Vol. 12, No. 30, February 7, 2000
  • The Billy McKinney Story
  • Portrait Of A BBRC Rotarian
  • Friday Potpourri
  • Sergeant At Arms Strikes Again
  • Worker Bee Alert
  • The Retreat
  • Expanding Rotary To Russia Conference - A Report
  • Mix In Motion
  • Passages
  • Thought For The Week
  • Web Fun
  • The Billy McKinney Story
    The Executive Vice-President of the Seattle Sonics NBA basketball team for the past five years has kept a low profile. Billy McKinney stepped into the BBRC spotlight to tell about life in today’s NBA.

    For 25 years, McKinney held the scoring record at Northwestern University. He spent seven seasons in the NBA, retired from the Chicago Bulls and moved into management with the Minnesota Timberwolves. A stint with the Detroit Pistons followed before he made his move to Seattle.

    Billy explained how he was approached to speak to the BBRC. Steve Goldfarb, when interviewing Billy, asked if he believed in the Constitution. Billy, finding this a strange question for a speaker’s interview, replied, “Yes.” “Do you believe in the Bill of Rights?” asked Goldfarb. Again, “Yes.” How about the First Amendment …do you believe in free speech?” “Of course,” was the reply. “Good,” said Goldfarb, “because we don’t pay anything to our speakers!”

    Billy also showed how his memory works when he reeled off the names of the Rotarians at his table. “I passed the test, when I could name “Dick (Brown), Chuck (Barnes), Jonathan (Koshar), Bob (Moloney), Nicholai (from Russia), Len (Aspinwall), and John (DeWater). A slam dunk for Billy McKinney.

    As Executive Vice-President, Billy was tasked recently to give the Sonics a presence in foreign countries. “As far as player recruiting is concerned, I spend about six weeks overseas each year, chalking up 150,000 miles of travel. I also do a lot of traveling in the States.”

    When Billy was five years old, growing up in Zion, IL (a small community north of Chicago), he remembers watching Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain battling it out on TV. “That’s when I decided I would be a professional basketball player. Later, I could see the positive impact these players have on society, so I became determined to excel. I had great support from my mom, who taught me to love and be unselfish.”

    Billy had a great role model in Zion, police officer John Simolean. “He taught me commitment and never asked anything in return except that I do my best.” Billy couldn’t figure out why this gentle policeman took a special interest in him. When asked, John related an event in his life which made all the difference. “He told me that he and a couple of his friends were due at baseball practice, but they had other ideas. John stayed with his commitment and went to practice without them. His friends proceeded to steal a car, which affected their lives forever. I vowed to help young kids and that’s why John helped me.”

    As far as the NBA is concerned, Billy recalled when he was a rookie he was paid $35,000 and the average salary was $150,000. In the year 2000, $300,000 is the minimum salary and the average is $2.6 million. “Within a few years, that figure will rise to $4.5 million on its present pace,” said Billy. “It is of great concern to me the effect these high salaries have on the sport. Attendance at arenas all over the country is down. I believe the fans are turned off by the “player’s ‘mis-fortune’.”

    In response to a question, Billy affirmed that escalating ticket prices can be tied directly to the salary situation. “Every team has the same problem. While salaries have risen 15%, revenues have only increased 8%. Despite these problems, our team, the Sonics, which has the sixth lowest salaries in the NBA, has surprised a lot of people with our success this year.”

    Jeff Cashman asked about the “Tuesday/Wednesday Syndrome,” where the Sonics can beat a team like Utah in Salt Lake one night and lose to the worst team in the league, the Chicago Bulls, the next night at home. “It’s the responsibility of players and coaches to keep the mental edge. Obviously, we need some consistency. (This is where Billy pointed out that the Rotary theme for 2000 should be adopted by the Sonics: “Act with consistency, credibility, and continuity!”)

    Tom Smith asked, since Billy had raved about his “best job in the best city,” wouldn’t he consider joining the “best Rotary club?” Billy allowed as how he would.

    Paul Martin asked about Gary Payton. “What you see is what you get with Gary. He’s tough, but he’s matured to the point that he doesn’t need those “ghetto” skills any longer. He’s very giving, doesn’t asked for much and, of course, performs in an outstanding manner.” Both Gary and Vin Baker have foundations, supporting projects in the Seattle area. As for Detlef Schrempf, Billy lamented that the Sonics couldn’t fit him under the salary cap. TOP

    Friday Potpourri
    With the clanging of the bell by President DeWater, Larry A. May offered the invocation and led the pledge to the flag, while Will Einstein greeted three visiting Rotarians and other guests.

    President John’s Homily embraced Rotary’s theme for 2000: Act With Consistency, Credibility, Continuity. “During last year’s Club retreat, I asked myself and my fellow Rotarians about how we are to keep ourselves vital so we can thrive in the future. Are we relevant? Do we still put service above self? If we don’t have the backbone for service, then our reason for being Rotarians comes into question. Expanding Rotary to Russia and around the world is just one way we can participate and be relevant. I hope all of us do.” TOP

    Sergeant At Arms Strikes Again
    Steve Lingenbrink
    asked members if they noticed any changes in the badge box. Seems Secretary Norm Johnson had revamped the list, so members names might appear in a different slot. A few of the member’s badges were missing, presumed to be in their pockets.

    John Martinka, a favorite target of the SAA, was one number off and was fined $2.00 for being one number off.
    Jonathan Koshar’s name was called. He replied, “I’m not here.” No matter, he was recognized for his participation at the Hutch Award Lunch last week, where he purchased five raffle tickets. Seems Jonathan is lucky. He won a 1965 issue of a magazine about Fred Hutchison. And, won a second time with a ball owned by Eric Davis and autographed by Stan Musial. No fine, just recognition. When it came time for the fine, Jonathan whipped out a "Get Out of Jail Card," which he'd acquired sometime in the past. In the audience was Judge Jay White, who was a guest of Tom Smith. [With Tom in UW Law school, Judge Jay is doing some mentoring with Tom.] Judge White is a Superior Court Judge in Kent. Lingenbrink took the opportunity for a sidebar, asking the Judge to rule on the authenticity of the "Get Out of Jail" card. To the delight of the crowd, the Judge questioned the authenticity and ordered "Bail Denied!" That ended that shtick. No fine, just recognition.

    Dick Brown arose to the applause of members, having acquired his first grandchild since our last meeting, 7-1/2 lb. Sarah Noel Porter, born on Rotary Day, January 28, to Dick’s and Judy’s daughter Jennifer – $1.00 for grandpa.

    Seems the Eastside Business Journal ran a story about how the Coldstream Capital Management, run by Bob McNulty and Jay Powers, had created a $20 million equity fund. Using the Lingenbrink Percentage-Ratio method of assessing fines, the duo was invited to cough up $1 million. Members thought that was too much, so the fine was dropped to $200. Jay said he’d pay half but Lingenbrink would have to get the other $100 from McNulty, whom Powers described as “the biggest media pig since Gennifer Flowers!” What fun we have Friday mornings! (P.S. McNulty was vacationing in the Valley of the Sun and not available for comment.) TOP

    Expanding Rotary To Russia Conference – A Report
    Len Aspinwall, one of several BBRC Rotarians to attend the conference held the last weekend of January at SeaTac, introduced Nicholai from Russia (sorry, last name didn’t compute). Nicholai was a houseguest of Len’s, and offered a clever carved and painted “whistle duck” as an auction item. Funds raised would go back to his Rotary Club in the Russian Far East. Bill Scott parted with $50 and now owns a “whistle duck.”

    Len reported that Nicholai had to traverse 12 time zones to get to Seattle for the conference. Featured speaker was RI president Carlo Ravizza. The Saturday night banquet raised over $20,000 for PolioPlus, spurred on by a $10,000 donation by President Ravizza himself. Len counted 73 different speakers at the conference, which wrestled with the challenges of expanding Rotary to Russia. TOP

    Seven BBRC Rotarians celebrate birthdays in February:
    Jan Nestler
    Doug Cameron
    Bob McNulty
    Bob Vallat
    Alan Bohling
    Dale Hemphill
    Jim Zidar
    February 5
    February 6
    February 11
    February 13
    February 16
    February 17
    February 23

    Steve Lingenbrink celebrates his birthday on February 30.

    Nine members were inducted into the Club in the month of February:
    Chuck Kimbrough
    Phil Salvatori
    Mike Hyodo
    Steve Peters
    Dale Hemphill
    Tom Smith
    Bill Spencer
    Alan Pratt
    Jim Young
    12 years
    10 years
    7 years
    7 years
    4 years
    3 years
    3 years
    2 years
    1 year
    Young, as a rookie, is in charge of steam. TOP

    Thought For The Week
    Chief Justice Earl Warren said: “I always turn to the sports pages first, which records people’s accomplishments. The front page has nothing but man’s failures.”

    Portrait Of A
    BBRC Rotarian:


    Frank Stillo, owner of Allegra Print & Imaging in Bellevue, joined the Bellevue Breakfast Rotary Club in December of 1990. Frank was no stranger to Rotary, having been a pillar in the Rotary Club of Dublin, California, prior to moving to Washington in 1988. Serving as Club president and “all the other chairs,” Frank was an active member of the Dublin Club for 13 years. Combined with his BBRC experience, Frank will have contributed 23 years to service above self in December of this year.
    An Ohio native, Frank and his parents lived in Florida during his growing-up days. He says he “was born into the restaurant trade.” His folks owned — what else? — an Italian restaurant. Frank thought there might be something else he could do, and took a spin at being a city planner in West Palm Beach, Florida. That, too, proved not to be what Frank wanted.

    By this time, he and his wife Chris had married and, in 1971, moved to the Pleasanton, Walnut Creek, and Dublin area of California. Frank opened what he knew best, an Italian restaurant, and soon had two others operating – until someone came along and offered him money and he sold.

    The Stillos had traveled to the Puget Sound region quite often since moving to California and liked what they saw. Chris especially loved the area. Frank had been steered by a Rotary friend to look into the printing business and they decided to move north in 1988. Frank and Chris opened the first American Speedy Printing shop in Washington that year.

    Frank got plugged into the BBRC late in 1990 as his business grew. “We began offering all kinds of different services, based on demand from our customers. Our corporate people recognized that for some of their outlets, being a simple quick-print shop wasn’t competitive. So they created Allegra Print & Imaging, which allows us to expand our services. We’re now an all-digital shop. Along the way, we’ve acquired two other shops to merge into our operation.”

    Perhaps the Stillos’ greatest passion would be their involvement with a program called “A Walk to Emmaus,” a nondenominational program which brings men, women, and young adults together in separate retreat formats to “renew their convictions. It’s a very powerful experience,” says Frank, who has led the college-age walk several times.

    His Rotary commitment mirrors his Christian walk. “I like the philosophy of being a servant … to God and to the community at large.” Frank has given of his time and talent to support the BBRC in many ways, particularly at raffle time. He prints the raffle tickets and has performed enumerable pro bono projects on behalf of Rotary. His wife Chris is equally committed and cheerfully supports Frank’s Rotary walk. The Stillos have two children, 20-year-old Stephanie and 23-year-old Ben. A third-year WSU pharmacy student, Ben is participating in his residency in Spokane.

    When you hear Frank Stillo say, “Let’s go divide a meatball,” you now know he knows from whence he speaks. His restaurant background qualifies him to tender the invitation, but his Rotary and church life reflect his love for his fellow man. TOP

    Worker Bee Alert
    Earl Falk
    , representing Rotary First Harvest, reminded members that the second Saturday of each month is a work party morning at the facility at Pier 91, 9:00 a.m to 112:00 noon. “There’s a lot of work to be done this Saturday, so I hope a solid work crew from the BBRC will turn out,” warned Earl.

    Will Einstein requested members put Saturday, March 4, on their calendars for the work party at Eastside Adult Day Center in Bellevue. “We’re doing a big clean-up job. Need at least a dozen workers. Cary K. has volunteered his pickup, but we’ll need one more.” Sign-up with Will for this worthwhile project. TOP

    The Retreat
    President-Elect Cary Kopczynski outlined plans for the Club’s Annual Retreat at Port Ludlow (http://www.ptludlow.com). “What’s important about the retreat?” he asked rhetorically. “Poker and cold beer,” replied Deasy. Cary ignored Mr. Deasy and stressed how important planning for the next year has become. “It’s what makes this club so unique …we study and discuss our plans and then carry them out.” The retreat is set for Ludlow on April 28-29, much later than usual. Cary pointed out that Easter is as late as it gets this year, and spring vacations and other conflicts entered into the schedule. Besides, the Port Ludlow golf course should be a little dryer by late April!


    "Reveille Editor Mix generously grants editorial control to contributing author Mark Hough. Huunhhh!"



    Best Suspense Novel Metaphors or Similes

    13. Worn down at the edges like a Times Square hooker, the caretaker’s last tooth lay on the floor like a yellow Chiclet.

    12. The situation had become topsy-turvy-like Christmas in the summer, if you’re in Australia.

    11. The information imbedded on the stolen computer chip was like an explosive so explosive it could explode, creating a massive explosion.

    10. The killer was a misplaced comma in the jaunty, happy sentence that made up the party crowd.

    9. His face looked like an ice sculpture. Not one of those pretty ones in the middle of a cruise ship buffet, but the kind they do in a contest with a chainsaw-and it had been out in the heat too long.

    8. Like any family, this house had its secrets, secrets it grimly refused to reveal, and would continue to refuse to reveal even if it could speak, which unlike a family, or at least most members of most families, it couldn’t.

    7. The sudden darkness made the Countess tense, like Bobby Jerome that time with the bicycle in 7th grade, remember?

    6. There was something funny about the kidnapping crime scene that Special Agent Frievald couldn’t quite place, and the thought stuck with him throughout the rest of the day, like those tiny little bits of the circumferent skin from the bologna slices on a foot-long Subway Cold Cut Trio that get stuck in between the last two molars on the upper left, on the tongue side where you can’t possibly reach them with a toothpick, your fingernails, or even a systematically straightened paper clip, they just sit there and make everything you eat at your next meal taste vaguely like vinegar and mayonnaise, and then somehow—quietly but miraculously—they disappear by themselves in the middle of the night while you’re asleep, just like the visiting Countess appeared to have done.

    5. Her parting words lingered heavily inside me like last night’s Taco Bell.

    4. A single drop of sweat slowly inched down Chad’s brow—a tiny, glistening Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball of desperation.

    3. Her blazing eyes dance like Astaire and Rogers, but since they were crossed, it was an ocular tango, and my eyes had to foxtrot just to maintain eye contact.

    2. She had a voice so husky it could have pulled a dogsled, and the gun she was holding gave me a bad case of barrel envy.

    1. The neon sign reflected off his gun, like the moonlight reflects off my brother-in-law’s bald head after a night of beer drinking and cow-tipping. TOP

    Top 10 Signs You’re Being Stalked by Martha Stewart

    10. You get a threatening note made up of letters cut out of a magazine with pinking shears, and they’re all the same size, the same font, and precisely lined up in razor-sharp rows.

    9. That telltale lemon slice in the dog’s water bowl.

    8. On her show she makes a gingerbread house that looks exactly like your split-level, right down to the fallen-over licorice downspout and the stuck half-open graham cracker garage door.

    7. You find your pet bunny on the stove in an exquisite tarragon, rose petal and saffron demi-glace, with pecan-crusted hearts of palm and a delicate mint-fennel sauce.

    6. The unmistakable aroma of potpourri follows you even after you leave the bathroom.

    5. You discover that every napkin in the entire house has been folded into a swan.

    4. No matter “where” you eat, your place setting always includes an oyster fork.

    3. Twice this week you’ve been the victim of a drive-by doilying.

    2. You wake up in the hospital with a concussion and endive stuffing in every orifice.

    1. You awaken one morning with a glue gun pointed squarely at your temple. TOP

    The Reveille is published weekly by the Bellevue Breakfast Rotary Club for the enlightenment and enjoyment of its members. It is available through the website, by email, fax, and is sometimes even distributed in person. Typos do not occur; if you think you see one, tell John Mix -- although you are probably wrong. Members of the Publications Committee responsible for Reveille production include: Craig Groshart, Tom Helbling, Mark Hough, and John Mix. Layout by Cheep Graphics, Tacoma.

    Rotary graphics provided by Tord Elfwendahl, The Rotary Club of Stockholm Strand, RI Dist 2350. TOP