Tuesday May 17, 2016
Do you believe in miracles? Wait, I believe Al Michaels already used that line! Anyway, we had 44 Cascadians for our spring season ending luncheon today. And…they were all members. Nary a guest or Cascadienne in the bunch. There were years the old Gyro Club would be lucky to get 14 for lunch. It was a fitting farewell until September and a visual “thank you” to Sheriff Paul Pastor who so nobly in the past would speak to an embarrassing sparse crowd. We did intro’ yet another new member, Jack Cunningham.
OK. One more time and one more time. As to the former “One more time.” What? The Cascade Club “Spring Fling Thing.” When? Wednesday May 25th, NOT the erroneously previously mentioned, May 26th. Where? The Tacoma Country and Golf Club. What time? The no-host bar (of course!! We will never, ever ever again offer a hosted bar for Cascadians) opens at 5:30 and a delicious buffet at 6:30. Attire? Country club casual and summer casual (shorts) acceptable. Cammo cargo pants, flip flops and wife beater tea shirt…very not acceptable. How much? Food, wine (both red and white) tax and tip for the embarrassing paltry sum of only $30 per person or…let me see… cleverly enough, that would be about $60 per couple. How/who do I pay? You should send Rick Carr the money which is your dinner confirmation. And if a little short this month, you can use the old “the check’s in the mail” trick. How do I confirm? If you have already written, called or sent flowers to D. Loving, or signed the sheet passed around at lunch today; you’re good to go, or rather, good to come to “The Spring Fling Thing.” Betterer even still, if you have done none of the above, and certainly don’t want to miss out, please call David Loving ASAP as a final count must be given to the Country Club THIS FRIDAY! Oh, as to the second “one more time” referenced above? The gala will be one more time to meet, greet and eat with your fellow Cascadians and Cascadiennes before we adjourn until this September. And as mentioned in last week’s newsletter, with so many new members, cheesy hand written name badges will be provided.
One needs to be polite to a guest speaker, especially if said speaker is heavily armed. Paul Pastor has been Pierce County Sheriff since 2001. His department is responsible to serve and protect 425,000 people and 1,800 square miles with a department of 319. The department also operates the 1,222 person “hotel” aka, jail. And, oh yes, his people do make house calls. The highest incidence of crime in Pierce County is in the unincorporated rural areas. The epidemic of meth labs has been reduced from 300 to just 6. Unfortunately, the Mexican cartels are aggressively trying to fill the vacuum. Paul is especially proud of his strategic deputies program wherein deputies are trained to respond to problems without a laborious chain of command time consuming procedures. There is an understandable concern about the possibility of “de-policing”, of the fear of over reacting, or the ever present cell phone video. But when all is said and done, we are unbelievably lucky to have the luxury of Paul and his people who do serve and protect.
‘til the anon,
Tuesday May 10, 2016
Who’da thunk it? It just seems like several months ago we were finalizing the Cascade Xmas Party. Now, we’re excited to share with you the details of the very first ever “Cascade Club Spring Fling Thing.” So…get your calendars. Here are the details: when-Wednesday, May 25th, where-The Tacoma Country and Golf Club, what time-no host bar (we’ve learned our lesson regarding an open bar for Gyros/Cascadians. Rick Carr was close to living out of his car to pay off the last one) opens at 5:30 and dinner buffet is 6:30, appropriate attire- very country club casual, shorts, etc, OK, but NO DENIM, menu- fantastic Italian buffet, vino at dinner, of course! And, one might ask…how much? All of the goodies detailed in the attached for ONLY c. $20.( We decided our ever-faithful servant Andy, who also serves as our back-up tech support when McGowen is not around and there are no grandchildren available, and is able to hook-up all the wires n’stuff for our mike, laptop and other paraphernalia) a nice 20% tip. We also said, what the heck, we might as well give the governor his 10% so, all-in-all, a great deal for ONLY $30 per person total and cleverly enough, $60 per couple. We will have tacky handmade name badges as we are delighted to have so many new members. So whadda ya do? You email Scribe at firstname.lastname@example.org or call, 588-4107, that you will be coming; of course.
Our speaker was Erich Ebel, Marketing and Communications Director of the Washington State Historical Society. Erich was having a bit of trouble communicating until our ever trusty Andy knew which wires go where and presto-chango, the Power Point presentation so presented. The organization is celebrating its quasquicentennial anniversary (if for so some bizarre reason you don’t recognize that word, remain calm. Neither does the oft fooled Spellcheck.) “Quasquicentennial means 125th anniversary. The historical society has all kinds of neat stuff including things such as D.B. Cooper’s (oft advertised as a future speaker yet for some inexplicable reason is always a “no show”) back-pack and parachute, etc. etc. The museum has over 80,000 artifacts, 17,000 books, 6,500 ephemera (a fancy word for nits and lice), 600,000 photographs of which only 200,000 have been cataloged. There are even a few moon rocks from the Apollo II space flight. So, you see, there is lots to see so they would love to see you at The Washington State Historical Society.
This coming Tuesday will be our last formal Cascade Club luncheon until we reconvene in September. There are those who maintain they do still eat lunch on Tuesdays and one would feel comfortable supposing that there may indeed be a few Cascadians in the Club bar every Tuesday all summer. We are honored to have as our season-ending speaker, Sheriff Paul Pastor. He has been a loyal presenter even during some bleak winter months years ago when we would be lucky to have 15 lunchers. So, please plan on attending this last luncheon of the season and to visually thank Paul for his support and loyalty to Gyro/Cascade Club of Tacoma.
Once again, Cascadians and Cascadiennes, and, of course, guests, meet, greet and eat at the first ever Cascade Club “Spring Fling Thing.”
Tuesday May 3, 32016
Two famous quotes spring to mind. The first is based upon today’s speaker. The second from watching CNN. The first: “In this world, nothing can be taken for certain except death and taxes.” Ben Franklin. The second: “I am not a member of any organized political party, I am a Democrat.” Will Rogers. It seems to me, Ben was right and Will was wrong.
Our speaker today was Gary Connett whose topic was “New Estate Planning Law.” Your scribe, of course among his other noteworthy qualities, is his expertise on the current Federal Tax Code. If you Google same, the number of pages referenced total 72,608 pages, or possibly 72,536 pages or to be more precise depending on what actually qualifies to be counted, only a little more than 11,700 pages and 2,412,000 words. BUT…if one counts Federal Tax Regulations rather than tax codes, those documents add-up to 7,655,000 words. I would be that glad to explain all of the above in greater detail, but I shall share Gary’s presentation. “If you haven’t updated your Power of Attorney in the last 10 years, you should do so.” The health care POW document determines actions to be taken when you are incapacitated. Drs. for an assortment of legal reasons are reluctant to get involved. So if you are tempted to trade-in the current “Little Woman” for a 23 year old, and she has financial control, you better have a specific POW and a will. One only has to ponder the legal meters running as the ever so thoughtful attorneys fight over Prince’s estate. But even wills are not bullet proof. Provisions for beneficiaries based upon IRA’s, annuities and life insurance may supersede a planned distribution spelled out on a will. Other issues brought up by Gary is the creation of trusts for children. The ramifications include everything from protecting blood children from sharing family assets in a divorce to protecting against possible laws suits. Estate taxes are other avenues to be explored, assuming Ben Franklin is correct. The current threshold which triggers an inheritance a tax penalty is $5,400,000 per person or $10,800,000 per couple. For Washington residents, that level is $2.1M. AZ and CA. have no estate taxes. So as you start to ponder The Great Beyond, consider gifting which can be to anyone. The correct spelling is: “Loving.” You and your spouse can gift $14,000 per year or $28,000 per couple per person without filing a gift tax form. If so, it is best to write the check for $13,500 to minimize possible IRS red flags. So, all in all, plan ahead.
Next week, we will hear from Erich Ebel, Director of the Washington Historical Museum.
‘Til the anon,
PS. The spring going away party location is yet to be finalized. The timing is most likely around May 24th or 25th. Stay tuned.
Tuesday April 24, 2016
Lottsa Club “bidness.” We have two new members: Cordell Bahn proposed by Carroll Simpson and John Kennedy proposed by Rick Carr. Ed. note: the aforementioned Treasurer for Life Rick Carr is being paroled. More later. We had guests: Jack Cunningham intro’ed by Jim Gallinatti and John Guizzetti by Art Hudloff. The Cascade Club of Tacoma has a new slate of officers: Roy Kimbel was reelected President by a landslide, Bill Jackson will be Vice President, Dick Bowe, Secretary and Rick Carr will be slipping through his final year as Treasurer. Filling out the Board will be Ev Cooper, Dave Cotant, Rich Wall, Carroll Simpson and John McGowen, Webmaster, and David Loving, Scribe. The campaign for these lofty positions was a closely watched affair with never a snarky word about the size of someone’s fingers or the possible bleeding out of somewhere. We are, indeed, a classy group. Our last formal spring luncheon meeting will be May 17th. A glamorous and most awe-inspiring gala installation of officers is being scheduled at the ever tres chic Tides Tavern most probably the following week. Details to be confirmed later. ‘Tis a popular affair so alert your Cascadienne. Having exhausted all of the above, your Scribe is exhausted but will soldier on with notes from this week’s speaker, Dr. Bill Jackson. Oops, still more. That pesky R. Carr will be sending out your much anticipated Cascade bill; ½ of what your Gyro bill was, one yearly fee and just one check to write. Please pay promptly so Guido and Tony won’t need to visit you with an offer you can’t refuse.
Our speaker this week was our own Dr. Bill Jackson sharing with us the early history of medicine in Pierce County. In addition to being certified in radiology and nuclear (or as Dubya would say “nuculear”) medicine, Bill is an amateur historian. The first hospital in our area was at Fort Steilacoom. The first Tacoma hospital was in a building previously housing a saloon and whorehouse and purchased for $406. The Fannie Paddock Hospital was built in 1889 followed by St. Joseph Hospital in 1892. City and county hospitals were designed for indigents and hospital stays were typically 30-60 days. In 1893, hospitals adopted in-house physicians just for hospitals. In 1910, managed care came to Tacoma. Dr. Albert Bridge organized a program wherein the hospital, doctor and Rx would all be rolled into one program for the princely sum of $1.00 per month and an extra $.25 per person for family members. He expanded his concept and in the following years ended-up with 20 clinics. Hospitals as corporations have grown to where today, over 70% of Tacoma’s doctors are now employed by hospitals. Though prices have gone up from the $1.00 per month, so has the incredible medical care now available. Our thanks to Bill for a marvelous “Show and Tell.”
Next week, Gary Connett will talk to us about “New Estate Planning Law.” For some of us, maybe a bit too late as our children are already mentally divvying-up the family silver.
So, ‘til the anon,
CASCADE CLUB MINUTES OF MEETING OF APRIL 19, 2016
On the second day of a record breaking heat wave, 25 Cascadians and 2 returning guests, soon to become duly enrolled members, John Kennedy and Jack Cunningham, chose enlightenment over golf, gardening and honey do-s to hear the esteemed bankruptcy attorney, Noel Shilleto, regale us with tales of fortunes made and lost.
Noel last spoke to us during the Great Recession when businesses were busting and business for bankruptcy lawyers was booming. Now, with a few more years of the Obama Administration behind us, business is booming and Bankruptcy Attorneys are back to chasing ambulances, present company excepted. If Trump were to be elected, will America be great again when Noel next returns? But the scribe digresses.
Noel’s message focused on Chapter 7 personal bankruptcies and how a debtor can maximize exemptions and the consequences of not being truthful in disclosure of assets. He reminded us that amongst the categories of debt which are not dischargeable are judgments arising out drinking and driving , intentional injuries, child support , alimony, most types of student loans and of course, taxes.
- 4/26/16 Our own Dr. William Jackson, The early history of medicine in Tacoma. Bill missed the 4/19 meeting because he was in Boston with his wife Donna, who ran the Boston Marathon! Donna was prominently featured in the News Tribune last weekend. She finished in 4:31.08, an excellent time for her age class, (which is several classes younger than Bill’s class had he chosen to run).
- 5/3/16 Gary Conett, New Estate Planning Law, (a topic of relevance to all of us).
You can always check the schedule of speakers and coming events on our website tacomacascade.org , created and maintained by John McGowen.
Sub-scribe, Phil Sloan
Tuesday April 12, 2016
Let’s see. There were 33 Cascadians, 4 guests and 2 speakers which totals approximately 39. There were 5 tables set for 8 which means 40 possible seats. Subtract the 39 from the 40 probably resulting in one, even without Treasurer Rick Carr’s help. That said, if you are planning to join the group for lunch, and you darn well better, you need to get there early to get a seat as we start PROMPTLY at 12:00 to allow plenty of time for the great speakers. The aforementioned Rick Carr intro’ed John Kennedy who has filled out the ponderous paperwork taking well into half a minute to complete to become a card carrying Cascadian. Jim Gallinatti intro’ed Jack Cunningham. Dave Sheean intro’ed someone he did not actually go school with, Pat Steele. Rich Wall did same for Rick Thomas who may be a most interesting future speaker.
We Cascadians are an equal opportunity listening group. Last week our speaker was Dr. David Smith of UPS fame and one might feel comfortable assuming he is not sporting a Donald Trump or Ted Cruz bumper sticker. Without abdicating a certain amount of editorial neutrality, that may actually speak well of Dr. Smith. Today, not only did we hear from red blooded Republicans, but TWO red blooded Republicans and state senators to boot: Sen. Bruce Dammeier and Sen. Steve Oban. Among the various committees Oban sits on, one is transportation. The governor has the responsibility to appoint the various Departmental Secretaries. For possibly the first time ever, the state senate which has the titular duty to advise and consent did not approve his nominee as Secretary of Transportation. According to Oban, she was totally unqualified and senate common sense overrode senate courtesy. Another area with which Oban is involved is the Department of Corrections. As we all now know, over 3,000 inmates were released prematurely due to “a computer glitch.” The problem was discovered in 2012 and corrections to the system delayed for three years! A comforting thought. The next area was the problem at Western State and the escape of three criminally insane inmates. Needless to say, scary at the least. The problems are many at Western State and seemingly not quickly redressed. Sen. Dammeier talked primarily about the state budgeting process. The state uses a two year budget and a projected additional two year forecast for planning purposes. The current budget is $38 billion. There are provisions for off- year unanticipated expenses such as fighting forest fires. That current amount is $200 million. There is a Rainy Day Fund which is $1.1 billion and that last part of the budgeting process is the Capital Budget traditionally funded by state issued bonds for schools, buildings, etc. The current budget is $3.5 billion and the off-year is $89 million. A major concern is the imbalance of school revenue which is driven primarily by property taxes. In more and more instances, the initially floated school levies were designed to support and underwrite special school activities, not traditional operating expenses. The latter has increased to where a huge 28% of the standard budget is now funded by the ever increasing levy approach. The inconsistency of district to district levies and tax bases creates significant salary issues. The average teacher with a Masters Degree and 3 years’ experience in Everett earns $103,000 per year while the same credentials earns an average of $71,000 in Tacoma. Both senators answered lots of questions and both admitted politicians love to talk. Both were issued a temporary hall pass for a late lunch.
Next week! There are three envelopes one receives with return addresses which cause night sweats: The Internal Revenue Service, The Selective Service Administration (we still know about the Draft Board) and the return of an interesting speaker, Neil Shillito, Attorney at Law specializing in bankruptcy. Next week’s newsletter will be more than ably composed by alt. Scribe Phil Sloan, Esq, Attorney a Law.
‘Til the anon,
Tuesday April 5, 2016
Good crowd, great speaker, guest John Kennedy intro’ed second time by Rick Carr.
There’s England. There’s Britain. There’s Great Britain. There’s Northern Ireland. Is there a Southern Ireland? Is the United Kingdom Great Britain? Can one be Scottish and British? Alex Trebek of “Jeopardy” fame would now be pulling out his well quaffed hair. Answers to some of the above explained in the third half of this newsletter. If you are like someone I know and not knowing RIGHT NOW drives you crazy, to quote that great American philosopher Casey Stengel: “You can look it up.”
On June 23rd, a referendum will be held in Great Britain whether or not to stay in the European Union of which Great Britain is almost currently a member. The “almost” refers to the fact that Great Britain has not adopted the Euro and still uses the British pound. The EU currently consists of 23 countries. But the drums are beating in the UK as at times so tastelessly so in U.S. for the forces of nativism, protectionism, racism, migration and security. PM Cameron is being pushed to the right just as Trump is doing in this country. Our speaker Dr. David Smith began his presentation about the “Ununited United Kingdom” by promising to draw no analogies to the current political morass in this country and, probably most correctly, assumed there weren’t a lot of Bernie Sanders bumper stickers in the parking lot at The TC&GC. Much of the comparison is relevant. With 23 countries in the EU, by design there is a convoy mentality as in WWII where the convoy could only go as fast as the slowest ship. This translates to everything from financial stability to security. But if the Brits get out, the Czechs claim they may also. The Scots say they will vote again for full independence and in turn will join the EU, thus possibly having both the Euro and pound in a revamped Britain. The scenarios continue to unravel replicating a Rubik’s Cube of combinations and permutations. As is to be expected with the recent tragedies in Paris and Brussels, security is of paramount importance with the smallest and poorest of the EU members being the most deficient. According to Dr. Smith, with no hesitation, he proclaimed that “Europe is at war” and will probably be so for the next 40 years. Militant Islam is a force that will not go away quickly. The idea of refugees stoking the fire of extremism and terrorism should be dwarfed by the fact that 6,700 Europeans have traveled to Syria to fight for Isis and have EU passports. Indeed, a sobering though entertaining presentation by the articulating and gesticulating Dr. Smith. One would think that it would be impossible to fall asleep in one of his classes at UPS.
Next week there will be a speaker. We have three vying for the spot so you will just have to show up to see who it will be.
‘Til the anon,
England is a country. Britain consists of England, Scotland and Wales. Great Britain is all of those and includes Northern Ireland (mostly Protestant.) There is no Southern Ireland. The balance of Ireland is an independent country. Yep, you can be a Scot and a Brit at the same time. No, there will not be a pop quiz to explain all of the above!
Tuesday March 29, 2016
Ed. note. You may have noticed in last week’s newsletter an absence of the traditional fluff and stuff usually associated with same such as guests (Cordell Bahn), etc. This scribe felt that a combination of the topic presented last week plus the attack on Brussels, the above fluff and stuff would be inappropriate. I was pleased with the many comments I received about the newsletter. Thank you. I’m sure that Alternate Scribe Phil Sloan and I might appreciate your comments and suggestions, but then again, we might not. One could hope that the possibility of syntax and grammar errors would never darken this missal. ‘Tis not always true with the media who often produce a cringe worthy such as “where is he at” etc. thus producing a tirade from this author to a deaf and dumb television. One does not end a sentence with a preposition. A preposition will never be something we will end a sentence with! As for Cordell, seemingly of strong mind and body, he has cast his lot with us Cascadians and applied for membership. Dave Cotant intro’ed guest Rob Adams.
Our speaker was Debra Dahl, Private Investigator. Allow me to quickly add that she did not immediately greet any of our members by their first name. Not exactly Sam Spade or even Guy Noir (the latter if you are a fan of “Prairie Home Companion” and Garrison Keillor) but a PI all the same. She told us about one of her most recent successes. A friend, who we may comfortably assume is not a stud muffin, possibly past his sell by date, as well as a bit corpulent, discovered his true love,…are you ready…on the internet! The new love of his life, much, much younger, had fallen love with our friend but she had one small problem. She was in jail in eastern Washington and needed $10,000 to post bail. Sound good so far? He did, and she returned to Auburn to join him in a life of bliss. She did move in, briefly, but slept on his couch for assorted reasons. He never got to “know” her in the Biblical sense. Several days later she left in the middle of the night for an errand and…wait, wait…never came back. She was about to skip out on bail. Debra… enters stage left. Long story short. Our guy (actually Debra) texts our tart that he is going to give her a present of a watch, and doesn’t know whether she would like gold or silver. Miraculously, like Lazarus, she comes back to life and agrees to meet that evening at “The Shoot.” I think it is safe to say that the Muckleshoot Casino is home to an assortment of nefarious characters. It is also safe to say that career criminals like the above, are not blessed with IQs above room temperature. She could have been a contender for the annual” Darwin Award.” If you are not familiar with same, it is usually awarded to people so stupid that it is often awarded posthumously thus preserving our collective gene pool. A typical survivor is the man who held-up a bank but didn’t get enough money. The teller graciously asked him how much he wanted and would he accept a check? He got the check. He came back the next day to the same bank to the same teller to cash the check as it was the bank’s check. Thus, an example of a possible winner of ”The Darwin Award.” Anyway, the meeting took place at “The Shoot” with a resulting takedown by security guards, cops and Debra with enough fighting, hitting and swearing that it would have made a Trump rally proud. Our guy thanks to Debra, got has bond money back.
Next week, a more erudite presentation by the much anticipated return presenter and potential new member, Dr. David Smith from UPS.
Tuesday March 22, 2016
This newsletter is traditionally one page of fluff and stuff. But not today. Today is different; but sadly the same. Today is Brussels. But it could have been Paris, or Ankara, or San Bernardino, or …? It was once said that an infinite number of monkeys with an infinite number of typewriters would write “Hamlet.” So, can an infinite number of wise men with an infinite number of Thesaureses write an explanation of the horror or logic of bombs in metro stations? Today, it was again swarthy men with funny names who committed the unbelievable for their unbelievable reward for eternity. But as easy as it is now to pander for votes, sadly no one or no group has a monopoly. Think of Timothy McVey and Oklahoma City. Time will scab over the open sore of Brussels, or Paris, or Ankara or San Bernardino. We will weep, and we will slowly get better. But we will never be totally healed. There is a poison that cannot be expunged. There is a rage that seeks relief. There will be others who build bombs out of pressure cookers. One can safely assume that this author is not in the habit of quoting Ted Cruz. But there is something deep down that vibrates to his rant of carpet bombing swathes of people and territory. Gen. Curtis Lemay made a comparable reference to the North Vietnamese during the Viet Nam War: “we should bomb Viet Nam back into the Stone Age.” We all know how well that worked out.
Our speaker today could not have been more appropriate, or more eloquent, in explaining and exploring a very difficult subject. Judge Jack Nevins’ topic was “My experience with the JAG Corp of the Army in Guantanamo Bay.” Guantanamo is a place on the map and a place in U.S. history. In point of fact, it is several places ranging from a naval base to prisons within a prison. The subject could not be more relevant if it had been carefully, yet tragically, orchestrated. Those in Gitmo are in a never never land. Gitmo is an on-going conundrum. We are in an “asymmetrical” war where there are no POWs, just detainees. Detainees are tried by a military commission. The rules of the Geneva Convention do not apply because they apply to a “symmetrical” war where the combatants represent a nation state and wear uniforms. A POW can only be kept prisoner until the war is over. But we are not in a “war” and one can unfortunately assume this on-going tragedy will not soon, if ever, end. Detainees do not represent a nation state and do not wear uniforms. Gitmo as a place is land leased from Cuba on a 99 year lease which is extended by mutual agreement. Obviously the Cubans don’t like it, and the U.S. does. The upshot of baseball diplomacy between the U.S. and Cuba is yet to be decided but for the foreseeable future Gitmo remains. The prison population has gone from a high 775 detainees to 92. Some of the detainees could be released but there is no country willing to take them. Gitmo is not “one” prison; it is several ranging from minimum to maximum security with the latter being for 7 detainees, 6 of which were a part of 9/11 and the seventh a part of the USS Cole attack. These seven are charged as capital cases. As for security, the seven could be transferred to the Supermax facility in Colorado which has been home to the famous, or infamous, such as John Gotti and the Unabomber, Ted Kaczynski. But the politics of “not in my backyard” prevails. As Americans we should be proud of our tradition of the rule of law. Judge Nevins shared with us the particulars of a number of cases brought on behalf of the detainees which went all the way to the Supreme Court and in each case, the Court found in favor of the detainees. But the basic problem persists and it is as difficult as catching smoke. What are the Constitutional Rights of detainees? The answer as so cogently explained by Judge Nivens…”Undefined.”
One might hope that somewhere in this quagmire of hate and distrust, there just might be a glimmer of hope, or of better things to come, that people and philosophies could co-exist. But such a hope might be hard to justify. We need look no further than the political climate that exists in our own country. The pervasiveness of bombast prevails over common sense and common courtesy. The loudest of talking heads of talk radio after the election of President Obama brayed that “I hope Obama fails.” One would rightfully assume that such a failure is a failure for the 359 million Americans for which he is their president. Politicians are not immune to such demagoguery. The Senate Majority leader stated that his primary objective was to make the President… “A one term President.” As we may recall from last week’s presentation, our speaker proclaimed that we do not make leaders any more. So one looks back to the McCarthy hearings where Joseph Welch to Senator McCarthy said: “have you no sense of decency, sir?” Whatever the politics, whatever the philosophies, is there not someone who will stand up and say “enough!”
So here we remain as Judge Nevins explained, in a war that is not a war. Probably another madman will build a bomb in a pressure cooker and leave it on an unsuspecting American doorstep. There will be another Brussels. And yet one may trust that on a beautiful April day in Washington, D.C. the President of the United States will throw out the first baseball on the opening day of baseball season, and whether a lefty or a righty, either in philosophy or throwing, one could hope there would be a unanimous chorus of “Play ball!”
Tuesday (Ides of) March 15, 2016
You may have heard, or even said, the old saw about the check being in the mail. Well, your much awaited Cascade newsletter FROM LAST WEEK, might actually be in the mail; but then again, maybe not. It’s just possible the “U” in “USPS” may stand for Uzbekistan. In all probability, it really is an operational issue at our mailing service “Aim” as they are going through a transition to new staff. In the meantime, you will just have to stay with your subscription to The National Inquirer. Another good crowd of Cascadians for lunch… but there were a few notable absentees! One might surmise with Det. Ed Troyer from the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department on a return engagement as an ever entertaining speaker there may be several Cascadians (who shall remain nameless) still in the Witness Protection Program. But before relinquishing the floor to our “packing” speaker, Dave Sheean intro’ed English History Prof. from UPS Dr. David Smith. He has been a guest speaker on a number of occasions on everything from the monarchy to the German war machine in WWII; not the Great War where you may have served.
Ed’s Update. There has been a significant uptick in armed robberies. Most are of convenience stores, often owned by minorities. The average take is a mere $100-$125 and supplies a day’s cash to buy drugs. Robberies are usually in the early afternoon. Bank robbers are almost always people over 60 trying to eliminate things such as gambling debts. But then there is always the famous bank robber Willie Sutton. After finally being caught, he was asked why he robbed banks? “Because that’s where the money is.” One can’t refute that kind of logic. Property crimes have risen significantly. But there is good news. Pierce County, once a haven for meth labs, has gone from 350 to two in just two years. The question of body cams was raised. The current position is that all the equipment, training, etc. is very expensive and the process has yet to shake out. The cars do, however, all have dash cams. Another question was the use of force. There were 17 officer involved shootings last year. It is always a split second decision as to when and where to use deadly force. The answer was very simple. Cops are not trained to make it a fair fight if they are in fear for their life. There is no prize for coming in second. The organization “Crime Stoppers” is a strictly volunteer organization which Ed chairs. It recently got a tip to solve a bank robbery. The caller was asked how sure he was of the tip to be rewarded. Very; “I drove the getaway car.” So much for honor among thieves. Legal weed is always a smokey subject. One of the main issues is that sellers cannot deposit their money in a bank as marijuana is still illegal nationally and banks won’t accept cash (everything is always cash) plus, it really does smell like marijuana. Alas,working girls have left Ponders and gone hi-tech. Transactions are now done through the internet via a Smart phone. Just another reason for me not to abandon my 7 year old flip phone. Plus, to make matters more difficult, there is now a hookers’ unofficial union that protects the working girls and their trade from police harassment. Truly is the land of opportunity.
Next week Judge Jack Nevins’s topic will be: “My experience with the JAG Corp of the army in Guantanamo Bay.” Yet another great reason to be a muchin’ with the Cascadians on Tuesdays.
Tuesday March 8, 2016
We did have a speaker. We did have a guest for a second visit. Carroll Simpson intro’ed Cordell Bahn and Cascadienne Rosalyn. Pres. Roy did same for Cascadienne spouse, Susan.
Our speaker was Gus Lee and his topic was “Swartzkopf: Life and Lessons of the Bear.” There were really two parts of his presentation: one the larger than life person, Norman Swartzkopf, and as is said in the military, a true water walker. The second and much more expansive message was that of the philosophy instilled into those around him, including our speaker. Swartzkopf is a true genius. He is able to write complicated and totally different mathematical equations simultaneously; in other words, one right handed, one left handed. Now, that is truly awe-inspiring, especially to one who quaked at the ever loathsome story problems in high school algebra: “If Tom leaves Cleveland (right away, I like Tom) going west to Chicago at 3:47, going 58 MPH, and Mary leaves 23 minutes later going 64 MPH…. I never could figure those out and always had them end up in Albuquerque 4 days later.
Lee’s other and broader topic was the absence of true leaders in our current corporate (and undoubtedly political) culture. In effect even our best B-schools do not produce leaders; they produce managers who direct via Power Point. The missing element according to Lee is the total absence of the moral element based upon Judeo-Christian theology which was the foundation for Swartzkopf. This applies not only to the very top execs, but 4 layers down the organization. His illustration on the absence of a true moral leadership ethic was best described as a “Feel the Bern” Bernie Sanders campaign speech. He used the ’08 Great Recession as an example. The GDP at that time was $ 17 trillion. The financial impact of the Great Recession was $23 trillion, $5 trillion more than the entire national debt. The Great Recession was caused primarily by a confluence of actions by a limited number of banks too big to fail. Financial instruments such as Credit Default Swaps were so complicated that one would assume IBM’s super computer “Watson” wouldn’t be able to understand or explain them. (As an aside, your scribe also occasionally acts as a movie reviewer, and it doesn’t cost you a penny more. Wait…You’re not paying a penny now and I’m still waiting for a company car. The movie “The Big Short” does a good job of explaining in simple terms the financial disaster as does “Spotlight” recap the exposure of the Catholic priest pedophilia scandal in Boston.) The impact on Americans from lost savings to home ownership and beyond was devastating. The impact on the world was catastrophic. Well over a million people lost their jobs in the US. Over 56 million lost their jobs worldwide. And so who paid for the orchestrated disaster here in the US. The American citizen and the American taxpayer. Who didn’t pay? Not one person from Wall St. was ever prosecuted. Oh, there was one person prosecuted and convicted; a mid-level grunt upon some minor technicality, and, oh yeah, he isn’t an American, he is an Egyptian. Light the torches and get out the pitchforks.
One need not bring a torch or pitchfork next week.
‘Til the anon.
Scribe and Occasional Movie Reviewer
Tuesday March 1, 2016
Last week’s newsletter, which I am confident is still pinned to your refrigerator door as it rightly deserved, stated as follows; “The beat goes on; great speakers, challenging topics, Q&A lasting longer and longer, yet another reason to be a Cascadian.” This week, Dawn Doyle from the Tacoma and Pierce County Chamber of Commerce shared with us….
… we had cookies and jokes. To utilize the ever popular sports analogy, Dawn was on the injured reserve with an upper body injury, whatever that means. Seemingly she was sick and a therefore a “No Show.”
BUT NEXT WEEK… Gus Lee presenting “Swartzkopf: Life and Lessons of the Bear.” A Stormin’ Norman story (he supposedly hated that nickname.) Several months after he had resigned, he was making a speech and in the Q&A session after the speech he was asked what the difference was now as to several months ago. After a thoughtful pause he said: “ two months ago there were 450,000 people who would instantly react to any order; now, I can’t get a plumber to come to my house.” Be at the Cascade lunch this Tuesday, and that’s an order.
February, 23, 2016
The beat goes on; great speakers, challenging topics, Q&A lasting longer and longer, yet another reason to be a Cascadian.
Brian Ebersole, Past Mayor of Tacoma, Past Speaker of the WA. House of Representatives and Past President of Bates College; how ‘bout them apples on a list of credentials! Brian’s presentation was a “twofer” featuring doing business in the Third World and poverty in the Third World. As to the former, Brian introduced the topic by stating “don’t do business in the Third World if you are a small businessman.” I believe one can safely assume that the reference to size means financially rather than that of a diminutive stature. Regardless of the country, or seemingly the culture, bribery is the accepted norm. Americans have an unrealistic sense of jurisprudence, that there are laws that are followed, that right will ultimately prevail. In point of fact, just the opposite is reality. Murder may or may not be a capital crime, but neither is relevant. Simply stated, getting someone out of a murder charge is merely more expensive than other crimes. One could actually wait and go to trial, but then that may not occur for 30-40 years. Bribery is like breathing. You don’t think about it as a way of surviving. It is so pervasive at every level that there is no negative stigma to the “bribor” or the “bribee.” To Americans, and Western Europeans this environment doesn’t even compute, it is an environment out of this world, in fact, out of our universe and out of our galaxy. Explaining a cartoon in The New Yorker is impossible. If you have to explain it, it isn’t funny. If you have to explain the all- encompassing existence of a bribery dominated economic system, you will never truly understand.
Brian also shared his experiences in Third World countries focusing primarily on Southeast Asia. About 31/2 billion people are categorized as poor. It is difficult to quantify a dollar value based on an hourly wage or yearly income. For example, in the Philippines, a very highly sought after job is to work at Starbucks for $.90 an hour. Yet, a chicken costs almost the same as at a Safeway. Personal and physical hygiene is an incredible disaster as a shared stream serves as a sewer, a place to wash clothes and bathe and water for cooking. The key to health care is not the availability of local services… but cash. If you go to a doctor or hospital, the primary diagnosis is your ability to pay. It is truly a pay for services system. If you can’t pay, no service. What is given is life. In Cambodia, the infant mortality rate is as high as 25%. If you want 4 children you need to start with six. But what is truly amazing in spite of such grinding poverty is that people as a whole are quite happy. They are smiling with and at life as they know it. And, of course, they love Americans. Last, but certainly not least, there is the culture of family, of taking care of your elders and your relations. It is a fabric unlike much of the rest of the world.
Next week, Dawn Doyle from the Tacoma and Pierce County Chamber of Commerce.
‘Til the anon,
Tuesday February 16, 2016
Bill Jackson introduced our speaker, Mike Johnson, Executive Director of the Rescue Mission, to a group of 26 who were treated to a mesmerizing lecture which was followed by so many questions and answers that carried far beyond the traditional cut off time that there were no jokes, no mandates from Prez Roy Kimbel and no recognition of guests. If there were guests, please bring them back for a proper introduction.
Mike, as he asked to be addressed, initially came to Tacoma in 1988 as an Army Ranger, having enlisted as an 18 year old. After his Army career, he served in pastoral ministry, last with the Seattle Union Gospel Mission and recently became the Rescue Mission’s Executive Director. He and his wife have 7 adopted children.
Instead of giving us a traditional summary of the history and mission of the Mission, Mike discussed theories of the causes and effects of homelessness and how the prospects of a person becoming homeless can be scientifically predicted based on their test scores on a scale of adverse childhood experiences (ACE) of abuse; Sexual, physical and neglect. The ACE scales were developed from a 1997 study by the National Institute of Health. The higher the number of the defined types of abuse a child experiences, the more likely that child will end up homeless.
As this scribe understood him, a newly born infant who does not receive the security of a loving, safe attachment figure can be so affected that it can result in neurological impairment which can impair the child’s behavior permanently.
Those who want to learn more about the causes of homelessness and how to help, are invited to join Rescue Mission staff on their weekly evening tours in which van loads of volunteers go into the community to offer warm beverages and try to communicate with the homeless on a person to person basis.
Mike inspired us with his belief that no homeless person is beyond hope regardless of how hopeless the situation appears to be. His talk also reminded us of how fortunate we Cascadians are to have our special bond of friendship.
Next Meeting, February 23, 2016: Brian Ebersole, former Mayor of Tacoma, President of Bates College and Speaker of the State House of Representatives on Daily Life in the Developing Countries of Asia. (Lunch may be eaten with chopsticks.)
Respectively submitted, Phil Sloan , reluctant scribe
Tuesday February 9, 2016
There were Cascade luncheoners. There were jokes. There was a guest, Charles Plunkett intro’d by Lloyd Elmer. There was a speaker, our own Rich Wall, and a most provocative and thought provoking topic: “The State of American History Education in Secondary Schools and Universities.” A subject material not for the faint of heart.
In this author’s opinion, the subject bifurcates (OK, I admit it. That is a pretentious word I have been waiting to sneak in) that could easily be replaced by “splits.” It is a cheesy way to use a word that sends one to one’s dictionary; assuming people still use dictionaries. Maybe better said, the topic for want of an easier explanation could be divided into macro and micro terms. The former is how and when teaching occurs. Start with the number of days students attend public school. The rest of the world’s developing countries, 220+ days a year. In this country, “on paper”, 180 days a year. But as you drive by schools with sign boards one can’t help but note reoccurring announcements heralding “1/2 day due to teachers’ meetings” or the same for planning or parent-teacher conferences, etc, etc. In addition, school days in other countries are at least 7 hours. Here, one need not ask. What about art, music, phys. ed. classes? Same. Timing? In many high schools, classes start at 7:20. Every single research study confirms that teen biological clocks don’t work well that early, in fact, they aren’t even ticking that early. Kids must get up by six, a healthy breakfast (not likely) and catch the bus by 6:40 .Change, if at all? Glacial!
An equally difficult arena is what this author shall call the micro element which is not the “how”, “when” and “how often” but the “what.” The Department of Education has grown exponentially as one might expect from an annual budget at its creation from $12B to $75B with a parallel bureaucratic increase from 3,000 to 5,000. A common “ cause celebre” is “Common Core.” The concept as initially envisioned was to build a national curriculum that would provide all students with a standard base in math and science (I think) and to enable them to compete in an international arena. A scheme well intended with often disastrous results. An equally common rebuttal was that education should not be a Federal prerogative but that of an individual state. That, too sounds good, of course, unless, for example you unhappily live in Mississippi which always ranks a solid last in education. Chances of being a brain surgeon or write code at Microsoft; not very good. Just to make the difficult, more difficult, if that is possible, who decides what is taught? In Texas, individuals, local school boards, et.al. determined the content of the state wide ( and because of the size of the printing runs, adopted by other states) text as to what would be taught. The Civil War was fought because of the economic conditions of an industrialized North vs. an agrarian South. Slavery, seemingly, was not an issue. Evolution is merely “a theory.” There may have been some revisions, but the obvious is…obvious. When individuals or groups decide, whether from the far Left , “Feel the Burn” Bernie Sanders, or the far Right, and it is possible to here play “Whack a Mole” and pick an appropriate name, pedagogy is replaced by tailored agendas. Again, what is taught and when? One would suspect few if any high schoolers can recite the “Pledge of Allegiance” and as the camera pans the assembled crowd at a sporting event, even fewer know the words of the National Anthem (and as a VERY personal aside, the tune of which seems to be at the mercy of whomever is the pop singer of the day!) When does patriotism become jingoism? Like all of the above, no finite line or definition. Wow!
Next week, Mike Johnson of the Tacoma Mission talking about homelessness.
‘Til the anon,
D .Loving, Scribe
Tuesday February 2, 2016
There was good news.
There was bad news.
The good news was that the Iowa Caucasus were finally over. The bad news was that anticipated speaker Rich Wall was AWOL. One might safely assume that Rich’s schedule is structured on Berlin Standard Time and as the bewitching hour of twelve noon drew nigh, no Rich. ‘Twas something amiss; figuratively and literally. But we soldiered on, so to speak. We had a guest. Rick Carr introduced John Kennedy (do you think he might get tired of comments about his name?) We proceeded to actually engage in civil conversation with one another absent smart phones, et. al. We had jokes.
But be not dismayed. Rich is on the schedule next week for what will undoubtedly be a much dismaying presentation entitled; “The state of American History Education in Secondary Schools and Universities.” Jay leno used to have bits where he would interview COLLEGE STUDENTS with questions such as “who fought in the American Civil War?” Response; “I don’t know, I’m not a history major, I’m an econ major.” On second thought, the Iowa Caucasus may actually be more tolerable.
For those of you who actually do have busy schedules, mark down Thursday, December 1st for the 2016 Cascade Club Christmas Party.
Other than sharing my horoscope of the day with you…
‘Til the anon,
Thanks to Brother Phil Sloan for scribing in my absence last week.
Cascade Club Minutes of Meeting of January 26, 2016. 33 Members present, no guests.
We all are familiar with the landmark grain terminal at the mouth of the Thea Foss Waterway and know that trains and ships come and go from there year round, but until our speaker, Terry Johnson, General Manager of Temco, (the operator of the Tacoma terminal) made his fascinating presentation, what goes on there was a mystery to most of us. He set the record straight and disabused us of a great deal of misinformation. (This scribe has heard boaters who moor in the Thea Foss Waterway blame the terminal for the coal dust which coats their boats and environmentalists have protested that the terminal handles oil sands passing to and from the terminal.)
The function of TEMCO is strictly limited to offloading grain from custom built trains and transferring the grain onto specialized ships which transport it to China, Korea, Taiwan and Japan. The ONLY grains handled are soy beans and corn which are grown in the Midwest. TEMCO does not manufacture any products. Its administrative functions are handled by its parent companies. The pricing of the grain is set by the Chicago Board of Trade. The labor at the terminal is done by longshoremen.
ONLY outgoing cargo passes through the terminal. NO incoming cargo is offloaded. The ships are dedicated to carrying the soy beans and corn to Asia and they return empty to Tacoma. Each ship must be of a standard size; 730 feet long, 135 feet wide to be compatible with the terminal’s equipment and the precise capacity of the railroad cars. 100 ships on the average are loaded each year.
All of the grain is brought to the terminal by dedicated trains owned by BN, CP and UP. Each train has 110 cars. Each train travels a continuous loop from here through the Midwest. The trip from Minnesota to Tacoma takes 4 days. Each ship hauls the capacity of 6 trains or 660 cars.
The grain is off and on loaded by conveyor belts with buckets attached and powered by pneumatic air at the rate of 2000 tons per hour. It takes 15 hours to unload a train.
NEXT MEETING: February 2, 2016, 11:45 AM. Our speaker will be Cascadian Rich Wall speaking on The State of American History Education in American secondary schools and universities. President Roy has made the ominous threat of punishing those who do not turn their cell phones OFF by sentencing them to watch twice the latest “debates” of both party’s presidential candidates.
Although our membership is growing, please bring a guest and a good joke. Our programs have been superb, thanks to Bill Jackson, email@example.com and Dave Sheean, firstname.lastname@example.org, but they are always looking for speakers, so please let them know if you have someone to recommend. Donald Trump refused our invitation because our questions might not be appropriately respectful.
Welcome New Members: Grant Anderson, Bob Cammarano and Lloyd Elmer.
Submitted with apologies for reporting errors,
Phil Sloan, conscripted scribe
Tuesday January 19, 2016
Last week’s newsletter opined that the originally scheduled speaker for this week, Joaquin Guzman, would not be available as he was unexpectedly detained. Huh? More later. Our speakers this week were more erudite and came equipped with PhDs: Dr. Sarah Moore, Department of Psychology and Dr. Leon Grunberg, past Chair of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology from UPS. So right from the get-go, ya hadda figger they were pretty smart. They gave us a power point presentation on an extensive 10 year study entitled: “ Emerging from Turbulence: Boeing and Stories from the American Workplace.” First of all, putting words like “Boeing” and “Turbulence” in the same sentence are not words you want to hear. Their presentation was a recap of evolving attitudes and opinions of a wide array of Boeing employees, both white and blue color. It was discovered that, like many companies, and for that matter institutions, there are probably watershed events which significantly alter future direction. According to our speakers the two major events at Boeing were the merger with McDonald Douglas and the introduction of the 787 Dreamliner and accompanying strategy of outsourcing. Prior to the former, both profits and the unions were exceptionally strong. At a meeting in the 1980s, the CEO was asked “how many people work at Boeing?” His reply; “About half.” Boeing was the Lazy B. But the corporate culture had to change as the world was changing; Airbus for one example. And now, even more, as the Chinese are making their own airplane though many years behind schedule. Ed note: my enthusiasm for flying on the initial Chinese production air planes would be comparable to flying on Aeroflot airplanes.
There were other examples of significant events like the 2 month strike in ’08 that greatly delayed the introduction of the Dreamliner and the corporate move from Seattle to Chicago. The latter an unsubtle sign of things to come. The presentation by Drs. Moore and Grunberg included quantitative attitudinal studies over time by sub-groups categorized by “Gen-X”, “Gen-Y”, “Millennials” and “Baby Boomers.” Without my traditional reliance on “Cliff Notes”, I couldn’t explain the differences. Suffice to say, we may safely assume that we Cascadians wouldn’t fall into any of those categories. Lots to assimilate but overall, younger and newer employees were more distrustful of management, less loyal to the company, more prone to move to different opportunities, and in some cases, even more distrustful of belligerent unions. It is this author’s opinion that in most instances, the findings in the presentation would have been the same if “Boeing” had been replaced by “General Motors.” The results of the study at Boeing no doubt mirror those of many, if not most, of an evolving corporate and institutional environment not just in this country but world- wide. A telling comment by a long time employee. “I used to be a Boeing engineer. Now I am an engineer at Boeing.”
Next week, previous speaker who due to some confusion was unable to attend, Terry Johnson and “The History of the Tacoma Grain Terminal.”
‘Til the anon,
“huh?” ” Joaquin Guzman’s being unexpectedly detained…?” Ask Sean Penn.
Tuesday January 12, 2 016
We are a clever bunch and showed-up for the first Cascade lunch of the New Year on time. We also follow directions and play well with others. We do not run with scissors. It was nice to have President Roy back and attempting to gain control of our rowdy gathering. It is not so much that we are impolite, it’s just that for some reason, we need to talk louder to be heard by our neighbor. Anyway, there was no official business of the New Year, there were no guests. But our merry band is growing and we have increased our membership from 68 to 77 red-blooded dues paying members. One of our new members did somewhat sheepishly admit that he had not officially paid his dues even though he sent Treasurer for Life Rick Carr a personal check, with minor details omitted; putting in an amount, and oh yeah, signing the check. Picky. Picky.
A wonderful show-n-tell by our own Webmaster John McGowen. He shared with us the travels of a reverse Lewis and Clarkian trip from the Northwest back to St. Louis. Like them, never a breath of noxious gas fumes or rumble of an engine. The parallel and analogous details have already probably been stretched beyond any semblance of rationality. John told us about his 6,000 mile trip in his totally battery powered Tesla. Among all of the other attributes, there is an eerie quietness of no engine noises and of course, never a trip to Jiffy Lube. The car is incredibly safe. In pre- production safety tests, because of the low center of gravity, the car could not be made to turn over and in a crush test, you guessed it, uncrushable. The car can travel 300 miles on a charge, but best to safely use 130-150. There are 223 Supercharging stations currently available in the U.S. and there will be 493 by the end of the year. Charging is free and stations are designed to be accessed only by Teslas. Those Supercharging stations will recharge the car in 30 minutes. If charging at home with the 220 V. outlet as used by an electric clothes dryer, time required is about 10 hours. Unlike the aforementioned Lewis and Clark who were never totally sure where they were or where they were going, the Tesla has an extremely sophisticated tech system that constantly measures everything from power usage to the location and time to the next charging station. Tesla always knows where you are. And is it fast you might ask??? The performance version, which of course John has, goes from zero to 60 in the suck the skin off your face 3.9 seconds! And, oh darn, the all- wheel version is limited to a max top end of only 150MPH.
Next week, we were scheduled to have another most interesting speaker, Joaquin Guzman. It seems he has been unexpectedly detained. In his place, Dr. Sarah Moore and Dr. Leon Grunberg will share with us: “Emerging from Turbulence, Boeing and Stories from the American Workplace.”
‘Til the anon,
– – – – – – Christmas Break – – – – – – – – –
Tuesday December 15, 2015
Cecil B. DeMille would have been impressed. Though not quite a cast of thousands it was our largest crowd ever with 48 Cascadians in attendance. It should be noted that it was the annual Christmas Wine luncheon. It also should be noted that there may be a direct correlation between free booze and attendance. Anyway, there was a whole bunch of us there and a good time was had by all. It is possible that there were guests. Then again, it may be possible there weren’t. It is always requested that those bringing guests to the Cascade luncheon please advise the scribe of same. So… ? We do have membership applications for Mssrs: Lloyd Elmer and Bob Cammarano. One last bit of Club “bidness.” If you go to the Club next Tuesday for the Cascade meeting, you won’t have to fight for a seat. Nor will you get any cookies. THERE IS NO CASCADE CLUB MEETING UNTIL JANUARY 12, 2016. For those few of us who still pay bills by actually writing checks, you might start practicing now by writing “2016” a few times. BUT…it has been so noted that there are also Cascadians who still eat lunch on Tuesdays and meet in the TC&GC bar for lunch and the possibility of an adult beverage. Mark your calendar.
Dr. Lonnie Howard, President of the Clover Park Technical College was our speaker. Lonnie is an embodiment of The American Dream. A black person growing up in rural Texas in a three room shack with no running water and no electricity, Ronnie is now a college president with 5 degrees. Though possibly a wee bit tarnished, and in spite of a lot of political bombast of late, the American Dream does exist and Lonnie clearly says so. CPTC has been around for 73 years, employees 441 full and part-time instructors with a student body of over 7,300 offering 48 degree programs. 60% of the students receive some sort of financial aid. The annual budget is $36M and is funded by State support, student tuition, miscellaneous fees and the CPTC Foundation. As an aside, there is The Hayes Day Care Center at the college which was funded by the generosity of former Gyro/Cascade member Phil Hayes. The CPTC is serving a constituency with needed skills providing for a more secure future. Gen. Stormin’ Norman Schwarzkopf was asked by a reporter what the difference is now that he has retired from the Army. His answer was “… two months ago, I had 450,000 people who reacted immediately to my every command. Now, I can’t get a plumber to come to my house.” CPTC makes plumbers.
Upon our return Tuesday JANUARY 12, our speaker will be our own Dr. John McGowen, web master par excellance sharing with us his 6,000 mile car trip to Chicago and St, Louis using nary one gallon of gas. How can that be, one might ask? Best come to Cascade luncheon JANUAY 12 to find out.
So, ‘til the anon, a very Merry Christmas and HEALTHY, Happy New Year.
PS. I just returned from a brief ceremony at Narrows Glen, joined by flellow Cascadians McGowen, Stewart and Carr and a host of family, friends and well-wishers where past Gyro president and WWII Sgt. Howie Hunter was presented the “Quilt of Valor” (which may be Googled for more info) and birthday best wishes on his 90th birthday. Howie looks good and is quite spry.
Tuesday December 8, 2015
There must be some Cascade Club boo-boo lips about the crushing disappointment of not getting your Cascade Club newsletter on time last week. ‘Twas a slight mix-up but hopefully now resolved.
It truly was a dark and stormy day Tuesday with a howling wind and sideways rain. One would naturally expect a sparse crowd. But nay, not true! It seems that neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom…. All of those might be the germ of a great Club motto to accompany the always popular intonation of self above service. Alas, it’s just possible that some other organization may have already snagged same. There was nary an open seat as 40 hardy Cascadians braved the elements for yet another Tuesday. Guests, you might ask? But, of course. Al Bacon introduced Al Cammarano (now possibly spelled correctly) for a second visit and John McGowen did same for Lloyd Elmer. The business at hand now dispensed with, we eagerly awaited out speaker who shared with us…
Gasp! It seems snow or rain or heat or somethin’ did deter our speaker and thus a “No Show.” As always the irrepressible and equally illusive back-up speaker D. B. Cooper again didn’t show. Maybe next time. But be not dismayed. Into the breech we went and more than adequately filled our Tuesday repast with jokes, book recommendations and good conversation with nary an iPhone to be seen.
Next Tuesday, thanks to the help of General Harrison, our speaker will be Lyman Gifford, Executive Director of the Foundation, Clover Park Technical College. This will be a most informative meeting for both you and your “Cascadienne.” Ed. note: we are still grappling for an appropriate name to replace “Gyrette.” That name was rumored to drive same to strong drink or cheesy divorce lawyers (wait, that’s redundant.) This coming Tuesday will be the last meeting of 2015 and the annual Christmas Wine and Cheese Party. Best get there early. Bring a friend.
‘Til the anon,
Tuesday, December 1, 2015
As to be expected. Everyone who is anyone was at the TC&GC. ‘Seems the word is out so starting about 11:45, Cascadians are filing in, trying to find their name tag in what was a very good system which promptly went astray. There must be some truth about the best laid plans of mice and men which oft…well, you know the rest of Robbie Burns’ poem. But, there is an appropriate name tag if one is diligent in one’s search and chairs to sit on; or to be grammatically correct, upon which to sit. We Cascadians are a punctilious lot. We had guests, of whom I can name but one. Al Bacon introduced Bob Camerano for the second visit which means that Bob is a man of both great character nor easily scared away. The “other” guest shall remain a secret because of the ineptitude of your scribe and thus cleverly identified as a person “of interest” in the Cascade Club of Tacoma; a player to be named later.
Our speaker was David Hanson and his Show-N-Tell was entitled “The National Defense System and Fortification of Puget Sound 1894-1925.” In 1885, someone in Washington (the District of Columbia, not ours) decided that 27 coastal areas needed defending. The above was predicated on the shelling of Ft. Sumter at the beginning of the Civil War, aka: War Between the States, the War of Northern Aggression. Promptly, 12 years later, the fortification of Puget Sound was started. The fortification of against whom was never determined, so like our unnamed guest above; it was an enemy to be named later. The fortifications housed massive guns using cannon balls and telescopes for sighting. It was said that if the artillery soldiers had all day and nothing to do, they might actually hit something. But the guns were situated in the wrong places based on the Civil War experience of 25 years earlier. And, oh yeah, the fortifications were never actually manned. Not exactly a Potemkin Village as the fortifications were masses of concrete but basically worthless. The Civil War engagements and blockades were the work of wooden ships. Someone failed to notice that the House of Windsor and the House of Hohenzollern watching the gathering storm of a coming war in Europe were launching steel behemoths labeled Dreadnoughts. These massive battleships had 16’ guns and speeds of 18 knots. The age of cannon balls had long passed. Luckily, and thankfully, the “enemy to be named later” never cruised into Puget Sound; the guns were never used. The guns were removed with the intention that some might be used in WWI, but probably never were. The concrete fortifications in many places still stand, forlorn and overgrown with weeds, as a testament to planning for the next war based on the last war.
Next week, Terry Johnson will share with us the true inside story about the huge grain elevators on Ruston Way. ‘Best not sit alone.
‘Til the anon,
Tuesday November 24, 2015
I’m with you. I totally understand. It’s that time of year when, in about three or four more weeks, you will really need to get serious about a Christmas gift for the little woman. As always, you want something thoughtful and caring. An air compressor is certainly an interesting candidate for that special Christmas gift, but then you have weeks to decide. But wait! Skip your usual last minute trip to Home Depot for that “perfect gift.” Your ever vigilant scribe has the answer. As you may have read in the paper, a 1,100 carat diamond was discovered in Botswana. What could be easier? There you go. One stop shopping. Buy the misses a diamond the size of a golf ball. However, there could be just one small problem; timing. It may not be possible to get everything done by Christmas. Back to the air compressor? NO! Take your Cascadienne out for a glamorous evening. And “No”, Appleby’s doesn’t count. An evening surrounded by handsome men in black tie, women in shimmering finery, liveried wait staff passing hors d’oeurves and fine wines, a gourmet meal and dancing under the stars. Well OK, not really under the stars, but gliding across the dance floor like Arthur and Katherine Murray. Anyway, a 1,100 carat diamond might be just be a bit pretentious. So call immediately. Operators will be standing by: 588-4107 to add your name to those merry Cascadians starting the Christmas season in style.
Guests. Dave Sheean introduced Tom Spence and Lee Trotter. Al Bacon did same for Bob Camerano, with apologies if the spelling in all probability isn’t remotely close.
Our speaker today was Fred Willis and the title of his presentation was “Islam and the Trojan Horse.” Uuummm! To state the obvious, there were some positions presented by Fred that were……….”thought provoking.” To paraphrase as often stated in the public media; “the views and opinions presented may not represent those of this station.” Fred stated that the President of the United States is a Muslim and that there is one simple overriding position that dictates the actions and beliefs of over a 1.7 billion Muslims. Your dutiful scribe shall move smartly on to the military necessity of the fortification of Puget Sound.
A clever segue to next week’s speaker. David Hanson will share with us the history of the National Coast Defense System and the Fortification of Puget Sound, 1894-1925. It will be an amazing presentation on the history of our area supported by photographs of the extensive networks of armaments and fortifications similar to the German coastal defenses in WWII.
‘Til the anon,
PS. A reminder that if one so inclined, one is always able to skip the mental meanderings of said scribe and go directly, do not pass GO, to the Cascade website for current and past newsletters and more importantly, current and future speakers. Go to “TacomaCascade.org” which will take you to the home page, et. al.
Tuesday November 1 7, 2015
“It was a dark and stormy night … ” Well, it wasn’t actually night but it was certainly stormy. One might have expected a modest turnout, but nay, not we hardy Cascadians. There were 40 of us to lunch and listen to yet another wonderful speaker.
But first, and this truly is a first in many a Tuesday, there were no guests. But we do have mssers: George Ingle, Michael Jones, Darrell Jesse, Jim Smith and David Young all of whom have thrown their hats into the ring for membership in the Cascade Club of Tacoma.
Our speaker was the always entertaining John McGrath, sports writer for the TNT. John has spoken to us on other occasions, and is always enlightening on the wonderful world of sports. John started his formal presentation which, as always, lasted well into 35 or 40 seconds. Most of that was a preamble as to why he was wet from riding the bus. I’m not sure I got the transition of “riding the bus” to being at the TC&GC, but then, it wasn’t that important. A friend once proclaimed “you never see a good looking blond riding the bus.” I’m not sure of that relevance here, but it did pop to mind. Anyway, a wet and welcome John had the floor. He started by making the obvious comparison to the fictional character Oscar Madison of the “Odd Couple.” John is now divorced and a friend needed a place to crash has moved in, one would hope temporarily. Oscar and Felix reunited! Does art imitate life or is it the other way around? For those who have not seen John, I am going to steal a description I used in an earlier newsletter (is it plagiarism to steal your own stuff”) “John resembles an unmade bed.” John is of some renown in the ever smaller world of newspaper writers. He has a vote for the Heisman Award and the Baseball Hall of Fame. As to the latter, he was asked if Ken Griffey, Jr. would make into the Hall of Fame on the first ballot with a unanimous vote. John shared that a unanimous vote was very difficult to get;” … even Jesus didn’t get an unanimous support at The Last Supper.” 45 minutes later he was still talking sports and answering questions. As was to be expected, nary a one on curling.
Next week, another speaker not to be missed. Our own retired warrior Fred Willis will speak to us: “Islam and the Trojan Horse.” Not the laughs of last week but what could be more appropriate timing. This will be a presentation not to be missed and a classic example of why to be a Cascadian.
Last but most certainly not least. Lots of enthusiasm to attend the Cascade Club Christmas Party. There have been a number of “the check is in the mail” responses. I always thought that expression related to late alimony checks to one’s third or fourth ex-wife. I will be anxiously awaiting the arrival of my mail every day. Don’t delay. Sign-up for the always delightful Christmas gala.
’til the anon,
Tuesday November 10, 2015
Today, November 11th is Armistice Day. By the time you are fortunate enough to read this, the lucky 11-11-11 day will have come and gone. 11-11-11? The signing of the armistice of WWI, which many of you may well remember, took place at the 11th hour, of the11th day of the 11th month. But you still have a chance for those always sound investments of lottery tickets. I have just been reminded by my loyal proof reader that it is not called Armistice Day, or Poppy Day, but Veterans Day. It used to be that you were to wear a poppy that you bought from a vet. A wonderful tradition that seemingly has been lost. Some Club biz: membership applications have been received from George Ingle, Darrell Jesse, Jim Smith and Michael Jones. So speak now or forever hold you peace/piece. Also, your Scribe introduced Dave Betz as a guest for the second time, and better still, he paid for his own lunch. Tal Edman introduced Dave Young. I have no idea who paid for Dave Young’s lunch.
A long tradition of the Cascade /nee Gyro Club has been the most delightful Christmas Party. ‘Tis a chance to get into the holiday spirit. Because many are new to our merry band, here is the info about the NEW AND IMPROVED Christmas Party. Date-Thursday December 3rd, who?- Cascadians and spouses/friends or as singles, place-TC&GC, time-6:00 no host bar (we did have a hosted bar one year which almost put the Club into bankruptcy), dinner served-7:15, music and dancing?-of course, attire- black tie optional (brown shoes with white socks are not), munchies being passed-“yes”, wine with dinner? – of course “yes” (we are Cascadians, after all), reservations- limited?- “yes.” All of the above and a glorious repast as is de rigeur at the TC&GC. All of the above, and still more, for the paltry sum of $145 ($20 cheaper than last year and wine and hors d’oeuvres INCLUDED!!) per couple or $75pp. So how do I sign up? Attached is a recap of the menu choices which MUST BE notated with your check which should be made payable to Cascade Club.; but If made to me, “thank you” for my early Christmas shopping.
Tuesday’s speaker was Tarin Todd of the Citizens for a Healthy Bay; that” bay” being the Commencement one. The best way to describe what he does and who he is, is that he’s seemingly like The Lone Ranger, without Tonto, with a Rolodex of who to call for help. He is a one man patrol to identify derelict vessels in the Puget Sound area. Once located, he relays the information and location to a host of affiliate organizations ranging from the Coast Guard to the Sherriff’s office. The DVPP (Delelict Vessel Prevention Program) is a non-for-profit organization and since its inception, over 500 derelict vessels have been removed.
Next week, the always popular guest speaker, sportswriter from the TNT, John McGrath. So bring your questions and opinions about the Cougs, Huskies, Mariners, Hawks, Sounders, etc. OK. Maybe you skip the soccer and curling questions. Anyway, ‘best be there early.
‘Til the anon,
Tuesday November 3, 2015
‘Twas a bubbling cauldron of Cascadians vying for seats and cookies; 37 to be exact. We had guests, as is to be expected. Vern Larson introduced John Arbini, Jurgen Huck did likewise for Dave Betz, that being THE David C. Betz, and John McGowen introduced Louie Nelson. Some Club business which usually lasts well into almost one full minute included an encouragement for a few more of us’uns to attend the Chili Party this Saturday at 4:00 at the home of Dave and Judy Cotant. As I am led to believe, they have electricity and television and thus those so inclined to watch the Huskies, may be able to do so all the while eating free chili. This event has long been a Gyro favorite social event and one to be maintained even though we are now Cascadians.
Jack Van Omman yet another in a long line of interesting speakers shared with us his tale of circumnavigating (almost) the world…solo. A Dutchman who speaks 5 languages (Welsh is not one of them. Even the Welsh don’t speak Welsh. How can anyone pronounce a word that has 9 letters and only one vowel?) Once a Weyerhaeuser employee and then owner of his own company, disaster, to what would have been to some of us, struck and he went bankrupt in the ’08 crash. So…what to do? OK, hummm. How about sailing around the world! No money; no problem. Jack bought a boat, well not exactly, a BOAT IN A KIT; from England. The boat was a 30 foot plywood sailboat. I don’t know where one gets a keel for a sailboat, but I assume not shipped in a box from England; maybe from “Keels r Us.” Same holds true for a mast. The word “kit” causes great concern. There must be a wicked kit fairy who knows when I buy anything stating “some assembly required.” Werner Von Braun would tremble. First of all, they, whoever “they” are, always sneak in extra parts and pieces that I can’t find where to put and “tab A into slot B” never fits. Anyway, the boat eventually was launched and Jack’s first leg was 28 days, accompanied by $150 in his checking account. The kit boat was Spartan, to say the least. No refrigerator, and to most sailors, a dearth of high tech navigation and communication equipment. The question was asked as to how much water he took for that first 28 day voyage. “25 gallons, and I had some left when I arrived.” One might safely assume that indicates an indifference to personal hygiene, but then when one is a solo sailor, who cares? Jack sailed the world in his homemade boat living off of a $1800 per month Social Security check, and living a life of luxury. But disaster struck. While riding out a storm on a barren island, the wind switched and dashed him up against the rock cliffs and quickly, his boat was turned into kindling. He survived with the clothes on his back and a few possessions. But fear not. A new /old (not from a kit?) boat has been acquired and the trip will continue. Ideal topic for a future meeting.
Next week, Tarin Todd, Director of the Bay Patrol on Commencement Bay responsible for the Derelict Vessel Prevention Program. I am assuming this compares to ridding a parking lot of the ’53 Hudson Hornet that has been there a very long time.
So, ‘til the anon,
Tuesday October 27, 2015
“…and our next speaker needs no introduction…” which is usually followed by, as advertised, an unneeded introduction. But next week’s amazing speaker does need an introduction, so stay tuned. It goes without saying so I need not say it as to say it would be unnecessary that another huge assemblage of Cascadians. The applications to join our merry band are like circus clowns spilling out of a Volkswagen. Applications for membership from the following: Darrell Jesse, George Ingle and Michael Jones. By unanimous vote, which means we think their checks might clear on the second time thru, Bill Abbott, Dale Gordon and Larry Saunders have been approved as new members. When we figure out if we have secret grips ‘n stuff we will share same with them. In the meantime, in lieu of those, Treasurer for Life Rick Carr, will just send them bills. Again, as to be expected, and why not, guests: Dave Sheean introduced Richard Turner, Dick Bowe introduced Dean Minor. If memory serves me correctly, which in itself is highly unlikely, this is his 9th visit. A last bit of business. Pres. Roy intoned that after much debate, deliberation and due diligence, your Board of Trustees has finalized and voted to accept new By Laws for the Cascade Club of Tacoma. It was so stated that anyone wanting a copy should contact Roy. This announcement was met with a thunderous silence of indifference.
Our speaker for a return engagement was Denise Dyer, Pierce County Economic Development Director to give us a recap of the US Open Golf Tournament at Chambers Bay. With the exception of a few petulant golfers, and what do they know, ‘twas a great success (as an aside, there have already been overtures to the USGA for future tournaments.) There were attendees from all 50 states and 201 countries. The total attendance was 273,000 and the largest daily attendance was over 40,000. Hospitality suites sold for $25,000 to $250,000 and were snapped-up by 245 different companies.. Now I know why I couldn’t get one. Though difficult to quantify, the financial impact to the Seattle-Tacoma area was estimated to be $140M. The direct cost of the tournament versus revenue “about broke even.” I’m not sure how this all equates but anyway… Whenever I hear that term “about broke even” it’s from someone leaving Las Vegas on a Greyhound bus who hasn’t figured out that all of those neon lights and splashing fountains weren’t paid for with people’s winnings.
Next week, you REALLY need to be early. Jack Van Omman will be our speaker for show and tell. Many Cascadians are/were boaters and know the perils of sailing a small boat on the Sound. OK, how about sailing a 30 foot wooden boat around the world; SOLO! Jack has about 2 more years to complete his circumnavigation (for you landlubbers-“circle”) the globe before he turns 80. So far, he has sailed 48,500 nautical miles over 9 years through 51 countries. His plan is to complete his goal by next year .So you best be at TC&GC next week for an amazing presentation and spectacular pictures.
‘Til the anon
PS. Article 5, Sect 8, Sub-sect 29, para 58, line 18, phrase 24 of the new By Laws now approved, so states that the Scribe is entitled to a car of his choice. I love my new Beemer.
PPS. DON’T FORGET! Chili Party. November 7th, 4:00, chez Dave and Judy Cotant.
Tuesday October 20, 2015
As ‘tis now the norm, this rag of yellow journalism once referred to as the Gyro Newsletter is now easier for said Scribe to scribble because of the delightful problem of space consumed listing guests and even more so, those who have actually decided to throw in their lot and join our merry band of Cascadian’s. Ergo: the important stuff first before your eyes glaze over and this missal never gets either a Library of Congress Number or at the least, held by magnets on the refrigerator door. Membership applications have been received by the following: William Abbott by Ralph Johnson, Dale Hall by Rick Carr and Larry Saunders by Gen. Harrison. Guests today: Tom Norberg and Jim Smith- Dave Sheean, Darryl Jesse-Rick Kirk. Mike Jones and Grant Anderson-Dick Bowe and Gen. Harrison’s friend-Karen George.
More “bidness.” For those who remember the famous Chili Parties (the red wine did come out of our wool carpet!) Chili Party redux will be held November 7, starting at 4:00, at the home of Dave and Judy Cotant. We probably shouldn’t have mentioned the Hansel and Gretel trail of dripping red wine on the aforementioned carpet. So…those with names starting between A and M, bring a salad. Those (clever enough) N through Z, bring dessert. We do need chili makers and a head count so plan to do so next Tuesday to confirm to Pres. Roy same. I forgot the booze plan, so lest you want to go home thirsty, plan ahead. Finally, better start now heading to the gym and working out so you can sylphan-like, slip into your tux those pesky dry cleaners every year revel in shrinking the waist, but for some inexplicable reason, never the length. Be at the TG&GC, December 2nd. More later, but not in the third half of this newsletter.
Our speaker was the always entertaining and enlightening ex-Tacoma mayor Bill Baarisma. His topic was the tragic event of Tacoma Police Chief David Brame murdering his wife and then committing suicide, all within feet of their two children. The real question is not why he did it but how a person with such obvious problems rose to the lofty position of Chief of Police? To start with only 5% of those wanting to be police make it through the arduous process of written, oral and psych exams. The last of which he did not pass. A second try he did resulting in a third assessment stating “problematic.” But he slipped through and worked his way up the promotion ladder until in line to become chief. Organizations according to Lawrence Peters have “The Peter Principle” which states: “In an organizational hierarchy every individual will rise to his or her level of incompetence.” The Chief somehow survived even in what should have been a damning rebuttal in his attempt to become Chief when a past rape allocation was ignored. But it pays to have friends in high places and City Manager, himself a man of limited experience but lots of political clout, chose Brame anyway. An evolutionary process of tragedy in waiting.
FORE! Next week, a return engagement by Denise Dyer, Pierce County Economic Development Director and a major player in the US Open golf tournament at Chambers Bay with updates and recaps on an exciting summer in Pierce County. One need not wear funny plaid plus fours to attend.
‘Til the anon,
October 13, 2015
The assembly of about 30, was called to order by Roy Kimbel, who upon realizing he forgot his reading glasses, asked our speaker, Nestor Batista, detective sergeant of the Washington State Patrol, to introduce himself. (A motion was made to have the club buy Roy a Dollar Tree gift card to stock up on spare glasses). Det. Batista, a 24 year veteran of the Patrol, heads a task force of detectives from several agencies in Pierce County with the mission of pursuing career criminals engaged in car thefts and related activities, conducting proactive investigations, training law enforcement personnel and providing public outreach in education of theft prevention. His review of statistics is frightening: Statewide, a car is stolen every 10 minutes; in Pierce County, there were 39,000 car thefts last year (11 per day). On the bright side, about 50% of stolen cars are recovered. Those that aren’t recovered typically end up in chop shops, as “crack rentals” or are shipped abroad. Armed with stricter laws which now impose stiffer sentences for car thefts than for burglaries, the Task Force is targeting career criminals because 50% of stolen cars are involved in secondary felonies. A primary goal of the task force is to incarcerate career car thieves, because for every one taken off the street, multiple thefts and other crimes are prevented. Car thefts in Pierce County are down by 15% so far this year. One such criminal is now serving a 29 year sentence after being convicted of over 700 car thefts. His justification: he loved the thrill of a chase.
Det. Batista’s responses to questions about how to prevent one’s car from being stolen were not encouraging. When asked about the concern that thieves can learn the home address of the victims from registration papers required by law to be kept in the car, he suggested that you use a mail box address rather than a street address. Other suggestions to avoid thefts were to not own a Honda older than a 1998 model; car alarms are somewhat effective, but only if activated, keep valuables out of sight and your doors locked. When buying a used car, either buy from a respected dealer or from a known seller. Do not buy a car off of Craig’s list.
(This pessimistic scribe interpreted his comments to suggest that we should brace ourselves, car theft is almost inevitable).
GUEST: John Gazzetti (Art Hudtloff). Martin Kuhns was introduced by Rick Kirk as a guest after having been announced in last week’s minutes as a new member. (Either way, he is welcome).
COMING EVENTS : CHILI PARTY – November 7 at 4 PM at the Steilacoom home of Dave Cotant. Details to be announced at meeting of 10/20/15.
CHRISTMAS PARTY- December 3 at the Tacoma Golf and Country Club.
NEXT SPEAKER- October 20, 2015. Dr. Bill Baarsma, esteemed former mayor of Tacoma, college professor and Tacoma Historian.
Phil Sloan, Conscripted Scribe
Tuesday October 6, 2015
As Harry Carey would say (huh, you don’t know who he is? He, was, the long suffering radio announcer for the Cubs, a baseball team for a city east of the Cascades that is playing baseball in the post-season) “Holy Cow” on those rare occasions when there was something good to exclaim. So…holy cow! There were 41 Cascadians luncheoning Tuesday: 40 Cascadians and one Cascadienne (Karen George intro’ed by Gen. Harrison.) All of which is to say, if you don’t get there early on Tuesdays, you may well be playing musical chairs and not get a seat.
Our speaker was the always enjoyable and enlightening Dr. Dave Smith of UPS and an expert on WWII. Dave is always mindful of time knowing we are a hungry bunch. But as is usual, we wouldn’t let him stop talking. As he merrily intoned: “I can talk forever on anything you want.” Wait… that may enable him to run for president. But Dave narrowed his topic to the German war machine and how it and Germany were finally defeated. The war decidedly changed in ’43 when the allies changed bombing strategy and went from bombing civilian targets to military and industrial targets. For example, destroying one ball bearing plant was equal to destroying 6,000 Messerschmitts. On into ’44, the bombing successfully destroyed the German war economy. The P51 fighter was being made at the rate 550 to what was now 91 German fighters. Targets were broadened to German infrastructure such as bridges, tunnels and especially railroads. D-Day would have been altogether different of the Panzer tank divisions a scarce 100 miles from Normandy could have been moved to the front. Air superiority in the month of July ‘44 alone resulted in the lose of over 1500 aircraft. But, those pesky German engineers, unlike those at Volkswagen, were able to design stuff that worked, both jet airplanes and the intimidating V1 and V2 rockets. Aren’t we glad we scooped-up Werner Von Braun before the Ruskies did? We have lots of retired military in our club and we would love club members to tell us their exploits with TR and the Rough Riders.
As is now the norm, guests: Rick Kirk-Darrel Jesse, Ralph Johnson- Bill Abbott and Gen. Harrison- Larry Saunders.
Next week our speaker will be Sgt. Nestor Bautista, of the Washington State Highway Patrol. So if you are still end the Witness Protection Program, and don’t have a note from a parent or guardian, might consider skipping next Tuesdaywith Gyro/Cascade Club.
Your scribe may have to miss a few luncheons and therefore thanks in advance those who will so more than adequately fill in.
‘Til the anon,
MINUTES OF MEETING OF SEPTEMBER 29, 2015
The meeting was “bellowed” to order by Roy Kimbel, sounding and looking hale and hearty in spite of recently suffering a stroke. Thanks to Bill Jackson, who we know as a retired physician, (but in earlier years was a railway lineman), 30 plus members and 3 guests were treated to a fascinating barrage of facts from Gus MeIonas, Communications Director for BNSF Railway.
The facts came so fast that this humble scribe couldn’t keep up, so with apologies for reporting errors, here are a few facts which were caught: Burlington Northern was founded in 1847 in the Midwest and came to Washington in 1873; the current company is the result of over 400 mergers; BNSF has 32,500 miles of track in 20 states and 2 Provinces; most freight in the US is moved by rail; BNSF moves more than any other company; it is required to move all types of freight (including oil from the Bakken); (this fact is bad news for Cascadians) hobos are no longer allowed; since 1971 BNSF provides no passenger service, it is now provided by Amtrak; there are only two crewmen on a train these days; the tracks are constantly monitored by GPS and track sensors which will automatically stop if the engineer doesn’t touch the “button” at regular intervals. Railroads are safer than ever; between 1998 and 2013, the number of accidents declined by 78%; one train can haul the same amount of freight as 280 trucks and can haul one ton of freight 480 miles on one gallon of fuel and last: Warren Buffet’s group is now a principal owner of BNSF. Mr. Maronas opened and closed his remarks by asking all of us to remember this rule for safety:
EXPECT MOVEMENT OF A TRAIN AT ANY TIME ON ANY TRACK IN ANY DIRECTION
As one who, at age 12, was chased on a bicycle half the length of a bridge which spanned the Platte River north of Denver by a train which came from nowhere, this deputy scribe attests to that as a good rule to teach your grandkids.
Martin Kuhns, Dick Muri & Bill Street were voted into membership by the Cascade board today.
Guests (introduced by member): Larry Saunders (Chuck Heller); Dale Hull (Rick Carr); returning member Fred Roberson (Phil Sloan).
Dr. David Smith,retired UPS professor returns to speak on a topic of History- always fascinating and insightful.
The sometimes annual Chili Party – a date in November to be announced. CHRISTMAS PARTY Thursday December 3.
Phil Sloan, Deputy Scribe
Tuesday September 22, 2015
To paraphrase Gene Autry (I’ll bet it has been weeks, truly weeks, since you have heard a good Gene Autry reference) we’re back in the saddle again. And if you were at our most recent and official season opening lunch bunch, you were out where a friend is a friend. There were THIRTY SEVEN buckaroos (OK that is the last of the cowboy references) at the TC&GC! For us old-timers, and I quickly add old-timers by years of membership not chronical age, we used to be delighted to get 17 or 18 for lunch. So what has changed, one might ask? So…ask. Well, the name has changed to Cascade Club, nee Gyro. But as the bard t’would say: “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” Only at the Cascade club do you get quotes from Gene Autry and Shakespeare in the same paragraph. What has changed is a committed and enthusiastic membership that appreciates the comradery that exists and the speakers that are now provided that are relevant and warrant our time. One might also mention that the dues have been reduced by 50%, but that also might seem to indicate a parsimoniousness, not to say we are cheap and that probably isn’t a factor. Anyway, if you weren’t there, you shouda been there.
Our speaker was Mark Starnes, retired Weyerhaeuser exec, who took early retirement, began volunteering (idle hands are the devil’s playground) at the Boys and Girls Club and became so enamored
with the services it provides, that he became the fulltime president of the Boys and Girls Club of South Puget Sound. The Club is for boys and girls age 6-18 and has 1,600 members served by 14 different sites. During the regular school year Club activities are primarily after school and during the summer, full time summer camp. The kids are traditionally at-need kids and 82% receive subsidized school lunch programs. The cost per kid per month is $352. Each child is charged a fee based individually on the families’ ability to pay. The price is never a barrier to membership. It may be as little as $5 per month. But just with a token amount, it demonstrates a commitment to participate. The annual budget for the South Puget Sound Club is $6.6M, 50% of which is raised through fundraising. It is money well spent. 93% of the senior club members graduated from high school well above the national average.
We had guests. Ralph Johnson introduced Bill Abbott, Gen. Harrison- Larry Saunders and Dick Bowe- George Engel. Our list of great speakers continues. Due to some unfortunate scheduling, President Xi Jinping who was visiting Tacoma was just one day late and the Pope was all the way on the east coast. All the same ,next week another good speaker. We will hear from Gus Melonas, Communication Director for the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad who will share with us the evolution of the modern railroad. His boss, Warren Buffett, will not be running the slide projector. The following week a third visit from the English (his nationality, not his area of scholarship) professor Dr. David Smith of UPS. Dave is a history professor and seemingly fresh from the cast of Downton Abbey; and always delightful. So see buckeroos, sorry, I forgot, no more cowboy references, more and more reasons to join us for cookies and bring a friend to Tuesdays with Gyro/Cascade Club.
‘Til the anon,