President’s Message May 2018

May 1, 2018 sequoia No comments exist

I am happy to report that Betsy Evans was back playing at the Club last week (and looking great) after an extended absence due to health issues. She plans a move to Idaho to be nearer to family and we wish her all the best but will miss her.
Bob Kirkpatrick, a.k.a. Captain Kirk, reports that he has gone through a battery of tests and is still being evaluated. Some of you were at the club when he became suddenly ill and the paramedics were summoned. We look forward to Bob returning to play at the club and in good health.
After Bob’s incident we reassessed some of our emergency procedures. A directory has been placed at the Director’s desk so that members may list emergency contact information. Also, we urge you all to add an emergency feature to the lock screen of your smart phone, and to place important health details in your wallets and phones.
Decades ago I was Vice-Chairman of the Board of Trustees at a non-profit organization. When we convened the April Board Meeting, we found that no one had brought a copy of the meeting agenda. One of the board members went into the office to get copies of the agenda, distributed them to the Trustees and the meeting proceeded. We covered the first four or five agenda items before realizing that the April agenda we were working from was the agenda from the prior year.
Humorous, but sad, that several items had not been resolved in a year’s time. While we have had many achievements and made significant progress during the past few years at SOCBC, we continue to have recurring issues that we need to be aware of and deal with.
Today, my partner and I spent the entire afternoon dragging behind a very slow pair. At the end of the very first round, when they were five minutes late, I spoke to the Director. He tried prodding and reminding them, to no avail. To make matters worse, they did not leave the table promptly upon finishing and made no effort to catch up.
Perpetual slow play is a violation of ABCL Law and a source of frustration to your fellow players. Our game Directors will be encouraging slow players to speed up, issuing warnings, and assessing penalties when needed. Please see an excerpt from the Law on Slow Play reprinted from the Bridge Bulletin, on page 3 of this Newsletter.
The ACBL requires our Directors to balance the field to the best of their ability. Balancing means arranging table assignments to create fair and reasonably equal player strength between N/S and E/W. A few of our players require N/S seating because of walkers, oxygen masks and tanks, blindness and a few other conditions. Beyond that, we have many more players demanding N/S because of personal preference or medical conditions that don’t prevent them from getting to the Bridge Center or walking to the kitchen for lunch and snacks.
Recently a pair who routinely sat N/S because of a walker attended a team game where they got up and moved between rounds. Since that experience they no longer request N/S and find they enjoy the opportunity to get a little more exercise.
If you frequently insist on N/S, please do some soul searching now, and ask yourself whether this is truly essential. If not, please begin registering without a special seating request, and make it much easier for the Director to get the job done and balance the field.
If this paragraph began with the word Parking, many of you would skip down to the next paragraph and not read the rest. Yet each day our members and visitors continue to park their cars in violation of our parking map.
To comply with the terms of our lease and continue as good neighbors, SOCBC must have your cooperation and support in parking only in our designated areas. If you are handicapped, have a handicapped placard and are able, please use a handicapped space, even though it may be 25 feet further away. A good rule of thumb is that if your car is facing a building or facing Avenida Los Cerritos, you are parked in a spot that we should not be using. Please park at one of the two churches shown on the map, on Avenida Los Cerritos, or behind the Leasing Office facing the Cemetery. Please consult the map on the inside of the entry door near the Director’s desk or see Janie Matlaf, Bob Cavanaugh, or me if you are unsure as to where to park. Some of our newer players may not be aware of our parking restrictions. If you notice any of our players or students, new or experienced, parking in a restricted area, please advise them nicely of our parking restrictions and ask them to adhere to them in the future.
We have an incredibly vibrant bridge center with more than 550 members. For many of our members the fact that things get done and run so smoothly may be a mystery. I encourage our members to participate and volunteer in some capacity. Some of our members are unaware that, except for free plays, no one other than our teachers, game directors and club manager is paid.
The work, efforts and contribution of so many of our members have made many things appear simple and easy to many of our members, but it took and takes many volunteers to accomplish our move from Dana Harbor to SOCBC, to assemble our new tables, to supply and serve the food and supplies that we enjoy every day and many other tasks.
Please volunteer and offer your services to help us continue to be one of the premier bridge centers in the country. Parts of this message are excerpted and paraphrased from an article written by Loli Henderson.
Thankfully, what turned out to be a more severe flu and cold season than normal, has passed. However, I again ask you to consider others: stay home if you are sick; use our hand sanitizers, which are in several places around the room; wash your hands after using the restroom; wear gloves when serving food; pick up tissues that you accidently drop on the floor or table; etc. We have numerous members with compromised immune systems and a super majority of members who are more susceptible to colds and flu due to their age. We have empowered and instructed our game directors to ask players displaying cold and flu symptoms to leave the game and stay away until they are asymptomatic. If you believe that someone has a cold or flu and shouldn’t be playing, please speak to the game director. If you do not want to play at the table with the person you believe is ill, please say so in a courteous manner. You will not be penalized for not playing those boards. Please note that Mark Itabashi and his partners do not always have colds. Thank you for your cooperation and adherence to this directive.
Please remember that at the end of the game it is East/West’s responsibility to return the boards to the table near the storage room and North/South’s responsibility to clean papers and trash from their table and immediate surrounding area. Everyone should return pencils as well. If you don’t do your part, it makes more work for the game director and others.
The 2018 District 22 Grand National Team finals were held at SOCBC in April. SOCBC players qualified for the second day in all four flights this year and collected a big chunk of colored Masterpoints.
Most exciting of all, our flight C up-and-comers Trisha and Al Silverberg, playing with four college students, won their event, collecting 3.8 gold and 11.3 red points. The Silverbergs earned the privilege of representing our District this summer at the Atlanta Nationals where they will go on to compete for a National title. District 22 provides a $2,000 subsidy to the team to help defray some of the travel expenses. Good luck in Atlanta Silverbergs! Also, in flight C: Jay and Pamela Nuccio and Delene Hoff and Anton Vogt, finished fourth, earning 1.7 gold and 5.7 red points. Finishing third in flight B were Gary Waldron – Sunny Foster – Steve and Yann Jackson winning 14.3 gold points. In the A flight, Susan Kissinger and Bill Vellick, with their San Diego teammates led the field going into the second day and finished 4th, earning 13.5 gold points. Open flight: the team of Tipton/Gailfus/Kissinger came close with a third place finish.
Congratulations to all our member participants for a great showing. John Kissinger will have a full report of the GNT results in the next issue of the Forum. If you aren’t familiar with what the GNT is all about, check it out and make a plan to participate next year!
We offer a very nice, light lunch and abundant snacks every afternoon and coffee and snacks during all games. SOCBC relies on donations to the Kitchen Kitty (tip jar) to offset the cost of the lunches, snacks and coffee. While it is not mandatory for those who partake of these offerings, we appreciate and encourage all to donate a dollar or two when you are able. If you want to donate to catch up, please do what one of our members does on a regular basis: She writes a $100 check periodically to do her part and express her appreciation for our people who serve and for the lunches and snacks we provide.
It is fun!!! and a gourmet event for couples, friends and singles. At our recent April event we had eight Social Bridge Tables and six Duplicate Tables. Each month we get a nice mix of new and returning players, many of whom are intrigued by their first exposure to bidding boxes and pre-dealt hands. We look forward to seeing you on the fourth Friday of each month, the next of which falls on May 25th. Please email your reservation to Frances Krause at Be sure to reach out to your social and duplicate bridge friends and encourage them to come join us. Many thanks to Frances Krause, who again organized, decorated and set up this “Bridge Party.” 

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