Burlingame Rotary Club
Founded in 1925

High Gear Bulletin


Zoom Meeting - Wednesday, April 7, 2021

High Gear Editor: Paul Watermulder

Zoomers from far and wide gathered at noon on this spring day in classic (though not yet in person) Rotary conviviality and fellowship.  President elect Joe LaMariana directed traffic when things began to lull, until it became clear that our real president (Emily) was AWOL.  Soon enough it was explained, for those of us who missed the memo, that she was either a) sunning on a beach in Tahiti, b) paddling down the Amazon river with her famous Rotary roller-board being used to fend off alligator attacks, or c) being a fabulous mom and giving their daughter Sophie a tour of some of America’s 3000+ colleges and universities.  Soon enough her name joined the rest of us on the screen as she was at that very moment in their car on a highway between various ivy-covered towers.
Among the guest attendees was our speaker for later in the program, Melinda Cardona, known to many as “The Urban Chicken Farmer.”  Also on the call was our Rotary district 5150 Assistant Governor, Matteo Rizzo, from South San Francisco.
After Ricardo Ortiz led our Pledge of Allegiance, we turned to a meeting with an uncommon number of significant presentations made.
  • Our own former member of the State Department, Michael Brownrigg, presented the first, as his invocation with a remarkable thought-piece about public service, highlighting Albert Schweitzer, who said, “To work for the common good is the greatest creed,” and Albert Einstein, who said “Only a life lived for others is worthwhile.” Which of course hearkens very much to our Rotary motto of “service before self.”
Michael asserted that “public service involves public policy and therefore often involves politics -- which, as former Labor Secretary Robert Reich reminds us, comes from the Greek – “Poli” meaning many, and “tics” being small blood-sucking creatures…” but public service is not politics. The best public service is carried out in an apolitical fashion, with a view to a life lived as service for others, as the two Alberts (see last paragraph) and Rotary recommend.
President Obama, speaking in 2015 about the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act, said: “Three generations ago, we chose to end an era when seniors were left to languish in poverty.  We passed Social Security, and slowly it was woven into the fabric of America and made a difference in the lives of millions of people.  Two generations ago, we chose to end an age when Americans in their golden years didn’t have the guarantee of health care.  Medicare was passed, and it helped millions of people. This generation of Americans chose to finish the job -- to turn the page on a past when our citizens could be denied coverage just for being sick. 
That’s when America soars -– when we look out for one another.  When we take care of each other.  When we root for one another’s success.  When we strive to do better and to be better than the generation that came before us and try to build something better for generations to come.  That’s why we do what we do.  That’s the whole point of public service.”
Michael noted that: “Public service takes courage.”  Dr Martin Luther King, said in 1968:  On some issues cowardice asks the question, is it safe?
Expediency asks the question, is it politic?
Vanity asks the question, is it popular?
But conscience asks the question, is it right?
And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but we must take it because conscience tells us it is right."
We salute Rotarians around the world for their commitment to transformative works in the service of others, and in also saluting our public servants around the world.
  • Announcements:  May 3 Rotary Golf Tournament (our annual Holiday Party at Green Hills Country Club as a “do-over” due covid) is gathering steam and would like your sign-up, sign-in ASAP.  See website for details.
  • Sunshine:  Mark Johnson reported on the death last night of Rotarian (of 50 years) Basil Emery, who had turned 100 not long ago.  His wife Annabelle was with him for a special zoom recognition just a few weeks ago.  Address for cards and notes is forthcoming.
  • Special Presentation:  Our Board has discussed a presentation from the City of Burlingame for us to contribute as a club to the new Community Center being constructed at Washington Park.  The request is for us as a club to contribute $25,000 (either lump sum or spread over a couple of years) from our reserves, where we have about double that amount sitting.

The conversation sparked a lot of interest immediately with a whole spectrum of feelings on the subject.  Happily, it sounded like virtually everybody was united in seeing this as a “once in a generation opportunity to impact our community,” as one Rotarian said.  And everyone who spoke was inclined toward generosity as being the base of our response to the City.

Key factors of interest from all are that the room which would receive our name is designated for teens, which are one of our target groups to impact as Rotarians.  One set of key factors related to that are our club’s interest in at-risk youth, which in particular touches matters of low income and non-white youth.  It appears these are lives that can receive a particular impact if our gift is used to intentionally meet some of the specific needs of that group. 

The conversation had to be truncated due to it already being 1pm.  It was this reporter’s impression that the mood is for both [1] a readiness to move toward a commitment for the gift, but also [second] a distinct need for further discussions on how this gift (and any further gifts we might raise) can be used to further our Rotary goals as noted above.

Wow, a ton of emotion and engagement in this issue!
Program time!  Fritz introduced Melinda Cardena, aka The Urban Chicken Woman.  Ms. Cardena made the raising of chickens in one’s yard for the purpose of gaining fresh eggs very interesting, citing their ability to lay 3-5 eggs a week once they are mature.  Although each municipality has its own laws limiting the number of chickens one family can raise, Burlingame stands at the top of the list, allowing 12 chickens per household (think 36-60 eggs per week?!).  She noted that cold weather does not bother chickens nearly as much as heat, and also that chickens often bathe not on water, but [following the lead we probably all asserted when we were around kindergarten age], they take dust or dirt baths, by throwing these onto and into their wing feathers.  This practice rids chickens of tics, which relates back to Dr. Brownrigg’s comments about politicians and tics.
Which is a good place to note that we ended at 1:34, looking forward to many more such meaty conversations and thoughts begetting significant actions into the future as Rotarians.
Zoom Link:
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.
Apr 14, 2021 12:15 PM
KCSM Jazz - What's going on with the jazz scene and program updates?
KCSM Jazz - What's going on with the jazz scene and program updates?

As a teenager growing up in San Diego in the 1970's, Alisa Clancy first got interested in jazz while in Jr. High band (she played drums and piano) and has always fostered a nerdy interest in pop culture, the theater, classical music and film. She managed to combine all of those interests while in college working at stations WKYU in Bowling Green Kentucky during undergrad. school and then at WFDD at Wake Forest University, while working on a Master's Degree.

Clancy worked in professional theater for several years before moving to the Bay Area in 1987 where jazz and broadcasting moved to the solo spotlight. She is the Program Director at KCSM-FM and has been the host of the weekday gig of A Morning Cup of Jazz for more than twenty years.

Join long-time host Alisa Clancy from 6-10am for an eclectic mix of music and jazz history, interviews, tickets to some of your favorite shows, and personally curated sets put together from our remarkable jazz library.

Apr 21, 2021 12:15 PM
“420”, A day celebrating cannabis businesses and culture
Apr 28, 2021
Solo Aging
May 12, 2021 12:15 PM
Civity - Bridging Divides to Strengthen Communities
May 19, 2021 12:15 PM
Homelessness in San Francisco (Update)
May 26, 2021 12:15 PM
Art in general and the pandemic's impact on the art world
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Upcoming Events
Program Committee Meeting
Zoom Meeting contact Rotary@nolamarketing.com for access
May 04, 2021 8:00 AM
Program Committee Meeting
Zoom Meeting contact Rotary@nolamarketing.com for access
Jun 01, 2021 8:00 AM
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Member Birthdays
Marilyn Orr
April 1
Christopher Ramirez
April 3
Jerry Winges
April 3
Karen Malekos-Smith
April 7
Goddess of Garbage Tanzi
April 9
John Crosby
April 12
Wendi Upchurch
April 15
Fritz Brauner
April 17
Marc Friedman
April 21
Alex Buljan
April 26
Bill Tiedeman
Patricia Harding
April 12
Frances Boscacci
Mark Boscacci
April 19