Bellevue Breakfast Rotary Club Reveille Newsletter

VOL 21, NO 29, FEBRUARY 17, 2009


"What the Financial Meltdown Means for Your Retirement," Paul Merriman, Founder, Merriman Berkman Next, a well known and respected expert on mutual fund investing. Paul, who co-hosts "Sound Investing," a weekly radio broadcast, has written books on investing and is editor of a mutual fund newsletter. He has also been a guest on financial and business national TV shows, such as "Wall Street Week." He will share his perspective on how investors can cope with the financial crisis currently underway. [Howell]


“Based on our success with The War on Drugs, all we need to do is start The War on Education. If it’s anywhere near as successful as our war on drugs, in no time we’ll all be hooked on phonics.” ~ Author unknown

Click here to view a slideshow of photos from this week's meeting.


Invocation and Pledge: Wendi Fischer
Introduction of Visiting Rotarians & Guests: Tamara Dean

Events promoted during introductions included:

Kindering Center will be Primary Beneficiary of 5K Run/Walk

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Jane Kuechle

Hold this date: April 26, 2009! Jane Kuechle introduced a video presentation about Kindering Center and its family-centered services to renew member interest in and understanding of the Center and its work with children who are disabled, medically fragile, or in need of foster care and/or adoption because of abuse or neglect. Founded in 1962, the Center has had a long term relationship with the BBRC and will be the beneficiary of the upcoming Bellevue 5K Run/Walk.

BBRC PR Committee Promotes Business Cards, Membership Recruitment, Logo Wear, and Social Networking

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Kaj Pedersen

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Elena Howell

Elena Howell and her committee, Doug Cameron, Paul Chapman, Pam Fehrman, Lynne Gauthier, Criag Groshart, Kaj Pedersen, Steve Roberts, Scott Sadler, Steve Szirmai, Jeanne Thorsen, and media expert Bill Rambo, created a very impressive set of work to market and promote the BBRC.

The presentation introduced the BBRC’s new business cards, banner, brochure, and logo wear. Past and upcoming events were described, including the Bellevue Run/Walk and the District 5030 Conference in Victoria. Goals include building an awareness of BBRC membership activities and fund raising initiatives, leveraging the Internet initiatives, and increasing media coverage of the club’s high profile events, as we want our community to know that the ... BBRC is the Best Darn Club in the World!

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ROTM Bill Rambo & President Jenny Andrews

Bill Rambo — February Rotarian of the Month

President Jenny awarded the PR Committee’s Bill Rambo the Rotarian of the Month Award for his work on several projects, including the development of the Kindering Center video and other PowerPoint Presentations that will be used at the District Conference in local fundraising activities.

New Members Proposed: Parail & Nierman

Sam Parail lives in Burien with his wife Cynthia and works for Ronald Blue and Co. in Bothell. Previously, Sam was with Key Investment Services, LLC. He is sponsored by Alan Pratt, and his proposed classification is Wealth Stewardship Advisor. Sam's interests outside work include international traveling, cycling, soccer and cooking. Sam has visited our club six times and has had an extensive conversation with the chairs of Membership Coordination and Membership Support. He has studied what Rotary is all about!

Lynne Nierman is a self-employed interior decorator/real estate stager. She has an eye for beauty and is full of energy. She lives in Bellevue with her husband Greg. Lynne's proposed classification is Interior Design. She is sponsored by Chris Monger and has visited our club three times.

Richard Guevara, Sammamish High, Student of the Month

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SOTM Richard Guevara & Bob Holert

Bob Holert introduced Student of the Month Richard Guevara,his parents John and Ana Guevara, and his brother Alex.

Richard carries a 3.5 GPA and is enrolled in a Cisco Networking Certification Program and AP Senior English, American Government, and Environment Science. He co-captained the football team, where he was a four-year letterman, and he is a three-year letterman in Track and Field. Richard has also received honors and recognition for his work as a math tutor and volunteer with the Green Corps and Camp Orkila.

Richard will pursue a degree in Business Administration, with emphasis in IT Management.

Future Meetings

The BBRC Third Thursday Fellowship Meeting will be held February19th, at 5 pm, at the Bellevue Rock Bottom. Get to know some of your fellow Rotarians in a relaxed setting. Bring your spouse/partner, business associate and/or a prospective Rotarian. If you haven’t been to a 3rd Thursday before, now is the time show up, have a drink and relax. Tim Leahy and John Martinka will host the event, and it serves as a make-up.

The World Community Service Committee meets after the February 20th BBRC Meeting from 8:30 to 9:00 a.m. Chairs Steve Szirmai and Bob Bowen will present the International Projects for FY09, and will also take your comments for projects for the FY10. Members will also have an opportunity to discuss the balance of the WCS funds for the remainder of FY09. This meeting will take place immediately following the BBRC club meeting.

Members are encouraged to sign up for the BBRC Annual Retreat at the Enzian Inn in Leavenworth, March 20-21, 2009. Click here to sign up online.

Join the BBRC Group Link on Facebook & Participate in Member Networking

Elena Howell and the PR Committee have set up a BBRC Group on Facebook. Here are instructions on joining:

1. Go to
2. Follow instructions for a new user sign-up (it's free). Enter your full name, email, a password of your choosing, mark male or female, enter your birthday and submit.
3. When you are on your own Facebook page, click on the "Profile" tab at the top of your
4. Click on "Edit my profile."
5. Under the "Info" tab, enter your basic info, personal, co
ntact, education & work.
6. Go to "Photos" tab to add your profile photo and create your photo albums.
7. Then return to your "Home" page.
8. From your "Home" page, upper right corner, go to "Groups" and search for "Bellevue Breakfast Rotary Club".  When our BBRC logo comes up, click on "join the group."

Today’s Program

"The War Against Drugs," Dominic Holden, reporter for Seattle's The Stranger newspaper & Organizer of the ACLU's Marijuana Education Project

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Dominic Holden

Dominic Holden, editorial writer and reporter with The Stranger, has worked on marijuana policy reform projects since 1994. He is a past director of the Seattle Hempfest, the nation's largest marijuana policy reform rally. In 2000, he founded the Washington State Affiliate of NORML and currently serves as NORML’s director. He believes that drug law changes should focus on the decriminalization of marijuana versus legalization. In 2000, Holden co-founded and chaired the steering committee for the Sensible Seattle Coalition, which sponsored Initiative 75. The ballot measure, passed in September 2003, and made marijuana possession for adult personal use Seattle's lowest law enforcement priority. Holden is a member of the Marijuana Policy Review Panel created by I-75, which monitors the implementation of the initiative and tracks Seattle's marijuana arrests and prosecutions. Holden is also a member of the King County Bar Association's Drug Policy Project. His Facebook site and news reporting and editorials can be found at:

Holden’s interest in drug-law reform began at the age of 18 when he saw what was happening to many of his childhood friends. "By the time I reached adulthood, it seemed like nearly all the black kids I had grown up with had gone to jail for pot, and all of the white kids I hung out with hadn't had any problems or run-ins with the police. It was a huge disparity, and it was one of the biggest motivating factors in getting me more interested in changing drug laws."

Holden points out that the United States incarcerates for drug offenses more people than Western Europe incarcerates for all offenses. Of the 1.8 million people arrested each year for drug law violations, 40-60% are for marijuana possession. Holden noted that citizens suffering from cancer and other debilitating illnesses are often denied access to their medical marijuana, and in some cases, are arrested and prosecuted for using. The cost of the war on drugs (ads and prisons and enforcement) costs the US government an estimated US$44.1 billion a year, while legalization would raise another US$32.7 billion in taxes if drugs were taxed and regulated like alcohol. Holden says, “We need to get rid of the Black Market and crime with legalization, medical treatment, and education.”

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Holden believes that the drug war has caused more harm than good. He sees the alternative as accessible treatment, education, with assistance to get off drugs. He wants those who need treatment to get it. He believes that the US has done a poor job in deterring drug use while institutionalizing racism and allowing our prison population to significantly misdirect costly but limited law-enforcement resources.

"Legalization is an open-ended term," he says. "However, decriminalization is very specific. I would like to see it treated just like alcohol so that you could get it in establishments that had a license to serve it, or purchase it in stores, pay the appropriate taxes on it that would go to fund programs — and maybe some of that money going to giving people accurate information about marijuana and how to use it responsibly."

Holden is very positive about the collective drug enforcement leadership in Washington State and Seattle. He noted that 13 other states have decriminalized marijuana — including Massachusetts, where a measure similar to the one in the Washington State legislature passed a public vote in November by a 30-point margin. He is proud that Seattle, during this past decade, has repeatedly rejected outdated drug war rhetoric, as evidenced by the passage of I-75. He is optimistic that Seattle Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske will accept the position of the nation's drug czar in the Obama administration and is confident he will capably direct and lead essential changes to drug-control policy in the U.S.

Web Fun

Courtesy of Chuck Barnes

Never Use Cruise Control When Pavement is Wet/Icy

A woman had an accident and totaled her car. It was raining, though not excessively, when her car suddenly began to hydroplane and literally flew through the air. She was not seriously injured but very stunned at the sudden occurrence. When she explained to the highway patrolman what had happened, he told her something that every driver should know: NEVER DRIVE IN THE RAIN WITH YOUR CRUISE CONTROL ON . She thought she was being cautious by setting the cruise control and maintaining a safe, consistent speed in the rain. She was wrong.

If your car begins to hydroplane when it's raining, and If the cruise control is on, your tires lose contact with the pavement, and your car will accelerate to a higher rate of speed, making you take off like an airplane. A warning about this should be posted in every vehicle, right along with the airbag warning: NEVER USE THE CRUISE CONTROL WHEN THE PAVEMENT IS WET OR ICY. We tell our teenagers to set the cruise control and drive at a safe speed, but we don't tell them to use the cruise control only when the pavement is dry.

Some vehicles (like the Toyota Sienna Limited XLE) will not allow you to set the cruise control when the windshield wipers are on.

Student of the Month Michelle Kim


President Jenny Andrews