Rota-Monica #5
August 9, 2022

“Rotary Bingo” was played by all in attendance at this week’s meeting.  We apologize to our Zoomers, sorry you didn’t get to play.  Due to a fire rescue emergency Fire Chief Danny Alvarez was a little delayed getting to the meeting.  He was our program of the day so, to fill in we called on Past President Bill Powell to lead us in “Rotary Bingo”.  As always, he jumped right into action, and we had a wonderful time of fellowship. Timur Berberoglu was the confirmed Bingo Winner!  Let’s all congratulate him.  Thank you to Rotary past president Sharon Perlman Gavin for passing on the Rotary Bingo game in case we need a filler for a speaker!

Thanks to all who made our meeting a fun day.  Including Kathy Shepard, and Judy Neveau for greeting all attending.  Thanks, Timur and Ken Waltzer for music, songs, and pledge.  Bill Chillingworth gave a warm and thoughtful invocation, spoken like a true Presbyterian Elder.  Thanks, Andrea Gressinger for being the president’s pick we all welcome you back to in-person meetings after your surgery and recovery.  Tom Larmore thanks for hosting our speaker, Fire Chief Danny Alvarez.  Thanks to our newer member, Kinan Aljamal for introducing our guest of Rotarians.

Immediate Past President, Bill Powell, presented The James R. Cayton Award to Karim Jaude.  This award is given to a club member who has performed outstanding service for the Club.  Karim has served as long-time co-chair of the World Community Service committee and this year as co-chair of the Membership committee.

Past President, Tom Loo, dodged a fine with his clever response but it did not change the fact that he was sporting a pair of bright yellow crocks.  Past President, Mitchell Kraus explained his way out of a fine by acknowledging he was away in Canada speaking to a conference of 5000 individuals. But he is taking his wife, Cynthia, to her Happy Place next week, Hawaii.  (Sounds like another fine).

Kera Blades-Snell was recognized for her newly appointed position on the Board for The Santa Monica Tourism and Travel Board.  She was saved from a fine by agreeing to join our meeting next week from Belize via Zoom.

We all signed a card wishing Past President, Dick Lawrence, a speedy recovery as he recuperates at Santa Monica UCLA Hospital from a recent intestinal surgery.

Our Program of the Day was Santa Monica Fire Chief, Danny Alvarez presenting the state of the Santa Monica Fire Department.  We can all be very proud of our Fire Department and the leadership.  We have a “state of the art” fire department sharing resources across the state.  Chief Alvarez shared one of his department’s goals is to continue a strong relationship with all the stake holders of the city.  He advised us about the department’s Community Response Unit making Santa Monica’s Fire Department an All-Risk Department.  This unit can respond to mental health needs in our city.  The two persons teams include a firefighter and paramedic with ability to respond and take individuals to a Psychological Urgent Care Facility rather than the traditional emergency room at local hospitals.  The question-and-answer period following his talk gave all of us a deeper understanding and a true appreciation for Chief Alvarez and the City of Santa Monica’s Fire Department.

COVID Quick Take: By Ken Waltzer

Although the COVID-19 pandemic is not yet over, it seems that most people are acting as if it is. And despite high case counts during the current wave (which appears to have peaked in Los Angeles County), both hospitalization and death rates are lower than during any previous surge. Why? Partly, it’s because the highly contagious Omicron variant is less virulent than previous strains. But mainly, it’s because most people have some immunity, either through vaccination, infection or both. While current strains of the virus are more contagious than those that came before, they don’t represent the same degree of danger to the population that COVID-19 once did.

Given the lower risk of serious illness from COVID-19 and the relative nonchalance of most people, it’s now everyone for themselves. In other words, worry about keeping yourself safe, based on your own risk of complications from the illness. Protecting others is so 2020. That’s not to say that if you live with or regularly spend time with a high-risk person that you shouldn’t think about their risk, but in most cases, the emphasis should be on protecting yourself from infection and especially from serious illness.

How to do this? First, make sure your vaccinations and boosters are up to date, even if you have been infected one or more times. Vaccine-induced immunity is stronger and longer lasting than immunity after infection. And don’t worry too much if the people around you aren’t vaccinated, because they’re the ones taking unnecessary risk. It does appear, though, that vaccinated people who become infected are less likely to transmit COVID than non-vaccinated people, so if you are around unvaccinated people and want to minimize your risk of infection, then you should take other precautions, such as masking and distancing. 

In our next installment, we’ll talk about best practices for avoiding infection in a world where most people seem not to care.
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 benefiting 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. 

Visit our Web Site for more information on our calendar of events and to join us on Zoom.

Rotary Santa Monica Vets so far:
Michael Cates, Stan Fox, Richard Lombardi, Monty McCormick, John McIntire, Jim Menzies, Robert Sullivan & Russ Warner
AUG 11 – Book Club @5pm-6pm
South to Freedom – by Alice L. Baumgartner is our book for Aug.
MAR 4th – Wine and Food Festival 2023- more details to come.
Curious about Upcoming Rotary Programs? Go to
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