Apologies for the late Hubs- emergency motions filed by opposing counsel in 2 cases and a sick wife and paralegal (2 different women but equal goddesses) have impeded progress.  All are well and justice prevailed.

Rep. Jimmy Panetta pictured with Club Co-Presidents Kendra Cleary & Laura Grinder

Our February 16, 2023 lunch meeting was at Seascape.  We had 31 members and guests attend. We were in the little room due to Seascape Construction. Our Speaker was our Congressman Jimmy Panetta, who absolutely noticed and commented on the smallness of the room we were in. No luck convincing him that our group size had increased and fill the room better!!
Co-Prez Laura ran the meeting with her usual aplomb and efficient diplomacy.
Kendra brought guest Barry Scott who is a PGE education vocational teacher, works at Cabrillo on career counseling and was a proponent of Coastal rail No on D.
Barry joined us for the Beach Cleanup at Seacliff two days after his first meeting, so neglecting to document his first meeting with a photo we captured his first Rotary Service Project!

Constantin and Anders were there all the way from Europe.
Dave Watkins brought his daughter Jessica- she is a welcome sight and a pleasure...Dave- how did that happen?
Becky looked particularly fabulous in an outfit that would have made a splash at a posh nightclub.

Lisa Berkowitz, our recent speaker and Executive Director of Meals on Wheels gave us an update---they are still trying to avoid eviction by the school district  but suitable space is hard to locate mid-county.  If any members have any leads with any commercial real estate that's available for a long term lease that has a commercial kitchen or one where it could be installed, please let her know.
And we should have a big turnout from our club at their March 17 fundraiser at Chaminade---special incentive is that Pam A is being recognized for her contributions to the MOW program. 

Dr Art's thought for the day:  diapers and politicians need to be changed frequently for the same reasons.

Don't forget the March 19 field trip to Rotary International Women's Day  in San Jose and our March 23 field trip to UCSC.   

Sam led the Welcome Song on guitar.  We'd almost forgotten but Kelly reminded us and of course sounded great on lead vocals.

Our guest speaker was representative Jimmy Panetta who is in his 4th term in Congress. 
Re-drawing of the Congressional districts has changed the boundaries of his domain, which used to be the 20th to the 19th District.  The 19th  stretches from South San Jose to Northern SLO.  It does not include Watsonville but fortunately includes us.  He joked that he traded lettuce for wine.  He calls it the most beautiful district in the nation- who is to argue with that? He said since the redistricting lines have been drawn it looks a Lazy L when viewing it on the map!
He sits on the House Ways and Means and Armed Services committees among others and is the Assistant Minority Whip- which is a job title that MUST be understood in context.

 He went to MPC, and graduated from Santa Clara Law School (shoutout to your author's alma mater) He is a former prosecutor as was his wife Carrie who is now is a judge.  (Shoutout for the oft- maligned legal profession.)  He was also an intelligence officer in the army and served in Afghanistan. 

Mr. Panetta goes by Jimmy and  is eminently approachable and thanked us for once again inviting him and Rotary's service.  With all he has to do it's a testament to his work ethic that he takes the time to speak to 30 people: influential as we are, we are only 30 votes....  He of course recalls being roasted by us and he has apparently gotten served at our 4th of July beer/wine booth....

He spoke about some of the issues, projects and bills he is working on/has worked to pass: Affordable housing, health care, reduction of gun violence, conservation, coastline preservation, veterans affairs including legal aid and health care, infrastructure, agriculture, supporting Ukraine, debt reduction, capping insulin prices and Medicare expenses, the child tax credit, meaningful immigration reform, decoupling trade withy China and among other things universal background checks for firearm purchases.

He said crazy is the new normal in Congress, and noted that C-Span has introduced new camera angles-really-because of the antics of some congresspeople who he did not name but probably include the ones whose names sound like - Margarine Sailor's Dream and Max Hates.

He warned of catastrophic consequences if the debt ceiling is not raised and lamented that Kevin McCarthy has not put forth a plan to avoid default.
Mr. Panetta also spoke about how well his constituents/public service communities came together after the recent storms.  He described the successful efforts to get a disaster declaration and letters to White House that got the FEMA centers open. 

He touted President Biden’s trip here and noted that the last presidential visit was after 1989 quake.  The streets and beach were lined with people cheering- something not seen during the last administration.

He leaked that Zach Friend planted the chocolate chip ice cream trip to Marianne's that President Biden got in on while here. He neglected to mention that President Biden waved to us during the helicopter flyover of the January 12th Capitola-Aptos Rotary Meeting. (His lack of recognition for the President's obvious show of respect to our club with said fly over, now requires us to refer back to Dr. Art's Thought Of The Day, right here!!!)  He also had no comment on George Santos' claim to have been the pilot of Marine 1.

Jimmy pictured with Rotarian Eric Costello

Jimmy urged us to spread the message to contact his office if there are problems with federal bureaucracy---his view is that government can and should help.

He finished his presentation by relating his personal experience with the January 6th insurrection, the anger at what was unfolding and how Congress was determined that the rioters would not succeed.  His conclusion was, "We are about January 7, not January  6."
         Thanks for coming Jimmy, we can't wait to have you back as speaker at one of our new dinner meetings!