Oakland Rotary News

High Adventure of the Oakland Rotary #3 

Upcoming Events 

 

August 01, 2019          Family Picnic          5:30 P.M. to 7:45 P.M.          Cost: $21.00 per person  Children under 12 free

August 25, 2019          A's Vs Giants           11:00 A.M  Tailgate              Cost: $50.00 includes ticket to game

September 15, 2019   Kayaking - Elkhorn   8:30 A.M to 12:00 P.M         Cost: Free (Guide) plus cost of Rental 

October 12, 2019        Asti Tour De Vine      Cycling                              Cost: http://www.astitourdevine.com/

          

 

 

Moonlight Kayaking from Jack London Square will return this fall

The date if the event has not been set.  

Being on the water and viewing the Oakland skyline with the full moon in the sky is an overwhelming experience 

To put in another way "Moonlight paddling is enchanting!"

The water is calm and glassy on the Oakland Estuary and the city lights add to the ambiance.

The kayaking is at a leisurely pace as the sun sets and the moon rises, illuminating a delightful evening. 

For more information Contact Mark Rosen 
mrosen@info-gate.com

Kayaking will be followed by those desiring to continue the merriment at a local eatery.
Place to be determined prior to the event!
About Moonlight Kayaking From Jack London Square 

Goal: Enjoy a leisurely kayak cruise under the moonlight on the Oakland Estuary off Jack London Square.

Prerequisite: Novices must paddle in a double kayak with an experienced friend.
The minimum age for Moonlight Kayaking is 14 years; children under 18 years must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

Duration of program: 3 hours

Time on the water: Approximately 2 hours

Note: Good physical condition is required to ensure an enjoyable class. If you are not sure about your abilities to participate in this activity, please call our California Kayak's Program Office at 800-366-9804.

Paddling under the moonlight is an enchanting experience! The water is usually calm and glassy on the Oakland Estuary in the evening, and the city lights add to the romance. We'll enjoy a leisurely pace as the sun goes down, and the moonrise sets the stage for a beautiful trip. Weather depending, we'll paddle out around Government Island, or towards the mouth of the Oakland Estuary. You stay warm and dry in our cozy sea kayaks, too. You can introduce a friend to moonlight kayaking by paddling together in one of our stable doubles.

California Kayak's enthusiastic staff will give a brief orientation to the equipment and strokes, then guide you on a tour of the area. During the trip, we'll "raft up" the kayaks and drift under the moonlight while enjoying the sounds of the city!

High Adventure returns to Elkhorn Slough (Moss Landing) for a kayaking adventure

  • Bob Barth

  • Mark Rosen plus "Go Sharks"

March 2019

What a tremedous day on the water 

 Baby Otters!  Baby Seals!

Kayaks were  rented at Kayak Connection at Moss landing  (see below) for members that did not have their own rquipment 

Elkhorn Slough:

http://www.elkhornslough.org/

Kayaks: $35 for single, $55 for double, $65 for triple

Our past trips have ranged from an hour and a half to 3 hours. This adventure will be in the 1.5 hour range.

Birthingof the Otter pups is always exciting...

But members did not overlook the Peliguins, whales off the beach, Otters, and  the pesky sea lions. 

Members were reminded that  each month and day on the slough is very different.

Meeting Schedule:

Join up at Kayak Connection between 8:30 A.M. prior to the store opening at  9:00 in Moss Landing to discuss Paddle

Plan ahead to rent a Kayak you need to call and make a reservation as kayaks are limited. If you call and there are no more kayaks reach out to  Montery Bay Kayak  located right next door. 

Kayak Rentals

Kayak Connection

phone: 831-724-5692
fax: 831-761-2379
moss@kayakconnection.com

Store Hours
Sat, Sunday: 9am-6pm

Lunch:

Afterwards we can have lunch at  Phil’s’ Fish Market.  If you haven’t been its an experience.

http://www.philsfishmarket.com/index.html

If you wish to attend please let Mark Rosen or Tom Limon know.

Have questions >>>. Just email me (mrosen@info-gate.com)

Matthew Yep, Interact Area 1 Director and Member of Alameda High School Interact

Rotary Teens Implement Solutions to Homelessness

A handful of teens from local Interact clubs launched “3 Rays of Hope” solutions to homelessness, a hot issue for Oakland and other East Bay leaders. Interact Area 1 Director, Matthew Yep, along with Aaron Chu (pictured here), and a group of Interact Rotarians , presented the results of their Under One Roof project to the Rotary Club of Oakland in August. Their small group of teens built a home and delivered self-care products to 200 homeless people in Oakland with hopes to inspire city leaders in their ongoing efforts to educate communities on this topic through discussion and a video.

WHAT IS INTERACT?

Interact is for youth ages 12-18 who want to connect with other young people to serve their communities. An Interact club is a school-based service club, sponsored by one or more local Rotary clubs. Interact clubs often join forces with other Interact clubs to expand their impact. 

Teresa Weyand of The Rotary Club of Oakland interviewed Interactors Matthew Yep and Aaron Chu from the Alameda High School Interact club, about their experience on this project, Under One Roof.

_________

Oakland Rotary: What did you learn? Where there any “aha” moments or personal epiphanies?

Interact: One of the “aha” moments was hearing the variation in stories about how each person became homeless. Seeing a video of a homeless person is not the same as actually meeting homeless people and recognizing their dignity as human beings.  We agreed that action was necessary to make a difference and feel that we accomplished that education and outreach. A house is so important – basic needs must be met before homeless individuals can attempt to look for a job or access resources. Another “aha” moment was seeing a home we built go to one homeless woman we met named Jude. It made a tangible difference in her life. She commented to us:

I had the wrong impression about homelessness. Before I was homeless, I used to think that if you just worked or got up off the sidewalk and went and got help, you’d be fine. But that just note the case. Not all homeless people are drunks or addicts, and a lot of people just don’t understand that. But it’s people like you and your organization that make this world a better place.

Oakland Rotary: Aaron, please elaborate on the “3 rays of hope” concept that evolved from this project.

Interact: The initial launch of the project involved Interact and adult Rotarians.  The first ray of hope was Breaking the Stigma of Homelessness and presenting homeless people as unique individuals, with unique stories.  We held benefit shows and dinners, and encouraged Interactors to give speeches and share what their firsthand experience with homeless people had taught them. 

The second ray of hope involved Preventing Homelessness. That action was building a house for Jude, a homeless woman, using upcycled wood.  The experience was invaluable because we actually got to know and spend time with Jude. We wanted to build the house well enough that someone else could use it when she no longer had a need.

The third ray of hope was Aid in Need, which was specific to Alameda High. We went through our homes and took unused, surplus toiletries and assembled care packages. 120 members collaborated with other schools and when the day of the project arrived, we had about 100 care packages to personally distribute to homeless people in our community. After distribution, when we resumed building, every nail in that house was pounded with purpose.

Oakland Rotary: Why do you feel this project was right for Interact?

Interact: As members of Interact we try to put the Rotary motto of “Service Above Self” into action. We take that to heart. We want to serve others. Homelessness and the problems surrounding it have been around longer than we have been alive, but San Francisco and Oakland have so many homeless people.  Our goal to help others was met through this project.

Oakland Rotary: Do you have any follow up plans?

We conduct a month of service in November where our school, Alameda High School, commits to one small project to work on for a whole month. Our plan is to follow up on this project by building a “coat drive” that we will use to help local homeless people.  

_________

At the Interact presentation, the Oakland Rotary Club congratulated the Interactors on their Under One Roof project. They successfully served the most disadvantaged members of their community, and worked to inspire others to renew efforts to push for real solutions to the homeless crisis.

For more information on Interact Clubs in general, visit www.rotary.org/en/get-involved/interact-clubs.

Committee: 

A KinderPrep classroom volunteer's experience

  • All the scholars

  • Bill reading to class

  • Fun on a KinderPrep field trip

Volunteering in an Oakland Rotary  KinderPrep classroom is a life changing experience.  One walks in the door of the classroom and instantly falls in love with the wonderful little scholars.  Assisting the teacher and working with the young stars becomes not a task, but a labor of love. One also develops a close relationship with the teacher, and it’s difficult to think of anything better to do with one’s time.

When students who say they can’t write their name because “I’m scared” or “I can’t”,  and then do it for the first time, it’s priceless.  When a frightened girl from war-torn Yemen is crying in class, but soon is drawing happy faces; when a boy from Vietnam who’s house had burned down arrives speaking no English then writes the numbers 1 to 10 on his own; when scholars first learn words and numbers, there is nothing like it in the world. 

You also develop friendships outside of class with caring people from school administration and staff, Oakland Public Education Fund, SEEDS,  Community Service Officers and others.  Your life, as you knew it, is truly changed forever.

Bill Hogan, KinderPrep classroom vounteer at Garfield Elementary.

#KinderPrepChangesLives

Committee: 

Oakland Rotary’s Saroni-Lena Scholarship Committee selected Meron Benti as a scholarship recipient two years ago. Under our Saroni-Lena program, we distribute scholarship in quarterly allocations and match each scholar with a Rotarian mentor, with regular communications throughout the scholar’s college career. 

Meron is completing her sophomore year at Middlebury College and is featured in the current issue of Middlebury Magazine (Spring 2017).  Meron is an amazing young woman, with a unique background.  Born in Ethiopia to black parents, Meron has albinism, which carries a social stigma (especially in Ethiopia) and impairs her sight.  She spent much of her childhood living with adult siblings in Italy where albinism is better understood and better treatments are available. She moved to Oakland to live with a brother and finished her last 2 years of high school at Oakland Technical High School.

For much of her life, Meron has been seen as being different. How she views herself is another story.  You can read about this amazing young woman at this link: http://sites.middlebury.edu/middmag/2017/05/10/through-the-looking-glass/

23 years of Helping Oakland Youth

On May 25th we celebrated 23 years of H.O.P.E. (Helping Oakland Pupils Excel) at Oakland Rotary #3.  In attendance were a few of our current and past youth and their mentors, all of whom began their mentoring relationships when the youth was in 6th or 7th grade. 

Who have been the mentors in your life?  Perhaps your mentors came from school, a family friend or relative, your parents, an adult in a youth program, a supervisor or colleague. Mentors have your best interest in mind, serve as role models, lend an ear when you need it most, and are your friend.  Consider becoming a H.O.P.E. mentor!  We will try to match you with a youth over the summer, or you can participate on the committee to help plan activities for the students and their mentors.

Orientation for prospective mentors takes place regularly through our partnership with Be a Mentor.  Learn more about how you can make a lasting difference in the life of a youth by contacting H.O.P.E. committee co-chairs Stephanie Casenza at scasenza@dowra.com or 619.985.2105 (cell) or Mike Melone michaelmelone.esq@gmail.com or 510.593.2240. 

On Friday, May 19, 2017,Mary Geong and her intrepid band of volunteers successfully got 180 Oakland public school transitional kindergarten and kindergarten students off their buses, into Children’s Fairyland, fed, and back on the buses. No children were lost or went hungry!  As the pictures attest, the order of the day was smiles all around.

Great thanks go to Fairyland Executive Director (and fellow Rotarian) CJ Hirschfield and her staff, especially Vicky and Cindy. Thanks also goes to Philanthropic Ventures Foundation, whichprovided significant financial support for the bus transportation. We could not do these field trips without their generous support.

Anyone who would like a day in the sun watching happy children should consider volunteering on a KinderPrep field trip nextyear. KinderPrep also provides many other opportunities to volunteer and support these wonderful children.  Contact Peter Sherris at psherris@mac.com.

Committee: 

Helping to Build Our Next Generation of Leaders

Great personal growth is how I would sum up April’s Enterprise Institute weekend. And not only for the high school students, but I think the Rotary members would agree that we all learned a great deal from the kids, too.

Early Friday morning 44 high school junior and sophomores were joined by 9 returning high school seniors, our Peer Counselors who came to share their previous year’s experience and lead the working groups. 21 Rotarians also were there, filling roles as mentors, facilitators, judges and adult friends to the kids.  During the weekend at Monte Toyon Camp in the Santa Cruz mountains, subject topics included what makes up a business plan, how to understand company finances, presentation skills, marketing & sales and strategic planning.  This culminated in group presentations to the entire group of how they applied what they learned to their product.

But it was not all work and no play.  During free time the kids took hikes, played basketball and board games or just hung out with old and new friends.

The evenings were filled with a song and s’mores filled campfire and a raucous talent show.

I think an indication of how successful the weekend was is that 14 of the students have already indicated they want to return next year as Peer Counselors, sharing what they learned this weekend with the next generation of entrepreneurs.

Oakland’s Three Female Leaders Address Our Club

Our Club moved its meeting to City Hall on April 27, 2017.  More than 120 Rotarians and 45 guests gathered, first enjoying lunch in the beautiful lobby area and then moving into the Council Chambers. Of historic note: the current Oakland City Hall was completed in 1914 and was the first high-rise government building in the United States, and also the tallest building west of the Mississippi River.)

President introduced and thanked Rotarian and City Librarian Gerry Garzonfor organizing the event.  Gerryproceeded to introduce the three speakers:  Honorary Rotarian and Mayor LibbySchaaf, City Administrator Sabrina Landreth and Chief of Police Anne Kirkpatrick. Each spoke about her particular priorities before fielding questions.

Mayor Libby Schaafsaid the budget is on her mind and will be introduced very shortly. There will be numerous opportunities to learn about it at town hall workshops over the next two months.  Information can also be obtained at the website: openbudgetoakland.org.  Her goal is to maintain the current level of service. She spoke of the level of vitality now in Oakland as evidenced by the many construction cranes across the skyline and much building permit activity for 4,500 new housing units.  At the same time, Oakland has challenges including:

  • Crisis in housing affordability, the need for housing at all income levels and solving homelessness issues,
  • Basic infrastructure, for example potholes everywhere caused by the drought, followed by heavy rains(she is starting to name some on her way to work).
  • The need to increase the number of youth who go to college (Oakland Promise is one of her important projects),
  • and the list goes on.

City Administrator Sabrina Landrethreferred to herself as the “chief bureaucrat”. She spoke briefly of the major crises city leaders have gone through recently, including two major fires resulting in loss of life and displaced tenants. In addition, the Police Department scandal resulted inleadership instability until the recent arrival of Chief Kirkpatrick. Ms. Landreth saidher challenge is maintaining employee morale and finding the best people for each job. In her focus on staffing, she indicated a new Chief Information Officer is now on board, recruitment is underway for a new Public Works Director and a Planning & Building Director. Soon recruitment will begin for a new Fire Chief.  Sensing that Rotarians can get things done, she encouraged everyone in Oakland “to get involved”.

Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick, with 35 years of policing experience, indicated it is difficult to be a police officer in America today. She made it clear she will not tolerate inappropriate behavior. She described the department’s new approach with the publicas: “We want to love you, we want to serve you, and we want you to love us back.” A recent study concluded that the ideal size for OPD is 925 sworn officers.  Currently there are 794 officers, with no increase in the upcoming budget.