Newsletter – October 2, 2018

Pledge: Paula James

Invocation: Tim Cahill

Michael Johnson, Michael Caplan’s friend and sailing partner. Dr. Tina Jordan a Sac State Faculty member and a future speaker on the Sac State Guardian Scholars Program.

Happy Bucks: Les gave HB because he had to get a valid birth certificate in order to get his passport, and finally he received it and got the passport in San Francisco so now he’s ready to head to Cabo—except, Howard Stagg just returned from there yesterday and he tells Les that he’s told all the Border Control Agents about him and to be on the lookout! Rob Ford because they held the first Golf Tournament meeting and our Partners, Big Brothers Big Sisters said don’t worry about the silent and live auction they have it all covered. Monika Singh because on Sunday, her 8 year old step-grandson was missing and she was on the phone with 911 when his friend’s father brought him home at 10:30pm. She’s happy he’s alright but is restricting his activities now. Patt McCormick because her skin cancer surgery is behind her and all is well. Matt Ross because he wasn’t the last to arrive to today’s meeting. Earl Heverly tried to answer the same trivia question he had last week but couldn’t so he paid a fine for being late. Rob Olmsted because he loved the exchange of Prez Tom and Earl where Earl could remember the question and not the answer he heard last week. Steve Turner who thought it was interesting that Rob Olmsted put himself in the same “young” age category as Prez Tom.

Everyone not wearing a Rotary Pin and a Rotary Badge was fined $1 each by Prez Tom.


  •  Al is gone from mid-October through November, who will pull the trailer with the Rotary Stuff?
  •  November 6th our meeting is moved to Cannon on 33rd Street in East Sacramento. They are opening special for our lunch.
  • Two dates to put on your calendar: December 4th—Laurel Ruff Holiday Party, December 8th—Club Christmas Party.

Mike Grace did his joke list while Tom raised a set amount of money—Mike got in barely 2 jokes!

Are we interested in “Ringing the Bell” for the Salvation Army? There were several who will do it.

Danny reminded us about the Park Fundraiser “Taco ‘Bout a Fiesta” on November 10th. Edward Jones (Al Cady is the key sponsor and Rotary is also a sponsor. The event is from 6-9pm and there will be food, drinks, music, etc.

Randy mentioned he’d love to give you a special pound of coffee and a $20 donation to the Foundation in your name. Mike Grace and Earl Heverly both received coffee and donations in their name.

Michael Caplan introduced his friend and sailing buddy, Michael Johnson. Michael Caplan said he has sailed to Hawaii 9 times, but Michael J. has done many more, 19 in fact. He met Michael Johnson at a Rotary Golf event and discovered they had both been raised in Hawaii and actually attended the same high school although not at the same time. They discovered their shared love of sailing and soon Michael C. became an inspector on Michael J.’s boat. Michael C. explained the flags they brought and their meanings.

Michael J. even crossed the finish line backwards in one race because the Main mast snapped and they only had the Jib, so attaching a spinnaker to the aft mast they were turned around by the wind and sailed through back-wards. This happened in 1969 in the Trans Pac on a 78’ boat.

In 2016, Michael J. figured it might be the last time both daughters would be available to sail the race, so his wife, their daughters along with boyfriends headed out for the Pacific Cup event. With the inexperienced crew, they suffered 25-30 knot winds and grey rough seas the whole time. Larger boats in the same race did okay because their weight held them steady in spite of the conditions.

Michael J. explained that during a race, if anything breaks it stays broken and they improvise. He once had the water pump break so that they had to run salt water through the engine by hand pumping to get potable water. Michael C. mentioned he was once on a boat in bad weather where there was a small hole below the deck and they had to continuously pump water out of the bilge.

Michael J. was asked if he’s ever had a trip that nothing went wrong on and the answer was an emphatic NO! He was also asked if any boats are ever lost at sea. He said even his mom was lost one time, but nowadays there is less chance of it happening. He uses a flotation device that gives off a signal when it hits the water and inflates so it would show up on other boat’s charts. He was also asked in the 2200 miles from California to Hawaii how often they see another boat, and he said almost never.

Michael J. estimated they go about an average of 10 knots and hour when sailing and the fastest they got to Hawaii was 9 1/2 days and the longest was 15 days. He said the newer boats now can make it in 5 days. He just spent $100,000 refitting his boat with new sails ($50,000), rigging ($40,000) and electronics ($10,000.) He was asked how long a sail would last. Sailing in the San Francisco Bay and the like they can last about 5 years sailing in a race once a month. Out in the open sea it is much less.

They only use the engine on board to recharge the batteries, they don’t put it in gear. Michael J. was asked by our resident yachtsman Roy about radar and he replied that most sailboats don’t have radar.

Thank you Michael Johnson and Michael Caplan for the brief glance into Yacht racing.

Dr. Tina Jordan gave us a brief idea of what the Guardian Scholar Program is all about. This program is to help Foster Children who have aged out of the system find help and resources to complete college and find employment. The program has been at Sac State since 2006. These students don’t have a lot of stability in their lives, but getting an education can signal everything will be all right. There are currently 104 Guardian Scholars at Sac State and overall there are 3% former foster kids in colleges nationwide. Sierra College has a model program and Dr. Jordan tries to use it for guidelines. U. C. Davis and other 2 year schools in the area have programs as well. When she comes as our speaker, Dr. Jordan will share some of their stories with us. Looking forward to that program!

Newsletter – September 25, 2018

Pledge: Les Gudger                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Invocation: Mike Grace

Bell Ringers: Cathy Skeen for celebrating her birthday and 43rd Anniversary as well as buying a home in Incline Village (but she’ll still be coming to Rotary.) Matt Ross for celebrating his 18th Anniversary on Sunday and for his son, Andrew, who was at this weekend’s airshow with the Robotics Team from Rio and is also half way through with his Eagle Scout Project. Also, Rio beat El Camino in Volleyball! Rob Olmsted for turning 41 on Sunday! And Duane Oliveria gave $25 each Cal win so far and $29 for celebrating his 29th Anniversary for a Bell Ringer at $104!

Happy Bucks:
Ben Fox gave HB for celebrating his birthday by camping with the family, and is now suffering for it (back.) Les gave HB to warn everyone not to leave getting a passport to the last minute. He spent 7 hours in San Francisco yesterday getting it to go to Cabo.

Mike Caplan, Earl Heverly and Duane Oliveria were all late. Prez Tom had them each answer a Rotary Trivia question to get out of a fine. None of them got the question right!


  •  On Friday, October 5th, we will have a Fleet Week Boating adventure on Captain Steve’s boat in the San Francisco Bay. More Tim Cahill is co-chairing with Captain Steve. The bus will leave at 8am from Pavilions. We’ll be leaving from the Marina Bay Yacht Harbor. Both the Parade of Boats and the Blue Angels will be there. Steve will prepare his “from scratch” Clam Chowder along with tri-tip, etc. There will be mimosas and Bloody Mary’s on the bus! Cost is $80 per person, guests are welcome but the number is capped at 40.
  • The 13th of October is a Rotary Work Day at William Pond Park. We will be restoring benches (thanks to the wood donated by Al Cady.) A BBQ lunch will follow. Meet at William Pond Park (at the end of Arden Way & the river) at 9am. Steve is getting the fireboat and Sheriff’s ATV to help move items. Arrive at 8:30 to build benches and lunch will be at 12:00. There is also a pre-work party on October 7th at Al’s home to prep the wood for the benches. Please come and help—9am.
  • Al still needs a stronger commitment from someone to help with set up and clean up for the meetings.
  • November 6th our meeting is moved to Cannon on 33rd Street in East Sacramento. They are opening special for our lunch.
  • The Fall Grant deadline is September 30th. They will be discussed at the October Board meeting on October 3rd at Howe Park.
  • Mike Grace announced the last weekend of the comedy “Oh, He’s Coming Back” at the Howe Avenue Theater. September 28, 29 and 30.

Mike Grace did his joke list while Tom raised a set amount of money—Mike got in 3 1/2 jokes!

Our speaker today is Roger Niello, a local celebrity and former Assemblyman. Roger talked about the political climate and said he is frustrated with the anti-government sentiment present since the Donald Trump victory. Looking forward, Roger thinks the Congressional Elections coming up are the most important. He noted he will be on KFBK at 7pm on election night with others to discuss the election.

There are 25-30% of voters who are rock solid behind Trump. A significant number of voters voted against Clinton rather than for Trump to allow him to pull off the upset. Trump highly energizes the opposition base by making everything all about Trump. Roger looks at the “right of center suburbanites”, and wonders if the Republicans can keep them even though they voted for Trump. Roger says Trump is “his own worst enemy.” He is a thin-skinned, egocentric narcissist. He wears his emotions on his sleeve. Will the anti-Trump movement be enough to cause a split among the Democratic ranks?

Startling fact: 49% in a poll said they favor impeaching President Trump. On a generic ballot, 49% chose a generic Democrat, 42% chose a generic Republican. Historically during a non– Presidential year election, the sitting President’s party loses 18 out of 20 seats. This year, 60 Congressional seats are highly contested. The net loss in 90% of mid-term elections since 1902 is 4 1/2 seats. In California many Politician’s are becoming “decline to state” or “Independent” rather than align with either party.

The Senate is a different story. There are 26 Democrats to 8 Republicans up for election. 10 of the seats are from districts where Trump won in 2016. Could Congress go Democratic, quite likely. The Senate should remain Republican so we will have a split.

The more important election are the Governors races. There are 336 Republican and 16 Democratic and 1 Independent Governors and 6 are up for election this cycle. The key is that in 2020 there will be a census and Governors can redistrict accordingly.

The top 2 voting has made a huge impact in California, where we’ll often see a Democrat against a Democrat in the election because they were the top 2 vote getters in the primary.

Steve Poizner running for Insurance Commissioner says he’ll show Republicans how to win—become an Independent.

The question is how small the majority will be in the Legislature. The significance is the necessary 2/3 majority to increase taxes. Congress will probably go Democratic, and the Senate is up for grabs.

Roger gave us an idea on some of the propositions on the ballot in November. Prop 6 is about the gas tax. A yes removes the gas tax, a no means they stay in place. Is it possible that the sentiment on prop 6 could show a more open election with the possibility of a Republican Governor?

Roger recommended the following web sites: LAO.CA.GOV and

Both parties are effected by the populists verses the establishment (traditionalists.) Could that dynamic cause a split in the parties? Could 4 parties be possible? Roger says look at Europe, that is not what we would want.

Roger was asked about the Kavanagh confirmation, and Roger says it hinges on the few people on the Judicial Committee. He didn’t give a prediction.

Follow Roger on Twitter or the web at: @RogerNeillo and

Thank you Roger, for your insight into the current world of politics.

Next week: Special Agent in Charge of the FBI, Sean Reagan