March 20th: Vice Admiral Paul Zukunft


March 20th: Vice Admiral Paul Zukunft
March 27th: New Kids with a twist
April 3rd: Rosalind Franklin, Life Coach


Vice Admiral Paul F. Zukunft assumed the duties of Commander, Coast Guard Pacific Area in April 2012, where he serves as the operational commander for all U.S. Coast Guard missions within the half of the world that ranges from the Rocky Mountains to the waters off the East Coast of Africa. He concurrently serves as Commander, Defense Force West and provides Coast Guard mission support to the Department of Defense and Combatant Commanders.

Vice Admiral Zukunft was promoted to flag rank in 2006. His five previous flag assignments include The Assistant Commandant for Marine Safety, Security and Stewardship; Director of Response Policy, Assistant Commandant for Capability; Commander, Eleventh Coast Guard District; and Director, Joint Interagency Task Force West. Additionally, Vice Admiral Zukunft served as the

Federal On-Scene Coordinator for the Deepwater Horizon Spill of National Significance in 2010 and directed more than 47,000 responders, 6,500 vessels and 120 aircraft during the largest oil spill in U.S. history Vice Admiral Zukunft has served extensively at sea, commanding the CGC RUSH, CGC HARRIET LANE, and the CGC CAPE UPRIGHT. Vice Admiral Zukunft’s senior staff assignments include Chief of Operations, Coast Guard Pacific Area and Chief of Operations Oversight, Coast Guard Atlantic Area where he directly supervised all major cutter operations in the Atlantic and Pacific theaters. He also served as Chief of Staff, Fourteenth Coast Guard District in Honolulu.

Vice Admiral Zukunft graduated from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in 1977 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Government. He attended Webster University in 1988 where he received his Masters of Arts degree in Management, and the U.S. Naval War College in 1997 graduating with a Masters of Arts degree in National Security and Strategic Studies. He is a graduate of the Asia Pacific Center for Strategic Studies Executive Seminar and Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government National Preparedness Leadership Initiative course.

Vice Admiral Zukunft is a native of North Branford, Connecticut. He wears the permanent Cutterman pin and is a certified NIMS ICS Type I Incident Commander. His personal awards include the Department of Homeland Security Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, three Legions of Merit and five Meritorious Service medals with “O” device among others.


President Harvey called us to order right on time and the membership was unusually compliant.  Maybe it was because we had a huge number of guests and the membership wanted to convey a good impression upon our visitors. In any case, again, well over fifty seats filled.  Too bad our minimum is sixty. 

Eleven guests this morning.  Betty Taisch hosted six of them!  Betty’s boss, Don Diltz, a frequent visitor to the GGBC, Sheila Sykes of Opportunities Plus, Christian Einfeldt from State Farm Insurance (Christian’s third visit), Nancy Weber, Nicole Sweeney and Natalie MacDonaldNicole and Natalie are associates of our speaker, Mony NopKen Brown brought along Kelly Strain, an Environmental Planner.  Mike Mattis hosted Natalie Harper and Ed Flowers brought along middle Son, GeorgeGeorge came the farthest this morning.  All the way from Brooklyn. Last but not least, former member Patti Mangan was accompanied by Janet Stander.        

Four excuses requested for this morning via e-mail; Robin Brasso, Malik Looper, Jaclyn Carpenter and Jill Hoffman.  Only Jill owned up to me and editor Antonio White as to why she needed an excuse.  Jill is in Houston, Texas, visiting family.  Jill says this is a lovely time of year to visit Houston.  Is there ever a lovely time of year to visit Houston?  Eric McGarty requested excuses for Jackson Talbot and Frank Reed, both allegedly working. Reg Young excused the previously excused Mike Hanlon who is recovering from rotator cuff surgery, and Jim Simpson.  Heading east for two weeks, Patricia Fripp.  First stop Rhode Island, then coming back through Houston.  I understand this is a lovely time of year to visit Houston.

Request for a retroactive excuse; last week Ken Brown forgot to excuse his driver, Marty Fleisher, who was also in Scottsdale.  While Ken is still using the crutch, he needs to be nicer to Marty as Marty says he’s getting tired of getting Ken his breakfast every Wednesday.  Literally, do not bite the hand that feeds you.         

The GGBC admitted a new member this morning.  Recent past speaker Shawn Brown.  I guess we didn’t scare Shawn off.  

Members that have returned; Wayne Veatch back from his holiday at Mt. Zion.  The one on Divisadero Street, not the one in Jerusalem.  Dan Herling is back from exotic Dayton, Ohio and San Antonio.  Dan did mention that Class A office space goes for $3.00 a square foot in Dayton.  Why?  Because it’s in Dayton.  Bert Hill returned from Washington DC where Bert endured a horrific storm that dumped a half inch of snow on the Capitol.  The folks in DC handle snow about as good as we San Franciscans would.  Bert also said every Congressional Aide is now wearing one of his little bike pins.  Given that most Congressional Aides are barely out of their teens, Bert’s little pins are well received.  Since pheasant season is now over, Bill Buchanan is back to breakfast.  Mostly to get away from two hyperactive bird dogs.  Bill also invites the membership to attend the annual commemoration luncheon for the Battle of Iwo Jima.  Only problem, by the time you read this, the luncheon will be over.  It was on Wednesday at 11:30AM right here at the MMC.         

I don’t know if it was because Jill Hoffman and Roy Wonder are both out of town, but John Cribbs didn’t make it to breakfast this morning.  So, that means Marin Carpool #1 didn’t operate today.  But, Marin Carpool #2 was operating and both Les Andersen and John McKnight made the trip.  In a car this time.  

Owen O’Donnell made it two weeks in a row!

Also for two weeks in a row, Stan Ellexson again had lunch will Russ GormanRuss is using a walker, but he’s getting around just fine.  

Employed through May; Phil Moscone.  Doesn’t sound like semi-retired to me.  

Arlan Kertz let us know we have only four and a half weeks to file our extensions. 

Doug Wilkins reminded us that this coming Sunday is St. Patrick’s Day.  Doug also reminds us that Persian New Year begins next Wednesday at 4:03AM

Where is Sidney Mobell?  Today the Queen Mary 2 is at sea on the way to Milford Sound, New Zealand.  Sidney really likes these world cruises, as Sidney has already put in his deposit for next year’s cruise.  Except next year Sidney will be on the new Queen Elizabeth. Sidney has eight excuses remaining.

Johnson You was not here this week, but neither Alan Garber nor Marty Mijalski stepped up to the plate.  Maybe Garber was still disappointed from his trip to Scottsdale where Garber experienced two rainouts in a single day.  Marty did dispense more sage advice, but Marty was turned to face the audience and I didn’t hear him clearly.  Must not have been too bad, as Goldie stayed put. 

Garber should have taken my advice from last week’s column when I suggested instead of going to Scottsdale, you should go and watch Don Persky’s little league team.  Don’s team lost their opener, 37-36.  Wow, I didn’t realize that Moscone Playground was such a hitter’s park.  Or, is Don coaching a basketball team?  

New member John Mathers has an axe to grind with P G & E.  Seems P G & E shut off John’s power for non payment.  But, since John has solar power, he actually had a credit with P G & E.  Except P G & E’s billing system doesn’t recognize credits.  P G & E must use the same billing software as Recology, as we don’t recognize credits either. 

Watching the CBS Evening News, Joel Panzer caught reporter Mark Phillips explaining that the Vatican Bank’s “transactions have not always been kosher”.  Joel wants to know if anything in the Vatican is kosher? 

Newly unemployed, Terry Cowhey.  The PUC shut down his job in Sunol.  Again, is it the world or is it Terry?    

A second week in a row with no Recology delays for Tom Jacobs.  But, Tom did see one of our drivers improperly servicing a city litter can at Sacramento and Van Ness.  Truck #14527, duly noted.  As a result of Tom’s diligence, Rob DeMartini, Dan Negron and I decided we should deputize Tom.  So, Rob presented Tom with a Recology gym bag filled with the proper equipment; safety vest, safety goggles, gloves, BPA free plastic water bottle, and most importantly, an official Recology Safety Observation Booklet. 

Hedy Kaveh wants to know how Jacobs can memorize all these Recology five digit truck numbers but can’t figure out how to check his name off the attendance sheet. 

Now that our other Tom, Smegal, has gone to work for the Federal Government, he wants you to know “I’m here to help”. 

Subbing for Mike Hanlon, Reg Young had a single birthday this week; Bert Hill on Monday. 

Guest Secretary Mike Mustacchi did have his new translator, also subbing for Mike Hanlon, Eduardo FioreEduardo did a great job.  I understood everything he said perfectly.           

Knucklehead of the Week: deadline looms and my train is waiting, so the Knuckleheads get a pass for this week.



What is the “Price of Prestige?”

Our SF Symphony is choosing to go “ON STRIKE!”

Their AVERAGE Salary is $165,000 per year, according to CBS News.

We are told their Union justifies a 5% increase demand to our cash strapped City by pointing out that others, like Chicago, pay more.

How many of us recall President Regan's response to demands of the “irreplaceable” Air Traffic Controllers, in his tough economic times?

As we struggle out of nearly half a decade of the worst economic challenges since “The Great Depression,” I wondered if $165K could offer a welcome opportunity to undiscovered aspiring virtuosos, hungering for “The Chance of their lifetimes" in an internationally recognized citadel of artistic creativity?

I solicited expert advice from our new resident manager of complex wealth, skilled in interpreting macroeconomic debates fraught with profound societal consequences, into “Plain English.”  His sponsor, also the energetically creative driving genius behind our fabulously improved website and newest promotional initiatives, could not restrain himself from answering my call first.  That soon cast me squarely into a Parallax crossfire between Antonio White and Shawn Brown.  One insightfully reminded me with topically timely relevance that, “$165,000 is the average Salary at Adobe's design department from people who graduated only 4 years ago with very little experience in the real world,” and that, “the Symphony is like [recent GGBC speaker] Josh Brown’s talk about the 49ers Scouting, you hope you find people who can look past the prestige of the game and who would play it for free.”   The other wittily constrained his reply to the following single sentence: “President Reagan was a Great American and led the nation with unifying themes. I am troubled that $165k isn't enough in these difficult times without even considering the socioeconomic impact...”.  I leave it to you to guess “Who is Who, and Which is Which.” (My apologies to Roger Waters.)

Seeking a way out of the impasse I had created, I resolved to forward this “President’s Column” submission to both Sidney Mobel and Anthony Alfidi, but NOT until AFTER I had already directed publication NO MATTER WHAT THEY SAY!  The fundamental dynamic tension is not over, for any of us, even if “The Music is Over “(for now), at Davies Hall.