Sycamore Island
Meeting Minutes

November 12, 2008

Meeting took place on the Island, around warming wood stove and accompanied by wonderful chocolate chip cookies from Jane Winer. Path to the Island was well lighted by clear moon and the excellent lighting for the part between Canal Road and the tow path.

Members Present were Tryon Wells, Dave and Jane Winer, Gerry Barton, Tammy Belden and Joe Membrino, Jon Glaudemans, Jim Drew, Marianne Rose, Ned Goddard, Peter Winkler, Jeff Komarow and Bill Marmon.  Yes quorum.

Meeting called to order by president Komarow at 8:17 p.m. 

Minutes of the October meeting were unanimously approved. 

Canoe report
Jim Drew reported that our two new canoes and 6 new club kayaks were in place.  There was discussion about the need to raise the height of the lower canoe racks in order to keep them out of mud.  A spring project.  Jim reported that five empty canoe racks are available for members. 

Clubhouse/Caretaker Quarters Construction
Tryon Wells reported that construction had commenced Nov. 10, with a crew of 5 at work most days.  The space where the lockers and Men's dressing room used to be has been razed and a large hole dug.   Construction scheduled to conclude end of January 2009, with a bonus to contractor for timely completion.  The Island, including upstairs members' hall will be available throughout the construction period, although members are cautioned to avoid the  construction areas.   President Komarow reported that seven persons have re-indicated interest in purchasing $5,000/ ten year notes at 7 percent interest per year.  Club will need another 7 or 8 persons to purchase notes to provide the total of $75,000 needed for construction.

Membership report
Tammy Belden moved the admission to full membership status of nine individuals or couples, from either Waiting List Membership or Waiting List status.  They are Tom and Molly Healy; Jim and Margaret Matthews, Linda Greer and Mike Tilchin, Peter and Mary Ellen Levine, Sarah Clark, Louisa and Thy Tran, David Kay and Abigail Porter, Stan Wiggins and Karen Possner, Ev and Nancy Ehrlich.  After some discussion all nominees were unanimously voted into full membership status.  Tammy reported that the new members had made original application to the Club in 1999.  She also reported that combination of Waiting List Members and Waiting List was now 75.  (The Waiting List remains closed, as it has been since 2001.)  There was discussion, with views on both sides, of the issue of whether the Island was overused this summer and whether the club membership should be increased after the remaining Waiting List Members have been absorbed into full membership status.

Was announced for Sunday Nov. 23.  This will be an important work fest and will involve, among other things, the taking in of the floats, the felling of a large tree, the hauling of trash off the Island.

New Business
President Komarow said that the Club would have to find a place for January meeting and election of new officers.  He also indicated that a budget for 2009 would be developed with treasurer, Alan Gelb.

Meeting was adjourned at 9:26 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by Bill Marmon The meeting was called to order by President Jeff Komarow at approximately 8:15 p.m. following a barbecue dinner and a very informative, but sobering presentation on global climate change by one of the Club’s members, Bob Beachamp, Director of Environmental Management and Energy Research Programs at University of Maryland, University College. Bob had some eye-opening statistics on the increases in the concentration of carbon dioxide and various pollutants in recent years.

Members Present
AnnMarie and John Cunningham, Penny and Dick Doolittle, Jim Drew, Jeff Komarow, Alison Levine, John Noble, Hester Ohbi and Bob Beauchamp, Carol and Dick Schleicher, Paul Stanton, Jane and David Winer.

In the absence of a recording secretary, Jeff Komarow took the minutes, which are somewhat truncated because he managed to delete (or failed to save) the file the first time around.

Minutes of Prior Meetings
The Club did not obtain a quorum for the September meeting, so there were no minutes to approve.

The Treasurer could not be present. Jeff Komarow reported that, unlike Wall Street, the Club’s financial condition was sound.

Construction Update
Jeff Komarow reported that the County finally had issued a building permit to the Club for the caretaker’s quarters and clubhouse. Jeff Komarow also noted the caretaker’s complaints about the leaky roof and promised to get with Tryon Wells, the Captain, to get the leaks fixed.

Canoe/Swimming Supervisor’s Report
At a prior meeting, the Club had decided to purchase two additional canoes for use by club members. Thanks to David Winer, the Club is purchasing two canoes with paddles and life jackets (or personal flotation devices as they are now known) from the Pocomoke River Canoe Company, an eastern shore outfitter that sells off their rental canoes every year.

Use of Club Canoes when the water temperature is below 55 degrees Fahrenheit or the water level is above 5 feet (measured at Little Falls)
The background on this issue is in the October 2008 Islander. The members present unanimously voted against the proposed change to Rule 6(c) of the Standing Rules, which would have permitted members to use club canoes during low-water-temperature or high-water-level conditions on the Potomac River. (Guests could not use club canoes under those conditions, except they could accompany a member in a canoe.) The arguments of those who spoke against the resolution – that such conditions are potentially dangerous, the member may not be an experienced paddler, and the club should not be exposed to the risk inherent in the use of the club’s canoes in hazardous conditions – carried the day.

As a result of the vote, the rule remains that members and their guests cannot take out club canoes when the water temperature is below 55 degrees Fahrenheit or the water level is above 5 feet. This rule does not apply to a members' use of private canoes kept on the Island.

Other Business
The Club approved Alison Levine’s request to hold a large party on the Island. Alison was not sure there would be 35 guests, which is the point at which prior approval is required, but sought the Club’s approval as a precaution.

On a sad note, Jeff noted the deaths of longtime active members, Blair and Betty Bower, a few weeks apart from each other. On a positive note, the Club voted to make Phil Thorson an honorary member. Phil has been a member of the Club for over 60 years. In recent years, he’s waged a never ending battle against the spread of kudzu on the Island and along the C&O canal towpath.

Jeff reminded the members that the Fall Workfest is November 23, and the next meeting is November 12.

Meeting was adjourned around 9:30 P.M.

Submitted by Jeff Komarow