The Wheel – April 3, 2019

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President Waqar introduced Farah Khwaja whom he has known since she was a wee one. Waqar used a new technique for recruiting Farah. He looked at her schedule and “found” “lots of time” that he felt could become Rotary Time. Farah, who has 4 sons and 5 grandchildren jumped on board and looks forward to making a big difference through Rotary. Welcome, Farah!

President Waqar (left) and Sharon Tweedy and others spent some time fishing for new member Basel Karabala. Basel has lived here since he was 5 and attended St. Mary’s High School, Delta College and majored in psychology at U.C. Davis. Basel is the owner of the “209 furniture” store here in Stockton

President Waqar (far right) along with North Stockton Past President Jim Dugoni presented Alicia Quismondo a Paul Harris Fellow from Sharon Tweedy. Alicia loves her job working for Pat Patmon and works even harder for the Rotary Read-In each year filling 22 classrooms with volunteers from the company

Sharon Tweedy along with President Waqar (far right) presented Jim Dugoni, North Stockton Rotary, with a PH+3 for his outstanding work chairing the Rotary Read-In this year and to say thank you in advance for volunteering to do it again in 2020. The 2019 event served 68 schools, 947 classrooms, and over 1,000 books were donated to the school libraries.

Stockton Rotary Endowment Chair Paul Kozlow (left) along with President Waqar distributed a check for $5,000 to Shauna Buzunis-Jacob, Director of Marketing & Development at the Child Abuse Prevention Council.

Stockton Rotary Endowment Chair Paul Kozlow (left) with President Waqar distributed a check for $3,000 to Christine Morrissey of Harvest Home Animal Sanctuary for veterinary care.

“The Rotary Club of Stockton Begins the 2nd Century of Service to the Stockton Community”
(70) (12)


  • Call to Order and Presidents Welcome! President Waqar Rizvi welcomed members and guests to the Rotary Club of Stockton that has been serving the community for the past 105 years!
  • Pledge of Allegiance & Four Way Test – Madisen and Lilliana Sena.
  • Song – Past-President Bob Blower raised the roof with “America the Beautiful”.
  • Thought For The Day – Paul Jacobson shared the thought provided by lawn care specialist, Kevin Kauffman:  “Today is not just any ordinary day. Today is a day that matters. Today you will have the choice to make a difference in your life and those around you. Today you will have the choice to smile rather than frown, be grateful rather than selfish, lift up rather than put down, accept rather than reject and love rather than hate. Today you will have the choice of seeking hope for the future or remain in the hopelessness of the past. Today you have the choice to laugh or cry. Both will make you feel better. Today you will have the undivided attention of the King of the Universe. At that time, you can ask Him anything you want. You can ask for help, plead for a friend or just enjoy His presence. It all depends on you. Whichever you choose, today matters. Make the choice to make it a day worth living. And don’t forget, tomorrow is another day.” -Niraj Bamotra    Paul gave a shout-out to Past-President Mas Kamigaki who 24 years ago sent Paul over to St. Joseph’s for heart surgery that saved his life.  As a survivor of numerous life-threatening medical issues since, Paul says he is happy every day.
  • Representing the Head Table – Dr. Les Harder, our speaker; Ken Steele, introducing our speaker; and President Waqar.
  • COG Club – Chair: Linda Guinn. Greeter: Beto Beas ; Mics: Priscilla Hernandez & Jonni Redick; Attendance, Mark Berbower & John Salaices; Lunch Ticket Sales, Amir Khan; Raffle ticket Sales: Kevin Redick. Sergeant At Arms Team: John Salaices (Coordinator); and Omar Khamisa (Lead).
  • Concern Reports – Anthony Patti – Father of Tom Patti (Celebration of Life April 4that 10:30 am at the Annunciation The Celebration of Life for Tom Patti’s father, Anthony Patti, will be 10:30am, April 4, 2019, at Annunciation.  Jim Woodward-Doing well. Jim is in Meadowood and loves to hear from you. Please visit and send him a note.  John Atwood-Doing well following his recent illness.  Rigo Cervantes-Wanting to Welcome Rigo and wish him the best of health. Rigo Cervantes was back at Rotary, just a couple of weeks after a “stint” at the hospital and looking good!
  • Birthdays – Bruce Uch (3rd), Mony Ky (5th), Van Yound (6th), and Blain Bibb (6th).  Everyone sang “Happy Birthday” to Mony who was in attendance.
  • Raffle – #058437 Mark Berbower had another chance at the raffle with no success.  Following the meeting, intrepid recorder of notes, Lynndee Riley, conducted a surprise audit of the deck revealing some irregularities that were “dealt” with promptly –  improving the odds significantly.  The official count of remaining cards now stands at 26 with 12 weeks remaining Currently the raffle is over $2,100.00! Winner will get half! Buy some raffle tickets! You could be the lucky Rotarian to win the pot!
  • Club Service & District Calendar for 2017-2018 – Click HERE for the latest list! Don’t miss out on some great activities.


Thank you to the Director of Vocational Services Omar Khamisa on a successful event of Heroes Recognition. They were 270 attendees. I want to thank the committee and all the volunteers again for all your hard work. Special thank you to Sergeant of Arms John Salaices for your help with this event.

Club Announcements

  • April 17th Meeting – President Waqar reminded all that the April 17th meeting will be at the Stockton Sailing Club.  RSVP is required.  Thank you to Brian Lafferty for organizing this event.  President-Elect Melanie Vieux will preside.
  • Next Evening Meeting – Evening Meeting-April 24th 105 year Anniversary of Rotary Club of Stockton. Social Hour 5:15 pm to 6:15 pm. Bell rings at 6:15 pm.   Signup sheets will be on the tables at Club meetings.
  • Past President Graham Tweedy

    Membership Minute – Past-President Graham Tweedy shared that one of the interesting characteristics about joining our club is that you can do the kind of volunteer work that most interests you.  For example, during “the greatest year of 2012” when Graham was club president, he and Sharon started volunteering at Spanos Elementary and now we have multiple on-going projects at the school.

  • San Joaquin County Leadership Prayer Breakfast – Don’t forget the San Joaquin County Leadership Prayer Breakfast, April 11, 2019, 6:15am to 8:45am, UOP Spanos Center, table sponsorships available, Reformed Mobster Michael Franzese will be the featured speaker.
  • North Stockton Rotary Fundraiser Books, Bands and BBQ: Saturday April 6th At the St. Basil Church. Tickets are $65 per person. Live Entertainment will be provided by two bands: Dragons with Matches and the Clamtones.
  • Use That Credit Card at The Meeting – You may now pay for lunch, raffle tickets (minimum Credit Card Purchase of $5.00) and other purchase at the Club meetings with a credit Card.
  • Potential Members – To encourage Club members to bring a potential member to the Wednesday meetings the Rotary Club of Stockton will pay for the 1st meal of a potential member brought by a Club member.
  • 2019 District Conference – The 2019 District Conference will be held at the Monterey Hyatt on May 3-5, 2019. Conference Registration does not include lodging, so be sure to book your hotel room at the Hyatt for the low discount rate of $229 a night. A link to make the group reservations is on the form.

Know Your Rotarians

“Know Your Rotarian” is a weekly feature President Waqar is introducing to better acquaint you with your fellow Rotarians.
This week:

Melanie Vieux

Melanie Vieux has been a member of the Rotary Club of Stockton since 2010.

She has been a member of the Rotary board for seven of those years, as Membership Chair, Community Service Chair and Club Service Chair, and has participated in the Annual Rotary Read-In, Dictionary Distribution, and many community service projects. She is currently the President-Elect for 2019/2020.

Melanie and her husband, Lee, enjoy their new (old) home in Stockton’s University District, where they live with their 2 dogs, 3 cats and an occasional pug.

After earning a degree in Architecture from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo (BArch), Melanie became a licensed Architect, and eventually a partner at WMB Architects, where she has worked for 26 years. She serves on the City of Stockton’s Cultural Heritage Board, San Joaquin County Building Board of Appeals, Goodwill Industries of San Joaquin Valley Board of Directors and is currently President of the Mary Graham Children’s Foundation Melanie grew up on a working cattle ranch in the Bay Area, where her family has run cattle since 1906, and continues to this day.

Melanie Vieux
WMB Architects

Monie Ky

I came to the United States at the age of three. My family traveled through the jungles of Cambodia to escape from the Khmer Rouge. There was no food and no medicine throughout our journey. My parents informed me that I wouldn’t have survived another day in the jungle. Luckily, we made it to the refugee camp in Thailand and finally received help. Two families from a church sponsored us to the United States and we arrived in Paradise, California in 1979. My family came here with absolutely nothing, but with the help of our sponsors and my parents motivation to survive, I am living the American Dream. America is “Paradise” compared to where I came from. I graduated from Lincoln High School and earned my Liberal Arts degree in education at University of the Pacific.

I have been an unofficial member of Rotary since 1999 when I was dating a Rotarian named Kuy Ky. I officially became a Rotarian in 2018. I am celebrating my marriage of 19 years with my husband Kuy and have four amazing children. Dean,17, is a first year student at UOP. Ben,15, is a sophomore at Lodi High. Meagan,13, is in eighth grade at Millswood. Alison,11, is in seventh grade at Millswood. All future dentists just like their amazing father. I appreciate my husband for working extra hard to make it possible for me to stay home and raise our children. My family is my greatest joy and accomplishment in life.

I would like to thank my husband Kuy for introducing me to Rotary, and for including our children in all the Rotary events. The most memorable event was taking our family to be part of the Rotary project, Dreams Training Center, in Cambodia. It has opened our eyes and our hearts to helping others in need to achieve their “Paradise”.


  • $100 – Brian Lafferty’s practice is growing and he is shrinking. Brian has hired a full-time paralegal to join the practice and by changing his diet/exercise routine he has reduced his footprint by 31 lbs!

Guest Speaker

Speaker: Dr. Les Harder
Subject: Oroville Dam
Introduced By: Ken Steele

Ken Steele introduced Dr. Leslie F. Harder, Jr., PE, GE and Senior Water Resources Technical Advisor and Senior Professional Associate with HDR Engineering.  He received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Civil Engineering from U. C. Davis, and obtained his Doctoral degree in Geotechnical Engineering from U. C. Berkeley in 1988.  Dr. Harder has over 40 years of experience in the design and construction of earth structures, most notably dams and levees.  For most of his career, he served in various roles with the California Department of Water Resources.

Today, Dr. Harder discussed the Oroville Dam Spillway project. Oroville Dam and Lake Oroville lie in the foothills on the western slope of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. The lake stores winter and spring runoff, which is released into the Feather River to meet local agricultural senior water rights, Feather River in-stream flows and temperature for fish and their habitat, water quality requirements in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. It also provides pumped-storage capacity, 750,000 acre-feet of flood control storage, and recreation, with the Lake Oroville State Recreation Area.

In the period from Jan. 1, 2017, through Feb. 25, 2017, Lake Oroville received more than 4.5 million acre-feet of runoff. The previous record runoff for any two-month period was 3.5 million acre-feet exceeding any in the Feather River history.

Damage to the overflow spillway took $1.1 Billion and 1.5 years to repair.  Water released on the rebuilt spillway for the first time this last week on April 2, 2019 successfully.

Next Meeting: April 10, 2019
Interact Led Scholarships Awards

Jonni Redick announced that next week the Interactors will take over the meeting and this year’s scholarship recipients will be announced.

Upcoming Speakers

April 2019

  • 17 – Jim Dale, “Stockton Sailing Club”
  • 24 – Evening Social – 105 year Rotary Club of Stockton Celebration Program (No Speaker Program)

May 2019

  • 01 – Tim Piaz, “Amgen Tour Update”
  • 08 – Kendra Stockwell, “Library Update”
  • 15 – Sheriff Martin Ryan of Amador County, “History of Daffodil Hills-Amador County”
  • 22 – Dr. JM Perry
  • 29 – Evening Social – No speaker program needed

April Birthdays…

Bruce Uch – April 1st
Moni Ky – April 5th
Van Young – April 6th
Blain Bibb – April 6th
Peter Lynch – April 8th
Ron Allison – April 8th
Pete Wolfe – April 10th*
Cheryl Marshall – April 10th*
Jane Butterfield – April 11th
Huero Gutierrez – April 12th
Judy Chambers – April 14th
Chevy Lema – April 15th
Matt Grizzle – April 18th
Peter Jalilie – April 19th
Tom McHugh – April 23rd
Steve Bestolarides – April 26th
Mel Rakoncza – April 28th
Karen Munro – April 29th
Madisen Sena – April 30th
* = Meeting Day – Wish them a Happy Birthday!







Ken Norton Business Card





Special thank you to everyone who contributed to The Wheel…

Editor, Eric Duran. Special thanks this week to Lynndee Riley, Assistant Editor and note taker extraordinaire; Eric Duran, photos; Eric Duran, Audio Visual; and Jerry Smith, Chief Checker!

Contact Information
Attn: Jerry Smith, Club Secretary
1024 W. Robinhood Dr. Suite 5
Mailing address:
P.O. Box 7457
Stockton CA 95267
Phone: (209) 472-9662
Fax: (209) 472-9664

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Rotary International President
Barry Rassin

District 5220 Governor
Judy Lovett

Stockton Rotary Club President
Waqar Rizvi

Meeting Location
Wednesdays at 12 Noon
Stockton Golf & Country Club
3800 W. Country Club Blvd.
Stockton, CA 95204