DIGITAL EDITION     No. 2     October 24, 2012     EDITOR: David Brown     PHOTOGRAPHER: Diane Moresi

Our Program For October 31st:


California First Amendment Coalition Advocate

Flamingo Resort Hotel, Wednesday, 12:00 noon

Paul Gullixson

Paul Gullixson is the editorial director of The Press Democrat, where he has managed the Editorial and Op-Ed pages for almost 15 years. He also oversees the content and production of the opinion pages of the daily newspaper and its website He is still personally involved with the newspaper’s editorials, writes a twice-monthly column, and co-authors an online blog “Inside Opinion” with veteran news reporter Bob Digitale.

Paul also is past-president and a 10-year board member of the California First Amendment Coalition, based in San Rafael. The Press Democrat, the Petaluma Argus Courier, and the North Bay Business Journal were purchased in December by the Halifax Media Group, which owns almost 50 daily newspapers throughout the southeastern United States.


November 7: No meeting due to Veterans Salute on Nov. 8th
November 14:
Costas Schuler “The Pen Guy”
November 21: No meeting due to Thanksgiving holiday


Was the energy level problem this week caused by being compacted into half of the Flamingo Ballroom for two weeks in a row? Or was it the hard work and the intense focus on the logistics involved in a great party the Saturday before? Or the superhuman efforts that went into Casino Royale at the bars, the gaming tables, and Rotary camaraderie, celebrating 50 years of James Bond fantasies, in putting together our club’s second—and last—fundraiser of the year? This week’s Rotary meeting was somewhat subdued and our fellow Rotarians seemed a bit exhausted.

Substituting for our missing President (Bill Rousseau) was Past President (2006-07) Debi Zaft, the Driving Force behind the club’s second fundraiser of the year, Debi introduced her Casino Royale committee and thanked everyone for their contributions to another successful event, especially to all those came to the party, adding to the fun that included wonderful prizes, beguiling auction items, and the exotic gowns and a black tie atmosphere enhanced by 50 years of a continuous James Bond  retrospective on the big screen at the sprawling Furth Center in Windsor. Maybe we were exhausted by the giddiness of complimentary martinis (vodka, stirred, not shaken), bottomless bottles of Sonoma County wines, and great piles of exotic snacks set a festive mood for our hardworking, semi-exhausted crowd of Rotarians, our swell guests, and the rewarding feeling of a Party Well-Done.


Past President Debi looked around and Steve Reuter suddenly appeared to lead us in a Pledge of Allegiance to our returning banner of Stars & Stripes. Past President Don McMillan waxed eloquent in his invocation on the pleasures of books. Club Historian Jim Johnson used historical black & white photographs to remind us that this Sunday, October 28, marks the birthday of Lady Liberty, still standing tall after 126 years, lifting her lamp beside America’s Golden Door.


No visiting Rotarians from nearby clubs but Shannon McConnell introduced her familiar guest, Jane Duggan (aka Mom). Karen Ball welcomed Rebecca Freeman, her co-worker from Pronoeo Insurance, and Matt Everson did an impressive, relaxed turn, introducing today’s guest speaker, Dr. Jafar Yaghoobi, in a recognizable Farsi accent.


A Rotary moment from Cathy Vicini

As is often the case in craft talks outlining a Rotarian’s love of their vocation, and how much Rotary Means Business to them personally, Cathy Vicini revealed the child within her and how her young experience in farming helped create the down-to-earth generosity we’ve grown to expect from Cathy. And that we enjoyed so much last Saturday evening at Casino Royale. Cathy concluded her RMB by “donating another auction item” to the club—a vintage bottle of 2003 Trecini Merlot from the Vicini Russian River Vineyards. Past President Ray Dorfman slapped on his auctioneer’s hat, opened the bidding at $50, and pumped Steve Reuter up to a winning bid of $200!


Penny Tibbetts named four of our fellow Rotarians that are recovering this week from a variety of ailments. Without going into details, we send our best wishes for sunnier skies to investment broker Kim Murphy, dentist Jack Tolin, attorney Don McMillan, and retired engineer Dick Jenkins. Jim Johnson spent an enjoyable Tuesday evening getting to know this dedicated Rotarian & member of the Santa Rosa Rotary Club since 1970. Jim’s outlined the problems of Dick’s slow recovery from his injured back, and informed us that the new direct phone line to his room gives us quick and easy access to the restive patient. Just seven magic numbers to say hello: 303-2173. Maybe Dick will tell you about his winter in France with General George Patton’s Third Army, rescuing American troops at Bastogne in early 1945. Dick , who won a Purple Heart in what was called “The Battle of the Bulge” and still has a souvenir that he still carries close to his…let’s say close to his heart.


Lucky Debbie hits the jackpot

Seasoned gamblers have grumbled about Rotary’s new Raffle. Claiming that the odds of drawing the joker from a full deck of cards this year was highly unlikely, the pros forecast huge jackpots years down the road. That’s probably while it’s called gambling”. The lucky ticket belonged to Debbie Gray, smiled a Mona Lisa smile, pulled out the Joker, and calmly walked away with the first jackpot of this year’s new game—$230!! Congratulations Debbie!! Nothing like a little blind luck to boost ticket sales at the Knickerbocker Dreams & Pop Stand, right Nick? Vickie Hardcastle, Chair of the Rotary International Foundation, who supervised the winning jackpot draw, looks happy enough to have hit the jackpot. Don’t miss the new action with the cards next Wednesday.


Spend some time with the October Rotarian magazine and be prepared to answer this month’s quiz to qualify for the big cash drawing coming up soon. From Nona Lucas, here is…The Question: What music is Lisbon, Portugal known for?


Nick Knickerbocker reminded us one more time the that we have only a few days left to get the few remaining tickets that are left  for the Veteran’s Day luncheon presented by the combined Rotary and Kiwanis Clubs of Santa Rosa, featuring a concert by the Santa Rosa High School Band and a patriotic speech by retired Marine Lieutenant General Jack Klimp, and our Salute to Veterans. The date is Thursday, Nov.8th 11:30 am to 1:30 pm, at the Veterans Memorial Auditorium. Tickets are $15 each, available at next week’s Rotary meeting.

November Rotary meeting changes: The upcoming Wednesday meeting on Nov. 7th will be dark due to the Veterans Day luncheon on November 8th and the November 21st Rotary meeting will also be dark for Thanksgiving Day on Nov. 22nd. And the Rotary meeting for Wednesday, Nov. 14th will be held at the St. Rose Facility at 320 Tenth Street.


Rotary Vocational Service, an important avenue of Rotary service, includes The Four-Way Test, the Rotary Code of Conduct, and our club’s Public Safety Awards, established almost 20 years ago to recognize the outstanding public safety officers from the Santa Rosa police and fire departments. Rotary Vocational Service focuses on adhering to, and promoting, the highest ethical standards in all occupations, recognizing the value of all useful occupations, and contributing one’s vocational talents to meet the needs of the community. The first Public Safety awards were proposed in 1994 by two veteran Rotarians in this club—retired businessman Lee Abramson & community leader & attorney Everett Shapiro—who were the driving force behind what is one of this Rotary Club’s oldest on-going local projects. The selection process begins each year in October, during Rotary Vocational Service Month, when the city’s firefighters and law enforcement officers make recommendations for the honors to the Chief of Police and Fire Chief. The 2012 Awards will be presented early next year at a special Rotary luncheon on Wednesday, January 30th.


Alums cash in on Stanford FB win!

Stanford wins, supporters pay up: Past President Fred Levin followed up on his reckless challenge from Stanford supporters to Cal Berkeley alums congregated in this Rotary Club: If Stanford wins, their alumni pays $20 each into our local foundation. If Cal grads win, the Berzerkly supporters cough up $20 each into our foundation. As every sentient being on the earth knows by now, the Santa Rosa Rotary Foundation gratefully accepted the generous gift from Stanford.

Past President David Brown was recognized for a successful YMCA Golf Tournament last week with a $25 donation to the club and another $25 to the John Brown Scholarship set up in John’s honor.

Dan Walker was the lucky winner of a 25 inch, flat-screen raffle prize at last week’s Casino Royale. And, voila! Dan’s Paul Harris Fellowship was suddenly $100 richer.


Let Us Water the Flowers, by author Jafar

Jafar Yaghoobi was born in Iran and raised in a large Azari family considered to be part of a minority population in Iran. First in his family to attend the university, he earned a full scholarship at the top student in his bachelor degree studies and came to the U. S. in 1973 where, six years later, he received his doctorate in genetics from U. C. Davis. In America, Jafar became involved with the Iranian student movement against the dictatorial regime of the Shah. He and his new American wife returned to Iran when the revolution of 1979 toppled the Shah’s rule, hoping to become part of the transformation and reconstruction of his country, only to realize that the mullahs already had hijacked the revolution to establish a theocracy and he was detained in 1984 after his wife & daughter had left Iran and settled in Europe while he was in prison.

Always believing in the struggle for a just world where every human being would ideally have access to equal opportunities and justice, he closely escaped execution as a prisoner and was eventually freed and returned to the United States in 1985 and, after years of effort was able to secure a position at UC Davis as a genetics and molecular biology research scientist. In 2005, he retired to fulfill his promise to let the world know about the tragedy and injustice that befell his native homeland. Last year, Let Us Water the Flowers: A Memoir of a Political Prisoner in Iran was published, and Dr. Yaghoobi is fulfilling his pledge to tell the world of the horrors that he, and millions of his fellow Iranians, have experienced. In the process, his readers and his listeners come to better understand the oppression of Iran and multicultural Iranians.


A joint effort between America and France, the giant iconic sculpture in New York City’s harbor was plagued by lack of funds on both sides of the Atlantic and took more than a decade to complete and be dedicated in 1886. But over the years, the symbolism of the Statue of Liberty has grown to include freedom and democracy as well as the international friendship between France and the United States. In 1984, at the start of the Statue’s restoration, the United Nations designated the Statue of Liberty, the restored Ellis Island and its buildings, and Liberty Island, as a World Heritage Site. It re-opened to the public on July 5, 1986, to celebrate the Centennial of Lady Liberty.


Greetings from Colima, Mexico. Thanks to you, this has been another incredible year! Seven students graduated from the University this year, bringing our total number of University graduates to 34.  In the process 268 children from humble rural villages received new clothing and shoes, dental exams and fluoride treatment, a new book of their own, and enjoyed outings to places their parents could never have imagined they would see.  These children, too, have started their journey to a higher education.

“No visitor to Project Amigo has been left untouched by the experience of meeting and interacting with the kids we serve.  15f dedicated volunteers visited Project Amigo this past year and gave their attention and love, not only to the students in our immediate sphere of influence, but also to hundreds of children in rural schools throughout our state who are hungry for books to read and for someone to read with them. Your generous support this past year was part of our success!  Thank you again for your support.  You ARE making a significant difference in Colima!”

signed, “Ted and Susan”


Mike Kallhoff- CEO United Way of the Wine Country, SponsorMatt Everson
Jane Duggan – Commercial Broker Associate, SponsorShannon McConnell


Bill Rousseau, President Peggy Soberanis, President Elect Jack Abercrombie, Secretary Cecil G. Humes, Treasurer Jack Geary, Sergeant at Arms

President Rotary International

Sakuji Tanaka – Rotary Club of Yasjio, Japan

Governor, District 5130

Michael Juric – Rotary Club of Windsor

Attendance Secretary

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

Board of Directors

Matt Fannin Jose Guillen Paul Hamilton Nicole Le Diane Moresi Vinay Patel Robert Pierce Carmen Sinigiani Creed Wood Marnie Goldschlag, Past President