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

2019-nCoV-CDC-23312 without background.png
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.
PV Sunset Social Hour Wes Bradford 2016-04-19 07:00:00Z 0

District Rotaractors Ethics Forum

Posted by Wes Bradford on Apr 12, 2016

Marymount Rotaractors Cindy Sanchez and Dominique Alvarez spoke about their participation in our District 5280 and 5320 Rotaract Ethics Forum on April 9, at Loyola Marymount University. Rotaract Clubs in our District formed teams of 4 to participate in the 2016 Ethics Forum. (Our president, Lew Bertrand, introduced this annual event during his year as District Governor.)

Each team presented discussions on the ethical dimensions of a topic chosen from among a list of 23 proposed. Judging criteria included how well each team communicated why its chosen topic is an ethical issue, the complexity of the topic, preparation, organization, presentation, application of the 4-Way Test, and overall persuasiveness, including whether the solution proposed is legal and ethical. Prizes were given for first, second and third place.

The Preliminary First Round was a 10-minute presentation, and the Elimination Second Round was an abbreviated 5-minute presentation, concluding with feedback from the panel of judges. Cindy and Dominique chose the topic of Capital Punishment (death penalty or execution for a specified serious crime). Although it has an ancient history in most societies, Capital Punishment has been abolished by most countries in modern times, with public opinion in many countries increasingly against it. The US is the only country in the Americas still carrying out this penalty. Most other countries utilizing capital punishment are in Southern & Eastern Asia and Northeastern Africa, especially China, India, Pakistan and Indonesia.

District Rotaractors Ethics Forum Wes Bradford 2016-04-12 07:00:00Z 0

Liz Mills, Craft Talk

Posted by Wes Bradford on Apr 05, 2016

Liz Mills is our newest Young Professionals Member. She grew up in Reseda and was in Rotaract in college, as were most of her friends. She tended the University of San Diego.

To pursue a more international experience, she attended the University of Bradford, England (west of London), where she met people from all over the world. Many of them were Muslims, a contrast with her Christian upbringing, and many of them had been born in refugee camps.

She has recently begun working at Peninsula high school in Palos Verdes, in the AVID Program (Advancement Via Individual Determination), a nonprofit organization focused on closing the academic achievement gap by preparing underrepresented students for college and other postsecondary opportunities. AVID’s philosophy is to hold students to the highest standards while providing academic and social support, so they can rise to this challenge. The program trains educators in using practices to prepare students for future academic success, using research-based strategies and curriculum. It teaches skills and behaviors for academic success, supported by tutorials and student-teacher relationships, creating positive peer groups, and developing a sense of hope for personal achievement from hard work and determination.

Liz has a strong interest in international and intercultural relations. She is interested in participating in a Peace Corps program, to either Samoa or Uganda.

Liz Mills, Craft Talk Wes Bradford 2016-04-05 07:00:00Z 0

Project Amigo, Jenna Saldaña

Posted by Wes Bradford on Mar 29, 2016

Project Amigo was founded by California businessman Ted Rose, who visited the Mexican state of Colima near Mexico’s Pacific coast in 1984 to climb a volcano, took the wrong bus, and found himself in an impoverished village, Cofradia de Suchitlan. That experience led him and his wife, Susan, to move there to provide a helping hand for poor children to break the bonds of poverty. Project Amigo became a US 501(c)(3) charity in 1996 with headquarters in Novato, California. In 2000, Ted (now a member of the Colima Rotary Club) received Rotary’s Service above Self award.

Current Executive Directors are Jenna and Alex Saldaña. She graduated from Eastern Michigan University, and her husband, Alex, graduated from the University of Queretaro. They married in 2006 and have two daughters aged 7 & 5. Project Amigo has 17 staff members, all Mexican citizens and some of them graduates of its educational programs.

The students are children of local farmworkers who have few educational opportunities. 119 scholarships were given out in the current year, 49 for Junior High, 31 for High School and 39 for University study. Some have gone on to Law School or Medical School. Each prospective case is reviewed for interest and potential. Volunteers are invited to go there for Humanitarian Service Weeks during the Year: Learning Spanish, Literacy & Environment, Holiday Fiesta, & English Tutoring. (Our member Marylyn Klaus presented a program on Project Amigo to us several years ago; she sponsored a student there who went on to law school and professional practice, and is married.) Project Amigo’s website is Sponsors and donations are welcomed.

Project Amigo, Jenna Saldaña Wes Bradford 2016-03-29 07:00:00Z 0

Polio Eradication, Shirley Giltzow

Posted by Wes Bradford on Mar 22, 2016

Shirley Giltzow is our District PolioPlus Chair and Past President of the Lawndale Club. She reviewed the progress of our worldwide polio eradication campaign. (Our Club President-Elect John Jaacks noted that his son had gotten polio many years ago, and will be visiting our Club in the near future to present a program on Post-Polio Syndrome.)

There were 350,000 polio cases per year in 1985, but now there are less than 100 per year, and they are endemic now only in Afghanistan and Pakistan (not surprisingly, in war areas). However, in January 2016, 16 polio workers in Pakistan were killed, and 65 were killed last year, giving their lives for the goal of polio eradication. The Rotary Foundation has requested a donation of $1/member in our District to honor the memory of those killed in the line of duty. President-Elect John Jaacks presented a check to Shirley Giltzow for the Rotary Foundation for our Club’s contribution.

$1.5 billion additional funding will be needed by 2018. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will provide a 2:1 matching Grant for the first $35 million to PolioPlus each year until then to help meet this goal.  (Note: Type 3 polio has not been seen in the last 3 years, which means that this particular strain has probably disappeared forever. 2 more strains to go!} The donation website is

Polio Eradication, Shirley Giltzow Wes Bradford 2016-03-22 07:00:00Z 0

America’s Waterways, Capt Harry Jacobs (USCG Aux)

Posted by Wes Bradford on Mar 15, 2016

Capt Harry Jacobs is a US Coast Guard Auxiliary volunteer (unpaid). He is Director of Public Affairs and Maritime Domain Awareness Inspector. (His spouse, Victoria Jacobs, is also a volunteer Auxiliary member, who also wears a uniform.)

He began by showing 9/11 photos of damaged buildings and injured victims. Is it possible to stop a terrorist attack? The Coast Guard believes it is, with the support of the American people. Terrorism can come here from anywhere in the world, and effective response requires the public’s awareness, knowledge, and constant surveillance. Report what you see (Situational Awareness).

Know what is normal (activities, situations, people) and what is not. America’s Waterway Watch is analogous to Neighborhood Watch, but on on a national scale and coordinated by the US Department of Homeland Security. Suspicious activities could include Surveillance (by individuals showing an abnormal interest in security or facilities), Elicitation (of important information without having need to know), Testing Security (studying responses to false alarms), and Suspicious Behavior (any behavior that seems out of place).

The US government believes we are getting closer to another “9/11” attack, anywhere in the country including our neighborhood. He urges us to identify, record and report, but don’t be confrontational and don’t take personal risks. (He related the recent report of a motorist reporting to the Highway Patrol about an expensive boat seen coming to a deserted beach north of Los Angeles, that was met by a truck that started loading packages from the boat. The truck was followed and intercepted driving to Los Angeles, large quantities of illegal drugs were recovered, and the participants were arrested. The expensive boat had been abandoned as “a business expense”.)

We need to safeguard the safety and security of our communities, infrastructure, ports, and waterways. Don’t stereotype people; people are not suspicious; behavior is. Don’t wait for terrorists to come to our shores. They are already here, and they are not afraid to die and to take others with them. It could happen at any time, anywhere, without warning.

America’s Waterways, Capt Harry Jacobs (USCG Aux) Wes Bradford 2016-03-15 07:00:00Z 0

Chief Ronene Anda, LAC Sheriff’s Dept

Posted by Wes Bradford on Mar 08, 2016

Chief Ronene Anda, the former commander of the Lomita Sheriff’s Station, was transferred to head the newly created Transit Policing Division of the Sheriff’s Department and promoted to Chief (two stars), to provide improved security for the LA Metro train & bus system. This new operation has special challenges different from conventional law enforcement, and works closely with the US Department of Homeland Security. She said she “had a lot to learn” on accepting this new transit policing position.

Transit policing includes improving safety and providing surveillance and security against theft, vandalism and assault. Discouraging the bypassing of turnstiles at train stations is a public education focus. An additional focus is watching for vulnerabilities to terrorism activities and being prepared at all times to respond with appropriate force and resources to an unexpected event anywhere in the system. She works closely with the Metro personnel to coordinate operations.

Chief Anda also spoke about local crime issues and being prepared to safeguard our homes and businesses, such as keeping home doors, garage doors and car doors closed and locked, and not leaving possible targets of theft in plain sight as temptations to breaking in. Technology cameras are increasingly being used to improve surveillance and identify crime getaway cars. “If you see something suspicious, say something (immediately, to appropriate law enforcement authorities).”

Chief Ronene Anda, LAC Sheriff’s Dept Wes Bradford 2016-03-08 08:00:00Z 0

Rotaractor Victoria Perez, District Humanitarian Trip to Panama

Posted by Wes Bradford on Mar 01, 2016
Victoria Perez, a California Marymount University Rotaractor, is the District 5280 Rotaract Representative. With sponsor support from our Club, she participated in the Jan 28-Feb 1 District Humanitarian Trip to Panama.
The Service Projects visited by our District group included Operation Smile, where they visited the local hospital and saw children prior to their cleft lip/palate surgery; Panama Norte, equipping an E-learning center in Veracruz, NW of Panama city; Playa Coronado, with rehabilitation of bathrooms & sanitation facilities at 2 schools; and El Dorado water system improvements in 2 communities. Victoria showed a slideshow of photos documenting her experiences.
There was a Welcome Dinner, Cultural Dinner, and a Panama Canal Transit. Optional Tours were Gatun Lake, Treasures of Panama, Historic City Tour, and the Biodiversity Museum.
Rotaractor Victoria Perez, District Humanitarian Trip to Panama Wes Bradford 2016-03-01 08:00:00Z 0

Roger Schamp, the Ontario (CA) RI Peace Conference

Posted by Wes Bradford on Feb 23, 2016

Past President Roger Schamp was our Club’s representative to the Rotary International Peace Conference in Ontario, California, Feb 15-16. There were peace conference tracks with 104 breakout sessions and 150 inspirational speakers on peace-related subjects such as in homes, schools, communities, organizations, religions, news media, the role of technology, and peace advocates working in the world. Roger could attend only 8 of the 104 breakout sessions.

Among the speakers were Father Greg Boyle, founder of HomeBoy Industries, and actress Sharon Stone, widely recognized for her humanitarian efforts. Roger attended sessions on Rotary Peace Fellows, the Peace Corps, the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, and Dr Bernd Wohlschlaeger, a World War II Nazi tank commander’s son who converted to Judaism and moved to Israel. Another speaker, Bassel Baz, clandestinely rescues missing children that authorities can’t find, to reunite with their parents. Other sessions dealt with complex water issues, sustainability, and sanitation. Another session was “Developing an Integrated Rotary Peace Plan”, urging Rotarians to maximize pathways to peace, world understanding, and conflict resolution. The final dinner was a tribute to the First Responders of the recent San Bernardino Massacre, some of whom were present. Roger met many DGEs who went to their training in San Diego right after the Peace Conference.

Rotary has a long history in peacemaking. In 1921, this concept was incorporated into the Rotary Constitution and Bylaws. In 1940 in Havana, Rotarians adopted a resolution calling for “Freedom, Justice, Truth, and Respect for Human Rights”, which became the framework for the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In 1942, a conference of Rotary Clubs from 21 nations provided the impetus to UNESCO. In the 1945 conference leading to the founding of the United Nations, there were 49 Rotarians (11 from the US) in 29 delegations. Polio Eradication, begun by Rotary, is now promoted by the World Health Organization.

Roger Schamp, the Ontario (CA) RI Peace Conference Wes Bradford 2016-02-23 08:00:00Z 0

Cdr Tim Grant, US Coast Guard – The Port of Los Angeles

Posted by Wes Bradford on Feb 16, 2016

Commander Grant is Chief of Prevention for US Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles-Long Beach, based on Terminal Island in San Pedro. Prior to his appointment in June 2014, he was a Coast Guard cutter commander and held a number of other field assignments on the East Coast and Caribbean.

He was born in Hampton, Virginia, and graduated from boot camp in Cape May, New Jersey, in 1989. After Officer Candidate School in Yorktown, Virginia, in 1998, he earned a BS degree from Excelsior College and an MA in Homeland Security with Honors in 2014 from American Military University. He is married and has 4 children.

The Coast Guard is under the US Department of Homeland Security. The Los Angeles-Long Beach Sector coordinates maritime operations along the California coast from Morro Bay to San Clemente and out to 200 miles offshore, including the largest US port complex, Los Angeles-Long Beach, which carries 40% of US foreign trade and is the world’s 9th largest port. Prevention-related operations include inspection and examination of domestic and foreign-flagged vessels for compliance with domestic and international safety, security, and environmental standards. The CG also performs inspection of designated waterfront facilities and waterways management. It has a Marine Safety Detachment, a Vessel Traffic Service, and an Aids-to-Navigation Team.

Cdr Grant presented a video of examples of Coast Guard port activities and operations involving global trade, security, and rescue. Arriving vessels must provide Notice of Arrival (NOA) to the National Vessel Movement Center (NVMC) 96 hours before arrival, and provide the dates of their 5 previous ports along with other security-related information such as detailed cargo descriptions. 79,000 port calls with 15 million containers were made to the US in 2014, all screened for safety and security. The US Coast Guard also has personnel overseas who visit 150 countries to assess risk levels. Cyber-security is an increasing concern; hackers use cyber-techniques to facilitate their drug smuggling.

Cdr Tim Grant, US Coast Guard – The Port of Los Angeles Wes Bradford 2016-02-16 08:00:00Z 0

DGE Greg O’Brien, RI International Assembly

Posted by Wes Bradford on Feb 09, 2016
DGE Greg O’Brien presented a tribute to our late member Don Reeves. Then he discussed his experience on our recent District humanitarian trip to Panama, including going through the Panama Canal.
As our District Gov-Elect, Greg attended the Rotary International Assembly in San Diego, completing the District Gov training program he had attended in Kauai. He was fired up about the inspirational speakers and meeting DGEs from around the world with fellowship and networking. Rotary’s new motto this year will be “Rotarians Serving Humanity”. The Theme for our President-Elect Training Seminars (PETS) next week will be “Imagine Rotary”.
At age 37, Paul Harris started the first Rotary Club of young professionals in 1906, for business networking and to provide service to the community. Young professionals are the future of Rotary. They are less drawn to structured events such as weekly meetings, and are more oriented towards networking, such as meeting for lunch and flexible schedules. They use social media such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Pins and certificates don’t motivate them, but service with personal impact does. They are not magazine readers, preferring electronic media. They’re looking for friends. The rapid pace of technological changes now mean we have more difficulty mentoring them as new members.
“Young Professionals” will be our District Theme next year. We need to focus on Club programs of interest to families with children (not geriatrics!). They are interested in educational issues, police activities, and other (non-geriatric) topics. He referred to the 1989 movie “Field of Dreams”. (An Iowa corn farmer, hearing voices, interprets them as a command to build a baseball diamond in his fields; he does, and the Chicago White Sox come.) If we rebuild Rotary, they will come (not the White Sox).
DGE Greg O’Brien, RI International Assembly Wes Bradford 2016-02-09 08:00:00Z 0

Community Helpline, Pam Van Alstyne

Posted by Wes Bradford on Feb 02, 2016

Pam Van Alstyne started with the Community Helpline 15 years ago. It was begun in Palos Verdes in 1957 by a clinical psychologist to help teens with emotional & drug issues. Calls are answered for social service referrals, depression, anxiety, and crisis/suicide calls. The Suicide Prevention Hotline refers callers to the Community Helpline if they need talking support, and the Helpline can refer high-risk callers to the Suicide Prevention Hotline. The Helpline is open 7 days from 7 AM-10 PM.
Volunteers are required to attend a 6-week 45-hour "Listening and Communications" training program. They learn empathetic non-judgmental listening. Mental health professionals instruct them about common caller issues like depression, anxiety, substance abuse, domestic violence and suicide. The volunteers are trained to set good boundaries by not giving personal information or opinions. Volunteers are asked to serve 3 shifts of about 3 hours monthly and commit to at least one year of service. Training programs are offered 3 times a year, in spring, summer, and fall, on Tuesday and Thursday from 6-8:30 PM in Redondo Beach. Applications are available at (310) 793-1415 or
The Helpline receives about 10,000 calls/day, often from elderly and middle-aged people as well as young adults in college. Volunteers try to focus on what the caller can do to help him/herself. Referrals can be made to psychologists and social services, and if there is serious suicide risk, they can ask the Sheriff's Department to send out an officer.
The Palos Verdes Peninsula Directory helps support Community Helpline and Palos Verdes Hills Nursery School. (Sticky notes are put on the covers as reminders of donation envelopes.) The 2016 Palos Verdes Peninsula Directory will be delivered by volunteers on Saturday, February 27th, 7-9:30 AM, from Rancho Vista at 4323 PV Drive North in Rolling Hills Estates. Each driver will transport several student volunteer “runners” to distribute Directories in their designated neighborhoods. Call (310) 793-1415 or (310) 686-0899 by February 20 to volunteer as a driver.
Community Helpline, Pam Van Alstyne Wes Bradford 2016-02-02 08:00:00Z 0

Fellowship Meeting

Posted by Wes Bradford on Jan 26, 2016
We met offsite at the Good Stuff Restaurant in Rolling Hills Estates, for good Club Fellowship and renewing our friendships. (Our usual venue at RHCC was having its annual membership meeting.)
Fellowship Meeting Wes Bradford 2016-01-26 08:00:00Z 0

Student Dance Contest, Audrey Dahlgren

Posted by Wes Bradford on Jan 19, 2016

Audrey Dahlgren introduced our Dance Contestants competing to be our representative to the District Student Competitions at Loyola Marymount on March 5: Pictured with Audrey are Tatum Contreras, Amanda Bishop, and Randy Kim.

Each one introduced herself and described her history and future plans. Due to lack of adequate space for a dance floor, they presented videos of their performances. (At the District Competition, they will perform live dance.) Each of them presented a very impressive performance.

On our panel of judges were Sue Tyree, Betty Reider and Echo Lee, who deliberated on choosing the winner.

After careful consideration, the first Place winner was judged to be Tatum Contreras, and the runner-up was Miranda Kim (who will represent our Club at the District Competitions March 5 if the First Place winner is unable to attend). Each was awarded a cash prize and was congratulated for a skillful performance.
Student Dance Contest, Audrey Dahlgren Wes Bradford 2016-01-19 08:00:00Z 0

Rotary Membership - Young Professionals, Ken Chong, LA5 Club

Posted by Wes Bradford on Jan 12, 2016
Ken Chong, District 5280 Membership Chair, graduated from UCLA in microbiology and genetics. He joined Rotary in 2004 and was President of the LA5 Rotary Club for 2013-2014. He has sponsored over 30 members to Rotary. He is well known to our current President, PDG Lew Bertrand, and to John Jaacks, a former LA5 member and our President-Elect.
Ken is Executive Vice President of BRC Advisors, a commercial real estate company with 5 Southern California offices, and has experience in real estate syndication, investor relations and commercial brokerage. Previously, he was Advanced Markets Director at the Principal Financial Group for estate planning, compensation packages, retirement programs, taxes, liquidity, yield, and diversification. He has also been a guest lecturer at UCLA Extension on real estate investing.
Ken spoke on Rotary’s need to adapt to social changes in order to attract younger members (under age 40). Rotary is focused on improving the diversity of age, gender and ethnicity in membership. In addressing why people joined Rotary, they often recite business interests (networking) and opportunities for service. We need to show prospective members how Rotary membership can provide value to them for these interests. He illustrated this process by discussing how and why he joined Rotary.
An important factor in recruiting and retaining young members is having a designated person as a mentor to support each new member, to explain our service projects and to promote introductions and friendships for networking within the Club and community. Younger members are more likely to have family responsibilities and financial barriers, which we need to recognize and address. We need to promote active involvement of all of our members to promote member retention. (Rotary also has a goal of 50% of Club members being registered in My Rotary, to promote better communication and to review inquiries from prospective, referred, and relocating or returning members. Ask President Lew about login privileges to our Club website,
Rotary Membership - Young Professionals, Ken Chong, LA5 Club Wes Bradford 2016-01-12 08:00:00Z 0

Frank Zerunyan (City Councilman, Rolling Hills Estates)

Posted by Wes Bradford on Jan 05, 2016

Frank Zerunyan, an attorney, has been a City Councilman in Rolling Hills Estates since 2003 and has served 2 terms as Mayor. He has served on various city government committees and regional public boards, including the Medical Board of California under Governor Schwarzenegger. He is a Professor at the Sol Price School of Public Policy and Director of Executive Education at the USC Price Bedrosian Center on Governance.


Mr Zerunyan started by discussing the Armenian Eastern Orthodox Christmas tomorrow, January 6. Armenia was the first country to adopt Christianity in 301 AD, before the Roman Empire did (and has its own Armenian Quarter in the ancient city of Jerusalem). When the Romans under Emperor Constantine adopted Christianity, they placed Christmas on the winter solstice (feast day of the god Jupiter, which was December 25 in the calendar then in use) in order to co-opt the pagan celebrations. Western and Eastern celebrations of Christmas have been on these different days ever since.


Mr Zerunyan reviewed the current Rolling Hills Estates city government issues and projects, including the current extensive modifications at the Rolling Hills Country Club. There are ongoing commercial and residential permit and code variances processing. Maintenance of riding trails, storm drain improvements, and trash exclusion devices on city catch basins are especially important with the anticipated El Niño rainfall, to prevent property damage from flooding.


Ongoing projects have included an assisted living project at the Village Shopping Center, improvements on the Deep Valley Dr hillside area, expansion of the characteristic 3-rail vinyl fencing along major streets, parking and landscape maintenance, tree trimming, and horse trails. Los Angeles County Sheriff and Fire Departments provide first responders services, and well-trained volunteer civilian groups are ready to assist in an emergency or disaster. The annual June PV Street Fair & Music Festival is supported by the Palos Verdes Chamber of Commerce. Maintaining a profitable mix of commercial properties in the Silver Spur area is an ongoing challenge, but the city is fiscally sound.

Frank Zerunyan (City Councilman, Rolling Hills Estates) Wes Bradford 2016-01-05 08:00:00Z 0

Holiday Party and Dinner

Posted by Wes Bradford on Dec 14, 2015
Pres Lew Bertrand introduced DGE Greg O’Brien and other guests.
Thanks to Trixie & Jim Gamble (a Charter Member of our Club) for providing Champagne for a toast!
(Music was by Freedom4U Band)
Holiday Party and Dinner Wes Bradford 2015-12-15 00:00:00Z 0

Marymount California University, Ariane Schauer

Posted by Wes Bradford on Dec 07, 2015
Madelyn Creighton introduced our speaker, Ariane Schauer, PhD in Economics at Marymount, and Interim Co-President and Provost (pending the replacement of Dr Michael Brophy who has accepted another position elsewhere). (James R Reeves, Chief Financial Officer, is the other Co-President.)
During President Brophy’s 9 years, Marymount has expanded to a 4-year university, almost doubled enrollments (to 1100) and revenues, added campuses in San Pedro and in Lake County in Northern California, and added degree programs. There are now 4 undergraduate programs, in Business, Liberal Arts, Media Studies, and Psychology, and 3 graduate programs, in Business Administration, Leadership & Global Development, and Community Psychology. There are 5-year programs for BA-MS and BA-MBA. An undergraduate Criminal Justice program is pending approval. The student-to-instructor ratio is 18:1.
Baseball and softball programs have been added, and learning modalities have been designed in both undergraduate and graduate programs to meet future adult learning needs. A concurrent enrollment program with San Pedro High School provides opportunity to earn AP credit in courses on the University campus. There is also a unique program to help international students adapt better to student life in the US. Community outreach includes student-internship placement to provide services while developing experience in research skills. The current student body is 20% International and 40% Hispanic. The University tries to maintain better affordability than comparable schools. More information is on the University’s website at
Marymount California University, Ariane Schauer Wes Bradford 2015-12-08 00:00:00Z 0

Student Speech Contest, Audrey Dahlgren

Posted by Wes Bradford on Nov 30, 2015
Audrey Dahlgren introduced the student speech contestants, who each spoke briefly on “Be a Gift to the World”, Rotary International’s theme for this year 2015-2016. The students were Katya Forsyth, Kaylen Ng, Samal Senaratna, and Brandon Nash.
The judging committee consisted of Sandy Farrell, Dave Moyers, Chuck Klaus and Charley Ferraro. After much deliberation, Katya Forsyth was chosen the winner (sharing our values with others and being thankful for what we have), and Kaelen Ng was second (mental illness and handicaps in children). Congratulations, and thanks to all for their hard work and talent, and thanks also to the judging committee members. The winner will represent our Club at the District competition at Loyola-Marymount University on Sat, Mar 5.
Student Speech Contest, Audrey Dahlgren Wes Bradford 2015-12-01 00:00:00Z 0

Ken Dyda, RPV City Councilman

Posted by Wes Bradford on Nov 23, 2015
Ken Dyda, a former aerospace engineer, was active in the formation of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes (to preserve the rural atmosphere and coastal views and avoid commercial overdevelopment of the coastal areas). After it was incorporated in 1973, he was elected to 3 RPV City Council terms before retiring from politics. After 32 years, he has now been reelected to the City Council, and he has definite ideas on the future directions for RPV.
His concerns include reestablishing Council oversight over city staff. He has seen many city government mistakes made when poorly supervised staff gets careless, such as the recent controversial mausoleum project at Green Hills, and the ongoing storm drain controversies. Reports to the Council need to have cited references so the Council can make informed decisions. Ken wants more transparency to provide knowledge to both the Council Members and the citizens. He is encouraged by the new City Manager and other new staff.
Currently, reports come out Friday morning for the Council to consider on their following Tuesday evening Council Meeting. He wants more time for a public comment period before the Council takes action. These reports should be published 2 weeks before the next Council Meeting. Everyone should be working from the same knowledge base to produce better decisions. He also wants to have competitive bids for city projects and services.
Ken Dyda, RPV City Councilman Wes Bradford 2015-11-24 00:00:00Z 0

The Long Beach “Nutcracker”, Mariano Sanz & Craig Rexroad

Posted by Wes Bradford on Nov 16, 2015
Craig Rexroad has been involved in the Long Beach Ballet Academy for many years and has two daughters in ballet. Mariano Sanz grew up in Spain and moved to California eight years ago, and has worked with Craig in promoting and acting in the annual Long Beach “Nutcracker” production, now in its 33rd year under the same director. They discussed their experiences in performing as well as family participation in the ballet.
The Long Beach “Nutcracker”, Mariano Sanz & Craig Rexroad Wes Bradford 2015-11-17 00:00:00Z 0

Student Art Contest

Posted by Wes Bradford on Nov 09, 2015
Audrey Dahlgren, our Club’s student talent contest organizer, introduced the student contestants for the District Art Contest, the second of four student competitions: Sophia Boss (PVHS), SoYoun Jeon (PVPHS), Emma Butler (PVHS), and Chelsea Liu (PVPHS). Special thanks and congratulations to all 4 talented student contestants! Thanks also to the Judges Committee (Larry Andrews, Astrid Naviaux and Marilyn Klaus), and especially to Audrey Dahlgren for her work in recruiting and organizing this event. The winner, Emma Butler, will represent our Club at the District Art Contest, whose winner will be asked to display their winning art entry at our District Conference in San Diego April 28-May 1.
Student Art Contest Wes Bradford 2015-11-10 00:00:00Z 0

Christian Maeder, Craft Talk

Posted by Jacques Naviaux on Nov 02, 2015
Christian Maeder is a graduate of Loyola Marymont University. He began his carrer eith AIG. After working for a hedge fund, he became a financial advisor for Edward Jones. In that position he was expected to knock on doors making cold calls. After 7 years there he moved to Raymond Jones and now is the owner of Maeder Wealth Management dedicated to provide wealth management and investment advice to individuals, medical professionals, conservators and strategic partners.
Their business model is based on discovery of a clients need, doing a risk assessment and then developing an investment policy statement for asset allocation. In this process they stay very close to the customer. Integrity and ethics are pillars of their business model.
Christian Maeder, Craft Talk Jacques Naviaux 2015-11-03 00:00:00Z 0

Pres Lew Bertrand's Family History

Posted by Jacques Naviaux on Oct 26, 2015
President Lew Bertram shared the fascinating story of his obviously very adventuresome forbears and his grandfather’s immigration from Ireland to South Africa to Australia and subsequently to New York. Weekly letters he had sent to Lew’s grandmother were intercepted, so they lost track of each other until he found Mary in New York City, where his grandparents were married. His family then went to St Louis and on to Porterville. His relatives also went to Alaska in the gold rush.
Lew’s parents were married in 1929. His mother was the first female regent at the University of California, Berkeley.
Pres Lew Bertrand's Family History Jacques Naviaux 2015-10-27 00:00:00Z 0

Student Music Contest

Posted by Wes Bradford on Oct 19, 2015
Audrey Dahlgren, our Club’s student talent contest organizer, introduced the student contestants for the District Music Contest, the first of four student competitions.
The four contestants were:
  • Jamie Kim (Peninsula HS), flute;
  • Robert Hu (Peninsula HS), violin;
  • Elliott Pearce (PVHS), trombone;
  • Quentin Thelen (PVHS), piano (with accompanists).
The judging committee included Dave Moyers, Wally Christmas, John Turner & Chuck Klaus. After intensive discussion and comparison, the winners were determined to be:
  • First-Place: Quentin Thelen (PVHS), piano;
  • Second Place: Robert Hu (Peninsula HS), violin.
Special thanks and congratulations to all 4 talented student contestants! Thanks also to the 4 judges, and especially to Audrey Dahlgren for her work in recruiting and organizing this event. The winner, Quentin Thelen, will represent our Club at the District Music Contest, whose winner will be asked to perform at our District Conference in San Diego April 28-May 1.
Student Music Contest Wes Bradford 2015-10-20 00:00:00Z 0

DG DJ Sun Visit

Posted by Wes Bradford on Oct 12, 2015
District Governor DJ Sun was born in Seoul, Korea, and came to the US to earn BS & MBA degrees. He met his wife at the university, and they have 3 children. She had been a schoolteacher in Singapore and came to the US to study finance. They moved to Los Angeles in 1989 to work for a real estate brokerage company, and he joined the Koreatown Rotary Club. In 1996 he formed a commercial real estate investment group. He has served in many different leadership positions at the Club and District levels. As Club President in 2008, he participated in a Matching Grant Trip for corrective surgery for cleft-lip and palate children in the Philippines. He has participated in two more international cleft-lip & palate surgery projects in Vietnam. He believes we Rotarians can do bigger, better and bolder projects in our community and worldwide.
DG DJ Sun Visit Wes Bradford 2015-10-13 00:00:00Z 0

Jon Caplan, Craft Talk

Posted by Wes Bradford on Oct 05, 2015
Jon Caplan, one of our newest members, grew up in Palos Verdes, attending Malaga Cove Elementary School and Rolling Hills High School. He attended USC and became an English major (to be in class with his girlfriend), and he worked on the student newspaper, The Daily Trojan. He graduated during a recession and was out of work for 6 months before finding a job in Compton. His mother was a Special Ed Teacher, so he decided to become a substitute teacher in Special Ed, which no one else wanted to do.
Jon Caplan, Craft Talk Wes Bradford 2015-10-06 00:00:00Z 0

Rotaract Vision, with Victoria Perez

Posted by Wes Bradford on Sep 28, 2015
The California Marymount University Rotaractors discussed their new members and their proposed projects. They are organizing a Backpacks & School Supplies collection between now and February for the District’s Panama Humanitarian Project, and will pick up donations at the District Breakfast on October 20.
Rotaract Vision, with Victoria Perez Wes Bradford 2015-09-29 00:00:00Z 0

Francisco Homes, by Sister Teresa Groth and David Schwed

Posted by Wes Bradford on Sep 21, 2015
There are 5 Francisco Homes in the Los Angeles area, providing transitional living for 55 men reentering society from prison, offering them logistical and emotional support and hope for a better future. Many of them have memories of toxic childhood experiences. To be accepted into the program, they must have earned honor status, behavioral credibility and worthiness of release from prison.
Francisco Homes, by Sister Teresa Groth and David Schwed Wes Bradford 2015-09-22 00:00:00Z 0

Larry VandenBos, School Board President, PVPUSD

Posted by Wes Bradford on Sep 14, 2015
Larry was elected to the School Board in 2007 and is currently serving a second term as Board President. (He says he is not running for reelection next year.) The Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District has 1500 employees, and the Board members determine allocation of resources and hiring of the Superintendent & staff. During his first five years on the School Board (during the Recession), there was no extra money and they had to cut back employees and furlough people. In spite of that, the community has continued to support the local schools to help maintain their high quality. Our two High Schools are among the top in the US, and most of the others are private schools with more resources. Fewer students are enrolling at our elementary levels, due to increasing housing costs for most families with young children, so the High School enrollment is also gradually decreasing, which decreases the amount of state financial support provided.
Larry VandenBos, School Board President, PVPUSD Wes Bradford 2015-09-15 00:00:00Z 0

History of Spies, by Joe Mardesich

Posted by Wes Bradford on Sep 07, 2015
Joe Mardesich was the first college graduate in his family. At Dana Junior High School, he developed a love of teaching as a career. He attended Pepperdine and then CSU Long Beach, majoring in history and obtaining a Secondary-School Teaching Credential. He taught US and world history, government, economics, ESL and English, in Torrance, Los Angeles, Dana Junior High, and San Pedro High. He retired in 1994 but returned the next year as a substitute teacher for a teacher on maternity leave. Over the next 12 years, he filled in for 6 teachers who delivered 8 babies, becoming known as the “grandfather” of San Pedro High. He retired again in 2008. He has been giving presentations at the San Pedro Rotary Club and the Palos Verdes Speakers Forum on historical subjects.
History of Spies, by Joe Mardesich Wes Bradford 2015-09-08 00:00:00Z 0

Program: Norris Theatre, Jason Sluyter

Posted by Wes Bradford on Aug 31, 2015
Jason Sluyter is the Box Office & Theatre Rentals Manager at the Norris Center for the Performing Arts in Rolling Hills Estates. He graduated from Grand Canyon University, a private Christian University in Phoenix, Arizona, in 1999. He began as a premed major, but switched to Theater midway through his time on campus, inspired by his participation in theater productions on campus as a performer and in other production roles. He is married and has two children. He began at the Norris 6 years ago, starting in the box office, and then became box office manager with involvement in marketing and producing.
Program: Norris Theatre, Jason Sluyter Wes Bradford 2015-09-01 00:00:00Z 0

Rancho Palos Verdes City Manager, Doug Willmore

Posted by Wes Bradford on Aug 24, 2015
Doug Willmore became City Manager of Rancho Palos Verdes in June 2015. Previously he was chosen in June 2012 to be City Manager leading the turnaround of Bell, California, after their devastating scandal. Before that he was City Manager of El Segundo and Chief Administrative Officer of Salt Lake County, Utah. He graduated from George Mason University and has a Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Utah.
Rancho Palos Verdes City Manager, Doug Willmore Wes Bradford 2015-08-25 00:00:00Z 0

Michael Peters, Craft Talk

Posted by Wes Bradford on Aug 17, 2015
Mike Peters, our Club’s newest member, was born in Alabama where his mother was an Army Reserve Captain and his father worked for the railroad. He grew up in Lakewood, California, and attended Artesia High School. He started playing football at age 11 and hoped to become a professional football player. After college interviews at the University of Illinois and at Ole Miss, he chose the Ole Miss Rebels to avoid cold weather. (However, one of his favorite places is Alaska, where he loves to go for fishing trips, in summertime, of course.)
Michael Peters, Craft Talk Wes Bradford 2015-08-18 00:00:00Z 0

Assemblyman David Hadley, 66th Dist

Posted by Wes Bradford on Aug 10, 2015
In 1999, David founded Hadley Partners, Inc, an investment banking firm for helping business owners to finance or sell their companies, and has assisted over 100 entrepreneurial companies. Previously, he was a managing director at investment-banking firm BT Alex Brown for mergers, acquisitions and financing. He was elected to the California Assembly in November 2014.
Assemblyman David Hadley, 66th Dist Wes Bradford 2015-08-11 00:00:00Z 0

Early History of Catalina Island, Michael Sanborn

Posted by Wes Bradford on Aug 03, 2015
Michael Sanborn was born and raised in the Los Angeles Harbor area. He graduated from Humboldt State University (American History) and obtained an MA degree in Historic Preservation/Public History at CSU Dominguez Hills. He became Curator for the Lummis Home in Los Angeles before becoming Director of the Banning Residence Museum (LA Department of Recreation and Parks) in Wilmington.
The Banning Museum was organized in 1974 to preserve the house built by Gen Phineas Banning in 1864. General Banning was known as the Father of the Los Angeles Harbor, establishing the first communication and transportation network in Southern California. He promoted the Los Angeles Harbor as a potential deep water port (which he dredged and built dock facilities for) as an alternative for the proposed Santa Monica port (which was never built). He established the first mule freight wagons and passenger stagecoach service from the port to the village of Los Angeles. To improve Harbor business, he and his sons decided to develop Catalina Island.
Early History of Catalina Island, Michael Sanborn Wes Bradford 2015-08-04 00:00:00Z 0

African Safari Video, Mark Comon (Paul’s Photo)

Posted by Wes Bradford on Jul 27, 2015
Jon Kaplan introduced our speaker, Mark Comon of Paul’s Photo in Torrance. Paul’s was established in 1961 by Mark's father. His mother and Mark and now the grandchildren have also worked there. It has cameras, binoculars, lenses, photo supplies, and also a variety of photography classes for different ages and skill levels.
African Safari Video, Mark Comon (Paul’s Photo) Wes Bradford 2015-07-28 00:00:00Z 0

Capt Blain Bolin, Lomita Sheriff’s Station

Posted by Wes Bradford on Jul 20, 2015
Capt Bolin joined the Sheriff’s Department in 1985. He was promoted to Lieutenant in 2000 and Captain in 2012. He is now Commander of the Lomita Sheriff’s Station, which is contracted to provide law enforcement services to Lomita, Rancho Palos Verdes, Rolling Hills, and Rolling Hills Estates. (68% of its budget is for RPV.) The Lomita Sheriff’s Station opened in 1975.
The Station’s personnel includes administrative staff and volunteers as well as sworn law enforcement officers. Among the specialized units are the Surveillance and Apprehension Team, which can be called out at any time to gather information on suspects and blend into the community with unmarked cars. He reviewed a dramatic case where a dangerous suspect was surreptitiously followed out of a crowded commercial area to a safer area without alarming him, and then was apprehended before he could escape onto the freeway.
Capt Blain Bolin, Lomita Sheriff’s Station Wes Bradford 2015-07-21 00:00:00Z 0

Dr Don Austin, Superintendent of PVUSD

Posted by Wes Bradford on Jul 13, 2015
Dr Donald Austin became Superintendent of Schools of the PVPUSD in 2014. He graduated from Baker University in Kansas and has Masters and Doctors degrees in Education from Azusa Pacific University. He taught in Hemet and Moreno Valley before becoming Principal of La Sierra High School and then Laguna Beach High School. He became Assistant Superintendent in Huntington Beach in 1911 before his appointment as Superintendent in Palos Verdes.
Dr. Austin’s philosophy is to put people first and make their jobs fun, but don’t celebrate mediocrity. Being happy is more productive.
Our Palos Verdes School District is relatively isolated geographically, because it is not easy to come to (no nearby freeways) and is an increasingly expensive place to live. This has advantages and disadvantages. We have high-quality schools, but the quality should not depend on which side of the Hill people live on. World-class has no finish line; we should always ask what we can do better.
Career readiness is different now. People often have multiple careers over their lifetimes, with no pension and an unsure or no paycheck. College readiness is important to avoid a gap when graduating to a higher institution. Our changing world requires more versatility of knowledge and talents than in the past when people could just choose a career and stay there. He hopes to continue improving the quality of teaching and the efficient use of always-limited resources.
Dr Don Austin, Superintendent of PVUSD Wes Bradford 2015-07-14 00:00:00Z 0

Remembering Angi Ma Wong

Posted by Wes Bradford on Jul 13, 2015
Longtime PV Sunset Rotarian Angi Ma Wong will be remembered at a Memorial Service on Saturday, July 25, 3:30 PM, at All Saints Episcopal Church, 132 N Euclid Ave in Pasadena, with a reception to follow. Please sign up for attendance estimate (a big crowd is expected), or contact Norman Wong at 310-614-7606 or
Charitable donations are invited to The Rotary Foundation (c/o Lew Bertrand), The Chinese Historical Society of Southern California, Sisters of Charity of Rolling Hills, or Friends of Banning Museum.
Angi will be fondly remembered and greatly missed for her legacy of generous humanitarian service to Palos Verdes Sunset Rotary Club, District 5280 and Service above Self. She was inducted into the Rotary District 5280 Hall of Fame at the District Conference this year.
Remembering Angi Ma Wong Wes Bradford 2015-07-14 00:00:00Z 0

Club Planning for 2015-16 Rotary Year, Pres Lew Bertrand

Posted by Wes Bradford on Jul 06, 2015
Pres Lew reintroduced his Bertrand Bucks (which he had used to reward members’ services during his first term as Pres). We will bring them to the Demotion Party next year for prizes.
He encouraged us to share our Club with our business customers and friends, and to bring them to one of our projects and to a meeting, to share what we have in Rotary.
He reviewed our Club and District activities and the calendar for the coming Rotary Year, including DG Sun’s visit to our Club on October 13. We will have the Harmony Concert, Club Fundraiser, District Grant Project, student Art, Speech, Music and Dance Contests, and a Club meeting run by Rotaractors and Interactors. District Breakfasts, the Literacy Breakfast at Lawry’s Restaurant in Beverly Hills, and the District Picnic deserve our participation. He predicts a successful growing year for our Club.
Club Planning for 2015-16 Rotary Year, Pres Lew Bertrand Wes Bradford 2015-07-07 00:00:00Z 0

Demotion of Pres Roger Schamp: "You Stand Relieved!"

Posted by Wes Bradford on Jun 22, 2015
Outgoing Pres Roger Schamp thanked the outgoing club officers and board members for their support during the year, including the difficult planning for our Club’s change of meeting venue. He reviewed our District’s February Humanitarian Trip to Guatemala, and our Club’s Project EGO, as outstanding examples of Rotary service. He thanked Audrey Dahlgren for her exemplary service in recruiting First-Place District Winners in the District’s Student Mu-sic, Dance and Speech Contests. He extended warm appreciation to Angi Ma Wong for her many years of outstanding Rotary service to our Club and District. Roger thanked PDG Lew Bertrand for accepting the duties of Incoming President, and presented outgoing Club Treasurer Chris Kilgore with a plaque for his years of outstanding service.
Dave Moyers reviewed some interesting quotes in Roger Schamp’s Butte, Montana, High School Yearbook. Then Roger’s history was reviewed, going to UC Berkeley where he met his wife, Carol. From there, Roger entered the US Navy where he rose to the rank of Lieutenant Commander.
PDG Rick Mendoza and PDG/Incoming Pres Lew Bertrand presented Roger with the Past President’s Pin. Rick Mendoza expressed appreciation for our Club and Roger Schamp’s service, and declared him Honorably Discharged!
He also noted Lew Bertrand’s District leadership during the year of the merger of the two Districts. PDG Rick Mendoza conducted the installation of Incoming Pres Lew Bertrand and his 2015-16 Board, and Lew made his closing remarks. The party went on while the sun set over the hillside to the west.
Demotion of Pres Roger Schamp: "You Stand Relieved!" Wes Bradford 2015-06-23 00:00:00Z 0

Membership, by DGN Greg O’Brien

Posted by Wes Bradford on Jun 15, 2015
DGN Greg O’Brien, who will be District Governor in 2016-17, was introduced by PDG Lew Bertrand, our incoming Pres. Lew remembers when he was District Governor and speaking to the Palos Verdes Peninsula Rotary Club while Greg O’Brien was its President, when suddenly the entire audience ran over to the window to look out. Lew went over to see what the commotion was, in time to see the Space Shuttle flying over Torrance on its way to its final landing at LAX. This interruption was considered a great salute to the meeting!
Membership, by DGN Greg O’Brien Wes Bradford 2015-06-16 00:00:00Z 0

Page Jones: His Recovery from Accident

Posted by Wes Bradford on Jun 08, 2015
PDG Lew Bertrand introduced Page Jones, whom he has known from many years ago. Page, influenced by his father par Nelly, love to ride motorcycles. In 1994, he was riding in Malibu when a car back into the road in front of him. He awoke in a hospital bed, with a roommate, Bill Richard of the Malibu Rotary Club, also recovering from injury in the next bed.
Page Jones: His Recovery from Accident Wes Bradford 2015-06-09 00:00:00Z 0

Honoring Angi Ma Wong

Posted by Wes Bradford on Jun 01, 2015

Angi Ma Wong was honored at the recent District 5280 Conference in San Diego, and received a five minute standing ovation for her exemplary history of service to Rotary. She was awarded a plaque for the District Hall of Fame, the District’s highest recognition, for her dedicated service to Rotary and District 5280. This award is not given annually and has strict eligibility criteria.


Honoring Angi Ma Wong Wes Bradford 2015-06-02 00:00:00Z 0

The New Torrance Memorial Hospital

Posted by Wes Bradford on May 25, 2015
Connie Senner, the Director of Construction at Torrance Memorial Hospital, began in 1991 as Director of Operations for their physician office practice management program. She has managed the 8-year project for the Hospital’s new Lundquist Tower, which opened in Nov 2014. The campus Master Plan has projects outlined through 2018.
The Lundquist Tower has 390,000 square feet in 7 floors and basement, designed to high seismic standards. There are 256 private patient rooms, 12 Operating Rooms, 4 Catheterization Labs, 12 elevators (4 public), and supportive units. 112 rooms have dialysis facilities. There are Pharmacy services, Imaging Department, a Healing Garden, Chapel, Gift Shop and cafe. Corridors on the 1st and 2nd floors connect to the older hospital, whose space will be modified for other uses.
Torrance Memorial Hospital is 90 years old, non-profit, and self-supporting with the help of community donors. Its website is
Sally Eberhard is the Hospital’s Sr VP for Planning and Development. She has a Master’s Degree in Health Service and Hospital Administration and a Doctorate in Public Health. She has oversight of the Hospital’s Strategic Planning Activities and various Hospital Departments.
The New Torrance Memorial Hospital Wes Bradford 2015-05-26 00:00:00Z 0

Project EGO Banquet

Posted by Wes Bradford on May 18, 2015
The Project EGO (“Exploring Growth Opportunities”) program is designed to help high school students in danger of not graduating, to succeed in their educational and life goals. Some have financial, emotional, and/or family problems distracting them from achievement. They are recommended by their high school counselors and must attend regular meetings with good attendance and fulfillment of tasks including obtaining recommendations, completing a resume, and demonstrating job-interview skills and ability to speak before a group. They have career counseling and are able to focus on long-term planning and develop their self-confidence. The program is supported by the Norris Foundation and Rowena Schaben and other donors.
A slideshow was presented of their physical activities on the UC Irvine campus, designed to develop teamwork and self-confidence. They were shown climbing the tower and being suspended by cables, where they overcame their fears and learned to depend on each other for support. One of the students, Joseph Lin, accompanied the presentation with a solo violin performance for us.
Project EGO Banquet Wes Bradford 2015-05-19 00:00:00Z 0

Special Olympics, by Brian Erickson

Posted by Wes Bradford on May 11, 2015
Lew Bertrand introduced his friend Brian Erickson, Senior Vice President for Corporate Partnerships of the LA2015 Special Olympics World Games, to be held in Los Angeles this year. He is on loan from Mattel, where he is VP of Sales. The Games Organizing Committee, Inc. (GOC) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. Brian showed a short video of past Special Olympics events in other countries.
The Special Olympics movement was founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver to promote dignified participation by handicapped participants. It has grown to 4.4 million athletes in 177 countries. With the support of 1.3 million coaches and volunteers, it sponsors 32 Olympic-type sports and more than 81,000 games and competitions worldwide throughout the year.
Special Olympics, by Brian Erickson Wes Bradford 2015-05-12 00:00:00Z 0

LAX Chief of Police Pat Gannon

Posted by Wes Bradford on May 04, 2015
Lew Bertrand introduced his long-time friend, LAX Chief of Police Pat Gannon. LAX has had its own police department for 64 years. Chief Pat reviewed the early history of the Department (life seemed so simple and innocent back then). Now it has 1100 sworn & civilian personnel for LAX, ONT (Ontario) and VNY (Van Nuys). Officers train at the LAPD Academy. There are contingents of the LAPD, Homeland Security, FBI, and several other law-enforcement agencies.
LAX Chief of Police Pat Gannon Wes Bradford 2015-05-05 00:00:00Z 0

Student of the Year

Posted by Wes Bradford on Apr 27, 2015
Rosemary Humphries of Rancho Del Mar described her school’s mission of helping students in danger of not graduating high school, by providing a self-paced program. Her school’s Student of the Year is Dominique Russo, who transferred from PVPHS and has got-ten all A’s and B’s. She is an early graduate with 230 credits. She was awarded a $1000 scholarship check for further education.
Sarah Botkin introduced the Angi Ma Wong Interactor of the Year, Dylan Martins, who has been an outstanding leader in academic and school activities. He was awarded a scholar-ship check for $1000.
Sarah Botkin introduced the Marymount California University Rotaractor of the Year, Melissa Gutierrez. Her Rotaract Club has won campus and district awards for outstanding service projects. She was awarded a scholarship check for $1000.
Mrs Pollock, counselor at PVPHS, introduced her school’s Student of the Year, Ian Sun. He was awarded a scholarship check for $1000.
Congratulations to all of these outstanding students. We wish them academic success in their future careers. We think the hard-working teachers and counselors and our Club members who organized this event.
Student of the Year Wes Bradford 2015-04-28 00:00:00Z 0

Educating the Poor in Bangladesh, Gem Munro

Posted by Wes Bradford on Apr 20, 2015
Gem Munro was introduced by Lew Bertrand. Gem, a Canadian, has devoted his life and career to improving educational opportunities for disadvantaged people in Canada and abroad. He is a Founder (with his wife and 4 children) and Director of Amarok Society, a Canadian charity providing educational programs to the very poor in Bangladesh. He has written a book with a collection of stories about some of the extraordinary people he has come to know in the slums of Bangladesh, South Asian Adventures with the Active Poor. (Proceeds from the sales help support the Amarok Society.) Gem and his wife Tanyss Munro have been awarded Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medals for their charitable work.
Educating the Poor in Bangladesh, Gem Munro Wes Bradford 2015-04-21 00:00:00Z 0

Dave Moyers Presents Community Grants

Posted by Wes Bradford on Apr 13, 2015
PDG Dave Moyers described the Rotary District Community Grants and the im-portance of giving to the Rotary Foundation. Our Club’s donations last year averaged $300 per member. Our District invested $105,000 in Community Grants this year, growing every year since initiating this program several years ago. (One of our previous grants was $2500 to the Helen Coffey Library at the Harbor Interfaith Center several years ago.)
Dave introduced Don Wrigley, Executive Assistant at the Beacon House in San Pedro. It was founded in 1970 and built on a burned out property on 10th and Beacon Street (originally the home of Los Angeles’ first mayor). It has 115 beds for drug addicted and alcoholic men, to re-acclimate them into the community and help them to go out and work again. It provides food, clothing and shelter, and arranges counseling and vocational training. Its pro-gram is based on the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. Their website is Dave Moyers presented Don Wrigley with a check for $1000 to be used for providing blankets and pillows.
Dave introduced Julie Parrino, Director of Development for Harbor Interfaith Services in San Pedro. It is now 40 years old. It was founded by religious organizations and originally met in a church basement, but has grown and now has a new facility on 9th Street. It provides food and pantry services, emergency shelters, clothing, and educational and mental health services for homeless and working poor people. 31,000 people were served last year, increasing the proportion of children in day care, pre-kindergarten and afterschool programs, increasing income with work and benefits programs, helping student heads of household to reach their educational goals, and helping families to secure permanent housing. Harbor Interfaith helps to connect people to the services they need to become productive, self-sufficient and independent citizens. They welcome volunteers to become mentors, reading partners, sports supervising, tutoring, and providing many other skills. Their website is Dave Moyers presented Julie Parrino with a check for $1500, to be used for 3 new kitchen stoves.
Dave Moyers Presents Community Grants Wes Bradford 2015-04-14 00:00:00Z 0

Boys & Girls Club, by Mike Lansing

Posted by Wes Bradford on Apr 06, 2015
Lew Bertrand introduced his longtime friend, Mike Lansing, Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Club of the Los Angeles Harbor. Mike has worked for them since 1995 and considers it his ideal job. (The B&G Club has won many awards under his leadership.) When Mike was 6-13 years old, with no place to go, he had gone to the San Pedro Boys and Girls Club. It was founded in 1937 by the San Pedro Civitan Club by local business people, to keep kids off the streets and provide educational and cultural enrichment after school, in order to enable those with the most need to reach their potential.
Boys & Girls Club, by Mike Lansing Wes Bradford 2015-04-07 00:00:00Z 0

Chamber of Commerce “Queen of the Hill”, Teresa Scott

Posted by Wes Bradford on Mar 30, 2015
Teresa Scott was crowned “Queen of the Hill” for 2014-15, at a Palos Verdes Chamber of Commerce “Coronation Ceremony” on Nov 22nd at The Promenade on the Peninsula (note white and blue sash). She is on the Chamber’s Board of Directors and serves as Vice Chair of Membership.
This award is given annually by the Chamber to the winner of a 2-month fund-raising contest for a local nonprofit organization. The winner, who is not announced until the ceremony, represents this nonprofit organization and the Peninsula community at local events. Candidates and their sponsoring organizations raise funds and get exposure for the organizations’ programs and services.  Each candidate’s net revenue goes 80% to the sponsoring organization and 20% to the Chamber to support its many business programs.
Chamber of Commerce “Queen of the Hill”, Teresa Scott Wes Bradford 2015-03-31 00:00:00Z 0

District Guatemala Humanitarian Trip

Posted by Wes Bradford on Mar 23, 2015
President Roger Schamp and Wes and Judy Bradford presented their experiences in the District 5280 trip to Guatemala District 4250 on February 5-9, in the old colonial capital, Antigua. Roger attended a meeting of Canadian and Washington State Rotarians who were discussing their ongoing projects in Guatemala, including a self-sustaining micro loan system.
Our Rotarian projects there are funded by a Global Grant of $483,000 including funds from both Districts and the Rotary Foundation. The “Guatemala Literacy Project” provides Mayan schools with textbooks. Small charges to the parents each year provide enough money to replace the books in 4-5 years. Teaching without books is especially difficult if the Mayan children are not fluent in Spanish. Many more schools are in need, and Guatemala has one of the lowest literacy rates in the Americas. We brought a carton of wrist bracelets (donated by Trixie and Jim Gamble of our Club) to distribute to eager children. We also delivered school backpacks and supplies, and there never seemed to be enough for everyone.
District Guatemala Humanitarian Trip Wes Bradford 2015-03-24 00:00:00Z 0

Harmony Concert at Norris Theatre

Posted by Wes Bradford on Mar 16, 2015
The second annual Harmony Concert by the combined Music Departments of the Palos Verdes Peninsula High School and the Palos Verdes High School was performed at the Norris Theatre on March 17. It is sponsored as a joint community service project by the Palos Verdes Sunset Rotary Club, the Palos Verdes Peninsula Rotary Club, the Palos Verdes Lions Club, and the Kiwanis Club of Rolling Hills Estates. This Concert demonstrates cooperation between two rival high schools and raises funds for their music departments. This event was planned over the past year by the coordinating committee with Jackie Crowley (Palos Verdes Sunset Rotary Club) and representatives of the other three service clubs.
Harmony Concert at Norris Theatre Wes Bradford 2015-03-17 00:00:00Z 0

PETS & District Update, by Lew Bertrand

Posted by Wes Bradford on Mar 09, 2015

PDG Lew Bertrand, our President-Elect, discussed his experience joining Rotary (rather than Lions Club), because a Rotarian ASKED him! As a banker, he was promoted to various positions in the South Bay area, resulting in his belonging to several nearby Rotary Clubs. He helped to start the 4-Way Test Contest. As banking changed and his bank was sold, he looked for an evening Club, which was Palos Verdes Sunset.


He was President of our Club in 2007-8 when Dave Moyers was District Governor and the RI Convention was held in Los Angeles. This began three consecutive years of annual Club of Excellence banners for PV Sunset. When he became District Governor in 2012-13, his activities opened Rotarian friendships to him all over the world.


Lew reported on the recent President-Elect Training Seminars (PETS), 2½ days of training (which he probably did not need for himself for his next Presidential term). He was on the committee of PDGs planning it for the past year (as treasurer) and managing its budget.


PETS & District Update, by Lew Bertrand Wes Bradford 2015-03-10 00:00:00Z 0

Skid Row Housing, by Daniel Rizik-Baer

Posted by Wes Bradford on Mar 02, 2015
Daniel Rizik-Baer is the Community Relations Manager at the Skid Row Housing Trust in Los Angeles. He has worked with community groups, residents and news media to increase awareness of homelessness and the solutions that the Trust provides — Permanent Supportive Housing. He has a Master’s degree in Social Welfare from the University of California at Berkeley.
Skid Row Housing, by Daniel Rizik-Baer Wes Bradford 2015-03-03 00:00:00Z 0

Student Dance Contest

Posted by Wes Bradford on Feb 23, 2015
Audrey Dahlgren opened the program by introducing the three dance contestants, who each presented a video selection of her dance performances. The judging committee consisted of Sue Tyree with Chuck Klaus and Jackie Crowley.
Athena Nikolakopulos, a senior at Palos Verdes high school, very impressively danced the classical ballet Nutcracker Grande Pas de Deux (video presented showing her with male partner). The judging committee awarded her with 1st Prize and $200.
Sara Crossman, a senior at Palos Verdes Peninsula High School, presented a video of her solo jazz dance. She was awarded 2nd Prize and $100.
The winner will compete at the District level on March 28 at Loyola Marymount University and may be presented at the District Conference in San Diego in May.
Student Dance Contest Wes Bradford 2015-02-24 00:00:00Z 0

Club Assembly

Posted by Wes Bradford on Feb 16, 2015
Roger Schamp opened the program with the Treasurer’s report by Chris Kilgore. Club revenues and expenses were reviewed, with projections over the coming year compared among various venues for our permanent meeting site.
Then there was a discussion by most of the attending members of the possible venues, comparing potential costs and features (location, food service, room size and flexibility, accessibility, parking, and wine sales for cost support).
After much discussion, a vote was called for. Although none of the potential choices had all of the desired features, a strong majority of the members voted in favor of Rolling Hills Country Club. Many members were previously familiar with this venue, including make-ups with the Lomita-Torrance Airport Rotary Club that formerly met there. Several members indicated preference for another choice, and pointed out that the attendance was smaller this week and some absentees may also have other preferences. This difficult decision was not taken lightly, but we need to settle on a choice and make future plans and publicize our choice.
Club Assembly Wes Bradford 2015-02-17 00:00:00Z 0

Jacques Naviaux, Gliding in New Zealand

Posted by Wes Bradford on Feb 09, 2015
Jacques Naviaux, a former Marine Corps fighter pilot, presented his gliding (“mountain wave soaring”) experience in New Zealand. The west side of the South Island gets 220 inches of rain per year, with high winds but moderate climate.
The wind blowing eastward up the mountain slopes causes a smooth rising air mass that can keep gliders aloft for hours. The air goes up and down following mountain slopes, and tends to rise over sun-heated areas of dark rock surrounded by snow. The gliders follow rising air masses as judged by ground contour and weather conditions. They stay below 15,000 feet, although the glider altitude record is about 50,000 feet.
Jacques Naviaux, Gliding in New Zealand Wes Bradford 2015-02-10 00:00:00Z 0

Rotaractors & Interactors

Posted by Wes Bradford on Feb 02, 2015
Our student guests reviewed their projects of this year:
  • Amanda Peters, Pres of Rotaract Club, Marymount California University
  • Interact President Dylan Martins, whose Club membership tripled to 80 this year!
Jackie Crowley, Lew Bertrand, and Angi Ma Wong discussed how Rotary experiences have influenced their lives.
Rotaractors & Interactors Wes Bradford 2015-02-03 00:00:00Z 0

Student Speech Contest

Posted by Wes Bradford on Jan 26, 2015
Vocational Service Cochair Audrey Dahlgren introduced the student contestants and reviewed the rules for speaking. The contestants were each given 4-6 minutes to speak, relating their topics to the Rotary Four-Way Test. The judges included Sylvia Benko, Charley Ferraro, Bob Coffey, and Art Delaloza, MMU Professor and Rotaract Advisor.
After careful consideration, the judging panel selected as winners Daniel Foltz for First Place (awarded $200) and Annie Benedict for Second Place (awarded $100). The winner will compete in the District Speech Competition at Loyola Marymount University on March 28. Congratulations to the winners, and our sincere thanks to all of the contestants for their hard work, and to Audrey Dahlgren for recruiting such a great cast of contestants!
(Shown with Audrey Dahlgren are Eileen Kim, Kevin Hsu, Daniel Foltz, Annie Benedict and Shannon Cardella)
Student Speech Contest Wes Bradford 2015-01-27 00:00:00Z 0

Palos Verdes Art Center, Gale Phinney

Posted by Wes Bradford on Jan 19, 2015
Gale Phinney is the Education Director for the Palos Verdes Art Center, a non-profit community visual arts gallery and school founded in 1931 as a cultural arm of Palos Verdes Estates to make the visual arts available, accessible and affordable to all. She reviewed the history and activities of the Art Center.
Palos Verdes Art Center, Gale Phinney Wes Bradford 2015-01-20 00:00:00Z 0

Wayfarers Chapel, Jim Morgan

Posted by Wes Bradford on Jan 12, 2015
Jim Morgan is a member of the Palos Verdes Peninsula (Noon) Rotary Club, and Director of Operations for the Wayfarers Chapel on Palos Verdes Drive South in Rancho Palos Verdes.
The Wayfarers Chapel (“The Glass Church”) is noted for its unique modern architecture and location on cliffs above the Ocean. It is part of the Swedenborgian Church of North America (founded by Emanuel Swedenborg, theologian and scientist from the 1700′s and noted for his spiritual illumination of the Bible).
Wayfarers Chapel, Jim Morgan Wes Bradford 2015-01-13 00:00:00Z 0

Water Reliability 2020 (West Basin Municipal Water Dist)

Posted by Wes Bradford on Jan 05, 2015
Ron Wildermuth has been a Public Information and Conservation Manager for West Basin Municipal Water District since 2008. He is a retired Navy Captain and was a public relations advisor to Gen Schwarzkopf during the Gulf War, and then worked for the Parsons Corporation and for the Orange County Water District.
The West Basin District was formed in 1947 by local cities to manage a declining water table and overreliance on groundwater. In addition to Palos Verdes, the West Basin’s service area includes Carson and most of the cities south of the Los Angeles Airport (except Torrance), and Inglewood, Culver City, West Hollywood and Malibu. It distributes 220,000 acre-feet of water annually. (An acre foot is 326,000 gallons, the amount used by two average families in one year.) It is a member of the Metropolitan Water District that imports water into Southern California.
Water Reliability 2020 (West Basin Municipal Water Dist) Wes Bradford 2015-01-06 00:00:00Z 0

Christmas Party, OFFSITE at Palos Verdes Golf Club

Posted by Wes Bradford on Dec 15, 2014

Sandy Farrell & Pres Roger Schamp opened the program & introduced our many guests, including DG Elsa Gilham & Larry Gillham, & her Chief of Staff, Melody St John & Paul St John.


After dinner, PDG & District Rotary Foundation Chair Dave Moyers reviewed the history of the Foundation and its contributions to Rotarian service. Then the following members were recognized with Paul Harris Awards:

Paul Harris +2: Chuck & Marylyn Klaus & Sandy Farrell

Paul Harris +3: Jackie Crowley & Varda Lancaster

Paul Harris +4: Wally Christmas

Paul Harris +5: Burt Arnold (not present, but donates every year)


Larry Andrews was recognized for new members brought in to Rotary.


Jim Gamble was recognized for his many years of service to Rotary.

Marylyn Klaus was recognized for her many years of service to Rotary and her loyal support of the Rotary Foundation.

Santa (Chris Kilgore) was presented a map by Jerry Farrell, to help him find the PV Sunset Rotary Club.

Betty Reider & Audrey Dahlgren sang a Christmas Carol to Pres Roger (“Roger is Coming to Town”).

Then we all sang Christmas Carols to finish the evening events.

Christmas Party, OFFSITE at Palos Verdes Golf Club Wes Bradford 2014-12-16 00:00:00Z 0

Larry Andrews’ Book, “A Space Oddity” (Offsite at Mary & Joseph Retreat Center)

Posted by Wes Bradford on Dec 08, 2014

Our Club’s newest novelist, Larry Andrews, is an engineer and aerospace consultant. He loves to read novelists including Tom Clancy, James Michener, Noel Barber, John Grisham and Patricia Cornwell. He likes people, traveling and cultures, and describes himself as emotional, romantic, and with a vivid imagination. He decided to write a novel based on his experiences and places he’s been.


Larry Andrews’ Book, “A Space Oddity” (Offsite at Mary & Joseph Retreat Center) Wes Bradford 2014-12-09 00:00:00Z 0

Student Art Contest

Posted by wes on Dec 01, 2014

Audrey Dahlgren introduced the student art contestants. The students introduced themselves and presented their artwork, describing their motivations for their choices. The judging committee consisted of Echo Lee, with Larry Andrews, Dave Moyers and Marylyn Klaus.

Rachel Gundlach (Palos Verdes High School) presented her work done on a computer, showing a “Girl in Her Own Universe”, tuned in with headphones.

 Nicole Cunningham (Palos Verdes High School) presented her work focusing on the existence of many problems in the community and asking, “How are you?” “I'm OK.”

 Chelsea Liu (Peninsula High School) presented her watercolor, “Ocean View at Sunset”, showing the interplay of colors at that time of day.

Annie Graziano (Palos Verdes High School) presented a video that she wrote and produced, about her older sister and boyfriend showing “Commitment to a Relationship”.

The judging panel reviewed all entries carefully, and finally came up with their winners: Rachel Gundlach, 1st Place and $200 for “Girl in Her Own Universe”, and Chelsea Liu, 2nd place and $100 for her watercolor, “Ocean View at Sunset”. The 1st Place winner will compete in the District Contest at Loyola Marymount University on March 31.

Student Art Contest wes 2014-12-02 00:00:00Z 0

4-Club Joint Noon Meeting (Rolling Hills Country Club)

Posted by Wes Bradford on Nov 20, 2014

Pres Jim Hartman of the Palos Verdes Peninsula Rotary Club opened the meeting. After the invocation, PV Peninsula new member Megan Lyne led the attendees in singing the “Star-Spangled Banner” in her beautiful soprano voice. After a review of the Harmony Concert Joint Project of the 4 Clubs, he introduced each of the 4 Club presidents in turn, to present overviews of their Clubs’ activities and service projects.
4-Club Joint Noon Meeting (Rolling Hills Country Club) Wes Bradford 2014-11-21 00:00:00Z 0

Father Anastasi, Abbot of St Antony Coptic Monastery

Posted by Wes Bradford on Nov 17, 2014
Father Anastasi became Hegumen (Abbot) of St Antony Monastery in Newberry Springs, near Barstow in California’s Mojave Desert, in 2006. The Monastery was established in 1973, the first Coptic monastery in North America. It serves many Coptic Orthodox congregations in Southern California. The monastery is a U-shaped building on 800 acres with St. Antony’s Church, a row of small cells each containing a bed and chair for the monks, and a refectory (dining room). In spite of their isolated location, they receive many visitors, not all of the Coptic faith. Father Anastasi presented a video on Coptic history in Egypt, including early leaders and martyrs.
Father Anastasi, Abbot of St Antony Coptic Monastery Wes Bradford 2014-11-18 00:00:00Z 0

John Williams, Peninsula Symphony

Posted by Wes Bradford on Nov 10, 2014

John Williams is the President of the Peninsula Symphony Association. He was born in Illinois north of Chicago and came to California at age 13. He attended USC and became a Navy submariner. He worked for Electra Manufacturing until 1988, and then worked for Morgan Stanley until his retirement in 2013.

 The Peninsula Symphony was founded in 1967. It has moved recently to the Redondo Union High School auditorium (from its previous venue at Rolling Hills Covenant Church). Free concerts are provided to the South Bay community, although the cost is $30,000 per concert, requiring private fund-raising. Peninsula Symphony members’ subscriptions provide one half of the orchestra’s income, with the remainder coming from private donations and fundraising events.


John Williams, Peninsula Symphony Wes Bradford 2014-11-11 00:00:00Z 0

Student Music Contest

Posted by Wes Bradford on Nov 03, 2014
Vocational Service Co-Chair Audrey Dahlgren introduced the students entered into our Club’s Music Contest. The students from Peninsula High School were:
•    Chisa Kodaka (violin)
•    Rishi Gattu (guitar)
•    Brandon Jolly (keyboard)
•    Zoe Council (singer with keyboard)
The students from Palos Verdes High School were:
•    Eileen Kim (violin)
•    Enoch Park (oboe)
The Club’s Judging Committee included Ralph Black, Jacques Naviaux and Chuck Klaus. Following intense deliberations, the winners were Chisa Kodaka (Second Place) and Eileen Kim (First Place). Congratulations and thanks to both of them, and to all of the contestants for their talent and hard work! The winner will compete in the District Final contest at Loyola Marymount University on March 31.
Our Club extends our gratitude to Audrey Dahlgren for her hard work recruiting the contestants and organizing this contest.
Student Music Contest Wes Bradford 2014-11-04 00:00:00Z 0

DG Elsa Gilham Visit

Posted by Wes Bradford on Oct 27, 2014

DG Elsa Gillham joined Rotary in 1998 and is Past President of the Wilshire Rotary Club in Los Angeles. She is a Rotary Foundation alumnus and served as team leader of the Group Study Exchange to the Philippines in 2006-7 and was Rotarian of the Year. She helped charter the Rotary Club of Historic Filipinotown. She served in many offices of District 5280 and in community organizations before becoming District Governor.
DG Elsa Gilham Visit Wes Bradford 2014-10-28 00:00:00Z 0

Toberman House, Carter Calhoun

Posted by Wes Bradford on Oct 20, 2014

Carter Calhoun is Director of Development of Toberman Neighborhood Center in San Pedro. He grew up in San Pedro and attended local schools. His life passion has been community service. He had a computer business for 5 years and then sold it. He spent one year with the Masai tribe in Kenya, and was fascinated by their rich culture and interesting lifestyle. He met his wife in Palos Verdes and settled down in this area, and has been with Toberman for about 2 years.
Toberman House, Carter Calhoun Wes Bradford 2014-10-21 00:00:00Z 0

Kathy Berg, “RX for Life” Program

Posted by Wes Bradford on Oct 13, 2014
The Vial of Life program, a free, medical record-keeping program for adults and children, was created in the Midwest, and is locally named RX for Life on the PV Peninsula.  It is designed to aid Peninsula residents in supplying important, individual medical information to assist first responders in performing emergency first aid in the home.
            The RX for Life kit includes: medical history form, pencil, prescription bottle to store your form, refrigerator magnet, and window decal for first responders.  Participants keep medical records current on the form, which is rolled up and stored in a plastic pill bottle on the top right hand shelf of one’s refrigerator.  A window decal or refrigerator magnet is displayed for paramedics and other emergency personnel to have access to up-to-date information when called to a residence.
Kathy Berg, “RX for Life” Program Wes Bradford 2014-10-14 00:00:00Z 0

The Hill, by Don Davis, Author

Posted by Wes Bradford on Oct 06, 2014
Don Davis has been an attorney for 45 years, specializing in corporate, business and securities law and an investment banker for 40 years. (His family arrived in the 1880s in Porterville, from Missouri.) He and his wife have 7 children; the youngest, Julie, is 14 years old and attends Palos Verdes High School.
Don completed his first novel, THE HILL, this year (set in the Palos Verdes area). His second novel, THE ISLAND, set on Catalina Island, is in progress. An author interview that he read in the Los Angeles Times inspired him to write THE HILL. The interviewee spoke about the three components of a story: locale, theme and characters, and how he wrote 3 pages a day.
The Hill, by Don Davis, Author Wes Bradford 2014-10-07 00:00:00Z 0

Rolling Hills Estates City Planning Director, David Wahba

Posted by Wes Bradford on Sep 29, 2014
David Wahba has been employed with the City of Rolling Hills Estates for over 24 years and has served as the City’s Planning Director for 12 years, overseeing Planning, Building& Safety and Code Enforcement. Prior to his current position, he was employed by his hometown of San Jose in its Redevelopment Agency.
David has a BS from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in City and Regional Planning and a MA from Long Beach State in Public Policy and Administration. He lives in the South Bay, is married with two children.
(Notes by Angi Ma Wong)
Rolling Hills Estates City Planning Director, David Wahba Wes Bradford 2014-09-30 00:00:00Z 0

Palos Verdes Chamber of Commerce, Eileen Hupp

Posted by Wes Bradford on Sep 22, 2014

Eileen Hupp, a member of the Palos Verdes Peninsula Rotary Club, has been President & Chief Executive Officer of the Palos Verdes Chamber of Commerce for 3 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 Bachelors and Masters degrees from The Johns Hopkins University and an MBA from The University of Chicago. She has been a committed volunteer since high school for a number of community organizations. She lives in Rolling Hills Estates and has three children.
Palos Verdes Chamber of Commerce, Eileen Hupp Wes Bradford 2014-09-23 00:00:00Z 0

Guatemala Humanitarian Trip, Marc Bernard

Posted by Wes Bradford on Sep 15, 2014
Marc Benard is a member of the Del Amo Torrance Rotary Club, where he is Foundation Chair and Past President. He has been involved in humanitarian projects in Mexico and Central America, where his podiatry group has performed 3000 surgeries on children in the last 37 years.
 He reviewed the status of the 6 Global Grants for the pending District trip to Guatemala in February 5-9, totaling about $440,000, assisted by several Rotary Clubs in Guatemala. Some of these grants are not yet fully funded, and the committee is still looking for contributions to allocate as needed.
Guatemala Humanitarian Trip, Marc Bernard Wes Bradford 2014-09-16 00:00:00Z 0

Craft Talk, by Sarah Botkin

Posted by Wes Bradford on Sep 08, 2014

Sarah Botkin, our newest member, was born in Chile and moved with her family to the South Bay where she lived until second grade. Then she moved to Spokane, Washington. She moved again to San Diego, where she attended Torrey Pines High School for two years and then transferred to Mount Carmel High School.
Craft Talk, by Sarah Botkin Wes Bradford 2014-09-09 00:00:00Z 0

Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy, by Ken Swenson

Posted by Wes Bradford on Sep 01, 2014

Ken Swenson is the Past Board President of PVPLC. He is a Senior Vice President in the Office of the General Counsel of Bank of America, and has served on the Environmental Law Subsection of the Los Angeles County Bar Association.
The Conservancy was founded in 1988 to preserve undeveloped land as open space on the Palos Verdes Peninsula for historical, educational, ecological, recreational and scenic purposes. Since then it has successfully preserved 1,600 acres. Large blocks of natural open space have been created and maintained for visitors to enjoy peaceful solitude, for children and adults to learn about the natural environment, and for native plants and animals such as the California Gnatcatcher and Palos Verdes Blue butterfly to have opportunity to thrive.
Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy, by Ken Swenson Wes Bradford 2014-09-02 00:00:00Z 0

Astrid and Jacques Naviaux Recognized as Major Donors

Posted by Wes Bradford on Sep 01, 2014

PDG Dave Moyers presented Astrid and Jacques Naviaux with pins with diamonds (First Level Major Donors to the Rotary Foundation), and an engraved crystal memento. Thanks, and congratulations to both of you for your generosity!
Astrid and Jacques Naviaux Recognized as Major Donors Wes Bradford 2014-09-02 00:00:00Z 0

Peninsula Seniors, by Ann Shaw

Posted by Wes Bradford on Aug 25, 2014

Ann Shaw, Pres of Peninsula Seniors, has been a Member of its Board since 1999. She was a member of the Rancho Palos Verdes incorporation steering committee 1968-1973, and was an RPV Council Member 1977-1983, serving as Mayor 1979-1980. She is affiliated with the League of Women Voters, American Association of University Women, and was a TaxAide coordinator for AARP. She worked on cryptanalysis and computer programming for the National Security Agency 1957-1960, and then worked in private industry until becoming a self-employed Certified Financial Planner in 1994.
Peninsula Seniors, by Ann Shaw Wes Bradford 2014-08-26 00:00:00Z 0

Senior Scam Awareness Outreach, by John W. Green

Posted by Wes Bradford on Aug 18, 2014

John W Green is a retired Commissioner from the Los Angeles Superior Court. Previously, he worked as a deputy district attorney, did civil litigation, and was an in-house counsel for State Farm insurance. He graduated from Stanford University, served in the Peace Corps in Thailand, and graduated from Santa Clara University School of Law. He works for the Center for Effective Dispute Resolution Services in Los Angeles, and is a member of the LA5 Rotary Club.


Senior Scam Awareness Outreach, by John W. Green Wes Bradford 2014-08-19 00:00:00Z 0

Offsite Beach Party at the Portuguese Bend Club

Posted by Wes Bradford on Aug 11, 2014

The pelicans and gulls presented a display of their aviation skills.  The pelicans were diving into the water for seafood hors oeuvres. After being shuttled down to the beach by 2 of Ralph Black’s grandchildren, we gathered at the group of palapas for socializing and wine.  Jeff and his assistant prepared barbecued dinner, including Frisbee-sized hamburgers, dogs, salad & dessert, as the sun set among low-lying clouds on the horizon.
Our thanks to Ralph Black for arranging our Club’s off-site social evening here. He delivered a brief history of the Portuguese Bend Club and its residents and members. Portuguese Bend gets its name from Portuguese whalemen from the Azores, who built a shore station here in the 1860s to process whale oil from gray whales caught on their annual coastal migration.
Offsite Beach Party at the Portuguese Bend Club Wes Bradford 2014-08-12 00:00:00Z 0

PDG Rick Mendoza, Scuba Diving Experiences

Posted by Wes Bradford on Aug 04, 2014

PDG Rick Mendoza (2002-2003), of the Redondo Beach Rotary Club, has been a travel agent for many years, and is also a Certified Underwater Instructor (wearing his red instructor’s jacket). He was introduced tonight by Bob Welbourn, an experienced SCUBA diver in our Club.
Rick showed a series of slides of underwater photos he has taken in the South Pacific and elsewhere. He showed close-up underwater photos of many kinds of tropical fish, lobsters (including an 11-pounder), moray eels, rays, groupers, many kinds of coral, sea squirts, sponges, nudibranchs, urchins, anemones, starfish and a turtle. The clarity of the water was striking.
PDG Rick Mendoza, Scuba Diving Experiences Wes Bradford 2014-08-05 00:00:00Z 0

SpaceX, by John Federspiel

Posted by Wes Bradford on Jul 28, 2014
John Federspiel is a lead mechanical engineer for SpaceX (Space Exploration Technologies Corporation). (SpaceX hosted a tour for last year’s 4-H Club Rocketeers.) SpaceX was founded in 2002 by former PayPal entrepreneur and Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk to design, produce and oper-ate reliable low-cost transportation of cargo and crew to and from low Earth orbit and to enable the colonization of Mars. He invested $100 million and recruited other investors.
Space technology today is about the same as 40 years ago except for better electronics. SpaceX has developed 5 rocket engines, 3 launch vehicles and one reusable multipurpose space-craft. It has contracted with NASA to help support the International Space Station (ISS) so the US does not need to rely only on Russia to do this. SpaceX is the first private company to produce a liquid-fueled rocket (Falcon 1) to reach orbit (2008), to successfully launch (by Falcon 9), orbit and recover a spacecraft (Dragon) (2010), to send a spacecraft (Dragon) to the International Space Station (2012), and to send a satellite into geosynchronous orbit (December 2013).
SpaceX, by John Federspiel Wes Bradford 2014-07-29 00:00:00Z 0

Nigerian Rotary Youth Exchange Student John Jegede

Posted by Wes Bradford on Jul 21, 2014
John Jegede was introduced by his sponsor, Roger Cox of the Manhattan Beach Rotary Club. John is nearing the end of his Rotary Youth Exchange in the US, and will be returning to his home in Nigeria this week. John has been attending Mira Costa High School, participated in choir, and attended the prom. He has also been active in soccer and enjoys playing drums.
John presented a slide show outlining his impressions, experiences, and home background and family life. He was sponsored by the Rotary Club of Ewutuntun and District 9110 in Lagos, Nigeria. He attends Livingstone College there, (equivalent to high school), and discussed a typical school day structure there. He enjoys math and biology, and would like to become a physician. He lives in the Yoruba area of Nigeria. The main industry is agriculture, producing cocoa, yams and other food products, as well as oil. He reviewed the history of Nigeria, from British colonial times to independence, wars, and military rule interspersed with democratic government.
Nigerian Rotary Youth Exchange Student John Jegede Wes Bradford 2014-07-22 00:00:00Z 0

Sarah Botkin Inducted into Rotary Membership

Posted by Wes Bradford on Jul 21, 2014

Sarah Botkin was inducted into Rotary membership in our Club, by PDG Dave Moyers. She was sponsored by Membership Chair Larry Andrews. (She has already volunteered for several of our Club service activities.) Congratulations, Sarah, and welcome to our Club!
Sarah Botkin Inducted into Rotary Membership Wes Bradford 2014-07-22 00:00:00Z 0

Club Assembly (Planning for This Rotary Year)

Posted by Wes Bradford on Jul 14, 2014

Pres Roger Schamp reviewed the results of the Club member preference survey he conducted recently, and he thanked the members who submitted replies. These included preferences for planning offsite meetings. We will have 2 Club Assemblies this Rotary year.
Ralph Black is arranging for an offsite Beach Party for our Club at the Portuguese Bend Club on Tuesday, August 12. Please sign up for food planning.
Roger suggested several grant opportunities for this year. We may consider being the Lead Club in one of the Humanitarian Grants (we have not led one of these events in the past). He encouraged us again to consider going on the District Global Grant Humanitarian Trip to Guatemala in February, which he and his spouse, Carol, have signed up for.
Club Assembly (Planning for This Rotary Year) Wes Bradford 2014-07-15 00:00:00Z 0

Demotion Dinner at Palos Verdes Golf Club

Posted by Wes Bradford on Jul 07, 2014
PDG Lew Bertrand conducted an Induction Ceremony for our newest members, Hedy & Roberto Frisancho (former faculty at U of Michigan). Congratulations, and welcome to the Club!
After dinner was served, Past-President John Turner demonstrated (voluntarily, we presume) his mastery on playing the Ukelele. We were so impressed that we may enter him into next year’s Student Music Contest.
Club Service Chair Jerry Farrell Presented PV Sunset’s 2013-14 Ruth Kain Rotarian of the Year Award to Newsletter Editor Wes Bradford, apparently for all those years of publishing the Palos Verdes Sunsetter newsletter that some of us read (“Most of the Truth, Most of the Time!”). After verifying that some mistake had not been made, he expressed his sincere appreciation to the Club members. A $250 donation to the Rotary Foundation was made in his name.
Lew Bertrand introduced Outgoing President Sandy Farrell. She introduced her Club Officers and Board Members, and thanked them for their year of service. Then Lew gave Sandy a dose of her own medicine (“Counseling the Psychotherapist”), avoiding any Freudian connotations.
Demotion Dinner at Palos Verdes Golf Club Wes Bradford 2014-07-08 00:00:00Z 0

Vision to Learn, by Nora MacLellan

Posted by Wes Bradford on Jun 23, 2014
Nora MacLellan is a member of the Westchester Rotary Club, which obtained a Rotary Foundation grant to support this project.
Vision to Learn was founded in 2012 in Los Angeles to address the problem of schoolchildren needing glasses who are unable to see the board, read a book, study math or participate in class. Most of these are low income and minorities who lack access to medical care and vision care. Vision to Learn has screened 120,000 children in Los Angeles and Sacramento, providing 20,000 with eye exams and 16,000 with free glasses and frames. If you can’t see, you can’t learn.
Vision to Learn, by Nora MacLellan Wes Bradford 2014-06-24 00:00:00Z 0

Don Reeves, 4-H Club Grant Report

Posted by Wes Bradford on Jun 16, 2014
Don Reeves reviewed how our Rotary District Community Grant is helping to fund our Palos Verdes 4-H Club projects. We have participated in 3 of these projects, to be presented tonight.
Dee Keese discussed the history of the 4-H Clubs, the oldest youth organization in the US. They started from the Land Grants to fund new state colleges under the Lincoln administration. Information for agricultural development was presented, but farmers were resistant to trying new ways, such as crop rotation. This concept became a 4-H Club demonstration project, which was successful and influenced a new generation of farmers. Now, there are many more types of projects, not necessarily related to agriculture. The Palos Verdes 4-H Club started in 1953 and has 130 children participating. Over 30 projects were presented at a fair, in which they won 31 out of 37 awards.
Don Reeves, 4-H Club Grant Report Wes Bradford 2014-06-17 00:00:00Z 0

PV Sunset 25th Anniversary Celebration

Posted by Wes Bradford on Jun 09, 2014

The house was packed with guests & past members for the 25th birthday of our Club (6/7/’89). We socialized, reminisced about old adventures & projects, toasted with champagne, dined, and finished up with the birthday cake after it was displayed precariously for photos by founding member Bob McCaman.
Founding members included the crew below: Jim Gamble, Marylyn Ginsburg Klaus, Erv Samuelson (master member-recruiter), Bob McCaman, Founding President Bob Welbourn, PDG Dave Moyers, and Alberta Samuelson.
PV Sunset 25th Anniversary Celebration Wes Bradford 2014-06-10 00:00:00Z 0

Medicare Fraud, by Susan Menkes

Posted by Wes Bradford on Jun 02, 2014

          Susan Menkes works with the Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) programs, staffed by senior volunteers and professionals who help Medicare and Medicaid (MediCal) beneficiaries become better health care consumers. These programs are supported by The National Consumer Protection Technical Resource Center created in 2003 with funding from the US government. Susan discussed the dangers facing seniors from healthcare fraud perpetrated by scam artists purporting to be Medicare representatives.
Medicare Fraud, by Susan Menkes Wes Bradford 2014-06-03 00:00:00Z 0

Home Boy Industries

Posted by Wes Bradford on May 26, 2014

          Steve Avalos, of Homeboy Industries, presented its history and its role in rehabilitating people released from incarceration, and training them for productive occupations. Homeboy Industries was begun in 1988 as a job training program by Father Greg Boyle, SJ, of the Dolores Mission Parish in Los Angeles, as an alternative to gang life for high-risk youth. He found sympathetic businesses willing to hire former gang members.
Home Boy Industries Wes Bradford 2014-05-27 00:00:00Z 0

Offsite, Project EGO Banquet, Norris Pavilion

Posted by Wes Bradford on May 19, 2014

          PV Sunset Past Pres and Project ego chair John Turner opened the program and introduced the Project EGO personnel, including Robert Babb, Kelly Baranick, Madeleine Creighton and Principal Rosemary Humphries. Special thanks to Rowena Schaben, whose generous financial support this year and previous years have been important to Project EGO’s success.
Offsite, Project EGO Banquet, Norris Pavilion Wes Bradford 2014-05-20 00:00:00Z 0

Recognition of Student District Contest Winners

Posted by Wes Bradford on May 12, 2014
Audrey Dahlgren introduced our successful winners at the recent District 5280 Contests at Loyola Marymount University, and their parents.
          Michelle May won the District 5280 Dance Contest.
William Whittenbury won the District 5280 Speech Contest.
Lucy Wang took 2nd Place in the District 5280 Music Contest.
          The students described their high school activities and future college plans. We congratulate them for their talent and efforts, and wish them great success. Thanks also to Audrey Dahlgren, who organized, recruited and encouraged them.
Recognition of Student District Contest Winners Wes Bradford 2014-05-13 00:00:00Z 0

OFFSITE Social Gathering

Posted by Wes Bradford on May 05, 2014
We enjoyed a relaxing break from our usual routine, just socializing and browsing the hors d’oeuvres table. Thanks to Jackie Crowley for arrangements, & to Dave Moyers for bringing wine.  Jerry Farrell helped at the bar.
OFFSITE Social Gathering Wes Bradford 2014-05-06 00:00:00Z 0

Colombia Trip Report & Rotaract Recognition

Posted by Wes Bradford on Apr 28, 2014
The Rotaract students from Marymount who participated in the District 5280 humanitarian trip to Colombia included Angelina Gorbaseva, Victoria Perez, Kevin Tang, Ruqaya Alloo, Fray Reyes, Amanda Peter, Francisca Cortes and Jazmyn Cano-Casas. They took turns discussing their award-winning Rotaract Club’s activities this year, with a slideshow.
Colombia Trip Report & Rotaract Recognition Wes Bradford 2014-04-29 00:00:00Z 0

High School Youth Recognition

Posted by Wes Bradford on Apr 21, 2014
Palos Verdes Sunset Rotary Club recognized the Students of the Year for each of the local high schools: Palos Verdes, Palos Verdes Peninsula, and Rancho Del Mar.  Each student is selected by the school based on volunteer service to the school and community, extracurricular activities, leadership, and academic achievement.
Each student was introduced by a school representative, and then presented a brief summary of school activities and future academic and career plans.  Then the students received their award plaques and scholarships.
High School Youth Recognition Wes Bradford 2014-04-22 00:00:00Z 0

Echo Lee, Indonesia Orphanage Report

Posted by Wes Bradford on Apr 14, 2014
In 2009, Echo Lee saw a TV program called CNN Heroes, about a Singapore Airline pilot, Budi Soehardi, who had seen abandoned children in the streets after the 1999 conflict when East Timor broke away from Indonesia.  He began sending food and medical supplies to the refugee camps.  In 2002, he started the Roslin Orphanage with his wife, funded by his own salary, to take care of some of these children.  Since then, they have raised about 150 children and have 5 full-time staff members.
Echo Lee, Indonesia Orphanage Report Wes Bradford 2014-04-15 00:00:00Z 0

Project Amigo Report

Posted by Wes Bradford on Apr 07, 2014
Project Amigo, in the state of Colima, Mexico, is a Rotarian program to promote education for the children of migratory workers there, in cooperation with a local Rotary Club.  The parents work very hard cutting sugarcane in the fields, and many don’t speak Spanish, still using their native dialect.  The children often live too far from schools or have to help in the fields.  This lack of opportunity perpetuates the cycle of poverty.
Project Amigo Report Wes Bradford 2014-04-08 00:00:00Z 0

Marymount Ethics Competition Presentation

Posted by Wes Bradford on Mar 31, 2014
The 4 Marymount Rotaract students who will compete in the 2-District Ethics Form on April 5 gave us a practice presentation.  They discussed the ethics of Organ Transplantation in relation to the Rotary 4-Way Test.  Victoria Perez spoke on Truth, Jazmyn Cano spoke on Fairness, Angelina Gorbaseva spoke on Goodwill and Better Friendships, and Fray Reyes spoke on Beneficial effects.
Marymount Ethics Competition Presentation Wes Bradford 2014-04-01 00:00:00Z 0

Mehdi Bozorgzad, Persian New Year (Nowruz)

Posted by Wes Bradford on Mar 24, 2014
Mehdi began with a video on the origins and history of Nowruz, the Persian New Year.  Nowruz (“New Day”) occurs on the spring Equinox or first day of spring (about March 21), at the moment the sun crosses the celestial equator, when day and night are of equal length.  Nowruz was the major holiday in the ancient monotheistic Zoroastrian religion of Persia (today’s Iran).  It was formalized in the Persian Achaemenid era (550-330 BC, between the times of the Babylonian Empire and the Greek empire of Alexander the Great.
Mehdi Bozorgzad, Persian New Year (Nowruz) Wes Bradford 2014-03-25 00:00:00Z 0

ACLU, by Jessica Farris

Posted by Wes Bradford on Mar 17, 2014
Jessica Farris is Policy and Advocacy Counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, where she works on areas such as privacy/surveillance and criminal justice reform.  She graduated from Muhlenberg College (Pennsylvania), has a Masters degree from University College Dublin, and graduated from Drexel Law School.  She has previously done pro bono legal work for Innocence Matters, for the Philadelphia Senior Law Center, and for the Drexel Haiti Justice Project for the Haitian population infected with cholera by UN forces stationed there after the major earthquake.
ACLU, by Jessica Farris Wes Bradford 2014-03-18 00:00:00Z 0

Roger Schamp, District PETS Meeting

Posted by Wes Bradford on Mar 10, 2014
President-Elect Roger Schamp (wearing his new red Rotary shirt) outlined the main themes of his recent President-Elect Training Seminar (PETS) for the 6 Districts in Southern California and Nevada.  The 3-day budget at the Marriott Hotel was $300,000.  The plenary speakers presented a large amount of information which Roger is still trying to assimilate.  He is planning for the next Rotary year 2014-15 and has e-mailed a survey to our Club’s membership, which he wants us each to write in our preferences and return to him at
Rotary leaders want us to recognize both individua