We had our first all virtual meeting of the new Rotary year this past Friday. Mitchell Kraus was the hero of the day he hosted our virtual meeting on Zoom. This is evidence that Past Presidents are invaluable to the creativity of our club. Past Presidents also offer encouragement! After receiving the Rota-Monica last week Dr. Bill Werner, Past President 1985-1986, sent us this word of encouragement: “Glad to see Rotary is doing so well. Miss all. 50 years for me was great.”
Thanks to all who made our meeting successful and informative. Richard Lombari greeted all in attendance and led us in the pledge of allegiance to our flag. Dr. Ken Waltzer provided music and singing. Susan Potter delivered an invocation that garnered an “Amen” from all in attendance. The President’s pick was “Mr. Santa Monica”, Past President Nat Trives. Past President Mitchell Kraus introduced our speakers, and Susan Annett gave a warm introduction to our visiting Rotarian, Annika, who is in Los Angeles visiting from Hamburg, Germany.
The program of the day included Ira Waldman interviewing Eric Nusbaum who researched the subject of Major League Baseball coming to Los Angeles and he wrote a book entitled “Stealing Home”. A story about baseball, family, the American Dream, and the fight to turn Los Angeles into a big-league city.
His story went far beyond baseball. He shared that Chaves Raven was once the home to three vibrant Mexican American communities. In the early 1950s, those communities were condemned to make way for a utopian public housing project. Then, in a remarkable turn, public housing in the city was defeated amidst a Red Scare conspiracy.
Instead of getting their homes back, the remaining residents saw the city swap their land to Walter O’Malley, the owner of the Brooklyn Dodgers. Now LA would be getting a different sort of utopian fantasy — a glittering, ultra-modern stadium.
But before Dodger Stadium could be built, the city would have to face down the neighborhood’s families — including one, the Aréchigas, who refused to yield their home. The ensuing confrontation captivated the nation – and the divisive outcome still echoes through Los Angeles today. Ira’s interview of Eric was captivating and informative.
Friday, August 5th we will be live at the Hilton and our program will be The Santa Monica Fire Chief, Danny Alvarez. He will share the state of the Santa Monica Fire Department.
Friday, August 12th we will be live at the Hilton and Olivia Patterson-Ryans, our Rotary District Governor will be visiting with other Rotary District leaders. Our program of the day will be our own Kaeche Liburd, published author, actress, host producer – “I am the Diasora” will be interviewed by Rotarian Carole Stein.
Friday, August 19th we will be on Zoom only. We will present the 2022 Santa Monica College Scholarships and Craft Talks.
Friday, August 26th we will be live at the Hilton. The program of the day will be Professor Matthew Malkan, Astronomy Dept. UCLA – “Update of James Webb Space Telescope”. You will want to see and hear about this project and see the photos produced from the James Webb Space Telescope.
District Sunday Brunch is August 14th 1:00PM-3:00PM at The Proud Bird. Support our first District-wide community service project of the year! District 5280 is hosting a school supply drive benefitting children experiencing homelessness enrolled in Inglewood Unified School District. Items will be collected at our live meetings on August 5th and 12th and at the August 14th District Brunch.
District Humanitarian Trip to Belize is scheduled for March 16th – 23rd, 2023.