Burlingame Rotary Club
Founded in 1925

High Gear Bulletin


Zoom Meeting - Wednesday, May 5th, 2021

High Gear Editor: Frances Boscacci

The meeting started at 12:15 with ding of grandma’s bell.
Welcome:  By President Emily Mathews
Pledge—Marilyn Orr
Invocation—Alex Buljan, on his fist Rotary invocation shared one of his favorite quotes from the famous motivational speaker Anthony Robins: “If we realize life is happening for us not to us, game over, all pain and suffering disappears. This becomes more and more appropriate every day. In a world that thrives on negativity, we are more conditioned to react negatively to difficult events. In keeping with that quote, though, if we see events happening as opportunities to learn and grow, our perspective starts to change dramatically. Especially during the past year of the Pandemic and all the tragic events, let’s ask ourselves: what can we learn from the experience? can we better appreciate time spent with family?  What positive can come out of it? What did we discover? Excellent perspective, thank you Alex!
Guests of the club— Two guests today. Fritz Brauner welcomed our speaker, John Haveman, from San Rafael, and President Emily welcomed Pierre Bouquet’s Guest Peter Manning.
  • Happy hour will be Friday @ 5 AND the Holiday Party at Filoli on June 27th. Signups online!
  • For those who pray, please continue to pray for our fellow Rotarian Delia’s husband, still in very delicate condition.
  • Spring Golf Tournament; Nancy Bush made us a very special treat, a video of the tournament that took place during the beautiful Monday, May 3 event at the Green Hills Country Club—With Mariachi music honoring Cinco de Mayo in the background, the video’s  protagonists, namely Golfers, Burlingame Rotarians, Fiesta Cart drivers (Emily and Wendy in colorful Sombreros)  delighted us with their smiles. What a great day! The video will go on to the club’s website too, for everyone’s enjoyment. Thank you Nancy!
Interview a Burlingame Rotarian:
President Emily invited Bob Doerr to conduct today’s interview. Welcome, and thank you Bob! Bob was happy to introduce one of our club’s “newish” members, Phil Siegle, who by now has been a member of our club for over a year. So Bob concludes, as a new member the shine is off, and the “honeymoon is over” for Phil. What did we learn about him?
Phil was born in Trenton, New Jersey, and attended the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania for his college education. One of Phil’s main interests in life has been “adventure travel”. Why leave the comfort of the USA? Bob asked: At a young age he moved to Paris with the intention of writing a book about his fathers’ life, and attended the Sorbonne University for one year. He felt traveling was good for forgetting about losing his beloved father at a very young age. His father died when Phil was a Junior in college. He learned to speak French well and learned more in Paris in one year than during 4 years at the University of Pennsylvania, as he was really ready to learn. His stay in Paris was heavenly, living right across the Luxembourg Gardens. He traveled to Russia during the Christmas Holidays looking for relatives, and back to Paris to finish his French experience. His closest friend then invited him to travel together in Africa for 4 months. He ended his Africa experience by climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro. During this climb he learned that “if you don’t give up, you can make it”. He and his friend made it to the top because they did not give up! Eight years later, his Mother died, and he traveled to Asia. He then got into a real mountain climbing expedition in Nepal, in the Anapurna range. He was with two Japanese guys who spoke no English. So he learned to speak Japanese. They had 2 Sherpas, 16 Porters and 4 tons of equipment!  They were climbing a technical mountain, Hiunchuli Mt. which had only been climbed once before. They got to about 21,000 feet and could see the summit at 22,000+ Ft. but the Head Sherpa said to turn back climbing as there were visible glacier crevices ahead and it was too dangerous. They turned back, to the great disappointment of the climbers who had spent a life preparing for this Mountain. Later they found out that six climbers who had been behind them did not turn back, but continued to the top, and all perished. He learned a very important lesson, “listen to your Sherpa”!! He continued to climb other tall mountains, including Mt. Kalimantan in Borneo, at a height of about 15,000 feet. He also climbed Mt. Whitney, a “pre-marriage” test of his girlfriend and future wife. She passed the test and they have been married for 35 years!
Bob encouraged us to play golf with Phil, and listen to so many more fascinating stories of his life, as we just scratched the surface today. And like Phil, there are many interesting people in our club, with whom we have the chance to make great and interesting friendships.  Thank you Phil and Bob!!
Before our speaker introduction Fritz and Jennifer educated and entertained us, in celebration of today being “National Astronaut Day” and especially today being “Cinco de Mayo. Jennifer shared that “Self Driving Cars” would make Cinco de Mayo even easier to celebrate, without the need to drive home after a few Margaritas! What a perfect lead to our program topic: Autonomous Cars. Great idea Jennifer!
Fritz Brauner introduced our speaker, Jon Haveman, Ph.D.  Jon is Executive Director of the National Economic Education Delegation“ Need” . He’s a notable California Economist practicing since 2001. NEED unites the skills and knowledge of a vast network of professional economists to promote understanding of the economics of policy issues in the United States. Jon will speak about Autonomous Vehicles but his organization offers to provide speakers to present on a great variety of important other topics.
Jon’s talk was a discussion of what autonomous vehicles might mean for our lives, for government coffers, and for the environment. He’s predicting that many jobs will be lost, many will be created! Enormous economic and societal issues will have to be addressed. More specifically, Jon’s forecast is that electric, autonomous vehicles will likely be available “in masse” by 2025. 95% of driving may be done by these autonomous, electrical “fleet” cars by 2030. It took 10 years to go from horses to cars… he believes electric autonomous car adoption will come a lot faster than Makenzie and Co.  consultants have predicted. Important factors for his prediction of quicker “transition” are the facts that cars are going to be truly autonomous, they will be shared, they will be safe, fast, and a lot less of them will be needed on the roads. He predicts dramatic congestion reduction. Also, consumers will be able to save significant money and time by adopting autonomous vehicles. Garages in homes will not be needed!  Adding a bedroom to your home will be made more possible without the need for a garage. In terms of public benefits, there are significant reductions in auto accidents predicted. Road deaths are projected to be reduced, by removing human error from the equation. There will be minimal need for parking, which currently takes up excessive space. Gains in GDP growth, by 5% every year, are also predicted due to increased productivity, and costs reductions.
In summary, Jon forecasts these important changes: Switch to autonomous is coming likely sooner rather than later. General Motors projects that all cars will be electric and autonomous by 2035. Demand for public transportation may well decline. Transportation infrastructure technology will be a booming business. Parking conversions will be commonplace. Housing will be easier to build and more plentiful given the reduced amount of cars and parking space taken up by them. Local government finances will look very different as a result of these changes. There will be massive employment upheaval as a result of the transition to autonomous vehicles.
Great news is, if we own a Corvette, or another favorite automobile, and wish to keep it, there probably be a supply of “Autonomous Driving” kits that will allow us to retrofit it and be able to still enjoy it in this new world!
Polio Plus Certificate Presentation:
President Emily presented Jon with our donation on his behalf, to the Polio eradication cause. And she ended our meeting by expressing our Clubs’ great gratitude to Jon for a fabulous presentation, and to Fritz for introducing him to us.
Link to Zoom recording for the meeting:
Order a Home Flocking
The flocks have been flying! Below are photos of our first two flockings. Details about home flockings and order info on the website.
May 19, 2021 12:15 PM
Homelessness in San Francisco (Update)
Homelessness in San Francisco (Update)

The Salvation Army's Homelessness Initiative in SF.  Update from the initial presentation given in December of 2019.

May 26, 2021 12:15 PM
Art in general and the pandemic's impact on the art world
Jun 02, 2021
No Meeting
Jun 09, 2021 12:15 PM
Burlingame City Update
Jun 16, 2021
Human Trafficking in San Francisco
Jun 30, 2021 12:15 PM
Jul 07, 2021
No Meeting
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Upcoming Events
Program Committee Meeting
Zoom Meeting contact Rotary@nolamarketing.com for access
Jun 01, 2021 8:00 AM
Program Committee Meeting
Zoom Meeting contact Rotary@nolamarketing.com for access
Jul 06, 2021 8:00 AM
View entire list
Member Birthdays
Greg Mendell
May 5
Scott Williams
May 5
Pierre Bouquet
May 13
Michael Mahoney
May 17
Mike Matteucci
May 17
Marc Friedman
Madalyn Friedman
May 26