Ex-Giant Headlines Sons’ Day
John Bowker hit homeruns in his first two games as a San Francisco Giant, the first player in franchise history to accomplish the feat. The Rio Americano High School graduate and grandson of long-time Rotarian Jack Bowker will be our featured speaker for Sons’ Day on Tuesday, April 4th, at the Annunciation Church. John went on to play all or parts of six seasons with the Giants, Pirates and Phillies, then later in Japan and Mexico before winding up his playing career with the River Cats. Now a high school coach, John will share his experiences and sign autographs as we revive the time-honored Sons’ Day program. Everyone is welcome. You don’t have to have a son (or grandson) to attend, but we do need you to sign up in advance. So, keep an eye out for the registration email and sign in right away. And by the way, yes, there will be hamburgers, hot dogs, and fries.
Recap of the Meeting of March 28th
Reported by Danielle McGarrity
Meet the New Sheriff in Town
New Sacramento County Sheriff Jim Cooper was the Rotary Club of Sacramento’s featured guest speaker last Tuesday, with more than 80 Rotarians and guests in attendance at the Annunciation Greek Church.
As usual, President LINDA GEERY (CFO/California Lawyers Association) opened the meeting with hearty thanks to our Greeters JIM PHILLIPS (Retired/The Energy Savers), Past-President DIANE MIZELL (Retired), and BILL PROFFIT (Owner/Land Park Ski & Sport); Wine Reception hosts LARRY CASSIDY (President/Northern California Collection Service) and DAVID BRANDENBURGER (Managing Partner/Newmark), and Photographer JOHN SWENTOWSKY (Owner, Swentowsky Photography) and Pulse scribe DANIELLE MCGARRITY (Development Director/Children’s Receiving Home of Sacramento).
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
JARETT OSBORNE REVIS (Senior Counsel/Buchalter Law Firm) celebrated people who are daring enough to challenge themselves and take chances, reminding us of Teddy Roosevelt’s famous quote, “It’s not the critic who counts…” but the person in the arena doing the work. And even if that person fails, at least they fail while daring greatly.
Sergeant-at-Arms KATHE NATHAN (Retired/Merchants Bank of Commerce) introduced our guests, who included Rev. Matthew Woodward, guest of TED WHITE (President/Sacramento Delta Property Management), Glynis Butler-Stone, guest of DANIELLE MCGARRITY, Sgt. Alison Abbott, guest of BILL PROFFIT; Fred Harter, guest of DAVE HIGDON (Big Cheese/California Moving Systems), and Capt. Jason Ramos and Amal Gandhi, accompanying Sheriff Cooper. Visiting Rotarians included Greg Cotta, Steve Turner, and Past-District Governor Alan Franklin, all from the Arden-Arcade Club, and Bob Mutchler from Passport Club #1. We also had one prospective member in attendance, Tabitha Sparks, Major Gifts Officer with Rotary International.
Past President DIANE WOODRUFF (Retired Chancellor of California Community Colleges) donated her time as Meeting Sponsor to BILL SHUBB (Senior Judge/U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California). She convinced BILL to bring out his ukelele, and he serenaded our very appreciative audience with two George Burns songs (Don’t Take Me Home and Ain’t Misbehavin’).
ELFRENA FOORD (Arata Brothers Trust) and Past-President DIANE shared the duties of introducing our two spotlighted club members.
ELFRENA led off, saying, “Let’s get to know two more of our members! KEN NOACK JR. (Senior Managing Director/Newmark Night Frank) has served our club for 32 years, including as club President 12 years ago. He showed his creativity by running an entire Rotary meeting backward, including the speaker first. Never has that been replicated. For the last 31 years, Ken has worked in real estate as a land and retail broker. A career highlight was selling a 20,000-acre ranch in Ione, Amador County, for the family who owned the famed racehorse, Seabiscuit. Ken is a native of Sacramento and has been a dedicated volunteer in making Sacramento a great place to live. He was elected three times as the Humanitarian of the Year by ACRE, a real estate association. He has served on six different boards as the board president, the longest being 15 years to date as board chair of the California State Library Foundation. Ken’s passion is mountaineering. He has climbed Mt. Shasta by 23 different routes. He has submitted 40 major peaks of the world including the highest peaks in Africa (Kilimanjaro), Europe (Mt. Blanc and the Matterhorn), and Mt. Aconcagua, the highest peak in the Western Hemisphere. He also likes cycling and has completed the Markleeville Death Ride twice. It is one of the most difficult bicycle marathons in the world. Ken has visited 87 countries so far. Here’s just one of his many stories: While Jeeping cross country in the remote western frontier of Pakistan, a jail was Ken’s hotel accommodation for the night. It was the only really safe place to be. And during his stay, he smoked a hookah with the village chief of police!”
Past President Diane then put the spotlight on BILL SHUBB: “Bill was born and raised in Oakland, went to high school there, and then went on to attend UC Berkeley. He met his wife, Sandy, in high school, and, last July, they celebrated their 60th anniversary. When he was young, Bill says, he always knew he wanted to be a lawyer. He loved listening to a radio show about a district attorney and was impressed with how he argued cases. Bill also said he liked to argue with his dad about various issues, and his dad used to always say to him, ‘BILL, you are really good at arguing; you ought to be a lawyer.’ He attended UC Berkeley’s Boalt Hall School of Law, graduating in 1963. In his last year, he was looking for a job and he saw an opening to be a clerk for a federal judge in Sacramento. He applied and got the job. The judge told him later that he hired him because he wanted someone who wanted to come to Sacramento and was also at the top of his class—and Bill was the only applicant he interviewed who met both those qualifications. So, that is how Bill ended up coming to Sacramento. He got an offer to work for the U.S. Attorney’s office and worked there for nine years as a trial lawyer, which gave him excellent trial experience. He tried a case against Jim Diepenbrock and won. He did such a good job on the case that Jim soon offered Bill a job with Diepenbrock, Wulff, Plant & Hannigan, where he became a partner. The most memorable moment of Bill’s career came in 1990, when he got a call from the President of the United States (who happened to be the older President Bush at the time). The President then said something like, ‘BILL, I want to nominate you to be a United States District Court Judge. I am very pleased that a man with your qualifications would take this job. Bill, I regard this as a very important role and I’m counting on you to do a good job.’ Bill’s voice was cracking as he told the President that he would do his best. To this day, he feels that he owes it to the President to continue to do a good job in his role. A fun fact about Bill is that he spent more than four hours alone in a prison cell with Charles Manson. He had received a letter from Charles Manson saying, ‘I want you to come to see me at the Vacaville Prison, because I want you to represent me in my first parole hearing.’ Bill didn’t agree to represent him, but he decided it would be interesting to go visit him to see what he was like. When asked if he was scared, he said he was, but his curiosity got the best of him, and he went anyway. We hope to have Bill as a meeting speaker one of these days, so that he can tell you the rest of that story and whether Manson tried to hypnotize him into representing him.”
- JOHN SWENTOWSKY thanked all who signed up to volunteer in the kitchen of Loaves & Fishes on March 30. He said we have a full crew.
- JUSTINO SANTANA (Nonprofit Business Development Manager/eFundraising Connections) shared that we are still in need of auction items for the Golf 4 Kids event on May 12th. If you can help out, let Justino know by clicking here.
- DEE JOHNSON (Retired/State of California) encouraged everyone to consider making a Crystal Donation for the Safe Water Honduras project.
- MIK MIKLAUS (Integrity Mortgage) reminded us about the baseball-themed Son’s Day meeting coming up next Tuesday, April 4. When you get the registration email, please remember to RSVP for any guests you plan to bring.
Chair of the Day DICK NOONAN (Outreach and Recruiting/California State Railroad Museum) introduced Sheriff Jim Cooper. Sheriff Cooper was born in France. He graduated from Cordova High School and joined the Sheriff’s Department in 1984. He is a graduate of the West Point Leadership Academy and the FBI National Academy, and earned his Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership from St. Mary’s College. He was the first Mayor of the City of Elk Grove, and was elected to the California Assembly in 2014. In 2022, he was elected Sacramento County Sheriff in 2022. Sheriff Cooper likes to say, “Law enforcement is in my blood.”
Sheriff Cooper described his first 100+ days on the job and some of the lessons he’s absorbed so far. Our #1 issue, he said, is homelessness, and the lack of resources for someone in a mental health crisis (aside from landing in an Emergency Room). Drugs and alcohol are a compounding problem, as rehab is difficult to access—especially for people without insurance. He spoke about the state’s controversial conservatorship law (civil commitment for psychiatric treatment for individuals with serious mental illness who meet specific criteria—danger to self, danger to others, and/or grave disability, ranging from 72 hours up to two weeks in duration). He stated that he believes it’s much less humane to leave people who meet these criteria on their own. Unfortunately, there is not a reliable source of statistics on mental illness and drug problems in the unhoused community, he said, so it’s hard to measure the progress or worsening of the problem.
He addressed some of the challenges law enforcement officers face as a result of well-meaning laws passed by the legislature, such as Proposition 47. He said officers have seen dramatic increases in retail theft in which retailers are often not willing to press charges against perpetrators.
As in so many industries, hiring is an ongoing challenge for the Sheriff’s Department, especially in the face of offers of hiring bonuses from other agencies. Sheriff Cooper reported that his department is 1,000 people short.
He said he believes his experience in the legislature provided him with a great education and experience about the inner workings and inter-relationship of state government and local law enforcement. Lately, he’s been advocating for funding for a new training facility to prepare first responders for any and all situations they may encounter, including active shootings. He also hopes to procure additional airplanes/helicopters to improve the department’s ability to track and apprehend offenders.
April 4th will be Son’s Day, the return of our club’s long-time tradition that got sidelined during the pandemic. Several sons and grandsons will be helping to run the meeting and the special guest speaker will be former San Francisco Giants first baseman and outfielder John Bowker. The meeting will have a baseball theme and feature ballpark food! Be sure to sign up as soon as you get the registration email.
(Snapshots from last week’s meeting, courtesy of John Swentowsky)