The 35th meeting of the 28th year of the Rotary Club of La Quinta was called to order by President Sandy Stewart at 12:17 P.M.    Sandra Lauer was called upon to lead us in the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag followed by an invocation led by Robert Wilkinson.

Image

 

Rotarians gathered in fellowship

 

Our guests today included our speaker Riverside County Sheriff Stan Sniff, who is a member of the Riverside East Rotary Club, and his guest Olivia of his Administrative Staff.  Also in attendance was our frequent visitor, Dick Chamberlain from Bothell Washington, Bruce Walker of the Seattle #4 Club, Rotarian Woodway of North Carolina, and John Tyler from Texas who all introduced themselves as guests for the day.

 

Our only guest of a Rotarian this day was Diane Weaver brought to us by Diane Kelly.

Image

 

President Sandy makes this week's announcements

President Sandy made this week's announcements sharing with us the great news that our illustrious Rotarian, Dick Anderson, has been awarded a citation by our Mayor and fellow member Don Adolph, for being a 2013 Pillar of the Community for the City of La Quinta.  Congratulations Dick!!!

Image

 

Rotarian Dick Anderson La Quinta's "Pillar of the Community"

 

President Sandy, echoed by David Turner, expressed the need for Rotary to collect the balance due for the member sponsor signs which had been hung on the fences at our recent dog Show.  A few members grumbled that they weren't paying as they had not ordered their old signs to be hung this year... after which a number of members were heard to reply, "tsk, tsk".

 

The Rotary Garage Sale, originally scheduled for April 12th has been postponed pending further notice.

President Sandy announced that we will "NOT" be dark on good Friday, April 18th, a decision which the audience accepted with mixed emotions. 

A meeting of the Board of directors of our Club will be held at Boucher Fine Jewelers on Wednesday, April 16, at 5:00 PM.

It was announced that the much anticipated "Demotion Party" for Present Sandy Stewart will be held at the La Quinta Hotel on Saturday evening, June 28, at 6:00 PM.  (Time and date to be confirmed in a later communication.)

Image

Marc announces preliminary scholarship selections

Marc Rosen, Chairman of the Rotary Student Scholarship Committee, reported that 11 students have been selected for interviews from the 27 applicants who made the "first cut" of the selection committee.  We are working with C.V.E.P. to secure their matching grant of $5,000.00 which will bring the total amount of these special scholarships worth $10,000.00!  These special scholarships will be both a part of and in addition to the regular scholarships annually awarded to the deserving La Quinta High School and Amistad High School students by the Rotary Club of La Quinta.

The upcoming La Quinta City Birthday Picnic, for which the La Quinta Rotary club members cook and serve 1,200 FREE hot dogs in approximately 2 hours is scheduled for Saturday, April 26th.  Sign-Up sheets will be circulated at meetings and via E-Mail by hardworking personnel director and straw-boss, Richard Jandt.  All available Rotarians are expected to volunteer for this fun annual event.

Image

Lucky Joe LaMantia is proud of PRYDE!

 

Joe LaMantia announced the call for volunteers to assist him with the annual Rotary "Pryde" event.  There will be a training session for the new volunteers on April 19th (see Joe for more details).   Our club will be sending 4 students to participate in Pryde this year.

 

The ticket for the weekly Raffle drawn today... number 168219, was held by "Lucky Joe" Lamantia who was, fortunately for his jealous fellow Rotarians,  limited to the $5.00 consolation prize!  We should all remember that Joe, and his equally fortunate wife June, were the big winners of the huge, blue Lapis-Lizuli necklace and earring set donated by Boucher Wholesale Jewelry and raffled-off in our recent Strut-Your-Mutt-Dog Show.  Value of those "little baubles" was well over $1,000.00!!

Image

 

Favorite server Shirle with Cabo Fish Tacos

Image

 

Allan prepares to "recognize" the members

 

Allan Levin, our highly productive FineMaster, asked Sheriff Sniff and the group if the Sheriff should be fined if his cell phone were to accidentally "go-off" during  today's meeting?  General opinion was to give the man a break - on behalf of general Rotarian's concern for Public Safety.   Allan also queried the group on whether Wes Faris was ever going to re-appear at one of our meetings to be fined for his recent wedding anniversary.  Comments were made to the effect that Wes may well have "ducked" this obligation in his preparations for his upcoming move to Texas.

 

Bill Cosgrove was noted to have missed any work-duty at the Dog Show due to out of town travels.  He finally agreed to pop for a generous $50 for this transgression. 

 

Dick Anderson was fined an unannounced amount for the inestimable value of the honor of being named "The Pillar" of our La Quinta community!  Congratulations, Captain Anderson!

 

Allan proceeded to pry out payments from a few members for their "Sponsor Signs" hung on the fences at the Dog show, but there still appears to be a target rich environment of unpaid Rotarians for Allan at future meetings.  Nick Kraushaar,  Greg Lane, and Robert Wilkinson, not wanting to be included in the delinquent group readily agreed to ante-up for their signs before the next meeting.  Andy Lorenz will be advising Allan Levin and David Turner of the full list of transgressors to assist in identifying those members still "in arrears".

Image

 

Sheriff Stan Sniff with President Sandy

 

Our speaker today was Riverside County's Sheriff Stanley Sniff.  Stan was elected in 2010 to head the second largest Sheriff's Department in the State of California. His annual operating budget is in excess of $602 million dollars.  The Sheriff startled us with a number of remarkable facts about the County of Riverside.  For example, Riverside County is roughly the size of the state of New Jersey and it presents many of the same trials and tribulations faced by law enforcement as in many other larger jurisdictions.

 

The Sheriff further enlightened us to the fact that contracting out their law enforcement services to the Riverside County Sheriff's Department (RCSD) is a bargain that many communities (such as Desert Hot Springs) are realizing when they compare it to owning and operating their own police departments.  Learning that the enormous costs of defending their communities from lawsuits brought by citizens in officer involved shootings and accidents can run up to $50 million per incident was a shocker to many of us.  But the RCSD indemnifies their contracting agencies/communities from these lawsuits.

We also learned from the Sheriff today that it is the Sheriff's responsibility to enforce state laws on all Indian Reservations and Tribal lands.  In addition, unlike ALL Sheriff's Deputies who are required to become P.O.S.T. Certified Peace Officers, no "Tribal Police" employed by the tribes anywhere in the United States are actually  P.O.S.T. Certified Peace Officers. 

Every year 60,000 adults are booked into the Riverside County correctional system.   Sheriff Sniff informed us that jail and prison overcrowding is a huge issue in Riverside County and throughout the state of California. This is one of the State and County Law Enforcement's greatest challenges as this overcrowding has turned county jails into revolving door system with early release programs that have taken away a major deterrent to crime.  

The Riverside County Sheriff's Dept. is seriously looking for qualified, young applicants to serve as Deputies and to hold hundreds of other responsible and very well paid positions available in the Riverside County Sheriff's Department. (Note that only 1% of all applicants are accepted as Deputies!).

These were just a few of the highlights of the Sheriff's presentation.  Sheriff Stan Sniff was an excellent speaker, both entertaining and educational, and we thank him for sharing his time with us this day and for his service to our community.  We are very proud of you and the job that you have accomplished both in your career and as our sheriff.  To learn more about Sheriff Stanley Sniff and the Riverside County Sheriff's Department please go to their website at: http://www.riversidesheriff.org.

Image

President Sandy closed the meeting with the four way test.

ImageImage

         Andy Lorenz                          Bruce Cathcart

This week's newsletter was written by Andy Lorenz with editing and photos by Bruce Cathcart