During the pre-meeting social time, the annual task of putting up Christmas lights was discussed.  Warren mentioned that he had a neighbor that could fold his lights up somehow so they were completely out of sight, then easily drop them down each year when it was time to display them again.  Dan told about LED lights that are not that noticeable and can be programmed to display different colors for different occasions.
 
Joan Reimann was happy to announce she was "on the mend" and would be graduating from physical therapy on November 20.  
 
John Pennypacker is golfing again.  Allan Cady talked about a golf fund-raising event coming up at Wickenburg Ranch with an evening dinner and social.  He said there would be four four-star generals there.  Funds from the event will go to the Marine Education Foundation.  $500,000 had already been raised.  John declined participating - he's up to playing nine holes, but has not played eighteen holes since May.  
 
Call to Order - President Dan Coons
President Dan introduced himself, and recited the Rotary International theme for the year - "Rotary Creates Opportunities."  He also shared the Rotary Vision Statement - "Together we see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change - across the world, in our communities and in ourselves."  He asked Darl Andersen to lead the invocation.
 
Rotary Minute - Carla Krzmarik
Carla shared some history and interesting facts about The Rotary Foundation that were put together when the Foundation began the celebration of its centennial year July 1, 2016:
 
"We should not live for ourselves along, but for the joy in doing good for others."
Arch Klumph, founder of The Rotary Foundation
 
"It seems eminently proper that we should accept endowments for the purpose of doing good in the world."
Arch Klumph, June, 1917
 
The Rotary Foundation's Motto is "Doing Good in the World"
  • Rotary President (1916-1917) Arch Klumph's idea for an endowment fund dedicated to "doing good in the world" planted the seed of The Rotary Foundation in 1917 at the Rotary Convention in Atlanta, Georgia.  Thanks to his vision and staunch advocacy, and the extraordinary generosity of Rotary members worldwide, that fund has become one of the world's leading humanitarian foundations.
  • The Rotary Club of Kansas City, Missouri made the first contribution to The Rotary Foundation in 1917 - $26.50.
  • At the 1928 Rotary Convention in Minneapolis, Minnesota, The Rotary Foundation was named and a Board of Trustees created.  (Before that the RI Board of Directors had oversight of the funds.)
  • In 1930, the Foundation awarded $500 to the International Society of Crippled Children, which later became known as Easter Seals.  The International Society of Crippled Children was founded by Rotarian Edgar Allen, who worked closely with Paul Harris and other Rotarians to aid children with disabilities.)
  • In 1936, Institutes for International Understanding were formed to illuminate global issues and to inform communities of global issues of the day.
  • In 1947, Rotary members contributed 1.3 million dollars in memory of Paul Harris.
  • in 1957, Paul Harris Fellow recognition began - the first form of donor recognition, expressing appreciation of eligible contributions of $1000.  (In 2006, the number of Paul Harris Fellows reached one million..)
  • In 1965, the Matching Grants Program was established, allowing the Foundation to fund club and district projects.  Group Study Exchanges began, connecting people across countries and cultures.
  • In 1978, the 3-H program (Health, Hunger, and Humanity) expanded service efforts.  The program was developed to improve health, alleviate hunger, and enhance human and social development.  Rotary members use the grants to create access to clean drinking water, support literacy programs, provide medical care, and more.
  • In 1979, Rotary began immunizing six million children in the Philippines against polio; in 1980, Rotary committed to eliminating polio through immunization.
  • In 1981, the Foundation established the Endowment Fund, specifically for investing certain contributions in perpetuity, with the earnings going to support the Foundation's future ability to do good.
  • In 1985, the Polio Plus program was launched - the "plus" initially referred to the additional vaccines administered along with the polio vaccine.  Today, it also reflects the fact that the infrastructure, fundraising, and advocacy methods developed for the polio eradication campaign also support efforts to fight other infectious diseases.
  • In1988, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), originally composed of Rotary, the World Health Organization, the U.S.Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and UNICEF was created to coordinate polio eradication work.
  • In 1995, the Polio Plus Partners program was created to support National Immunization Days.
  • In1999, Rotary Peace Centers were founded.  The Rotary Peace Centers program develops leaders who become catalysts for peace and conflict prevention and resolution in their communities and around the globe.  Each year, up to 100 Rotary Peace Fellows are chosen to participate in a master's degree or certificate program at one of the Rotary centers at universities around the world.  Members of the inaugural class of Rotary Peace Fellows begin studies in the fall of 2002.
  • In 2004, the Every Rotarian Every Year (EREY) initiative was created.  The initiative encourages every Rotary member to give every year to the Foundation, with the goal of $100 in per capita contributions to the Annual Fund.   After ten years of the initiative, Annual Fund total contributions reached $116 million.
  • In 2004, the Arch Klumph Society recognizes contributions of $250,000 or more to the Foundation.
  • In 2007, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation issued the $1 million challenge.  The grant challenged Rotary to raise $100 million, which the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation matched.  Two years later, the Gates Foundation pledged an additional $255 million and increased the amount Rotary must raise to $200 million.  Rotary's partnership with the Gates Foundation helps both organizations improve lives around the world.
  • In 2009, Rotary and USAID launched the International H2O Collaboration - improving drinking water, sanitation and hygiene in four countries.
  • In 2013, the Simplified Grant Model went into effect, introducing two new grant types:  global and district, and phasing out 3-H, Matching and District Simplified Grants, Ambassadorial Scholarships, and the Group Study Exchange Program.  Global grants enables Rotary members to plan, and sustain larger projects by meeting with community leaders to assess needs and create a plan for ongoing management.
  • In 2015, the number of polio-endemic countries dropped to two.  Polio cases worldwide are down 99.9% since 1988 when the Global Polio Eradication Initiative was launched.
  • July 1, 2016 - The Rotary Foundation was about to mark a century of doing good in the world through humanitarian projects, scholarships, professional training and exchanges, and its remarkable campaign for a polio-free world.
In its first 100 years, The Rotary Foundation had spent over $3 billion on programs and projects to support humanitarian efforts and scholarships.
 
Introduction of Guests
PDG Tom Yuzer from District 5960 in Eastern Minnesota and Western Wisconsin was recognized.  He and his wife will be leaving Minnesota in about a week headed to Arizona where they plan to spend the winter.  He will be with us at our December 3 meeting.  PDG Terry Cowan was also recognized.
 
Early Announcement - Sponsorship Program Coming Soon - Allan Cady
Mesa West Rotary has raised funds to support their charitable work two times.  In 2017-18, we raised a little over $40,000.  In 2018-19, the program raised around $50,000 for our Mesa West Rotary Foundation..  We did not repeat the program in 2019-20, but are going to kick it off again this Rotary year.  Because of all the challenges everyone is experiencing due to the COVID pandemic, the goal has been set conservatively at $30,000.  Allan is in the process of recruiting team captains and getting the stage set to be off and running for another Steak and Beans competition.  Winning teams will get steak and the losers will get beans.  
 
Happy Bucks - Greg Okonowski
  • Polly Cady was unable to be at the meeting, but had asked Jeanie to announce that she wanted to make a pledge to honor Chuck Flint because his passion for the Foundation has inspired many to give to TRF and the Mesa Rotary Foundation as well.  Chuck's passion for the Foundation got Polly interested in helping the District Foundation Committee.  Because Chuck has sponsored Polly as a new member twice and has been an unknowing mentor to Polly, she wanted to pledge $50 to the Rotary Foundation of Chuck's choosing (he chose Polio Plus).
  • Dick Myren had also sent a pledge to Jeanie.  His pledge, in the amount of $61.00 is because he has just finished sixty-one years of doing Income Taxes and decided to hang it up, retiring two weeks ago.  "Hello to all, I hope this COVID thing gets over so we can start seeing all of you again."
  • Colleen Coons pledged $10 hopeful dollars asking that members pray for our new member Erika Yost who is still having health challenges and unable to attend our meetings.
  • Chuck Flint congratulated Carla Krzmarik for doing a great job presenting the Rotary Minute.  Chuck also encouraged members to donate to Polio Plus.  Members who donate $100 or more to Polio will be recognized as Polio Sustaining Members.  CLICK HERE to go directly to the separate article in this Messenger for information on how to set up automated gifts.  Chuck does not want our club to lose possession of the traveling trophy which our club was the first and only club to receive last summer for recognition of our support of Polio Plus.  Right now, some other clubs are ahead of us in polio donations this year.  Chuck also mentioned he would like to fly in that executive jet all could see in Greg's background.
  • Carla Krzmarik pledged $20 to the Rotary charity of Dan's choice.
  • Alan Cady pledged $5.  He had enjoyed a recent lunch with some former coworkers who have maintained their friendship.  Larry VanPuyl, who had recently turned 70 announced that he had been made a grandfather for the first time when his daughter was finally successful in being able to adopt a child from Texas.
Announcements
  • There will be no Zoom meetings of Mesa West Rotary Club on November 26 - Thanksgiving, December 24 - Christmas Eve, or December 31 - New Year's Eve.
  • Shelly Romine reminded members of the St. Vincent de Paul Urban Garden service project to take place Saturday morning, November 21.  She said she had eleven volunteers already scheduled, but there was room for more.
  • Shelly also told of a service opportunity that can be done from the comfort of home.  The Arizona Caregiver Coalition has asked for our help.  
"We suddenly have a large number of inquiries about a caregiver program. The funds are running out December 31 and we are trying to return all the calls. We have a script and instructions, then there is an online form that needs to be filled out for each caller (name, address, etc.).  We are looking for volunteers to help with the calls. What is needed is a phone, a computer (to access the online form), and a willingness to call people on the phone, mostly seniors."
"It takes a good 30 minutes to review the script and ideally volunteers would offer to make at least 10-15 calls. Each call takes 5-10 minutes. We could do a practice call with volunteers, if desired. We can offer a Zoom session and two of us here can role play a call and then answer questions."
The minimum time commitment would be as a one time activity around 2 hours.  This program educates caregivers of resources available to them.
EMAIL Shelly Romine if interested in helping.
 
Program - William (Bill) Hodgman
 
Lola McClane provided a brief introduction of our speaker, Bill Hodgman, who was the lead trial lawyer in the securities fraud prosecution of Charles H. Keating, Jr.  After securing convictions in that case, he was selected as the 1992 Outstanding Prosecutor of the Year by the California District Attorneys Association and the Los Angeles County Association of Deputy District Attorneys.  In 1993, Mr. Hodgman was one of the lead prosecutors involved in the investigation of Michael Jackson regarding child molestation allegations.  In 1994 and 1995, he was one of the lead prosecutors in the double-murder prosecution of O.J.Simpson.  CLICK HERE to read a more extensive bio detailing various positions held and honors achieved before he retired as Assistant District Attorney with the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.
 
Bill began his presentation by stating that in 1994 he was in Los Angeles meeting with teammates.  He had just returned from being overseas looking into matters relating to the Michael Jackson child molestation investigation.  Due to a lack of witness cooperation, the team was discussion what would happen if Jackson were charged.  As the top entertainer in the world at the time, would it be possible to empanel an honest and fair panel of jurors?  It looked like the investigation was going to wind down.  During that meeting, the team was told that breaking news was that O. J. Simpson's ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, had been found brutally murdered along with another victim, Ron Goldman.  The announcement began a case for the Special Trials Unity.  The O. J. Simpson case upended Bill's personal and business life for the following sixteen months. 
 
Bill explained that the book Helter Skelter was influential in his own career choice.  The book was authored by Vincent Bugliosi, Prosecutor of Charles Manson for the Manson Murders, so being involved in high profile cases was not outside of where he saw himself going in his profession.
 
He had a clip to share about when the verdict was delivered.  Even though Bill was not surprised by the verdict, when he heard the words, it seemed very surreal.  Social forces, media exposure and celebrity had all created a perfect storm.  He explained that the clip would set the stage for everything else he wanted to cover.  (The clip Bill showed is copyrighted and cannot be shared in the Messenger.) 
 
When Judge Ito discharged the jury, one juror raised his fist in the black power salute.  Everything was moving around Bill and he was feeling like he was in a trance.  After the camera was off,  and Judge Ito had gone out of sight and back to his chambers, O. J. Simpson went off.  He looked like a wild animal.  He was on his toes, his eyes and veins on his head and neck were bulging.  The sounds coming out of him were so guteral it was not understandable.  His own lawyers joined the bailiffs in pushing him out of the courtroom.
 
The higher the profile of the case, the stranger the events that surround it.
 
Before leaving the area, Bill spent some time with the Goldman family and his own staff - they all needed consolation.  After he got back in his own office, he was struck by the quiet.  After a while there was a knock at the door.  It was two deputies - deputies who had transported the jurors back to where they had been sequestered.  They said, "You guys never had a chance."  They said that during that trip the jurors were high-fiving each other saying "We got pay back for Rodney King."
 
The social forces that were at work creating that jubilation were from when four Los Angeles police officers were charged with beating Rodney King resulting in his death.  The four white officer were acquitted.  This added to tension that already existing in the community.  Bill said that an item worth watching was produced by ESPN entitled OJ Made in AmericaCLICK HERE for a link to it.  That was the social context.
 
Celebrity is also a dynamic force.  Bill recalled Todd Bridges, a child star on "Different Strokes."  He was tried for attempted murder.  Bill confessed he didn't know that much about him, but it was obvious the jurors knew who Todd Bridges was.  He was a drug user and dealt with dealers on the street and the murder charge evolved from that lifestyle.  On the day his verdict was rendered, after his acquittal was announced, the jurors embraced Todd after the trial.
 
The OJ Case was a perfect storm.
 
Evidence supporting the case - a case where domestic violence evolved into murder.  Experts talk about the cycle of violence.  It can lead to the act of murder.  In order to convict OJ, they would have to knock him off his iconic pedestal.  They had evidence of his violence toward Nicole before, during and after their marriage.  In one case, OJ pleaded guilty to spousal battery.  In a safe deposit box which had been rented by Nicole at a bank, bank officials found polaroid photos she had taken of herself.  The box also held diary entries documenting the abuse.  There was a note that basically said if those items were found, it would likely be because she had lost her life and would likely have lost her life at the hand of OJ.
 
After Nicole and OJ were divorced in 1990, OJ continued to try to control her life.  Being able to convince the jury of the accelerating behavior was essential to knocking OJ off his pedestal.  That effort was sabotaged when, about two months into presentation of evidence, three jurors were discharged for juror misconduct.  They were admonished to not go to media until after the trial.  Instead, they not only went to the media, the created a video and even wrote a cheesy little book indicating that the domestic violence info had nothing to do with murder.
 
After that, it became a case about blood evidence.  There was a slide of the walkway into Nicole Brown's townhome.  There had been a lot of activity in the blood itself.  Her dog had nuzzled her fallen body.  She had experienced blunt force trauma to the head which likely occurred after she was incapacitated since there was little evidence of defense wounds.  There were no screams that anyone heard.  There were multiple knife wounds.  A massive wound on her neck nearly decapitated her.  There was a quarter inch nick in her vertebrae.  Ron's body, on the other hand, evidenced a struggle.  There were multiple knife wounds - one similar to Nicole's neck wound.  Within a few feet, a glove was found.  Human hair found in the glove was consistent with OJ's hair.  A heel-print of blood was found.  There was only one set of bloody shoe prints.   They were from a very unique shoe brand - Bruno Magli - from Italy.  From measurements of the distinct footprint, the shoes were the same size worn by OJ.  There were many blood drops at the scene of the murders.  Some drops matching only OJ were found at the scene.  
 
Two miles away was OJ's residence.  Blood was found in a vehicle at that residence.  Many other blood traces were found within the Bronco.  Dark black socks bloody with Nicole's blood were found there.  A critical piece of evidence was a pair of gloves.  One was found at the scene and another within OJ's estate.  It was soaked with blood which DNA verified was from both victims and OJ.  
 
Simpson had gone to Chicago to play in a Hertz sponsored golf tournament in the days following the murders.  He was not yet officially a suspect, but he did go in voluntarily to be questioned when he returned from Chicago.  He asked no questions about how the victims had died.  He was questioned about an injury on his hand which was photographed the day he was questioned.
 
Bill said it was a tactical mistake to have Simpson put the gloves on during the trial.  Leather gets stiff and shrinks as it dries.  Attempting to put them on over the rubber gloves that were required made it look like the gloves could not possible have been his.  He said he had never owned Bruno Magli shoes and would not be seen wearing anything that ugly.  He also indicated he did not have any leather gloves.  Sports photographers went to their archives and found Simpson wearing leather gloves as well as the shoes in question.
 
Bill said there were many lessons to be drawn form the case.  October 3, 1995 was verdict day.  After spending time alone in his office which was very quiet after months of frenetic activity, he wend down the freight elevator to the basement.  Because of death threats, he had been allowed to park in the basement secure parking.  A security guard stopped him.  The fellow came over and said, "I'm so sorry - you worked so hard."  The guard's own daughter had been murdered.  LAPD investigated.  The jury acaquitted in that case also.  Friends offered to take care of that guy.  He told them to stand down.  Some years later the gangster was found dead.  The guard said "The hand of God is on OJ.  Watch and see."
 
October some years later - justice worked in the Las Vegas case.  There are inequities in society that we need to learn from so we can do better in the future.
 
President Dan invited those in attendance to stay and ask questions.  Melodie Jackson asked about the mini-series wondering how accurate it was. Bill said they took very liberal variances from the truth, so much of it was wrong.  They did capture some of the salient event.  He said he could not watch it.  He said the ESPN documentary is the one to watch.
 
Chuck Flint wished he would have been one of the jurors, adding it was one of the most profound programs Mesa West Rotarians have heard at a club meeting.
 
Colleen Coons asked about someone she thought Bill might have known.  He did not.
 
Chuck reminded everyone of his "ask" to donate to Polio Plus.
 
Lola McClane topped the meeting off by proudly adding that Bill Hodgman is her cousin.