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Minutes: “Spy Hard” (12/10/2014)

December 17, 2014

Greeters: Richard Redmond, Bill Ringer
Invocation: Joanne Schoenfeld Orenstein
Flag Pledge: E Russell Smith
Raffle: Tom Putnam (Holiday basket)
Sgt. At Arms: Lucille Ramirez

Guests: Richard Post visiting from Phoenix (with Gillian Amery)


  • Weird Club Meetings
  • David Velarde spoke about the election of the 2016-2017 club president: Mr. Chris Baxter! Chris was under consideration by the board for a number of years, but he wasn’t able to accept due to things going on in his life. He promises an even weirder year.

December 17 — Mike Nissenson and Stan Roden “The State of Education in Santa Barbara County… and How United Way is Helping. “Special performance by the Weird Ukes
December 24 — DARK
December 31 — DARK
January 7 — Claire Cooley “My Rotary Youth Exchange Experience in Italy”
January 14 — Cherie Topper “Santa Barbara County Audubon Society”
January 21 — Mickey Duzvedich “Santa Barbara International Film Festival”
January 28 — Diana Washburn & TBD “Craft Talks”
February 4 — Chrissy and Joe Martin “The Reptile Family”
February 11 — Sgt. Reiley Harwood “Santa Barbara Police Department Youth Programs”

  • Weird Foundation. We’re aiming for 100% participation — every member donates something. We’re more than half way at 58%. Ask Dana Goba or Janet Napier for recommended amounts.
  • Weird Community Service: Salvation Army Bell Ringing! Thank you to those who went bell ringing this weekend. If you sign up and are unable to attend, find a sub.
  • Weird Holiday Party: It’s Saturday, December 13 at 5:30 PM at Ennisbrook. More details seem unnecessary since this is being posted after the event. Still, thank you to those who signed up to help!
  • The club celebrates its 30th Birthday Party on Saturday, March 7 from 6 – 9 PM at Lobero Theatre with a Totally ’80s theme. Lucille Ramirez is looking for planning committee member.
  • Weird District Events. Grants Webinar: Sandy attended. Potential Rotary Leaders Seminars (PRLS): Sunrise will cover your cost to attend. Intro to PRLS: December 11, Carpinteria. Situational Leadership: December 13, Ventura. Extemporaneous Public Speaking January 10 and 24, Ventura. Planned Public Speaking: March 7 and 21, Ventura. Business Planning & Project Management: May 9 and 23, Ventura.
  • The District 5240 Rotary Foundation Gala, themed “You Make A Difference!”, will be at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley on January 30, 2015. Black tie optional. $95 includes a tour and the gala. For more information, contact Brenda Cressey at (805) 238-4264 or
    Here’s the schedule:
    3 PM Museum Tours
    5:30 PM No Host Reception
    6:15 PM Doors Open
    7 PM Dinner, followed by Recognition of New Gifts
    8:15 PM Keynote Speaker, Rotary International President Elect K.R. “Ravi” Ravindran!
  • STEPS 2015: Steps to Eliminate Poverty Sustainably, themed “Make a difference in your own backyard!” will be Saturday January 31, 2015, at California Lutheran University, Thousand Oaks. We will focus on successful, sustainable local projects benefitting members of our own communities. It’s free to attend. Contact event co-chairs for more information: Kendra Kimlinger, and Max Copenhagen,
  • Weird Rotary International Event: Rotary Days – Light Up Rotary. It’s a holiday concert featuring The Platters Live! It includes Special Guest – Rotary International President Gary C.K. Huang on December 28, 2014 at the City National Grove of Anaheim. Net proceeds benefit The Rotary Foundation. The reception, dinner and concert are $125. The concert only is $40. Register at
  • Lucille Ramirez announced next week’s weird duties: Greeters: E. Russell Smith, Colin Stephens; Invocation: Lucille Ramirez; Flag Pledge: Jim Ruh; Raffle: Eric Ryan; Sgt At Arms: Karen Kawaguchi.
  • Tips for Santa Barbara Club staff: We will collect funds this and next week and present it to the staff on December 17.
  • Janet Napier announced we donated $1,000 to Direct Relief, and they sent a nice thank you note. DR has sent $10M (wholesale) for the Ebola efforts.
  • Charly has two weeks for Christmas to travel so if any Rotarians are taking a trip, let Scott Burns know.
  • Weird Video: James Bond Thunderball was released December 9, 1965. Spy Hard is a 1996 American spy comedy film parody starring Leslie Nielsen and Nicolette Sheridan, parodying James Bond films and other action films; released May 24, 1996. Enjoy Weird Al’s Spy Hard.
  • Raffle results:  We raised $81. The winner is: Richard Redmond!

Program: Harlan Green “The Mystery of Money: Understanding the Modern Financial World and Economic Forecasts“

  • Harlan is a mortgage banker. He’s been a Rotarian for 20 years, including Goleta and most recently the Montecito club.
  • His book The Mystery of Money is out now on Amazon and proceeds go to the Montecito Club Foundation. It costs $10.
  • Money is mysterious. Money is only money if it’s being circulated. If it’s being horded, it is not considered money. Our first economy was bartering. The first money were just receipts for payment. Even bitcoin is considered money.
  • The New Financial Order: Risk in the 21st Century – great book. Shiller predicted irrational exuberance two years before the crash.
  • We have the bust because real estate is so risky, even more than stocks.
  • Irrational Exuberance – This is where Shiller made his early results. It is because of the lack of education. S&P 500 P/E ratios – 15:1. Compare that to 44:1 for real estate.
  • 2004 – the Federal Reserve knew there would be a housing bust because the rent-to-price ratio  was dropping. At one time, the money was basically free so it was as easy to buy a house as it was to buy a stock. Since 2009, we’ve created over 5M jobs. We are back to normal levels now. November – 5.8% unemployment rate.
  • Why has the recovery been so slow? There is no government spending and weak household spending. Consumer spending powers 70% of the economy.
  • There is no longer an oversupply of real estate inventory. Previously, Wall Street and investors sucked up all the housing but now they are putting them back on the market. Interest rates are being kept low, under 4%.
  • In the Eurozone, they have been through their 3rd recession since 2008 because of austerity policies. The mistake is they are trying to reduce debt by reducing spending but that doesn’t work. You need to create jobs, even if it means government jobs (i.e. Roosevelt, Eisenhower).
  • In the next six months, things should be good. Powered by the low interest rate by the Fed. Jobs and consumer spending up.
  • Lower incomes = lower GDP growth. Wages & Salary go together with real GDP.
  • The children of baby boomers will number over 80M. They will power economic growth around 2015 and by 2020, we are going to see much more economic growth, after they move out of their parents’ home and enter the real estate market.
  • Higher incomes spend less. Top 1% of 37% savings compared to 99% who have 4.2% savings rate.
  • Record corporate profits – American corporations are holding nearly $5 trillion dollars (most of it held overseas).
  • Annual GDP is declining – Must average 3.5% average to pay for Social Security. It’s currently at 2%.
  • Consumer confidence level is nearly at 100. People are spending more than they are making, saving less.
  • Personal consumption index up. Just 1.6%, core 14% = low inflation!
  • Foreclosure delinquencies are declining.
  • In honor of our speaker, the club will donate 15 dictionaries to local 3rd graders in his honor. We have a book plate with your name on it that will be placed into the dictionaries.
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