Happy New Year From GGBC!

Wishing all our Breakfast Clubbers and their families a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year! Remember, our first meeting of the year is Wednesday Jan 8th, 2014


This column doesn’t contain any member news.  Since this morning was our Holiday Party, I spent most of my time getting the Commandant’s Room ready and then serving as the MC, leaving me little time for note taking.  Plus, there are too many guests to list, and without our customary self-introductions, I don’t have my usual plethora of jokes, comments and responses to the comments to use as material for this column.  Also, I don’t think it’s fair to dump the column writing duty on one of my backups, as both Bill Buchanan and Wayne Veatch bring their wives along and both Bill and Wayne should be good hosts.    

Even though it’s Christmas and not Thanksgiving, this column is to give thanks.  To President Harvey for his able assistance during this morning’s meeting.  To our entertainers, Noah Griffin, Heather Rogers, Erich Stratmann and Big Mike Pritchard.  Who all give of their time for only a breakfast as compensation.  To our pianist, Dick Evans, who accompanies both Noah and Erich.  To Stan Ellexson for being a good sport.  To those members who provided our door prizes, Jeanine Spencer, Bill and Claire Buchanan, Patricia Fripp, Joel and J. J. Panzer, Sidney Mobell and Janet Von Doepp.  And, to Santa Claus for taking time out of his very busy schedule to visit the GGBC.  It’s too bad that Mike Hanlon again excused himself to visit the restroom just prior to Santa’s arrival.

Finally, I’ll give thanks to each and every one of you for attending this morning’s meeting, for your friendship and for allowing me to be the GGBC’s Christmas equivalent of Guy Lombardo

To all of you, and your families, I hope that you had a very Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Years.  See you all on January 8th.   




My earliest “New Year’s Resolution” is being tested even before the New Year begins!  I write this nearly a week after I first drafted the following positive encouragement intended for all.  The message of personal challenge has already come back around to me dearly:  5 more unprecedented daily bans on my beloved Holiday Homefires!  I submit this final column as your 2013 President.  Let us “Pass the Torch” for 2014 with confidence to our deserving Navy JAG, Jill Hoffman:

“Friday the 13th set a record SIX STRAIGHT DAILY BANS ON HOME FIREPLACE BURNING this year!  It also made a new record of 10 already since this year's Winter "Spare the Air" monitoring and control program resumed.  

Those all closely follow the recent Thanksgiving Holiday bans that  I have come to expect.  Experience suggests that Christmas Eve and Day, and New Years Eve and Day, again all look like likely candidates.

The alert that was issued soon after our 12/11/13 meetingalready topped the last consecutive record of 4 daily bans.  The immediate damper on my "Holiday Cheer" prompted me to investigate.  Why are so MANY bans arising right around our favorite holidays?  Is the air quality really that bad?  Could this be instead more like another "Greenest City” agenda?

I crawled through the summaries linked successively on the "Spare the Air” website.  Each new "answer" seemed too general.  Too easy to hide "political" agendas?
I called the “information” phone number for the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.  More transfers and referrals.  I did not really believe the last one assuring me he would have an "experienced expert" get back to me.

In minutes, a technically educated staffperson called to walk me through details of comprehensively archived data with clarity and precision.  He even candidly acknowledged some points of unavoidable uncertainty in forecasting particulate pollution concentrations at the core of my concerns. 

I thought immediately of Tom Smegal's new introduction (calculated to draw weekly laughs):  "I'm from the Government, and I'm here to help you!"

The joke's on me.  I can't yet be sure of the fairness or real public health need for the newest consecutive ban alert issued for Saturday(12/14/13), just as I (first) wrote this.  I am still resolving to give benefit of doubts to those who seem sincerely to be trying to help honestly. 

This week the World honors Nelson Mandella's lifelong personal sacrifices in search of reconciling bitterly opposed forces of historical magnitude.

This Holiday Season: Resolve to Try a New Compromise!”




Your GGBC Bulletin Editorial Team of Pete Ratto and Antonio White want to extend a very special Thank You to Betty Taisch for all of her great photos over the past year. Thanks Betty for helping to document all the fun!

President Harvey Elam for a great year of columns

Thank you Stan Ellexsen for your support and many contributions to the bulletin.

Cathy Scharetg and M. Christine Torrington for their great photo contributions

Reg Young for Technical Assistance and Support

A VERY SPECIAL THANK YOU to all of our Bulletin  Sponsors: Pete Ratto (Recology) Jim Simpson (Simpson SportsMed), Cathy Scharetg (Coldwell Banker), David Dissmeyer (ACME Roofing), Grant Hundley (Hundley Hardware), J.J. Panzer (Real Management Co.), Reg Young (ORCA Computer Solutions), Betty Taisch (Coldwell Banker), Michael Mustacchi (Mustacchi and Assoc.) and Maj. Gen Mike Myatt (Marines' Memorial Hotel)