Overcoming some technical difficulties with the microphone, President Rose Stevens  started off our Lakewood Rotary meeting right on time.  Rose called on Bob Hammar for the invocation and Mary Marlin led us in the Pledge to our flag.  In charge of set up again were the indomitable duo of Duncan Cook and Bob Hammar.  Mick Johnson was in charge of collecting $953 at the Paul Harris table, as we inch closer to the lofty goal of $1,000,000.00 in our LR club history.  It looks more impressive with all those zeros than just writing $1 million, don't you think?  Actually, no matter how you look at it we should be proud of our club's donations to the Rotary International Foundation.  Wonder how many clubs have given more, on  a per capita basis.  But we digress.  Tom Crabill did double duty, serving as Sergeant-at-Arms and selling raffle tickets too.  Walt Richardson was our eager photographer, trying hard to make us old geezers look photogenic.  Last and least, Rose made the bulletin writer also do the program.  First time for everything I guess.
 
 
SUNSHINE:  John Forkenbrock happily reported that no news is good news.
 
ROTARY MOMENT:  President Rose said there are 284 teams  vaccinating for polio in Afghanistan and they are on the move.  In 2016, she said, 6.5 million kids were vaccinated.  Also, did you know that in 1930 the first Paul Harris Foundation grant was $500 to the International Society for Crippled Children (now called Easter Seals)? RI has come a long way since then.
 
                         
 
GUESTS:  Although there were no Visiting Rotarians, Guests included Tony Bisceglia Anderson, of the Italian Lodge of America, and Wynn Hoffman introduced three guests:  his wife Margie Hoffman, Donna Dahlstrom of the JBLM cemetery (more on that below) and Lee Gentemann of the Daughters of the American Revolution (apologies for all names butchered herein).  Our own Past President Mark Blanchard was introduced as a guest --due to missed meetings--so Mark got up and apologized, and ended up donating $103 for birthday and anniversary.  (Incidentally, he had no cause to apologize as he missed due to more than one death in his family in recent months, so condolences to Mark and family.)  Mark also gave tickets worth $200 to Rose.   This writer also introduced his lovely wife Kris Quinn.
 
ANNOUNCEMENTS:   Donn Irwin advertised for Tacoma 8's September 24th performance of Steve Martin's The Underpants, to be performed at the Tacoma Little Theatre starting at 2:00 p.m.  Proceeds benefit FISH Food Banks of Pierce County.   Only $25 for Rotarians, and $15 for Rotaract members and Rotary Exchange students.  Come see this hilarious story of wardrobe malfunction and illicit fame set in 1910  Dusseldorf.  Pay by credit card by calling 253 473-7723.
 
                       
 
BIRTHDAYS AND ANNIVERSARIES:  Greg Horn went through those September birthdays and anniversaries pretty fast, but we pulled out these "notables" :  Mark Blanchard and Greg Horn have been married 40 years (no, not to each other)!  Anniversary leader, however, was Mike McGowan with 52 years of wedded bliss to Wendy.  No wait, Sybil Hunter has been putting up with Sam for 59 years so that is Numero Uno.   For LR club anniversaries Gary Fulton and Walt Richardson shared top prize at 32 years.  This led to a few fines and other shenanigans:  Rick Selden gave Rose a jar of pickles (let's just see if she can bring that back as a loaf of zucchini bread!) and then added up 48 with 13 to get 61 and added 39 to come up with $100.  New math, I guess. 
 
HONOR FLIGHTS ETC.:   Ed Shannon grabbed the podium to discuss the Puget Sound Honor Flights.  There is a welcome ceremony for those veterans on Monday, September 26th at Sea -Tac Airport to welcome  World War II and Korean War vets here.  A military band and some bagpipes are expected too.  Any Rotarians who want to car pool up can speak with Ed or Jim Rooks or Mick Johnson.  Then Ed brought up Margie Hoffman, Donna Dahlstrom, and Lee Gentemann to talk about Wreaths Across America, a program created by a wreath company in Worcester, Maine.  Ed presented the ladies with a $1000 contribution from LR for this event and a two minute video was shown about the WAA program. They will place wreaths on 1,994 veterans' graves at the JBLM cemetery.
 
                               
 
FINES: Since only about a minute remained before the Program was to begin, Rose decided she had had enough fines already and gave us a break.
 
THE PROGRAM:  Our program speaker today was me (Joe Quinn), on what it was like "Practicing Before the Supreme Court".  Since the bulletin writer has never before--in the long history of Lakewood Rotary---been responsible for delivering the program, this portion of the bulletin will be chock full of praise for the brilliant, entertaining, insightful, funny (well you get the picture) program speaker on this, the 16th day of September, 2016.  Not really.   Well, OK, the truth is I was too busy to take any notes about what that dunderhead said up there, but I did notice from the podium that one or two of the Rotarians appeared to be sleeping during the talk.  Thank God there was no audible snoring.
 
                          
 
Seriously, though, it was fun to recall the heady days of the 1980's when this (then) young lawyer got to appear before the highest court of the land to try to defend Pierce County in a federal grant/audit case.  I hope the Rotarians in attendance were entertained at least a bit by an insider's look at how an appeal like that is managed, briefed, argued and won or lost.  Many were surprised to hear that even after we lost in the Supreme Court, the case continued on in litigation for four more years.  I worked on the dispute involving mis-spent grant funds under the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act from 1980 to 1990.  Ultimately, the county only paid back about 25% of the amount that the Department of Labor originally ruled was wrongly paid the county:  $1.5 million was the original amount sought.  So we were right to fight for 10 years.  Special thanks to Rick Selden who came up to me afterwards and said, "Some of our best programs are done by our own members."  Come to think of it, he did not directly say he was talking about my speech.  This is what happens when you go  have coffee with Chris Kimball--he talks you into doing things you were not planning to do.
 
As I mentioned to Mo Sarram afterwards, having personally experienced our courts at all levels,  I have to say that the judicial branch of government (especially at the pinnacle) is really a very strong institution of which we should be proud as Americans.  No other nation in the world can claim such an effective judiciary.
 
THE DRAWING:  Phil Eng won, but only $5.
 
                                
 
P.S.  The "Director of Golf" was distracted by bulletin and other duties today and forgot to put out the signup sheets for the Golf Outing, to be held at Tacoma Country and Golf Club on Friday, September 30th, right after Rotary.  Last week's bulletin writer--and my editor--had it all wrong with us playing at Hawks Prairie!  Who knows where that info came from but let there be no confusion.   All those interested will be getting an email very soon with more information about the golf and pizza party to follow at TC&GC.
 
 
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