Upcoming Events
Ragazzi Boys Chorus Performance
Poplar Creek Banquet Room
Dec 20, 2018 12:00 PM
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Don Shoecraft
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Our Forests Are Burning
Meeting of November 15, 2018
 John deRussy led the Pledge.
Susan Manheimer gave the thought of the Day, thanking our veterans and stressing that “We are the land of the free and the home of the brave.”
Margaret Taylor acknowledged Susan’s son who has been in the military for 20 years and thanked Susan for her serviceAmong the veterans recognized at the meeting: Walt McCullough, Roger Trinkner, Martin Harband, Angel Riley, Bill Kenney, T. Jack Foster, Marion Brown, Chris DeLong, Dick DeLuna, Skip Howie, Tom Huening, Phil Lev, Rich Orr, Chuck Pascal, Bob Spence, Bill Walters. Apologies were issued to any veterans missed.
Sheila Canzian delivered the newscast. Hint: The password is sternum.
Guests included Don Shoecraft’s better half Margie O’Clair.
Visitors: Rashida Lilani, guest of Dick Bennett, Mo Abduellhay, guest of Jodi DeSmidt and Dillon Castro, guest of Steve Parker.  An additional visitor was Dr. Dennis McShane, husband of our speaker Rich Gordon.
There was no Sunshine report, but Bill Kenney announced that Bo Whitehill was not feeling sunny, due to USC’s loss to Cal.
 Jeff Sosnick was welcomed back and proceeded to join the President’s Club. 
Susan Manheimer presented a new member badge to Tom Mohr.  Tom congratulated the club for getting the under served youth in our county ready for college.
Lisa Nash reminded all that The San Mateo General Plan is being updated to guide City policies through 2040. The City is inviting all San Mateo Rotarians to share their input on how to best support businesses in the future. This could include thoughts on jobs and the economy, traffic, housing, City services, etc. Please attend the next General Plan Visioning session Wednesday, November 28, 6:30pm-8:30pm, at the San Mateo Library Main Branch on W. 3rd Avenue.
Rosemary Azem announced that we will have a great, plated holiday lunch on December 20 at Poplar Creek. The Ragazzi Boys’ Choir will be performing. Ticket price TBD, but significant others are encouraged to attend.
San Mateo High School students circulated in an effort to collect money for their annual food drive.  They collected a total of $1180 from club members and were effusive in their thanks. 
Margaret Taylor reminded all that it’s time for the annual toy drive for PAL and Samaritan House.  Please make checks out to our SM Rotary Foundation if you’d like to help.
Spinnings Committee Chair Don Shoecraft issued another heartfelt plea for Spinnings writers. He lauded Jeff Lowenstein for volunteering to write an issue.  Please send any photos/info you’d like included to
John deRussy joined Prez Bruce’s President’s Club again for his trip to Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Prez Bruce reminded all that Larry Patterson’s retirement party will be held  on December 19 at Poplar Creek at $5:30 PM.  All are encouraged to attend. Admission:a mere $20.
Prez Bruce announced that a friend of his barely made it out of the Paradise Fire and urged all to go to to help.
Margaret was back up again to introduce Rich Gordon, former County Superintendent and State Assemblyman, now President & CEO of the California Forestry Association.  Among the many fascinating (and upsetting) points made by Rich:
  • He coauthored a bi-partisan bill to allow forest thinning before leaving the Assembly, with nearly all environmental groups in support of the bill. (The Sierra Club did not support it.)
  • Last year, over 47 pieces of legislation were introduced to address the fire risk for our forests;
  • Our fires are getting worse: we lost 1.2 million acres in 2017, and so far in 2018, we’ve lost over two million acres;
  • In 2017, 57 people died in forest fires; in 2018, the count is already over 60 people;
  • One-third of California is forested land. The problem is that we have too many trees.
  • In John Muir’s time, we had roughly 40 trees per acre; now we have hundreds and thousands of trees per acre;
  • We’ve decreased the number of trees being harvested from four million board feet a few years ago to 1.5 million board feet a year now;
  • Small fires are good and thin out a forest; big fires are not good;
  • We need to reduce the fuel load and thin our forests to protect our firefighters and residents;
  • Water quality is affected by fires.  Sixty percent of our water comes from the Sierra Nevada and with a big fire, you lose the underbrush that holds the rain;
  • There are now 130 million dead trees in the Sierra today, because they couldn’t compete when we had our droughts;
  • With a lot of trees, there is a large canopy in the forests and a canopy fire is the most dangerous;
  • Sixty percent of California’s land is owned by the Federal Government, but the Feds have been decreasing the amount of money spent on forest management;
  • Of California’s forested land, 60% is owned by the Federal Government, 2% by State government, 10% by companies and 28% by private  owners, but the state takes care of the 40%;
  • The Paradise fire started in a Federally-owned forest. ###
Photos by Peter Sortwell---or possibly Peter Webb!###


President Bruce Bean
Success is just Bean there
Upcoming Speakers
Dec 06, 2018
Burning Man
Dec 13, 2018
San Mateo Rotary Club Holiday Party
Dec 20, 2018
Jan 03, 2019
Immigration Issues
Jan 10, 2019
Jan 24, 2019
The Effect of British Colonization on India
Jan 31, 2019
View entire list