“In dwelling, live close to the ground. In thinking, keep to the simple. In conflict, be fair and generous. In governing, don't try to control. In work, do what you enjoy. In family life, be completely present.” 
― Lao Tzu


The Unit members who voted in this year’s election selected 5 candidates to the Unit Board:  Tory Billard was re-elected, new to the Board are Becky Walker, Randy Klein, Michael McGill and Arnold Nelson.  My congratulations to all of them! 

The new Board will have its first Meeting on Saturday, July 8, 2017, at the Bridge Studio.  The Meeting will begin at 4:15 pm.  This, and all Board Meetings, are open to everyone.

There were a few frustrated players at the Spring/Summer Sectional Tournament, May 19-21.  Suggestions were made that some changes to master point Flight parameters, offering a 2-Session Unit Pair Championship on Saturday, and a Strati-flighted Swiss Team Event on Sunday, might add some sizzle to the Tournament.  Although there were some positive comments, many were negative.  Many players attended the Sectional expecting it to be the same or similar to previous ones, and were not aware of the offered changes. 

I apologize to those who did not have a satisfying experience at the Sectional.  Communicating the new Events and the changes in master point range was inadequate. The Board made a decision to try some new things based on the encouragement of some players.  We listened, but faltered on the implementation.  We will do better in the Fall Sectional in October!

I will ask Board Members to wear their green Board name tag when they play in any Unit game.  Hopefully, this will help identify them as individuals who will accept feedback, suggestions and ideas to make improvements not only in Tournaments, but for Unit games as well. A key part of their position is to be a liaison between the Unit players and the Board.  Your suggestions and ideas do matter!

Robert Weaver

President, Unit 131 Board of Directors


 You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you are going, because you might not get there.”   Yogi  Berra


Strategically, the Board has specified where we want the Unit to go: 1). Grow the membership – find and retain new players for Unit Clubs; 2). Plan, staff and present Tournaments in venues, and that have offerings, that delight our Customers (the players!);  and 3). Identify and resolve as best we can, the issues or problems that interfere with players’ enjoyment of the game of Duplicate Bridge.

This Unit Board strategy will be refined after new Board Members are elected on May 21.  New tactics that drive these strategies will also be identified and implemented.  So, stay tuned!

This & That

  • The election of new Board Members can be done now by Absentee Ballot (see the most recent Declarer), or at the upcoming Sectional at the JCC, May 19-21. Voting closes at 10:00 am, on Sunday, May 21. Get Involved!
  • Please be Scents-itive! Wearing too much cologne or after shave can make people sick!  Some ingredients can trigger a migraine to some.  Please be thoughtful about this and tone down the amount used or just stop applying it before any bridge game.  Snapping your cards on the table can also cause acute discomfort to some players.
  • Kathy Rolfe is bringing 12 of her young bridge students to the afternoon Session of the Sectional on Saturday, May 20. They are middle-school and high school ages.  Smile at these young players, and give Kathy some recognition and thanks when you see her.
  • Volunteer help setting-up for the Sectional is needed. Thursday late afternoon-early evening is the set-up time. Contact Trice Massey (913.980-1399, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), for details.  Other ways you can help:  bring a Veggie Tray, bring some fruit (grapes, sliced melon), a dozen or so of your favorite cookies (CostCo-CostCo!!), pick-up and dispose of your trash, or plan to stay after Sunday’s game to help fold tables and put away bidding boxes.  All of these things help!

Speaking of Tournaments, what comes to mind as key factors behind Okay ones, Good ones or Memorable ones? Tournament leadership, venue, food (!), time of year, Session times, types of offerings, good, friendly Directors, are all items that apply.  I'd like to add one more:  the number of local players that volunteer to help in some way.  Even one hour of your time invested before, during or after a Tournament can make a positive difference.  So can thanking those individuals who plan, organize and run Tournaments.  So can passing along other ideas to Barb Hicks, the 2nd VP of the Unit Board, and Chair of the Tournament Committee .  Sadly, I don't believe the Pareto Principle applies here (20% of the membership doing 80% of the work).   I think that currently, it's more like 5% of the membership doing all the work.  If 300 players enjoy a Sectional, that means  at most 15 people are doing everything. Imagine what good things would occur if we added just a few people willing to add just a bit of time helping in some way.  I think were that to happen, our Tournament Measurement Needle would move from Good to Awesome!  Think about it, and take the plunge to help!

Robert Weaver

President, Unit 131 Board of Directors



I would like to remind everyone in the Unit, that there are Board elections coming up at the Spring/Summer Sectional, May 19-21.  There are nine candidates running for five Open Board Seats.  Their names, pictures and a brief Biography are in the newest Declarer.  Please take some time to learn about these individuals and then exercise your right to vote for those who you believe will best represent Unit goals and activities. It is okay to ask them hard questions and to get their viewpoints on your perspective of what’s working, what’s not, and what’s needed as it pertains to Duplicate bridge in the Unit.

You may recall the various special events sponsored by the Board in the past two years designed to find social players and invite them to try Duplicate.  We’ve had several “Lunch and a Duplicate Test-Drive” sessions with follow-up lessons and duplicate-style play;  there was a “Learn Bridge in a Day” session that attracted over 100 social players  with several follow-up lessons/duplicate-style sessions.  There have been personal visits to a number of social games with brief presentations given about Duplicate with Q’s/A’s and discussions of the Zero Tolerance Policy.  One of the biggest supporters of these special events has been Bob Kleban who has run a Lesson/Play social game at the JCC for several years on Monday afternooons.  Bob encouraged his group (up to 10-12 tables) to attend these special events and to give Duplicate a try.

On Sunday,  April 30, at 1:00 pm, there is a Benefit honoring Bob at the JCC.  There will be both social and Duplicate bridge games that honors Bob’s efforts and supports the JFS Food Pantry.  The fee is $7/person. It is requested that each player bring two nonperishable food or toiletry items to help stock the JFS Pantry.  For Duplicate players, this will be a Unit Championship Tournament.  Scores will be calculated on a stratified basis and master points will be awarded through the ACBL.  Refreshments will be served.  There is a flyer about this event on the Bridge Studio bulletin board and on the Unit website.  Let’s support this event to as a way to thank Bob for his support of our efforts to increase Duplicate membership.

Robert Weaver

President, Unit 131 Board of Directors

President's Corner, March, 2017


Congratulations are in order to the Unit Winners of the 2016 Helen Shanbrom ACE of CLUBS and the MINI-MCKENNEY Master Point races.  They are:

Helen Shanbrom Ace of Clubs (total master points won at the Club level*)//Mini-McKenney (total master points)

0-5 MP:  Robert Brown // Robert Brown

5-20 MP:  Richard Mellinger // Richard Mellinger

20-50 MP:  Janice Strop // Janice Strop

50-100 MP:  Jack Caughran // Jack Caughran

100-200 MP:  Carl Shipley // Dixie Wantoch

200-300 MP:  Gayle Gross // Gayle Gross

300-500 MP:  Hazel Kuhn // Ernie Rosenthal

500-1000 MP:  Sharon Holt // Robert Post

1000-1500 MP:  Harry Satterwhite // Nancy Wray

1500-2500 MP:  Ted Howard // Alan Hierseman

2500-3500 MP:  Jim Gross // Tie between Paul Chan and Lily Chan

3500-5000 MP:  Becki Stasi // Becki Stasi

5000-7500 MP:  Tim Hayes // Steve Stewart

7500-10000 MP:  Bill Muir // Bill Muir

Over 10,000 MP:  Paul Pressly // Don Stack

NOTE*:  Stac Points are Not Counted in Totals


Certificates for the Ace of Clubs winners will be sent from ACBL Headquarters and will be available at the May Sectional.  Mini-McKenney winners can get their Certificates on MyACBL on the, website.


Volunteers are still needed for the Kansas City NABC National March 9-19, at Crown Center.  Volunteering WILL NOT interfere with playing in any Session.  This is a fun and easy way to Give Back to this wonderful game.  Contact Jim Urich to schedule some time (913.526-8257).  

Have a great March!


Robert Weaver

President, Unit 131 Board of Directors








  • I will not come to play bridge when I am sick; I do not want to possibly infect my friends
  • I will not do a false hesitation when Declarer leads toward dummy in an obvious finesse try (and I do not hold the honor being finessed!)
  • I won’t snap cards on the table: the sound causes great pain to some players
  • I won’t over-do the perfume or aftershave
  • I will greet E/W pairs when they come to my table
  • I will acknowledge fine plays by opponents as they occur – and by my partner when the opponents have left the table
  • I will give feedback/ideas/suggestions on Duplicate play in Unit Clubs, and about Tournaments, to any Board Member
  • I will be forgiving of mistakes made by my partner, and by me
  • I will accept that spoken words, positive ones and negative ones, do have impact, and will do a better job of thinking before speaking
  • I will seriously consider on how and where I might volunteer at the March NABC, and talk with Jim Urich about my interest
  • I will encourage my social bridge-playing friends to give Duplicate a try and will offer to play with them
  • I will ask a current Novice or Immediate player to play with me
  • I will review the info about me on the “My ACBL” page on the ACBL website and correct any errors. I will ask any Board Member for help if needed. I understand that my info on this page will be used in the new Member Directory and that I am responsible for its accuracy!

Robert Weaver

President, Unit 131 Board of Directors





The new Member Directory will be published in late May/early June of 2017. Michele Neylon and Jane Holzman are co-Chairs of the Directory Committee. The number one goal for this new Directory is accuracy. For that to happen, your help is required. You need to check your ACBL Profile (found under “My ACBL”) and verify that your listed info is correct. That info is what will be used in the new Directory. If you need help with this, ask any Board Member. GET THIS DONE PLEASE!


The Spring National NABC Tournament starting March 9, at the Crown Center in Kansas City, needs volunteers. Registration, Information, and Partnership Desks (among others) need volunteers before each Session. Contact Jim Urich, at 913.526-8257, to sign-up, or to ask any questions about how you can help. This is a great way to “Give Back”!


Kudos and Plaudits are in order to Dee and Joe Johnston (co-Chairs of this Tournament) for the planning and execution of this event. A nod of gratitude to Mother Nature for providing terrific weather all week, and to all of the players who attended. Attendance was up 12-15% from 2015. Thank You for the time and work you put in for us!





I have visited every Club in the Unit except one or two. I have talked with the players, shared Board goals and progress on Projects, and have done a lot of listening to expectations and concerns about Duplicate Bridge in Unit 131.

The Good News is that there is unity about what we all want: that Duplicate Bridge will thrive and grow and that visible discord, anger and rudeness will continue to lessen. And, it seems that some progress has been made in each of these areas. The increased number of I/N players in some games and tournaments is an especially noticeable (and positive!) trend.

There are still concerns. Some of the smaller Unit games continue to shrink in size. The number of players in our Holiday Regional from out-of-town continue to be higher than local players. And there are some Unit members who are still rude or who always seem to find and express complaints, but very seldom say anything positive. Snapping cards on the table, wearing too much perfume or after shave, and refusing to accept that Duplicate is a timed event, are on-going irritants.  There is worry that the pace of positive change in the Unit is too slow - or not happening at all.

If this is all mostly accurate, then what’s next? How does the Unit build on the progress in actual and perceived areas? The answer is each of us increasing our commitment – even in small ways, to make a positive, incremental difference in the status quo.  If we do, the difference will be very measurable in numbers of players/tables and very noticeable in the playing environment.

Let’s plan to play in the Regional for the first time with our favorite partner.  For players returning to the Regional, let's plan to  play in 3-4 events instead of 1 or 2, and volunteer to help set-up or end-up the Regional (and Sectionals) by helping with tables, bidding boxes and placement of chairs. Let’s remember that positive words have impact – as do negative ones. Let’s remember that some of us are highly sensitive to perfume and after shave and the sharp noise of snapping cards and that there is a time limit for each round of play. Let’s remember to pass on to a Board Member any idea that might make a positive difference to the playing experience of our members. Let’s remember to volunteer at the upcoming NABC in March, and to play some events in this exciting Duplicate Bridge environment.

Let’s all commit to this idea – that each of us can make a positive difference in our Unit!  Feel free to call or email me with your thoughts and ideas.

And to all of us, a Healthy, Prosperous and Happy Holiday Season!



Reminders & Questions


Reminder #1: The New Unit Player Directory Coming Late Spring, 2017

Remember the kid’s poem, “I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!”? Let’s substitute these words at the end…”we all scream for an accurate Player Directory”! It is the Unit Board’s intention to collect each player’s info (name, address, phone # and email address*) from the data base of ACBL Members, package it and publish it in the Spring of 2017. The accuracy of this new Directory is mostly in your hands. Go to the “My ACBL” link on the,, page, and review your Player Profile. If your name, address, phone number or email address are wrong, correct it. It will take you about two minutes.

*NOTE: The new Directory will include your email address, IF YOU GIVE YOUR PERMISSION. This will allow other players to contact you by email when looking for a partner Unit 131 will not use your email address except to communicate Unit announcements such as a special Unit game. There are three ways to give your permission. 1) Click on the survey link on the home page of the Unit 131 website and complete the 4 question survey. 2) Send an email to me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. 3) Call me at (415) 672-1165. This survey also provides a way for you to "opt out" and not have your name included in the directory.

Reminder #2:  Events for the 0-299 and 0-20 Players in the Holiday Regional December 26-31, 2016

To the 0-299 and 0-20 Players in Unit 131:  There will be 10 different Sessions for the 0-299'ers  in the upcoming Holiday Tournament beginning on Monday, December 26.  Four separate single Session games - 2 on Monday, December 26, and 2 more on Friday, December 30.  These Sessions are just for the 0-299 players. There will be three  2-Session games in the Gold Rush Pairs on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, December 27-29.  These are stratified Sessions.  Check the Tournament flyer for the times.  The 0-20 players will have three separate Sessions to play just against each other:  Tuesday, December 27, at 9:30 am, Wednesday, December 28, at 1:30 pm, and Thursday, December 29, at 7:00 pm.  There is a three-table minimum for the four  0-299'er and the three 0-20 games!

Question 1: (Please send your answers to me via email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

What one or two things might the Unit Board work on that would improve your bridge playing experience at Unit Clubs?

Questions 2 & 3: (Please send your answers to me via email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

What motivates you currently to play in Unit Tournaments?

What would have to change, be added, or be deleted, to motivate you to participate in Unit Tournaments?


Happy Holidays!




President’s Corner, October, 2016

 About Change: “Progress is Impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything”. *

My Philosophy 101 professor began his first lecture with a question: “What are the three absolutes of life?” When some discussion identified them (Death, Taxes and Change), he asked us another question. “On which of these do we have any control?” After much discussion that lasted most of the semester, the majority of students in his class settled on “Change”, as the correct answer.

The professor was trying to get a bunch of very green freshmen to think. To think about change, controlling change, adapting to change – and/or resisting change.

In the Duplicate Bridge world of Unit 131, we have experienced a number of changes recently, and more are on the way. There are new faces on the Unit Board, new individuals Chairing Tournaments, new Directors, changes at the Studio about lunches, start times, fees, and lots of new enthusiastic I/N players.

We’re trying different events to attract new players (Learn Bridge in a Day), and new events at Tournaments (the Stratified Choice Pairs at the upcoming Regional). We are expecting more transparency, involvement and accountability from our Board Members; we want to see them helping at special events and at tournaments.   We want them to visit different Clubs within the Unit, to interact with different players, to get feedback and to demonstrate Leadership and action on difficult issues.

One big area of needed change is still a work in progress: the awareness of the importance of our Customers – you, the Players. You have some responsibilities in this time of change too. You need to speak-up when you see violations of the Zero Tolerance Policy. You need to talk to a Board Member to explain what would improve your Duplicate Bridge experience. If there is crapiola going on, TELL US! If something the Board tries, delights you, TELL US!   The other side of the equation is the Board listening – and responding. Taking action where and when we can. And if there is no action or response, TELL US!

Hmmm. Maybe this same equation is applicable to our local, state and national politicians……?


*Quote attributed to George Bernard Shaw











President's Corner - September, 2016


Measuring Our Efforts


“If I accept you as you are, I will make you worse; however, if I treat you as though you are what you are capable of becoming, I help you become that.”

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


President’s Corner – August, 2016

 I have learned the importance of using available tools when I am seeking understanding and correct information at the bridge table. I try to remember to quickly scan the opponent’s Convention Card before the play of the round begins. And I will review it again during the bidding (when it is my turn) so that I can understand the bids and responses being made.


President’s Corner - July 2016

Independence Day is freedom from injustice, taxation without representation, having to house and feed foreign troops, putting-up with rude, unfriendly behavior and hearing snarky, sarcastic behavior.  Oh wait, I’m mixing-up two separate, “Independence from….” things – it must be a senior moment, sorry!


President’s Corner - June 2016

The Unit Board of Directors has four important areas to work on in the coming months: