SIR programs in 2004



December 15, 2004
Speaker: None - Christmas Party
Intro by:


November 17, 2004

This month we will meet at the Elks Lodge

Speaker: Entertainer: Scott Kirby, Pianist and Composer
Intro by: Big Sir Bob Bernhardt
Subj.: Offering: A Musical Treat

Wonderfully unique entertainment is planned, thanks to the persistence of Bob Bernhardt, the generosity of the Scott Kirby, and the fortunate date of our meeting.

Pianist/composer Scott Kirby specializes in distinctly American musical styles, including Classic Ragtime, New Ragtime, Creole Music and Terra Verde. He is an educator as well as performer, providing historical context and musical insight into his program as it unfolds. Kirby produces a musical experience that is fun, informative and personal.

Composers favored by Kirby include Louis Moreau Gottschalk, Scott Joplin, Brazilian composer Ernesto Nazareth, Jazz pioneer Ferdinand "Jelly Roll" Morton and Ernesto Lecuona of Cuba. Concerts may also contain short pieces from Latin America and the French Caribbean such as the Haitian merengue, the biguine from Martinique, the Puerto Rican danza, the cumbia or the Cuban habanera. As a composer, Kirby combines the influence of nineteenth century romanticism with these New World idioms into his own individual, syncopated language.

Scott Kirby began study of music at the age of six, and continued formal piano instruction for seventeen years. He worked under Robert Howat Wittenberg University of Ohio, and Sylvia Zaremba at the Ohio State University. After earning an English degree he began his professional music career in New Orleans. He recorded the complete rags of Scott Joplin, and of made his debut at all of the major ragtime festivals in the United States, and at festivals in Belgium, France, Norway and Hungary.

Scott is Musical Director of the Scott Joplin Ragtime Festival in Sedalia, MO, and of the Rocky Mountain Ragtime and American Music Festival in Boulder, CO.


October 20, 2004
Speaker: Henry Coletto
Intro by: John Mason
Subj.: Living with mountain lions

Long experienced in management and public safety in wildlife issues of Santa Clara County, Mr. Coletto is an outstanding spokesman for the sharing of
territory between man and beast. He speaks from a career of studies and practice in dealing with our wild animals of all kinds ­ including fish, turkeys, deer, elk, antelope, pigs, coyotes, and mountain lions. In retirement, he is devoted to educating the public (and children especially) about our wildlife. These days, he finds special interest in mountain lions.
Before his 15 years in the Sheriff¹s Department as County Game Warden, Henry served as Wildlife Ranger and Game Warden in the Parks Department. There, he
participated in many specific studies, including black-tailed deer, wild turkeys, and wild pigs. He helped reintroduce tule elk and pronghorn antelope to the Mount Hamilton Range. He worked with the California Department of Fish and Game and other agencies on surveillance of wildlife
diseases, conservation planning and other issues.

Youth programs in hunting, fishing, and natural resources are special interests for Henry. He is an avid videographer, and has made several videos on management of California wildlife.

Henry is a native of Gilroy.


September 15, 2004
Speaker: ted Leland - Stanford University Athletic Director
Intro by: John Mason
Subj.: Sports success at Stanford

Our September meeting will be in the Cardinal Room -- upstairs as the Camino Ballroom is not available.

Stanford University maintains high rankings in many sports, both minor and major -- and in both men’s and women’s programs -- even as it sustains world-recognized standards for academic excellence. Dr. Leland is the official in charge of all this for the past 13 years. Imagine the challenges this man faces after seeing and hearing Stanford’s outstanding former basketball coach at our May luncheon, hours before his surprise move to professional ball.

In Leland’s time as Director, Stanford has won nine consecutive Division I Directors’ Cups, (1993-2003); has won 46 national team championships in 14 different sports and 154 conference championships; has increased athletic endowment six-fold to $313 million; has added four women’s sports; and has increased its number of athletes 40% to 850.

Dr. Leland’s experience directing athletic and recreation programs include stints at the University of the Pacific and at Dartmouth College in the 10 years before this appointment Previously, he had served as Assistant to Director at both Houston and Northwestern.

He is now a Distinguished Visiting Fellow of the Hoover Institute and a member of Stanford’s Provost Staff and University Cabinet; and he serves on Boards of Directors for a regional job retraining program and for a national physical fitness program. He is a Member of University of the Pacific & Chabot College Athletic Hall of Fame, and was designated National Athletic Director of the Year 2000.

After earning his B.A. at the University of Pacific in 1970, he rose through positions of physical instruction and football coaching while continuing his own education. He earned his Ph.D. in Education/Sport Psychology at Stanford University in 1982.


August 18, 2004
Speaker: Bob Michaels
Intro by: John Mason
Subj.: Hiller Aviation Museum

Right in our neighborhood lives an outstanding display of more than 100 years of aviation development. Did you know that the first powered
heavier-than-air craft (unmanned) made to fly with a control system was flown in San Francisco in 1869? Or that a super-secret remotely piloted spy plane (also unmanned) with 200 foot wingspan could fly at high altitude for more than three days before 1990? These and many other little known wonders are on display in the Hiller Aviation Museum¹s unique educational exhibition
of aviation history. Among the more familiar craft is the actual front section of a 747, with cockpit completely exposed.

Bob Michael will tell us briefly about the history of the museum itself, and will show us through video and pictures more about its unique features. One is the restoration facility, which is windowed so that visitors can see work
in progress on future exhibits.

Mr. Michael is a member of the Institute¹s Exhibits and Marketing Committees. He has served as Design Specialist at Hiller Aviation Corporation in the fifties and sixties, and as a Research Specialist for Lockheed Martin¹s Space Systems Division over thirty years since. Throughout, he has participated in public relations for both those companies. Additionally, he taught technical courses for San Jose State University. He was a Marine in WWII, and is a Registered Engineer in the State of California.


June 16, 2004
Speaker: Bob Pearl, Appalachian Cowboy
Intro by: John Mason
Subj.: Classic Cowboy Poetry

Bob Pearl researches and recites the works of classic cowboy poets. He shares these stories with schools, civic organizations, seniors, and other
groups. Brought to us by our own renowned poet, Bob Simon, he will entertain us with samples of his art, and will acquaint us with the four great classic poets of cowboy culture of the West.

The classic verse, culture and values of the American cowboy attracted Bob into study and performance of the literature. He had become an active member
of the South Bay Storytellers through Toastmasters soon after retirement. There, he would relate tales of his native Appalachian Mountains. But his life was changed five years ago at the National Storytelling Festival in
Jonesborough, Tennessee, where he was introduced to cowboy poetry.

Bob now serves on the Board of the Monterey Cowboy Festival, one of the largest such venues in the West.

Mr. Pearl grew up in a small coal-mining town in the Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia. With an accounting degree, he served for three years in
the Army¹s Finance Corps ­ which brought him to California. He earned an MBA here, and eventually served as Chief Financial Officer for Space Systems, Inc. in Mountain View. He retired six years ago; lives in Los


May 19, 2004
Speaker: Mike Montgomery - Stanford men's basketball coach
Intro by: John Mason
Subj.: Stanford's men's basketball

Mike Montgomery cannot be sufficiently introduced in the space available
here. No matter to most Sirs of Branch 35 -- along with most American
sports fans -- who know very well what he has accomplished. Here is
opportunity to hear and see the person named 2003-4 Coach of the Year by
Pac-10, Sports Illustrated, and the US Basketball Writers' Association
District 9. Mr. Montgomery is 2004 recipient of the John Wooden 'Legends
of Coaching' Lifetime Achievement Award given for high standards of coaching
success and personal achievement in basketball.

At Stanford, Mike has taken Stanford's team to the NCAA Tournament ten
consecutive years. Of his eighteen seasons there, his team has been in
fifteen post-seasons' actions. He brought Stanford to #1 ranking in the
1999-00 season for the first time in the school's history, and again in
2004. He is credited with making the Cardinals a top focus of enthusiasm for
Stanford sports.

Players under his guidance have succeeded impressively. Seven of his men at
Stanford have been first round draft choices by professional basketball.

In 2002, Montgomery was named an Assistant Coach for the United States at
the World Basketball Championships. He previously served USA Basketball as
an assistant coach for the 1994 Men's Junior World Championship Qualifying
Team that journeyed to Argentina and won the gold medal. Prior to that, he
coached the Pacific-10 Conference all-star team that toured Holland and
Belgium in 1991.


April 21, 2004
Speaker: John Swensson
Intro by: John Mason
Subj.: Vietnam today

What is Vietnam like more than 3 decades since the intense war there? John Swensson, our speaker, has returned to Vietnam several times, since leading a platoon there in 1965-6.

Part of his first experience in Vietnam was writing policy for, and coordinating, civil/military relationships and procedures for humanitarian ends. On his second tour, two years later, he wrote and conducted congressional investigations for Generals Westmoreland and Abrams. Through the summers of 1998 and 2001, as a teacher at DeAnza, the Campus Abroad program took him back to Viet Nam to teach and lead cultural tours. John Swensson was appointed Dean of DeAnza’s Language Arts Division in 2000, after having served as an English Professor and president of the Academic Senate. He earned recognition for his promotion of Interactive Online teaching and cited as Innovator of the Year, 1992-3 Mr. Swenssen's earlier career, after retiring as an Army Lt. Col., included conceiving, writing and co-producing the $21M Hollywood feature film, FIRE BIRDS - while teaching at West Valley College in Saratoga.

He earned his undergraduate degree in Engineering at at West Point; later, a graduate degree in English at the U. of Virginia; and still later, a graduate degree in Business Systems from the University of Northern Colorado.


March 17, 2004
Speaker: Andrew Franknoi
Intro by: John Mason
Subj.: Astronomy

Dr. Fraknoi will provide an overview of the planets and moons, and how our robot probes are uncovering their mysteries. He will elucidate the exciting tourist sights around the solar system that future visitors will be including in their must-see itineraries.

Andrew Fraknoi is the Chair of the Astronomy Program at Foothill College, where over 900 students take his courses in an average year. For many years, he was Executive Director of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, an international organization for professional and amateur astronomers.

He is co-author of one of the leading astronomy textbooks in the U.S. and appears regularly on local and national radio explaining astronomical developments in everyday language. In the Bay Area, you may have heard him on KGO's Jim Eason and Pete Wilson programs, and on KQED Forum with Michael Krasny.

He is the first from a community college elected Fellow of the California Academy of Sciences, and last year received the Bay Area Carl Sagan Prize for science popularization. Asteroid 4859 has been named Asteroid Fraknoi by the International Astronomical Union to recognize his contributions to the public understanding of astronomy.

He was educated at Harvard and the University of California at Berkeley, and has taught astronomy and physics at San Francisco State University, City College of San Francisco, Canada College, and the College of San Mateo, as well as the University of California Extension Division.


February 18, 2004
Speaker: Bonnie Weiss, Theatre Educator, Writer, and Producer
Intro by: John Mason
Subj.: Thanks for the Memories

Irving Berlin is one of the five songwriters most recognized for creating the unique 'American Musical' art form. He wrote scores for Annie Get Your Gun, Call Me Madam, Easter Parade, Holiday Inn ("white Christmas"), among his most popular. Berlin also wrote may popular tunes we all know: Alexander's Ragtime Band, How deep is the Ocean, and a favorite of SIRs Branch 35 -- "God Bless America"!

This presentation will acquaint you with Berlin's personal and professional life, and will feature scenes from his Broadway and Hollywood musicals. Scenes will include Ethel Merman, Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers, Doris Day,
Donald O'Coner, Betty Hutton, Howard Keel, Marilyn Monroe and others.


Our presenter, Bonnie Weiss, teaches musical theatre appreciation at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. She offers a highly acclaimed program for seniors and professional groups throughout California.

Bonnie writes feature stories and reviews for Stage Directions, a national magazine for theatre educators, and for The Sondheim Review. She has co-produced and hosted the radio shows "Front Row Center", "Two for the
Show", and "Open Ear". She has produced and M/C'd cabaret shows in San Francisco and San Mateo, and will be presenting a cabaret show at the Oakland Museum in June.


January 21, 2004
Speaker: Alex Bouja, Detective, Menlo Park P.D.
Intro by: John Mason
Subj.: Identity theft

Identity theft is the nation’s fastest growing crime, and residents of much of our area are especially vulnerable. This latest criminal trend will be described with emphasis upon methods of the crooks so we can better protect ourselves.

Alex Bouja is an agent for the Rapid Enforcement Allied Computer Team (REACT), on loan from the Menlo Park Police Department since May '03. On this team, Mr. Bouja is a member of the only law enforcement task force in which the officers are dually sworn as both Federal Agents and state law enforcement officers. The REACT Task Force is staffed from more than twenty law enforcement agencies from over five counties in this area. Their focus is primarily on large-scale identity theft and High Tech cases involving large corporations.

Mr. Bouja has been in law enforcement since1994. He has served as a patrol officer and as an under-cover narcotics officer. He has also serves as a police instructor on protection of evidence. He was appointed Detective in 2000 -- dealing with crimes of check fraud, bank robbery, burglary, shootings, and identity theft -- before joining REACTrs. The REACT Task Force is staffed from more than twenty law enforcement agencies from over five counties in this area. Their focus is primarily on large-scale identity theft and High Tech cases involving large corporations.

Mr. Bouja has been in law enforcement since1994. He has served as a patrol officer and as an under-cover narcotics officer. He has also serves as a police instructor on protection of evidence. He was appointed Detective in 2000 -- dealing with crimes of check fraud, bank robbery, burglary, shootings, and identity theft -- before joining REACT.

Alex was raised in Los Altos and continues living in this area.