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UPCOMING PROGRAMS FRIDAY: Doug Baker, Rotary District 5280 Governor’s Visit August 16: Catherine Sandoval, Calif Public Utilities Commission

August 23: Robert J. Lowe, CEO Lowe Enterprises August 30: club is dark for Labor Day


Meeting Laughter disturbs reading concentration

Weekly Book Club Progress Stalled Book Club Chair John Claerhout stated his group now has the least productive meetings he’s seen in the 45 years since he joined LA5. “We have yet to finish a single book let alone get through the first chapter or two,” he reported. Vice chair Roger Reck confirmed the group’s lack of progress. “In some years we had no interruptions whatsoever. Now there is laughter every minute or two and the program speakers are much more interesting than our reading material. How can we concentrate when everybody else in the room is having such a party?” The reading club’s fortunes have waxed and waned over its long history. Its current membership is far below its record participation when they discussed “The Kama Sutra.” Book Club members Roger Reck, Walker Railey, John Claerhout, Marjorie Heller, Paul Richey and Jagdish Jaganath display this week’s selections.

Rotary Club of Los Angeles established 1909 August 9, 2013

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If you missed the meeting last week SLAPDOWN of the CENTURY

President Ken vs.

California State Controller John Chiang and Prez Ken are all smiles before the big mix-up, but John is unaware of Prez Ken’s professional wrestling credentials. For John this will be more challenging than armwrestling State Senator Bob Huff.

Prez Ken is an active Top 20 Wrestling champion.

State Controller John Chiang STATE OF CALIFORNIA


Consistent deficit financing

Almost all years have surplus

Divided legislature

Board goes on retreats together

Delayed tax refunds

No taxes

Pays with I.O.U.s

All vendors paid on time

Unfunded pensions

No pensions to bother with

Bullet train

Special dedicated high-speed desk for RSVP lunch will-calls

Lowest Standard & Poor’s rating

Highest lunch satisfaction rating

Top budget items go to education, health human services and prisons

Top budget item is the past presidents medical plan premiums

Prez Ken gently broke the bad news to Controller John: I can’t pay you the $100,000 cash honorarium we promised but here’s an I.O.U.

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Free breakfast and an inspiring speaker

Literacy Breakfast on Friday


AWRY’s RESTAURANT will provide the venue and breakfast for the District Literacy Breakfast on Friday, August 9. You’ve already missed the deadline to RSVP but plead your case with chair Gerry Turner by calling him direct at 562-439-2111.

The Program Speaker will be Chris Palzis, author of the three “Goodness Gracious Kids Club” book series. He’s also a totally mellow surfer from Hawaii. The annual Literacy Breakfasts are a secret benefit of your Rotary membership. The event draws a full crowd every year and, because of the outstanding speakers it draws, people can’t wait to sign up for the next one. Author Chris Palzis was an eligible bachelor on the Bravo cable series “The Millionaire Matchmaker” in 2009. His older maternal half-sister is actress Kelly Preston. Attend on Friday, have a free breakfast, meet Chris and talk about catching the perfect wave.

District Trip 2014 to Colombia Registrations are now being accepted for the District 5280 humanitarian trip to Colombia in March 2014. Annual trips are a tradition in District 5280. The first trip to El Salvador was organized by LA5 in 2003 and was comprised of only 20 people. Groups as large as 130 people have subsequently visited Colombia, Costa Rica, Panama, Trinidad, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador and Puerto Rico. Due to the limited number of people who can be accommodated, the deadline to register is October 15, 2013. Contact District Trip Chair Arturo Velasquez at for cost and other information.

When the Boss screws up your LA5 schedule Can’t attend LA5 on Friday because your boss is bugging you to finish a project? Then do a Make-Up at any Rotary Club and ask Secretary Elizabeth Wheeler to credit your attendance. Here are some nearby choices:

Burbank Sunrise Tuesdays 7:15 a.m. Downey Tuesdays 12 noon Hermosa Beach Tuesdays 12:15 p.m. Tarzana Encino Tuesdays 6:00 p.m. Palos Verdes Sunset Tuesdays 7:00 p.m. See the entire list at

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Rotarians You Want to Know: Chartered June 25, 1909

Club Leadership 2013-14 Ken Chong, President Alan Bernstein, President-Elect Jose Vera, Vice-President Elizabeth Wheeler, Secretary Don Robinson, Treasurer Jay Richardson, Past President Club Service Arthur Kassel Paul Richey Community Service Margaret Karren Jim Hoyt Funding Todd Johnson Al Shonk International Service Laine Wagenseller Rick Sarmiento Membership and Retention Charisse Older Erick Weiss Vocational Service John Miller John Jaacks Youth Service Anthony Calloway Paul Jacques Sergeant-at-Arms Paul Ekstrand Barry Hytowitz Steve Sommers Executive Director Jon Gibby Rotary Club of Los Angeles 523 West Sixth Street, Suite 718 Los Angeles, CA 90014 Telephone 213.624.8601 Facsimile 213.624.2694 District 5280 Governor Doug Baker El Rodeo Marc Leeka, Editor Tony Medley, Photographer

Charisse Older


s the new Sponsorship & Event Manager for the Beverly Hills Chamber of Commerce, Charisse Older organizes all kinds of events including networking mixers, educational seminars and large scale signature events and galas. She is responsible for developing partnership opportunities for corporate sponsors who want to gain exposure in the Beverly Hills business community. “My Chamber membership and retention responsibilities overlap perfectly with my Rotary world,” says Charisse. “When I joined LA5 in 2009, I wanted to immerse myself in an organization where I could incorporate my professional skills to help make a difference and just have fun with good people! I cochaired the Associates Committee with Zein Obagi where we planned mixers and funded a Shelter Box sent to Haiti after the earthquake. I truly enjoyed working with and meeting fellow Rotarians but more importantly I felt great about helping others.” Last year Charisse accepted an nomination to a Board Director position. “Working with the Board quickly got me up to speed on the scope of LA5’s community reach and that led to an opportunity to help out at the Angel City Giveaway. If any member wants to gain a Charisse’s Favorites great perspective of how the club works and understand The last book I read was “Remembership - New Thinking how all of our contributions for Tomorrow's Membership Orintermesh, I recommend they ganization” by Kyle Sexton. begin by chairing a committee like I did. Your invest- The best city I have ever visited ment of a little time will fit was was Paris. Beautiful! nicely into your busy sched- I know it is junk food, but my ule and you will be rewarded guilty pleasure is digging into a bag of barbecue potato chips. in many ways.” “I think all of us want to make a positive impact and leave something better than how we first found it. I truly believe you cannot just stand still — you are either moving forward or going in reverse.”

If I had only one last restaurant meal in Los Angeles I would go to, I’d set my GPS to Manhattan Beach Post.

And three albums I would take to a desert island because I never grow tired of listening to them: Mumford & Sons "Sigh No More," If you haven’t met Charisse Band of Horses "Everything All yet, then please introduce The Time" and "The Very Best Of yourself at the next meeting. Chicago." El Rodeo 5

August is Membership and Extension Month


District Governor Whitens Teeth for Club Visit

OTARY PRESIDENT RON BURTON asks every member to pledge that they will choose one of the following goals to assist their club’s membership:

● tell a friend or colleague about Rotary and bring them to a club meeting or project ● change my Facebook profile picture to show my friends that I'm proud to be a Rotarian ● tweet about being a member of Rotary ● volunteer as a mentor to a prospective or new member ● sponsor a new member ● recommend a friend or family member who doesn't live close by to other clubs ● invite one or more participant of a Rotary program to a club meeting or community service project ● promote a service project on Rotary Showcase

What’s the ‘N’ on my badge?


F YOUR ROTARY BADGE has the letter ‘N’ on it, it signifies that you have been recognized for the highest level of participation in LA5. The ‘N’ is for Paul Netzel, past LA5 president, former district governor and past RI Director. It means that you will contribute $1 daily to the LA5 Community Service Grants fund, sponsor a new member, do business with a fellow Rotarian, join a committee and visit another Rotary Club in 6 El Rodeo District 5280.

Photo courtesy Pyongyang Taxidermy Agency


UGUST 9 is the date for the annual District Governor Visit and District 5280 Governor Doug Baker hasn’t wasted a minute improving his appearance. Governors are directed to make one formal visit to every club in their district. LA5, the largest club in the region, invokes a little fear into Governors because many have not make a formal presentation before such a large assembly. Governor Doug comes from the humble Downey Club of only 64 members. A recent informal survey revealed that few even remember him having served as the club president. Doug had an inexpensive face lift in addition to having his teeth whitened. Attend on August 9 to see if it makes any difference.

Rotary LA5 El Rodeo 2013 08 09  

weekly bulletin of the Rotary Club of Los Angeles, the fifth oldest Rotary club and one of the largest Rotary Clubs in the world

Rotary LA5 El Rodeo 2013 08 09  

weekly bulletin of the Rotary Club of Los Angeles, the fifth oldest Rotary club and one of the largest Rotary Clubs in the world