Posted by Donn Irwin on Dec 06, 2019
Our illustrious President approached the podium with his traditional “walk up music”, giving us all fair warning that the meeting was about to commence. This week’s musical “treat” was a little ditty by Run-DMC that is supposed to imbue the Holiday Spirit, by the title “Christmas In Hollis”. Personally, I couldn’t understand a word of what was played but, hey, everyone has their generation of music. I’ve captured the first stanza for your enlightenment:
 
"It was December 24th on Hollis Ave after dark
When I seen a man chilling with his dog in the park
I approached him very slowly with my heart full of fear
Looked at his dog, oh my God, an ill reindeer
But then I was illin' because the man had a beard
And a bag full of goodies, 12 o'clock had neared
So I turned my head a second and the man was gone
But he left his driver's wallet smack dead on the lawn
I picked the wallet up but then I took a pause
Took out the license and it cold said "Santa Claus"
A million dollars in it, cold hundreds of G's
Enough to buy a boat and matching car with ease
But I'd never steal from Santa, cause that ain't right
So I'm going home to mail it back to him that night
But when I got home I bugged, cause under the tree
Was a letter from Santa and the dough was for me"
 
Nothing says “holidays” like a song like this, eh?
President Bill then rang the bell in his own special way and welcomed all with the sound of his voice (including the Bridge players in the next room) to another addition of Lakewood Rotary’s weekly meeting. Mr. Hammar led us in a prayer and Joe Quinn, ESQ guided us through the Pledge. Once again President Bill called our attention to everyone’s name on the Set Up Committee, a.k.a "Duncan’s Dudes". You all know their names by now. Others assisting with the meeting today were\are: Bud Montgomery at the Paul Harris table - he did a yeoman’s job taking in a whopping $1302.00!!! Perhaps Bud should take that job on every week! Bob Hammar and Mark Edgecomb tag-teamed the raffle ticket sales. Phil Eng pinch hit as the camera man and Donn Irwin wrote stuff down. The duty of announcing visiting Rotarians, of which there were none, fell to President-elect Mark E.
 
Joe Quinn ESQ led off the guest announcements by introducing Mike Brown of Domino’s Pizza. Mike is Nicole Hancock’s brother and later in the meeting would be inducted into the club. Mr. Quinn mentioned that it would be the first time in the history of Lakewood Rotary that there would be a brother\sister combo. Another first for the club! Jim Sharp introduced Mike Boltz, Jim’s Assistant Chief of Operations and Chuck Hellar introduced Tom Van Sight (sp?).
 
On December 6th 1980 John Lennon was shot and killed.
 
President Bill then asked all of the newer members to take a look at John Korsmo. He figured they had never seen him before. It was good to see John at a meeting.
John Forkenbrock announced that Pam Lowney is doing very well. John Lowney gave us an update on Ted Wier; unfortunately, Ted has been battling a number of problems and was going to be released from the hospital to go home under hospice care.
 
There were several announcements about upcoming events:
- David Swindale made an announcement about the Break Bag stuffing event at EFN on December 14th. Don Daniels made it known that the bike delivery boys would be meeting at Rick Selden’s place around 10:00 on the 14th. Rick is providing steak and eggs, pancakes and waffles to all those that show up…… Ok, I made up the breakfast stuff but the group is still meeting at Selden Manor. If you have the time please join in and help deliver bikes. Mark Edgecomb will be involved in the bike delivery and he is actually going to breakfast at Carr’s before going to Rick’s. Check with Mark about the time.
 
- Rob Erb announced that Wreaths Across America will be placing wreaths on the 14th as well. That group is meeting at Bur's Restaurant at 6:30 for breakfast. The ceremony will be at 9:00AM at JBLM - If you are going, BRING YOUR ID’s. I strongly suggest that you contact Rob for details and with any questions (or complaints or anything else that’s on your mind…)
 
President Bill (PB) then introduced Nicole Hancock and then, in a very sisterly way, introduced her brother, Mike Brown, who was then inducted into the club with all of the usual pomp and ceremony but no secret handshake. Mike gave a very brief introduction of himself: High School = Mount Tahoma. Works for Domino’s Pizza and runs eight stores for them. Attended Eastern Washington and was a business major. Married and has 3 daughters. PB had Jim Rooks explain to Mike that he now has $250.00 in grant money to use.
 
 
In 1240 the Mongols, under Batu Kahn occupied and destroyed Kiev. Out of 50,000 people in the city, 2000 lived. Fun times.
 
Pressing club business had to be taken care of next. There were two by-laws to be voted on. (For a summation of the changes see below). Both by-law changes were proposed separately. Both were seconded, with no discussion, voted on and approved unanimously.
 
- Back to announcements: If you haven’t a written a check for Partners of Lakewood Rotary then see John Lowney.
 
- Rose Stevens invited us to attend the Western State Hospital Holiday Event on Wednesday 12\18. The event is from 1:00PM to 3:00PM. Talk to Rose for details.
 
In 1885 the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified. Number 13 abolished slavery!!
 
Since it is the Yule season I believe it appropriate to create some space in the Key for some REAL Holiday cheer (other than Run-DMC); ergo I asked a good friend of the jolly old elf from the North Pole to provide me with some lyrics to a holiday song. For your enjoyment here is a little Holiday ditty that I’m sure will become an ear worm for the rest of the Holiday season.
 
"Val dere vus a vedding at da “home” vhere Ragnar and Hulda  lives. Dey is  both widowed an dey decided to get hitched dis Christmas season. Da tune is Side by Side. Goes like dis:
Ve got married last Friday
Hulda vas right dere beside me
Our friends are all gone
Ve vus alone
Side by side
 
Ve vere so happily wed when
She got ready fer bed then
Her teeth and her hair
She placed inna chair
Side by side
 
Den vun glass eye so tiny
Vun hearing aid so small
Den she took her left leg off
An placed it onna chair by da vall
 
I ain’t never seen so many prosthetics
Vun large jar of diuretics
Dey too hit dat chair
Right over there
Side by side
 
I stood here broken hearted
My Hulda had mostly departed
I slept inna dang chair
Dere vus more of her there
Side by side"
 
By Ragnar
(Consummated inna dang chair at da home)
 
Just to make the meeting more interesting, PB threw in two month’s worth of birthdays and anniversaries – for November and December. Greg Horn announced the anniversaries and then Chris Kimball called up all of the birthday boys and girls. Chris pointed out to everyone that Rick Selden was wearing Paul Wulfestieg’s badge.  Chris then offered all of the birthday kids the chance to either pay double the 20.00 “suggested” giving amount or cut it in half. There were several takers but only one person got a reduction in their fine. It was noted that Gordy Quick must have turned 88 since he sent a check in for $88.00. Before the speaker was introduced Phil Eng got a chance to let everyone know that the Roadster Romp for next year was practically sold out and Mo Sarram talked about No Hunger in a Land of Plenty.
 
November birthdays: Bill Allen, Ron Irwin (my brother from another mother), Kris Peterson, Ed Shannon, Bob Cammarano, Nicole Hancock, John Korsmo Jr., Rick Selden and Diedre Soileau. You birthday folks share the same day as Joyce Kilmer, Agnes Moorehead , Otto Graham and everyone’s favorite – little Joey Stalin.
Wedding Anniversaries (years married in parentheses): Kendra Riconosciuto to Alfonso (9), Cheri Loiland to KC (25), Bill Allen to Regana (29), Chris Kimball to Vicky (32) and Bud Montgomery to Marilyn (50).
Rotary anniversaries (years a member in parentheses): Johnny Walker (2), Ron Messenger (6), Lowell Johnson (13), Bob Peterson (15), Steve Mazoff (17), Bill Price (29), Mary Lou Sclair (31) and Donn Irwin (33).
 
December birthdays: Bob Peterson, Larry Clark, Scott Buser, Chuck Hellar, John Forkenbrock, Jim Sharp, Christine Vu and Paul Wulfestieg.
Wedding Anniversaries: Eric Quinn to Johanah (2), Charlene Miseli to Jason (23) and Vaughn Hoffman to Connie (53).
Rotary Anniversaries: Mary Horn (3), Paula Olson (3), Peter Marsh (4), Sally Smith (12), Terry Roarke (18), John Korsmo Jr. (29), Jerry Williams (30) and John Warner (47).
Phew!
 
Jan Gee introduced our program, Homelessness in Lakewood, and the speaker - our own Mike Zaro. Ms Gee proceeded to pepper Mike with a series of questions. Said questions revealed that Mike appeared in an episode of “Cops” many years ago, that he is a prankster, and as to being naughty or nice this year it will depend on who you ask. Before starting his presentation Mike thanked all that came to the 10 year memorial service for the 4 fallen Lakewood police officers.
 
 
Mike started his presentation by letting us know the size of the homeless problem. Every year there is a Point in Time count in Pierce County that counts the number of homeless – sheltered or unsheltered. Last year the count was just under 1500 people. The count revealed that 28% sleep outdoors and that 136 of the approximately 1500 reported that the last place they identified with was a Lakewood zip code.
 
Mike stated that there are 5 reasons for homelessness: mental illness, substance/addiction, criminal history (sex offenders that don’t want to register), fleeing domestic violence and eviction. Mike noted that buying a home for a homeless person isn’t a long term solution. Using the example of a person with a mental illness Mike stated that a person with a mental problem will still have a mental problem if you buy them a home. Drop in/drop off facilities are all in Tacoma. Lakewood has three long term resources that can be used: Greater Lakes Mental, Behavioral Health Contact Team (Lakewood PD) and Living Access Supporting Alliance (LASA). All of these require an appointment to get service and all are voluntary.
 
Mike made a point of the fact that being homeless isn’t a crime. The Lakewood Police can’t just pick someone off the streets and haul them away. There has to be a crime involved and/or eminent risk to public safety. If under 18 and homeless it is a different story. If there is a Guardian involved then they can go there. If no guardian then there is Child Protective Services.
 
Common crimes associated with homelessness are: trespass, littering, theft and code violations (pan handling).  Arresting a homeless person has its own set of problems. Will the jail take them? If not then they either go to an emergency room or get released. Will a prosecutor charge them? What happens to their property? This is a big issue. Even most think that the homeless folks have nothing but a bunch of junk that they are hauling around in a shopping cart it is still their property. The police have to figure out what to do with it. Mike’s presentation was terrific and hopefully gave some clarity to the homeless folks' situation as well as informing us as to what the police have to deal with everyday concerning the homeless.
 
Rick Selden won the right to draw for the jackpot of $1198.00 (seems like he has more opportunities than the rest of us doesn’t it)? Well, Rick stuck in his thumb (and finger) and pulled out…..a white chip worth $5.00. President Bill adjourned the meeting but speaker Mike stayed to answer several more questions.
 
 
Acknowledgements: I want to thank Mary Marlin and Barbara Spriggs for their assistance in helping me with catching the names and dates/times of events that were mentioned.  I also want to give a huge thank you to our Edmonds friend/Rotarian/brother and lyrical wizard, John “Ole” Magnuson for providing me/us with such a heartwarming yuletide song.  
 
And yes, read this bulletin and tell Greg Rediske so you can get a make-up. Additionally, if you shop online, please do so at Amazon Smile so a portion of your purchase can be allocated to Lakewood Rotary.
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