Burlingame Rotary Club
Founded in 1925

High Gear Bulletin


Zoom Meeting - Wednesday, January 6, 2020

High Gear Editor:  Guy Smiley

The meeting started at 12:15.
Fritz Brauner led us in the pledge and provided a snazzy flag for us.
This week’s invocation was brought to us by Sheryl Young. In spite of the incredible scene in Washington DC, she shared a few thoughts for the day shared by a friend:
  • Once all the villagers decided to pray for rain.  On the day of the prayer, all the people gathered, but only one little boy came with an umbrella.  That is faith.
  • When you throw babies in the air, they laugh because they know you will catch them.  That is trust.
  • On an old man’s shirt was written, “I am not 100 years old; I am 16 with 84 years of experience.”  That is attitude.
And speaking of 100 years and attitude, our very own Basil Emery turned 100 this week.  We celebrate his attitude:
  • Snappiest dresser in town
  • Heart of gold
  • Smartest man in town by marrying Annabelle in 1942 (almost 80 years of marriage!)
Basil was recently recognized by Congresswoman Jackie Speier, who remarked that his contributions to our country and to our community are truly remarkable:
  • Army Air Force in WWII
  • Valuable employee of Mills-Peninsula Hospital
  • Community leader of NAACP, March of Dimes, Pilgrim Baptist Church, and Burlingame Rotary
He was also recently “flocked” by our club!  AND, over 50 cars of people drove by his house this week to wish him Happy Birthday!
On a day like today, Sheryl reminded us that it is important to remember the stories of faith, trust, and attitude.  Remember, good friends like Basil and our Burlingame Rotary Club are the rare jewels of life, difficult to find and impossible to replace.  
Guests of the Club
We had three guests this week—our speaker and Donna’s sister, Lynda Bettencourt along with Patrick and Elizabeth Constantino, son and daughter of former Rotarian Paul Constantino.
  • Happy New Year!
  • Holiday party rescheduled from December to June 27 from 5pm to 8pm—save the date. More details coming soon when we firm up the plan. Guests will be welcome.
  • Happy hour will be Friday @ 5pm. We are encouraged to join this week as it will be an opportunity to kick off the new year and reflect on the goings-on this week.
  • Basil made the news! Check out the Daily Journal’s article.
  • Jim Shypertt gave the Sunshine Report telling us that former Burlingame Rotarian, Al Rodriguez, passed away. Marilyn noted that a card was sent from our club to his wife Marta.
  • Pierre gave a shout and thanks to Nancy Bush for the gorgeous Burlingame Rotary website. A silver lining to the Zoom link problems—Zoom link to Rotarians to our home page.

Patrick Constantino and Elizabeth Brunette, son and daughter of former Burlingame Rotarian Paul J. Constantino, joined us. Paul passed in December. Patrick and Elizabeth were invited to join us to recognize their father.  Patrick shared that Paul was a proud and longtime resident of Burlingame, CA.
He told us that Paul was an adventurous, humorous, larger-than-life personality and that he loved the Sierra Nevada mountains, hunting, fishing, and hiking. In the mid-1990s, he was also known for organizing groups to search across California for the perfect apple pie, as well as an infectious sense of humor and a love of corny jokes. One of his favorites was:
  • Q: Do you know how cold it was at the courthouse this morning?
  • A: It was so cold the attorneys had their hands in their own pockets!
Paul was an active member of his community, including as a member of the Rotary Club of Burlingame (joined 1981). Elizabeth noted that one of the Rotary Club tenets is education and that Paul was a fervent supporter of public education and ensuring everyone had equitable access to free education. She told us that her father lived and breathed the Rotary Club’s mission—to provide service to others, promote integrity, and advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through our fellowship of business, professional, and community leaders.
Fritz Brauner piqued our interest, saying, “You know, we have some Rotarians who have been members for ten years, some for twenty, some for thirty, some for forty…” He went on to surprise us, announcing that Michael Kimball has been a member of Burlingame Rotary for 50 years. Fritz asked Michael to share some highlights from his 50 years in Burlingame Rotary.
Michael remembered that when he joined the all-male club, he was 26 or 2, and the members called him Kid Kimball. The 80-90 members were exclusively community leaders and, thus, fairly intimidating. There was a sense of venerability when the club met with lots of social events, such as the Valentine dance and an annual BBQ at the estate of Dr. George Laird, chief of surgery, Peninsula Hospital. Michael told us that he had enjoyed every minute of his membership in the Burlingame Rotary Club. He finished up saying that he was nothing special, but was just being himself, Michael Kimball.
Always at the ready with a witty comeback, Fritz said, “There’s that old saying, ‘Be yourself, everyone else is taken.’ Well, you’re the best imitation of Michael Kimball I’ve ever seen. So, keep being yourself.”
Before starting the program, Emily read a prayer sent to us by Paul Watermulder. He could not join us, because he was compelled to watch the news from the Capitol in Washington, DC. The full text of Paul’s prayer is at the end of this High Gear.
Donna Colson introduced her sister, our speaker, Lynda Bettencourt. She is an educator in Elk Grove who is a skills intervention teacher currently working with “at-risk” youth and mentoring other teachers.  Lynda was recently named as Sacramento County Teacher of the Year for 2021.  She has advanced to the statewide competition, where five teachers will be recognized as California’s Teachers of the Year.
Donna shared her sister’s guiding principles as a teacher before turning the program over to Lynda.
  • Faith—Our teachers have faith in the students to become the best they can be.
  • Trust—We trust them with our most precious possession - our youth, our children.
  • Attitude—Teachers that are successful have the attitude that they can create positive change and influence the youth of today to make the world a better place in the future.
Lynda began by our Rotary club for its service and commitment to community, our youth, and scholarship for underprivileged students. She summarized her education experience:
  • 31 years in education
  • 7 schools
  • 8 subjects
  • Taught over 10,000 students
  • Currently Teacher in Charge and Study Skills teacher in South Sacramento at James Rutter Middle School
She shared her belief that school culture is the stream that all things flow from in education and goes beyond the obvious concerns like student behavior or teacher burnout.  Lynda explained that unseen actions are the force driving the flow of school culture, and only by examining the cause of student behavior or academic failure can changes be made. According to Lynda, school culture is a combination of human interactions, attitudes, and beliefs that influence every aspect of the environment.    
Lynda highlighted the current Challenges with distance learning and equity, which include:
  • Access to technology
  • Variations in the students’ home environment and support
  • Siblings taking care of other siblings so parents can work
  • Parents’ fear that if children go back to school, they could bring the virus home
The depths of Lynda’s commitment go far beyond even standout teachers. Just last night dropped a charger to a student who is homeless and staying at a place for the night. She told us that the kid came out with excitement and joy to see a face who cared. In her health class, Lynda teaches “life charts,” which visualize what shapes the students into who they are today. After class, she said her door is open. A few days later, a student came in and told her that she was going to run away from a terrible foster home. The girl wasn’t looking for help. She just wanted someone to know. Lynda and her husband agreed that they were going to bring her into their home. Six months later, Lynda and her family took in the girl’s brother and sister. Her empathy knows no bounds. She explained that when “her kids” bleed, she bleeds, and when they hurt, she hurts. Lynda told us that she’s only as happy as her most unhappy student.
Lynda read us a bit of an essay she’d written that explains how she views her classrooms and students.
In my classroom, we are a team. Each person that walks through my door is part of the team, and all team members are valued, seen, and needed. Everyone brings different perspectives and qualities to the team, and we are not the same when one of the team members is missing. Once on the team, always on the team. This team does not leave anyone behind. Sometimes we have to go for individual training or work on our mental game, but that only makes us more valuable to the team when we return. We will all stumble along the way, and it is our classmates that pick us up and keep us from looking in the rearview mirror for too long.
As the coach of my students, I am the keeper of the team’s vision, but each individual gets to dream and explore the limitless possibilities of the vision for their own life. My job is to keep my students moving in the direction they have chosen, gently nudging them, and illuminating their path when life takes an unexpected turn. As a team, we find value in personal and collective progress and look for joy in the journey. There is no place for shame and condemnation on this journey. Grace is essential as it breeds understanding and patience. When we fall short along the way, we may need to stop and reflect, but we do not keep each other down. We stand with our head held high, and we do not let others define our future. The team training facility, the classroom, has no doors, walls, or ceiling to limit us. My students are an extension of their nuclear family, their extended family, and their community. Success transcends the classroom as students become confident in their skills and their academics. Their families are the fans who cheer us all along the way. I believe all students have strengths and qualities that teachers can nurture and develop to prepare them for the next play in a complex life.
She told us that she read that to us, because it’s us and that we are the people who have reached into lives and keep others going. Lynda went on to say that educators can only do what they do, because they have people pouring into their lives and told us not to underestimate the power of a supportive phone call or a financial contribution. She told us that everything we do matters and encouraged us to remember that equity comes in the form of listening, having respect for where people are, and helping them make their community better.
Lynda closed with this thought, “If we can change one life, we can change a generation. And this has to happen one child at a time with boots on the ground in our community”.
Lynda agreed to speak to a group of Rotarians and teachers at the school we’re working with in India.
Emily presented the PolioPlus certificate to Lynda.
The meeting was adjourned at 1:09.
Cloud Recording of January 6, 2021 Meeting
Passcode: QYi@0#^K
Rotary Prayer on January 6, 2021                 
-- Paul G. Watermulder, Rotary Club of Burlingame
Almighty God, who loves us more than we love ourselves, and who understands our needs before we even speak or think of them,
Today we pray to you freshly humbled that this, a nation you have blessed to be a democracy bringing hope to a troubled world, is itself in turmoil not known since the time of president Lincoln. 
We turn to you who have power that we do not, you have a zeal for both justice and mercy that exceeds any of ours, and you serve century upon century as the Father to every living human being.
Save us, O God, from our selves:  from our excesses as well as from our apathies, from our certainties as well as from our confusion, from our fears as well as from our arrogance.
Help us to seek and to see your hand among us.  For time immemorial you have stood, marched and acted with your people in their time of need, and like the Hebrews standing at the shore of the Sea as the powers of “might makes right” raced to overcome and destroy them, be with us in your classic ways of:  Comfort, Guidance and Strength.
Remind us to turn to you and listen to you in ways more intense and focused than we listen to even our closest of family and friends.
We place ourselves in your hand, oh Prince of Peace.  We trust in you in the cause of order amid chaos, we trust you to protect those who are even this very minute in danger and we trust you to cause us to yet and still hold true to the truths of loyalty, of humility, of conviction, and of service before self.
And a final thought from Paul:
“To clasp the hands in prayer is the beginning of an uprising against the disorder of the world.”
— Karl Barth
To view this meeting use the link below:
Passcode: QYi@0#^K
To View Emily Beach Speech:
Passcode: 6q5unw.9
Home Flockings
The flocks have been flying! Below are photos of our first two flockings. Details about home flockings and order info on the website.
Jan 13, 2021
Peninsula Clean Energy
Peninsula Clean Energy

Jan has over 30 years of energy and utility experience, with a focus on renewable energy contracting and financing. She formerly worked at Silicon Valley Power, and has founded four energy-related start-ups.

Jan was elected to the city council of Los Altos in 2012 and served as Mayor from December 2014 to December 2015. She was re-elected in 2016 for a second four-year term.  She served on the Board of Directors of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District from 2013 to February 2017.  She earned a BS in civil engineering and an MBA, both from Stanford University. Jan is a registered professional engineer in California.

At APX, she developed and pioneered the first use of renewable energy credits, which are now the standard currency for trading and tracking renewable power. At Clean Power Markets, her company designed and implemented the successful Solar Renewable Energy Credit (SREC) program for the State of New Jersey.

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Program Committee Meeting
Zoom Meeting contact Rotary@nolamarketing.com for access
Feb 02, 2021 8:00 AM
Program Committee Meeting
Zoom Meeting contact Rotary@nolamarketing.com for access
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Member Birthdays
Mike Heffernan
January 1
Duffy Offield
January 6
Marianne Kristofferson
January 13
Linna Golodriga
January 14
Ted Kruttschnitt
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Bob Doerr
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Michael Harvey
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Jay Miller
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Lisa Goldman
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