Sailing Seas To the Future

by John Hawkins,
President and CEO, The Club

Boat Capt. I Michael Barnes in the Harbor has long been an active Club Member, sending in his travelogues and commenting on stories we’ve published in Alive! A year or so ago he suggested that his department – Vessel Operations, managed by Capt. II Anthony Di Tucci – would be a great visual story to tell.

He was right! We were delighted to spend a day on the water, seeing how this division keeps things moving in the all-important LA Harbor. This is how we develop most of our Alive! cover stories, on tips by Club Members. So keep sending them in!

I’d love to go on about this (and the awesome photos by the Club’s Summy Lam), but there’s so much to cover this month!

First is the news breaking just at press time that Alive! in print form is continuing on! We heard you! It will be streamlined and smaller, working in perfect tandem with our new Alive! on the Web, which will have so many modern touches, that you can do only online, to keep up with the way you life your lives. Serving Club Members has always been what we’re about, and that continues. More about this later.

Howard Pompel

Sadly, we’ve had a number of notable deaths in the Club family. First is the tenth anniversary of the death of former Club Counselor to hundreds and friend to all, Howard Pompel, in the Chatsworth Metrolink train crash. I remember talking to Alive! editor John Burnes that Friday afternoon after hearing of the crash and knowing that was Howard’s train, telling John that I wasn’t able to reach Howard on his cell, and fearing for the worst. It still puts a pain in my gut. Anyway, our story on the Citywide memorial service is on page 11.

Ruben Garcia

Also, Club Rep Ruben Garcia, Transportation, sadly lost his battle with cancer in September. We will always be grateful for his service to the Club and City Employees, and his beloved saying, “I love my Club!” We love you back, Ruben … and may you rest in peace.

Art Sanchez, Superintendent, West Valley Sanitation Yard, Club Member, also passed away in September. Art believed in West Valley Sanitation Yard’s many outreach efforts, including its Christmas toy drive. He helped us tell that story in December 2016. A great many young boys and girls had a happier holiday because of what Art, Brian Sibert and the West Valley crew did for them. Our condolences go to Art’s friends and family.

Art Sanchez (second from left) with Brian Sibert,
Alive! editor John Burnes and Club CEO John Hawkins.

Moving on: While we’re taking a break from the intensity of our monthly “People We See” feature, a Club Member has stepped in on his own. Fire Capt. II Matthew Gatewood missed the feature so much, he decided to hit the streets and create one himself. See it on page 4.

In brief: Congratulations to our Joannie Mukai Club Scholarship awardees, and to Ken Kochakji for taking third place in the Valley art contest … I’m still enjoying Hal Danowitz’s travelogue about his long cruise … and well done, Zaki Mustafa, on another amazing jacket giveaway to the homeless.

As this is a combined October and November issue, I’ll say Happy Halloween (don’t forget all the amazing Club deals!) and Happy Thanksgiving. I am thankful for my friends, my family … and all of you, Club Members.

— John