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By Roz Rogoff

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About this blog: In January 2002 I started writing my own online "newspaper" titled "The San Ramon Observer." I reported on City Council meetings and other happenings in San Ramon. I tried to be objective in my coverage of meetings and events, and...  (More)

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Exchange Club Meeting on First Amendment

Uploaded: Mar 22, 2015

Donna Kerger called me a couple of times last week and left me messages to call her back. She was hurt because I didn't pick up the phone or return her call right away.

I finally picked up the phone when I saw her name on my Caller ID. Donna wanted to invite me to a meeting of the San Ramon Exchange Club on Wednesday night. The Exchange Club is a service club supporting Americanism and activities that benefit youth.

The local San Ramon club is sponsoring an Essay Contest on the First Amendment. The meeting on Wednesday was to inform the applicants abpit legal judgments based on the First Amendment. I wanted to learn more about the First Amendment and the Essay contest so I was glad to know about this event, but I don't like driving after dark or even going out at night anymore.

I needed a haircut. My hair had grown past shoulder length and is thinning as well as graying. It isn't easy keeping it under control. On Tuesday I drove down to the Alcosta Mall to go to the Cost Cutters. The parking lot was full, so I left and drove to the haircut place in the Nob Hill shopping center.

There are three haircut places there now, Sport Clips, Salon X, and Mimi's Cuts. Sport Clips is for men only. Salon X is a hair salon and too fancy for me. I just needed a haircut, so I went to Mimi's Cuts.

They were not busy. In fact I was the only customer. There were two stylists there, but one looked 12 years old. "You're too young," I said. It turned out she isn't 12 and she's been working there since it opened six years ago. She remembered me from six years ago, which is more than I remembered about me.

She gave me a really cute haircut, not as short as I wanted, but better for me. I remembered now that she didn't want to cut my hair as short as I wanted the last time I was there either. That's a good place. I'll have to remember to go back more often.

Wednesday night I dressed up for the Exchange Club meeting. I resented being dragged out of the house by the specter of Donna waiting for me, but I really need to get out more often these days. I don't get many chances to dress up anymore either.

It was still daylight when I drove up to the Canyon View Banquet Hall at the top of Bollinger Canyon hill off of Alcosta. It's a ten minute drive from my house.

Donna was there to greet me. "You know Richard," she said of the nice looking man next to her. It took me a moment to recognize him out of uniform. "Hi, are you still working on that phone app you started?" I asked former Fire Chief Richard Price.

I was referring to Pulse Point, a lifesaving app for cell phones that connects people with CPR training to someone needing immediate CPR. It's a creative and important idea. I'd nominate Pulse Point for the Nobel Peace Prize if I was able to.

Four area high school students were seated at a table with former Pleasanton City Councilwoman Cheryl Cook-Kallio and retired Senior Attorney of the California Supreme Court, John Murphy. Cook-Kallio and Murphy reviewed First Amendment cases over the years and how Supreme Court decisions added to the freedoms Americans enjoy today.

Donna and I sat at an adjacent table but I forgot to wear my hearing aids; so I couldn't make out what the two main speakers were saying. I tried to read their lips, but I was only able to pick up about 30% of what they said.

The session was videotaped and the video will be available on the San Ramon Exchange Club website soon. I told Donna I'd watch the video to pick up what I didn't hear well enough.

I left about 8 pm and it was dark. I couldn't believe the amount of traffic coming down the Bollinger Hill. I couldn't figure out why so many cars were coming down that hill at 8 pm on Wednesday night. Maybe someone reading this knows.

When I got home I realized I left my cane at the Canyon View Banquet hall. I have two other canes at home, so I don't need that one right away. I don't really need a cane for walking but I use it more for balance and to get up and down curbs or steps. I'll pick it up later this week. I'll also view the video of the discussion as soon as it goes online and post a link to it here.
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