in their program receives the same benefits whether or not they have a sponsor.)
President Victoria presented a $2000 check from our Club to Dora Zúñiga for Project Amigo. She is available at 608-345-6769 or Donors can become involved through
Project Amigo, Dora E Zúñiga Wes Bradford 2022-08-23 07:00:00Z 0

Food-Waste Collection (EDCO), Matthew Botello

(Aug 9)
Matthew Botello ( is the Commercial Service Field Representative for EDCO, which is contracted by Rancho Palos Verdes for curbside trash and recyclables pickup and dumpster service. He described SB 1383, a new California law requiring separating organics waste such as leftover food and kitchen scraps from trash and placing it into their green waste bins for pickup. Its purpose is to reduce methane emissions by diverting organics waste from landfills to other uses like compost, mulch and renewable energy. Organics recycling began for Rancho Palos Verdes residential customers on April 1, 2022, and will be implemented for nonresidential customers on October 1.
EDCO has expanded source-separated green waste collection to include recyclable food waste, so customers place food scraps in the same container. Cans, plastic containers or kitchen caddies can be used, but no plastic bags because they contaminate compost; paper bags are acceptable. All organic material must be placed loosely inside the green cart for collection.
Green waste, in addition to yard waste, can now include food scraps, cooked or raw meat including bones, dairy products, fruits, vegetables, grains, teabags, leftovers and spoiled food. Food-soiled paper goods can be included, but no plastic or wax coating or metal parts. Residents can request a free 1.5 gallon sealable plastic kitchen caddie to conveniently transfer food scraps from the kitchen to their green cart or compost pile. Everything that grows, goes!
As before, other recyclables (plastics 1-7, glass, aluminum, cardboard and paper go into the blue recycling cart, and trash goes into the gray cart.
The RPV City Council approved a rate increase of 15.6% for single-family customers, and an inflation-only rate increase of 3% for multi-family customers, who may contract separately for their organics waste collection, or apply for an exemption. (For questions, contact Lauren Ramezani at RPV Public Works,, or go to
Food-Waste Collection (EDCO), Matthew Botello Wes Bradford 2022-08-09 07:00:00Z 0

Solid Waste Management, Basil Hewitt

(July 26) Basil Hewitt is a Supervisor in the Public Information Office of the Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts, the agency that provides wastewater and solid waste management services for 5.5 million people in Los Angeles County. He has a Civil Engineering Degree from Rutgers University and a Masters in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Loyola Marymount University. His professional experience includes solid waste research and monitoring, preparation of environmental documents, and public outreach. Now his focus is in the Public Information Office, informing the public about the services and programs offered by the Sanitation Districts, where he has worked since 1987.
The LA Sanitation District was created in 1923, and solid waste management was added in 1949 because people were burning trash in their backyards, contributing to severe smog problems in Los Angeles. Now the District processes 390 million gallons/day of sewage, and 1/5 of Los Angeles County’s trash collection. Trash & recyclables are picked up from the community by outside companies, such as EDCO. The Puente Hills MRF recycles some of it, and the rest goes to landfills.
He showed video illustration of an automated sorting line separating categories of recyclable items. Community Collection Events are more efficient and productive because the items are collected together at one time. Recyclables are bailed and sold. Most recyclables (such as paper, metals and plastics) are shipped overseas, although some countries including China have toughened their criteria for cleanliness, so we can’t just dump it anymore.
Food waste is processed into biogas, fertilizer and compost. Biogas can be pumped into the natural gas pipeline system, avoiding microbial outgassing of methane into the atmosphere which contributes to climate change. For the last 2 years, sewage flow has been tested to measure molecular traces of COVID virus concentration as a community pandemic severity monitor. This is especially important now when many people test themselves for COVID at home, whose results are not reported to the public health database.
Solid Waste Management, Basil Hewitt Wes Bradford 2022-07-26 07:00:00Z 0

LA Sanitation Department, Wendy Wert

(July 12) Wendy Wert is a registered civil engineer and a Manager for Consumer Education in the Los Angeles Sanitation District. She has a BS degree in Environmental Engineering and an MS degree in Water Resources Engineering. She works on advanced planning, design and upgrading of process treatment to integrate water supply and reuse, water conservation, storm-water management and wastewater facilities planning in the Los Angeles Sanitation Department. She evaluates long term costs in wastewater and solid waste management and energy recovery, and has published numerous technical papers.

Wendy presented an overview of the department’s current facilities and programs. She showed how human technological carbon dioxide production has diverged dramatically since the 1960s from the natural biogenic background production. She illustrated how Los Angeles recycling activities have progressed since the year 2000, producing recycled water, energy and recycled materials from wastewater and solid waste from garbage and sewage. Recycling food waste goes through processing and anaerobic digestion into biogas, to produce electricity, heat/steam, vehicle fuel, and biomethane (natural gas). Anaerobic digestion also can produce fertilizers and compost. One biogas power plant produces 20 MW of energy, enough for 20,000 homes, and total production is enough for 78,000 homes. Recycled natural gas is supplying an existing filling station.

There are 11 plants in the Los Angeles area treating about 400 million gallons/day and serving 5.5 million people. LA County generates 21 million tons of waste per year, including 4000 tons of food thrown out daily. Decaying food waste in landfills can release methane into the environment, a significant contributor to accelerating climate change. State laws now mandate recycling commercial organics (composting or anaerobic digestion to captured biofuels). The department’s goal is to process 600 tons/day of food waste slurry, equivalent to 5700 gallons of gasoline daily. Wastewater and stormwater recycling are essential for combating the increasing drought and climate heating in the Western states.

Wendy discussed what we can do in our local communities to reduce waste and excess CO2 production. She responded to questions afterward, and invites further inquiries to her at

LA Sanitation Department, Wendy Wert Wes Bradford 2022-07-12 07:00:00Z 0

Demotion Dinner

(June 28) Chase Thacker unfurled our new Club banner and new Rotary banner displaying essential Rotarian Areas of Focus (Literacy, Maternal & Child Health, Peace & Conflict-Prevention, Disease Prevention, Water & Sanitation, Economic Development, Environment).
Highlight photos of our Club’s Rotary Year were displayed on screen. Our projects including literacy & books, District 5280 Humanitarian Trip to Puerto Rico, and our participation in the District Conference were shown.
Incoming President and Board members were sworn in by PDG Dave Moyers. Board members of the past year were presented with bottles of wine by outgoing President Steve Johnson. Departing member Karla Munguia was presented a bouquet. We welcomed prospective member Aurora Rysanek and look forward to seeing her in the future.
Incoming President Victoria Perez & apprehensive Viviana contemplate French mime Marcel Marceau’s "pet rodent".
Incoming President Victoria Perez, AG for Club Service Chase Thacker, and other members enjoying the camaraderie (and the antics of Marcel Marceau).
Outgoing President Steve Johnson and his family enjoying our French dinner (while keeping up on Rotary text messages).
Demotion Dinner Wes Bradford 2022-06-28 07:00:00Z 0

Environmental Tree-Planting Project, Larry Johnson

(June 14)
Larry Johnson and the Manhattan Beach Rotary Club, in collaboration with District 5280 and World Vision, are planning a $1 million environmental tree planting project in Niger, one of the poorest countries in Africa. (Larry and his Club have previously worked with a clean-water project there.) Niger (not Nigeria) is a landlocked country in West Africa with 24 million people, more than 10 million in extreme poverty. The encroaching Sahel (Sahara Desert) is moving farther south every year due to climate change. Wind, sand, dust, soil degradation, water scarcity, and drought make it hard for farmers to provide for their families. The situation is worsening due to food insecurity and COVID-19.
In their agriculture-dominated economy, farming is practically impossible without trees. Trees slow the wind, which otherwise dries and removes the topsoil. They cool the ground, and provide for shade for animals who “fertilize” the ground through their droppings. Trees provide habitat for birds that eat insects, and for bees that pollinate crops. Trees slow the precious rain when it comes, allowing water to soak deeply into the soil and hopefully restore critical aquifers which are becoming depleted by well-pumping. Getting more trees into the landscape is critical for slowing desert expansion.
One way to get trees back into the landscape is to manage trees that have been cut down to regenerate themselves, which works well, but takes time. The fastest way to get trees growing is by planting appropriate tree varieties, which can work, but only if they are cared for in the first 1 or 2 years after planting, until their roots are established. Most tree planting projects fail because of the assumption that trees can simply be left alone after planting. Tree planting succeeds when people are incentivized to care for the trees, especially by watering them while they are vulnerable.
This project will be managed by the host Rotary Club of Niamey Gaweye with the professional local World Vision staff. World Vision will match Rotary funds up to $500,000. World Vision works in nearly 100 countries with over 34,000 staff, in the world's poorest and most vulnerable countries. Rotary Clubs and World Vision have been collaborating on projects since 2005 and invested $25 million in project funding, for 3 million people worldwide.
The project area is in the Commune of Chadacori, which is semi-arid and seriously affected by land degradation and deforestation (cutting trees for cooking fuel and building materials). Rotarians and World Vision staff plan to restore 7,413 acres of land by planting at least 650,000 trees, which can transform the lives of 18,000 people. We can help by supporting Manhattan Beach Rotary’s contribution of $500,000. Contact Larry Johnson at or 310-200-2091.
Environmental Tree-Planting Project, Larry Johnson Wes Bradford 2022-06-14 07:00:00Z 0

2022 D5280 Humanitarian Trip to Puerto Rico, PDG Dave Moyers

(May 24, 2022)
Dave and Rita Moyers participated with District Rotarians in the Humanitarian Trip to Puerto Rico, April 21-23. He showed photos of the many projects there. They stayed in a hotel (former convent) in San Juan, and were bussed to various Rotary projects in participation with local Rotarians.
Among the many projects were an irrigation system for a halfway house for its 10-25 members’ agricultural work on ~5-10 acres to raise food and produce income. One of the schools needed “everything”, where many people are still struggling to recover from damage from tropical storms. The Rotarians created a baseball field for students so that lack of family income would not prevent them from developing their sports skills. (Puerto Rico is renowned for developing many professional baseball athletes.)
Rotarian backpacks with school supplies were brought from LA by District 5280 Rotarians to distribute to needy students. An agricultural center was developed for an orphanage, and a school was supported for an underprivileged community. Notebook computers were contributed to a school for low income children, but they discovered that the school had no Wi-Fi for Internet connection; the Rotarians donated adequate funds on the spot to cover the school’s Wi-Fi subscription for the next 3 years!
Dave spoke of how much he enjoyed the many “Rotary Moments” that he has encountered on these humanitarian trips, as those of us who have participated in them in the past know from our own experience! (Consider signing up for the District 5280 Humanitarian Trip to Belize next year!)
2022 D5280 Humanitarian Trip to Puerto Rico, PDG Dave Moyers Wes Bradford 2022-05-24 07:00:00Z 0

Chase Thacker, Rolling Robots

(May 10, 2022)
In January 2022, our Club's Past President Chase Thacker became a manager for the Palos Verdes center of Rolling Robots at 704 Bart Earle Way ( He displayed 4 robots of variable sophistication (assisted by our Club President Steve Johnson & daughter) made by their students, and demonstrated the robots' operation.
Rolling Robots was founded by aerospace engineers to teach children an interesting approach to learning STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) by designing and building their own robots. There are several centers in Southern California. They have 6 age groups from Pre-K through College, using hardware kits and other materials produced by VEXRobotics (, a brand of Information International.
The beginning group (ages 4-5) starts by learning basic knowledge of computer logic and commands. Programming commands are taught by choosing and moving multiple colored blocks on a screen. Eventually they learn different coding languages, electronics, circuit building and then programming hardware with Micro:Bit. They learn to combine the power of coding with circuitry and sensors to make games and gadgets, with progressive levels of sophistication including various types of robots, either driving them or programming them to move on their own (such as making them toss a ball into a container). They design robots with specified characteristics to engage in robotics game competitions, some of which have been featured on television programs.
Parents can create an account online to get started and get their children enrolled in age-appropriate classes and track their progress, comment on lessons, and ask questions. Girls are encouraged to become familiar with STEM activities. Summer courses are available, and teams can enter into national competitions. (Sounds like a good background for applying to engineering school.)
Chase Thacker, Rolling Robots Wes Bradford 2022-05-10 07:00:00Z 0

History of National Public Broadcasting, by Chuck Klaus

(April 26, 2022)
Our member Chuck Klaus majored in speech communications in college. He produced music programs for a radio station in Syracuse, New York, taught at the University there, and was a Drama and Music critic for the newspaper. He met his wife, Marylyn, at a concert there. When they married, he moved to California to be with her, and she brought him into our Rotary Club. He spoke of his long hours working on live programming from 5 to 10, and then arranging the programming for the remainder of the day.
Chuck began by playing a variety of old black and white TV program clips (YouTube version). There was concern in the 1960s about corporate control of broadcasting in the US, because the broadcasting frequencies were considered to belong to the people. Early public stations were operated by state colleges and universities to promote educational broadcasts. A 1950s TV program to promote children’s education was “Ding Dong School”. A later popular program was “Mister Rogers Neighborhood”. Conservative commentator William F Buckley hosted a weekly PBS public affairs show, “Firing Line”, for over 30 years.
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) was established by the Congress in 1967 to support programming diversity among public broadcasters, promote noncommercial broadcasting, and provide federal funds to local stations for program creation, but it does not control their programming. Public radio and television stations often produce their own programs as well as purchase additional programming from national producers and program distributors such as the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and National Public Radio (NPR), which operate as technically separate entities.
PBS provides educational and arts programming that is otherwise minimally available on American television. Cable television and online streaming have led to the development of limited similar content, including to viewers in rural areas that do not have access to arts education, and where educational funding is even lower than in urbanized areas. Chuck compared PBS to the comprehensive services of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), the world’s oldest and largest national broadcaster, most of whose employees are in public-sector broadcasting.
There are hundreds of individual public radio and public television stations licensed to various non-profit organizations, municipal or state governments, or universities (like KUSC). Government funding has been reduced over the years by pressure from politicians who object to the broadcasting of documentaries on social issues. Most of the financial support for public broadcasting comes from community organizations, foundations, business contributions and audience pledge drives (you’ve probably heard these periodically).
History of National Public Broadcasting, by Chuck Klaus Wes Bradford 2022-04-26 07:00:00Z 0

James Webb Space Telescope, Debbie Simmons

(April 12, 2022)
Debbie Simmons is the System Engineering Lead for the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) program. She has a BS in Aerospace Engineering from San Diego State U and MS in Electrical Engineering from USC, and has worked for Northrop Grumman for many years. She has been active in encouraging young women to enter engineering careers.
The JWST weighs 7 tons and was developed by Northrop Grumman for NASA and the Canadian & European Space Agencies, with contributions from a number of academic, government, and industrial partners. It was launched on an Ariane 5 rocket from French Guiana on the northern coast of South America on Dec 25, 2021. It has a 21-foot primary mirror consisting of 18 gold-coated beryllium mirrors accurate to 20 nanometers and weighing 44 lb each, which were folded to fit into the launch rocket. It has 6 major subsystems: Electrical Power with solar panels, Attitude Control, Communication, Command and Data Management, Propulsion, and Thermal Control.
The JWST was placed in the L2 LaGrange point, ~1 million miles from Earth in a stable gravitational point that always stays on the midnight side of the Earth, so that the light and heat from the Sun, Earth and Moon are always in the same direction. It has a tennis-court-sized sunshield to separate the observatory into a hot Sun-facing side and a very cold anti-Sun side, to keep the Sun’s heat away from the delicate mirrors & electronics whose operating temperature has to be kept under minus 370 degrees F (90 degrees F above absolute zero). The sunshield has 5 separate layers for heat-shielding and to minimize deterioration from meteor damage (it’s a dangerous neighborhood).
After finishing calibration maneuvers, JWST will become operational in June 2022. It will observe red-shifted light from the early history of the universe, to 180 million years after the “Big Bang” singularity of ~13.8 billion years ago (considered the “age of the universe”, based on detailed measurements of universe expansion). High-redshift (very old and distant) objects have their visible emissions shifted into the infrared. JWST can see objects 400 times fainter than from large ground-based telescopes or current space-based infrared telescopes. Its instruments will operate in the near- and mid-infra-red spectrum, which is mostly blocked by the atmosphere and is best observed from space. These observations will help understand the shape and chemical composition of the universe, and the evolution of galaxies, stars and planets.
James Webb Space Telescope, Debbie Simmons Wes Bradford 2022-04-12 07:00:00Z 0

Melting Ice at the North Pole, Tom Day

Tom Day is an experienced public speaker who spoke with us by Zoom from his home in Stevenson Ranch, north of Los Angeles. He described scientific studies on the melting polar ice caps. The ice cap on the Arctic Ocean is always frozen during the winter when there is no sunlight, but in summer its area and thickness have been decreasing in recent decades according to satellite photos. Arctic surface air temperatures have warmed about twice as fast as the global rate, caused not only by rising greenhouse gas concentrations, but also by deposition of black soot (which absorbs solar energy) on the ice, from increasing wildfire smoke and industrial sources.
Tom showed how the melting Arctic Ocean ice does not change the water level, because it is already in the water. He compared that effect to Greenland and the Antarctic continent, where most of the ice is in glaciers above sea level. As they melt and shrink in size, they pour their water down into the ocean, which does increase the sea level, which is rising along shorelines around the world.
As the average size of the Arctic summer ice cap has been shrinking rapidly in recent decades, the dark sea water in summer absorbs much more solar energy than the white ice which reflects it off into space. A summertime ice-free Arctic has not existed in the last 700,000 years, but projections show progression to complete summer ice loss within the next ~15-45 years, causing increased solar energy absorption in the Arctic Ocean.
Thousands of square miles of melting permafrost are putting out massive amounts of methane, a potent greenhouse gas. (Permafrost melting is also destabilizing roads and buildings built on what was formerly solid ground in the Arctic.)  Global seawater, which has been absorbing some of the carbon dioxide from the Industrial Revolution, is now absorbing less and spewing out more of its carbon dioxide into the atmosphere as it warms, like warming carbonated water does. All of these mechanisms are positive feedback loops which accelerate the speed of global warming and climate change, so the rate of change keeps increasing. These changes are compounded by environmental contribution by the increasing global population.
Melting Ice at the North Pole, Tom Day Wes Bradford 2022-03-22 07:00:00Z 0

The West LA Port Harbor Development, Michael Cham

Posted on Mar 08, 2022
(Mar 8, 2022) 
Michael Cham is Property Manager at the Port of Los Angeles. He graduated from UC San Diego in Urban Studies, and from Loyola Marymount Law School. He worked for the city of Los Angeles in community planning and harbor planning before assuming his present position in 2019.
The West LA Port Harbor Development is focused on developing new infrastructure along the waterfront to attract visitors and private investment. $600 million of current investment will be augmented by another $400 million through 2025. The development extends along the west side of the main channel from Outer Harbor Park to the Vincent Thomas Bridge. The Harbor is 25 miles from DTLA and a 1-hour boat ride from Catalina Island. The plan anticipates annual visits by 2 million visitors, 100+ cruise ships with 500,000 passengers, and 100 public events including LA Fleet Week. The project has over 400 acres of waterfront with marinas, recreational vessel slips and dry docks.
Mr Cham displayed maps and architectural drawings, and discussed anchor leasing tenants planning to open in the repurposed buildings 1A and 1B. The North Park will have many recreational facilities. Port projects in San Pedro include completed Harbor Boulevard modifications, the West Harbor Promenade and Town Square with Ferry Building, West Harbor Promenade Phase II, Cabrillo Way Marina, Berth 44 Boatyard, Outer Harbor Cruise Terminal, and Warehouse No. 1.
The new AltaSea campus of the Southern California Marine Institute is sponsored by a consortium of 23 universities and colleges, and government and private organizations. It has 4100 feet of waterfront dock and wharf space to provide research vessels with direct harbor and open ocean access. The Institute will study renewable energy production, underwater robotic technology for remote monitoring and exploration, and regenerative aquaculture for sustainable food sources. It will include STEM education programs and internships for students.
The West Harbor has a panoramic view of the Port of Los Angeles, where visitors can watch container ships while having lunch with local seafood, walking along the port, or touring the USS Iowa. Potential recreational activities include rock climbing and “relaxing” on a sky swing, whale watching, and sunset harbor cruises. Opening is scheduled for 2023.
The West LA Port Harbor Development, Michael Cham  Wes Bradford 2022-03-08 08:00:00Z 0

Jalalabad Rotary Club in Afghanistan, Stephan Brown (Past RI Foundation Trustee)

(Feb 22, 2022) Steve Brown is a Past Rotary International Trustee. Motivated by the tragedy of 9/11/2001, he has traveled to Afghanistan 12 times in the last 19 years, working with various programs of the Rotary Foundation and other partnering organizations. He helped establish educational and humanitarian programs in the city of Jalalabad, the capital of Nangarhar province in the eastern part of Afghanistan, near the Pakistan border and 80 miles east of the capital, Kabul.
Steve spoke to us by Zoom, reviewing successes in working with local Afghans to establish a Rotary Club in Jalalabad and a Sister Cities relationship with his hometown of San Diego. He discussed programs including building schools, establishing Internet-connected computer labs for boys and girls in public high schools, and working with the Nangarhar University to facilitate English language training for Rotary’s polio eradication efforts.
With support from the local Rotary Club there, Jalalabad Rotary School has graduated over 8000 students since 2004, 30% of them girls, a big social change in a society where traditionally only boys could be educated. There were over 27,000 high school graduates since 2008 from 7 girls’ high schools and 9 boys’ high schools in Jalalabad. Over 7000 students have graduated from Nangarhar University in IT and ESL since 2012. The La Jolla Golden Triangle Rotary Foundation is supporting 26 educational programs up through the Nangarhar University level.
The list of donors to Rotary programs there includes the World Bank, USAID, Rotary Foundation, NATO, US Department of State, Canadian International Development Agency, San Diego-Jalalabad Sister Cities Foundation, and private donors and individuals. The total number of new polio cases in 2021 was 43 in Afghanistan and 8 in Pakistan, the only 2 countries where polio is still endemic.
Kabul, Afghanistan’s capital city, was captured by the Taliban on August 15, 2021. Then the US military began its withdrawal from the country in accordance with the US-Taliban peace agreement signed by President Trump in February 2020. Things have changed dramatically with the fall of the Afghan National Government.  Steve remains in daily touch with his colleagues in Afghanistan. He discussed how things have evolved, and the challenges facing Afghans today.
Jalalabad Rotary Club in Afghanistan, Stephan Brown (Past RI Foundation Trustee) Wes Bradford 2022-02-22 08:00:00Z 0

Port of LA Update, Eric Caris

(Feb 8, 2022) Eric Caris is Director of Cargo Marketing for the Port of Los Angeles. He coordinates shipping activities at the Port, including negotiating container terminal leases, coordinating with supply chain stakeholders, and promoting technology to reduce ship emissions by plugging in to onshore electrical power while berthed instead of burning diesel fuel. He was born and educated in Antwerp, Belgium, and has worked in the US for 38 years.
The Port of Los Angeles is the busiest container port in the US, slightly more than the Port of Long Beach. Each Port is a department of its respective city government. POLA can handle the biggest cargo ships, and processed over 10 million container units in 2021. The Port covers 7,500 acres of land and water along 43 miles of waterfront. It has more than 200 leaseholders, generating its revenues from leasing and shipping service fees with no support from city taxes. Mr Caris reviewed the major shipping terminals and cruise lines in the port area.
The Board of Harbor Commissioners manages the Harbor District, including San Pedro, Wilmington, and Terminal Island. Port operations promote maritime, commerce, navigation, fisheries, and public access to the waterfront. The Port has been involved in revitalization of the LA Waterfront, improving public access, developing visitor-friendly infrastructure, and transforming the area into a major visitor destination. Its operations are oriented towards environmentally and fiscally responsible development, with community engagement.
International trade has surged during the COVID pandemic-induced consumer spending of the last 2 years, pushing many seaports beyond their programmed capacity. Many new cargo ships carry much larger numbers of containers. Ships waiting offshore for their turn to load and unload have increased diesel engine pollution in the Los Angeles area. This has been decreased by requiring ships to wait farther offshore up to 150 miles, by trying to speed up cargo container traffic by truck and rail to and from the port, and trying to reduce waiting time of empty containers in the dock area. Trying to expand port operations to 24 hours daily is limited by a shortage of truck and rail transport vehicles and available workers, but the backlog is decreasing.
Port of LA Update, Eric Caris Wes Bradford 2022-02-08 08:00:00Z 0

Barbara Ferraro, RPV Mayor Pro Tem

Mayor Pro Tem Barbara Ferraro, our member Charley Ferraro’s spouse, has served in the Rancho Palos Verdes City Council since 2019, and previously served from 1995 through 2003. She has lived in RPV since 1976 and is a high school Spanish teacher in Palos Verdes.
Barbara Ferraro spoke to us by Zoom about the new state legislation on housing zoning, SB 9 & SB 10. The intent is to increase housing density throughout the state to help ameliorate the growing homeless population, with the additional housing density distributed throughout existing communities by building up rather than out. Local zoning decisions would be required to allow subdividing lots, without consideration for the increased needs for parking, schools, emergency vehicles access, and other community services.
Barbara states that developers are planning to build denser housing for moderate income rather than lower income residents (“more luxury housing that most people can’t afford”). The legislation does not require the housing to be affordable or for homeless people. Impacts on funding for services, transportation access, housing-jobs imbalances, and infrastructure maintenance would be the responsibility of local communities. She said that every community has different needs in its environment, transportation access, topography, and parks and recreation facilities.
Redondo Beach Mayor Bill Brand and others are organizing a November ballot initiative (“Californians for Community Planning Initiative”), collecting a million signatures, to overturn this law and return zoning and land-use to local control. Many community and homeowner groups have been formed to “stop Sacramento from ruining our towns”. Barbara referred us to for information.
Barbara Ferraro, RPV Mayor Pro Tem Wes Bradford 2022-01-25 08:00:00Z 0

C5 Youth Foundation

(Jan 11, 2022)
Jessica Valdez (C5LA Program Director) & Miguel presented by Zoom.
C5LA (“College in 5 years”, LA) was founded in 1999 by John Alm, former CEO of Coca-Cola Enterprises (a major Coca-Cola distributor). Seeing the impact of summer camp on his own children by helping them develop personal skills, confidence, and improved self-esteem, he & his wife determined to extend these benefits to deserving children whose families could not afford these experiences. C5LA has grown from a 4-week summer camp to a year-round 5-year Leadership Development and College Preparatory Program, and inspired others to expand C5 to 4 other US cities.
The public education system cannot address what is happening outside of the classroom, for the many young people who fail to graduate and become productive citizens. Too many of our youth are adversely impacted by everything that is missing from their lives, growing up in environments with limited support and few opportunities, unable to develop a positive vision for their future. A child raised in neglect or extreme adversity carries a lifelong risk of chronic illness and mental health struggles.
C5LA is dedicated to promoting generational transformations to build stronger communities. The C5 philosophy includes:
  • Building strong relationships between youth and adults, promoting confidence of support;
  • Introducing the concept of college as a realistic goal, and how to achieve it;
  • Introducing new activities, ideas and concepts, expanding their horizons;
  • Engaging them in community service, showing them how they can make a difference;
  • Leading them to career opportunities through job shadowing and career exploration.
C5LA recruits 8th graders from 25 Middle School partners in the LA area, who show high potential and 3.0 GPA, but are under-resourced and potential 1st-generation college students, who can adjust to camp & being away from home, and are not distracted by other interests. Teachers nominate 8th grade students in October, who then complete their application forms. C5LA holds student/parent informational meetings. Then, selected students are interviewed, and acceptances are sent in April. Its mission is to inspire high-potential under-resourced teens to pursue personal success and prepare for leadership roles in school, college, work and their communities.
The program is year-around, with 5 summer experiences: Leadership Camp before 9th grade, backpacking before 10th, tour of colleges before 11th, week-long college stay before 12th, and 4-day “college boot camp” before starting college. There are ~72 students each year, with case management at each stage, college application coach, and scholarship funds to help with education expenses. The program is now extended through college to support graduation & career mentorship.
For information, donations, and volunteer opportunities (such as career mentors), contact, or at 3100 N Broadway in Los Angeles, (323) 686-4214,
C5 Youth Foundation Wes Bradford 2022-01-11 08:00:00Z 0

Holiday Dinner at Crème de la Crêpe Restaurant

(Dec 14, 2021) We had a delicious Holiday Dinner with French cuisine, entertained by a harpist arranged by Pres Steve (a heavenly touch!).
Remember, our next Club Meeting is Jan 11, 2022. Until then, stay safe and calm. The best of Holiday Cheer to all!
Some Limericks for the Season:
(Mensa Bulletin, Nov/Dec 2021)
You’re getting forgetful, my dear.
Some memories aren’t too clear.
That gift on the tree
That you gave to me?
I gave it to you just last year!
Each Christmas I’m now so perplexed,
I wonder just what’s coming next.
          Yule letters so sweet
          Are now obsolete.
You’re lucky to get a group text!
Conspiracy nut for a brother?
A guilt-trip-distributing mother?
          The big Christmas “do”
          Is merry if you
Survive without killing each other!
Holiday Dinner at Crème de la Crêpe Restaurant Wes Bradford 2021-12-14 08:00:00Z 0

South Bay Cities Council of Governments, Jacki Bacharach

(Dec 7, 2021) 
Jacki Bacharach was born in Chicago, grew up in the San Fernando Valley, and graduated from UCLA in 1966. She served on the RPV City Council 1980-1993, including as Mayor in 1981-82, 1983-84, and 1988-89. She served for 12 years on the LA County Transportation Commission (LACTC) until 1993. She helped organize the Southern California Regional Rail Authority (the Metrolink commuter rail system), the Los Angeles-San Diego Rail Corridor Agency (LA-San Diego Amtrak service), and the Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority (landside access to the Ports of LA and Long Beach). She served on the Transportation and Communications Committee for the League of California Cities. She also worked on the National Commission on Intermodal Transportation.
Jacki is the Executive Director of the South Bay Cities Council of Governments (SBCCOG). Her duties include oversight of the South Bay Environmental Services Center, pilot projects for fleet conversion to electric vehicles, and the South Bay’s Measure R and Measure M transportation programs. Special initiatives include services for homeless and seniors, regional broadband service, and climate action implementation.  She also directs policy development, city outreach, and working with state and regional agencies.  She is also the Chair of the LA County Quality and Productivity Commission.
The current major SBCCOG programs include Energy Efficiency, Outreach (presentations at events & classes), Water Conservation (Cash for Kitchens, Change and Save, Rain Barrel giveaway), Sustainability (promoting greenhouse gas reduction), Transportation (EV infrastructure, Local Travel Network, Vanpool, Metro Express Lane), South Bay Fiber Network (a regional broadband network to municipal sites), Homeless, and Seniors (Resource Sharing, Senior Services Working Group, Age-Friendly Network).
Energy efficiency programs to cities, school districts, businesses and homes provides information on energy & water usage and waste disposal with incentives and rebate programs. Low-flow shower heads, faucet aerators, and rain barrel giveaways help reduce water usage in our long-term drought conditions. A seniors’ home-share program helps elderly residents to continue living in their own homes. The South Bay Fiber Network won a national award in 2020 based on uniqueness and short- and long-term value to the community.
Ballot-approved sales tax measures are providing funding for projects to reduce traffic delays, improve safety, and promote ridesharing, telecommuting, and bike/pedestrian “slow” local transportation. A planning grant is studying a 243-mile network of local streets for slow local travel 25 mph or less (70% of South Bay trips are less than 3 miles). This would help to connect local destinations, reduce congestion, and increase safety and sustainability. Micro-mobility vehicles include many new models of small electric cars, electric bicycles and scooters for rent or purchase.
The SBCCOG will hold its 22nd General Assembly with Exhibit Hall on March 24, 2022, looking for new ideas from elected officials, business and the public. The SBCCOG is located at 2355 Crenshaw Blvd in Torrance, 310-371-7222, Jacki is available at
South Bay Cities Council of Governments, Jacki Bacharach Wes Bradford 2021-12-07 08:00:00Z 0

Founding Fathers: 6 Great Men, by Ara Norwood

(Nov 23, 2021) Ara Norwood ( is Managing Partner of Leadership Development Systems. He promotes the principles of Leadership, which he believes is essential for a sustainable and progressive USA. He presents these concepts to groups, using as examples “Six Great Men” among the US Founding Fathers.
These Six are Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and Alexander Hamilton. Ara spoke about their relationships with their parents, their intellectual acumen (five were geniuses and Washington was more a people person), and their views on slavery: Northerner Adams opposed it from the beginning and the others opposed it eventually. Washington, Jefferson and Madison were slave-owning plantation owners; Washington eventually released all of his slaves, although Jefferson and Madison did not.
In occupational background, Franklin was a printer, scientist and diplomat. Washington was a surveyor and planter and Army officer. Adams was a lawyer. Jefferson was a planter, lawyer and teacher. Madison was a planter. Hamilton was a military officer, lawyer and financier. In political views, Franklin and Washington were nonpartisan, Adams and Hamilton were Federalists (promoting the proposed Constitution), and Jefferson and Madison were Democratic-Republicans (a later group opposing the centralizing policies of Alexander Hamilton).
Franklin was greatly influenced by the Enlightenment philosophy in Europe at that time. He was pragmatic and tolerant of others. Washington was dignified, punctual, disciplined and a good listener (who turned down an offer to become “King George I” of the new nation, because he opposed the concept of monarchy). Adams was well educated but egotistical and defensive. Jefferson was very intellectual, charming, a poor speaker but brilliant writer. Madison was indecisive, shy and an awkward conversationalist. Hamilton was bold and confrontational. Hamilton was the first secretary of the treasury, where he promoted federal funding of the states’ Revolutionary war debts and creation of the Bank of the United States. His vehement political rivalry against Aaron Burr resulted in Burr killing him in a dual.
These 6 world-class leaders came from a US population of 2 million in 1776. With the same proportions, today’s US population of 331 million would produce 993 world-class leaders. Ara Norwood believes such potential leaders are out there and need to be developed for the future well-being of our country.
Founding Fathers: 6 Great Men, by Ara Norwood Wes Bradford 2021-11-23 08:00:00Z 0

Holocaust Survivor Aron Gross, by his son Paul Gross

(Nov 9, 2021) Paul Gross works for the Malibu Canyon Wealth Management company. He spoke to us by Zoom about his father, Aron Gross, a Jewish Holocaust survivor who was interviewed in 1996 for the Visual History Archive of the USC Shoah Foundation Institute, an inspiring story of the resilience of the human spirit.
Aron Gross was born in 1921 in Rakszawa, Poland. When the Nazis invaded Poland and began destroying Jewish Ghettos, the Jewish population tried to conceal their Jewish identity. Many tried to hide on farms, in bunkers, and in forests but most of them were eventually executed. Paul spoke of Amon Göth, a Nazi officer who was involved in the destruction of Jewish Ghettos and deporting the inhabitants to death camps. He personally killed many children in the Ghettos.
Aron was captured and put into the Reichshof-PZL concentration camp in Rzeszow, Poland. Of his parents and 7 siblings, only Aron and his brother Sam survived. They were liberated by the Soviet Armed Forces invading Poland and Germany from the east towards the end of World War II. Before the Germans withdrew in July 1944, they burned down the Synagogue. Aron and his brother were able to come to the US after the war (photo of Aron & Sam & their spouses).
Holocaust Survivor Aron Gross, by his son Paul Gross Wes Bradford 2021-11-09 08:00:00Z 0

David Moyers, Residential Real Estate Market

 (Oct 26, 2021)
PDG Dave Moyers, a local realtor with RE/MAX at 450 Silver Spur Rd in Rancho Palos Verdes, spoke to us about changes in the current California housing market. In summary, from 2015 through 2021, the Median Price of homes has increased from $476,000 to $793,000, while buyer Affordability has decreased from 31% to 26% of the population. Mortgage rates have changed from 3.90% to 3.00%. The number of Single Family Home Resales has increased from 409,000 to 440,000.
In spite of (or because of) the COVID pandemic, 20 cities in California grew by over 40% last year (with mobile professionals moving to less-congested areas to work virtually). The average size of homes purchased also jumped from 1745 ft2 to 1800 ft2. First-time buyers have also been making higher down-payments, and 6.6% of home purchases are now for 2nd/vacation homes (showing increasing income disparity). Coastal areas are increasingly unaffordable for first-time working-class buyers, so more buyers are moving farther away (to rural areas and/or out-of-state) to find more-affordable real estate prices.
Home-owners are now staying in their homes longer (changing from 5 years to 11 years average). The California population since 1986 has increased from 27 million to 40 million (& the number of realtors has increased with it), but the rate of new building permits has fallen with the decreasing availability of suitable new-housing areas. (For example, burn-susceptible areas are becoming less desirable with increasing wildfires.) As housing-market prices go up, buyers have become more discouraged, while sellers have become more encouraged.
David Moyers, Residential Real Estate Market Wes Bradford 2021-10-26 07:00:00Z 0

District 2022 Humanitarian Trip to Puerto Rico, Jose Vera

Jose Vera, LA5 Rotary Club, is a Co-Chair (with Albert Hernandez, Burbank Rotary Club) of the District 5280 Puerto Rico Humanitarian Trip, April 14-18, 2022. He spoke to us by Zoom about the 12 projects with Puerto Rico’s District 7000. The 61 Clubs in our District need to raise over $100,000 to combine with Rotary Global Matching Grants. Over 120 Rotarians from our District are expected to go.
Our DG Guity Javid has noted that Puerto Rico is still in a humanitarian crisis with the aftermath of Hurricane María in Sept 2017, when 95% of the people lost their electricity and half lost access to running water; 3 months later 45% (1.5 million people) still had no electric power. Then 3 powerful earthquakes hit in Jan 2020, followed by the COVID pandemic.
Among our planned projects are an agricultural training program at a homeless shelter, a recycling center to fund addict treatment, a sewing training project for underserved women, a Rotary Peace Park to be maintained by local Clubs, retrofitting a used 40-foot container for physical & ocupational therapy services for disabled students, computer training for students & parents, a sports training facility for troubled children, a secure school for domestic violence victims, a school photocopying center, furnishings for a children’s shelter, and playground equipment to replace hurricane-destroyed equipment.
These projects will involve partnerships between community and business and professional leaders in both Districts, building good will, better friendships, and better lives. We can help by monetary donations by Clubs & individuals, and by registering to go to Puerto Rico. More information & online sign-ups at will soon be available.
District 2022 Humanitarian Trip to Puerto Rico, Jose Vera Wes Bradford 2021-10-12 07:00:00Z 0

Jon Caplan, Cyber Security

Jon Caplan, a Past-President of our Rotary Club, described categories of Internet hacking: Obtaining your bank account access, placing Ransomware (crippling your data access and extorting payment from you to get it back), and Botnets (placing hidden Internet-connected malware on your computer to remotely steal your data, send spam, or perform Distributed Denial-Of-Service (DDoS) attacks, using thousands of captured malware-infected computers to flood and overload the resources of an Internet target). (It’s a nasty world out there!) These attacks are becoming more sophisticated every year. Jon recommends the following steps to protect yourself:
  1. Backup your data, and don’t let it live at home where it may still be vulnerable to loss or damage; automate it with “Carbonite”, “iDrive”, etc (“Cloud” backup software to protect your personal & business data from common forms of data loss), and just do it frequently, even with a USB device.
  1. Manage your passwords. Don’t reuse previous passwords. Use a password manager (such as “LastPass”), and consider using 2-Factor Authentication for increased security (for example, the system you are accessing triggers an automated call to your cell phone to verify that it’s really you).
  1. Don’t trust email: Check the actual sender and don’t click on Internet hotlinks from emails.
  1. Update your software. Don’t neglect software update notices from your software providers, who try to keep up with new hacking threats.
  1. Reduce your risk: Delete unneeded emails & files, and avoid strange websites.
  1. Use an antivirus program: Jon recommends “Windows Defender” which is very good & free. Other antivirus programs may not be needed, but you should run “Malwarebytes” to clean viruses and malware from your device.
  1. Don’t trust anyone who “calls you”. The IRS doesn’t call! Your car warranty isn’t expiring! Do you even have a grandson? (Let alone a relative who “needs urgent bail money to get out of jail!”)
Jon Caplan, Cyber Security Wes Bradford 2021-09-28 07:00:00Z 0

LAX Modernization Project Update, Stephanie Sampson

Stephanie Sampson is the Director of Communications for LAX Development Projects (see for up-to-date details). To help remedy surface traffic congestion, Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) is building a Landside Access Modernization Program (LAMP) at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), the 2nd busiest airport in the US and  4th busiest in the world.
The Landside Access Modernization Program (LAMP) consists of 3 new terminal extensions in the airport, and 3 new facilities outside the airport near the 405 Freeway: a Consolidated Rent-A-Car Facility and a public parking structure with 405 Freeway access, and a Metro transit station at 96th Street & Aviation Blvd connecting to the LAX/Crenshaw and Green Lines. These will be connected by an Automated People Mover (APM) train system on a 2.25-mile elevated guideway.
By 2023, the APM will run 9 trains with 4 cars each, carrying up to 200 passengers and their luggage, with top speed of 47 MPH. During peak hours (9 AM to 11 PM), trains will be available at each station every 2 minutes, with 10 minutes total travel time end-to-end. Passengers will be able to view real-time flight information. Escalators & elevated walkways to and from the nearest APM stations will be in the terminals. (See map above, with the Airport on the left and the other facilities on the right.)
The APM will enable quick and convenient connections between the 405 or Metro and the airport for LA Metro, Rent-A-Car, and private parking structure users, eliminating shuttle trips to & from the terminal area. Several new roadways will be built through 2023, creating new access points. Parts of the new system will open in the next 2 years, and it will be ready for the LA Olympics in 2028. Additional roadway improvements near the airport, to alleviate traffic congestion, will begin in 2023 and be completed by 2035. (“It ain't over until it’s over!”) During the current construction, be sure to add extra time for travel to and from the airport.
LAX Modernization Project Update, Stephanie Sampson Wes Bradford 2021-09-14 07:00:00Z 0

Warner Grand Theatre Annex (Arts Non-Profit), Liz Schindler Johnson

Liz Schindler Johnson is the Executive Director of the Grand Vision Foundation, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that supports the Warner Grand Theatre (which is now owned by the City of Los Angeles). The Foundation has a paid staff of 6, and over 30 volunteers. It produces concerts, film screening and other events at the historic art deco Warner Grand Theatre in San Pedro, and at the Grand Annex next door, a 150 seat cabaret theater opened in 2008. The Foundation promotes culturally inclusive arts and educational experiences, with events for youth, schools and community.
The Friends of the Warner Grand was formed to save and reactivate the Warner Grand Theatre in 2004-2008, which had changed ownership and focus several times since its founding 90 years ago. An adjacent storefront was converted into the Grand Annex, a community resource that can be rented for theatrical production by local colleges and theatre companies.
Meet the Music (MTM) is the Foundation's youth education program, serving 1600 students annually in high-poverty San Pedro and Wilmington public elementary schools, providing  music education and an introduction to opera with the LA Opera. Team Taiko promotes Japanese Taiko drum instruction and Japanese language learning.
The Grand Vision Foundation’s “Adopt a Seat” program provides a brass donor’s name plaque on a seat for fundraising. The Foundation needs more volunteers, members and sponsors. The phone is 310-833-4813, and the website is (Our Club member Linda Nietes Little, Philippines Expressions Bookshop, is on the Grand Annex Artistic Advisory Committee.)
Warner Grand Theatre Annex (Arts Non-Profit), Liz Schindler Johnson Wes Bradford 2021-08-24 07:00:00Z 0

DG Guity Javid’s Club Visit

DG Guity Javid has been a member of the Rancho Park Rotary Club since January 1991.  She served as Club President and other positions in her Club and District 5280, including Assistant Governor, District Disaster Relief Chair, Interact Advisor, Humanitarian Trip Co-Chair, District  Charitable Foundation Board, and chartering a new Club. She has advocated for women’s causes, mentoring women managers in Women Unlimited, and investing in an angel organization on women-owned businesses. She co-chaired the first American Cancer Society’s “Relay for Life” in Beverly Hills, and has served on various not-for-profit boards. DG Guity graduated from the University of California at Berkeley in Business Administration, and has worked in banking, investments, and structured finance for many years.
DG Guity attended our Board Meeting prior to our Club meeting, with her Chief of Staff Valeria Velasco & Club Service AG Elaine Thompson. We reviewed our Club Projects, including Project Amigo for farmworkers’ children in Colima, Mexico, and the status of projects on hold including the Kenya school, our local High School Peace Project, and the Marymount Rotaract Club, which should be able to resume soon with “normal” classes.
DG Guity reviewed why she became a Rotarian for service opportunities, with fellowship and the desire to do good in the world. She reviewed the history of Rotary from the time of Paul Harris in 1905, and the 4-Way Test. There are many challenges in today’s world, including homelessness, mental health and stress, and the pandemic economic and social disruptions. We need to grow our membership, including forming new Clubs (without robbing existing Clubs of their members). She promotes forming “Special Focus” Clubs (whose members would choose their preference of focus).
DG Guity Javid’s Club Visit Wes Bradford 2021-08-10 07:00:00Z 0

Project Amigo, Alma Bayardo & Amaranta Hernández

Project Amigo was established in 1984 as a donor-funded scholarship program for bright but impoverished students in the farmworkers community of Colima, Mexico, to attend primary school through university (which they are otherwise unable to afford). Applicant requirements include recommendation by a teacher based on academic achievement and financial need. These students get a Christmas Fiesta, a trip to the beach, picnics with visiting volunteers, and assistance with some vision and dental problems. They must maintain high grades, participate in weekly homework clubs, mentor younger students, provide 10 hours of community service monthly, and write a monthly letter to their sponsors.
Past graduates have included teachers, lawyers, architects, engineers and doctors. One of them is Amaranta Hernández (pictured) who received a bachelors degree last year and has been sponsored by our PV Sunset Rotarian Marilyn Klaus. Amaranta and leader Alma Bayardo spoke to us by Zoom from Mexico.
During the COVID Pandemic, some classes in Colima are being broadcast on TV. High school students are using their smart phones and laptops for classes, and elementary students have been coming to computers at the cyber center. Scholarship families have been receiving monthly food box distributions.
Rotarians are invited to join them for a Humanitarian Service Work Week, sponsor 1 or more students (contact Marilyn for details), connect Project Amigo to other Rotary Clubs and other civic groups, make contributions to their Wish List, ask employers to match your financial contributions, and follow Project Amigo on social media. It is a 501c3 non-profit charity, with headquarters in the village of Cofradía de Suchitlán. See website for more information. Thanks for helping to end poverty through education!
Project Amigo, Alma Bayardo & Amaranta Hernández Wes Bradford 2021-07-27 07:00:00Z 0

Photowalks (How to Take Great Pictures), Jefferson Graham

Jefferson Graham is a photographer and host of the travel photography series “Photowalks with Jefferson Graham” (streaming on Tubi). He is a portrait photographer, video maker, and jazz guitarist. He covered consumer tech for USA TODAY, and has written and/or photographed for many publications. He is the author of nine books, including the recent “Video Nation, a DIY Guide to Planning, Shooting and Sharing great Video”. He has done photo works on Aaron Spelling and on “Sin City, Vegas: Live and In Person”.
Watch his Photo Walks on Los Angeles and Catalina on Tubi, the free TV streaming app: See many  of his photos on his website:
He presented numerous examples of his photography, to illustrate his tips for taking better smart phone photos:
  • Timing is everything (such as children running on a beach);
  • Magic hour: Mornings and evenings have the best light;
  • Keep moving to get the shot (take multiple pictures to choose the best angle);
  • Take portraits in shade (avoid tense facial squinting);
  • Shoot many photos (choose the best ones later);
  • Use every lens on your smart phone (wide & ultra-wide-angle, telephoto, etc);
  • Use Burst Mode to stop action (choose the best-timed photo later);
  • Long exposures (capture motion effects);
  • Develop photos with apps (black-and-white, color alterations, cropping);
  • Sunsets look better on smart phones;
  • Try shots in the rain! (unusual photo effects);
  • Try panoramic photos;
  • Try low and wide for unusual perspectives (close-up of auto near grill).
Photowalks (How to Take Great Pictures), Jefferson Graham Wes Bradford 2021-07-13 07:00:00Z 0

SoFi Stadium Tour  & Demotion Dinner (June 22)

The SoFi Stadium is the new home of the Rams and Chargers on a site previously home to Hollywood Park in Inglewood. It was bought by Rams owner Stan Kroenke, and was built for a reported $5.5 billion. The personal finance company SoFi acquired the naming rights for over $30 million per year. It is scheduled to host Super Bowl LVI in February 2022, the College Football National Championship Playoff in January 2023, and part of the 2028 Summer Olympics.
The stadium seats 70,000, and can expand by 30,000 more for larger events. A translucent roof is a separate column-supported structure over the stadium, the pedestrian plaza, and the attached performance venue. There is an oval double-sided 1000-ton video board with 80 million pixels over the field (pictured above showing the LA City skyline, without the smog). The roof can project images visible from airplanes flying into LAX.
Our Club attendees were given a tour through the various venues, bars, luxury suites, and the playing field where there were opportunities to throw a football through a target, kick a field goal, and run a 50-yard dash (although none of our members was observed participating in these activities).
Afterwards, we migrated to the Lido Di Manhattan Restaurant in Manhattan Beach for outgoing President Chase Thacker’s last hurrah. He brought his whole family, as did incoming President Steve Johnson, not to be outdone. The food and wine and socializing were superb, and we are now charged up for a great new Rotary Year under President Steve.
SoFi Stadium Tour  & Demotion Dinner (June 22) Wes Bradford 2021-06-22 07:00:00Z 0

Farmers’ Market, Tom Brewer

Tom Brewer is a member of the Torrance/Del Amo Rotary Club. He has been a shopper at the Torrance Certified Farmers Market for almost 30 years and a volunteer there for the last 2½ years. He presented helpful advice to “novice” farmers’-market shoppers, and offered new insights for veteran market shoppers. He hopes to give us a new appreciation for our local farmer’s market.
The Torrance Certified Farmers’ Market is located at Wilson Park on Crenshaw between Sepulveda & Carson, on Tuesday & Saturday mornings from 8 to 1. It started on Tuesdays in 1985 and on Saturdays in 1992. Each market has about 65 growers. This event has become a community meeting place for neighbors and friends to greet, chat and sample. (The Palos Verdes Farmers’ Market is now located at Peninsula High School, Sunday mornings from 9-1.)
Farmers’ markets offer safe nutritious vine- & tree-ripened fruit and vegetables grown in California and certified by the State of California. They eliminate the costs of packing, shipping and wholesale distributing, saving money for both farmers and consumers. Quality produce is brought in each week direct from the farms, with a year-round selection of California-grown fruits, nuts, vegetables, eggs, honey, baked goods, fish, cut flowers and nursery stock.
Certified Farmers’ Markets are certified by the County Agricultural Commissioner. Farmers must have a Certified Producer Certificate on site, and can sell only California-grown produce grown on their own farm. The LA County agricultural Commission inspectors visit participating farms and markets. Produce can be called organic if it was grown on soil with no prohibited substances applied for 3 years prior.
The Torrance Farmers’ Market website ( has links to useful information on:
  • What’s in Season;
  • Farmer’s Market Brochure with List of Other Markets in Southern California;
  • Kitchen Tips & Tricks, how to use herbs and other food components;
  • Guide to Asian Produce, with some recipes.
Farmers’ Market, Tom Brewer Wes Bradford 2021-06-08 07:00:00Z 0

Operation Smile Club, Ella Bjerre

Ella Bjerre is a dynamic 16-year-old who runs Operation Smile Club at Chadwick School in Palos Verdes. Her club is dedicated to spreading awareness and fundraising for the surgeries needed for children born with cleft lips and/or palates. They will be starting a project to create individual “smile bags” full of fun games and essentials for children who receive surgery through Operation Smile.
Every 10 minutes, a child is born with a cleft lip or palate, which can cause speech problems, malnutrition and social difficulties. Ella showed photos of her own history, in infancy before and after surgery, and 6 years later as a smiling child.
Operation Smile is working in 30 countries with volunteers training health professionals and educating families. Over 19,000 patients have been treated. The Chadwick Operation Smile Club is raising funds to spread awareness and contribute to this international effort. The club has service projects, a weekly newsletter, and is active on social media. Projects have included hand-illustrated cards for patients and a Club website with weekly newsletter and go-fund-me section. They plan to enlarge their scale next year with a donation drive service project and obtaining funding for school projects. They have raised $700 from Rotary Clubs and plan a bake sale and funding their Etsy page.
Operation Smile Club, Ella Bjerre Wes Bradford 2021-05-25 07:00:00Z 0

The Power of PIE (Positive Interactive Experience), Derek J Gable

Derek Gable was born in England and worked on many interesting projects in invention and creative fields, including jet engines, projectors, robotic manufacturing and chocolate-making machines (Willy Wonka).  He was brought to the US in 1968 by Mattel and worked on projects for Barbie, Hot Wheels and other toys and games.  He invented the Real Estate Lock Box system in 1979 and formed a company to market these devices.
He formed an invention and market development company (West Coast Innovations) for helping inventors take their concepts to production.  He has been a teacher and mentor for many years, running a class called, “I have this great idea but don’t know what to do with it”.  He has made presentations to service clubs and other organizations on subject creativity and how it can enhance one’s life.
Mr Gable says, “Look at your whole life, and make it more fun.  Find out what you have a passion for and make it your work.  Get creative.”
As an example, he formed a “Cheapskate Club” for inexpensive fun, such as going out to dinner and theater for $18 by looking for discounts and eating earlier during “Happy Hour”.  He found GoldStar on the web for buying tickets at half-price, and Ports O’ Call Restaurant which has Happy Hour from 5-7 PM with food.  The members meet in their homes and share their ideas about cheap food and entertainment, movies, etc, and discuss their experiences afterward.
Mr Gable discussed many inexpensive creative ideas and gags for entertaining grandchildren, including a small rubbery sticky hand on a string, that would grab onto whatever it touches.  He showed a cardboard mailing tube stuffed with many small funny items and notes (including a note stating, “Life Is Sexually Transmitted”, presumably intended for mature audiences only).  He brought out a plastic inflatable flower and many other party ideas, jokes and gags.  For children, you can have a treasure hunt competition with a small amount of money in each item plus a clue to the next location.  Another idea is rolled up dollar bills stuffed into a narrow-necked liquor bottle that could not be removed without breaking the glass.  He also showed a Sudoku puzzle with removable squares to see numbers behind them.  There is no limit to the human imagination!
The Power of PIE (Positive Interactive Experience), Derek J Gable Wes Bradford 2021-05-11 07:00:00Z 0

Paint & Wine Night, Malin Rigby

Malin Rigby’s art has been featured at the Palos Verdes Library, and she has hosted Paint & Wine nights at the Malaga Cove library. She was born in Sweden, studied graphic design in high school, and graduated with a BA in Computer Graphics from CSU San Jose. She uses her artistic skills creating websites for e-commerce and Amazon storefronts, as well as teaching painting. Her Swedish background promotes a clean and minimalistic design style.
In Malin’s words: “Let me tell you what kind of art I create. I love to paint! I also love to teach art, host art parties, create digital art, so basically All Things Art! I create what represents happiness and emotions in my life, places I have been, feelings I have felt and objects I have connected with. Lively colors and subtle messages are always in focus when I create. There is no stronger inspiration than life itself and as an artist I live for the hours spent in my studio; it’s my sanity, sanctuary and passion.”
Our Zoom Club meeting was preceded by delivery of a paint kit of canvas, paints, brushes, and a bottle of wine (thanks and appreciation to President Chase Thacker for delivery services!). Malin began her presentation by showing her painting of a curling surf wave, and then began creating a new copy for us, which we each tried to duplicate as she demonstrated the brush strokes and proper paint mixing and blending to provide perspective. Our Zoom kaleidoscope showed our canvas imitations (no wine spills were observed). Posterity will determine whether Malin has any future new artist competition.
Paint & Wine Night, Malin Rigby Wes Bradford 2021-04-27 07:00:00Z 0

Stop Recruiting, Start Attracting! Dr Bill Wittich

Dr Bill Wittich is a Past President of the Laguna Sunrise Rotary Club, Past District 5180 Assistant Governor, and has been an instructor for Far West PETS. His doctorate is from the University of Southern California. He has written books on non-profit associations. His most recent book is “Stop Recruiting/Start Attracting” ( He discussed how to attract new members by:
  • Using the magic formula for attraction
  • Finding out where to look for new Rotarians
  • Finding out who is responsible for membership
  • Learning how to recruit a diverse Rotary force.
  • Learning why people join Rotary.
  • Finding out why people do not join Rotary.
  • Understanding the sales tools for attraction.
In Recruiting, we find them; in Attracting, they want to find us. Why do we want new members? More ideas, help with projects, social connections. Why do they want us? To network with community “Movers & Shakers”, social environment, interesting speakers each week, having fun, doing service (many of them are already doing community service in other contexts).
Some prospective members go shopping for Clubs to see which one is the best “fit” for them. They need to have a business attitude, service attitude, and time to come to meetings. Rotary especially needs young (20s-40’s) professionals & more women & ethnic diversity. Talk about what we do, invite them & spouse and children to help in our projects.
Where do we find new members? Invite our friends, local business contacts, nonprofit board members and any community contacts. Invite them to hear our next speaker. LinkedIn has many Rotary Clubs, and Twitter contacts can be useful. Invite them to dinner with your Rotary friends & tell them you will pay for it. Offer to pick them up for a meeting. Remember, we can invite prospective members to any Rotary Club that is convenient for their attendance.
Stop Recruiting, Start Attracting! Dr Bill Wittich Wes Bradford 2021-04-13 07:00:00Z 0

Search for Life in the Universe, Dr John S Mulchaey

Dr John Mulchaey is Division Director & Science Deputy at Carnegie Observatories in Pasadena. He received a PhD in 1994 from the University of Maryland, where he helped discover that galaxies (such as our “Milky Way”) are bright X-ray sources. He studies galaxies with imaging from space-based X-ray and optical telescopes, to understand the processes that affect most galaxies during their lifetimes. Some of these X-ray sources are in a low-density 10-million-degree gas that should quickly disperse at these temperatures, but does not. Astronomers believe that intense gravity from invisible dark matter there is binding it in place.
X-ray images alone are not sufficient to uncover the nature of galaxy groups. Follow-up observations with large-aperture optical telescopes, such as the new giant Magellan telescope, are necessary to determine galaxy types and redshift, or distance. These large telescopes have allowed him to study distant galaxy groups for the first time, correlating images with these intense X–ray sources.
Distance from us (as measured by “redshift” of the frequencies of light bands associated with certain elements) correlates with time in the past in astronomical observations, due to limitation of the speed of light. Studying these galaxy groups at a variety of distances — and therefore development-stage times — he can directly trace how the galaxy-group environment typically affects the properties of its individual galaxies. These observations suggest that galaxy-to-galaxy merging is very common in these groups. For some groups, the galaxies may continue merging until they form a single massive galaxy. In recent years, he has uncovered several of these “fossil group” systems. Studying them provides important clues into the likely end-state of most groups, including the “Local Group” where our Milky Way galaxy resides. (The “End-Times”?)
4324 “exoplanets” (outside our solar system) have been discovered in our galaxy so far, often by measuring the perturbations of the expected orbits of the associated stars to determine size/mass and orbital diameter of its associated planet. These planets range from hot or cold gas giants (like Jupiter) to ocean worlds, ice giants, lava worlds, and rocky planets like Earth & Mars. With an average of 5 planets around each star, and 200 billion stars in a typical galaxy like our Milky Way, astronomers calculate 1 trillion planets in our galaxy, including several hundred thousand planets potentially capable of hosting life. Current estimates suggest that the universe has about 10 trillion galaxies.
For communicating with other planets, radio signals from earth have reached out to about 110 light-years (from the time since we began broadcasting signals on earth), still a minuscule fraction of the volume of our galaxy. Also, radio waves decrease in power by the inverse-square law of distance, so they could be detected only within several light-years from earth. Signals from aliens would need to be focused directly at earth for detection here, and would take a long time getting here.
Atmospheres of “earth-like” planets can potentially be observed with the new Magellan telescope. Potentially life-supporting planets in our own solar system might include Mars, Venus, and the planetary moons Europa, Ganymede, Enceladus, and Titan. (Don’t expect any balmy Southern California weather there.) The next several decades may answer the question whether some primitive life, such as bacteria, could be living in such harsh conditions.
Search for Life in the Universe, Dr John S Mulchaey Wes Bradford 2021-03-30 07:00:00Z 0

Update on COVID-19, by Dr Wes Bradford

Wes Bradford is a family physician in Torrance and a member of the Family Medicine Department Faculty at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. He spoke of the rapidly-changing COVID-19 pandemic and how it affects us.
The Pandemic started when an unusual cluster of respiratory infections was seen in China at the end of 2019. After several weeks, a high death rate was noted, and by March 2020, the WHO declared a worldwide pandemic. One year later there are 120 million cases with 2.7 million deaths, and more-contagious variants are starting to be seen. (The first US cases came from Italy!)
Health risk factors include chronic lung or heart disease, diabetes, poor nutrition and high stress. Testing for viral antigens (presence of infection) and for antibodies (immunity to infection) are helpful for assessment but are not fool-proof. Some patients, even with mild initial illness, become “Long-Haulers” (prolonged illness beyond 1 month), with ongoing symptoms such as fatigue, digestive problems, brain fog, depression, anxiety, insomnia, and/or impaired lung function. New symptoms can develop later, from mild to incapacitating. It is not known yet how long these conditions may last or how many cases will become permanent.
Many new types of vaccine are under development, with differing advantages and disadvantages for each. At least 70% of the population must be immune to blunt the pandemic (“herd immunity”). If this were to occur without vaccination, the US could expect ~5 million deaths and ~30+ million chronically ill. Hospitals would be overwhelmed and couldn’t manage other acute cases. The risks of vaccination are not zero (the subject of much political debate), but are much lower than this.
This virus has peculiarities, including spread to multiple organs (lungs, heart, kidneys, digestive system, and brain, with blood clots circulating everywhere). It also damages the immune system’s ability to build long-term immunity (some recovered people have gotten the same infection again!). In severely ill patients, the infection looks more like an autoimmune disease out of control.
Vaccination is being prioritized for those at greatest risk, an uneven process because we do not have a nationally-coordinated healthcare system for monitoring & distribution. The US CDC COVID-19 Vaccination page has up-to-date information at Local vaccination appointments can be made at for those who are eligible by current guidelines, or call 833-540-0473 between 8:00 AM and 8:30 PM 7 days a week. Vaccine production is increasing now, with hope of achieving full vaccination by sometime in May.
Update on COVID-19, by Dr Wes Bradford Wes Bradford 2021-03-16 07:00:00Z 0

Story of Holocaust Survivor Avraham Perlmutter, by Dr Keren Perlmutter

Keren Perlmutter has a PhD in Electrical Engineering and lives in Pacific Palisades. She spoke of her father, Avraham Perlmutter, who was born in Vienna, Austria, in 1927 and was swept up in the Holocaust at age 10. She spoke of his autobiography, “Determined”, detailing his amazing escapes and survival.
When the Nazis arrived in Vienna, his parents sent him to the Netherlands, but the invading German army caught up with him there. He never saw his mother again. He was sheltered by sympathetic Dutch families and a heroic Catholic priest (who provided Christian names and identity-protection to Jewish refugees at great danger to himself, and survived for only about a year). During this time, most of Avraham’s relatives were captured or disappeared, and most of them perished in concentration camps. He was on his own as a teenager, living in multiple places staying ahead of the Nazi authorities.
Several times he narrowly escaped, hiding in a hidden compartment in a house, and once running down the street to knock on the door of a stranger and saying, “I’m Jewish, can you help me?” (He did.)  When stopped by a German army officer on the street, he responded in Dutch, “I don’t speak German” (his native language), and was not captured. Once he was caught on the front lines between the British and German armies, with shells exploding around him. He survived and was befriended by the British.
After World War II ended, he emigrated to the pending new state of Israel. He joined the Israeli army during their war against the neighboring countries, and was wounded. He had learned to speak several languages by this time, and decided to continue his education in the United States, where he went on to earn a PhD in Aeronautical Engineering. He became a successful businessman and earned numerous patents. Now in his 90s, he lives in Santa Monica with his wife, Ruth.
Story of Holocaust Survivor Avraham Perlmutter, by Dr Keren Perlmutter Wes Bradford 2021-03-02 08:00:00Z 0

Galora-Sharing (of surplus fruit), Ryan Xavier

Ryan Xavier was born in Mexico City but grew up in the Westchester area of Los Angeles. He works in International Real Estate and founded Cobblestone Paris Rentals, an apartment rental agency in Paris, France. The COVID pandemic impacted his business. He dreamed of returning to a simpler time of community connections, neighborhood sharing, and real food from real people, and was inspired by his grandmother’s backyard with a lemon tree and raised-bed garden with local, organic and seasonal food. The surplus falls and rots, while millions more people now are having food insecurity in food deserts, and social connections are being lost.
He sees us as an urban village, with growers, bakers, makers (of handicrafts, etc), and everyone contributing what they have in exchange for what they need. He tested an idea of a website for these exchanges in May 2020. 900 people participated in the first 2 weeks, with pickers and/or growers for fruits and vegetables. His cofounder and website manager is Christopher Chin in Seattle. They launched a new website in July, adding many other items such as eggs, honey, bakery, and homemade cooking. 8000 people are participating with 1800 listings (all free) in 32 cities and 7 countries. People can trade or sell (negotiating their own terms), or give away to those in need. Website features includes “Search Near Me”, “Invite Friends”, “Get App” (for iOS or Android devices), and a Spanish language version.
Ryan is looking for more publicity in newspapers and TV, for promoting this social-connecting network for sharing, searching, browsing and connecting with other people to satisfy their mutual needs. Check out the website at He can be reached at for ideas or volunteering. If you have new website ideas or new feature requests for Galora, email his cofounder Chris Chin at
Galora-Sharing (of surplus fruit), Ryan Xavier Wes Bradford 2021-02-16 08:00:00Z 0

The Best Investment on Earth is Earth!

Yuko Saito-Rodriguez is a Past-President of the South Bay Sunrise Rotary Club. She is a Land Investment Advisor and Sales Director of Velur Enterprises in Van Nuys, and spoke of the investment opportunities related to new technologies.
Major fossil fuels companies are now diversifying and moving into alternative renewable energy. The former Saudi Oil Minister is investing in alternative energy: “The Stone Age came to an end not for lack of stones, and the Oil Age will come to an end not for lack of oil.” Saudi Arabia is planning a major investment in alternative energy and is planning for a world beyond oil. The fastest growing jobs in the United States today are Solar Panel Technician and Wind Turbine Technician.
This is a natural evolution. The US is a technology leader and has great economic opportunities. Southern California is the 5th largest economy in the world and the biggest economic powerhouse in the United States, with technology companies & international trade. The Inland Empire area has a large area of land that is being bought or leased to use for energy production, especially solar farms. All-electric cars are increasing market-share. The Clean Power Alliance (CPA, offers customers in some communities of Los Angeles & Ventura Counties the option of buying some of their electric energy and capacity from renewable-source generators and suppliers. CPA is buying a 400 Megawatt-Hour lithium battery storage facility in Lancaster, which will help enable the closure of some gas-fired power plants.
Yuko showed past & present maps of land in Southern California illustrating the increase in area of solar projects there. Well-researched Land in Southern California now offers average individuals the opportunity to amass investment wealth by buying land for lease. For information, her email address is (“Buy land; they’re not making it anymore.” -- Mark Twain & Will Rogers.)
The Best Investment on Earth is Earth! Wes Bradford 2021-02-02 08:00:00Z 0
Holiday Message to PV Sunset Rotarians! Wes Bradford 2020-12-25 08:00:00Z 0

New Tidal Pool at Cabrillo Marine Museum, Caroline Brady

Caroline Brady is Executive Director of the Friends of the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium (FCMA) in San Pedro. The Aquarium is operated by the Los Angeles City Department of Recreation and Parks. It began in 1935 as a collection of marine specimens stored in the Cabrillo Beach Bathhouse. In 1949, the late John Olguin, captain of the Cabrillo Beach lifeguards, was appointed director of the museum. He popularized it by giving tours to visiting school groups and starting the popular evening program of viewing the grunion mating practices on the beach.
COVID-19 forced the indefinite closure of the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium in March 2020, but all of the marine animals still need daily care, including the 40-year-old moray eel, doing well after a tumor removal. The staff are still working hard, cleaning, repairing and improving exhibits. There is a new Entrance and Exhibit Hall, and the Marine Animal Interaction Center is improved.
Conservation projects continue, including the upcoming release of Aquarium-raised Giant Sea Bass babies that will be tracked in a research project. The Aquarium’s educational efforts continue, online by Zoom now instead of face-to-face, up to 2,000 students some days. 30,000 students from 1000 schools visit the Aquarium every year. Volunteers donate 31,000 hours per year. The Discovery Lecture Series continues with experts on a wide variety of topics. Check the website at
The Gift Shop is still open. You can shop for ocean-themed holiday gifts including books, T-shirts, and upscale home décor, and help the Friends of Cabrillo Marine Aquarium survive. Friends of Cabrillo Marine Aquarium exists solely to support the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, to inspire exploration, respect and conservation of Southern California marine life. FCMA raises $1.1 to $1.2M per year through its Gift Shop, membership program, the annual Grand Grunion Gala, a Corporate Circle program and by securing grants from foundations and other charitable organizations. The City of Los Angeles and FCMA would like to raise $21M in a capital campaign to dramatically redo the front entrance, upgrade the exhibits, rework the touch tank, the life support system, office space, and provide for a cafeteria space. An extended online auction was held Nov 29 – Dec 7, instead of the Artisan Market.
To donate or to become a member, visit: It needs our help more than ever.
New Tidal Pool at Cabrillo Marine Museum, Caroline Brady Wes Bradford 2020-12-15 08:00:00Z 0

Kuna Village Clean Water Project (Kenya), Peter Lattey

Peter Lattey is the International Service Chair of Downtown Los Angeles (LA5) Rotary Club. He is supervising the Kuna Village Clean Water Project in Kenya, with funding by a 2020 Global Grant.
About 3,000 children die every day from diarrheal diseases caused by unsafe water. Some people need to dip their drinking and cooking water from dirty ditches. Some children, especially girls, are unable to attend school because of the amount of time they are required to carry water from distant sources to their families.
Providing clean water, sanitation & hygiene is one of Rotary's causes to build international relationships and create a better world. (Other Rotarian causes include promoting peace, fighting disease, saving mothers & children, supporting education, growing local economies, and protecting the environment.)
Peter presented an 8-minute video presentation about the water projects in Kenya. They provide water pumps, pipes, storage tanks and hand-washing facilities for schools and communities. They have completed 2 projects so far and are beginning their 4th and 5th projects. Most funds come from District 5280.
Their planned next project is rainwater collection and micropore filters for school water supplies, with fund-raising to be completed by June-July 2021. Funds are more difficult to obtain now due to the worldwide COVID pandemic. Our Club could participate in this project. The RI Water Projects website is
Kuna Village Clean Water Project (Kenya), Peter Lattey Wes Bradford 2020-12-01 08:00:00Z 0

Education in the Post-Pandemic Era, Dr Gudiel Crosthwaite

Dr Gudiel Crosthwaite is the Superintendent of the Lynwood Unified School District and Immediate Past-President of the Lynwood Rotary Club. He discussed how school districts are planning to address educational, health, and safety concerns and a severe budget impact as classrooms start to re-open in a post-COVID-19 world. Many US school leaders are sharing ideas on operating schools in a hybrid model of part distance-learning and part social-distancing in classrooms.
Lynwood Unified has 15,000 students in 12 elementary schools, 3 middle schools, 3 high schools, & preschool & adult programs. Starting in elementary schools, they start to focus students’ attention on potential career pathways, including science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects, and getting younger students involved in computer coding through games and robots, including an iPad initiative.
Many families are having food insecurity as a result of layoffs, unemployment, homelessness, and illness. Lynwood Rotary and other organizations are operating a food pantry with 600 meals/week, and some of them are delivered to homes by volunteers to minimize the risk of pandemic viral spread.
During the pandemic, the schools are taking extra safety precautions, including masks, social distancing, and school COVID kits with hand sanitizer, masks, shields, gloves, thermometers, and disinfectant wipes. The District offers a full distance learning program to all students, while providing an individualized alternative program and schedule for families who need unique support. Each family faces unique challenges at this time, so the District is trying within safety precautions to meet those needs.
Education in the Post-Pandemic Era, Dr Gudiel Crosthwaite Wes Bradford 2020-11-10 08:00:00Z 0

2021 Humanitarian Trip to Costa Rica, Alex Parajon & Jewel Price

Jewel Price is Chair & Alex Parajon is Co-Chair of the District 5280 Humanitarian Trip to Costa Rica (District 4240, 58 Clubs in 4 countries), scheduled April 17-22, 2020 (Post-Trip April 22-26). They are members of the Glendale Sunrise Club. (Pres Chase had an enjoyable encounter with Alex at the RI Convention in Hamburg, June 2019.) For more information or to sign up for the Costa Rica trip, go to and send a message to Jewel Price.
Proposed Matching Grant Projects ($252,624):
  • Computer Lab for college & training center
  • Improve farm irrigation
  • Water pipeline
  • Hire unemployed fisherman to clean up plastic & trash in Tarcoles River
  • Upgrade Infant Unit of Women’s Hospital
Proposed Direct-Funded Projects:
  • Matrix wheelchairs for severely disabled children
  • Special children’s wheelchairs
  • Backpacks & school supplies
  • Kitchen equipment for seniors’ day care center
  • Playground equipment
  • Bicycles for women’s training center
Proposed Special Project Club Partnerships:
  • Afro-Costa Rican cultural project with Redondo Beach, Crenshaw & Inglewood Clubs
  • Medical Equipment shipment with DTLA Club
  • Proposed new Costa Rican Club in District 5280, with LA Cedars Club
Alex & Jewel encourage us to participate by allocating funds in our Club budget, &/or joining the trip (
2021 Humanitarian Trip to Costa Rica, Alex Parajon & Jewel Price Wes Bradford 2020-10-27 07:00:00Z 0

Diverse Endeavors, by Raquel Watts

Raquel Watts is a candidate for Seat 7 on the Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD) Board of Trustees. She wants to promote multicultural availability of educational programs, from trade certification to advanced degrees.
She grew up in Los Angeles and attended USC, where she served underrepresented students with activity in Troy Camp (a summer camp for underprivileged elementary-school students in Idyllwild) and on the Student Committee on Admissions and Recruitment. She also has degrees in Biblical Counseling from Friend’s University in Merced, and attended the University of LaVerne School of Law. She works for Mitchell Law Corporation as a Senior Legal Hearing Representative on Workers Compensation cases. She is also a volunteer for the Crenshaw Christian Center at the Faithdome.
Raquel has a passion for helping underserved and underrepresented people. She wants to open doors of opportunity for them, and to help them search for positive responses in their lives and careers. She hopes to win election to the LACCD Board, running as a slate with Charné Tunson, Sylvia Brooks Griffin, and Dr Nichét James-Gray. The election is on Tuesday, Nov 3.
Diverse Endeavors, by Raquel Watts Wes Bradford 2020-10-13 07:00:00Z 0

Palos Verdes Community Preparedness, Marcelle Herrera, PVE PD

Marcelle Herrera is the Community Relations Officer of the Palos Verdes Estates Police Department, as well as a service officer. She supervises Neighborhood Watch, the Disaster District Program (DDP), and PVE-CARES Senior Program by conducting meetings, coordinate trainings, and being a resource of information to organizations and citizen’s groups
Neighborhood Watch encourages residents to increase awareness of the community's responsibility to help in crime awareness and prevention, by promptly reporting suspicious activities and situations. People in each neighborhood should become acquainted with each other, to improve emergency preparedness and help with any unexpected problems, such as medical, security, or other community related issues.
The Disaster District Program (DDP) provides disaster preparedness training and supports regional programs such as the Palos Verdes Peninsula Community Emergency Response Training (PVPCERT) which teaches disaster preparedness, response and recovery to residents. It has stockpiled emergency supplies for 6 designated areas of the city.
PVE-CARES helps senior residents of PVE to connect with police and the community with special events and senior registry. It includes community volunteers delivering groceries and doing other needed services for elderly residents, and COVID testing and flu vaccines. Volunteers have completed a thorough background check and passed the PVE Police Department-sponsored training. Community events include presentations of topics of interest, a Doctors’ Panel Talk, and a Senior Health & Wellness Fair.
Disaster Planning Tools and Guidelines are available to PVE Residents at Officer Herrera is available at or 310-378-4211.
Palos Verdes Community Preparedness, Marcelle Herrera, PVE PD Wes Bradford 2020-09-29 07:00:00Z 0

District Governor Bette Hall’s Visit

DG Bette Hall came from London, England, and had a long career in Human Resources for large companies and then her own HR consulting company, until retiring several years ago. (Sounds like a good background for Rotary leadership.) She has been a member of the Calabasas Rotary Club since 2007, and has held many Rotary leadership positions. Her most passionate area in Rotary is the Rotary Youth Programs, including developing and providing training for the Youth Protection Program. She enjoys being retired and having more time to volunteer with Rotary and spending more time with her family and grandchildren.
DG Bette presented “DoGooderie” awards for years of Rotarian service to Marylyn Klaus, Chuck Klaus, and Wes Bradford, and a “Fresh Face in Rotary” award to Steve Johnson for most-active service as a new member. Bette reviewed Rotary International & District 5280 projects, activities and goals for the coming year. We are remaining active in spite of the challenging pandemic difficulties this year requiring social distancing & wearing masks.
Rotary’s 6 Areas of Focus include:
  • Promoting peace;
  • Fighting disease;
  • Providing clean water, sanitation, and hygiene;
  • Saving mothers & children from malnutrition & poor sanitation & health care;
  • Supporting education; and
  • Growing local economies.
Rotary’s Avenues of Service include:
  • Youth Service includes sponsoring Interact & Rotaract Clubs, Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA), & Rotary Youth Exchange. A COVID-19 Response tab has been added to the website.
  • Community Service includes the Warrior Warehouse for Camp Pendleton (collecting baby and children's items for military families).
  • International Service includes the 2021 district 5280 Humanitarian trip to Costa Rica, and disaster relief to Beirut (especially important now).
  • Vocational Service includes Pageant of the Arts, high school student competitions in art, dance, music, and speech, and the annual Literacy Breakfast focusing on literacy issues within our local communities.
  • Club Service includes Club newsletters, Website (by Clubrunner), and Social Media.
  • The 2020 virtual Rotary Foundation Celebration will be Nov 7, “Opening Opportunities To Tomorrow” (Tickets online).
Our newest member, Former Rotaractor Shauna McGinnis, who was sponsored for membership by Steve Johnson, was inducted into the Palos Verdes Sunset Rotary Club by DG Bette Hall. Welcome to the Club, Shauna!
Pres Chase & Steve Johnson showed their up-to-date infant photos (“Future Rotarians”):
District Governor Bette Hall’s Visit Wes Bradford 2020-09-15 07:00:00Z 0

Domestic Abuse and Human Trafficking, Denese Lopez

Denese Lopez grew up in Pico Rivera, California, with a single mother. She became a mother at 16, and struggled to continue her education. Now, she is a wife, mother and grandmother, and a retired police officer. She volunteered in domestic violence shelters and saw these victims’ pain after escaping their abusers. She listened to them anguishing over how they could start over again after having left everything behind. Denese entered a domestic violence education program to learn about the lives these women and children who were forced to start life in a new environment. She also became involved in organizations that help women and children who have survived sexual abuse and sex trafficking. She wanted to find a way to restore their dignity, self-worth and security.
Having been a single mother herself for many years, Denese understood the hardships of financial stress, living in a home depending on other people’s miscellaneous donated items. While appreciating everything she had been given, she longed to have a home furnished with her own personal choices rather than from donations. After finally achieving this, she wanted other women and children to experience that same feeling of dignity.
Denese formed a non-profit organization to implement this vision, Women Empowered by Labors of Love (W.E.L.L.) in Whittier, to decorate and furnish the homes or rooms of survivors of domestic abuse and human trafficking. See for information, donating, and to subscribe to its emails.
Domestic Abuse and Human Trafficking, Denese Lopez Wes Bradford 2020-08-18 07:00:00Z 0

Blue, Black, Invisible: David Thomas

David Thomas is President of the Inglewood Rotary Club, a businessman, and former law enforcement officer. He grew up in Compton as one of 3 siblings in the 1940s & 50s when it was a thriving middle class city. He attended high school in Long Beach where his associates were mostly white people. He was able to relate to people as individuals with minimal racial innuendo.
He studied communications at Long Beach City College, and then earned a BA degree in Theology. He was always interested in aviation, but was hired by the Inglewood Police Department in 1989, and served 27 years in patrol & community affairs, and 12 years as a robbery detective.
He discussed the Black Lives Matter movement. He has mixed feelings, relating to both his experiences of usually-subtle racial discrimination (even by other law enforcement officers) and his professional career in law enforcement. Some members of the Black community called him an “Uncle Tom” for wearing the police uniform.
Reviewing both sides of these demonstrations, he sees a small proportion of trouble-makers taking advantage of turmoil to vandalize buildings and provoke conflict, while the vast majority of demonstrators are peacefully expressing their protest and demands for constructive social and political change. He is impressed by the large proportion of non-black demonstrators, showing that many people care and were stunned by the infamous 9-minute suffocation video of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis. Most previous abusive incidents were invisible to most of society.
Promoting Peace is one of Rotary International’s 6 areas of focus, for which it provides a forum for the thoughtful discussion of difficult subjects. David Thomas’s life experiences provided us with a timely and balanced picture of this ongoing movement, which will hopefully help lead to constructive changes rather than to future conflict.
Blue, Black, Invisible: David Thomas Wes Bradford 2020-08-04 07:00:00Z 0

Teaching Technology through Gamification, Ruslan Shkolnykh

Posted by Wes
Ruslan Shkolnykh is a member of the San Pedro Rotary Club. He has developed a non-profit organization, the Power Level Foundation, to help prepare underserved students for careers in technology through “Gamification”.
The new technological revolution, that uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithms to access “big data” and better hardware-processing capabilities, may cost 25M jobs (compared to 8.7M in the “Great Recession”), with some occupations becoming much more impacted than others.
He believes that the solution is to provide free Gamified IT training to help transition at-risk workers and students, providing them with paid work experience and accelerated career paths. Gamification applies the elements of game-playing (like scoring points, competing, and playing by the rules) to other areas of activity, in this case, helping workers to adapt to technological changes in the nature of blue- and white-collar jobs.
This is different from students designing and creating their own games, or playing commercial video games. Experiencing enjoyable technology-based learning (enhancing their “Dopamine”, the brain signaling molecule for pleasure), can increase their motivation, discovery, rewards, status and benefits. The students make autonomous choices in their learning activities and enjoy ownership of their learning process. People learn best by doing, assisted by “Virtual and Augmented Reality”, with continuous curriculum optimization. This kind of learning will be needed for both supporting the economy and keeping these workers in the active work force.
Teaching Technology through Gamification, Ruslan Shkolnykh Wes 2020-07-21 07:00:00Z 0

Vision for PV Sunset Rotary, Pres Chase Thacker

New President Chase Thacker discussed how & when we might be able to resume onsite meetings, possibly outside for “distancing”. He discussed the members’ survey of preferences for future Club activities. The survey on meeting preferences asked: If required to wear a mask or to have temperature taken; meeting outdoors; effectiveness of our Zoom meetings; continuing bimonthly Zoom meetings. In these trying times, we will invent our future by working together.
Club projects:
  • Camp Pendleton – Warriors’ Warehouse (Chase is available to pick up donations; details on Club website Calendar). Donation drop-off no later than Sun, July 19. List of items: Diapers, children’s clothing up to age 6, baby items, basic household items.
  • WaPI Project (Water Pasteurization Indicator), making reusable thermometer-size devices to indicate when heated water is hot enough to be purified (150°F/65°C) without wasting fuel (International Project).
  • Face Shield project (protecting essential health care workers caring for sick patients).
  • Rise Against Hunger: Goal $500 by Nov 14.
  • Costa Rica Humanitarian Project: Goal $1000, or cosponsoring a project with one or more other Clubs (District 5280 Humanitarian Trip to Costa Rica, Apr 17-26, 2021).
  • Project EGO has lost its annual funding due to death of major donor; Robert Babb suggested that we sponsor a “GoFundMe” page (which would not be tax-deductible). Need is $10,000 annual operating cost, or $22,000 annual cost with student grants. Fundraiser idea: Saturday Night Online Poker has been suggested.
Treasurer Charley Ferraro reminds us to taking advantage of the tax deduction offered by the Club by accepting donations to the Charities Account in lieu of Club dues.
Vision for PV Sunset Rotary, Pres Chase Thacker Wes Bradford 2020-07-07 07:00:00Z 0

Demotion Party for President Karla Munguia

We all express our appreciation to Karla for pulling us through the challenging and unpredictable 2nd half of this Rotary year!
We picked up our take-out dinners & “Munguia Margarita” cocktails at the Original Red Onion Restaurant before our virtual Zoom meeting.
The meeting began with District Governor-Elect Bette Hall swearing in Karla’s successor, Chase Thacker (who has a tough act to follow, but if anyone can do it, he can!).
Past President Victoria Perez reviewed the year’s meetings (& meeting places).
Gabriel Iglesias provided virtual entertainment (from South Florida).
We raised our virtual glasses to toast Karla on a job well done! She was presented with flowers and a gift card at Armstrong Nursery.
We viewed our 3 young future Rotarians.
PDG Dave Moyers reminded us to look at the video on our Club website.
Incoming President Chase Thacker discussed how & when we might be able to resume onsite meetings, possibly outside for “distancing”. He wants our members to fill out and return a survey of what we want for future Club activities. We will invent our future by working together.
Demotion Party for President Karla Munguia Wes Bradford 2020-06-23 07:00:00Z 0

Councilmember Barbara Ferraro

Barbara Ferraro, our Club Treasurer Charley’s spouse, was elected to the Rancho Palos Verdes City Council last November. She had previously been on the City Council, and is a long-time high school Spanish teacher in Palos Verdes. She spoke of the new challenges to the City, including impact of the Pandemic that began early this year.
The City had to hire a new City Manager this year, and she says he is very organized and capable. There have been peaceful demonstrations at the Trump National Golf Club in our City (no tear gas or National Guard troops). The City implemented a program of taking food to first responders (Fire & Sherriff’s Depts, etc). City parks were reopened on May 7, and City Hall is also open now.
The City is trying to support local businesses as they begin to reopen. They can request a refund of their business license fees this year. “RPV Together” encourages citizens to shop locally for a while. There are some vacancies on the City staff, which will not be filled soon. RPV will still have a budget surplus at the end of its fiscal year June 30. The Terranea Resort in RPV closed in March but may reopen by the end of June, which would help the City budget, and Trump may reopen soon for dining.
As businesses start to reopen, facial covering and social distancing are needed, to “protect others” who may be more vulnerable than we are. Barbara also spoke of the virtual-classroom challenges in the schools, where not all students have equal access, and parents are challenged to find extra time for supervising their academic activities. Extra-curricular activities have been shut down, with no definite ending time-line.
Councilmember Barbara Ferraro Wes Bradford 2020-06-09 07:00:00Z 0

Project EGO Awards

The Project EGO Program (“Exploring Growth Opportunities”) is an annual Palos Verdes school-based and community-supported intervention program sponsored by the Palos Verdes Sunset Rotary Club to help at-risk seniors to develop life-skills needed for future success. Students with personal, family or financial challenges are recommended into the Project EGO program by school counselors for their potential of success. See for program details.
Project EGO is led by Robert Babb, MFT. It has twice-monthly meetings with community speakers on important topics such as goal-setting, teamwork, resumes, job interviews, community service, healthy lifestyle choices, vocational options, financial planning, and grant applications. Parent meetings help to coordinate student development. A group Wilderness Challenge helps build self-confidence, self-esteem, teamwork, leadership and problem solving skills. For successful participants, there is a year-end Banquet celebration and special recognition for each student’s successes (done "virtually" this year).
Robert Babb introduced each of the 16 successful student finalists, summarized his/her background and accomplishments, and announced the scholarship amount awarded (to be paid directly to the school of the student’s choice upon attendance). We congratulate them and wish them the best success in their future plans:
$100 –  Faris Kawar
$500 –  Shawnee Prieto
$750 –  Alia Barakat
$750 –  Charlize Diaz
$750 –  Arian Razaghpanah
$750 –  Dean Abdelnaby
$1000 – Nickon Maher
$1000 – Koby Segura
$1000 – Ashton Aungst
$1250 – Audrey Breon
$1250 – Nick Sanacore
$1250 – Marilyn Cortez
$1500 – Imaan Ali
$1500 – Soroush Shahriari
$1500 – Kelaiah Bradford
$1500 – Emily Desplancke
Project EGO Awards Wes Bradford 2020-05-26 07:00:00Z 0

Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs), Bo Gapas

(We had 13 online attendees for our May 12 “Zoom” meeting.)
Bo Gapas is an American Heart Association-Certified CPR & First Aid Instructor who can provide on-site First Aid & CPR/AED training (Phone 808-779-8033. Having an on-site AED can enable emergency cardiac assistance for business, non-profit organizations, and home before paramedics arrive, when every second counts. He recommends the Phillips AED (~$1275), which weighs 3.3 lb with a carrying handle and mounts in a storage cabinet attached to a convenient wall.
When a cardiac arrest occurs and before paramedics arrive, CPR chest compression is always started ASAP (but breathing into the mouth is no longer done). If not successful, defibrillation should be started within 10 seconds of stopping CPR (this requires careful coordination between 2 rescuers). The victim’s upper clothing is removed or cut, and significant chest hair is shaved off at the defibrillator electrode pad placement sites (not the whole chest). (These tools are in the kit.) He demonstrated pad placement on a manikin, on the skin of the R shoulder & L lateral chest. After attaching the lead wires and pulling the green handle, the defibrillator activates and voice instructions automatically begin while the device analyzes the heart rhythm. It will say whether and when to deliver a shock (while not touching the victim to avoid shocking oneself!).
This is a self-testing defibrillator that does a performance check-up in its wall storage cabinet with daily, weekly, and monthly testing of its internal circuitry and lithium battery. A blinking green Ready light says it’s ready for use. When there is a problem, the Ready light turns off and a chirp alert sounds. Pressing a blue Information button gives a verbal prompt with details. The disposable Smart Pads have a 2-year life span, and must be replaced after every rescue attempt.
Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs), Bo Gapas Wes Bradford 2020-05-12 07:00:00Z 0

Rotary Youth Exchange Student, Samantha Steman

We had 14 online attendees for our April 28 “Zoom” meeting (including 3 welcome Guests:  Makiko Nakasone (Little Tokyo Club); Warren Bobrow (Westchester Club), District Rotary Youth Exchange, & Samantha Steman, tonight’s speaker.
Samantha Steman is a Senior at PV High School and is participating in the Rotary Youth Exchange (RYE). (Her father was her Rotarian contact.) She discussed the application process, requiring a $500 deposit. They start their year abroad in August with a tour of the host country to become acclimated, stay with an average of 3 host families during the year, near the school to be attended, and end the following summer. (This year is more difficult and unpredictable due to the COVID-19 pandemic.) Students participate in family and school activities and sports, and make many new friends, quickly becoming fluent in the language.
Rotary International requires specified youth protection precautions for students.  The students arrange their own airfare and personal expenses. Youth Exchange students are sponsored by a Rotary Club in their own country, which is responsible for providing a jacket, pins and banners. The student needs to know Rotary by being involved in Club activities before leaving. 
Warren Bobrow of the Westchester Rotary Club has been involved in RYE for many years. He encourages Rotarians to recruit suitable outgoing exchange students, to have Clubs sponsor incoming exchange students, and to recruit hosting families.
Rotary Youth Exchange Student, Samantha Steman Wes 2020-04-28 07:00:00Z 0
Dave Moyers, District Humanitarian Trip, Oaxaca, Mexico Wes Bradford 2020-04-14 07:00:00Z 0

Hunter Thacker, Art & STEM Curriculum for Students

We had 15 online attendees for our March 31 meeting, and could see and hear each other with our “Zoom” apps. Our Club leaders discussed our current “social distancing” responses to the virus, answered questions from members, and encouraged bringing past members into our virtual meetings.
In our evening program, Hunter Thacker (Chase Thacker’s brother) discussed the preschool programs at the “Leap and Bound Academy” in Torrance. He began with a slide show, and then demonstrated how to teach scientific principles using simple everyday objects that children are familiar with. STEM is “Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics”, into which he integrates “Art” to improve these meaningful experiences (“STEAM”). Their hands-on experiments promote critical thinking & problem-solving skills about how the world around us works.
He showed how they can connect acid fruits (lemons) with electrodes to make a battery in a circuit that can light an LED bulb. They can learn how lenses can make a microscope to explore microorganisms. He discussed examples of catapults and pulleys and electromagnetics (Physics). Art can relate to geometry and spatial relationships, and help to understand Math concepts such as how far, near or often, and less than, greater than, or equal to. With a piano keyboard on the screen, they can play along by pressing the bottom keys on their keyboards (“z” through “/”). He also showed a Microsoft program (Circuit Playground Express) to introduce students to electronics and programming, by moving components around on the screen to make connections.
Hunter Thacker, Art & STEM Curriculum for Students Wes Bradford 2020-03-31 07:00:00Z 0

Scheduling Future PV Sunset Meetings

With the uncertainties caused by the unprecedented coronavirus health crisis, we Rotarians need to remain in close contact with “social distancing”. To comply with recommendations for health safety, our Board has decided to have Palos Verdes Sunset Rotary “Virtual Meetings” every 2 weeks until further notice, connecting with the “Zoom” app, starting on Tuesday, Mar 31. (See instructions below for downloading to your computer or smartphone, and signing in for a meeting.) Our monthly dues will be temporarily lower to reflect the cost of meals. See our Club Calendar in newsletters or Club website ( for up-to-date schedule.
Rotary District 5280 is postponing any large District gatherings for the near future, including Pageant of the Arts and District Breakfast. District events scheduled on later dates are being monitored, with potential electronic options for virtual attendance. (The RI convention in Honolulu has been cancelled.)
Stay in touch with our Club & District websites & newsletters. Some other Clubs will also have online meetings that you can attend (see District website for their times & dates & login IDs, at, at bottom of page).
Sign up free for Zoom at Download an app to your computer or smartphone. Then, to join a meeting at the scheduled time, go to, type in the meeting ID, and you should be connected to the host of the meeting. You should have both audio and video connection (although if your computer does not have a video camera, you can still connect by audio). You will be able to see and hear the other attendees. Try it, and with a little practice, you can feel as comfortable as with a phone conversation. Welcome to the brave new world!
Scheduling Future PV Sunset Meetings Wes Bradford 2020-03-28 07:00:00Z 0

Corona Virus, by Dr Wes Bradford

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The official name of the new Corona virus is SARS-CoV-2, and the illness is called COVID-19. The median age for documented infection is about 50 years old, with men at slightly higher risk (more smoking history?). Children seem less vulnerable and usually have milder symptoms, with no reports of deaths in children under 9. A small study of infected infants under 1 year old found that none had severe illness or complications. Pregnant women’s risk does not seem higher.
Most infected people appear to have mild upper respiratory infections, and some reports of non-symptomatic carriers. Most people with symptoms have:
  • Uncomplicated upper respiratory symptoms (nose congestion, sore throat, cough), with
  • Fever, muscle aches, & weakness (flu-like symptoms).
A small percent get more severe symptoms, such as:
  • Shortness of breath (Get medical help!);
  • Mild or severe pneumonia;
  • Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS);
  • Sepsis, shock, death (the body is overwhelmed by immune system response).
High-risk factors:
Lung disease (asthma, emphysema); SMOKERS! 2nd–HAND SMOKE!
Immune-system diseases:
  • Auto-immune diseases (especially if on immune-suppressing drugs);
  • Cancer, especially if chemo or radiation, or if immune-cell cancers (leukemia, Lymphoma);
  • Organ transplant (on immune-suppressing drugs).
Environmental toxicity:
  • Toxic indoor air (out-gassing of paints, carpets, plastics etc);
  • Outdoor air pollution (Smog) (Wuhan is reportedly equivalent to smoking 2½ packs daily).
Poor nutrition (you’re only as strong as what you give your body to fight with). Alcoholism.
By mid-March 2020, about 2,800 cases of Corona virus were reported in the US, with 59 deaths. By comparison, 45 million people in the US have gotten flu this season, from October 2019 through February 2020, with up to 45,000 deaths. The 1918 world-wide flu epidemic (when it was a new infection) infected 500 million people around the world, including up to 50 million in the US with 500,000 deaths.
My favorite treatment for new-onset viral symptoms (any type) is taking an Oil of Oregano capsule at the onset (don’t wait). They can be repeated every 6 hours if the symptoms are not improving by then. (Available locally at Sprouts & Lindberg Nutrition. Keep refrigerated, but you can carry a few with you in a pill-box in your pocket or purse.)
Hand sanitizer: Try Isopropyl Alcohol (the active ingredient) in a spray bottle. Repeated hand-scrubbing increases skin bacterial colonies (old surgical studies), so I prefer sanitizer as the mainstay. Avoid touching nose or eyes (viruses spread primarily from nasal secretions.)
Do not hoard! This is an unprecedented public health concern (for recent times), so stay calm and follow the latest perspectives from public health experts (tune out self-serving political noise). Let us all support and care for each other for whatever the duration may be. We are stronger together.
           -- My personal perspective. Dr Wes Bradford
Corona Virus, by Dr Wes Bradford Wes Bradford 2020-03-17 07:00:00Z 0

“See It-End It” Film & Arts Festival, Patrick Erlandson

Patrick Erlandson described the “See It — End It” Film & Arts Festival at the Warner Grand Theatre, Friday evening & Saturday, April 3-4. This is a partnership with the YWCA Harbor Area and South Bay, showing the disturbing link between foster care and human trafficking. This is the 2nd year of this community event including film screenings, visual and performing arts and music. Families are invited to participate in a free “Kids Zone” in the Grand Vision Annex on Saturday, to experience educational fun including internet safety tips with Officer McGruff.
Many displaced people around the world are vulnerable to this exploitation, especially when they go to another country looking for jobs. They are recruited by smart phones & social media. Teens are especially susceptible, and they often blame themselves when they are trapped in a situation. He showed a video of “Lost Girls, Angie’s Story”, presented by Artists for Change and Men Against Trafficking.
Many foster children in our own community are dumped into the adult world on their own when they turn age 18 and lose eligibility for further foster support. These vulnerable children are often recruited by waiting predators into prostitution and drug-running. There will be moderated panel discussions and Q & A sessions with survivors, allies, law enforcement, and filmmakers, to help us understand this complex human trafficking issue and how we can help in the fight against this crime against humanity. For more information and tickets, please visit
“See It-End It” Film & Arts Festival, Patrick Erlandson Wes Bradford 2020-03-10 07:00:00Z 0

Member badge presentation to Jim Boyd

Maj Jim Boyd, Salvation Army, was presented his member badge by PDG Lew Bertrand. Jim Boyd was recently transferred to the Salvation Army School in Rancho Palos Verdes. He has served in 3 previous Rotary Clubs during his previous duty stations. Welcome to our Club!
Member badge presentation to Jim Boyd Wes Bradford 2020-03-10 07:00:00Z 0

Induction of Maj Jim Boyd, Salvation Army

Maj Jim Boyd, Salvation Army, was inducted by PDG Lew Bertrand. Jim Boyd, recently transferred to the Salvation Army School in Rancho Palos Verdes, has served in 3 previous Rotary Clubs during his previous duty stations. Welcome to our Club!
Induction of Maj Jim Boyd, Salvation Army Wes Bradford 2020-03-08 08:00:00Z 0

Future of Genetics, Gene Dotson

Gene spoke on the business applications of scientific genetic advances, which he believes will advance greatly in the next 10 years, using genetic tests and family health history to guide clinical and public health interventions. He reviewed the structure & function of genes and chromosomes, and how information there is transferred to the cell’s molecular machinery. Genes are templates for making proteins for cellular structure, function, regulation, and energy production.
Many new tools have been developed in the last 10 years for new therapies with stem cells & nano-bots (microscopic robots that can be programmed), for repair of injuries, identifying and fighting cancer cells, anti-aging treatments, and gene therapies (excising & replacing an unwanted form of a gene).
He presented examples of potential applications: Treating muscular dystrophy, new farming techniques, and mass-producing plant-based meat (some of these products are already coming to market). He predicts a limitless future of un-dreamed-of advances as these technologies continue to progress.
Future of Genetics, Gene Dotson Wes Bradford 2020-03-08 08:00:00Z 0

Japanese Peace Program at Pen High, Sachiko Iwami

Mrs Sachiko Iwami is head Japanese language teacher at Peninsula High School. She graduated from Tsuda College in Tokyo, and was a Rotary Ambassador Scholar in 1992-3 in Asian-American studies at UCLA. She is also a curriculum advisor at the Orange Coast Gakuen Saturday Language School. She has helped to bring the Rotary-sponsored Global Peace Educational Project to her high school in coordination with Rotarian Makiko Nakasone of Little Tokyo and Rotary Clubs in Japan & District 5280 including PV Sunset.
Language and cultural studies integrate language with concepts of personal identities, families, communities, contemporary life, and modern technologies. The program has a Japanese Honor Society pledging to serve as a bridge of international understanding and an ambassador to promote friendship between countries.
The Peace Educational Project is a Rotary Model UN Peace Conference, with student training and preparation for simulated conferences on current international issues, including recent student trips to the Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo in Los Angeles, Survivor Tree-Planting in recognition of WWII internees, and learning peer mediation of disagreements and misunderstandings to avoid potential conflicts.
Japanese Peace Program at Pen High, Sachiko Iwami Wes Bradford 2020-02-25 08:00:00Z 0

San Pedro Toastmasters, Alliance with Rotary

Grace Weltman has a Master’s degree in Public Policy from USC and is President of Communities in Motion, a public policy consulting firm for nonprofit and public agencies. She presented the benefits of Toastmasters membership in improving speaking skills and confidence, in a supportive Club environment. Toastmasters Alisa Manjarrez & Ana Razo also spoke briefly.
Toastmasters’ members learn by speaking to their group of about 20 who meet once a week. They learn how to plan & conduct meetings, give 1 to 2 minute impromptu speeches, present prepared speeches, and offer constructive evaluation of each other’s performance. Grace asked some of our Rotary Club members to speak momentarily, to demonstrate how we can learn to speak briefly and effectively.
Members can begin building their public speaking and communication skills with the Competent Communication manual, which has 10 speech projects to help develop speaking skills, and become eligible for the Competent Communicator award. Then more advanced speaking and communication skills are available through a choice of 15 Advanced Communication Series manuals, each containing 5 speech projects, many of them career-oriented.
Toastmasters International has 352,000 members in 16,400 Clubs in 141 countries. The Peninsula Toastmasters Club (#174) meets Mondays 7-8:30 PM at Coco’s Restaurant at 28200 S Western Ave in RPV (on the NE corner at Westmont Dr). Dues are $45 every 6 months, + $20 New-Member Fee. More information is available at, or Grace passed out membership folders, and encouraged us to drop in and to join her Club.
San Pedro Toastmasters, Alliance with Rotary Wes Bradford 2020-02-18 08:00:00Z 0

Food for Homeless College Students, Dave Henseler

Dave Henseler (pictured with Chase Thacker) is a member of the South Bay Sunrise Rotary Club and is active in the international Rise Against Hunger project. Hunger is also present in our community, including among homeless students at El Camino Community College, 8% of whom are homeless, some living on the parking lots, and many more are food-insecure and come from stressed families. These students are struggling to better themselves, and deserve our support.
A “Warrior Pantry” was established on the El Camino campus in autumn 2019 in the Physics 116 room, open Mon 9-12, Tues 1-4, Wed 3-6, and Thurs 1-4. This function helps to avoid the stigma of poverty and helps students to focus on their academic goals and career preparations. It also connects them to resources for social services.
Rotarians can support these efforts. (Dave’s SB Sunrise Club volunteers there on alternate Wednesdays.) Donations needed are canned goods and non-perishables, and toiletries such as soap, toothpaste, pads/tampons, and toilet paper. Rotarians and other volunteers can visit, or contact the Student Development Office for questions at 310-660-3593, ext 3500.
Food for Homeless College Students, Dave Henseler Wes Bradford 2020-02-11 08:00:00Z 0

Service Clubs Joint Meeting

The 4 Palos Verdes Service Clubs met together at the Palos Verdes Golf Club for lunch, and each reviewed their service activities:
The RHE Kiwanis Club awarded 25 student scholarships, gave out student back-packs, sponsored a Children’s Christmas party at the Boys & Girls Club, sponsored the PV Half-Marathon, and participated in the Food Bank.
The PV Lions Club had a golf tournament fundraiser, “Swing for Sight”, and collected glasses for needy people. They read to elementary school children to encourage reading skills, and sponsored a runners’ Turkey Trot fundraiser.
PV Sunset Rotary Club: President Karla Munguia reviewed our youth activities including scholarships, Project EGO to help high school students in danger of not graduating, and the international Japanese Peace Program at Peninsula High School for preventing future conflict.
The PV Peninsula Rotary Club awarded an “Educator of the Year” award, scholarships, participated in the South Bay Beer & Wine Festival, “Rise Against Hunger”, and the El Camino College Food Pantry for homeless students.
Service Clubs Joint Meeting Wes Bradford 2020-02-07 08:00:00Z 0

Rotary Youth-Protection Training, Kevin MacDonald

Kevin MacDonald, of the Santa Clarita Valley Rotary Club, is the District 5280 Senior Assistant Governor for Risk Management. To protect Rotary and youth from risks of potential abuse or perceived/alleged abuse of minors in Rotary programs, and because of publicized cases in other organizations, Rotary now requires a risk management training program and background check for every Rotarian who works with youth in Rotary programs. This process is required every 2 years for any Rotarian involved in any outside activities with youth present, other than in a formal Rotary meeting. (For Youth Exchange people, this is required every year.)
Rotarians can register online and do a 45 minutes online course at, & can arrange a background check at (do not use “www”). Kevin handed out print-outs of his slides as educational material for the Rotarians present. A “Live Course” presentation in a Club meeting can also qualify.
The purpose is to protect youth by preventing all forms of physical, sexual, or emotional abuse, neglect, or harassment of children, and to recognize it and properly report it (without accusing anyone). Any adult with an allegation must be removed from all contact with youth until resolved, and all allegations (without making accusations) must be reported to law enforcement authorities to determine validity. Any member with confirmed allegations must be terminated from Rotary membership.
Youth must be treated with respect, and situations of one adult supervising one child should be avoided. Care must be used with social media with youth. If a youth mentions a concern, listen carefully, stay calm and assure privacy of the youth & alleged perpetrator (but not confidentiality because someone else must be told for investigation). Get the facts without interrogation or asking why, reassure the youth that telling you is the right thing, keep a detailed written record including time & date, remove the youth from the situation, and report to law enforcement (or to a Youth Protection Officer or SAG Risk Management if non-criminal harassment). Youth should be offered immediate support services, and the District Governor must be notified.
Rotary Youth-Protection Training, Kevin MacDonald Wes Bradford 2020-01-28 08:00:00Z 0

Club Assembly, Pres Karla Munguia

President Karla urged all members to contribute time and effort to make our projects more successful. (This is the last Club Assembly of this Rotary Year.)
Makiko Nakasone reviewed the Global Peace Project Teacher Orientation at PV Peninsula High School (600 Cloyden Rd in PVE) on Wed, Jan 29, 7:45-9 AM, with assistance and Club representation by PV Sunset members. Signed up so far are Jackie Crowley, Audrey Dahlgren, Charley Ferraro, David Moyers, Chase Thacker, and Sue Tyree.
Sign up to attend the Joint Meeting of the PV Sunset and PVP Peninsula Rotary Clubs, the PV Lions & PV Kiwanis Clubs will be at the PV Golf Club at noon on Friday, Feb 7. (Our Feb 4 Tues evening meeting will be DARK.) This is an opportunity to coordinate community service activities with other Clubs.
Chase Thatcher reviewed the focus of Club projects for the 2020-2021 Rotary Year.
Selection of PV Sunset Board Members for the 2020-2021 Rotary Year was discussed.
Charlie Ferraro solicited and received contributions for $100 for our Club Charity Account.
Steve Johnson, Jackie Crowley, and Sue Tyree spoke on Club activities.
Club Assembly, Pres Karla Munguia Wes 2020-01-21 08:00:00Z 0

YMCA, Jennifer Sullivan

Jennifer Sullivan is the Treasurer of the Palos Verdes Peninsula Rotary Club and lives in Huntington Beach. She is Executive Director of the San Pedro & Peninsula YMCA (310 Bandini St in San Pedro; ), one of 30 YMCA centers in the Greater Los Angeles Area.
She reviewed the many programs of the “Y”, and showed a video of YMCA activities. A major program is the Model United Nations (MUN) for 6th-8th graders to gain leadership experience, learn about global issues, and meet new friends. The MUN program includes meetings Wednesdays 6-7:30 PM at the local YMCA plus a weekend training conference and a 4-day MUN summit.
Other programs include summer day camp, youth & child activities, after-school programs, mentorship, health and exercise classes (from junior swimming to arthritis, balance & mobility), family activities & camps, basketball, soccer, volleyball & other sports. A new program guide for this year is being published.
The YMCA has completed recent facility improvements including swimming pool & exercise machines in its 64,000 ft2 San Pedro health & wellness facility. Its strategic plan includes promoting child & youth development, healthful lifestyles, and social responsibility (volunteerism, financial support, & National Clean-Up Day). Its values include demonstrating honesty, respect, responsibility, & caring. Volunteers and donations are always welcome and needed.
YMCA, Jennifer Sullivan Wes Bradford 2020-01-14 08:00:00Z 0

Bernie Stafford, Warfighter Advance Program

Bernie Stafford and his wife Chris are past members of our Rotary Club. Bernie has been active in the Warfighter Advance program, founded in 2003 to help traumatized combat veterans to re-adjust to civilian life. Many of them returned with “invisible injuries” such as toxic chemical exposures, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). They can become trapped in an endless cycle of mental illness diagnoses and medications, medical appointments, and frustrations, sometimes ending in suicide.
Warfighter Advance is led by a diverse core team of professionals. It welcomes Warfighters who are struggling to reintegrate successfully back into society, regardless of service branch or dates or combat theater served. Warfighter Advance raises 100% of participant costs through 501 (c) (3) donations.
The organization rejects “mental illness” labels and the use of psychiatric medications, which can have devastating implications. The International Society for Ethical Psychology and Psychiatry (ISEPP) is a strategic partner of Warfighter Advance, advocating against conventional overuse of psychiatric medications and institutions. The book Mental Health Inc, (c) 2017 by Art Levine discusses this issue, and Bernie points particularly to Chapter 8.
The ADVANCE™ is an intensive 7-day program at Camp Merrick in Maryland to enable veterans to develop pride, productivity, healthy relationships, continued service, and advocacy for these same outcomes for their fellow service members. Veterans are asked to arrive with high expectations for themselves, and learn that their outcome is their responsibility, supported by the knowledge, tools, relationships and support necessary to move forward as Warfighters rather than as patients. They achieve empowerment and knowledge through education and training, including informed consent to mental health care, and benefit by contributing to the growth and well-being of others. Each newly formed Advance Unit is then tasked with a new Mission, becoming force-multipliers: Caring for each other and reaching out to other brothers and sisters in need of the same help. See information at or call (202) 239-7395.
Bernie Stafford, Warfighter Advance Program Wes 2020-01-07 08:00:00Z 0

Holiday Party, Dec 17, 2019

Christmas Party:
We had our annual Holiday Party at the Crème de la Crepe Restaurant on Dec 17. Our resident "DJ" and music connoiseur, Chuck Klaus, provided appropriate background music.
Holiday Party, Dec 17, 2019 Wes Bradford 2019-12-17 08:00:00Z 0

South Coast Botanic Garden’s Current Projects, Danielle Brown

Posted by Wes Bradford on Dec 10, 2019
Danielle Brown joined the South Coast Botanic Garden in 2017. She is the Chief Development Officer, in charge of fundraising, marketing, guest services, programs, education and special events. The Botanic Garden is supported by the South Coast Botanic Garden Foundation, which operates the Guest Services Center and manages educational programs, venue rentals, and on-site filming coordination.
In the early 1900s, this area was mined for diatomaceous earth, and then bought by Los Angeles County for a garbage landfill. When it was full, it was capped and converted into the South Coast Botanic Garden.
The Botanic Garden has an ongoing Vision Plan for further development. Danielle encourages visiting to see the new changes and activities. She described the new features, such as the new 2-acre Rose Garden area which will reopen in March when the roses start to bloom. Improving the children’s garden and the native plants garden are pending.
Many new activities are scheduled in the Botanic Garden. An Art Festival was hosted in April 2019, and a series of art classes will be presented in Jan & Feb 2020. Danielle showed where new donated sculptures have been placed in natural settings throughout the Garden (supported by the Long Family Foundation, Marylyn & Chuck Klaus, and other donors).
The South Coast Botanic Garden is located at 26300 Crenshaw Boulevard in PV (N of PV Drive North), and is open 9-5 daily (except Christmas). Members have free admission. For scheduled events, contact (310) 544-1948 or
South Coast Botanic Garden’s Current Projects, Danielle Brown Wes Bradford 2019-12-10 08:00:00Z 0

Student Music Contest

Posted by Wes Bradford on Nov 19, 2019
Thanks again to Audrey Dahlgren for recruiting this fine group of music contestants. Each was introduced, along with attending family members, and each presented his musical history.
            All contestants demonstrated outstanding musical talent. The Judging Committee, led by Chuck Klaus, carefully considered the merits of each player, and decided on the following order of awards:
  1. Sean Wilson, Palos Verdes HS, Violin, awarded $200
  2. Anthony Yoon, Palos Verdes HS, Violin, awarded $100
  3. Charley Kim, Palos Verdes HS, Violin, awarded $50
  4. Yaseen Magharbel, Peninsula HS, Flugelhorn, awarded $50        
         Congratulations to our First-Place winner, Sean Wilson, who will represent PV Sunset Rotary Club at the District 5280 Pageant of the Arts Contest at Loyola Marymount University on March 14. The District winner will be invited to perform at the District Conference Apr 30-May 3. Our thanks to all of these fine students and their families for their hard work in preparing for and presenting at this event!
Contestants: Sean Wilson, Anthony Yoon, Yaseen El-Magharbel, Charley Kim
Student Music Contest Wes Bradford 2019-11-19 08:00:00Z 0

Future of LAX, Stephanie Sampson

Posted by Wes Bradford on Nov 12, 2019
Stephanie Sampson is Director of Communications for LAX “Landside Access Modernization Program”, for improvement of passenger access to the Los Angeles Airport. LAX had almost 90 million passengers in 2018 and is in a $14 billion capital improvement program including $5.5 billion for reducing traffic congestion and improving passenger experience and regional transportation interconnections.
There will be an elevated 2.25-mile Automated People Mover (APM) train in the center of the airport from the International Terminal eastward (see diagram), connecting by walkways to the other terminals. Then it will continue eastward to the Intermodal Transportation Facility-West (ITF-West) at W 96th Street (with short- & long-term parking), then to the Airport-Metro Connector (AMC) Station at 96th and Aviation Boulevard, and finally to the Consolidated Rent-A-Car Facility between Aviation and La Cienega Blvd. The APM system will have train maintenance and storage facilities with 24/7 staffing.
The ride duration will be 10 minutes end-to-end, with 200 passengers per train with luggage, and frequency every 2 minutes during peak hours (9 AM-11 PM). There will be no cost to passengers. This contract is a public-private partnership for design, building, finance, operation and maintenance. The airport terminals will have 6 “Vertical Cores” for connecting passengers at the different levels to ticketing, baggage claim, security and the APM trains. Construction completion is expected by the end of 2021. The Consolidated Rent-A-Car Facility will have direct connections to the APM and the 405 freeway. The Metro connections are expected by 2023, and the Crenshaw/LAX & Green Lines will connect to LAX by shuttle from Aviation and Century Blvd in 2020 until the Metro connections are complete.
Future of LAX, Stephanie Sampson Wes Bradford 2019-11-12 08:00:00Z 0

Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy, by Susan Wilcox

Posted by Wes Bradford on Nov 05, 2019
Susan Wilcox is the Director of Development at the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy, founded in 1988. Its mission is to preserve lands as open space and to restore habitat for historical, educational, ecological, recreational and scenic purposes. It has successfully preserved 1,600 acres of open space on the Palos Verdes Peninsula, and restores and maintains 25 additional acres every year, in coordination with the city of Rancho Palos Verdes. It operates 2 Nature Centers, at George F Canyon and at White Point, and brings 3000 children from local schools each year for science education. A set of Native Bird Greeting Cards is available for $20.
Palos Verdes is a global hotspot of “Mediterranean climate zones” for some species found nowhere else. These include coastal sage scrub (more than 85% already lost), Cactus Wrens and Palos Verdes Blue butterflies. Conservation is challenged by competition from invasive non-native species brought in by humans, such as ice plant, mustard, acacia, tumbleweed, castor bean and fennel. Acacia trees are adapted to desert environments and remove water needed by native plants, and 90% of the plant is dry with many seeds which explode when burning (a hazard in fire season).
The Land Conservancy grows 50,000 plants each year, and plants 20,000 per year in restoration projects. She showed before-&-after views of degraded, damaged or destroyed ecosystem land that has been recovered. These areas are monitored annually to document habitat and rare species recovery. Goats are now used in appropriate areas to clear unwanted vegetation (they will eat almost anything!). You can sponsor a goat for $100. There is a monthly Nature Walk every 2nd Saturday (RSVP at or 310-541-7613. Volunteers are always needed.
New trail signage is being installed for interpretive and regulatory information for visitors (watch for it on your next visit). She cautions against using trails after rain (which helps plants but damages trails and promotes erosion from foot traffic — watch for restrictive notices). Dogs must be leashed to avoid accidentally destroying sensitive wildlife and birds’ nesting sites.
Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy, by Susan Wilcox Wes Bradford 2019-11-05 08:00:00Z 0

Ports O’ Call Project, Mike Galvin

Posted by Wes Bradford on May 29, 2018
Mike Galvin grew up in Montebello and Pasadena, went to college in San Diego, and then started working for the City of Los Angeles where he is the Director of Waterfront and Commercial Real Estate in the Ports O’ Call area. (His father was a Rotarian.) He reviewed the status and controversies of this ongoing development.
Smaller shop owners in the Ports O’ Call area were cleared out by early this year, and the larger restaurants were ordered to be out by March 1. Much of the demolition has been completed, leaving the 2-story Ports O’ Call Restaurant still standing and open for business. At a public meeting March 20 at the Warner Grand Theater, some business owners questioned why they were not offered relocation fees to move into the downtown business district. The popular Ports O’ Call Restaurant fought its eviction and demolition, but lost recently in Los Angeles Superior Court.
Mike presented a video of the 3-phase LA Waterfront development process. He showed architectural depictions of the various areas along the waterfront including pedestrian and vehicular traffic and anticipated businesses. The design is intended to attract investors, businesses and visitors. $600 million has been invested, with $400 million more by 2025. Harbor Boulevard is being realigned. Phase 1 will open in 2020.
Ports O’ Call Project, Mike Galvin Wes Bradford 2018-05-29 07:00:00Z 0

Project EGO, Lew Bertrand

Posted by Wes Bradford on May 22, 2018
Our Project EGO Director, Lew Bertrand, updated us on this year’s Project EGO class, and the Leadership Training exercises on cable. The students learn to trust each other’s support on this physically demanding course at the end of their year. He introduced the attending school officials, and Robert Babb who is managing the program.
Robert Babb described the struggles and progress and maturation made by the students during this year, growing in confidence and social skills. Then he introduced each of the 14 students, describing their struggles and accomplishments, and announced their scholarship award amounts, ranging from $500-$2800.
Project EGO, Lew Bertrand Wes Bradford 2018-05-22 07:00:00Z 0

Students of the Year Awards

Posted by Wes Bradford on May 15, 2018
Dominique Alvarez, Senior & Rotaract President at Marymount, was awarded a $1000 check from our Club. Her leadership in Rotaract activities this academic year was commended by our President Jon Caplan.
Teresa Hoffman, PVHS Liaison for Financial Aid & Scholarships, and Joanne Lewis, PVHS Director of College & Careers, described the academic and activities achievements of Palos Verdes High School Student of the Year Austin Nash (who was unable to be present but was represented by his parents, William Nash & Irene Powell). He plans to attend the University of Colorado at Boulder.
Austin’s parents, Irene Powell & William Nash, read a statement from him expressing appreciation for his award. He was awarded a $1000 check from our Club, to be presented to him at the PVHS Awards Ceremony.
Students of the Year Awards Wes Bradford 2018-05-15 07:00:00Z 0

Ten Tips for Better Photography, Jon Caplan

Posted by Wes Bradford on May 08, 2018
President Jon's Safari business in East Africa has resulted in many good wildlife photos by himself and his clients. He reviewed his favorite principles on improving photo results:
1. Take a picture of “something” (an intended object of interest to the viewer, to attract the viewer's focus).
2. Rule of thirds: divide picture into thirds both horizontally and vertically, and position the object of interest on the dividing lines or at their intersections.
3. Control your frame, avoiding distracting background objects; look at the entire framed area.
4. Get multiple shots, for better selection afterward (avoid bad facial expressions or other distractions that may spoil picture quality).
5. Choose your lighting: bright light at high noon causes washed out bright areas and dark shadows in shady areas, losing detail. Softer lighting occurs during the “golden light”, in the first hour after sunrise and in the last hour before sunset. Look for even lighting, often in open shadow during daytime so the camera adapts to the shadow lighting and not to a bright background.
6. Avoid backlight (brighter lighting in the background that causes underexposure in the subject of interest in the foreground), unless using fill-in flash to light up the foreground (if close enough to the camera for effective flash lighting).
7. Keep subject in sharp focus, including avoiding motion blur (flash can stop motion if close enough to the camera).
8. Delete poorer quality photos (from multiple shots to provide good selection).
9. Crop photos to remove distracting and irrelevant clutter around the point of interest; photograph a large enough frame to be able to crop without cutting off the original image.
10. Consider a DSLR camera for good control of a variety of photographic situations.
Ten Tips for Better Photography, Jon Caplan Wes Bradford 2018-05-08 07:00:00Z 0

Uganda Global Grant Project, Marsha Hunt

Posted by Wes Bradford on May 01, 2018
Marsha Hunt is a member of the Westwood Village Rotary Club. Her Club is in partnership with the host Kabale Rotary Club in Uganda to promote Maternal and Child Health facilities in a remote area damaged by war and flooded with refugees from the violent “Lord’s Resistance Army” (LRA). The LRA leader, who proclaims himself the “spokesperson” of God, has been waging a guerrilla campaign since 1987 to overthrow the Ugandan government and establish a theocratic state based on the "Ten Commandments and Acholi tribal tradition". The LRA has been accused of widespread human rights violations, including mutilation, torture, slavery, rape, kidnappings, use of child soldiers, and massacres. There is still low-level LRA activity in Uganda and neighboring countries.
Rotarians have been helping since 2004 to build and upgrade school buildings, restrooms, sports facilities and safe water projects as part of the Uganda Development Initiative ( in Los Angeles. They have been buying goats and promoting self-sustaining farming for refugee families, growing coffee, tea and fruit trees for food and income. Many of the buildings were built of dried mud held together on sticks, which crumble when it rains. Rotarians are sponsoring children for school expenses and building a clinic and small medical center. They are working with Project Cure in Colorado to evaluate the medical needs and ship a container of medical equipment including an ultrasound machine. Doctors from the Rotary Club of Memmingen in Germany are completing a new surgery center there. Solar power generation is also being installed.
 Marsha spoke of a girl age 7 who walked 2 days to find the school; her father was dead and her mother, who was dying, told her to “find the school!” An 11-year-old girl, who had never lived in a house or slept in a bed, was caring for 3 younger children when someone handed her a baby to take care of. She managed to bring these children to the school for help. However, in addition to the poverty and casualties of violence, Uganda is a beautiful country. She showed photos of animals such as elephants, baboons, storks, gorillas, zebras and antelope.
Uganda Global Grant Project, Marsha Hunt Wes Bradford 2018-05-01 07:00:00Z 0

District 5280 Humanitarian Projects in Colombia (Wes Bradford)

Posted by Wes Bradford on Apr 24, 2018
Wes Bradford showed photos from the 2018 District 5280 Humanitarian Trip to Columbia. They visited projects in Bucaramanga (March 21-26) and in the capital, Bogotá, March 26-30, hosted by Colombian Rotarians. The projects were widely dispersed, especially those with Global grants, so they visited those with short driving distance while other projects were presented to them in the city by the local Rotarians. Bucaramanga is in the northeastern part of the country. The Rotarian projects there included water purification, sanitation, organic farming, painting and upgrading schools, providing school supplies and backpacks, providing soccer balls and athletic shoes, and oral hygiene self-care instruction.
450 backpacks, most of them funded by our Rotaractors, were provided to children in several schools. The children presented singing and dancing performances for the visiting and local Rotarians. The visitors enjoyed interacting with these children and with the local Rotarians who are very active in leading these projects. Safe water and sanitation are vitally important for reducing preventable infectious diseases in impoverished populations.
The Rotarians visited a settlement of refugees from the Pacific coast drug wars area. These people often fled the violence on foot through the mountains, with their families and what little possessions they could carry on their backs. Thousands of them arrived with no food, jobs, housing or school facilities. Many of the coastal farm areas have been devastated by aerial spraying of coca fields with pesticide poisons, which persist on the land for years and increase the rate of cancer and birth defects. Starting over in a clean environment with organic farming practices is important for minimizing future health effects in these people.
The Bogotá projects included water and sanitation, malaria diagnosis and prevention, technology and vocational training, Operation Smile (cleft lip and palate repair), and providing bicycles to students to encourage school attendance. Visiting these humanitarian projects provided many inspiring Rotarian experiences and interesting cultural interactions.
District 5280 Humanitarian Projects in Colombia (Wes Bradford) Wes Bradford 2018-04-24 07:00:00Z 0

Disaster Aid USA, Tore Knos

Posted by Wes Bradford on Apr 17, 2018
Tore Knos (, of the Playa Venice Sunrise Rotary Club, is a board member of Disaster Aid USA, a Rotary project. He is a Past President of the North Atlanta Rotary Club. He has a PhD in Public Administration from the University of Georgia, and is also a certified master plumber (practical hands-on experience). He has traveled in Asia, Panama, Mexico, Sweden and Costa Rica, and speaks English, Swedish and Spanish. In 2013 he hiked the 2178 mile Appalachian Trail through 14 states over 5½ months as a Rotary fundraiser.
Disaster Aid USA is a non-profit corporation established in 2010 in Washington, DC, by the former Central Maryland/Washington DC ShelterBox USA team. Its Board of Directors are all active Rotarians representing every Rotarian Zone in the US, 1/3 of them standing for reelection each year. Tore Knos represents Rotary Zone 26, as well as being a Disaster Aid Response Team member.
Tore presented photos from his personal experience as a member of the Response Team in disaster aid work in South Sudan (refugees from ethnic cleansing warfare), Philippines (typhoon), and Malaysia (catastrophic flooding), illustrating the disaster conditions there and the Rotarian response delivering aid to these affected people. They provided Rotarian-designed disaster tents large enough for 10 people, plus water filtration and other emergency equipment and supplies to prevent infectious diseases and starvation where local infrastructure had been destroyed.
Tore showed “Sawyer Point One” water filter bucket-adapter kit, packaged in a plastic envelope. These kits allow converting a bucket (not included) into a water filter with a 0.1 µm hollow-fiber membrane that can remove infectious viruses, bacteria and parasites (although not chemicals). The kit includes a drill to make a hole near the bottom of the bucket (allowing space beneath for sedimentation), and a water-tight adapter to fit a small hose from this opening to the filter. The filter is turned on by holding it below the bucket so that filtered water pours out, and turned off by hanging it onto the upper edge of the bucket. This bucket filter can be set up in minutes and can supply a household with safe clean drinking water, which is in scarce supply after a disaster.
He also showed a small paperback book he has written on how to construct a “Urine Diversion Dehydrating Toilet” (which he designed with his plumbing expertise) from locally-available materials. It’s based on the concept that feces (kept separate from urine) can dehydrate into safe usable odor-free fertilizer in 6 months, while the urine which is rich in minerals and relatively free of pathogens (and kept separate from fecal contamination) can be used safely as plant fertilizer in one week. This concept prevents human waste from contaminating the water table or from being spread by dust blowing or tracked by humans, animals and insects, and contaminating food and water. One source of contamination in a village can make the entire village sick. (Cholera in Haiti, brought in after its 2010 earthquake by a South American aid worker, sickened several hundred thousand people and killed 10,000.)
Disaster Aid USA, Tore Knos Wes Bradford 2018-04-17 07:00:00Z 0

Tom Wynne, Craft Talk

Posted by Wes Bradford on Apr 10, 2018
Tom Wynne, our newest member, works for the Torrance office of NAI Capital in commercial real estate sales and leasing. He and his wife, Cathy, have 3 children and 5 grandchildren.
He remembers working in his father’s appliance store with his siblings, where they learned the importance of honesty, working hard, and respecting people. He attended an integrated high school in the turbulent early 1960s where they learned how to get along with each other. He worked through college, learning to be self-sufficient, and graduated from Notre Dame majoring in Marketing Management and Finance.
After graduation, he worked for Procter & Gamble before moving to California in 1979. He continued his education in commercial land values, construction and marketing, and started his own real estate business, Wynne Partners, Inc. He consulted for banks on lender-owned residential, mixed-use and commercial properties. Then he joined NAI Capital, where he represents buyers, sellers, owners and tenants in commercial real estate sales and leasing.
Tom Wynne, Craft Talk Wes Bradford 2018-04-10 07:00:00Z 0

Global Polio Eradication – Shirley Giltzow

Posted by Wes Bradford on Apr 03, 2018
Shirley Giltzow is the District PolioPlus Chair. She reviewed the progress of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative.
In 1979, Rotarians began a multi-year polio immunization program in the Philippines, immunizing 6 million children there. In 1985, Rotary International President Carlos Canseco announced the PolioPlus program to control polio worldwide. Since then, the Rotary polio-immunization program has been joined by the World Health Organization, UNICEF, and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2007, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation offered Rotary a fund-raising challenge grant which has now grown to a 2-for-1 matching grant for polio.
Nigeria has had no new cases in 2 years. The only remaining polio-endemic countries are Afghanistan & Pakistan (due to conflict), and only 5 cases have been reported there so far this year. Only Type 1 polio is still in circulation, with Type 2 eradicated in 1999 and Type 3 in 2014. 450 million children have been immunized by 150,000 workers, and $1.2 billion has been pledged.
More funds are still needed to make the poliovirus extinct, so it doesn’t flare up and spread to millions again as in the past. Money is needed to survey people isolated in remote areas including in dangerous conflict zones, to detect new cases in persisting pockets for planning intensive focused immunization efforts, and to educate people there and promote vaccinations of vulnerable children. Maintaining continuing political commitment and financial resources to distribute vaccine is necessary to prevent worldwide spread by travelers including people crossing borders to escape conflict.
Shirley urged us to promote World Polio Day on October 24 with local City Council resolutions, to improve publicity and fundraising. The lessons learned and the infrastructure developed for PolioPlus worldwide can be used to improve child health and other public health priorities. More information is available at
Global Polio Eradication – Shirley Giltzow Wes Bradford 2018-04-03 07:00:00Z 0

The “Skunk Works” ‒ Designing Advanced Aircraft, by Tapio Kartiala

Posted by Wes Bradford on Mar 27, 2018

Tapio Kartiala is retired after over 45 years experience as an aerospace structural engineer. He presented his experiences in advanced aircraft design at the Lockheed “Skunk Works”.

 It was started in 1943 by Lockheed engineer Kelly Johnson when his company was asked to design a jet fighter to counter a rapidly growing German jet threat in World War II. One month later he hand-delivered a proposal and began work “on a handshake” (the formal contract arrived 4 months after the work had begun). His team designed and built the first XP-80 Shooting Star in 143 days, by “breaking the rules and challenging the bureaucracy”. The effort was top-secret and operated in a rented circus tent near a malodorous manufacturing area, so one of the engineers answered the phone as “Skonk Works” (from the “Li’l Abner” comic strip). The name “Skunk Works” was adopted as its trademarked designation for the advanced aircraft design unit, and it is still an active team of Lockheed Martin.

Tapio outlined the process of new aircraft design, through the conceptual, preliminary, and detailed phases. The engineering constraints include the aircraft’s purpose, regulations, financial availability, and environmental and safety requirements. The work is divided into wing design, fuselage, propulsion, weight limitations, and structural strength. While a bridge is typically designed to sustain 5 times its expected maximum load, an aircraft is allowed only 1½ times its maximum expected aerodynamic loading, due to weight limitations.

Tapio reviewed 3 aircraft. The U-2 spy plane was flown at 70,000 feet and could fly for 14 hours. At that altitude, a major design problem was preventing fuel evaporation from the low pressure at near-vacuum. It could fly higher than Soviet missiles could reach, until a newer missile design shot one down over the Soviet Union, with the pilot Gary Powers being held as prisoner until exchanged for a Soviet prisoner from the US 3 years later.

The SR-71 Blackbird can fly at 80,000 feet and 2100 mph (almost 3 times the speed of a rifle bullet). It has never been hit by hostile fire because of its speed. It is made of titanium to sustain high surface temperatures (up to 400-1200°F during flight). It takes on most of its fuel in mid-air refueling because a full fuel load makes it too heavy for takeoff. (Engineers were still using slide rules when its design began.)

The F-117 Stealth fighter has many flat surfaces at odd angles to confuse radar imaging, and also a special chemical coating to absorb radar signals. It is the stealthiest aircraft ever built.

The “Skunk Works” ‒ Designing Advanced Aircraft, by Tapio Kartiala Wes Bradford 2018-03-27 07:00:00Z 0

Mediators Without Borders

Posted by Wes Bradford on Mar 20, 2018

After a brief introduction by Rotarian Steve Goldsmith (Hawthorne Club), Mediators Without Borders Lead Facilitator Scott Martin began the presentation. He is a former landscape architect who is now working to mediate conflict (this is related to the biannual District Peace Conference).

Tonight’s discussion was primarily about Human Trafficking, a cause promoted by District Governor Cozette Vergari. He reviewed how to have a peace conversation or dialogue. He compared dialogue to debate; debate is oppositional, with a goal to win, listening only to find flaws and refute arguments of the other side, reaffirming each side’s own point of view, and rarely resulting in apology or introspection. Dialogue is collaborative, working to develop a common understanding and working towards better solutions, enlarging and transforming both sides’ point of view, and encouraging apology and ongoing communication.

The ground rules include respectful speech, approaching the problem rather than attacking the person, agreeing on conversation rules regarding how long to speak and how to be interrupted, and using first-person accounting. We don’t need to agree in order to listen. We need to listen for what we don’t know, not just confirmation of what we already believe. Separate the person from the problem, and bring service to the solution rather than listening and waiting to give advice.

After this review, the meeting broke up into a separate group at each table, each with a facilitator and a notetaker. Human Trafficking was discussed, specifically about the problem of prostitution. Poverty and social stress often create potential victims who are often in their teens. They are tricked into working for someone and then find it difficult to get out as they are exploited, while the customers are typically unappreciative of the social implications, enabling the abuse.

At the end, a report was provided from each table on the points discussed, followed by a conclusion and increased awareness of the problems and what Rotarians can do to help provide solutions.

Mediators Without Borders Wes Bradford 2018-03-20 07:00:00Z 0

Chuck Klaus, Soundtracks in Movies

Posted by Wes Bradford on Mar 13, 2018

Our member Chuck Klaus majored in speech communications in college. He produced music programs for a radio station in Syracuse, New York, taught at the University there, and was a Drama and Music critic for the newspaper. He met his wife, Marylyn, at a concert there. When they married, he moved to California to be with her, and she brought him into our Rotary Club.

Chuck described brain function as having separate storage areas for images and sound, which need to connect their pathways for association in memory. Original silent films were accompanied by live music in the theater, with music and instruments specified for each movie, using a theater organ or a small orchestra. In 1927, the sound of recorded dialogue and singing was first synchronized with the film action, and soon most movies were talkies. David Selznick made fancier films with more action and drama, producing “King Kong” in 1933 and “Gone with the Wind” in 1939. The sounds were recorded on the set with the action, and music scores were written while watching the film. Music for dramatic scenes was timed with the screen action, as Chuck illustrated with a sword-fighting video clip.

In 1941, Orson Welles produced “Citizen Kane” (reportedly based in part on newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst), which won many Academy Awards. (Welles had become famous for his dramatic 1938 radio broadcast of “The War of the Worlds”.) He was very difficult to get along with, and quickly “exiled” anyone who disagreed with him. Alfred Hitchcock, an English producer, produced “Psycho”, an American psychological horror film, in 1960, pushing the film boundaries for violence and sexuality. He reluctantly put music into his film.

Separate film score albums became popular in the LP records era for marketing their movies, which were getting competition from television. Although separate movie soundtracks are just music, the actual soundtrack in the movie also includes the voice and sound effects.

Chuck Klaus, Soundtracks in Movies Wes Bradford 2018-03-13 07:00:00Z 0

Juan Viteri, Craft Talk

Posted by Wes Bradford on Mar 06, 2018

Juan Viteri, one of our Club’s newest members, was born in Quito, Ecuador. He described how encountering challenging circumstances in his early life changed his perspectives. At age 13, he had severe seizures, and was brought to the hospital, where neurologic studies showed 2 brain tumors. He was transferred to a military hospital for specialized care, and there he was told that he should go to the United States for the kind of surgical treatment that he needed.

He came to the US at age 14, where he was helped by sponsors and underwent neurosurgery at Kaiser. Although he has surgical scars on his head, he survived the ordeal and recovered successfully. He and his sisters live in Long Beach. His father is deceased, and the family had to move repeatedly due to housing costs, finally moving into a mobile home.

He began working in real estate, and was able to accumulate some housing properties, where he started helping other housing-affordability-stressed people in the community. With the help of some investors, he now has 35 housing clients in 3 homes in Long Beach. He wants to continue making a positive difference in the community, giving to others as had been provided to him at his time of greatest vulnerability. He heard about Rotary’s role in service to others, and began looking for an evening Rotary Club that he could attend after work. Palos Verdes Sunset provided what he was looking for, and we welcome his participation in our service projects!

Juan Viteri, Craft Talk Wes Bradford 2018-03-06 08:00:00Z 0

4-H Youth Development Program, Dee Keese

Posted by Wes Bradford on Feb 27, 2018

The 4H Youth Development Program is sponsored by the University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources ( 4H focuses on helping youth to reach their potential in citizenship, leadership and life skills, and giving back to their communities, supported by adult volunteers. Boys and girls from ages 9-19 can join, and in some areas they can join as early as age 5. The ratio of youth to adult volunteers is 6:1.

Dee Keese reviewed the Palos Verdes Peninsula 4H Club programs. Young people can make friends and share interests in virtually any subject, now in  37 local projects including computers, automotive, etc. Girls as well as boys are now members. She has a variety of animals in her backyard, including llamas and pigs, providing unique experiences for local children..

The leaders are volunteers. Volunteering is a good opportunity for older people to teach their skills to children. Many retired people have important experiences to pass on to the younger generation. If a child has an interest in any activity, the Club tries to organize a project for that interest if there are enough for a small group. In addition to building positive relationships with each other and with adults, the children gain experience at a young age in volunteering service. Local donation and volunteering information is available at, or call Dee Keese at 310-377-9773.

4-H Youth Development Program, Dee Keese Wes Bradford 2018-02-27 08:00:00Z 0

Mario Santoyo, Craft Talk

Posted by Wes Bradford on Feb 20, 2018

Our new member Mario Santoyo was born in West Covina in the East Los Angeles area. He attended Catholic schools and was an altar boy. He participated in track and cross-country in high school. His parents came from Spain where his grandfather had a construction company, a business inspiration for Mario. He is single and lives with 2 older sisters.

While in college at California State University in Fullerton majoring in liberal arts, he worked at a Robinson’s store. Then he got a job with a Wells Fargo Bank in Compton. He worked his way up in supervisory positions. 2 years ago he transferred to Palos Verdes with the Premier Business Bank in Malaga Cove as Vice President and Branch Manager. (Our Rotary Club’s new meeting place will be handy for him after work.)

Mario Santoyo, Craft Talk Wes Bradford 2018-02-20 08:00:00Z 0

Discussion & Voting on Permanent Meeting Venue

Posted by Wes Bradford on Feb 13, 2018

We have tested a number of potential Club meeting sites over the last couple of months after losing our previous location at Rolling Hills Country Club late last year due to its demolition and remodeling project. In addition to location of a new meeting place, we considered quality of food and service, acoustics, size and comfort of room, and cost. (All of the current possibilities cost somewhat more than the previous venue, which we have known would end with the onset of its long-anticipated construction project.)

President Jon Caplan led the discussion of the pros and cons of each place and receiving input from members (including email input from those unable to attend tonight). After much discussion, we filled out paper ballots ranking our top 3 choices. The top choice by a wide margin was La Venta Inn. It is a beautiful facility with a great view of nightlights in the winter and daylight coastline in the summer. We hope our members and visitors will not have difficulty finding this facility on Via Del Monte.

Discussion & Voting on Permanent Meeting Venue Wes Bradford 2018-02-13 08:00:00Z 0

Student Dance Contest

Posted by Wes Bradford on Feb 06, 2018

Congratulations to Alexis Dugel of Palos Verdes High School as our Club’s sponsored contestant in the District Dance Competition March 10 at LMU! She was presented a check for $200 from our Club, by Vocational Chair Lodel Caplan.

Alexis spoke of why she loves dance, an unspoken art of communication. She presented a video of one of her dance performances.

Student Dance Contest  Wes Bradford 2018-02-06 08:00:00Z 0

Marymount Rotaract Service Projects, Dominique Alvarez

Posted by Wes Bradford on Jan 30, 2018

Dominique Alvarez is the president of the Marymount California University Rotaract Club. She reviewed her Club’s activities and service projects over the last year. (Dave Tomblin of the LA5 Rotary Club is the faculty advisor.) The Marymount Club has been very active with multiple service projects. District 5280 Rotaractors are selling T-shirts for $20 to honor Rotaract’s 50th Anniversary.


They attended the Big West Rotaract Conference at CSU Long Beach in October. It is a multi-District organization founded in 2015 and registered with RI, to collaborate projects and leadership training for Rotaractors in Districts across the US West Coast including Alaska.

Their Club helped with the District 5280 Youth Conference in Hawthorne in October, helping Interactors become better leaders and public speakers, and developing skills to make their Clubs stronger.

Los Angeles Rotaractors from Marymount, UCLA, USC, San Fernando Valley, and Angel City Clubs participated in a District-wide community service project in November at the Downtown Women’s Center. It provides services for homeless women including promoting safe housing, health care and community support services. The Rotaractors hope to expand future participation in District-level service projects, including Interactors.

They are participating in Fundraising for the District St Patrick’s Day 5K Color Run To End Polio on Saturday, March 17, at Griffith Park. (Participants will have a “non-toxic” multi-colored powder tossed on them during the run, so they will finish looking tie-dyed!)

Another Club project, with Interactors, will provide water-pasteurization indicators to verify safe water, to Migori, Kenya, on February 18.

Marymount Rotaract Service Projects, Dominique Alvarez Wes Bradford 2018-01-30 08:00:00Z 0

Student Speech Contest

Posted by Wes Bradford on Jan 23, 2018

Our 2 Student Speech contestants are both from Palos Verdes High School. After introductions by Lodel Caplan, each gave a brief speech on the theme of “Making a Difference".

Isabella Hutcheson (on right) was the first speaker. She reviewed the history of bus riders in Birmingham, Alabama, trying to integrate the segregated transportation system there (Rosa Parks making a difference by refusing to give up her seat), and the events leading up to the Supreme Court’s schools desegregation decision. She also spoke of volunteering at a hospital and helping the homeless, showing how one person can make a difference.

Alexis Dugel spoke next, on making a difference by focusing on improving childhood literacy. 1 in 4 children in the US do not learn to read sufficiently for future job applications and workplace functions. 250 million people in the world are functionally illiterate. Alexis wrote and published a paperback children’s book, “The Sky’s the Limit”, encouraging children to reach for their potential. She organized an online writing contest, to which 500 children responded.

After careful deliberation, the judging committee designated Alexis Dugel the winner; she received a check for $200 from our Club, and will represent our Club in our Rotary District Pageant of the Arts on March 10 at LMU. The runner-up, Isabella Hutcheson, received $100. Our Club expressed thanks to both of the contestants and to their family members for participating in the contest.

Student Speech Contest Wes Bradford 2018-01-23 08:00:00Z 0

History of Rotary, PDG Dave Moyers

Posted by Wes Bradford on Jan 16, 2018
Dave Moyers presented a history of Rotary, started by attorney Paul Harris with the first Club of 4 business and professional members in Chicago in 1905. They began meeting weekly (rotating their meetings among the members’ offices) and decided to organize service projects in the community.
The San Francisco earthquake occurred the next year. A Chicago member transferred to San Francisco and organized business and professional people into a new Rotary Club there for service to the devastated community. Soon there were also Rotary Clubs in Oakland, Seattle and Los Angeles. In 1910 a Rotary Club was founded in Winnipeg, Manitoba in Canada, and then in Dublin and London. Many more Clubs were founded during World War I.
In 1945 after the end of World War II, almost 50 Rotarians were among the participants in the UN Charter Conference in San Francisco that founded the United Nations. They focused on maintaining international peace, developing friendly international relations, solving economic, social and humanitarian problems, and promoting human rights, which had already been Rotarian objectives for many years.
In 1985, building on a polio vaccination program in the Philippines sponsored by Los Angeles Rotarians, Rotary launched its worldwide PolioPlus program to eradicate polio, a disease that had crippled millions of children. The World Health Organization and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are now partners with Rotary in polio eradication, which is almost complete worldwide except for a handful of new cases in war-torn areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Rotary’s motto is “Service Above Self”. The Rotary Foundation was founded in 1917; its motto is “Doing Good in the World”. Rotary has raised $3.5 billion for humanitarian projects around the world. Rotary International has 1.2 million members in 34,000 Clubs.
History of Rotary, PDG Dave Moyers Wes Bradford 2018-01-16 08:00:00Z 0

Student Art Contest

Posted by Wes Bradford on Jan 09, 2018
Our 2 student art contestants were Alexa Quigley and Hyun Kim, both of Palos Verdes High School. Alexa presented a sculpture representing “how we see ourselves”, describing how her hands mold the wet clay and relating the result to the 4-Way Test. Hyun presented a watercolor of a Korean woman in traditional dress and carrying a basket on her head, showing how people work hard in daily life. He is colorblind, but described how he chooses colors for his artwork in spite of his vision limitation.
The judging committee met to consider the artistic merits and relationship to the Rotary 4-Way Test of each art entry. 1st place was awarded to Alexa Quigley, who received a prize of $200, and 2nd place was awarded to Hyun Kim, who received a prize of $100. Alexa Quigley will be our Club’s sponsored entry into the District Pageant of the Arts contest at Loyola Marymount University on Saturday, March 10 (Sat). (If she cannot attend, Hyun Kim will be entered instead.)
Student Art Contest Wes Bradford 2018-01-09 08:00:00Z 0
Christmas Party Wes Bradford 2017-12-19 08:00:00Z 0

“Journey Out”, Cherise Charleswell

Posted by Wes Bradford on Dec 12, 2017
Cherise Charleswell, MPH, is the Development & Outreach Manager for Journey Out in Van Nuys, which she joined in 2016. Cherise has degrees in Biological Sciences and Anthropology, and a Master of Public Health, and is a Past President of the Southern California Public Health Association.

Journey Out (formerly The Mary Magdalene Project) was created by a Sunset Boulevard Presbyterian church grant in 1980, where prostituted women were working the streets outside the church. A safe haven residence was established in the San Fernando Valley to hide women from their pimps and predators for up to 6 months. These victims have been intensely manipulated and coerced, and they have difficulty returning to society. The 3 necessary steps are Survival, Hope & Freedom. (See for more information, involvement, and donations. District Governor Cozette Vergari is also promoting this effort.)

The average age of entrance into prostitution is 12-14 years old. Victims are lured and coerced in by pimps and traffickers who then control their lives and subject them to physical and emotional abuse. >50% are runaway or throwaway youth, and 85% are victims of childhood sexual molestation and incest. 84% are US citizens. They suffer from anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, and are vulnerable to homelessness, mental health problems, substance abuse, rape and domestic abuse.

Journey Out’s programs include:

Direct Street Outreach, monitoring prostitution areas in Los Angeles and handing out discrete information packets.

Drop-In Center, a safe place to discuss issues of exiting from a life of abuse, violence and poverty.

Prostitution Diversion Program (PDP) works with the LA City Attorney & Police as victim advocates.

Sex Trafficking Prevention includes "Ending The Game" (to guide victims to recovery), and "My Life, My Choice" and "Word On The Street" curricula (to educate and warn girls on the tactics used to recruit victims).

“Journey Out”, Cherise Charleswell Wes Bradford 2017-12-12 08:00:00Z 0

Club Social Hour

Posted by Wes Bradford on Dec 05, 2017
We met offsite at the Mary & Joseph Retreat Center in Rancho Palos Verdes for a December Social Hour, and welcomed 2 Guests.
Club Social Hour Wes Bradford 2017-12-05 08:00:00Z 0

Security in Palos Verdes, Capt Beringer

Posted by Wes Bradford on Nov 28, 2017

Capt Daniel Beringer, of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, was promoted to Captain in 2016 and assigned to the Lomita Sheriff’s Station. He joined the Sheriff’s Department in 1986 after graduation from CSU Long Beach, and served at Lomita Sheriff’s Station, followed by several other assignments in the Sheriff’s Department. The Lomita Sheriff’s Station provides law enforcement services to the cities of Lomita, Rancho Palos Verdes, Rolling Hills, Rolling Hills Estates, and adjacent unincorporated communities . At any one time there are 4-7 officers on patrol in the area.

California criminal law changed in 2014 to allow early release of state prisoners to city/county jails (to alleviate overcrowding in prisons). Many felonies such as drug crimes were reduced to misdemeanors. Little support was provided for homelessness and mental illness. Confinement became a revolving door with less penalties, and property crimes such as shoplifting and theft from vehicles increased. Crime spiked and then leveled off, but is now increasing again, although the Lomita Sheriff’s Station has the 3rd lowest crime rate in Los Angeles County. License plate cameras help to detect stolen cars and wanted suspects. Surveillance cameras also help identify suspects. More helicopters are used now, and a team of detectives works undercover to solve and prevent crimes.

Capt Beringer spoke about preventive measures for property crimes (burglars like easy targets). Simple precautions include clearing overgrown shrubs near the home, and verifying that windows and doors are secure and that external lighting works and is sufficient. Motion detector lighting is helpful in detecting intruders. Don’t keep tempting items visible in parked vehicles, and always lock vehicles when parked outside. Stop newspaper delivery when absent, and coordinate with trusted neighbors to watch the home. House numbers should be clearly visible from the street for emergency responders.

Motion-detection cameras can connect to a Wi-Fi router for easy installation. Two-way sound communication helps when a visitor is at the door. Night vision video can help identify people and vehicles. Cameras can have features allowing the view to move and zoom. Active camera systems can send alerts to smart phones and can even be viewed remotely. Capt Beringer passed out a homeowners guide brochure for better home and neighborhood security, and a home security assessment checklist.

Security in Palos Verdes, Capt Beringer Wes Bradford 2017-11-28 08:00:00Z 0

Habitat for Humanity, Helen Dosta

Posted by Wes Bradford on Nov 21, 2017

Helen Dosta has been the Director of Habitat for Humanity in Los Angeles for 6 years. 800 homes have been built by Habitat LA in the last 25 years. Habitat is building 10 houses in the 405/Sepulveda area in Culver City, with the help of 5 participating Rotary clubs including PV Sunset.

Los Angeles is one of the least affordable housing areas in the US, with high costs and overcrowding. Habitat's goal is eliminating substandard housing and providing decent sustainable and affordable housing for everyone. Habitat for Humanity provides affordable home ownership programs for families earning 30-80% of the median family income. Habitat coordinates volunteers, participating families, corporations, congregations and donors to enable home ownership for hard-working low-income families.

Habitat LA renovates as well as builds homes. Homeowners must provide down payment and monthly mortgage payments and invest "sweat equity" hours working on their future home and homes of other Habitat home buyers. Habitat homes are sold at no profit and financed with affordable loans. Educational resources help to promote financial independence. “Green building” principles are used to promote environmental and health sustainability. Many community organizations and individuals donate time, skills, materials and household items. The “ReStore” sells donated household items from contractors, companies, movie & television studios and individuals, and is open 7 days a week. Volunteers are needed for sorting, selling and computer work.

Habitat LA needs volunteers on its construction sites, in the offices, for special events, and in the ReStores. Signing up and confirming your volunteer date can be done on the website at

Habitat for Humanity, Helen Dosta Wes Bradford 2017-11-21 08:00:00Z 0

Ingrid Hempell, Life in East Berlin

Posted by Wes Bradford on Nov 14, 2017

Ingrid Hempell, Concord (CA) Club, is a frequent visitor to our Club (with Volker Schäferbarthold of the Minden Rotary Club in Germany). She grew up in East Berlin during the Soviet occupation after World War II. She remembers a very difficult life with hunger and deprivation, and the lack of basic consumer goods that we take for granted.

At the end of World War II, Germany was divided into 4 occupation zones by the US, UK, France and the Soviet Union. The capital, Berlin, was in the Soviet zone but had a corridor connecting it to the 3 other zones to the west. In June 1948, Soviet authorities blocked access into Berlin from the west. The Allies blocked shipments into the Soviet zone of coal and steel, hindering industrial development there. The Soviets stopped food shipments and electricity to the non-Soviet sectors of Berlin, which was surrounded by Soviet military forces.

In response, the Allies began a Berlin Airlift with urgently needed supplies on unarmed humanitarian cargo aircraft into West Berlin in July 1948, gambling that the Soviets would not shoot them down and risk World War III. This aerial conveyor belt unloaded 5000 tons per day around-the-clock with the help of German civilians. Some aircraft, on approaching the airport, dropped candy bars with little handmade parachutes to eager children waiting below, a major propaganda success to a beleaguered population.

The Soviet blockade of Berlin was lifted in May 1949. The 3 Western zones merged into West Germany with its capital in Bonn. A Communist East German government was formed with its capital in East Berlin. Marshall Plan assistance from the US helped West Germany recover from the War, while reparations to the Soviet Union from East Germany slowed economic recovery there. Soon, large numbers of impoverished East Germans were escaping to West Berlin, and in 1961 the East German government built the Berlin Wall to stop them from crossing.

In 1990, the East German government collapsed, Germany was reunited, and the Berlin wall was torn down in jubilation. The German government spent large amounts of money helping the East revitalize its economy. In 1991, still recovering from poverty, Ingrid collapsed in illness, and her mother was able to take her to West Berlin for help, where there were now more and much better supplies of basic necessities and services. Ingrid had a difficult life during those years of deprivation, but started working in 1967 and ended up in Northern California as a thankful survivor.

Ingrid Hempell, Life in East Berlin Wes Bradford 2017-11-14 08:00:00Z 0

Volker Schäferbarthold, “My Childhood in Nazi Germany”

Posted by Wes Bradford on Nov 07, 2017

Volker Schäferbarthold is a member of the Rotary Club of Minden in Germany, and is a frequent visitor to PV Sunset Rotary Club due to his international business activities in San Pedro. He was born in 1937 in Germany and experienced Nazi rule during his early childhood.

Hitler came to power in 1933 during the great worldwide Depression, which was worse in Germany because it was still required to pay reparations to the Allies after its loss in World War I. With 6 million Germans out of work and increasing hopelessness, and with the 2 major political parties unable to turn the economy around, Hitler promised relief and his minority party was allowed to form a government. Then the Reichstag (Parliament building) “mysteriously” burned down, Hitler flew into a rage and blamed the Communists, and declared a state of emergency to rule by decree. With no parliamentary meeting place, he was now the absolute dictator.

In 1938, Hitler ordered the end of Jewish institutions and businesses, beginning with the Kristallnacht (night of broken windows, when Nazi thugs vandalized Jewish businesses who were blamed for Germany’s problems). This was the beginning of the Holocaust. There were no independent courts or freedom of speech or the press. In September 1939, Hitler began World War II by invading Poland with Nazi propaganda being the only news available.

Volker was born into a Christian family and went to church every Sunday. In school the children were required to greet their teacher with the right stiff-armed Nazi salute and saying “Heil Hitler”. Volker’s older brother and sister were in the Hitlerjugend (“Hitler Youth”) and in uniform. In 1944, a high-ranking German officer attempted to kill Hitler with a bomb at a meeting in his office, and the radio news urged everyone to pray for the life of their “beloved Führer”.

Nazi propaganda reported the bright side about “heroism” in the war, especially on the German defeat in the battle of Stalingrad in the Soviet Union. Volker’s father could not serve in the Army due to an old arm injury. Volker’s older brother on the Belgian Front watched a battle with a friend, who suddenly collapsed and died from a bullet; his brother vowed never to touch a weapon again. Air raids with systematic bombing of German cities became an almost daily experience with sirens and bomb explosions, endured in bomb shelters by a population of mostly elderly, women and children. Electric lights would go out in the shelters until after the raid, and were lit by candlelight.

When Volker later asked his mother about the Jews, she said, “Yes, they gradually disappeared, but nobody knew exactly what had happened to them.” When she finally learned the truth, she could not believe how misled and ignorant she had been. His parents had thought of their beloved country as the land of poets and philosophers (Gutenberg, Goethe and Beethoven).

Volker Schäferbarthold, “My Childhood in Nazi Germany” Wes Bradford 2017-11-07 08:00:00Z 0

District Humanitarian Trip to Colombia, Guity Javid

Posted by Wes Bradford on Oct 24, 2017

Guity Javid, Co-Chair of our District’s Humanitarian Trip to Colombia in March 2018, is a member of the Rancho Park Rotary Club. (The other Co-Chair, Mark Ameli, is also in the Rancho Park Club.)

Our District is partnering with 2 Districts in Colombia for 2 sets of projects for our 2018 Humanitarian Trip, to Bucaramanga March 21-26, and to Bogotá March 26-30. Volunteers can choose either one or combine both.

Bucaramanga in northern Colombia will have 6 projects, 4 of them Global Grants, 3 in water & sanitation and the other in organic farming. The other 2 are local projects — an after school project for painting & upgrading schools, oral hygiene teaching, school supplies & backpacks, & teaching organic farming; and a community project for providing soccer balls & athletic shoes.

Bogotá in central Colombia will have 7 projects, 4 of them Global Grants — water and sanitation, malaria diagnosis & prevention, technology training & audiovisual equipment, and Operation Smile (surgical correction of cleft lip & cleft palate deformities). The other 3 are local projects – providing shoe-making machinery & equipment to rural women for self-support, providing farming supplies & educational materials for vocational skills for improved self-support, and providing bicycles to schools to lend to students for encouraging attendance.

Guity encouraged interested Rotarians to apply. For info & Registration Form, go to
District Humanitarian Trip to Colombia, Guity Javid Wes Bradford 2017-10-24 07:00:00Z 0

Membership (“Creating a Stronger and More Vibrant Club”), Kathleen Terry

Posted by Wes Bradford on Oct 17, 2017

Kathleen Terry, District SAG for Membership, is Past President of Manhattan Beach Rotary Club 2013-14. She is a founder of Participative Management Systems and has presented many programs on business teambuilding, customer relations, and working with today’s diverse high-speed workplaces, and has also facilitated community leadership programs.

Even small Clubs can be strong. Looking at our Club: small-medium-size (growing or shrinking), fun, exciting, dynamic, serving the community, and gender and race mix (think of the future). Look for sustainable growth over time. The challenges are recruitment, retention, and attracting younger members to maintain a good age distribution. Find them and bring them in, but don’t just follow old habits (“But we’ve always done it this way!”).

Retention begins before induction — why did you join Rotary? (Friendship, helping community, networking, etc.) What Creates the First Impression? 3 steps: Asking, Website, & First Meeting. (You only have one chance to make a first impression.) Who invited you to join Rotary? Each one reach one (customers, associates, friends, etc.). Think of someone you could invite.

Attracting younger members — 90% of Rotarians are over 40 years old. Younger members may be concerned about inconvenience of meetings, time, cost, “hanging” with friends, different ways of communication (social media). Compare this to cost of gym membership and pop music concerts. Rotary District & International dues are actually $135/year. Is our cost structure prohibitive? Younger members look for fellowship, service, fun meetings, family-friendly, flexible schedules, low cost. Do service projects involve family members? Are “traditions” a turnoff? Are younger members offered leadership positions?

Our website has been updated. Our Facebook page needs more photos. What do people experience in their first meeting? (How do we treat our guests?) In 2016, RI suggested more flexibility, relaxed attendance & meeting types, and inviting Rotaractors to be members. Retention: ~50% leave within 3 years of membership. They stay for friendship and serving the community. How to keep them: everyone knows your name and is glad you came. Identify, inform, and engage. Be willing to change and adapt, with commitment of the entire Club. (We need to get our photos and biographies on our website, and get an up-to-date group photo.

Membership (“Creating a Stronger and More Vibrant Club”), Kathleen Terry Wes Bradford 2017-10-17 07:00:00Z 0

District Governor Cozette Vergari's Visit

Posted by Wes Bradford on Oct 10, 2017

Induction of Mario Santoyo (Premier Bank), by DG Vergari & PDG Lew Bertrand

District Governor Cozette Vergari has her own law firm in Family Law and Trust & Estates. She has served as legal counsel for minor children in high-conflict custody battles. She graduated from USC in Dance and a Master's in Education. She taught high school and college dance, operated dance studios and retail dancewear, and was a professional choreographer, before her legal career.

She joined the Westchester Rotary Club in 1995 and chaired the opening-night event at the 2008 RI Convention in Los Angeles. She is also on the Board of Directors for 1736 Family Crisis Center and the US Selective Service System. Her husband is also a Rotarian. She has a grandson, and a new granddaughter is on the way in several days.

DG Vergari's theme this year is “Make Dreams Come True”. She reviewed the types of District support resources for the Clubs, including the District leaders, the office staff, and the District newsletters and website. She also reviewed her goals for this Rotary Year.

The goal of $18.20/member raised for polio has been exceeded. Rob DeCou's (Playa Venice Sunrise) Run To End Polio, from Death Valley 232 feet below sea level to Mt Whitney 14,494 feet above sea level over 3 days in August raised an amount to be revealed at our annual Rotary Foundation Celebration on October 28. (Our Club still has 6 spaces to the Celebration available.)

The District Humanitarian Trip to Colombia March 21-30, 2018, will have 130 Rotarians from our District (10 spaces are still available). The trip will be split between Bucaramanga and Bogotá; participants can choose either or both.

Our District sponsored a Child Sex Trafficking Forum in March at Loyola Marymount, with presenters from Homeland Security, the FBI, LAPD, and the LA County Sheriff’s Department. Court representatives explained how it deals with child victims of commercial sexual exploitation. Elected officials, mental health professionals and nonprofit organizations were also represented. Our District is creating a Human Trafficking Task Force as a model for Rotary Districts in California, Nevada, and Arizona; Cozette will be the state coordinator for California. (RI is also looking into this kind of project.)

Our Club donated $100 tonight to the Rotary Foundation in DG Vergari's honor.

District Governor Cozette Vergari's Visit Wes Bradford 2017-10-10 07:00:00Z 0
Social Hour at Offsite Venue, Luna Rossa Wes Bradford 2017-10-03 07:00:00Z 0

“The Caribbean Endeavor” (Larry Andrews’s 2nd Novel)

Posted by Wes Bradford on Sep 05, 2017

Our long-time Club member Larry Andrews describes himself as an engineer, “watchmaker”, rocket scientist, program manager, and reader, with interests in the arts, travel, people and other cultures. He published his first novel, “A Space Oddity”, but the publisher went bankrupt (Larry denies any responsibility for that), so he had to republish it himself to keep it in circulation.

Larry writes about places he’s been, in situations he is familiar with and/or can imagine. He has just published his 2nd novel, which he self-published with the help of Amazon. He had to edit and design the book himself (including front and back cover and layout), but he hired a designer for help. Amazon publishes ~1000 books/week, so social media marketing is essential for successful writing and publishing today. Writers need to read others in order to write well. He meets with a writer’s group at the Library, writing ~2000 words/week and getting feedback on each section from other writers.

His book starts with a collection of scenes, outline of characters and environment (places he has been, in this case 12 days on a Caribbean cruise ship), with mystery, murder & suspense. His characters include 2 young CIA agents (undercover as newlyweds), a NY Mafia boss with an attractive daughter and a security guard (a boyhood friend of the male CIA agent), and an attractive Italian female Interpol agent. They observe a partnership forming between the Mafia family and a Colombian drug cartel, but a competing cartel complicates the action. See website for more information,

“The Caribbean Endeavor” (Larry Andrews’s 2nd Novel) Wes Bradford 2017-09-05 07:00:00Z 0

PV Chamber of Commerce, Eileen Hupp

Posted by Wes Bradford on Aug 29, 2017

Eileen Hupp, a member of the Palos Verdes Peninsula Rotary Club, has been President & CEO of the Palos Verdes Peninsula Chamber of Commerce for 6 years. Previously, she was a consultant for business development strategies, and has worked with national retailers for mergers and acquisitions, strategic planning, marketing, advertising and finance. She has Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Johns Hopkins and an MBA from The University of Chicago.

The Palos Verdes Peninsula Chamber of Commerce was founded in 1956 and has over 400 business members. Its new office address is 4040 Palos Verdes Drive North, Suite 205, in Rolling Hills Estates. Its economic programs include the Local First Campaign (shop, dine and do business locally), Community Showcase, Palos Verdes Street Fair and Music Festival, the Salute to Business Award, and economic forecasting. When businesses thrive, quality of life improves in the community.

Business promotion includes discounted advertising, business ribbon cuttings, social media, displaying members’ business literature in the Chamber’s lobby, Human Resources consulting, and Office Depot discounts. The Chamber’s website lists businesses with maps, and it sends emails on monthly nonprofit events. (All employees & individual members of member organizations, including our Club, are also members.) Business members can advertise on the Chamber website. There are morning and evening mixers for young professionals. Chamber members can receive business referrals and serve on committees to build business relationships.

The Chamber advocates for business interests with local, state and national government officials, holds Legislative Forums for candidates for public office (without endorsement of candidates), and holds an Annual Legislative Lunch. It partners with other local, state and US Chambers of Commerce on areas of common interest. The chamber sponsors educational activities such as high school seminars and the Young Entrepreneurs Academy (a 3-hour weekly students’ program for learning how to start a business; volunteers are needed). Eileen invited us to a Chamber event on Friday, September 8, honoring first responders in commemoration of 9/11. They will also deliver cookies & coffee to them on Monday, 9/11 (volunteers are welcome).

Our Rotarian Jackie Crowley was the 2014 Volunteer of the Year. Our Palos Verdes Sunset Rotary Club was recognized as an Outstanding Community Service Organization during the year that Sandy Farrell was our President. Eileen recommends that we send photos documenting our community service projects. The website is, phone (310) 377-8111.

PV Chamber of Commerce, Eileen Hupp Wes Bradford 2017-08-29 07:00:00Z 0

Rotaract, Dominique Alvarez & Ray Godoy

Posted by Wes Bradford on Aug 22, 2017

Dominique & Raymond described their experiences at the 2017 Big West Rotaract Institute, representing Rotaract Clubs from many universities. The keynote speakers were Richard King and Brad Howard.

The attendees divided into separate groups (called Lions, Golden Retrievers, Beavers, & Otters), writing about their individual characteristics and personalities and how they translate into leadership principles.

Among the issues discussed were membership recruitment & engagement, leadership, delegation, and shared experiences, reinforced by group exercises to build experience and confidence. They studied the process of goal-setting, such as “active members by end of semester”, then evaluating at the end of the interval for feedback. They reviewed social events, projects, (such as Boys & Girls Clubs), and Club T-shirts. (It sounds like what we do in leadership training.)

Rotaract, Dominique Alvarez & Ray Godoy Wes Bradford 2017-08-22 07:00:00Z 0

Jacques and Astrid Naviaux Memorial, Arlington National Cemetery

Posted by Wes Bradford on Aug 21, 2017
Arlington National Cemetery, Aug 21, 2017
     (Arlington Photo by Norman Wong)
Jacques Naviaux [LtCol USMC (Ret)] was our Club President in 2010-11.
Astrid Naviaux was our Club President in 2005-06.
Semper Fi, Jacques & Astrid!
Jacques and Astrid Naviaux Memorial, Arlington National Cemetery Wes Bradford 2017-08-21 07:00:00Z 0

Wally Christmas, Duty in Cambodia (Part 2)

Posted by Wes Bradford on Aug 15, 2017

Wally Christmas (RAdm, USN Ret) was stationed in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, from June 1974 to April 1975 while the Vietnam War was winding down. Wally was stationed with the Military Equipment Delivery Team assigned to support the Cambodian military and government against the Khmer Rouge which had taken over the countryside and was closing in on the capital city. (The insurgents were mostly illiterate farmers who resented the educated “westernized” city people.)

On April 3, 1975, air evacuation began (Operation “Pull Eagle”) of US and other foreign personnel and selected Cambodians. Wally was on this flight (to Thailand) after his in-country duties had been terminated. By April 10, the road to the airport was cut off, and helicopter evacuation began on April 12 with the closure of the US Embassy. On April 17, the Khmer Rouge forces entered the city, greeted by cheering crowds (possibly hoping to avoid harm to themselves). By the end of the same day, the Khmer Rouge began force-marching the city inhabitants into the countryside to “live off the land” with no other assistance. Other foreigners left behind described these chaotic events; they took refuge in the French Embassy until they could be evacuated. (A video clip from the “Killing Fields” film was shown of this day’s events; the film was about a New York Times reporter who had stayed behind.)

The Khmer Rouge under Pol Pot were ultra-Maoists who wanted to return their country to an agrarian Marxist “past”. They summarily executed anyone who showed signs of education, literacy, or foreign influence. An estimated 1.8 million lives were lost, a massive genocide of their own people.

Wally Christmas, Duty in Cambodia (Part 2) Wes Bradford 2017-08-15 07:00:00Z 0

Tree Planting, Elizabeth Skrzat

Posted by Wes Bradford on Aug 08, 2017

Elizabeth Skrzat, a member of the LA5 Rotary Club, has been working with the environmental importance of trees since 2012, and has helped raise $19 million for tree planting in Los Angeles. (RI President Risely has challenged us to plant a tree for every Rotarian.)

The tree canopy in the Los Angeles area is in crisis, with aging trees, uneven distribution, and heat-related diseases and pests. The shot hole borer drills into the bark of distressed trees and grows a “fungus farm” inside for its food, which kills the tree. Many trees including 90% of California sycamores are expected to die from this over the next decade. Xylella is a worldwide insect-born bacterium that kills trees from the top down (the San Fernando Valley has an epidemic of this).

The City-Plants Partnership includes several organizations such as the LA Conservation Corps, the LA DWP and the LA Sanitation Department. 40,000 trees are planned for planting in low-canopy neighborhoods in the next 2 years. Partnership activities include providing residence trees, street trees, tree “adoption” to families and organizations, and volunteer tree-planting events. Providing a tree-adoption to the care of a family costs $80, and planting a tree along a sidewalk with 3 years of watering costs ~$2000.

Elizabeth urges us to create a tree-adoption event, and to reach out to schools and parks departments. We need to determine who would like to have a tree and who would take care of it, and a watering plan until it is established. A study is determining which varieties of trees have improved drought- & pest-resistance. Palms are “nice for photos”, but not very practical for shade and CO2 sequestration.

Tree Planting, Elizabeth Skrzat Wes Bradford 2017-08-08 07:00:00Z 0

Lodel Caplan, Craft Talk

Posted by Wes Bradford on Aug 01, 2017

Lodel was born in Mindanao, the southern main island of the Philippines, at a time when there was political unrest on that island due to conflicts between the government and the Muslim minority there. She has 2 younger brothers.

The family soon moved to the central islands (Visayas), where her father established a dental office. She describes her early life there as “good”, but her father died when she was age 5. Her mother moved the family to Manila in the northern island of Luzon with relatives, where they could live in an apartment building built by her grandparents.

They moved to California when she was 14. Her mother found a job working for a Catholic Church, so Lodel was in the choir and enrolled in the church school.

She joined the Toastmasters to improve her confidence and speaking ability, where she met her future husband, Jon Caplan. She works for the administration of the Molina Medical Group, which provides care for Medi-Cal & indigent patients (which has business uncertainty now due to threatened cutbacks in government healthcare support). She feels honored to be a part of Rotary.

Lodel Caplan, Craft Talk Wes Bradford 2017-08-01 07:00:00Z 0

Wally Christmas, Duty in Cambodia (Part 1)

Posted by Wes Bradford on Jul 25, 2017

Wally Christmas (RAdm, USN Ret) was stationed in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, from June 1974 to April 1975 while the Vietnam War was winding down. Communist insurgencies in neighboring countries were a US concern, and the US wanted to keep Cambodia a buffer state with a “friendly” government, while the US Congress cut off most funds for military activities. Wally was stationed with the Military Equipment Delivery Team assigned to support the Cambodian military and government against the Khmer Rouge which had taken over the countryside and was threatening the city. (The insurgents were mostly illiterate farmers who resented the educated “westernized” city people.)

The capital city was supplied by riverboats up the Mekong River from Vietnam, which soon became impossible because of Khmer Rouge fire from the riverbanks. US C-130 supply planes maintained an airlift, soon replaced by the Bird Airways (a “clandestine” airline). Wally was one of 6 US Naval Officers assigned to work with their Cambodian counterparts for logistics, including supplying parts for the riverboats. He spoke of isolated life in the capital with danger of terrorist acts and rocket-propelled grenades, although his life was comfortable.

On April 3, the US government began evacuating US personnel, and Wally was on the first flight out. He mentioned relief agencies, including Catholic Relief Services and World Vision, who were very dedicated but overwhelmed. When the city fell in April 1975, some of them took Cambodian infants out with them for later adoption.

(Wally’s 2nd installment talk will cover the “exciting” 2 weeks after his departure.)

Wally Christmas, Duty in Cambodia (Part 1) Wes Bradford 2017-07-25 07:00:00Z 0

Palos Verdes Sunset Goals for 2017-18

Posted by Wes Bradford on Jul 18, 2017

Incoming President Jon Caplan & other board members outlined our Club’s goals and challenges for the coming year.

To help implement our Club’s programs, we would like to achieve a net gain of 5 members, and develop a more formal orientation process for new members as well as improve our outreach to past members and guests.

We want to continue our 100% Club participation in the Paul Harris Dinner drawing ticket book purchases. We are working on our Kisumu Siany Child Development Global Grant project in East Africa. (This is depending on coordination by the African host Club.) We would like at least one of our Club members to participate in the upcoming District humanitarian trip to Bogotá, Colombia. We want to offer a Rotary Moment presentation once a month on notable activities and programs, to review what we are accomplishing in Rotary.

We are working on adopting a community school for a community project, and would also like to participate in or partner with another Club on a project. We need to develop a fundraiser for this year to support our Club projects, and are looking for creative ideas from our members. Please contact Jon. We want to involve our Rotaractors and Interactors as volunteers in our projects. We will continue to support Project EGO and hope to secure a grant from the Norris Foundation.

We are working on updating our Facebook page and website to provide more information about upcoming programs. We are creating Club website bios for each member, so Jon needs your input on “who you are”. We also want to create a website page for each of our projects, so project leaders should write up a short description and submit any relevant photos. We are looking for suggestions for speakers for our programs.

Palos Verdes Sunset Goals for 2017-18 Wes Bradford 2017-07-18 07:00:00Z 0

Demotion Dinner for President John Jaacks

Posted by Wes Bradford on Jul 11, 2017

Guests and members were welcomed by Master of Ceremonies PDG Dave Moyers. After dinner with mellow background music, John Jaacks was “introduced”. Outgoing Officers and Board Members were thanked for their service during the Rotary Year. Our recently departed member Past-President Astrid Naviaux was remembered for her service including planning this Demotion Dinner.

DG Cozette Vergari presided over the Demotion and presentation of Past-President pin to John Jaacks. Jon Caplan was installed as Incoming President. The incoming 2017-18 Board of Officers was sworn in. After President Jon Caplan’s acceptance remarks, PDG Dave Moyers gave closing remarks, and the meeting was adjourned.

Demotion Dinner for President John Jaacks Wes Bradford 2017-07-11 07:00:00Z 0

America’s Great Loop (on a Yacht)

Posted by Wes Bradford on Jun 27, 2017

Steve and Meredith Shaw retired in October 2012, and bought a 45-foot boat in the Miami area to navigate the Great Loop (see map). With rivers and connecting canals, the eastern 1/3 of the US can be circumnavigated like an island. Their year-long trip of a lifetime covered ~7000 miles, passing through ~140 locks and under many bridges, illustrated for us with a series of travelogue photos. They met many other “Loopers” and friends along the way.

They started from Key Largo and Key West in Florida, going up the East Coast. They showed photos of manatees, Cape Canaveral rockets on display, container ships, and occasional biking into a town for supplies. They saw Staten Island 8 months after hurricane Sandy, and New York Harbor. They went up the Hudson River past West Point and took the Erie Canal to Canada, where they passed through the Trent Severn Waterway to Georgian Bay (northern Lake Huron).

They reentered the US and visited Mackinac Island in Michigan, then along the east coast of Lake Michigan to Chicago. They entered the Chicago River and then the Illinois River, where invasive Asian carp were seen characteristically jumping out of the water (when they hear the boat motor). From there they went down the Mississippi River with its many horseshoe bends, to the Tennessee and Tombigbee Rivers and to the Gulf Coast. They ended up at Fort Myers in Florida, where they were greeted by a large school of dolphins in celebration. (If you have a year of spare time and a boat on your hands, it sounds like an interesting experience.)

America’s Great Loop (on a Yacht) Wes Bradford 2017-06-27 07:00:00Z 0

US-Mexico Relations, Eddie Varón Levy

Posted by Wes Bradford on Jun 20, 2017

Eddie Varón Levy was introduced by Bob Welbourn, a defense attorney who has worked with him for many years. Eddie Varón was educated at Torrance West High School, El Camino College and CSU Long Beach. He received his law degree in Mexico City. He has offices in Mexico City and in Torrance, managing international criminal & civil litigation (“Justice Knows No Borders”).

The US-Mexico border spans ~3000 miles, some of which is in the center of the Rio Grande River, making the recently-promoted concept of building a border wall there problematic. He reviewed the long history of US-Mexico relations and the many areas of mutual cultural & economic interdependence. Political controversies on the international drug trade rage on both sides of the border. There are many cross-border families and cultural relationships.

Eddie Varón’s legal services deal with unique border-related criminal issues, advocating for constitutional rights of defendants. Other areas include administrative law, personal injury claims, and corporate and business law. He has helped clients accused of crimes in Mexico and the United States, and clients facing extradition, and has arranged prisoner exchanges with these governments. He has participated in international arbitration proceedings and discovery, administrative hearings for Social Security and Workers’ Compensation, and arbitration before regulatory agencies of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). He has pursued compensation for injuries from negligence, product liability, auto accidents and wrongful death. He helps clients with business formation and setup in the US and Mexico, international business disputes and regulatory hurdles.

US-Mexico Relations, Eddie Varón Levy Wes Bradford 2017-06-20 07:00:00Z 0

Lew Bertrand, Craft Talk

Posted by Wes Bradford on Jun 13, 2017
Lew Bertrand graduated from Loyola University in 1965, during the Vietnam War build up. (He was rejected by the US Army draft due to a high school knee injury.) He started working for the Credit Department at Uniroyal, which he found was 2 years behind in its billing. After cleaning up a mess there, he was transferred to the Pacific Northwest area.

Then he began working for the Pacific National Bank on Manchester Avenue. He did every job in the bank as a management trainee. About this time, he married Kathy. Then he transferred to Malaga Cove. He described his adventures in bank management (never a dull moment). He moved up the management ladder and worked in San Pedro.

He was sponsored to Rotary by Sylvia Benko & Marilyn Klaus. He became President of our Club in 2007-2008, and District Governor in 2012-2013. In 2015-2016 he became our Club President again (environmentally-friendly recycling program). He has also held many District positions as well as Club offices.

Lew Bertrand, Craft Talk Wes Bradford 2017-06-13 07:00:00Z 0

High Schools Students of the Year (Audrey Dahlgren)

Posted by Wes Bradford on Jun 06, 2017

Club Vocational Co-Chair Audrey Dahlgren introduced the 2 Students of the Year, Dean Dellovade (Palos Verdes High School) and Max La Forest (Peninsula High School), their parents, and their school counselors, Teresa Hoffman, Joanne Lewis, and Julie Arico.

Their counselors reviewed the students’ high school contributions, including good grades, initiative, leadership, and extracurricular activities. Each received a $1000 Scholarship and a plaque from our Club.

Dean has been admitted to the University of Washington where he plans to major in business. Max has been admitted to California State University at Long Beach where he plans to major in microbiology. We extend our congratulations to these outstanding students and wish them the best in their future careers! Thanks to Audrey Dahlgren for her work in planning and coordinating these awards, and to the school counselors for nurturing our future generation.

High Schools Students of the Year (Audrey Dahlgren) Wes Bradford 2017-06-06 07:00:00Z 0

Salvation Army, Dr Jim Hartman

Posted by Wes Bradford on May 30, 2017

Jim Hartman is a member of the Palos Verdes Peninsula Rotary Club and twice Past-President. He grew up in Ohio and completed his education at Ohio University with MEd in Counseling and Student Personnel Services, MA in Sociology, and PhD in Higher Education Administration and Counselor Education. After moving to California, he became Director of Institutional Planning & Accreditation at The Salvation Army College for Officer Training at Crestmont, on Hawthorne Blvd in Rancho Palos Verdes. (This campus was formerly the Loyola Marymount College, which moved to the Miraleste area of Rancho Palos Verdes.)

The Salvation Army was formed in London in 1865 by Rev William Booth, who left his ministry in the Methodist Church to minister to the poor in the East End of London, England. To further its religious commitment for meeting the needs of the disadvantaged, it became a military-like organization with military ranks and uniforms. It spread to other countries, and helped provide important community services to victims of the devastating 1906 San Francisco earthquake. Since then, it has grown into one of the world’s largest charitable organizations in 107 countries. It has 4 administrative Territories in the US, including the Western Territory (13 states), providing hundreds of centers for feeding seniors and homeless, low cost senior housing, day care centers, energy assistance programs, addiction treatment services, vocational training, youth centers, residential and day camps, and education and tutoring programs.

The College for Officer Training in Rancho Palos Verdes trains officers to give leadership to these programs and services. There are 4 such colleges in the US, offering a 2-year program for ministry, Bible study, social studies and supervised field-work. Families can live on campus, and spouses who work together are given equal ranks. Graduation is Friday this week. Jim Hartman showed photos of the beautiful campus.

Salvation Army, Dr Jim Hartman Wes Bradford 2017-05-30 07:00:00Z 0

Project EGO Awards Banquet

Posted by Wes Bradford on May 23, 2017

Dinner was served, while award recipient Gabriel Lamas played his guitar and sang.

Robert Babb, MFT, introduced the 18 graduates and reviewed their progress and educational/career goals. Project EGO Chair John Turner presented checks from the PV Sunset Rotary Club, and PVPUSD Coordinator Kelly Baranick assisted.

Congratulations to the 18 graduates of the 2016-17 Project EGO Program, who received the following awards (totaling $26,500 from our Club) toward their educational and career goals:

$2000  Jenevieve Ghaly                                     $1250  Manal Gill

$2000  Christopher Vallejo                                 $1250  Austin Jacks

$2000  Rhiannon Prine                                      $1250  Gabriel Lamas

$2000  Muneeb Khan                                        $1250  Sally Ishizawa

$2000  Jeffrey Jimena                                       $1000  Kevin Dill

$1500  Joshua Sanchez                                     $1000  Maverick Marcellana

$1500  Natalia Moreno                                      $1000  Mia Martinez

$1500  Cameron Hosmer                                   $1000  Eric Hauschildt

$1500  Courtlyn Foster                                       

$1500  Brianna Garcia                                        

Project EGO Awards Banquet Wes Bradford 2017-05-23 07:00:00Z 0

Gang Report, Martín Flores

Posted by Wes Bradford on May 16, 2017

Martín Flores was introduced by Bob Welbourn, a defense attorney who has known him as a consultant for many years. Martín graduated from Roosevelt High School and grew up in a gang-influenced neighborhood in Boyle Heights, where 88% of the students perform below grade average. Many of them have single parents and lack role models. However, he received a Rotary scholarship, and attended UC Berkeley and UCLA. While in college, his 17-year-old brother was killed by gang activity.

After college, Martín worked for the city of Inglewood, organizing youth activities. He did community relations work in Watts. He discussed how providing educational opportunities for incarcerated people provides better opportunities for them when they return to their community after release, and reduces recidivism. Building leadership skills and self-esteem help provide viable alternatives to criminal activities.

Martín has been a gang expert for 10 years, and has served as an expert witness in court cases for homicides and capital offenses. Being familiar with different gangs in the Los Angeles area and their territories, tattoos, “signs”, graffiti, and vandalism, he has been able to provide expert testimony when the penalty depends on whether a defendant is a participating gang member. He gave the example of riding in a car with associates when someone else in the car pulls out a gun and shoots a victim. Prosecutors usually allege that all individuals present are in the gang, but this is not necessarily true. Associates, friends and relatives of gang members are not necessarily gang members themselves. He works to assess these relationships and testify about this information to the court.

Gang Report, Martín Flores Wes Bradford 2017-05-16 07:00:00Z 0

Student of the Year (Rancho Del Mar and Marymount)

Posted by Wes Bradford on May 09, 2017

Vocational Service Chair Audrey Dahlgren introduced the Student of the Year honorees and their parents and school officials.

Kim Gill, Counselor at Rancho Del Mar High School in Rolling Hills, introduced student of the year Sarah Ivna Skunca and her mother. (Rancho Del Mar has the same graduation requirements as the other 2 high schools in Palos Verdes. However, it is not bound by traditional high school schedules, to allow for early graduation, independent studies, and/or for students with financial or situational/family problems to proceed at their own pace.)

Sarah transferred from Palos Verdes Peninsula High School and has gotten all A’s. She is interested in arts and cosmetology. She plans to attend Los Angeles Harbor College and then transfer to CSU Long Beach for business studies.

Dave Tomblin, Business Faculty at Marymount and Rotaract Faculty Advisor (and member of LA5 Rotary Club and Assistant Governor for Club Service) introduced student of the year Dominique Alvarez and her parents. Sarah is majoring in Media Studies (Broadcasting and Journalism) at Marymount California University and is active in Rotaract. Among her many service activities have been fundraising for PolioPlus, collecting baby supplies for service families at Camp Pendleton, Boys and Girls Club of San Pedro, nursing home service, and volunteer work projects.

Student of the Year (Rancho Del Mar and Marymount)  Wes Bradford 2017-05-09 07:00:00Z 0

Karla Munguia, Craft Talk

Posted by Wes Bradford on May 02, 2017

Karla, our newest member, works in Lien Resolution Service. She was born in León, near the Pacific coast in Nicaragua, where her father was a Rotarian. She attended school there (K-12) at the Colegio Pureza de María. The Nicaraguan Civil War was going on, and she wanted to see the world. She came to the US in 1981 and attended CSU Los Angeles while working part-time. (Her son was born here in 1986.)

She works on resolving liens for denied claims in the California Worker’s Compensation System, for medical providers and interpreters. (Enforcement and collectability of judgments depends on the debtors’ assets.)

She joined the Calvary Chapel in Downey and began studying the Bible. She went on a short mission trip to Cebu in The Philippines in 2013. To promote good financial stewardship, she believes in pursuing ethical work as one’s mission field (“Preaching without words”). She was influenced by Rabbi Lappin who had been interviewed on a religious program. He promoted the virtues of character, integrity and service; cultivate these, and you will prosper.

Living by these principles, Karla believes in serving without expectation of reward, which is what led her to join Rotary. Welcome to our Club, Karla! (We have service projects waiting for you!)

Karla Munguia, Craft Talk Wes Bradford 2017-05-02 07:00:00Z 0

Sharefest, Christopher Yco

Posted by Wes Bradford on Apr 25, 2017

Christopher Yco, formerly of the Lomita-Torrance-Airport Rotary Club, joined Sharefest to work full-time changing the learning environment of at-risk students. (He met Todd Doram, a Sharefest guest here tonight, in Rotaract.) Chris presented a video of a workday last year showing volunteers renovating school classrooms, gardens, playgrounds and athletic fields. (This is similar to our Club’s workday scheduled at Wilmington Intermediate School on April 29.)

Among Sharefest’s projects is the Summer Youth Development Academy in partnership with CSU Dominguez Hills, providing youth with opportunities to expand their potential and experience hope as they identify needs in their communities and discover leadership skills. This programming includes daily instruction and leadership development, mentoring, academic enrichment, swimming and athletics for at-risk students. A 4-week high school program is scheduled for July 10-August 4, 8-1 PM M-F, and a similar middle school program is scheduled for the same time. They are served breakfast and lunch, and are bussed in if necessary. These programs have demonstrated higher graduation rates and test scores, and decreased gang activity. Chris invites us to come to CSU Dominguez Hills during this program to see what they do there (see

Other Sharefest projects include activities at 4 LAUSD Continuation Schools, a year-round Youth Leadership Council, and a Youth Development Center. Funding comes from community organizations and corporate donations, and depends on volunteers like us to do the work. Those who volunteer for the service projects (such as our project at Wilmington Intermediate School) experience the gratification of making a meaningful difference in the lives of youth who are struggling to transition to productive adult lives.

Sharefest, Christopher Yco Wes Bradford 2017-04-25 07:00:00Z 0

Rotaract Club (Marymount California U)

Posted by Wes Bradford on Apr 18, 2017

Victoria Perez, who helped lead the MCU Rotaract Club while she was a student there, introduced our Rotaract speakers, Dominique Alvarez and Raymond Godoy. Their Faculty Advisor is Dave Tomblin, an Associate Professor of Business Administration there, and also our Area AG for Club Service and a member of the LA5 Rotary Club. (He proposed that our Club fund a scholarship for Marymount California students.)

Dominique Alvarez is a Junior in Media Studies (Broadcasting and Journalism) at CMU. She was awarded Student of the Year by our Rotary Club in April 2016 for her activities in the award-winning Rotaract Club, including fundraising to End Polio. Among recent Rotaract activities is a fundraiser selling Rotaract Club “Mariner” t-shirts ($15), with proceeds going towards the Club’s future service projects.

Raymond Godoy is a Senior in Business Administration at CMU. He served an internship in the Vernon Police Department and now has a part-time job there. He plans to continue working part time while studying for an MBA, and is interested in City Administration.

The Marymount Rotaract Club has won awards at the District level as well as on campus for its many outstanding activities and events. These have included End Polio Now fundraising, organizing a Backpacks & School Supplies collection for the District’s Panama Humanitarian Project (2016), Cabrillo Beach cleanup, collecting baby supplies for Camp Pendleton military families, elementary school service, District 5280 Youth Leadership Conference, Palos Verdes Land Conservancy, and Holiday Toy Drive.

Rotaract Club (Marymount California U) Wes Bradford 2017-04-18 07:00:00Z 0

AirTech Advanced Materials, Brian Grossheim

Posted by Wes Bradford on Apr 11, 2017

Brian Grossheim is a technical specialist for AirTech International, a global advanced materials company owned by Bill Dahlgren, Audrey’s spouse. The company was started in 1973 in San Bernardino, and has expanded to many facilities in foreign countries with ~850 employees.

Brian described various materials and fabrication techniques used for customers, including military. The company designs and produces vacuum bagging, composite materials tooling, fiberglass & other auxiliary materials, films, tapes, and sealants for tubes. The company tries to be a 1-stop shop for complex materials used in panels, aircraft, boats, racecar carbon fiber chassis, wind-energy blades, and circuit boards. Photos of construction processes and finished products were shown.

AirTech Advanced Materials, Brian Grossheim Wes Bradford 2017-04-11 07:00:00Z 0

Bob Welbourn, Unusual Legal Cases

Posted by Wes Bradford on Apr 04, 2017

Bob Welbourn was the Founding President of our Rotary Club. He formerly participated in scuba diving with other Rotarians, and still wears his rusty Rotary badge from the days when he took it on seawater dives (“Surface Above Self!”).

Bob is a criminal defense attorney in Los Angeles. He described 4 of his most unusual legal defense cases.

The home of a marijuana legalization advocate was raided ~10 years ago by the LAPD, who pulled up 200 pounds of marijuana plants there. The defendant had been medically discharged from the US Air Force for sickle cell anemia, which causes recurring attacks of severe pain in the bones and internal organs. Her only pain relief was morphine and marijuana, and the marijuana worked better. She was managed by a UCLA physician who testified that he had prescribed marijuana for her pain relief. There were community demonstrations on her behalf, and a sensational trial resulted in her acquittal.

A double homicide was committed by a hotheaded defendant, one of 2 men in his car, who shot and killed 2 people in an adjacent vehicle in apparent road rage, and escaped. The trail went cold until 1 year later when one of the 2 was arrested on a parole violation; a gun was recovered from him, and ballistics studies linked it to the earlier murder. He was convicted and imprisoned.

A 16-year-old boy in Compton, trying to join a gang, engaged in initiation activity when a tagger was seen painting over the gang’s graffiti, a disrespectful act. One of the gang members went up and shot the tagger dead. A girl who witnessed the shooting later saw this client on Facebook and identified him to the police. When he was arrested, he admitted the crime to the police. The court sentenced him to 25 years to life in prison.

An eccentric Manhattan Beach resident (who claimed to have an MD & PhD from Canada) was repairing his roof. Another person came and offered to help in exchange for a room there, which he accepted. However, soon several of this person’s “friends” were also moving in. A woman in that group accused this resident of abusing her (battery). Police officers came to the house, arrested the man and beat him badly (their body cameras had been turned backward so they recorded only blank video). A restraining order was taken out forbidding him from coming within 100 yards from his own home. (The outcome is still pending.)

Bob Welbourn, Unusual Legal Cases Wes Bradford 2017-04-04 07:00:00Z 0

Victoria Perez, Craft Talk

Posted by Wes Bradford on Mar 28, 2017

Victoria Perez attended the Port of LA High School, where she was Yearbook Editor and Sailing Team Captain. She attended Marymount California University majoring in Business & Global Studies and joined the Rotaract Club there, becoming its President. Her big leadership year was 2015-16 as the District 5280 Rotaract Representative, and Student Government President responsible for managing the budget, running meetings, managing campus events and overseeing student organizations. Her Rotaract Club was the Outstanding Club on Campus and was recognized in District 5280 for its outstanding successful projects.

Victoria’s first job was at age 16 as Assistant Events Coordinator for vendors providing gifts to celebrities for marketing purposes. She worked for Bon Appétit Management Company, catering at Terranea Resort. She is now Project Manager at Leap & Bound Academy (, managing customer service, events, teacher training activities, holidays, and summer programs.

Victoria’s hobbies include design, card making and candy making. She was exposed to Rotary in high school by receiving a scholarship from the San Pedro Rotary Club, and values the leadership experiences, serving others, and networking with interesting people.

Victoria Perez, Craft Talk Wes Bradford 2017-03-28 07:00:00Z 0

Jason Agcaoili, Craft Talk

Posted by Wes Bradford

Our new member Jason Agcaoili was born in the Philippines where his father was in the military. He joined the US Air Force as an intelligence analyst. He left the Air Force in 2001, but after the World Trade Center attack on 9/11/2001 in New York, he worked for the Defense Intelligence Agency for 9 years. He worked in marketing for Boeing in 2013-16, and then became a realtor for Coldwell Banker in Palos Verdes. He is married and has 2 children, age 4 & 2.

Jason has been active in Veterans Affairs and belongs to the American Legion Post 184 in Redondo Beach. He showed photos of villagers & poverty in Afghanistan during his duty there. These experiences motivated him to the ideals of service and community involvement. He also wants to be a good role model for his children and provide the benefits of his past experiences.

Jason Agcaoili, Craft Talk Wes Bradford 2017-03-21 07:00:00Z 0

Chase Thacker, Craft Talk

Posted by Wes Bradford on Mar 14, 2017

Our new member Chase Thacker started his first job at age 13, helping his father with maintenance at a preschool. He had dyslexia in school, but thrived in the Boy Scouts in North Redondo Beach and then in South Redondo Beach, attaining Eagle rank at age 14. Exercising leadership skills, he started an Adventure Crew. The Venturing program is for Scouts over age 14 (now including young women) to focus more on career exploration and less on advanced outdoor activities.

After graduating from Redondo Union High School, he attended community college while working for his family. He loved climbing and backpacking in Colorado, and attended the University of Colorado at Boulder for a business economics degree.

Chase helped his father in business from an early age and started a Gymboree franchise, eventually expanding to 9 centers in Los Angeles. He became frustrated that the franchise contract wouldn’t allow “innovative business development”, and lost a lawsuit on that issue. He started Tumble Camp for preschool children, but it struggled due to not being a full-day program. Now his Leap & Bound Academy (LBA) owns 3 preschools in Torrance, Redondo Beach, and The Medical Center (2 Blocks North of PCH in Torrance).

Chase works as Operations Manager with many roles, never boring. His future plans include improvements in the website, marketing, teacher morale and employee perquisites, training, customer database, and maintenance department. He also wants to open an infant care center with bus transportation.

Chase Thacker, Craft Talk Wes Bradford 2017-03-14 07:00:00Z 0

End Polio Now Campaign, Shirley Giltzow

Posted by Wes Bradford on Mar 07, 2017

Shirley Giltzow is our District 5280 PolioPlus Chair. She is pleased to report that only 3 polio cases have been reported in the world so far this year, in Afghanistan & Pakistan (where there is still military conflict and misunderstandings). The number of cases has steadily decreased from 350,000 annually over the last 3 decades, and we are “This Close” to eradicating polio.

She showed photos of polio vaccination drops being given. This activity has come at a high price, with 65 polio service workers killed in the last 3 years in this war-torn area. This year is the 100th anniversary of the Rotary Foundation, started by Archie Klumpf with $26.50. Last year our District achieved its fundraising goal of 100% of members contributing $26.50/member, the first District in the world of Rotary to accomplish this challenge. Our District goal for fundraising this Rotary year is the same. Bring in your checks (made out to the Rotary Foundation for PolioPlus), which our Club Treasurer can forward to the District.

John Jaacks related his family member experience with polio many years ago. Ralph Black described his medical school experience with the polio epidemic, and Wes Bradford described his participation in the multi-District Polio-Corrective Surgery Project to Uganda in 1998 and to India in 2000.

End Polio Now Campaign, Shirley Giltzow Wes Bradford 2017-03-07 08:00:00Z 0

Dan Dreiling, Chief of Police (ret), PV Estates

Posted by Wes Bradford on Feb 28, 2017

Dan Dreiling was born and raised in Los Angeles. He graduated from the FBI Academy, and joined the Palos Verdes Estates Police Department in 1981. He became Chief, and retired in 2013. Because of political turmoil on the City Council and loss of the City Manager, he was appointed interim City Manager, from which he is now also retired.

He discussed the stresses in law enforcement today related to effects of political partisanship, public policy changes and social trends. Sensational publicized police shootings of black men have led to calls for quick justice, although a thorough investigation by a neighboring law enforcement agency, prosecutors, local politicians (for city liability), and sometimes federal civil rights investigators may take up to 6 months to ensure reliable documentation of the facts for an unambiguous judgment of fault. Bystanders may have conflicting interpretations of what occurred, and delay in announcing conclusions is often interpreted as “cover-up” or delaying to allow the controversy to fade.

He is concerned about the consequences of California legislation releasing prisoners early (ostensibly those without violent tendencies), to relieve prison crowding (in response to a federal court ruling and constrained by chronic budget problems). Also, some crimes previously classified as felonies were reclassified as misdemeanors. Some state prisoners have been reassigned to local jails for at least part of their sentences, increasing jail crowding and inmate stresses. Of 50,000 statewide releases, about 18,000 are in the Los Angeles area. Many cases are settled with reduced charges to minimize costs and court congestion.

He reviewed his experiences stemming from a meeting of law enforcement officers at the Holiday Inn Hotel (now DoubleTree) in Torrance on February 14, 1994. They were mostly unarmed and not in uniform in a room, when a gunman barged in and ordered them to put their hands on top of their heads. Chief Dreiling recalled raising his hands cautiously with a gun at the back of his head. The gunman went to another officer who was not cooperating, and shot him dead. Another officer was also shot, when Chief Dreiling and other officers wrestled the gunman to the floor and held him immobilized while trying to retrieve the gun. Chief Dreiling held his knee on the gunman’s neck to help keep him immobilized until help arrived.

The District Attorney’s investigation of alleged “lethal force” by Chief Dreiling against the gunman on the floor became a stressful 6-month nightmare for him, with investigators who had not been there questioning whether the force he used was excessive in severity or duration to immobilize the gunman before handcuffs were made available. News media coverage about the tactics used was questioning and unfavorable. (The Chief survived the controversy, and is still here. He seems relieved to be retired.)

Dan Dreiling, Chief of Police (ret), PV Estates Wes Bradford 2017-02-28 08:00:00Z 0

Rolling Hills Country Club Project

Posted by Wes Bradford on Feb 21, 2017

Greg Sullivan is the General Manager at Rolling Hills Country Club. He graduated from Oklahoma State University in 1988, and then worked for La Quinta and for La Canada-Flintridge Country Club before coming to Rolling Hills CC in 1994.

The Rolling Hills Country Club golf course closed in 2015 for a major remodeling project. The club’s lease with Chandler Sand & Gravel was expiring and the gravel pit with its heavy truck traffic had closed. Major earthmoving (6 million yds³) was required for contouring the hills and deep holes. A developer is building 114 houses on 1/3-acre lots on the edge of the property, and additional land was obtained from Torrance requiring a complicated border exchange with Rolling Hills Estates.

Planning for a new golf course and facilities for family activities started in 2002, but was stopped by the 2007 stock market crash. Planning resumed again several years ago with the improving economy. There is a 7000 ft² clubhouse plus family amenities such as swimming pools and exercise facilities on 220 acres, with a view of city lights. The expectation is to appeal to many more families in the broader South Bay area.

There will be an Open House around October 2017 (delayed somewhat by recent rains). In the meantime, the 465 active members have had exchange privileges at other area golf clubs. There are 100 new employees (some of whom were laid off 2 years ago). The current building (where our Rotary Club meets) will be sold and probably torn down. The 6th and 7th holes of the course will be on this side of Narbonne, and the other holes and clubhouse are on the other side through the golf cart tunnel.

Rolling Hills Country Club Project Wes Bradford 2017-02-21 08:00:00Z 0

David Moyers, 2017 District Mexico Humanitarian Trip

Posted by Wes Bradford on Feb 07, 2017

Dave Moyers spoke about the 2017 District 5280 International Humanitarian Trip to Merida, the capital of Yucatán state in southeastern Mexico, January 25-30, 2017, with Mexican District 4195. The following projects were implemented:

·        Emmanuel Day Care (Play area & kitchen equipment)

·        ADN After-school Program (Musical equipment and art supplies)

·        Merida Living with Diabetes (Furniture, computer devices, medical devices, A/C and promotional materials)

·        Ticul (Sewing machines for economic growth)

·        Muaro Environmental Museum (Planting trees)

·        Merida Montejo (Water filtration for families)

·        Tizimin (Special needs school, baking table and kitchen equipment)

The post-trip was to the Punta Cana Resort and Tulum (with ancient Mayan ruins) on the Caribbean coastline.

David Moyers, 2017 District Mexico Humanitarian Trip Wes Bradford 2017-02-07 08:00:00Z 0

OFFSITE Dinner at the Whale & Ale, San Pedro

Posted by Wes Bradford on Jan 31, 2017
Our Club meeting was offsite at the Whale & Ale on 7th St in San Pedro, with “authentic English pub grub”. We socialized and enjoyed the camaraderie and food (Fish & Chips seemed to be the most popular menu choice). Before and after the dinner hour, Marylyn and Chuck Klaus hosted shoppers at their Grand Emporium (Music, Books, Movies) next door (323 W 7th St).
OFFSITE Dinner at the Whale & Ale, San Pedro Wes Bradford 2017-01-31 08:00:00Z 0

Chris Albert, Palos Verdes Performing Arts

Posted by Wes Bradford on Jan 24, 2017

Chris Gilbert performed at the Norris Theatre while attending Rolling Hills High School. After receiving a BA in Communications and MFA in Theater, he has performed on stage and as a host for benefits and galas at PVPA. He has also written plays and appeared in films, television and commercials. After sales and marketing experience elsewhere, he is now producing the professional stage productions at the Norris Theatre. His father was a Rotarian in Michigan, so he reviewed the Rotary Four-Way Test on the role of the Norris.

PVPA produces its own professional plays and musicals, including directors, technical crew, casting, and designing and building of sets. It also presents high-quality stage productions from throughout the country. It brings well-known musicians and ensembles for Cabaret-style performances, with reserved table seating, catered meals, bar and dance floor. The Chamber Orchestra of the South Bay presents classical concerts. Rock, pop and country performers are scheduled. The Norris is also a multipurpose venue for community events.

The PVPA is involved in community outreach to introduce students to the fine arts, develop children’s appreciation and enrichment in dance, singing, music and acting, and recruit future performing talent. A new building is planned for young people.

Attending performances, buying season subscriptions and/or joining one of the support groups helps to sustain this valuable community resource. As a nonprofit organization, it also depends on the caring and generosity of businesses and community members to maintain its tradition of excellence. The Palos Verdes Performing Arts 2016-17 Season brochure can be downloaded at

Chris Albert, Palos Verdes Performing Arts Wes Bradford 2017-01-24 08:00:00Z 0

Chuck Klaus: History of Recorded Music

Posted by Wes Bradford on Jan 17, 2017

Our Club member and music collector/connoisseur Chuck Klaus has been involved in music presentation for many years, including for NPR & PBS stations and also teaching at Syracuse University. He started collecting records at the age of 5, and hasn’t stopped since.

He presented his “Highways and Byways of Recorded Music”, as a DJ playing and discussing interesting samples of his recordings representing the history of recorded music. He reviewed basic recording milestones rather than a full professional history. The first music recording was in the 1860s.

Among the prominent historical recordings were original soundtracks from Sousa conducting “Stars & Stripes Forever” (1929, mellower than today), Brahms playing “Hungarian Dance #5” with voiced intro (1889, recorded in wax), Grieg playing Wedding Day at Trollhaugen” (1903), Strauss conducting “Ein Heldenleben” (1944), Elgar conducting “Oh God, Our Help in Ages Past” (1928, organ & choir with early stereo effects), and Stravinsky conducting “Rite of Spring” (1960).

American music history included Gershwin playing “Rhapsody in Blue” (1927), and Copland performing “I Bought Me a Cat” (1951, composed for children). Recordings of great voices included Tamagno singing Verdi’s “Othello: Esultate!” (1903). He ended up with Horowitz playing Sousa’s “Stars & Stripes Forever” (1951, piano).

Chuck Klaus: History of Recorded Music Wes Bradford 2017-01-17 08:00:00Z 0

John Jaacks, Air Force Experience

Posted by Wes Bradford on Jan 03, 2017

John Jaacks grew up on a farm in Des Plaines, Illinois, where he remembers as a 16-year-old watching a small airplane practicing landings nearby in 1943 during WWII. He became determined to fly. He attended the University of Illinois at Urbana in chemical engineering and AF-ROTC, hoping to become a pilot after graduation. However, the military was downsizing after the war and there was no room for young pilots. When the Korean War started in 1950, he enlisted in the Air Force in hopes of flying, but again no luck. (His father tried to convince him to leave for a business near home.) Eventually, however, he managed to get into an Aviation Cadet program resulting in a commission as a Radar Intercept Officer.

He was stationed in Western Alaska flying fighter jets on patrol to intercept any intruding Soviet bombers. He passed around photos of planes he had flown, including the F-86 D, which had been modified for additional radar and other electronic equipment, making it a less maneuverable aircraft. He found his life ambition in aviation, after having been told so many times that he couldn’t do that. “You can’t always succeed in challenges, but never give up.”

Many years later he took a master’s degree program in Professional Writing at USC, and with encouragement of his instructor he wrote a book about his military experience, “Contrails: Memoirs of a Cold Warrior”, which required 3 years to write but is now available on He read excerpts from this book discussing his early years.

John Jaacks, Air Force Experience Wes Bradford 2017-01-03 08:00:00Z 0
Holiday Party Wes Bradford 2016-12-20 08:00:00Z 0

Audrey Dahlgren, Student Dance Contest

Posted by Wes Bradford on Dec 13, 2016

Audrey Dahlgren introduced 5 outstanding Dance Contestants: Mary Sweetnam, Samantha Liu & Matthew Kim from Peninsula High School, and Hannah Granger & Miranda Kim from Palos Verdes High School. They showed videos of their selected performances. Then the judges (Sue Tyree, Chuck Klaus, Jackie Crowley & Betty Reider) deliberated on their ranking to choose a representative from our Club for the District 5280 Student Dance Contest March 8 at Loyola Marymount University.

After careful consideration, Miranda Kim (photo) was chosen as the winner to represent our Club on March 8, and awarded $200. In 2nd place was Samantha Liu ($100), and 3rd Place was Mary Sweetnam ($50). We thank all of the contestants and their family members for their hard work and talent. Special thanks again to Audrey Dahlgren for her work in recruiting such fine contestants from the local high schools.

Audrey Dahlgren, Student Dance Contest Wes Bradford 2016-12-13 08:00:00Z 0

"C Nile Sound” Barbershop Quartet

Posted by Wes Bradford on Dec 06, 2016

The “C Nile Sound” Senior Barbershop Quartet performed for us (won by Betty Reider in a raffle!). The Quartet members include Bruce Beyne, tenor, Denny Lawrence, lead, Karl Jacobs, baritone, and Rick Llewellyn, bass.

They formed their group in 1998 as experienced members of the South Bay Coast Liners Barbershop Chorus. They have 75 years’ combined barbershop singing experience. They have performed for many community and church groups and clubs, and are registered with the Barbershop Harmony International Society.

They sang traditional Barbershop Quartet songs, and then donned Santa hats to sing barbershop Quartet adaptations of several Christmas carols. It was a very delightful performance enjoyed by all. Our thanks to them for presenting this event, and especially to Betty Reider for donating her raffle prize and for supporting whatever charitable event she bought her raffle ticket for!

"C Nile Sound” Barbershop Quartet Wes Bradford 2016-12-06 08:00:00Z 0

South Coast Botanic Garden, Peter Olpe

Posted by Wes Bradford on Nov 29, 2016

Peter Olpe, an electrical engineer, has been on the Board of Trustees of South Coast Botanic Garden for 6 years and is currently President. He reviewed the history of the Botanic Garden and the ongoing project for its redesign and upgrade.

25 million years ago this area was underwater, and many ocean fossils are still present, including microscopic diatoms whose remains have been mined for abrasives and other industrial and commercial uses. The Spanish explorer Cabrillo first arrived at the Bay of Smokes (now San Pedro) in 1542 and observed the inversion layer in the Los Angeles basin where cooler ocean air is trapped below a warmer layer of air above. Land in the South Bay area was owned by the Sepulveda family since 1809, and bought by developer Bixby in 1880, who leased farmland to Japanese farmers. Frank Vanderlip, President of National City Bank of New York, bought 16,000 acres and leased some land to Great Lakes Carbon for open-pit mining of diatomaceous earth. In 1953 he sold the last of his land to the company, which stopped mining and converted to real estate development and a landfill, including the area under the Botanic Garden which is still settling.

In the 1950s, severe smog was building up in Los Angeles under the inversion layer, contributed in part by trash-burning in people’s backyards. The City of Los Angeles bought the open pit mine in 1956 as a dump to replace burning. As it was filling up, Frances Young convinced the City to create a botanic garden over the landfill. Soil was put on top and 400 volunteers began planting. The South Coast Botanic Garden was founded in 1962, and the lake in the center was formed in 1970.

Mr Olpe showed a video of a boy with cerebral palsy who found peace and a sense of fulfillment in the Botanic Garden. There are many children’s activities, garden lectures and demonstrations, specialized garden club and floral societies, Audubon Society, holiday displays, weddings and concerts. He reviewed plans for the ongoing upgrades, for which fundraising is in progress. The parking area has settled and needs to be re-leveled. The lake has been drained and is being cleared and cleaned. The 87-acre Botanic Garden has 2500 species of plants from Australia, Mediterranean, southern Africa and California, with wildlife and 200 bird species. Popular features include the Mediterranean Garden, Rose Garden, Water-Wise Garden, Garden for the Senses, Cactus Garden, Children’s Garden, Fuchsia Garden, Dahlia Garden, Herb Garden and Japanese Garden.

The Garden is open 9-5 daily. Admission is $9 ($6 for seniors, FREE for Foundation Members). Annual membership starts at $45 for individuals & $65 for families. Donations and assistance with fundraising are welcome. The Garden’s location is 26300 Crenshaw Boulevard on Palos Verdes Peninsula. Further information is available at or (310) 544-1948.

South Coast Botanic Garden, Peter Olpe Wes Bradford 2016-11-29 08:00:00Z 0

Audrey Dahlgren, Student Speech Contest

Posted by Wes Bradford on Nov 22, 2016

Audrey Dahlgren introduced our 2 Student Speech Contestants, both Juniors at Peninsula High School: Jessica Brunnenmeyer (above), and Sonali Loomba.

Jessica Brunnenmeyer spoke without notes, on the application of the Rotary Four-Way Test. Sonali Loomba spoke on Women’s Right to Education in relation to the Four-Way Test. The judging committee included Charley Ferrero, Chuck Klaus and Ralph Black.

After careful consideration of both contestants, Jessica Brunnenmeyer was awarded first place and $200, and will represent our Club in the District Speech Contest in March at LMU. Sonali Loomba was awarded $100 for 2nd place. Congratulations to both contestants for their talent and hard work in preparation!

Audrey Dahlgren, Student Speech Contest Wes Bradford 2016-11-22 08:00:00Z 0

District Governor Greg O’Brien’s Visit

Posted by Wes Bradford on Nov 15, 2016
DG Greg O’Brien is a member of the Palos Verdes Peninsula Rotary Club. He retired from his judgeship at the Los Angeles Superior Court in 2005. He graduated from USC and the Whittier Law school. He is a Past President of the Rotary Clubs of West Covina and Palos Verdes Peninsula. In 2013, he led the Vocational Training Team in Peace & Conflict Resolution in Istanbul, Turkey, at the Congress of Mediators Beyond Borders. (Sounds like what he used to do in the courtroom.)
He inducted our newest Young Professional member, Victoria Perez, who was sponsored by Lew Bertrand. She was President of the Marymount Rotaract Club and active in District 5280 activities, and attended the Rotary International Convention in Korea this year, as well as the recent Rotarian project in Colombia. She has become a well-respected leader, and we look forward to her future contributions to our Rotary club!
DG O’Brien presented awards to our following Club members:
•    Lew Bertrand, for sponsoring the most new Club members this year;
•    Astrid Naviaux, for the most participation in District & Club activities this year;
•    Dave Moyers, for the largest contribution to the Rotary Foundation;
•    Bob Welbourn (not present tonight), the longest-term member of our Club;
DG O’Brien presented Paul Harris Fellow awards tonight to John Turner, for Paul Harris Fellow level 1, and Varda Lancaster, for Paul Harris Fellow level 5. Thanks and congratulations!
DG O’Brien, who has already visited 60 Rotary Clubs in District 5280 so far this year, described how he had been inspired by even the smallest Clubs who are doing so much with their limited resources. He discussed the early history of Rotary, including the origin of the 4-Way Test. Herbert J Taylor was a business and civic leader, and President of Rotary International in 1954-55. In the Great Depression in the 1930s, wanting to save his 250-employee distribution company, the Club Aluminium Products, from bankruptcy, Herbert Taylor devised a set of high ethical principles as a Four-Way Test for his employees in all of their business interactions: 1. Is it the truth? 2. Is it fair to all concerned? 3. Will it build goodwill and better friendships? 4. Will it be beneficial to all concerned? His company soon became very successful during the Depression. In the 1940s, as an International Director of Rotary, he offered this Four-Way Test to Rotary, which adopted it as a standard of behavior by Rotarians.
District Governor Greg O’Brien’s Visit Wes Bradford 2016-11-15 08:00:00Z 0

15th Street School, Jennifer Mak

Posted by Wes Bradford on Nov 08, 2016

Jennifer Mak has been the Principal at 15th St School (at Mesa St) in San Pedro for 8 years. (Her 3 children are all in college now, one in medical school, so she is feeling that “empty nest” syndrome.) Her students are from a broken community, with single parents, stress, 87% poverty, and many English-language learners. Her school’s scores for grades 2-5 on the Proficient & Advanced English assessment were 34% in 2007-8, but increased to 59% by 2012, and it is now a California Gold Ribbon School.

She accomplished these improvements with the California Goals Model Program “Ready, Set, Read” starting in 2009. This was based on a program developed at Columbia University Teachers College, in which each student reads books at his/her chosen level of comfort. Teachers lead small groups at each level, and students’ reading skills are reassessed after 4-6 weeks. The School’s Reading Lab has sections of books available and identified for each level.

It’s important to start early — 2nd grade is already too late for optimal results. There are monthly Parent Workshops to help parents learn how to help their children at home, because many parents are nearly illiterate themselves. Volunteers help with reading instruction, and fiscal support is obtained from outside sources including the San Pedro & Palos Verdes Sunset Rotary Clubs. A running record is kept of each student to assess growth over time and evaluate the effectiveness of individual learning. Struggling students are identified, and they are assessed on fluency, ability to retell what they read, and comprehension, not just how fast they can read. Monthly assessments and goals are assessed at the end of the school year for each grade level.

They have enough books for reading now, but they still need technology, especially laptop computers of which the school has only one. They would welcome donations of technology as well as financial assistance.

15th Street School, Jennifer Mak Wes Bradford 2016-11-08 08:00:00Z 0

Audrey Dahlgren, Student Art Contest

Posted by Wes Bradford on Nov 01, 2016
Audrey Dahlgren introduced the Student Art Contestants, whom she had recruited from our 2 local high schools. The artwork was on display for our Club members. The judging committee members were Larry Andrews, Jackie Crowley and Marilyn Klaus. The winner was Ariel Noh (PVHS), who was awarded $200 and will represent our Club in the District 5280 Student Art Contest. Jena Hyun was judged 2nd and awarded $100. Hyun Kim was 3rd, awarded $50.

Congratulations to the winner, and thanks to all of these talented contestants for their work preparing for this event! Thanks also the the judging committee, and special appreciation to Audrey Dahlgren for her time and effort!
Audrey Dahlgren, Student Art Contest Wes Bradford 2016-11-01 07:00:00Z 0

Audrey Dahlgren, Student Music Contest

Posted by Wes Bradford on Oct 25, 2016

Kristina Amiridis

Audrey Dahlgren introduced the student music contestants, whom she had recruited from our 2 local high schools. The contestants were:

Ashley Hong, Peninsula High School, played the violin.

Violet Gao, Peninsula High School, singing

Cindy Shim, Peninsula High School, singing

Kristina Amiridis, Palos Verdes High School, singing

Gaylyn Walsh, Palos Verdes High School, singing (accompanied by guitarist Jesse)

Winning 1st place was Kristina Amiridis, awarded $200; she will represent our Club in the District Music Contest. Ashley Hong won 2nd place and $100. Gaylyn Walsh won 3rd place and $50. Congratulations to all of our talented hard-working contestants! Thanks to our judging committee members, and special appreciation to Audrey Dahlgren for recruiting these contestants and organizing this event!

Audrey Dahlgren, Student Music Contest Wes Bradford 2016-10-25 07:00:00Z 0

Cabrillo Marine Aquarium (Offsite), Mike Schaadt

Posted by Wes Bradford on Oct 18, 2016

Charlie Ferrero, a longtime board member of the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, organized this event at Cabrillo. He introduced Executive Director and Marine Biologist Mike Schaadt, who reviewed the Aquarium’s history and then led the tour of the frequently-updated exhibits (see Jon Caplan’s photo album on our Club website above).

The Aquarium, which belongs to the City of Los Angeles, began 81 years ago as a card table at the beach nearby at the lifeguard shack, displaying marine specimens collected in the area. The original public bathhouse was converted to a museum building, where Dr William Lloyd developed a Southern California marine life collection.

The Aquarium’s mission is to engage people in learning about Southern California ocean life, which is unique because it is the mixing zone at the northern limit of southern sea life and the southern limit of northern sea life. It now hosts about 1000 schoolchildren per day, many of whom have never seen the ocean before. The Aquarium has a staff of 100, assisted by 500 volunteers. (The Aquarium would benefit from the pending Los Angeles Measure A, which would fund parks and $7 million for the Aquarium’s master plan to redo exhibits and add a new building, assisted by $3 million from Friends of the Cabrillo Aquarium. The current building was designed by architect Frank Gehry.) See for information on exhibits and how you can help this important community resource by volunteering or donations.

Cabrillo Marine Aquarium (Offsite), Mike Schaadt Wes Bradford 2016-10-18 07:00:00Z 0

Boys and Girls Club of Los Angeles Harbor, Mike Lansing

Posted by Wes Bradford on Oct 11, 2016

Mike Lansing grew up in San Pedro and started going to the San Pedro Boys Club in 1966. Back then, it was safe to play in the streets in the evenings. Later he returned to the community as a teacher and coach, for 17 years. In 1994, the Boys Club added Girls and began broadening its services and expanding the population served.

The BGCLAH provides services for at-risk youth in 14 locations in San Pedro and Wilmington. 30% of the children are living in poverty, so 600 hot evening meals are served daily. 500 members are bussed daily after school to the 3 main Club sites. After-school programs are sponsored at 10 LAUSD schools, and college counseling is provided at 6 high schools (where there is little or no other career counseling). The Saturday Arts Academy provides instruction in fine arts, music, dance, digital arts, film production, audio recording, 3D modeling, game design, and animation, to 1300 annually.

BGCLAH has grown from 125 youth/day in 1995 (budgeted at $270,000) to a planned 2500/day by 2020, with a budget of $8 million. The 5 priority service areas are: teens, education, arts, good character & leadership development, and healthy lifestyles. The College-Bound program has pushed graduation rates to 95% (compared to 68% at LAUSD), and students are helped to apply for scholarships and financial aid. 438 youth began college in 2015. Academic case management is provided to 500 other youth at 5 high schools.

None of this would be possible without the support of the community, corporate and individual donors, volunteers and dedicated staff. (Misty Copeland, Principal Dancer of the American Ballet Theater, began her ballet lessons at BGCLAH.) You can learn more about the programs and how to volunteer or donate at

Boys and Girls Club of Los Angeles Harbor, Mike Lansing Wes Bradford 2016-10-11 07:00:00Z 0

Africa Project (Kisumu, Kenya), Larry Frick

Posted by Wes Bradford on Oct 04, 2016

Pastor Larry Frick and his late wife, Judy, have been involved in pastoring, summer camp conferences and missionary work on 5 continents. He has been General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God churches in Norway. He presented his work in the SIANY Child Development Center in Kisumu in Kenya (near Lake Victoria & the Uganda border), for which our Club is considering a Rotary Global Grant application.

He presented a video showing the impoverished conditions of the children in this center, where they were playing, reading books, sitting in the classroom, and eating food. The Center is in dire need of more funds to obtain food, supplies and basic equipment. The children have a piece of land to grow some of their food, but their only gardening tool is a hoe. Sometimes the staff members work without pay. The books are in English, but the major language in much of eastern Africa is Kiswahili (from the Arabic sawāḥil meaning “coastal dweller”), a Bantu language with some Arabic words from Arabian coastal traders dating back to the 2nd century AD.

There are 500,000 people in the slums of Kisumu, who have come from the villages in search of a better economic life. This center is the only place for many of them to get an education. The Center has 325 children M-F, and 194 more on Sat, with more of them trying to enter. They also teach adults about basic healthcare and childcare.

Dave Moyers said that, for a Global Grant project, we need to partner with local Rotarians & local leaders in the country involved, who would present a list of needs that we could consider. (Our Club has contributed $12-15,000 to the Rotary Foundation over the last 7-9 years. The Rotary foundation is rated 4*, the highest rating for an international charitable organization.)

Africa Project (Kisumu, Kenya), Larry Frick Wes Bradford 2016-10-04 07:00:00Z 0

The New James Webb Space Telescope, Scott Willoughby

Posted by Wes Bradford on Sep 27, 2016
Scott Willoughby grew up in New Jersey and graduated from Lehigh University in 1989. Then he joined TRW and received a master’s degree in Communication Systems from USC in 1991. (TRW was acquired by Northrop Grumman in 2002.) He also has an MBA degree from the Anderson school at UCLA. He is Vice President and Program Manager for the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) program at Northrop Grumman.
The James Webb Space Telescope design was begun in 1996 as a successor to the Hubble Space Telescope and the Spitzer Space Telescope (which have limited lifetimes due to running out of their thruster fuel for adjusting their orientations in orbit). The GWST will have a 21 foot primary mirror (with 18 segments that will be folded up for launch), compared to the Hubble’s 7.9 foot mirror. It will be located 1 million miles beyond the Earth’s orbit, near the Earth-Sun L2 Point (to balance between the Sun’s and Earth’s gravity while avoiding shadows from the earth & moon, and to minimize Earth’s infrared and heating interference). It will have a large sunshield to keep its mirror and 4 science experiments below 50° K (-370° F). It will have unprecedented resolution and sensitivity from visible light through mid-infrared, to enable observing some of the most distant objects in the universe, beyond the reach of current ground & space-based instruments, such as the formation of the earliest galaxies and the formation of stars and planets, and for the first time the direct imaging of exoplanets orbiting other stars.
This project represents a collaboration between 17 countries led by NASA with significant funding and scientific contributions from the European and Canadian Space Agencies. It was named after James E Webb, the second administrator of NASA, who played an important role in the Apollo program. Its cost is about $8 billion, and it is on schedule to launch in October 2018.
The New James Webb Space Telescope, Scott Willoughby Wes Bradford 2016-09-27 07:00:00Z 0
Open House Fellowship at John Jaacks’ Home Wes Bradford 2016-09-20 07:00:00Z 0

Peninsula Symphony, John Williams

Posted by Wes Bradford on Sep 13, 2016
John Williams is the President of the Peninsula Symphony Association. He came to California from Illinois at age 13, attended USC, and became a Navy submariner. He retired from Morgan Stanley in 2013.
 The Peninsula Symphony’s first concert was in December 1967, and it is now beginning its 50th year. It presents 4 free concerts per year to the South Bay community at 7 PM on Sundays, and will also present a Pops Concert this year, at the Redondo Union High School Auditorium (on PCH at Vincent St in Redondo Beach). The Symphony tries to give music experience to children, including the annual Edith Knox Competition for musicians under age 25, who perform by memory on a solo instrument with orchestra and piano accompaniment. Winners attend rehearsals and appear in concert with the Symphony in June.
Gary Berkson, the Symphony’s Music Director & Conductor, is a graduate of the Julliard School of Music in New York. Half of the musicians are paid professionals, and the remainder are volunteer musicians. The Symphony has one part-time paid employee. Some of the orchestra’s income comes from membership (see brochure), starting at $75 per year, with the remainder from private donations and fundraising events.
The 50th Anniversary Celebration concert will be on Sun, Oct 30 at 7 PM at the RUHS Auditorium. More information on the Peninsula Symphony’s performance schedule, programs, and membership information are available at
Peninsula Symphony, John Williams Wes Bradford 2016-09-13 07:00:00Z 0

The Real Story of Beatrix Potter, Alexis Sheehy

Posted by Wes Bradford on Sep 06, 2016
Alexis Sheehy is the President of the Redondo Beach Rotary Club and a former educator and Vice Principal of the Palos Verdes Peninsula High School. She and her husband, Jim, a retired engineer, enjoy traveling the world including to the recent Rotary International Convention in Seoul, Korea. She is a member of the Beatrix Potter Society.
She began with picturesque slides of Scotland and The Lake District of England, the setting of Beatrix Potter’s The Tale of Peter Rabbit, published in 1902. Beatrix Potter was born in Kensington, London, in 1866 into a privileged household, where she was educated by governesses and grew up isolated from other children. She had many pets, and spent holidays in Scotland and in England’s Lake District, where she developed a talent for painting landscapes and fungi as well as her humanized pets.
In her 30s she published a highly successful children’s book, The Tale of Peter Rabbit. With the proceeds, she bought a farm, and eventually added neighboring farms to help preserve the hill country landscape. She became a prize-winning sheep breeder and prosperous farmer interested in land preservation. She married at age 47, but continued to write and illustrate a total of about 30 books, most of them for children with illustrated fantasies of her own childhood pet rabbits, mice, kittens and guinea pigs. With her interest and studies in natural sciences, she also wrote a well-regarded illustrated scientific paper on fungal germination.
Beatrix Potter died in 1943, leaving most of her property including 4000 acres to the National Trust (now part of the Lake District National Park) along with most of her original book illustrations. Her copyrights were given to her publisher (now part of the Penguin Group). An unpublished book manuscript was recently discovered in the Victoria and Albert Museum archive, and will be published in September 2016, the 150th anniversary of Potter's birth.
The Real Story of Beatrix Potter, Alexis Sheehy Wes Bradford 2016-09-06 07:00:00Z 0

The Norris Theatre, Jim Gruessing

Posted by Wes Bradford on Aug 30, 2016
The 450 seat Norris Theatre was established in 1983 with state-of-the-art sound and lighting, and is managed by professionals. Jim Gruessing is the Artistic Director of Palos Verdes Performing Arts at the Norris Theatre. He was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he began acting at age 13. He moved to California to work in theaters and the Hollywood Bowl. He came to the Norris Theatre, where he has produced and directed a number of shows as well as acting in several movies and musicals.
The Norris’ 2016-17 Season begins on September 23 (he passed out brochures). Among the events are the locally-produced 3-Play Series (Young Frankenstein, Nunsense, & the Music Man), the Presents Series (1776 in Concert, Las Vegas Variety Spectacular, A Big Band Christmas, Four by Four, the Texas Tenors, Step Crew, & Tribute to the Hollywood Icons), Cabaret Jazz Series, Chamber Orchestra of the South Bay, and South Bay Live (top rock, pop & country performers).
The Norris Theatre tries to book major events 1½ years in advance. In addition, the Theatre and Pavilion are available for scheduling weddings, bar mitzvahs and other social events. Picking any 5 shows in the 3-Play or Presents series in advance allows a 20% discount, flexibility of seating locations and dates, best available seats, and priority renewal for the next season. Community Support Groups include Act II, Backstage, Bravo!, Chorus Liners, The Encore Circle, and Friends of Palos Verdes Performing Arts. For information on performances, tickets, and Support Groups, see the Theatre’s new website,
The Norris Theatre, Jim Gruessing Wes Bradford 2016-08-30 07:00:00Z 0

Jon Caplan - Our New Club Website

Posted by Wes Bradford on Aug 23, 2016
Pres-Elect Jon Caplan reviewed the increasing importance of Social Media communication in today’s society, and the importance of finding new Rotary Club members where they live (online). He plans to change our website to make it more modern, attractive and prospective, with more and better photos.
He has designed a new homepage, and an upcoming speakers page showing more information in advance about our meeting programs. He wants to show more information about our projects, with hot links to events so that prospective members can see what projects our Club members are doing, so he needs updated information on projects from our service project chairs.
He plans to put more information on our meeting place (including the planned new clubhouse here) and about Rotary, including a Contact Us link and a Meet Our Members page. On our Stories page, he wants a one-paragraph recap with a Read More hot link. The website will include our Club’s local and international fundraising and service projects with photos and Rotaract and Interact links. He wants to include active Facebook and InstaGram logos.
Jon Caplan needs our feedback on our new website, He would like everybody to provide a photo and to fill out the following "Meet Our Members" profile questions (let him know if you do not wish to appear on the website):
  • Name:
  • Member Since:
  • Where are you from originally? If not from LA, how did you end up here?
  • Tell us about your occupation.
  • What do you do for fun?
  • Why did you join Rotary?
  • What is your favorite Rotary experience?
  • What is your favorite book? Favorite movie?
  • What is an item on your bucket list?
Jon Caplan - Our New Club Website Wes Bradford 2016-08-23 07:00:00Z 0

Pastor Jacob Sletten, Religion & Secularism

Posted by Wes Bradford on Aug 16, 2016
Pastor Jake Sletten of the Christ Lutheran Church (28850 South Western Ave., Rancho Palos Verdes) was introduced by Club President John Jaacks who has known him for many years.
Pastor Jake spoke on the changing interactions between organized religion and cultural secularism in modern society. He is concerned that people are increasingly drifting away from traditional religious values. He spoke of the Reformation against the Roman Catholic Church led by Martin Luther, a German monk and theologian (1483-1546). Luther believed that God is the ruler of both the secular kingdom on the Left, and of the religious kingdom on the Right; we live in both. Luther taught that we are saved “by Grace alone” (from James), and that it is necessary to submit to government authority (Paul in the Book of Romans). There are two kinds of righteousness — Helping a neighbor, and Relationship with God.
Then he opened discussion and comments on the question, “Are we a Christian nation?” Several members responded, quoting the US Founding Fathers (who promoted freedom of religion and separation of Church & State, to avoid the destructive religious conflicts that had engulfed Europe for so many years). Also mentioned was the presence of Jewish and other religious traditions among the early settlers of our nation. Are we a nation whose religious heritage is predominantly Christian, or are we a nation that promotes Christian theology toward our non-Christian citizens? What will our increasingly-multicultural nation look and act like in the future? There was a lively but respectful discussion of these challenging issues by our members.
Pastor Jacob Sletten, Religion & Secularism Wes Bradford 2016-08-16 07:00:00Z 0

Greater Los Angeles Area Council, Boy Scouts – Hannibol Sullivan & Dave Salzman

Posted by Wes Bradford on Aug 09, 2016

Hannibol Sullivan is a full-time Director of Field Services for Boy Scouts in the Pacifica District (the South Bay area, south of the 405 Freeway), one of 10 Districts in the Greater Los Angeles Council, and has been in Scouting for 20 years.  He was an Eagle Scout and is a member of the Inglewood Rotary Club. Dave Salzman, a Manhattan Beach Real Estate Broker, is a volunteer Scout leader.

The Boy Scouts of America was founded in 1910 to help boys to build character, learn responsible citizenship, and develop physical fitness. The Los Angeles Area Council was founded in 1915, and currently has 10 Districts including the Pacifica District (the South Bay area south of the 405 Freeway) with 4,800 boys in 200 Scout units. In addition to the traditional camping and hiking, they do cycling, backpacking, rock climbing, skiing, snowboarding, horseback riding, and water sports. Scouts learn through enjoyable interactive activities emphasizing age-related teamwork and leadership skills. Many new activities keep up with modern youth social trends, such as Internet skills and smart phones, as well as family relationships, strong values, life skills and career preparation.

Lions is a new Scouting program for kindergarten-age boys, led by parents (“Lion Guides”). They meet as dens of 6-8 kindergarten-age boys and occasionally attend a Cub Pack meeting. Lion Adventures assist Lion families in conducting enjoyable age-appropriate activities, exploring the world around them while developing citizenship and social skills. As they complete the requirements for each adventure, Lions earn an adventure sticker to be placed in their Lion Adventure Book. Their uniform is a Lion t-shirt. At the end of their kindergarten year, Lions “graduate” into Cub Scouting as a Tiger. Cub Scouts are now ages 6-10 and are taught new skills such as using a microwave, GPS, dailing 911, CPR, sports, and the traditional swimming and fishing skills.

Boy Scouts, ages 11-18, earn merit badges in traditional and new areas such as swimming, fishing, cooking, camping, chess, welding, search and rescue, skateboarding, first aid, climbing, back packing, archery, family relationships, and finance (budgeting and bill paying).

Explorers/Venturers, ages 14 to 20, are Coed (if you can’t beat’em, join’em).  They may specialize in potential career pathways such as law enforcement, fire-fighting, small business management, or healthcare, as well as sailing, cheer-leading, chemistry and horseback riding.

The Boy Scouts are funded by private donations, fund raisers and fees to scouts.  Uniforms cost $100, 6-day camp is $345, and annual fees are $250.  These expenses and obtaining adult volunteer leaders (5 adults are needed to start a Troop) are challenges, especially for lower socioeconomic boys who need these opportunities the most. Volunteers are needed for many different skills and expanding learning opportunities. Check the Pacifica District website at to see scheduled activities and how you can get involved.

Greater Los Angeles Area Council, Boy Scouts – Hannibol Sullivan & Dave Salzman Wes Bradford 2016-08-09 07:00:00Z 0

RI Conference, Seoul — Tori Hettinger

Posted by Wes Bradford on Aug 02, 2016

Tori Hettinger graduated from UCLA in Art History, and studied Interior Design. At the District Office, she manages daily operations, coordinates social media and events, writes the newsletter, manages the website and financial operations, and coordinates District group travel arrangements. She is a Young Professional Rotarian, and had been in Interact, RYLA, and UCLA Rotaract. Her best Rotary Moment was on our District trip to Guatemala in February 2015, seeing children at a rural school who presented a program to the visiting Rotarians.

She attended the Rotary International Convention in Seoul, Korea, May 27-June 1, which had 50,000 attendees. Our District Gov DJ Sun helped to introduce our District visitors to Korean culture. Before the Convention, she attended the Young Leaders Summit (which included Victoria Perez with 600 Rotaractors and Young Professionals).

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon opened the convention. Among the Convention speakers were the US Ambassador and the EU Ambassador to South Korea, UCLA Robotics Professor Dr Hong, and a South Korean child whose heart defect surgery was supported by Nancy Reagan several years ago. There were Rotary Action Groups focused on AIDS Prevention. There was a 3K Walk for Peace. Tori helped with volunteers at the convention. Afterward, Tori went with a group to the DMZ, the tense border zone with North Korea (where wildlife grows relatively undisturbed). She showed photos of Korean culture and dress, scenery, a small village and Temple, and K-Pop (modern Korean popular culture and music).

RI Conference, Seoul — Tori Hettinger Wes Bradford 2016-08-02 07:00:00Z 0

Dr Lucas Lamadrid, New President of Marymount Califor-nia University

Posted by Wes Bradford on Jul 26, 2016

Dr Lucas Lamadrid was appointed president of Marymount California University on March 29, 2016. He had previously served as an administrator at Belmont Abbey College and St Vincent College, and then worked for a private company specializing in international student recruitment. During his career, he has promoted higher student enrollment, improved academic quality and student retention, and raised funds. He graduated from Marquette University, and received a Masters degree from Notre Dame and a Doctorate in Religion at Duke University. His wife, Beth, has a PhD in 16th century history. They have 3 children.

College students’ major concern in the US today is affordability, and large classes are also a concern. MCU has small classes and maintains affordability, which requires institutional financial support. Rotary Scholarships are an example, and he proposes that we fund scholarships to MCU for the Boys and Girls Club of San Pedro.

MCU’s focus is on taking students from where they are to where they will need to be for success. Hands-on learning is important for this, as in the new Business School, where entrepreneurship and technology such as social media use are emphasized. MCU is looking for great partners such as corporations to invest in their future workforce. BMW has provided a discounted Mini for business students’ purchase so they have a sense of ownership later when they graduate. MCU wants to be friends to everyone.

Dr Lucas Lamadrid, New President of Marymount Califor-nia University Wes Bradford 2016-07-26 07:00:00Z 0

Club Assembly, President John Jaacks

Posted by Wes Bradford on Jul 19, 2016
President John Jaacks began the Club Assembly with introductory remarks. He urges each of us to bring a guest to Rotary this year.
Our President-Elect, Jon Caplan, said we need more projects, and more members to perform them. We need to decide which projects to focus on, including some that we have done in the past. Mark Pepys mentioned that the 15th St School in San Pedro was a successful project in the past with participation of many Rotary family members, Interactors and Rotaractors. We are planning for an international project in Africa. Marilyn Klaus reviewed Project Amigo school sponsorships in Mexico, which is continuing.
Jon Caplan wants each past and present project manager in our Club to write a description of each project, to place on our Club website to attract more publicity. The website already shows a list of our projects, but we need to present an eyeball-engaging word picture.
Linda Little, in the Filipino books business, suggested collecting and sending children’s books to the Philippines. Dave Moyers said that Jackie is working on the 15th St School project. Hands-on projects work best, rather than just check-writing and fundraising. $35-$40,000 is a typical size Rotary Global Grant which we can do with other Clubs and matching funds. Lew Bertrand mentioned our ongoing Project EGO for at-risk local high school students, and our Interact and Rotaract Clubs.
Sandy Farrell, who plans to move to Colorado soon with her husband, Jerry, to be near grandchildren, emphasized the value of our Club friendships and doing good for others. She said she will never forget her wonderful experiences here, and plans to return periodically to see us again. We will miss Sandy and Jerry.
Club Assembly, President John Jaacks Wes Bradford 2016-07-19 07:00:00Z 0

Lomita Sheriff Station, Capt Dan Beringer

Posted by Wes Bradford on Jul 12, 2016
Capt Dan Beringer, a 30-year veteran of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, was recently promoted to Captain and assigned to the Lomita Station, which provides law enforcement services to Rancho Palos Verdes, Rolling Hills, Rolling Hills Estates, Lomita and adjacent unincorpo­rated communities. He worked at the Lomita Station early in his career before other assignments in the Department. He has a BS in Criminal Justice from CSU Long Beach. He lives in Orange County with his wife (who grew up in Palos Verdes).
Capt Beringer reviewed recent nationally-publicized confrontations between law enforcement officers and citizens, including safety risks felt by officers in the field and the need for better communication between community activists and law enforcement. Crime rates have increased in the last 2 years, which he believes is related to the effects of Prop 47, which was designed to save money by releasing low-level criminals. The money saved was to be spent on drug rehab and other services to reduce crime, but this money has not been seen yet. The mentally ill population in jails has increased 46% in the last 2 years, and confinement with early release has become a revolving door for repeat offenders who have little to lose.
Cameras for license plate surveillance are being implemented in Palos Verdes, providing quick electronic notice when a stolen or wanted vehicle is identified. Local city contracts for law enforcement are more cost-effective than each city having its own individual police department. The Sheriff’s Department works with neighborhoods to improve home and business security precautions and reporting of suspected criminal activity. If you see anything suspicious, call 911.
You can now get a home security system that sends any alarm immediately to your cell phone app, where you can view video clips of motion-sensor-activated activity. Security cameras are becoming less expensive. He reminded us of improving vehicular security by not leaving valuables visible in parked vehicles.
Lomita Sheriff Station, Capt Dan Beringer Wes Bradford 2016-07-12 07:00:00Z 0

Demotion Party (Los Angeles Yacht Club)

Posted by Wes Bradford on Jun 28, 2016
PDG Dave Moyers opened the program with welcome remarks and introduction of Special Guests. He gave special thanks to Jacques Naviaux and Sandy Farrell for organizing the program. Outgoing President Lew Bertrand awarded a plaque to Astrid Naviaux as Rotarian of the Year, in recognition for her continuing work on International Service and other club activities (such as the Wine Donation Schedule). Congratulations and thanks from all of us!
DGE Greg O’Brien recognized the services of the outgoing Board Members and the many Rotary contributions of outgoing President Lew Bertrand (PDG 2012-13). Then he introduced and installed the incoming Board Members. DGE O’Brien installed our new President John Jaacks for 2016-17. John addressed the Club members on his plans and expectations for the coming Rotary Year.
Lew Bertrand presented a boat “bumper sticker” to our perennial guest and Madelyn Creighton’s spouse, “Commodore” Daryl Creighton (of the PV Sunset Navy). PDG Dave Moyers introduced a Review/”Roast” of now-Past President Lew Bertrand. Discussing Lew’s distinguished Rotary career in turn were Past President John Turner, DGN Joe Vasquez, PDG Pat Cashin, and PDG Dave Moyers.
Astrid Naviaux, Sandy Farrell & Betty Reider presented a musical tribute to Lew (to the tune of “Yankee Doodle Dandy”), and finally a Demotion Song (to the tune of “Thanks for the Memories”). Best wishes to Lew for all the well-deserved spare time he will have on his hands now.
Demotion Party (Los Angeles Yacht Club) Wes Bradford 2016-06-28 07:00:00Z 0

Ocean Water Desalination Program, Harold Williams

Posted by Wes Bradford on Jun 21, 2016

Harold Williams is Vice President of the Board of Directors of the West Basin Municipal Water District (which serves 1 million people) and Chair of West Basin’s Water Resources Committee. He represents the Palos Verdes cities, Carson, and portions of San Pedro. He is a California Registered Civil Engineer, doing infrastructure-consultations for cities and districts.

The West Basin District was formed by vote in 1947, when there was a drought and groundwater was being over-pumped, causing seawater intrusion into the water table. Not enough water was available through the Aqueduct from Northern California. New water was brought to Los Angeles from the Colorado River for the growing urban area.

The Ocean Water Desalination Program has been initiated to help ensure a reliable future quality water supply to the Water District, now in our fifth year of drought. Gov Brown has ordered a ban on wasteful water practices. Besides improved conservation, multiple sources of water are needed in addition to the Colorado River (which is over-subscribed). These include aqueduct water from Northern California (more limited now due to decreasing snowpack), groundwater (which must not be over-pumped to avoid seawater intrusion), recycling of waste-water (now beginning), and the new Ocean Water Desalination Program.

The location for the Desalination Program has not yet been determined, possibly in El Segundo or Redondo Beach. An Environmental Impact Report (EIR) is being drafted, and is expected to be finalized by winter 2016-17. A major concern is how to protect marine life from being sucked into the ocean water intake, and how to safely dispose of the output brine (concentrated saltwater) which is toxic to marine life if not adequately diluted before exposure. Another concern is how much energy will be needed to remove salt from the water; the goal is for the process to become carbon-neutral. The cost is estimated to be about ½ cent/gallon (bottled water costs ~$1.22/gallon), and capacity will be about 20 million gallons/day. Other existing or planned desalination plants in California include Santa Barbara (5 million gallons/day), Carlsbad (50 million gallons/day), Monterey (5-7 million gallons/day, pending), and Huntington Beach.

The West Basin Municipal Water District is asking for public understanding, comment and support for this Program. The website is

Ocean Water Desalination Program, Harold Williams Wes Bradford 2016-06-21 07:00:00Z 0

Brian Campbell, RPV City Councilman

Posted by Wes Bradford on Jun 14, 2016

Councilman Brian Campbell is in his second term now on the Rancho Palos Verdes City Council. He graduated from the University of Colorado, served in the US Army Airborne, and then became a commercial real estate broker. He is married and has two young sons.

He wants to promote community safety, responsible budget management with strong financial reserves, maintaining infrastructure & storm drains, and government transparency.

Rancho Palos Verdes has 43,000 population, the largest in the Palos Verdes Peninsula. He discussed major issues including crime, which is low but still an ongoing concern. He reviewed the controversial Green Hills Mausoleum Project and code violations. Traffic on Western Avenue is complicated because the boundary is shared with the City of Los Angeles, with whom we need to maintain good working relations. Marymount California University has become a full University including graduate studies. There are traffic safety problems from speeding on the steep switchbacks on Palos Verdes Drive East. Relations with the Trump Golf Course have improved.

Rancho Palos Verdes has a budget surplus now, which he believes should be partly used to lower property taxes. There is a new master plan for the City Hall (a World War II building), which some people want to replace with a new modern building, but that would be expensive. The city needs more recreation fields, but he would like to increase the use of existing school grounds for this purpose. The city has a Cell-Tower Master Plan with more cell towers now, and they are to be camouflaged better. Some chain-link fencing on Hawthorne Boulevard is falling down and needs replacement or landscaping coverage. The chronic landslide area in Portuguese Bend requires $1 million per year for maintenance; dewatering wells (to minimize lubricating the ground layers underneath) and frequent road repairs are the least expensive approach.

Brian Campbell, RPV City Councilman Wes Bradford 2016-06-14 07:00:00Z 0

Peninsula Shopping Center Changes – Jeff Axtell

Posted by Wes Bradford on Jun 07, 2016

Jeff Axtell overseas Vestar’s retail shopping center acquisition and development strategies in the Western states. He has helped develop several retail centers in Tustin, Long Beach, Cerritos and Orange, and is now responsible for the Peninsula Center in Rolling Hills Estates. He graduated from UCLA in Economics and has been active in local youth sports programs.

The Peninsula Shopping Center is on the southwest corner of Silver Spur Road & Hawthorne Boulevard in Rolling Hills Estates (see map). Jeff says the previous owner was an investment company that did not do much to develop the shopping center’s potential, rather than a real estate management company.

He sees new opportunities there now with some leases expiring. The Center has 300,000 leasable square feet and is anchored by Pavilions, Rite Aid, T.J. Maxx, OSH, Sports Authority and Ulta, surrounded by signalized corners in the principal commercial district of the Palos Verdes Peninsula. Daily vehicular traffic is 21,000 on Silver Spur Road and 35,000 on Hawthorne Boulevard, with 86,000 population within a 3-mile radius, having $138,000 average household income.

Although the Sports Authority company has gone bankrupt, its local store here has done well. An Orchard Supply Hardware store will open in early 2017. He is looking for more upscale full-service restaurants and some missing retail stores to complete a well-coordinated neighborhood shopping center. Different parts of the Center are being combined with some stores relocated, opening it up for more street-visibility and better parking lot access. (The Center is not big enough to accommodate a major chain department store, which would require 100-140,000 ft².)

Peninsula Shopping Center Changes – Jeff Axtell Wes Bradford 2016-06-07 07:00:00Z 0

RI Council on Legislation, PDG Drew Froehlich

Posted by Wes Bradford on May 31, 2016

PDG Drew Froehlich (2010-11, District 5260) is past President of the Granada Hills Club and has been active in Rotary activities for many years, including the Zone Training Team for District Governors-Elect. His wife, Rahla, is also a long time Rotarian and Past President of the Glendale Noon Club. He is a retired US Navy Captain and has worked in the aerospace industry where he is currently a “semi retired” consultant.

PDG Froehlich was our District 5280’s Delegate to Rotary’s 2016 Council on Legislation, held for one week in Chicago every 3 years. Each of the 531 RI Districts sends one delegate (71 languages are represented). They meet to review, organize and enact legislative proposals submitted to committees over the previous 2 years, and to make recommendations to the RI Board of Directors. This year there were 117 enactments and 64 resolutions, which were published in the RI Manual of Procedure and will take effect July 1.

Among the new changes approved is to allow Clubs more flexibility to make their own rules on procedures, membership and attendance, to allow for cultural differences in the many countries represented in Rotary. Due to decreased investment returns during the global economic downturn of the last several years while costs continue to increase, there will be a dues increase of $4/year for the next 4 years to maintain financial stability.

RI Council on Legislation, PDG Drew Froehlich Wes Bradford 2016-05-31 07:00:00Z 0

Eastern Sierra Wounded Warrior Project - Jacques Naviaux

Posted by Liz Mills on May 17, 2016
Jacques Naviaux spoke about the Eastern Sierra Wounded Warrior project – which our Club supports. He said that the organization has received a well-earned black eye in terms of how they spend money. However, the Eastern Sierra branch has been doing good work and is currently building a 32-room treatment facility for wounded soldiers.
Jacques also talked about being invited to Camp Pendleton to experience, “A Day in the Life of a Marine.” Despite spending 32 years in the Marine Corps, he accepted the invitation. Jacques stated that he was most impressed by what he described as “the most enthusiastic Marines I have ever seen.” He explained that they go through an “immersion training,” which is a complete Middle East village built in Camp Pendleton.
Eastern Sierra Wounded Warrior Project - Jacques Naviaux Liz Mills 2016-05-17 07:00:00Z 0

Middle East Situation, Frank Zerunyan

Posted by Liz Mills on May 03, 2016
Frank Zerunyan is a longtime resident (and former mayor) of Rolling Hills Estates. He is an attorney and Professor of the Practice of Governance at the Sol Price School of Public Policy.
Frank has spoken to our club in the past about governance and local issues, but at this meeting, his focus was farther afield – the Middle East. It is an area in which he has not only deep expertise, but direct experience, having grown up in Istanbul. He began with an overview of the situation in the Middle East, explaining that the US has made missteps in the area, beginning with getting into the middle of a 1,400 year old fight that doesn’t involve us. The discord is between the two major factions of Islam, the Shias and the Sunnis.
What is of direct concern to us – and will have to be addressed by a future US president – is the situation with ISIS. Frank explained that Muslims are not dangerous; Islamists are, and ISIS is our biggest cause of concern. ISIS is bent on creating a caliphate by taking over land and they need to be stopped.
The solution will require boots on the ground, he explained, but they shouldn’t be our boots. Instead we need to create a strong Sunni force that is capable of taking on the threat.
Middle East Situation, Frank Zerunyan Liz Mills 2016-05-03 07:00:00Z 0

Students of the Year

Posted by Wes Bradford on Apr 26, 2016

Madelyn Creighton organizes our Club’s annual Students of the Year awards, which are given to students from our local high schools and college. They are nominated by their school officials for academic excellence and contribution to their school activities. Each winning student is awarded a $100 check for future academic purposes, and their family members and school officials are invited with them to our award meeting.

Maddy McHugh of Palos Verdes High School (who was unable to attend) received all A’s in junior and senior courses and completed her school work in March. She has a softball scholarship in Texas.

Dominique Alvarez of Marymount California University has been active in the award-winning Rotaract Club there, including fundraising to end polio.

Arman Ramezani of Palos Verdes Peninsula High School has distinguished himself in math and science. He has been admitted to Brown University.

Congratulations to these outstanding students, and thanks to Madelyn Creighton and the school teachers and staff!

Students of the Year Wes Bradford 2016-04-26 07:00:00Z 0

PV Sunset Social Hour

Posted by Wes Bradford on Apr 19, 2016
We met for a social hour to renew acquaintances and exchange ideas.