DIGITAL EDITION No. 174   May 4, 2016  EDITOR: Sam Saunders   PHOTOGRAPHER: Diane Moresi/Layne Bowen

Our Program for May 11th:





Wednesday, May 11th: Rye and Rebound Students
Wednesday, May 18th: The Nepal Earthquake: The One Year Anniversary
Wednesday, May 25th: Club Assembly: 2020 Santa Rosa Rotary


Visit our district at:
Check out Rotary International at:
Come see us at: http://rotarymeansbusiness


“AKA Captain Han Rolo”  President Doug Johnson  jumped into the seat, buckled-up, warmed up the Millennium Canary and launched us into  hyperspace as we hung on for dear life.  Matt Fannin found the flag, his hand, his heart and started us on the Pledge of Allegiance.  The Invocation/Thought for the Day was a series of Star Wars quotes by Karen Ball since today was “May the fourth be with you” National Star Wars Day.  Yoda said there would be days like this, there would be days like this, Yoda said.  “Do. Or do not. There is no try” (from Wookieepedia).

ROTARIANS FROM AFAR (is that a planet in the Dagobah system?)

Craig Meltzner welcomed two exiled visiting Rotarians: Mireille Broussard of the Santa Rosa Evening Club and Lynn Cederquist of the Calistoga Club.


Past President Bill Rousseau (our county Clerk-Recorder-Assessor) introduced our guest speaker, Fiona Ma, and her senior staff assistant and two members of his staff, Suki Gieser and Sean Nurmi (Chief Assessor).  Past President Mark Burchill introduced his wife Mel Konrad.  Tony Roehrick introduced his wife Laura and Ted Wilmsen introduced his wife Deenie and his granddaughter Alivia.  Soon-to-be President-Elect Julia Parranto introduced former club member Deborah Gray.  Some guests did not sign-in and they will remain nameless for now.


Ginny Cannon delivered news that Secretary Jack Abercrombie had a good post-op report but may get his force back next week.  We miss you, Jack!


Cathy Vicini was back at it today with another family-friendly joke.  Hmmm.


These special Rotarians had these special requests:

Shot to remind people that Giro Bello needs riders, volunteers, and day of the event participation!

Shot to remind people that Giro Bello needs riders, volunteers, and day of the event participation!

Past President Don McMillan thanked Ann Gospe for her guidance in making it easy to sign-up as a volunteer for the Giro Bello event and thanks to Julia Parranto for her public relations outreach to another Rotary club on behalf of the Giro Bello.  Don is looking for a few more helpers with a Petaluma club bike ride on May 22.  You can make contact with our leader at or call 525-5402 (W).

“AKA Princess Leah” Kerrie Chambers is using her career skills to recruit Stormtroopers; no, wait, make that Rotarians, to increase our Club membership.  She is taking on the challenge of sustaining our club.  Leah did say “somebody has to save our skins.”  She urged us to personally invite at least one interested person to each of our weekly meetings for a year in an effort to add to our force.  She was serious (not on cannabis).  Rotary sells itself and all we need to do is invite!  Let’s move out on this good idea.  Why didn’t someone think of this before?

“AKA Obi-Wan” Sam McMillan, on behalf of the RCSR Foundation, notified us that several Foundation board member terms are expiring at June 30 and all incumbents have volunteered to renew their terms for another three years.  Effective July 1, the new Foundation officers will be Past (Club) President (and past District Governor) Norm Owen as President,  Sam McMillan as Vice President, Eileen Carlisle as Past President, Jeanne Levin as Secretary and Vickie Hardcastle as Treasurer.  Each Foundation board member agreed to give $20 to the John Brown Memorial Scholarship Fund.  Our local Foundation is growing – thank you to Eileen for the last four years as President, moving the ball down that proverbial field in under eight parsecs.

Jeff Gospe inserted an addendum to the Sunshine Report by reporting that our Bolivian exchange student, Luciana, will be here next week and she broke her leg after arriving here.  Hopefully, that won’t interfere with her USA plans; but, it was, like, getting off on the wrong foot, I suppose.


The pot was $204 and it grows again, in spite of Doug Roberts best effort to feel that yellow marble in the bag.  Robby Fouts gave Doug his $10 consolation and we moved on to the next landing zone. Nothing to see here folks.

Kim gives the club a little history about the Paul Harris Award program. Whenever a Rotarian has donated $1,000 or more to their Paul Harris, he or she is given this award. We have club members with seven or eight awards, meaning they are really serious about Rotary!

Kim gives the club a little history about the Paul Harris Award program. Whenever a Rotarian has donated $1,000 or more to their Paul Harris, he or she is given this award. We have club members with seven or eight awards, meaning they are really serious about Rotary!


Kim Graves made presentations to Sam McMillan for reaching another milestone of his multiple PH Fellowships (7), Julia Parranto for her multiple contributions and Ted Wilmsen for his eighth multiple (the last one for his granddaughter Alivia).  Dr. Shari Shamsuvari for her PHF and Laura Roehrick (wife of Tony) for her PHF.  These are the cogs in the unfolding melodrama “As the Rotary Wheel Turns.”   Congratulations to each.  No wonder Polio is on the decline.


We are starting to work on the 2016/2017 Club Roster Book. Please review your information for accuracy and send any changes to the Club Secretary. If you had a new photo taken, please forward this as well.

Thank you, Jack Abercrombie, Club Secretary

Steve Marburger - One of twp Rotarians of the Month. Not pictured is

Steve Marburger – One of twp Rotarians of the Month. Not pictured is Richard Lazovick.


President Doug introduced two Rotarians who have been actively involved behind the scenes to assist with Club Information technology (IT) needs and bring our technology into the 21st century.  These techies are: Steve Marburger and Richard Lazovick.  Thanks to both gurus, for taking us to the next level.


President Doug painted Chip Rawson into a corner about a trip to Florida.  Chip said that the explorer Ponce de Leon discovered the gulf stream as a means of returning to Europe. Well, that didn’t stop Doug from levying a $50 fine that Chip donated to the John Brown Memorial Scholarship Fund.


Speaker Fiona Ma


Our very own Past President Bill Rousseau (current Sonoma County Clerk-Recorder-Assessor) introduced our speaker, Fiona Ma, CPA, who is the Chairwoman of the California State Board of Equalization (“BOE”), and its member for the 2nd district which includes Sonoma County as one of her 23 ‘constituent’ counties.  One of the roles of the BOE is to oversee the work of each Assessor for all 58 California counties.   Fiona has a distinguished career in business and in the government sector, having served on the San Francisco City/County Board of Supervisors (which toughened her up for other challenges) and served as an Assemblywoman for six years in the California legislature.

She discussed the state of affairs regarding taxation of the sale of cannabis through the three stages of the industry – growing, distribution and retail – and the complexity of dealing with a cash-and-carry business (the dispensaries for medical marijuana) that is prevented from using federal banks for transacting business (marijuana use is illegal at the Federal level).

The cannabis industry needs operational guidelines as many participants are operating under the government radar by not having proper permits and by not paying sales tax.  Bringing these operators out of the shadows and into the mainstream is one of her goals to enhance State revenues.

Ms. Ma noted that there will be a ballot measure in November to see if Californians want to legalize recreational use of marijuana.   Utilizing her political prowess, she did not opine on whether that was a good idea or not.

She took numerous questions from the floor before concluding her remarks.

President Doug adjourned the meeting  with a ring of the bell, which I’m sure drowned out his utterance of a true Wookiee-style “ARGH!”



Paul Harris award recipients

Paul Harris award recipients

Dr. Shari Shamsavari receives a special Paul Harris Award for purchasing 47 squares on President Doug's Instant Paul Harris board.

Dr. Shari Shamsavari receives a special Paul Harris Award for purchasing 47 squares on President Doug’s Instant Paul Harris board.


Rotary Club of Santa Rosa Officers

President:Doug Johnson, President Elect: Jose Guillen, President Elect Nominee: Julia Parranto, Past President: Mark Burchill, Secretary: Jack Abercrombie, Treasurer: Cecil G. Humes, Sergeant at Arms: Jack Geary

President Rotary International

K.R. “Ravi” Ravindran, member of the Rotary Club of Colombo, Western Province, Sri Lanka

Governor, District 5130

Erin Dunn, member of the Rotary Club of Fortuna Sunrise

Attendance Secretary

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

Board of Directors

Jack Atkin, Karen Ball, Tim Delaney, Tim Fawcett, Gesine Franchetti, Bill Hatcher, Will Haymaker, Elizabeth Karbousky, Steve Olson