DIGITAL EDITION   No. 63    February 12, 2014     EDITOR:  Julia Parranto     PHOTOGRAPHERS: Diane Moresi

Our Program For February 19th


Bill Rousseau, President 2012 - 2013

Bill Rousseau, President 2012 – 2013

Each year, we dedicate one meeting to honor our past president’s for all the time & effort that they have contributed to managing our club’s activities. This year, Bill Rousseau will be the host for this group of distinguished Rotarians. Bill has asked each past president to address a set of six questions that focused on their experience as a Rotary President. It is always great to see these folks and pay tribute to their year of exemplary service to our club and the community.


February 26: California Water
March 5: Sheriff Steve Freitas
March 12: Microcredit Project in Equador


Visit our district at:
Check out Rotary International at:
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Our meeting was led by our PEN (President Elect Nominee), Jose Guillen, who channeled his inner Fred Levin with a hearty welcome.  Unfortunately, he forgot to ring the bell, so we were all still on our seats.  Jose appreciated the show of support he got from the crowd for his faux pas.  Rookie!

Our Pledge was led by Wally Lowry, and our Invocation was given by Matt Fannin:


            If you’ve ever spent two hours stuck in rush-hour traffic or held a crying baby at 2:00 a.m., you’ll know something about patience.

            According to the Bible, patience is a form of perseverance and forbearance that allows us to respond to frustrating circumstances with grace and self-control.  Contrary to popular opinion, patience is not merely a personality trait but is a byproduct of the presence and work of God in our heart and mind.

            Lord, please help me with patience and enthusiasm, and to know when to be patient and when to be enthusiastic.



There were three visiting Rotarians this week: Doug Roberts of Santa Rosa Sunrise, College Administrator, Keith Garlock, Insurance, Rohnert Park, and Susan Carpenter


Several Rotarians brought guests to our meeting.  Way to go!
[list style=”arrow” color=”blue” el_position=”first last”]

  • Debi Zaft brought two guests: Peter Holinsky and Doug Braik, both of whom are potential members.  Doug was sporting his father’s Rotary badge, even though he’s a Kiwani (Kiwi?)
  • Eileen Carlisle introduced our old pal Sandy Handley, who really needs to return to the fold.
  • Carrie Ludtke brought her husband, Sgt. Josh Ludtke.
  • Karen Ball brought Bart Eddy
  • Wayne Rowlands introduced our speaker, Tara Smith.[/list]


Eileen Carlisle announced that a Memorial Mass will be held for Creed Wood on February 21st at 11 a.m. at St. Vincent de Paul Church in Petaluma.

Eileen also announced the formation of a scholarship in Creed’s son’s name: the Christopher Wood Memorial Scholarship, which will go to a SRJC student transferring to a 4 year college. The scholarship will be for a business major with an interest in entrepreneurship.

Several Rotarians immediately stepped up to the plate and pledged their support: Ray Dorfman, Gesine Franchetti, Doug Chase, Sam McMillan, and Ann Gospe.



The growing line for raffle tickets: Blaine Goodwin, Carmen Sinigiani, Wally Lowry and Jane Duggan.

This writer observed a line 8 deep for this week’s raffle!  Several Rotarians were seen to be purchasing 15 tickets, or even 30 tickets.  Why?  Because the big pot was $1,926!!

Larry Miyano asked our speaker Tara Smith to pick the winning ticket, which turned out to belong to Steve Olson, who found the Joker!  Yay!  Being that we’re talking about Steve Olson, $250 was immediately turned over to the Christopher Wood Memorial Scholarship.  Yay!


If you like a President who doles out a lot of fines, you’re going to love the upcoming reign of PEN Jose Guillen, who showed a real knack for coming up with reasons to fine us:

John Poremba got fined for his month long trip to South East Asia, which was a life long dream.  John and his wife Judy went to Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia, but the highlight was their visit to Myanmar, which was full of “great people and great experiences”.  For this, John generously gave $100 to the Christopher Wood Scholarship.

Jack Atkin was mentioned in the morning rag, but complained that he never got to talk to the reporter, whose message he received after the deadline.  So being Jack, he wrote a Letter to the Editor, the contents of which apparently are a state secret.  Somehow that led to Jose telling Jack that he could “elect where you want to put it”, which sent the masses into a giggle-fest.  Jack followed John’s lead and ponied up $100 for Creed Wood’s new scholarship.

Rich de Lambert amazed us all when he announced that he had a baby! Who knew?  This is his 8th great grandchild and his 19th grandchild overall. One is an MD, and four made it through Cardinal Newman.

Yale Abrams collects from those who forgot to wear their pin

Yale Abrams collects from those who forgot to wear their pin

Our PEN Jose Guillen then imposed a $1 fine on everyone who neglected to wear their Rotary pin. 🙁


Doug Chase, a good sport, bought a bottle of Napa wine for $35 in a fair auction.  However, at the outset of the auction, PEN Jose had asked for Ray Dorfman to come up and act as auctioneer.  Ray, a good sport, went up to the podium, and watched as Jose then auctioned the wine off to Doug for $35. It was then pointed out that Ray should have been the auctioneer, and the auction was re-started (with Doug’s tacit approval!)  Ray, being Ray, got the bidding up to $70 thru his usual charm.  Our speaker offered to sweeten the deal with a kiss, but, no takers (what the hell?!) It was pretty much agreed thereafter that there was a total loss of control over the meeting.

Elizabeth Karbousky proudly displays her new blue badge!

Elizabeth Karbousky proudly displays her new blue badge!


Elizabeth Karbousky fulfilled all the requirements, paid her $10, and got a shiny, new Blue Badge!  Congratulation, Elizabeth!


Rotarians made the promise to fight to the finish to ensure that no child suffers the paralyzing effects of polio ever again. What are the four steps to “The Endgame Plan?” (answer on page 68).


Wayne Rowlands introduced our Speaker, Tara Smith, who warmed us up with a joke that pretty much set the tone for the rest of the proceedings as it dealt with Winston Churchill and $5 whores. (!)  Tara is an angry menopausal woman. Not my opinion, she just came out and said that.

Speaker Tara Smith

Speaker Tara Smith

Tara grew up in Detroit, where she encountered no farm animals or growing vegetables.  Her career took her to a computer science related job at Microsoft, and then a stint as a long term care insurance broker, which she called “fun”.  GE bought her out, and she became a VP at that company and lived the good life.  Tara described being at home in Bel Marin Keys with a glass of wine, lounging by the pool, (with finely manicured hands), when her son interrupted her with a book by Michael Pollan, which he claimed she “had” to read.  It changed her life.  She became an insufferable fanatic.  Her friends shunned her; there were no more dinner invites from close family friends.  She finally figured out that she needed to come up with a solution, so she ditched her glam job and became a farmer.  Seriously.

Tara and her family are now the proud owners of a 300 acre ranch in southern Petaluma called Tara Firma Farms, where anyone can go for a free farm tour on the weekend.  Or, you can buy their “sustainable and organically grown real food”, which they will deliver to you on a regular basis.  Good stuff!

Tara Firma started with 150 baby chicks, 10 baby pigs and 5 baby cows.  It is now a $1.3 million business with a profit that is threatened by the recent USDA action against Rancho Petaluma.  Tara has decided to take a stand and explained the inanity of this governmental action to us and the effect it is having not just on her business, but on the sustainable food community as a whole (if Rancho goes out of business, it’ll be tough to get good, local, grass fed beef, for example.)

Tara ended her talk with several off color and highly entertaining stories about young male cows who give her too much attention, pigs with bright pink pinkies, wild turkey sh*t storms, and wallowing in the mud.  If you weren’t there to hear it, you shoulda been!


Rotary Club of Santa Rosa Officers

President: Peggy Soberanis, President Elect: Mark Burchill, President Elect Nominee: Jose Guillen, Past President: Bill Rousseau, Secretary: Jack Abercrombie, Treasurer: Cecil G. Humes, Sergeant at Arms: Jack Geary

President Rotary International

Ron D. Burton, member of the Rotary Club of Norman, Oklahoma, USA

Governor, District 5130

Helaine Campbell, Rotary Club of Sebastopol Sunrise

Attendance Secretary

Jack Abercrombie P.O. Box 505 Santa Rosa, CA 95402 707-538-4770

Board of Directors

Debra Dorfman, Matt Fannin, Jose Guillen, Doug Johnson, Nicole Le, Robert Pierce, Jack Tolin, Creed Wood, Cathy Vicini