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Windmill for April 18, 2024

By Janet Schwartz

President Steve Day opened our second hybrid meeting. This will become a weekly option for those members who cannot attend in person. 

PP Peter More was today’s greeter and Aaron Donahue led the Pledge of Allegiance.  Today’s speaker has a law degree from USC, so PP Ed Gauld led the USC fight song while wearing a Trojan helmet.  The Bruins who were present wanted equal time, so Bill Roen led the UCLA “Eight-clap” cheer.

PP Ron Lyster presented the thought of the day.   He read a poem which Mother Teresa had on her wall.  It was a version of a poem “Do It Anyway” originally written by American Kent Keith. Some of the lines are:

 “If you are honest and sincere, people may deceive you.  Be honest and sincere anyway.” “The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow. Be good anyway.”

PP Mark Rogo described a photograph from a bomb shelter at the Givat Haviva International School near Haifa. This school is one that WVRC annually supports under its international projects.  During the recent missile and drone attacks by Iran, the Israeli and Palestinian students stayed with their families, but the other international students took refuge in the large bomb shelter. Luckily no one was injured from the school in the attack.

Ed Jackson introduced today’s speaker, Steve Cooley who is a lawyer and former Los Angeles District attorney (from 2000-2012).  Steve Cooley attended Cal State Los Angeles and later studied at the USC law school where he earned a J.D. degree. He mentioned that he does have a connection with UCLA through his father and daughter. After receiving his J.D. degree, he joined the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office and served as a reserve police officer and as a prosecutor.

Steve Cooley had been invited to give a presentation in the past, but COVID intervened.   During the pandemic he turned his attention to writing books about police officers who died in the line of duty. He and Robert Schirn wrote Blue Lives Matter (In the line of duty) and Blue Lives in Jeopardy. He is currently working on a book about the 150th anniversary of the Los Angeles police force. The goal of these books was not to make money, but to provide information for law enforcement personnel. Copies have been distributed to homicide investigators.

His books have been well researched and feature specific examples of tragic events in which police officers have been killed or assassinated. The goal is to provide information as well as instructional material. Each chapter is followed by a “lessons learned” section to increase officers’ awareness of potential dangers and to offer advice for preventing further incidents.  

The first book (Blue Lives Matter) contains information about officers and one canine who were shot and killed in the line of duty.  In some cases, the officers were shot during routine traffic stops when they did not expect a driver to have a weapon.

The second book (Blue Lives in Jeopardy) gives examples of planned assassinations of officers, including an assassination by a teenager who wanted to impress a street gang.  There are also examples of officers who were ambushed before they could draw their weapons.

During the question / answer period, the following topics were discussed:

  • Rehabilitation may not work for hardened criminals, and prison may be the best place to keep them.  However, there should be rehabilitation and additional programs to help other types of offenders.


  • Street takeovers are currently a serious and challenging issue for the LAPD and Sheriffs.  The people organizing these takeovers may be outsiders creating a disturbance in LA neighborhood including injury to spectators and/or participants.

  • On immigration: Immigrants should be vetted.  Unfortunately, Venezuela has been sending gang members to the U.S. and because they are not vetted, they get through the border and cause trouble here and then run back to their country.

This was an informative and thought-provoking talk about officers who swear to protect and defend the citizens of Los Angeles. Their lives should not be endangered while they are performing their duties.  Steve Cooley has written books which will hopefully help to prevent future tragedies involving policy officers.


The meeting ended with two quotations from Albert Einstein who died on April 18, 1955.

 “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” and, “Weak people revenge. Strong people forgive. Intelligent people ignore.”

  • April 27th Rotarians at Work Day which will take placed around the world will see District 5280 cleaning up the beach at Sunset and PCH from 8:30am to 11am. Please register on the District website and plan to attend.

  • May 3rd - Dodger Baseball!!! A fun evening so plan to attend this District wide even. Tickets available on the District website.

  • May 3rd to 5th - District 5280 Conference, downtown at the famous Biltmore Hotel. Registration is now open on the district website.

  • Monday, May 13th - RI President Gordon McInally's luncheon at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Plan to attend and purchase your ticket on the District website.

  • Saturday, May 18th - District Assembly to be held in Burbank, California. Registration on District website. Everyone is invited to attend and hear what the District has in store for the 2024/2025 Rotary year.

  • May 19th, Sip and Sea wine tasting at PP Chris Rose Gaynor's home. Invitations have gone out so please be sure to RSVP.


  • April 25th, 2024, at Westwood Transitional Village, 1401 S. Sepulveda Blvd. There will be a presentation on this year's Humanitarian trip by UCLA Rotaractor and PP Diane Good's Paris Marathon Adventure.

WVRC 2023/2024 Leadership Team

President: Steve Day

President Elect: Benjamin Fisher

Vice President: Currently Opened

Treasurer: Terry M. White

Youth/Vocational Service: PP Diane Good

Director/Peace: PP Marsha Hunt

Foundation: PP Gordon Fell

Global Scholarships: PP Chris Bradford

Webmaster: PP Ron Lyster

District Governor: Makiko Nakasone

Immediate Past President: Chris Gaynor

Secretary: PP Nancy McCready

Community Service: David Strover

International Service: PP Nancy McCready & Nevin Senkan

Director: PP Tom Barron

Membership: PP Mark Rogo

Director/Social Media: PP Aly Shoji

Sargent at Arms: Jim Crane

Windmill Editor: Teya McCockran