Sycamore Island
Meeting Minutes

August 12, 1998

Tryon Wells, Big Dave Winer, Susan Garbini, Betty Burchell, Bill Bays, Peter Levine, Barbara Kraft, Mac Thornton, John Lentz, Warren Brown, Johnna Robinson, Judy Lentz, Bill Eichbaum, Fern Ingersoll, Jay Ingersoll, Jinny Jones, David Lyles, David Holdridge, Brad Coolidge, Richard Bertaut, Ann Marie Cunningham, George Loeb, Marcia Loeb, Phil Jones, Bill Banta, Phyllis Taliaferro, Doc Taliaferro, Bill Thomas (USPP), Holly Syrrakos

President Tryon Wells called the meeting to order at 8:08 p.m.

The membership approved the Minutes of the previous meeting.

Guest Bill Thomas of the Park Police Mounted Patrol was introduced.

Treasurer's Report:

Financial Secretary's Report:

Membership Secretary's Report:

Captain's Report:
Doc reported that he will have the drinking water in the clubhouse tested. Johnna said that John Matthews wants to plant grass on the Island during the first week of Sept.

Canoe Chair's Report:
David Winer reported he has completed a database on locations of canoes in the racks. There is a copy in the red binder in the Clubhouse. Just because a rack is empty does not mean it is not claimed. David will fix the broken thwarts in the club canoes. He also mentioned that last week's New Yorker had a wonderful piece by John McPhee titled "Swimming with Canoes."

House Committee's Report:
Susan Garbini will write an article about the upcoming Fall Workfest. It will be held on Sat., Nov. 14 with a raindate of Nov. 21. She is still looking for a volunteer to head up painting in the clubhouse.

Entertainment Committee:
Marcia and George Loeb reported that the Regatta was a success with a good turn out, great dinner and fun races.

Party Chair's Report:
Bill Eichbaum announced a post-memorial service to honor John Thomson on Sat., Sept. 19, from noon on. The memorial service will be at 10:30 at the Cedar Lane Unitarian Church. The Club will help by providing drinks. Members expressed a desire for the Club to remember John in another way as well. More discussion will follow.

Special Report on Towpath Security:
Bill Thomas of the Park Police Mounted Division spoke. He recommended the following: 1) In indecent exposure cases, report them ASAP. Get description if possible, e.g. height, weight, hair, race, etc.; 2) Remain aware of the surroundings and wear proper walking footwear to enable quick, safe movement if necessary. He said that the mounted police are no longer stabled at Glen Echo and so have to spend more time in transit to sites, rather than patrolling. He believes that a facility at Glen Echo would increase the police presence in the Island's section of the towpath. To report an incident, call 911 and give the location; Montgomery Co. will route the call to the Park Police. If you are near Glen Echo, stop there to make a report. In response to a question, he thought that carrying a cell phone was a good idea. Doc reported that the Glen Echo Fire Dept. had been to the Island and tested the 911 system which routes calls to the Montgomery Co. police desk. You must state whether you want fire, police or rescue.

Old Business:
Scenic Easement:
Following considerable discussion, members expressed an unwillingness to terminate all negotiations on a scenic easement. The general sense was to amend the proposed motion so that discussion with the Potomac Conservancy could continue outside of the Club meetings and focus, for the time being, on Rupperts Island so as not to renege on the original intent of the Club. Speaking for the Potomac Conservancy, Mac Thornton said they would like to mark up the current easement language (with particular regard to Rupperts) and have the Club vote the changes up or down. Thornton also reiterated that what actions the Club takes are closely watched by other property owners in the gorge. Bill Eichbaum acknowledged the hard work of Brad Coolidge, Mark Shelffer and others. The motion passed on a 14-3 vote and reads as follows:
Recognizing that no easement has been granted, it is moved that the Club discontinue discussion on such easement at Club meetings until such time as the Potomac Conservancy makes a proposal to the Club [in writing].

Warren Brown will be the contact person for the Club.

The meeting adjourned at 9:50 p.m.

Next Meeting:
The Sept. meeting will be on the 9th at the Island, water level permitting.

Holly Syrrakos, Recording Secretary