March 13th: Mony Nop, Cambodian Story of Survival and Success


  • March 13th: Mony Nop Cambodian Story of Survival and Success
  • March 20th: VADM Paul Zukunft
  • March 27th: New Kids with a Twist


An immigrant from Cambodia, I spent the first few years of my life in a slave labor camp under the Pol Pot regime, also known as the Killing Fields of Cambodia. In order to escape this treacherous life, I walked from Cambodia to Thailand in 1978 when I was only six years old. Between 1978 and 1982, I lived in several refugee camps in Thailand and the Philippines, finally immigrating to the United States on July 8, 1983 when I was ten years old.

My life in the United States began humbly. I had to dumpster dive the first few months just to survive. After learning a brand new language and adapting to a new culture, I passed the entrance exam into the police academy. I became a police officer in 1995 because I love helping people and being involved in the community. After serving 16 years as a Livermore police officer, I began selling and buying real estate for clients in 2006. Having a most sincere passion for real estate, I decided to transition to being a full time real estate agent.

Residing in Livermore, I am very active in the business and non-profit communities. I am known for my uncompromising integrity, high level of customer service, knowledge of the Tri-Valley area and the Tri-Valley real estate market.


President Harvey was chomping at the bit to start today’s meeting, as our first warning came at 7:20AM.  By 7:25AM, President Harvey had called the meeting to order. We didn’t do as good as last week in terms of our attendance, but we did have over fifty seats filled.  And, this morning our speaker showed up.  This was a good thing, given that Rich Corriea wasn’t here to fill in. 

Not a single guest this morning.  Although the membership keeps wanting to introduce   Semara St. Denny.  That really isn’t necessary.  Since Semara is Janet Von Doepp’s “stand in”, she can actually go ahead and introduce herself.   

Excuses requested for this morning; from Jackson Talbot for Frank Reed, who is conducting a training class this morning, and via e-mail, Bert Hill who is in Washington DC. 

Two excuses requested for next week and beyond; Mike Hanlon is having rotator cuff surgery, so he’ll be off at least a week, maybe two.  And, Rickey Wilson will be touring the wine country with a friend from England next Wednesday.    

Clarification of an excuse; J. J. Panzer actually had to fly back to Wisconsin, as his Father-in-Law had a health scare.  So, J. J. was not trying to avoid wearing one of the birthday hats last Wednesday.  Also, once his Father-in-Law’s conditioned improved,

J. J. decided to return home via Scottsdale. 

Members that have returned; Owen O’Donnell sufficiently recovered from the gout to wolf down some Eggs Benedict this morning.  Since the water at 15th Avenue & Wawona Street has receded, Jaclyn Carpenter was able to take the morning off to join us for breakfast.  Finally back from Vegas, Patricia FrippFripp mentioned at her Lady and the Champs seminar, in addition to Kevin Burke of Defending the Caveman and “Dr. Life”, the 76 year old with the body of a 40 year old, the first two women to participate in the Iron Man Triathlon were also in attendance.  Also, Rickey Wilson confirms that nobody reads airline magazines.  That’s not a random statement by Rickey, as one of “Dr. Life’s” claims to fame is he appears in all the airline magazines.      

Marin Carpool #1 had a second week with only two out of three riders.  Jill Hoffman and John Cribbs made the trip into the City this morning as Roy Wonder is still travelling.  This week Jill didn’t have an evening event, so she and John actually did ride in together.  Chuck Mills said it appeared that Jill and I were color coordinated this morning, both wearing black on the top half and a lighter color on the bottom half.  So, next week I’ll wear the skirt and Jill will wear the pants.  I was worried about having to shave my legs, but Jill says I should just wear tights.

Jill is also going to start giving a weekly winery review.  This week it’s Terra Valentine winery of St. Helena.  Great wines, reasonably priced and available at Safeway.    

Marin Carpool #2 was at its full strength of two riders, Les Andersen and John McKnight.  But, this morning Les picked up John in one of the Boys and Girls Club’s big flatbed trucks.  You never know what Les will show up with.  Could be a car, could be a truck, could be a backhoe.    

Stan Ellexson reports that Russ Gorman attended last Monday’s Naval Order Luncheon and Russ is doing well.  Stan also provided me with a copy of Sidney Mobell’s world cruise itinerary.  But, I told Stan that wasn’t really necessary.  Even if Sid doesn’t send me his weekly e-mail, I can always check on Cunard’s web site.  Today the Queen Mary 2 is docked in Sydney, Australia.  So, Sidney is in Sydney, with nine excuses remaining.

Happily back to wearing two shoes, Ken Brown.  Next week Ken can finally get rid of his last crutch. 

New introduction tag line for Phil Moscone and Jim Lazarus delivered by Jim; “civic leaders”.  Jim says since both he and Phil were Deputy City Attorneys, that qualifies them as “civic leaders”.  Jim also says the Chamber itself has a new tag line, “San Francisco, where the world changes”.  This prompted Jim to relate an only in San Francisco story about change.  Seems when Jim was running the S F Zoo, he brought his kids along one day and his kids met a zoo employee that was “changing”.  Their question; “which way?”  That reminds me of the time I was driving my daughters to school and my youngest daughter, Michela, who was then in the second grade, asked “Dad, explain to me again the difference between a transvestite and a transsexual”.  Yes, only in San Francisco. 

Doug Wilkins pulled out a copy of 2/11’s S F Examiner that featured an op-ed piece written by Jim Lazarus about CleanPowerSF.  Jim says read the fine print before you sign up.  Doug agrees.  Of course, would you look to Shell Oil to save you money on energy?  Jim also offered to autograph Doug’s copy of the column.        

Back to breakfast for the second week in a row; Johnson You.  Again, Johnson delivered with two jokes.  The first was about a priest and a bus driver at the gates of heaven, and second about a young couple that was just married.  For Johnson’s jokes, you have to be here.  I just can’t do them justice.  

With Johnson’s return, both Alan Garber and Marty Mijalski decided not to tell any jokes.  Garber may be excited about his upcoming trip to Scottsdale.  Even though he didn’t have a joke, Marty did dispense a bit of advice; remember, half the people you meet today will be below average. 

If you can’t afford to go to Scottsdale like J. J. and Garber, Don Persky says his little league team his getting ready for their opener.  You only have to be able to get to Moscone Playground in the Marina. 

Getting ready to file suit against some oil and gas schemers in Texas, John Mathers

Evidently this case has been going on since 1986 and involves a partner, or partners, in the giant law firm Baker & McKenzie?  Although it’s news to me, Garber knew all about it.  It involved sexual harassment, suicide and disbarment.  And Mike Hanlon presided over the part of the case that resulted in the disbarment of one of the partners.  Sounds like there’s material for a good book, movie or TV mini-series here.

We were expecting 49ers scout Josh Williams to be our speaker, and while Josh did mange to speak, for a while it looked like our speaker was Terry Cowhey.  With all the problems Terry has on his jobs, wherever Terry goes, you have to wonder.  Is it the world or is it Terry?    

No Recology delays for Tom Jacobs again this morning, but Tom was still late.  Matter of fact, when Jacobs arrived, the other Tom, Smegal, had already finished his breakfast.

Since this is Smegal’s first GGBC appearance as a Federal Administrative Patent Judge, Tom thought it prudent to remind the membership that he cannot fix tickets, only patents.  

Even though Jacobs doesn’t have a beef with Recology this morning, Past President Hugh Tuck does.  There was a property transaction many years ago between members of President Hugh’s family.  The garbage bill Hugh’s sister receives from Recology still has the name of the original owner.  That’s not Recology’s fault though, that change of ownership goes back to when BFI was the service provider.  That’s way before Recology’s time.      

There were no birthdays this week, but President Harvey, even though he wants to eliminate the singing of the birthday song when this situation occurs, announced that last Wednesday was J. J. Panzer’s birthday.  So, a hat was worn and the birthday song was sung.  Just as God, and Jack Block intended.    

What did Guest Secretary Mike Mustacchi do for this week’s minutes since he had the same speaker as the previous week?  “Ditto”, which is Italian for ditto, as translated by Mike Hanlon.  Who will translate next week while Hanlon has his rotator cuff surgery?  Why, our translator will be Eduardo Fiore, otherwise known as Ed Flowers.  You didn’t know Ed could speak Italian?  Well, technically, Ed speaks the Sicilian dialect.  Close enough though.         

Knucklehead of the Week: by popular demand of the membership, many of whom corralled me early this AM to make sure their votes were counted, sailboat thief Leslie Gardner and his two unsuspecting compatriots, Dario Mira and Lisa Modawell.  These guys got to be pretty big knuckleheads to receive such an overwhelming endorsement.         



"Scientific Truth" is NOT!

Yet another study published in our Chronicle "reveals" radical rise in temperatures over the last 100 years!  The latest results "prove" that 11,000 years of "Global Cooling" suddenly reversed near the dawn of our 20th Century.  Graphing the data produces an alarming image. It looks like a "Hockey Stick pointing upwards!"  Al Gore's "Inconvenient Truth" is becoming "THE TRUTH" in the Court of Common Public Opinion.

I remind my young daughter that our lifespans, personally available tools of reliable scientific investigation, and individual expertise, are all very limited.  Few of us have reliable means to judge with certainty the "Ultimate Truth" of what "Science" teaches us. 

I amuse my daughter with personal recollection examples from my own first "Half Century."  Her "Big Bang Theory" was just a "crackpot fancy" among a small minority of Astrophysicists when I was her age.  Paleontologists taught me then that Dinosaurs were more like "Big Lizzards" than the warm blooded beginnings of feathered Birds. No one suggested that maybe some advanced forms could even have hunted cooperatively and lived collectively in social groups, raising their young in common!  Extinction of those "monsters" had nothing to do with a giant astroid slamming into the Earth 63 million years ago, according to BOTH groups of "Scientists."  The "experts" could not even agree among themselves whether that cataclysmic impact even occurred!

"Scientists," like Economists, Politicians, Artists, and nearly all others, (even Theologians), all give us only "Temporary Truths." Some of those last thousands of years. I urge my daughter to read Percy Shelley's fictionally poetic account of a lone traveler in the desert encountering a nearly buried broken statue of immense dimensions from Ancient times, bearing an inscription: 

"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"

I now am persuaded that global warming probably IS happening. I am concerned that it may seriously threaten my daughter's generation, even far more than my own.  I am CERTAIN only that I believe all that largely because that's what I am told by "Scientists" I must trust to know more about it than I can possibly hope to verify for myself. (I remain skeptical of any alleged connection with my City Supervisors' "true" motivations for ordering our merchants to charge us all for the bags they always gave us graciously.)