The Rotary Club of

Ojai Rotary Reminder Newsletter
November 12th, 2021

Bret Bradigan, Editor
November is Rotary Foundation Month
Are you an established professional who wants to make positive changes in your community and the world? Our club members are dedicated people who share a passion for community service and friendship. 
Our 1.2 million-member organization started with the vision of one man—Paul P. Harris. The Chicago attorney formed one of the world’s first service organizations, the Rotary Club of Chicago, on 23 February 1905 as a place where professionals with diverse backgrounds could exchange ideas and form meaningful, lifelong friendships. Rotary’s name came from the group’s early practice of rotating meetings among the offices of each member.
In the Beginning...
The St. Aquinas Fellowship Hall hosted several dozen of Ojai’s top community servants and assorted ne’er do wells at the Rotary Club of Ojai met for its weekly gathering, earning money for good causes, paying homage to each other and lasagna. Yes, delicious and liberally sauced lasagna. Thank you Jayne!
Gaveled to order by our punctilious president, Betsy Watson at 12:15 pm, the business of the club was conducted, with lasagna. Did we mention lasagna?
Greeting us at the door were the ebullient duo of Don Reed and Larry Wilde. After ten minutes of schmoozing (in which the real work of the club is done), we were led in the pledge by Cindy Frings, while Larry Beckett gave us a historical significant invocation from an Indian chief of the Sauk Nation, giving thanks for the bounty of the earth, but mostly for the bounty of each other’s company as we approach Thanksgiving.
We had a guest auditing the club/class: Dominick Pino, a towering young man, was the guest of Tony Thacher.
While VC Sheriff Bill Ayub was accompanied by Capt. Jose Rivera, Ojai’s police chief.
TDIH: This Day in History: Betsy told us about the re-discovery in 1974 of salmon in the Thames River for the first time since 1833. Then this week, it was reported that the Thames contained three species of sharks (including one venomous variety) and that the piscine census listed 115 fish and bird species, including seahorses, eels and seals. 
"The River Thames is the now cleanest river in the world that flows through a major city. This is a major feat considering that in 1957, the river was so polluted that it was declared biologically dead. The river owes its debt The River Thames is the now cleanest river in the world that flows through a major city. This is a major feat considering that in 1957, the river was so polluted that it was declared biologically dead. The river owes its debt of gratitude to Mr Hugh Fish, an environmental engineer who worked during the 1960s and 70s and was determined to make the water pure enough for salmon. In 1957, the river was so polluted that it was declared biologically dead.
With Fern Barishman on the roving mic, we either endured or enjoyed a few announcements, depending on your lasagna consumption.
First up was Betsy her own self, telling us about District 5240’s annual conference, which will be held toward the end of January in Santa Barbara. More info to follow on this opportunity to get next-level training and insight into the district’s many incredible projects all over the world.
Kay Bliss waved the flag for the National Immunization Day training, which will take place in India on January 23-24th, and would include travel time of January 17th to the 28th. Kay said it is an historic opportunity to drive the final nail into the coffin of polio, once a scourge of humanity, now dwindled down to a dozen cases.
Sue Gilbreth, our Community Service Director, filled us in several projects coming up and gone by: the prior weekend Rotarians gathered up for the Cemetery Cleanup Day, clearing the graves of 134 veterans.
There is also Operation Snowflake, which is organized through Rotary by the Ventura County Military Collaborative. Please bring unwrapped and unopened toys, foodstuffs and gift certificates for this worthy project to help needy veterans have a great holiday season.
COMING PROGRAMSAndy Gilman briefed us on the following schedule:
November 19th-- Matt LaVere - Ventura County District 1 Supervisor
Priorities of the County, Ventura County Strategic Plan, COVID
November 26thDark.  Thanksgiving
December 3rd-Chris Land - OVDF 
President of the Ojai Valley Defense Fund
December 10th-- Bryant Baker - Los Padres Forest Watch. The state of the Los Padres National Forest, challenges, and future plans.
FINING with Bret "the hitman" Bradigan
Bret Bradigan talked about the importance of fining revenue, that it makes up close to 40 percent of the club’s operating budget, paying for the room rental, food, socials, awards etc. Then he was reminded by Bill Prather not to forgot to take confessions, so it was done:
1. Marty Babayco said he was resuming his impresario role this coming spring at Nordhoff’s high school musical, and that practices were already underway. “Something Rotten,” a musical comedy about two brothers struggling in the shadow of Shakespeare. With songs. And jokes.
2. Bill Prather ‘fessed up to being sick and being relieved it wasn’t the dread ‘rona.
3. Wendy Barker said her father, a World War II vet, had reached the vintage of 99 years. 
4. Deirdre Daly encouraged us to come to Libbey Park for the Music Festival’s Holiday Marketplace this coming Saturday and Sunday.
5. Catherine Lee said she was taking orders for duck eggs, which Bradigan endorses heartily and hungrily.
6. Cindy Frings put in a pitch for Taste of Ojai, which is set for April 10th and will include a journey through Ojai’s food and wine establishments with fun, games and live music.
Asking a version of Rocky Kemp’s fining based on “1,001 Things to Do Before You Die” book, Bradigan asked people to guess how many Rotarians, who were present, have done the following
- Been in the miltiary
- Jumped out of a perfectly good aircraft
- Done standup comedy
- Been to the Great Wall of China
- Been above the Arctic Circle
- Lived at least a year in a foreign country
Mike Weaver, Carl Gross, Marc Whitman, Sandy Buechley, Haady Lashkari, Candice Alexander all came tantalizing close to guessing the correct number, but Renee Holbrook, our newest member, guessed exactly.
Our Sheriff took us on a brisk briefing on the many duties and programs of the Sheriff’s Department, which employs 1,269 people, including 755 deputies.
Some recent challenges include having to shut down the Police Academy training, from which new recruits replace retiring or transferring officers. There has also been enhanced training for situations that are rare, but require special skills, such as the Borderland Bar & Grill shooting in which 13 people were killed by the mass shooter, including himself. 
There have also been social justice protests since George Floyd’s murder last year, and a lot of what the Sheriff called “untrue accusations about improper use of force” by his deputies. The department hired a statistical analysis firm, SAS, to build a “dashboard” of data to track info for activists as well as inter-department use. The department is using Crisis Intervention Training and de-escalation tactics to keep situations from getting worse. 
The Office of Emergency Services has been especially busy since the pandemic, but perhaps the biggest challenge was the county jail, in which hundreds of inmates are closely kept without fresh air circulating. The massive sanitation effort was successful in curbing the spread of Covid.
Ayub also talked about the aging aviation fleet of Vietnam-era helicopters, plus the new firefighting tankers coming on line. The department is also building a tactical training center through foundation funding. Equipment upgrades are also coming, some funding through the military surplus program. 
OD deaths from opioid use, now with the pervasive use of fentanyl, challenges law enforcement, as does the influx of meth from sophisticated labs in Mexico. 
Mental health issues also perplex; 44 percent of the 1,350 inmates in county lockup are suffering from sort of mental disorder, which has risen sharply since 2010,
Hand in hand with mental illness issues is homelessness. It’s been a constant and worsening issue since the quarantine and is requiring collaboration with other local agencies, both public and private. 
One bright spot is that crime overall, and specifically violent crime, has dropped in recent years (though there has been an upward blip since the pandemic).
Taking questions, Ayub talked about the mounted patrols, which are not just ceremonial, as they help with search and rescue operations. He also said that the legalization of cannabis has not brought the feared escalation in associated crimes, and that, echoing Capt. Rivera, “please lock up your vehicles,” as break-ins continue to occur. 
Daylight Saving Time: Only the government would believe that you could cut a foot off the top of a blanket, sew it to the bottom, and have a longer blanket."

You are invited to visit us at an upcoming meeting.

Please add to your safe sender list or address book.
To view our privacy policy, click here.
102-2060 Winston Park Drive, Oakville, ON, L6H 5R7
Russell Hampton
ClubRunner Mobile