The Surf Beat: March 27th, 2018

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March 27th, 2018


President John Trifiletti welcomed everyone to this year’s 35th regular lunch meeting of Rotary Club of La Jolla.


Invocation: Ed Mracek, with a quote from the official Rotary Invocation handbook

Pledge: Claude Rosinsky

Song:  Bill Meanley stepped up to the plate to lead us in song: “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” in anticipation of baseball’s opening day this Thursday.


Rotary Welcomed



Adam Gordon joined us from the Downtown Rotary Breakfast Club, where he is working toward his Blue Badge. Judy Nelson introduced guest Tom Schenk, an educator of 25 years, who is spearheading development of the Sisu Academy, a tuition-free boarding high school for disadvantaged youth. Shabnam Migliani joined us for her sixth visit.



John Trifiletti noted that this week is an important time of year for many religions, as we celebrate Good Friday, Easter and Passover. It is a time to reflect on peace. John also reported that Zeke Knight had a bad fall in his driveway recently, and fractured his knee. We send him best wishes for a full and speedy recovery.


Craig Schniepp needs driver-volunteers for the April 7 Tijuana Home Build to help transport 14 students, parent chaperones and other volunteers. He only has two vehicles so far. Please see Craig for more information or to help out. The club is sending eight students to the RYLA youth leadership conference on April 20-22. Our sponsored students will report back on their experience at the club’s April 24 meeting.

John Trifiletti reported on behalf of Scholarship Chair Wade Aschbrenner that scholarship interviews will be conducted on May 12. Please contact Wade for more information.

New Member Induction


President Trifiletti invited Shabnam Migliani, Sid Stutz and Dirk Harris to join him at the podium for the induction of Shabnam into Rotary. Sid, her Rotary mentor, presented Shabnam with a Rotary pin. Dirk, membership co-chair, presented her Red Badge. John presented the bill. Welcome to the club, Shabnam! 

Aperitivo with Trif


President Trifiletti announced a special “Aperitivo with Trif” to say farewell – or buon viaggio –to Lora Fisher on Tuesday, April 10th at 5:30pm in the Valencia’s Café La Rue. Lora and her husband, Tom, will soon relocate to Santa Barbara. John promises to host a beverage of choice for the first 15 Rotarians who join him to say thank-you to Lora for her years of club service.

Happy Bucks:

  • Ed Mracek was happy to revisit Santa Fe, New Mexico, for the first time in many years while attending a wedding at the La Fonda inn this past weekend.
  • Jane Reldan paid happy bucks in hopes of finding someone to take Lora Fisher’s place as host to high school students in town on a science program. Three male students from Telluride, CO., need housing for a few weeks. They can be housed together. Contact Jane for details.
  • Claude Rosinsky paid happy bucks in celebration of her four-year anniversary in Rotary, and in thanks to the doctors who, she says, are keeping her alive.
  • Sally Fuller was caught on the pages of the La Jolla Light in an article about the La Jolla Women’s Club. She paid her fine and used the opportunity to invite others to join the Women’s Club. All are welcome. The club just inducted its first male member, Hugh Davies of the Museum of Contemporary Art, La Jolla.

Tijuana Home Build – April 7th:

Family Ramirez Suarez

Jessica Giovanna Suarez Olayo, 24, Juana Ramirez Castro, 25, Kevin Daniel, 7, Victor Giovanni, 8, Jessica Noami, 9.


Speaker: Bill Toone, ECOLIFE 


Kevin Quinn introduced Bill Toone, the Executive Director & Founder of ECOLIFE, an organization dedicated to rebuilding a healthy planet that supports wildlife and people living in harmony. Mr. Toone holds a master’s degree from the University of California, where his work focused on the reproductive behavior of the endangered California condor. He was hired by the Zoological Society of San Diego and appointed to the federally mandated California Condor Recovery Team. After rising through the Zoological Society ranks to the level of Curator of Birds, he became disillusioned with traditional efforts in conservation. He co-founded ECOLIFE in 2003, and in 2008 resigned from the Zoo to devote full-time effort to ECOLIFE.

Mr. Toone recounted his unique journey in conservation, which began with a trip to the zoo at the age of six and fascination with a chicken he encountered. At the age of eight, he applied for the San Diego Zoo’s top job! His enterprise was rewarded with a letter of reference from the Zoo’s Executive Director and the advice that he return – with the letter – when he reached employment age. At age 16 he did just that. Thus, began his career in caring for wildlife and the planet.

As a conservation biologist, Mr. Toone was called upon to lead a 1995 expedition to eastern Madagascar. The goal was to improve understanding of the unique ecosystem of that island nation, whose rain forests are filled with flora and fauna that don’t exist anywhere else in the world. That trip led to a follow-up project in 1997, where he was asked to integrate into the remote village of Antanambao to teach villagers how to create a sustainable economy without harming the forest. At first he was treated as an outsider (“the traveler”) by tribal leaders, who insisted he camp outside of the village perimeter. It was an 18-month-old boy, Elian, who broke the ice. What followed was a life-changing experience that unfolded over 3 years, and which he recounted in a slide presentation titled “Africa’s Ghost Island and the Search for Elian.”

Mr. Toone’s experience with the villagers and other native cultures living in remote regions made him realize that “conservation would never succeed if it didn’t include people.” His vision expanded to protecting endangered species and the people who live alongside them, which led to the founding of ECOLIFE. The organization has four goals:

  • Protecting species threatened with extinction
  • Saving lives by preventing lung disease with fuel-efficient stoves
  • Promoting sustainable agriculture methods with aquaponics
  • Conserving the world’s most fragile forests

President’s Closing Quote by Tommy Lasorda:

“There are three types of baseball players: those who make it happen, those who watch it happen, and those who wonder what happened.”


Surf Beat:

 Reported by Diane Salisbury. Photos By Susan Rutan and Judy Nelson.  Edited by Diane Salisbury.

2018 La Jolla Half Marathon Volunteer

Water Station #3

Location: Camino Del Mar & 4th St, Del Mar, CA

6:00 AM to 9:00AM

We would like to invite you to volunteer at this year’s La Jolla Half Marathon and Shores 5K.

Volunteers are needed April 22.   All volunteers will receive a volunteer shirt and community service recognition.

Sign up today at:

For more information on the event please visit

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Club Meetings Unless otherwise noted, all club meetings are Tuesday, 12:00 noon – 1:30 p.m. at La Valencia Hotel, 1132 Prospect St., La Jolla (Map)  Check out the Upcoming Guest Speakers on the Club Calendar


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