Author Archives: Aaron Gobler

October 30 – EBMUD

Mark Bluestein – Supervising Administrative Engineer at EBMUD

Mark Bluestein will be joining us to provide an update on East Bay Municipal Utilities District, the rim fire, the hope for a lot of rain and snow this winter, and how the water supply will fair in the coming years.

Romina speaks on July 24, 2013

Rotary is playing a key role in the efforts to eliminate Polio, and is digging wells in poor villages throughout the world.

But at the same time it is having a positive effect on our young people right in our own back yard.

This week we’ll hear from a recent attendee at Camp Royal, the special place that attracts high school seniors for a week of leadership training that assists them in their preparation to run the country in the near future. Romina is a DeAnza senior with an interest in Dentistry as a career. She’s been shadowing Ray and I as she prepares for senior year and college prep. You’ll enjoy hearing of her experiences at Camp Royal and will find it an interesting presentation for anyone considering membership.

See you there.

A message from our 2013-2014 President

I’m excited and honored to be serving as San Pablo’s president for the 2013-2014 year.   I’m looking forward to working with each and everyone of you in taking our club to the next level.

Below are my goals and objectives for this year.  Let me know if you feel we are on the right track, or if you have suggestions.  I appreciate your comments.

Goals and Objectives:

  1. Implement a sustainable structure to recruit professional community Leaders and business people that meets our club goals and professional standards.
    1. Combine mixers with the Chamber, San Pablo Merchant Association and the Moose Lodge, etc.
    2. At all mixers and events we will stream videos of international and local projects.
    3. Develop a street team composed of a few of our more seasoned members in conjunction with our membership committee to go out and solicit professional business owners and such once a month.
  2. Increase San Pablo Rotary’s public image and involvement in
  3. community.
    1. Meaningful service projects
    2. Love for the homeless
    3. Reaching our youth
    4. Contacting our kids leaving high school going into the military
  4. Generate new and exciting fund raising opportunities.
    1. Gumbo fest.
    2. Poker night.
    3. Wine basket.
  5. Emphasize fellowship as well as service.
    1. Treat ourselves.
  6. Maintain and increase membership.
  7. Lay the ground work for an international project for our club to be in place by 2014-2015 term.
  8. Utilize, support and help develop our interact kids.

March 27, 2013 Sparkplug

Polio Free Dancing Girl


Our regularly scheduled speaker was faced with an unexpected emergency.  We were fortunate to have Nichola Mankos with us and was gracious enough to stand in.

Simon Bandar introduced today’s speaker:

Nicholas Mankos is a PhD student at UC Berkeley studying Public Health. He s been in Rotary for many years now and is dedicated to eradicating polio in the world.

Right now there are still three countries in the world that are endemic with polio: Afghanistan, Pakistan, andNigeria. He and his colleagues go to these countries and help educate the citizens and provide vaccinations to wipe out this devastating disease.

At the end of the presentation. Joyce asked our speaker to sign DW The Picky Eater for the Read Aloud program.


President Walt called the meeting to order at 12:15.

The Pledge was led by Brad.

There was no food-for-thought today.


Members attending: 19

Visiting Rotarians: 1. Nicholas Mankos (also a guest of Simon Bandar’s)

  1. Yvonne, guest of Carol’s
  2. Lt. Jeff Palmieri, guest of Walt’s


  1. Who Am I?: Melody Ocampo:
  • Grew up in Chico with her dad’s side of the family; Yuba City, and Davis.
  • b. Went to UC Davis her first year and then SJSU to finish up her college years
  • c. Bachelor Degree in Recreation soon after, she got her start at the City of San Pablo and she loves it!
  1. Vocational Training from Kenya. April 10, 2:30pm on Wednesday
  2. Cinco de Mayo Booth & Parade Save the Dates: May 4 (Sat) & May 5 (Sun)
Rotary’s Impact on Literacy Around the World:

a. United States has highest literacy rate in the world

  1. i. Literacy is defined as the ability to read & write own name; more than that, we look for the ability to write coherently, process information, and interpret body language
    • Literacy (or illiteracy, in this list) is defined by several important factors:
  • i. Phonology – can’t hear certain sounds
  • ii. Orthography—trouble with spelling patterns
  • iii. Semantics—have problems with word meaning
  • iv. Syntax—have problems with word order
  • v. Morphology—trouble with the formation of words

c. Rotary, as part of the World Literacy Group

  • i. 1920 – 40% illiteracy rate
  • ii. 2015 – 15% illiteracy rate

d. One thing our club does is donate books to the Read Aloud program

Tailgate Party Meeting: April 3, 2013
  • come dressed in baseball related attire!
  • We’ll have chili & hot dogs & hamburgers
A Night in Tuscany Gift Baskets:
  • Sign – up sheet is going around!
  • Want them to be worth around $100. If you can’t do that, then a $100 donation is another option.


  • Simon invited everyone to the next Chamber meeting on Thursday during lunch
  • Sonya got to see her son & daughter – in-law in China
  • Yvonne’s son just got her PhD and now in residency
  • Simon Bandar’s birthday was last month; our club sang a rousing rendition of Happy Birthday




  • Carol won $15, Joyce got $15
  • Bill van Dyk got $5.
  • Nicholas got the chance for the marble, but despite his amazing background he only got the green marble.

And so, the jackpot continues to grow.


  • RAMS: April 3, 2013: MCE Energy
  • April 10, 2013: Metas and Stem Grants


Aperture: an opening, as a hole, slit, crack, or gap.

March 6 Sparkplug

March 6 , 2013


At La Strada, President Walt called the meeting to order at 12:15.

The Pledge was led by Franklin.

Antonio shared a quote by Francis Bacon, “Some books are meant to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested; that is, some books are to be read only in parts; others to be read but not curiously; and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention.”


  • Members attending: 22
  • Visiting Rotarians: none
  • Guests:
  1. Katie Ferguson Blue Oyster Thai, came with Ed;
  2. 2. Hermin (whom everyone is familiar with!)


Who Am I?

Today Leslay told us about her life, family, and career.

Grew up in Corning; parents went to school with Vickie. Her dad is half-Chinese, thus the last name! Leslay went to Chico, was an Honors student and studied in Belgium & France. She ’s married and has a 4¾ year old daughter!

St Patrick’s Day at His Lordship’s: March 16. Get your tickets now!

A Night in Tuscany–There is now an ad in the Marketplace Magazine.

Potential Silent Auction Gift Items

If can’t provide a gift, donate $100

Leslay says she’ll try to get a laptop for the auction from Relia-Tech

The grant money will go to 5 organization.


  • Simon invited everyone to some Chamber events:
  1. March 21 –La Revolucion; installation of officers
  2. March 23 –Announcements for Businesses of the Year
  • Leslay wanted everyone to come out to the Grand Re-Opening of Relia-Tech this Saturday, March 9; they teach people how to really handle and fix computer hardware.
  • Remy invited everyone to the Cancer Center Celebration for Breast Cancer Survivors, network support, free hair styling & makeovers on March 20! Those interested must apply.
  • Walt recognized David and Remy for their recent volunteer efforts
  • Brad’s wife, Marie, is retiring June 15!
  • Doug’s daughter is getting married!
  • Vickie invited everyone to donate to the YMCA’s Campaign for Youth.

PROGRAM: Families First

Bill van Dyk introduced today’s speaker,

Jamie, from Families First. They are an organization that helps take care of foster children and get them 1-on-1 help rather than sending them to big group homes. There are 80,000 kids in foster care in California. You can be a foster parent and heal the heart of a child.

They work to help kids feel empowered and not hopeless. A recent bill, AB12, pushes the age limit for foster care from 18 to 21. Studies show that 18 is too young to have a person start living on their own, especially foster children; they usually end up homeless.

At the end of the program, Vickie asked our speaker to sign the book “Real Love” by Sean Lennon.


Bill van Dyk won $5. Katie got $10! Sam won $20 and gave it to Hermin’s project.

Franklin had the chance for the big money, but somebody sneezed and the winning marble slipped out of his fingers.

And so, the jackpot continues to grow.


  • n/a


n/a because the Sparkplug was late

March 13 Sparkplug

At La Strada, Past President Carol Robinson called the meeting to order at 12:15.
The Pledge was led by Vickie Bloomquist.
Antonio Medrano shared a quote byEmily Dickinson, “There is no frigate like a book to take us to far away lands.”
Members attending: 13
Visiting Rotarians: 1. Lynn, speaker for the day and member of Richmond Rotary
Guests: 1. Cecilia Vega, former mayor of San Pablo.
 A Night in Tuscany:
  • Dennis & Barb passed around sign up sheets for people to construct gift baskets as an alternative to donating $100. There are a number of baskets to choose from and they sound like fun to make!
  • Auction: Someone had the idea for a “Wheel Barrow Full of Liquor”
Rotarians at Work Day:
April 27th at Wanlass Park.
  • Yesterday was Brad’s 36th anniversary with his wife, Marie. Hooray!
  • Paresh just turned 42 years old; he only put in $41 though because it is bad luck to put the same number as your birthday in his culture!
Sonia introduced today’s speaker, Lynn Martin, from the Early Childhood Mental Health Program.
Since 1974, the ECMH has addressed the mental health needs of young children in West County. The program, which focuses on children from birth to six years of age who are troubled, at-risk, or are suffering from behavioral difficulties or delays in social and emotional development, helps lay a foundation on which families can build healthy relationships for the long term, and helps children develop skills on which they can draw for a lifetime. Their program offers Child and Family Therapy, a Comprehensive Therapeutic Nursery, a Wrap around Prgram, Childcare Solutions, and Parent Support Groups. They work to strengthen families and enrich communities. They do so in a safe, supportive environment. Their providers are all very well-trained and have Masters & PhD’s in their fields.
At the end of the presentation, Vickie asked our speaker to sign the children’s book “And then It’s Spring” for the Read Aloud program.
There was only one cash prize today for $15, and it went to Barbara! Antonio had the chance for the big money, but he obviously wasn’t trying very hard and ended up getting a green marble.
And so, the jackpot continues to grow.
  • March 20, 2013: Brookside Health Center
Neoteric: recent in origin; new
Editor: Ray Castro

2012-13 Goals – Post

San Pablo Rotary Club goals this year include:

  • Increase net membership
  • Enhance Club Website for members and public
  • Improve publicity about Club and our beneficiaries
  • Accomplish some local work projects (suggest ideas!)
  • Engage more Rotarians in activities and attendance
  • Set a fundraising goal
  • Support key programs benefiting the community

Upcoming events of interest

  • Annual Night In Tuscany Fundraiser – April 26,  2013