//Community Fire Resilience

Community Fire Resilience

This Meeting’s Highlights
Program: Community Fire Resilience
Speaker: Paul Mesarcik
Meeting for the week of August 31st to September 6th, 2015




from President Rushton Hurley

Welcome, Rotarians and guests! You’ve joined the Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley for its weekly meeting, celebrating as we always do service through innovation, entrepreneurship, and education.

We’re loaded with news and ideas this week, so we’ll jump right in!

Rotarian guests, we ask that you contribute whatever for you is the regular cost of a Rotary meal to the efforts of our club. Please choose one of the options below:

Send via our secure Happy Dollars form.
Send via Google Wallet to: ecsv.rotary@gmail.com
Send via PayPal to: ecsv.rotary@gmail.com

To pay via Google Wallet or PayPal, you’ll need to log in to your account with those companies.

Those of you who prefer a more traditional approach can mail a check made out to the Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley to our treasurer: ℅ Allen Thompson, 13500 Cascade Ct., Bakersfield CA 93314.

Non-Rotarian guests, you are certainly welcome to help us out, too! Even a small amount can help us make something good happen for someone in need.


The Power of Images

from Camera Czar Keith

“Here is a photo I took a few months ago when we had some fantastic clouds over the Bay Area. It is the San Rafael/Richmond Bridge taken in HDR (5 images at 1 stop intervals).”

SRBridgeHDR24 by KMarsh



Last week we focused heavily on children and their creative and innovative potential. Here’s a video from Quaker Canada that looks at the same issue from another angle.

Quaker – "The Recital"


What We Do

Young Professionals and Yummy Paella
Last Saturday was our shindig with attendees of the Rotary Young Professionals Summit facilitated by faculty from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley. There was great food (thanks, Shags, for the paella!), plenty of wine tasting (thanks, Irish Monkey Cellars http://www.irishmonkeycellars.com/ for hosting us!), and loads of cool folks sharing ideas.

IMC - group

In the picture above, you see a quarter of the membership of our club! From left to right are Keith Marsh, Lisa Highfill, Rushton Hurley, Steven Zhou, Shags Shagrin, Hardeep Singh, and Mitty Chang.

There were another dozen family members and friends (all of whom would make good candidates for our club!), along with Rotaractors Janel, Collin, and Jorge, as well as plenty of cool folks from the Rotary Young Professionals Summit. The latter group included a district governor and team from Seattle, who would have gotten the traveled-furthest honors, but there was a woman from Rotary HQ in Chicago who earned that one! In total, there were about forty participants.

IMC - barrels

Shags’ best buddy Truffle was there to handle any paella spills.

IMC - Truffle

All in all, Shags, Steven, and Mitty deserve plenty of kudos for setting up such a great gathering, and we should add that everyone was wildly impressed with Irish Monkey Cellars, which all are encouraged to visit when in Oakland!


Hangouts Meetup, Program Recording
On Friday, September 4th, join in for an informal Hangout from 5pm. It’s a chance to try out this technology if you’re new to it, all while getting to know a few other members of the club. What a great way to start your weekend! After about a half hour of chit-chat, we’ll record member Mark Dohn’s program for the club. Join in the fun!


Upcoming Socials
Look forward to more socials coming up for our September and October calendar dates! If you have any suggestions for socials in the Silicon Valley / Bay Area, please leave us a comment in the Disqus section at the end of this meeting.


The World of Rotary

District Project Fair

Prior to the September 2nd Cabinet meeting, the District will hold an International Project Fair from 4:00-6:00 p.m. at the India Community Center, 525 Los Coches Street, Milpitas. Clubs or non-profit groups with International projects will be there to tell what they are doing, and this may help us focus in on a project for the coming year.

For more information and to register for the cabinet meeting, go to this page on the district site.

Polio Immunization and West Africa Project Fair

It appears a group of Rotarians will be going to West Africa in November both to participate in an immunization effort and to attend a project fair put together by Rotarians from fifteen countries in that region. Click here for the full tour info shared by the company organizing this excursion.

Seoul Convention

It isn’t too early to begin thinking about next summer’s Rotary International Convention in Seoul, South Korea. The RI Convention is a chance to experience how amazingly international our organization is, and to be inspired by the good being done around the world. Next year’s gathering will be May 28th-June 1st, and you can learn more at the convention website.

A Little History

Women have not always been part of Rotary, and with every breakthrough (allowing online clubs to show what they can do as part of Rotary, for example), it’s good to take a little time now and then to review how far we’ve come.


Service Time

One element of our meetings is the opportunity to reflect on recent activities, think of those moments when we made life a little better for others, and then collect those stories in order to inspire each other.

Have you helped make your community a little (or a lot) better recently? If so, let us know!


Happy Dollars

Each week some of our members, and sometimes even a wildly cool guest, will check in with a message about good things happening in their lives. Why don’t you toss something in, too?

member Hardeep Singh ($10)
For my 24th birthday, I would love for this donation to go to the PolioPlus Fund!

member Rushton Hurley ($10)
Matching Hardeep’s very cool use of her birthday to make the world a better place! Mine goes to the club, but I’ll certainly make a PolioPlus donation this year.

member Linda Tangren ($15)
Wishing Hardeep Singh’s a Very Happy Birthday!

Fill out my online form.


The Tidbit

from Rushton Hurley

This week’s tidbit is designed to give you a new tech-ninja skill with Google Calendar. Enjoy!

calendar views tidbit


A Little Humor

from Keith Marsh

A wife, being the romantic sort, sent her husband a text: “If you are sleeping, send me your dreams. If you are laughing, send me your smile. If you are eating, send me a bite. If you are drinking, send me a sip. If you are crying, send me your tears. I love you!”

The husband, one not typically romantic, replied: “I am on the toilet. Please advise.”

Keith, you can atone for sending that joke by buying your wife some flowers!


Selected Comments from Last Week

member Deepali Mehrotra (California, USA)
Great to learn about ICAF. Thanks for a great presentation, Ashfaq.It is really determination and passion by individuals such as you that we see such programs benefiting the global community. I agree about how encouraging creativity and empathy are important in kids. Big applause!!

Thanks Rushton for sharing Stories Online. My kids would love it.

member Chris Cochrane (Ontario, Canada)
Innovation video = great solution. Well executed. But I can’t help thinking why is the existing not considered? A simple motion detector in Grandpa’s room?
Way to Go, Keith. You’ll need more wall space soon for the accolades.
Stories Online = Cool.
Great program. Thank you for sharing.

guest Nate Gildart (Tokyo, Japan)
I’m excited to bring the ICAF to our school’s art department. My guess is our art teachers (and elementary teachers) know of the foundation, but I didn’t. This was a great presentation! I’m a big supporter of STEAM and feel that fine arts fall behind the pressure to learn to take tests. One of the powerful takeaways here is the emphasis on turning creativity and passion into a lifestyle by supporting children and art. Most young kids love to be creative and love to draw, build, and as we heard, “make” things. This is a powerful reminder that creativity has to be nurtured. Creativity helps us solve problems. I’m a Social Studies / History teacher and incorporate art and music in my lessons / activities and assessments regularly. Perhaps the teacher in me is what has me so jazzed about this presentation. Brilliant stuff! I’ll be posting this to our Google+ and teacher communities in Tokyo. The Manifesto on the organization’s page, asking teachers to allow students to ‘speak visually’, carries a lot of meaning. Thank you Ashfaq.

member Keith Marsh (California, USA)
My wife and I will be at the social this Saturday. Looking forward to Shags’ paella. As the grandfather of two very artistic girls, I give my thanks to Ashfaq for a very interesting program. Love the artwork.

member Andrew Taw (California, USA)
There is so much the focus on STEM in the current educational environment that we often lose the arts among students. Thank you, Ashfaq, for your presentation and your passion for the work! I love the idea of spreading arts and empathy among children. I like that your organization insists that art has a highly valuable purpose beyond l’art pour l’art.

member Mahmood Khan (California, USA)
Great presentation. Children are so creative, open, and without limits.

member Paul Mosso (California, USA)
Ashfaq, thank you for sharing your work with the International Child Art Foundation with our group. The children are quite talented with their artistic ability; it is truly impressive that they are that talented that young.

Keith, yet again another great photo.

President-elect Mitty, I have invited one of my colleagues to check out our meeting a week or so ago. I will follow up to see if he has attended.

member John Lozano (California, USA)
Ashfaq, I loved the presentation and your enthusiasm for the arts. I agree with your thoughts about engaging the 11 year-olds, I see the “4th grade slump” often at my school too. Also, I like the connection with different themes (sports, peace, etc). It would be great to connect with you regarding the peace education piece. I volunteer with an organization that does work in peace education area and I see some great possibilities (see my March 16, 2015 presentation). Looking forward to getting a copy of your book. Keep up the great work!

member Heather Shaw (California, USA)
Interesting meeting. I was taught in a school in which we all made cornucopias that had to look similar so I appreciate that encouragement of creative thinking.

member Mark Dohn (Michigan, USA)
Ashfaq, this was such a powerful and relevant presentation for those of us in education. Having taught both 3rd and 4th grades, i can see the “4th grade slump” so clearly. You have given me so much to think about that I most likely will watch this at least one more time (thank you for eClubs and video!).


This Week’s Program

If innovation and entrepreneurship is one of the top interests of our members – and it is – then this week’s program by Paul Mesarcik will be one we share with everyone we know. Not only is the work of Lumkani, Paul’s organization, fascinating from these angles, but it represents a service to a community that could save many, many homes and lives.

Paul is an electrical engineer and social entrepreneur. He was born in Cape Town, South Africa, and issues of employment, resilient communities and Afro-optimism are close to his heart. He currently runs Lumkani, which is a social enterprise that is trying to eradicate shack fires using networked heat detectors embedded in urban communities. These detectors can warn communities of the impending danger of fire, and give them the crucial time to respond effectively.

Paul, the podium is yours!

Paul Mesarcik – Lumkani: Community Fire Resilience

To learn more about Lumkani, visit their website, or watch one of these two videos:

Stopping the Spread of Shack Fires

How the Lumkani Device Works

You can also learn more about the township of Khayelitsha via its Wikipedia page.


I Attended!

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2015-08-31T08:48:45+00:00August 31st, 2015|20 Comments