The meeting was called to order at 12:02 pm by our own San Ramon Rotary Santa Claus President, Chris Gallagher.   Our “Top Gun” President introduced three new guests, 1) Christine Leider, the administrator of Life House who is receiving a grant from the club today 2) Greg Marvel, Former SRVUSD School Board Member and our speaker today and 3) Our newest prospective member, Ben Hupengangla.   Our President pronounced that this would be our last meeting of the year as we bid a not so fond farewell to 2020.
In case you have been unconscious of the year, Chris reminded us that Holger Knaack was the RI President and that the Rotary theme is Rotary Opens Opportunities, the expectation is for Rotarians to create opportunities that strengthen their leadership, help put service ideas into action, and improve the lives of those in need.
John Milich was our greeter today with an appropriate Thought for the day.  
GRATITUDE--for everything that we have, and for everything that we have the ability to do as individuals, and as Rotarians. 
But Pat Paterson upstaged our Greeter by wearing a tee shirt that read: “Be naughty and save Santa a trip”, as his thought for the day
John Milich, joined us by telephone because Xerox has forbidden Zoom use. After leading us in the Flag Salute, he exclaimed “What a year this has been”, then announced that he was closing out the year appropriately with a colonoscopy. John is a California boy who grew up in Watsonville, went to college but spent a lot of time on the beach.  Most of his 23 years post college has been in technical sales for Xerox which eventually led to Rotary.  He closed his overview by sharing that he was looking forward to seeing everyone upon our parole.
Chris Gallagher apologized to our guests indicating that our club had a tendency to share all manner of personal health activities including colonoscopies.  Although he said it might be more appropriate when put into the context that December was Rotary’s Disease and Prevention month.  Aloha was extended to all new members.

News You May Have Missed
No one has told our President that the only reason Rotarians continue to come to his virtual meetings was because of this highlight: “News you may have missed”.  And this week he did not disappoint.
A Florida golfer was caught on camera retrieving his ball from a particularly dangerous hazard -- the tail of an alligator.  Kyle Downes said he and his brother were golfing when a ball landed on the gator's tail.  The player quickly grabs the ball and the alligator, apparently startled, darts into the water.
China's aviation authority released new COVID-19 safety guidelines that include the suggestion that flight attendants wear diapers to avoid using plane lavatories. The document included the following statement: "It is recommended that cabin crew members wear disposable diapers and avoid using the lavatories barring special circumstances to avoid infection risks."
Peruvian police drugs-squad members disguised as Santa Claus and an elf swooped into a house in Lima not to deliver gifts but to capture a suspected cocaine and dope dealer.  The agents, dressed in red, white and green outfits with flak jackets hidden underneath broke into the house with a large hammer to apprehend their suspect.
Surveillance video showed an unidentified customer at the 1933 Lounge in Fishers picking up the taxidermied hare called “Theodore A. Hare”. The animal, dressed in a fancy hat and carrying an old shotgun, serves as the restaurant’s mascot. The restaurant posted about the stolen hare on social media, and it offered a $500 gift card for its return. The hare turned up back at the restaurant on Tuesday night, when someone dropped him off in a trash bag with a note apologizing.  “Sorry! This was a drunken mistake,” the note read. “He was well taken care of!”
Las Vegas police arrested a man who they said they found clinging to the wing of an Alaska Airlines jet on the tarmac. Cellphone videos show the man, wearing what looks like khaki-colored sweatpants and a fanny pack, shimmying along the wing as bemused passengers stare out the window.  At one point, he rolls his pant legs up, appears to throw his shoes at the officers, and then tries to climb even higher. A group of officers walks out on the wing, but before they reach him, he loses his grip and falls to the pavement.  Authorities stated that impairment likely was involved in the incident.
Top Gun also is in the habit of relying upon his wing (wo) man, Julie McKinney wanting to know the value of the raffle today which is $300. Following a chaotic request by our President as to who else wanted tickets, Julie reminded everyone to use the chat to make your request.

Holiday Party:  Ho-Ho-Ho! Happy Holidays!  All Rotarians were instructed to put their reindeer and sleighs in storage for Friday’s Holiday Party where cocktails will be delivered and festivities will be virtual.  Drink and Be Merry is tomorrow night. Dec 18th at 6:00 p.m. Please join your fellow Rotarians by Zoom.
Grant Presentation:  Colette introduced the first grant recipient for this year.  Our club funds selected not-for-profit organizations.  Our first recipient is Life House based in San Rafael. Life House seeks to improve the quality of life for people with developmental disabilities in our community by providing a lifetime of compassionate support in an atmosphere of respect. There are almost 350 people with disabilities supported by this organizations with many support programs.  
There are three group homes for the severely disabled with 24/7 services for total care.  In seeking to address the additional restriction of sheltering in with no visitors socially isolating the residents, the Novato home site was provided a grant to purchase an outdoor tent to enable social visits.  Joining Colette as the Chairperson, Fred, Mike and Judy are on the selection committee.
Dictionaries:  Dr. Bill assured the club that Dictionaries for 3rd graders would be delivered after the first of the year even if he had to personally shepherd them to the classroom for him to “spell it out” to the school district. 
Holiday Project:  It was reported that the club contributed $5600 to the Contra Costa Food Bank resulting in our club being ranked among the top 20 entities supporting this important organization.
Seniors Lunch:  The Pandemic restricted the club’s ability to provide a Holiday Meal to the Senior Center this year.  Mile Thelen along with Norbert, Lourdes, Carrie and Jake distributed senior center lunches through a drive-up distribution system with help from Senior Center staff.  Over 110 lunches were given out. A flyer was included in the bag recognizing Rotary’s contribution. Mike received multiple email notes of appreciation.    
Holiday Cheer: Mike also sent a holiday song by Blackhawk Choir which included Mike, Cynthia Jones, Geoff, Lourdes.  This may be played at the Holiday Party since President Top Gun raved so much about it.  Vera also requested pictures from the song group to include on our web page.  Members were also encouraged to go on line to view the “12 days of Rotary.
Officer Elections:  Terri Koehne explained that the upcoming officer elections were delayed from November and was close to having full slate of officers with elections scheduled in January.  Top Gun indicated that he was willing to serve as Past President, to which Terri retorted that he would have to contact the Past President he had already notified.  
Horace was recognized for Peggy’s birthday.  A generous Contribution of $100 toward a Paul Harris was offered.
Top Gun noted many people wearing hats during our Zoom meeting whereupon Terry Koehne quickly dawned his hat only to realize that Top Gun “recognized” all hat wearers $10 each which Horace offered to pick up given his holiday spirit.
Pat Paterson, of course, was recognized for his tee-shirt.
Red Nose Golf Tournament
Dennis Harvey announced that each year the club hosts a Red Nose Golf tournament complete with Reindeer, Elves, Santa Claus hats for up to 12 golfers.  While the group has an award for the highest score (a stump of a tree with a golf club wrapped around it), Art Kubal made a trophy for winner. A Talented welder, Art made a roadrunner from various metal items which will be shown at the Holiday Party where Art may join us from Palm Desert.  Dennis announced that the Tournament will be a post-New Year’s golf round.  

Marv Remmich introduced our speaker, Greg Marvel, who has served for 20 years on the SRVUSD, five times as Board President.  He is a former executive in public agencies including the Metropolitan Water District of S. CA and Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District.  He has served as a senior executive cabinet level administrator in public K-12 schools with 35 years in education.

Today, Mr. Marvel is speaking today about recent actions by the School Board regarding in-person schooling for Grades K-5.  Greg announced that his final day on the Board was last Thursday having been defeated in the most recent election.  He recounted that his efforts to return K-5 kids to school was based on research that school aged kids in this age range were not primary carriers of COVID and could return to in-person learning safely.  However, the County Health Department rejected a requested waiver which would have permitted in person schooling.  
Mr. Marvel and the Board were able to approve the implementation of small group instruction (2-3 kids per room) which was scheduled to begin in January.  However, Teacher Unions and the newly elected board decided to reject the hybrid learning model and move to 100% distant learning.  Despite studies showing that distant learning was not as effective as in-person learning, Mr. Marvel claimed that the Teachers Union strongly opposed in-person learning.
Mr. Marvel emphasized the loss of 1600 students with many students abandoning public education as parents turn to private schools, home tutoring and relocating to counties with in-person schooling. He also noted that the school district may lose up to $25 million in revenues due to the loss of students and while the District is being “held harmless” due to loss of enrollment this year, the impact on future budgets will be substantial.  This financial burden may be exacerbated if parents more to develop a Charter School in Contra Costa. 

Ed Duarte noted that the teacher union wields great power.  
But how many teachers want to return to classroom.  Mr. Marvel estimated that 70% of teachers would like to return to the classroom.  However, the teacher’s union has used intimidation tactics on teachers who publicly support returning to the classroom.  There is no incentive to return to the classroom since teachers are getting full pay and benefits regardless of where the classes are taught or the amount of time expended.
Dennis Harvey asked for clarification on the lost revenues for number of students lost.  Greg reiterated that for every 100 students lost, the district was losing $1 million.  He projects that up to 3000 kids will be lost in 2 years if a Charter school is established.  
Greg Marvel concluded that there will be fiscal problems for the District in 2022-23 and that the public needs to demand response from the Board.
Julie McKinney conducted the Raffle with the assistance of her 10th grade son, Jackson:
AND THE WINNER IS:  Colette wins raffle with blue marble getting $10 back.  There are only 18 marbles left for 2021
Top Gun reminded members that there would not be a meeting for the next 2 Thursdays and that we would resume on January 7th of the new year.
Fred Nevarez will be the Greeter if he can recover from his hangover from an extended New Year’s celebration.
Respectfully submitted by 
Gary Sloan,