Spoke Newsletter – 05/21/2015

Spoke Newsletter – 05/21/2015

Don McCue will present his Memorial Day Special. Thank goodness he isn’t speaking about ice hockey.

Justin Fornelli presented the Redlands Rail Project. His title is Chief Engineer – Transit and Rail Programs and has been with SanBAG since 2012. The historic Redlands rail loop alignment, was quasi purchased in 1992 for $26 million. I say quasi because the idiots at SanBAG allowed the three (not thirty) deliveries on the old loop to control usage on that portion of the dilapidated line. That means we taxpay- ers paid $26 Million for an easement. Hosed for the first time. There are 4 bridges needing replacement and 26 grade crossings needing upgrade. Taxpayers hosed again. The rail system will cost $242million for the initial capital costs and $3million per year for maintenance and operation. That makes about $400 million in capital when you include interest on the debt over the first 20 years and when you add in the $3 million per year that is $460 million for the first 20 years. Then figure in the inflated estimates of 1000 riders per day average over the 20 year period, and what do you get? $63 dollars per ride to or from San Bernardino. No wonder SanBAG has never calculated the per trip cost of this boondoggle.

You could get 6 UBER round trips for the totally taxpayer subsidized cost of one way for the 10 mile trip. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. What about being fooled in a quaternary fashion?

May 28. Mark Garcia, Redland Police, on why fear of Noon Rotarians necessitated the Department’s acquisition of a military assault vehicle.

From Shab El Awar: Thank you, Rotarians, for making our just concluded District Conference a memorable one. Even if you were unable to attend, it was EVERY Rotarian’s work and service that was celebrated at the Conference. Because of all that each and every one of you has done in Rotary this year, our Conference celebration was FANTASTIC! Bricia and I appreciate you all. I want you all to share in the joy that we experienced this weekend. There were many great highlights and many great people that made the Conference a success, but without a great district full of fantastic Ro- tarians,the Conference would mean nothing. So give each of yourselves a round of applause for a job well done. For all 3 Redlands Rotary attendees, horray!

Make sure to welcome Dr. Kim Clark, our newest member of Redlands Rotary. Last year he accompanied Dave Maupin and Pat Hoag on the trek up Mt. Kilimanjaro.

May 30- Touch a Truck (finger a four-by-four) June 3 “FIRE-UP for Scouting” breakfast. Wednesday, morning, 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. Redlands Fire Station 261, 525 E. Citrus Avenue. June 27, Picnic and fishing derby- Ford Park. Don’t forget that Shirley Harry is competing in the Symphony Gala’s Dancing with the Stars. Vote early and often.

Attending District events can sure give any Rotarian a perspective on the organization as a whole. The most recent District Conference was held last weekend and it was no exception. Thanks to the Redlands Rotarians who attended all or part of the three-day event: Cal Boothby, Allan Griesemer, Jim Pinder, Joe Horzen and Leroy Hansberger.

Friday was reserved primarily for recreation and jocularity with a golf tournament in the morning and vendor and project showcase exhibit hall displays mid-day. Several clubs hosted themed “Hospitality Suites” which provided a social context for the evening.

On Saturday, we got down to business. First, we were honored by the presence and enjoyed the remarks of the personal representative of RI President Gary Huang, author and artist Chien-Ling Lin. The District 4-Way speech Contest finalists all “did their thing,” and a young lady from the Temecula area took home the gold. We also heard the three District music competition winners perform. There followed a report on several international projects with which District 5330 is involved: an on-going development project in cluster of African villages, referred to as the Uduoro Project, bringing clean water and sanitation, education, and economic assistance to the many people there; the Thousand Smiles project helping our young Mexican neighbors near Ensenada with oral hygiene and facial reconstruction services to enhance their quality of life and save their lives; the Galilee Project on this side of the border in Calexico and the Imperial Valley to service the needs of migrant workers in each of the six areas of focus. We also heard from Mo- hammed Rezwan who has created the template for solar- powered, Internet-enabled floating boat schools and libraries for Bangladeshi children so they don’t miss three months of education due to monsoonal flooding.

Youth Service committee members reported on successful RYLA and PRYDE weekends, and we were surrounded by high school Interacters and college-student Rotaracters from around the District who had their own conference track but deigned to join the “geezer squad” for the occasional group sessions.

The Governor’s Dinner & Ball Saturday evening featured a presentation by the eloquent and thoughtful Ezra Teshome who is dedicating his life to the eradication of childhood disease in Ethiopia and the world, and there followed more jocularity until the wee hours of the evening (9 PM).

On Sunday, we wrapped up District 5330’s 2014-2015 year, and before passing the baton to incoming District Governor Rudy Westervelt, DG Shab El Awar announced his personal $4.2M gift to support the philanthropic efforts of Rotary. Some weekend! Wish you were there!

Editor – Mark Bulot – No 43 – 5/21/2015

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