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Bulletin Editor
Rich Orr

President Anne opened the meeting by welcoming students and city staff participating in the City of San Mateo’s 81st Youth-in-Government Day.  The annual event coordinated by Sheila Canzian, Drew Corbett, and others focused student attention on the City’s revision of its General Plan.  Branded “Strive San Mateo”, under the guidance of the city’s Chief Planner, Ron Munekawa, the review process envisions San Mateo's management of it’s growth and responsibilities to it’s citizenry through the year 2040.


Noting that October 24th was World Polio Eradication Day, Anne touted the strides made through Rotary’s 30+ year vaccination efforts.  Currently, only 2 countries worldwide (Afghanistan and Pakistan) have reported new polio cases.  Assuming you are not planning to join a Rotary mission to either country, you can still participate by making a contribution through the Rotary International Foundation. (In the event you missed it, there’s a special ‘End Polio Now’ donation envelope inside the latest Rotarian Magazine.  It is not post-paid, however;  you’ll have to use your own stamp!)


Co-chairmen Alan Talansky, Juan Raigoza …. and their committed volunteers staged another highly successful Fun Run with over 300 participants running, jogging, or walking the 5K or 10K course at Seal Park.  While the final tallies are not yet available, proceeds from the race event will supplement San Mateo Rotary’s scholarship program.  Thanks to all who sponsored, ran, or volunteered their time and talents!  Pictured is Peter Webb modeling the 2019 Fun Run commemorative shirt.  According to Talansky, this shirt along with a hard hat will gain you access to any construction site in the country.


  • Mark your calendars for the evening of November 14th, and enjoy dinner at MediCi on the second floor of Hillsdale Mall with like-minded Rotarians and spouses, friends, and guests.  It’s a great opportunity to socialize with new and prospective Rotarians as well as to see the renovations of Hillsdale Mall.  Festivities begin at 5:30 PM.  Contact Cheryl Angeles, Dick Bennett, Jodi De Smidt, or Margaret Taylor for reservations.

Attorney, Author, and Lecturer Jim Wagstaffe presented a talk he titled Freedom of Speech in Turbulent Times.  Given the incivility of public discourse today, one might wonder whether the First Amendment is being abused by some in society.  On the contrary, Wagstaffe argues.  It is the right to speak freely that is fundamental to the health and welfare of democracy itself.  


There have been times in our nation’s history, (generally times of armed conflict) when First Amendment rights have been abridged, but in each era, the Supreme Court has ruled in favor of freedom of speech and of the press.


Wagstaffe contends the acrimony we observe in discourse on a national level is less a problem of free speech and more a problem of failure to listen and to try to understand an opposing view.  "How many of us", he queried, "choose our news feeds from like-minded sources?"  (Editor’s retort:  Most of us!  If your blood pressure is under control presently, it won’t be after listening to some of the crazies out there!)


Some aspects of speech (slander, libel, obscenity) are not protected under the First Amendment.  The murky area is that of social media wherein the platform, (think Facebook) declines responsibility for the tone or the accuracy of what is posted on its site.  While Jim expressed a level of discomfort when law makers begin to tamper with First Amendment Rights, this editor sees a bright legal future for Attorney Wagstaffe in the social media arena!







Ron Munekawa           Youth-in-Government Students

Photos courtesy of Peter Webb MD


President Anne Campbell
Upcoming Speakers
Oct 31, 2019
Schneider & Sullivan
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