Spindrift March 19, 2020

Starting a bit late at 12:22, President Ken DuFour began with an inspiring prayer relevant to today’s times, and we had Deane Bottorf challenge us to assume to proper position for the flag salute.

Mike Gertner and Pas President Wally Ziglar

Ken encouraged members to speak their opinions on whether and how the Coronavirus should have an impact on our club. We heard about how healthy some of us were, how old some of us were, and how the bottom line was that people will do what they want to do. There is no plan to change our weekly meetings currently. It is completely your choice. It was announced by Richard Swinney that the Priority Center (formerly Child Abuse Prevention Center) Gala has been postponed.

President-elect George Lesley was pleased to introduce Natalie Basmaciyan, the Homeless Coordinator for the City of Newport Beach. She has been helping in volunteer work at the Library in the past and enjoyed helping people in the Library’s community involvement. Graduating from UCI, she went on to Rutgers University for her master’s degree. Coincidentally, she was chosen as Youth of the Year by our club when in high school.

Newport Beach does have a specific homeless obligation (from Housing and Urban Development) every two years to conduct a Point in Time homeless survey.

In January 2019 our canvas showed 64 people. These people have direct ties to Newport Beach, such as prior residents, place of employment, doctors or schooling. The impacted locations include Newport and Balboa piers, Newport Beach Trans-portation Center, and the Civic Center Area. If people are in a public place, they are not violating the law. There has been some wonderful work done by some churches to support our public work efforts, which include using a program called Citi Net. City Net is a social services provider that employs licensed social workers, behavioral specialists, and housing navigators. Newport Beach signed a contract with City Net last August. One of the functions that are very helpful to the homeless is to help them get a valid photo ID or birth certificate so they can be entered into the system for help, often with the assistance from the VA in Long Beach. 

Natalie Basmaciyan
John Kruse, Deane Bottorf, Mike Campbell, Bob Kinton

Among the successes of City Net are housing a 30-year homeless man at the Central Library in an apartment in Anaheim; housing a mother and daughter (97 and 67-year olds) in an apartment in Tustin, relocating a domestic violence survivor by the 73 Freeway back to housing in Riverside and placing an evicted Newport Beach woman in a psychiatric treatment house in Costa Mesa. Orange County has a Coordinated Entry System to help match people to housing opportunities, using criteria that include disability and Veteran status. Speaker Natalie knows some of the homeless by name and is therefore both a social and administrative link with helping ameliorate the problem. Newport Beach already has supportive housing for veterans, located behind Cappy’s Café on Coast Highway. She has 140 people on her spreadsheet now. Several locations are being examined for building suitable facilities. Thank you, Natalie, for sharing with us this important work.

Speaker Natalie President Ken

The committee, chaired by Secretary and Past President Richard Swinney, is meeting weekly now, with regular action items being accomplished each week. Look at the www.exchangeclubofnewportharbor.com website and see how easy it is to dedicate a flag for that special person. Also, put it on your calendar for the 15th of May weekend. Download the flag order form attached if you want to add more information or avoid the PayPal fee we pay.


Harlan Pauley won the $10 Hamilton and Program Chair Mitch Mitchell got the $20 Jackson. See both in this photo right around the time they were buying the winning tickets!

Harlan Palmer, Jim Fournier, Dave Schapiro, Mitch Mitchell, Norm von Herzen thinking about buying a raffle ticket.

Mike Gertner. "Mike Graham and the Crackers" was a group that dazzled the East Coast back in the day. Its leader went on to college and a legal career. Arriving in California in 1964, Mike Gertner joined the Corona del Mar Exchange and was its president. Mike was our president in '77, is our Football Commissioner in the fall and runs our education meetings for new members. He enjoys his collection of distinguished cars hood ornaments. When you give him your two bucks, he’ll make it seem like fun.