March 4, 2021
Westwood Village Rotary Club
Coming up on March 11th: Francis Gary Powers, Jr.
Remember the famous U-2 Incident of 1960? A CIA spy plane piloted by Francis Gary Powers was shot down over Russia territory and he was later sentenced to 10 years in prison. The "Incident" created enormous tensions between the U.S. and USSR, which later led to Powers being exchanged for a Soviet spy, Rudolph Abel, who was being held in the U.S. Now his son, Gary Jr., will share details behind the U-2 Incident and his book, Controversial Cold War Legacy. Gary also founded The Cold War Museum to honor Cold War veterans. Facts and tales of mystery about the U-2 Incident still abound. Zoom with us and let Gary Jr. give you insights to what really happened in 1960.
The 2021 District 5280 Pageant of the Arts finals will be held virtually on April 17th, starting at 12:00 noon
Judging will be held virtually by WVRC members for club-level competitions in Art, Music/Instrumental, Music/Vocal, Speech and Dance on Friday, March 12th at 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Participating students are from University High and other local schools. Please contact Youth Services Chair Phil Gabriel with questions and to volunteer for judging.
Camp Pendleton Collection Weekend
Camp Pendleton Collection Drives have been so productive that District 5280 will hold another collection event on March 13th & 14th. There will be four collection sites: Torrance, Studio City, Bellflower and Culver City.The needs of the families of these Marines who serve our country are great. There are more than 70,000 Marines based at Camp Pendleton, many with low incomes. Their families include 10,000 children under the age of 5. The most desired items include baby supplies and household goods. Contact information is available on the District 5280 website.
Westwood Virtual Rotary Club Meeting - March 4, 2021
Past President Diane Good, who was pinch hitting for President Nancy, welcomed everyone to today’s weekly Zoom meeting. Diane reminded all that a recording of today’s meeting will be posted on the club’s website.

PP Marsha Hunt started us off with the leading of the Pledge and also provided an inspired passage from Myron Taylor’s book, dealing with the importance of living a fully engaged life.  Thank you Marsha for doing double duty.

Diane next introduced today’s guests. Besides today’s speakers, Till von Wachter and Janey Rountree, who were be more fully introduced by PP Tom Baron later in the meeting, Diane welcomed Curt Smith’s brother Doug Smith. Doug is a reporter for the Los Angeles Times and a friend of today’s speaker Janey Rountree. 

Announcements were next.
  • The Club Survey has been sent out to the membership. So far there’s been 21 responses.  Diane encouraged those who have not yet completed the survey to so as soon as possible.
  • The Pageant of the Arts judging is scheduled for March 12th.  Phil Gabriel is looking for volunteers. This year’s program is virtual. More information about volunteering to be a judge will be provided by President Nancy and Phil.  
  • Camp Pendleton donations will be collected on March 13th& 14th.  Stay tuned for locations in Los Angeles County where we can drop off donations.
  • Tuesday evening’s cocktail party with Santa Monica Rotary was a success. Over 40 Rotarians participated! Santa Monica Rotary has invited Westwood Village Rotarians to participate in a beach cleanup this coming Saturday. If interested, please meet at the Venice Beach boardwalk at 9:00 a.m.  More information can be found on the Santa Monica Rotary website.

Next, PP Diane asked Steve Day (me!) to make presentations of Multiple Paul Harris Fellow pins to 10 Westwood Village Rotarians and Paul Harris Fellows. 

With each additional $1,000 donated to the Rotary Foundation, a Paul Harris Fellow is presented with a new pin, indicating the total level of their contributions. It was my honor to present the pins to the following very generous Multiple Paul Harris Fellows:

PP Mike Newman - PHF+7
PP Ed Jackson - PHF+4
PP Peter More - PHF+3
Margie Downie - PHF+2
PP Dwight Heikkila - PHF+2
President Nancy McCready - PHF+2
Pat Anderson - PHF+1
Phil Gabriel - PHF+1
Jim Meyer- PHF+1
John O’Keefe - PHF+1
Diane next listed all the March birthdays, wedding anniversaries and Rotary anniversaries. The birthday fine is $25 but Diane did suggest that those celebrating their birthdays this month may wish to make a donation to the Foundation equal to the years shown on the screen. Terry White, Jr. had a correction regarding the age of his father. Terry White, Sr. is celebrating his 95th birthday and it's today! Happy Birthday, Terry!

Diane then shared that next week’s speaker will be Francis Gary Powers, Jr. He will speak about his father’s U-2 incident and the Cold War. It should be a very interesting program.
Diane next asked PP Tom Baron to introduce our speakers for today, Till von Wachter, PhD and Janey Rountree. 

Till is an economics professor at UCLA, and is the faculty director of the California Policy Lab (CPL), which is a research institute at UCLA. He is also the associate dean of research for the division of Social Sciences at UCLA.  He previously spoke to the Club on unemployment and related labor issues. 
Janey is the founding Executive Director of the CPL, and in addition, a member of the National Alliance to End Homelessness Research Council and Deputy Director of the Homelessness Policy Research Institute. She’s an attorney (Duke Law School), who has worked in government and in the non-profit sector. 

Their presentation was titled "Predicting & Preventing Homelessness in Los Angeles." They spoke about the mission of the CPL, which is to improve the lives of Californians by working with government to generate evidence that transforms public policy. They accomplish this by forming lasing partnerships between government and California universities to harness the power of rigorous research and administrative data. Their specific focus is on how government funds are spent.
CPL has identified five critical areas. Labor and employment being one and homelessness being another. Through analysis of governmental data, CPL can advise the government agencies on how best to provide support to the community.

With regard to homelessness, Janey stated that on a typical night in 2019, close to 59,000 people were homeless in Los Angeles County and 23% were experiencing homeless for the first time. She also stated that approximately 82% of the 2019 homeless population was from California. 

Homelessness prevention motivates CPL’s research. The big question is how to prevent homelessness before it happens. The goal is to efficiently target a low-cost intervention preventing dramatic negative effect on individuals and long-term costs for Los Angeles.

The challenge is how to identify those at risk of being homeless among the 1.9 million individuals being served by Los Angeles County at any time. CPL’s potential solution is to use advances in computation science and predictive analytics to identify who is at risk.

Janey illustrated this by sharing the results of backtesting 2017 homeless information in identifying those people who were at risk of being homeless. The result was that they were able to identify over 45% of the individuals who in fact became homeless in 2017. 

By applying this research, CPL has developed methodologies that will be applied to current data and enable governmental agencies to better identify at-risk individuals.

Key Takeaways:
  • Prevention works but difficult to target
  • With enough data is it possible to predict homelessness
  • Predicted risk lists are different from individuals who self-identify
  • There must be coordination with social services and the governmental entry system 

After taking questions for several minutes, many dealing with the lack of affordable housing in Los Angeles, Diane thanked Till and Janey for an excellent presentation on a subject very important to the Los Angeles community. Diane shared with Till and Janey that a gift will be made to the Westwood Public Library in their honor.

Diane closed the meeting with the virtual ringing of the virtual bell. 

PP Steve Day

WVRC 2020/2021 Leadership Team
President: Nancy McCready
Treasurer: Terry M. White
Youth/Vocational Service: Phil Gabriel
Peace: PP Marsha Hunt
Foundation: PP Steve Day
Global Scholarships: Chris Bradford
Webmaster: PP Ron Lyster
Director at Large/Merchant Minute: PP Mark Rogo
District Governor: Bette Hall
Immediate Past President: Diane Good
Secretary: PP Diane Good
Community Service: Aaron Donahue
International Service: Nevin Senkan
Program Chair: PP Tom Barron
Membership: PP Mike Newman
Director at Large/Social Media: PP Aly Shoji
Windmill Editor: P Nancy McCready
Assistant District Governor: Michael Lushing