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Windmill for February 22nd, 2024

By PP Tom Barron

The social half-hour, of what just might be the last Zoom meeting of the WVRC, preceding the official gong by President Steve Day at 12:30, featured PP Mark Rogo entertaining special guests. Baby Lily, the granddaughter of a long-time friend appeared cuddled in the arms of Mark before giving way to Mark’s daughter Marcie’s favorite house pet, a dog named Roody.

 As the gong was about to sound, PP Tom Barron was seen racing to the phone to make sure his speaker of the day – Ken Timmerman – was on board. Just then Barron heard “he’s here” and the meeting began.

 Ken Timmerman is an investigative journalist stationed in Paris during the 1980s and 90s and worked for several news organizations including NY Times, Newsweek, Time magazine, CBS, ABC and the Wall Street Journal. He has authored 4 fictional books and 11 non-fiction books, including his latest, which Tom held up during his introduction, “And the Rest is History.”

Ken began his talk by telling of a recent trip to Israel and taking a friend to a holocaust museum, noting that with October 7th attack by Hamas “all has changed.” Prime Minister Netanyahu has vowed total victory. There have been attacks and wars upon Israel since the holocaust, but pressure by foreign countries, especially the US, has always limited Israel’s response. “Never again,” declared Netanyahu, and in a flash, as Timmerman pointed out, Israel’s resolve is once and for all to end the war on Israel.

Ken then turned his attention to the experiences he encountered while serving as a journalist covering events in the Middle East. He told of his time as a hostage in Beirut, Lebanon held by radical Islamists. By using his bilingual French, he eventually claimed he was French and “by the grace of God” released.

Showing an understanding of their plight, Ken found the Iraq ‘arms dealers’ would open up during their interviews. They actually enjoyed telling Ken about their situation and respected his inquiries. Ken also related one of the ‘dirty tricks’ played on him by the French when they revoked his credentials to an arms show solely due to an aircraft photograph in one of his books. Later after returning to the US, he was assigned to investigate the ‘9-11’ attacks and, although the CIA ‘blew him off’, he showed that Iran participated in the bombings of 9-11.

Ken told some remarkably interesting stories of journalistic experiences.

When he concluded and asked for questions, his comments were quite interesting and forthright. Gaynor asked about the future of Israel and the Palestinian people. Ken responded: There will be no two-state solution. It is a generational issue. The Palestinians are genocidal people, they hate the Jews. They have been indoctrinated throughout their youth and their ultimate goal is to wipe them out. A generation must pass before there is Jewish acceptance of the State of Israel.

Scherer asked about the Saudis wanting to be closer to the West. Ken responded: Not soon. Biden has accused the Crown Prince of not wanting to deal with Israel and knowing about the attacks before they occurred. The Crown Prince does want to deal with Israel in that Israel is the source of capital and modernization, Timmerman noted.

Cristine Clayburg, a new member, asked about the veterans returning from the Middle East not receiving the proper care and treatment from the Veterans Administration (VA). (Editor’s note: Christine’s father was a Vietnam Vet and she had served in the National Guard, so she has been exposed to this VA problem.) Ken responded: The VA, as with any other government agency, is a large bureaucratic organization, thus change comes slowly, if at all. Overall, Ken’s expansive journalistic history provided insightful understanding to the Arab – Israel conflict.

 Upon opening the Zoom meeting, President Steve announced that it was National Chili and Margarita Day along with George Washington’s birthday. Nancy Cohen led the pledge, Nancy McCready gave her Thought of the Day, which focused on philosophy of unselfish volunteer service of Rotary and Ed Gauld led in the singing of My Country Tis of Thee, thankfully to the muted members.

 Mark Rogo introduced his guest of the day, Jonathon Bates, a Senior Fund Manager of the Department of Science and Public Health at UCLA

 Carol Rosenstein of Music Mends Minds was called upon to discuss the Band of Heroes and recent events. She also introduced Fr. Time Meier, a Jesuit priest, who spoke of his connection with the organization MMM, and past performances included one with the Pope.

PP Nancy McCready, Chair of International Service, referenced a dedication plaque given to the school GHIS (Givat Haviva) honoring Rotary International & WVRC and, supporting the conflict resolution program in 2021.  This is a major program supported by the WVRC.

  • February 28th - Enjoy a social evening at Hillcrest CC hosted by PP Mark Rogo. RSVP is Mandatory.

  • March 21st - Pageant of the Arts competition at Uni High School begins at 4pm. Judges are needed. Contract PP Diane Good if you want to be a Judge for the day!

  • April 27th - District 5280's and Rotary International's DAY OF SERVICE. We will be cleaning Sunset Beach in Pacific Palisades. Sign up is on the District website.

  • May 3rd to 5th - District 5280 Conference, downtown at the famous Biltmore Hotel. Registration is now opened on the district website.

  • May 3rd - Dodger Baseball game with the district. You can obtain tickets on the District website.

  • Monday, May 13th - RI President Gordon McInally will be visiting the District 5280 with a luncheon at the Beverly Hills Hotel. More information will be forthcoming.

  • June 22nd - Demotion Party - bye bye President Steve!!


  • February 29th: WE ARE DARK -NO MEETING

  • March 7th: Former UCLA Athletic Director Dan Guerrero at Hillel.

  • March 14th: Editor-in-Chief of The Foreign Desk, Lisa Daftari at Hillel

WVRC 2023/2024 Leadership Team

President: Steve Day

President Elect: Benjamin Fisher

Vice President: Currently Opened

Treasurer: Terry M. White

Youth/Vocational Service: PP Diane Good

Director/Peace: PP Marsha Hunt

Foundation: PP Gordon Fell

Global Scholarships: PP Chris Bradford

Webmaster: PP Ron Lyster

District Governor: Makiko Nakasone

Immediate Past President: Chris Gaynor

Secretary: PP Nancy McCready

Community Service: David Strover

International Service: PP Nancy McCready & Nevin Senkan

Director: PP Tom Barron

Membership: PP Mark Rogo

Director/Social Media: PP Aly Shoji

Sargent at Arms: Jim Crane

Windmill Editor: Teya McCockran