Meeting Recap – September 11, 2013

If you weren’t at today’s meeting, you missed a lot!  First of all, finding our meeting location was like a treasure hunt — or perhaps reminiscent of Alice’s fall down the rabbit hole…

No, we weren’t in the meeting room in the bowels of the hotel… we were in a space in the Atrium, below the Crowne Plaza’s “Chop House” – Even with Al Browning‘s super-duper hearing aides turned up all the way up to “Blasting” you couldn’t make out hardly a word said!  It was kind of like watching TV with the sound muted, and five radios blaring in the background…

So… President Eric stood up and looked at Edi Birsan and moved his lips.  This reporter presumes that he asked him to do the Pledge to the Flag, since we all put our hands over our hearts and recited the pledge.  Jeff Kasper then came up and gave a stirring Thought of the Day – written especially for this Patriots Day. (View the presentation here)  It was really moving, too bad that nobody but Eric and Beri could hear what he was saying.

We had more guests than Carter has Little Liver Pills – Edi brought two!  Harmesh Kumar from Therapeutic Residential Services, and Ajit Kalus from Bombay Trading Co.  Jeff brought Justin Barker from Senator Mark DeSaulnier’s Office.  Kian brought Ross who is an Independent Graphic Designer.

Next, people put money into a cup that Edi was passing around and confessed their sins.  Luckily, few could hear, especially the Chief of Police, what they were confessing.  “Big Al” Browning coughed up a couple of bucks for the 49’ers win (we think) Molly McDonald said something about the Bears win – to which Jeff sprung into action shouting the obligatory, “GO BEARS!” – to which Molly replied that she meant the Chicago Bears…

IMG_0918Thankfully, we moved into the “lecture room” adjacent to where we were eating.  Concord Police Chief Guy Swanger kept the crowd mesmerized with his talk, “Homeland Security at Home” The topic was on point for the day, but more importantly, this reporter believes that each and every member in the room felt a little safer because of all of the activities that the Concord Police are coordinating with Federal, State, and nearby local agencies.  Chief Swanger talked about the “real world” applications of their drills and practice.  He also let us know that, as of yesterday, all East Bay agencies are now able to talk to each other in an emergency. (With the exception of Antioch — their choice.  So, if the world goes to hell in a hand basket, stay out of Antioch!)  He talked about drills they have performed where only he and four other city leaders knew that the exercise would be conducted.  He noted, correctly, that disasters and terrorist attacks aren’t scheduled!

IMG_0920One real takeaway from today’s talk was to REALLY be prepared.  You never know what emergency may arise.  Keep your “Emergency Supplies” up to date and ready to be used.  Don’t forget to keep cash – since ATM’s won’t work if the power is out.

As for the drawing, with $130 to be won, Beri had the winning ticket, but her luck ran out and she drew a non-winning card.