Sycamore Island
Meeting Minutes

April 10, 2013

Alan Gelb, Ned Goddard, Jody Benjamin, Barbara McCartney, Robert McCartney, Joe Hage, Jane Winer, Sherry Fizdale, Lucky Marmon, Star Mitchell, William Marmon, David Winer, Jim Drew, Lawrence C. Heilman, Marianne Ross, and Ann Marie Cunningham

President Bill Marmon called the meeting to order.

River Gauge
Joe Hage introduced our guest, Joseph Bell of the United States Geological Survey. Joe Bell discussed a possible relationship between Sycamore Island and the USGS to resolve an issue that prevents the USGS from gathering accurate data from the Potomac at the Little Falls gauge. When heavy rainfall occurs in the area, it is especially important to gather accurate measurements of the pollutants in the stream. However, the readings are skewed when the nearby streams and the canal overflow. The USGS would like to place some instruments underwater in the main channel of the river near Sycamore or Ruppertís Island to provide more accurate measurements. The Little Falls gauge would continue to operate and provide data such as the water level and flow rate. These instruments would be evaluating the chemical composition of the water, including the PH level, dissolved oxygen, nitrate level, turbidity, dissolved organic matter, and others. The members in attendance were very interested in the concept and had many questions. Joe Bell will be writing a detailed proposal that will address possible locations of the instruments, locations of the equipment, power sources, access to the equipment, contract details, and safety concerns. A committee that includes Alan Gelb, Jody Benjamin, Sherry Fizdale, and Ann Marie Cunningham will review the report and present recommendations to the membership.

The minutes were approved as published in The Islander.

Our president received an email from the Montgomery County police concerning a party on March 30 that resulted in a fight and injury. Joe Hageís daughter hosted the party. The personnel committee will meet with Joe to discuss the incident and appropriate guidelines.

Bill learned that William W. Wells, the father of Tryon Wells, our current webmaster and former president and captain, died on Saturday, April 6. The members present all expressed condolences to Tryon for his loss.

Treasurerís Report
Treasurer Alan Gelb has completed the annual federal reporting required of a tax exempt organization. Contact Alan if you wish to review the submission.

Alan introduced Ned Goddard to us. Ned is honored to be asked to follow in Alanís very large footsteps next year. Alan and Ned have already had several transition meetings.

Membership Chairís Report
John Noble, via a written report, nominated Robert and Barbara McCartney to membership. Bob and Barbara received letters of recommendation from Carole Hearle, and Craig and Rosemary Iscoe. Bob is a columnist for The Washington Post, and Barbara is works with special needs children at Somerset Elementary School. They were accepted into membership.

The period for payment of the 2013 dues has ended. Current membership status is 157 regular members (with the McCartneys having just filled one vacancy), 63 senior members, 18 inactive members, 14 honorary members, and 60 on the waiting list. The next three applicants, Miriam and Alan Pemberton, Jason Waite and Alice Bullard, and Robert McNish and Shira Stutman have been asked to submit letters of recommendation. A new membershp directory will be distributed in the near future.

The new member orientation will be May 5. Please contact John Noble if you wish to attend or participate.

Captainís Report
Bob Whelan and Drew Walsh will get the swim safety equipment in place in the very near future.

Joe Hage will be on vacation from Wednesday, April 23 to Saturday, April 27. Substitute caretakers have not yet been hired. Contact Drew or Joe if you are willing to spend one of the days on the Island.

Joe and Drew did a terrific job of organizing the workfest. Thanks to them and to all the members who came and pitched in that day.

Relief Caretaking Report
Jody Benjamin reported that since the March meeting, Adrienne Allison, Abigail Wiebenson, and Abby Porter/David Kay have served as relief caretakers. On two weekends the Island was closed for high water, which foiled the caretaking plans of Peter Winkler, Louise Meyer/Hester Ohbi, Penelope Mitchell, and Donna Messersmith. Weíre grateful to all of them.

New Business
The annual Downriver Canoe Race will be held on May 11. If you are interested in helping with the safety group, please contact Star Mitchell.

Members found cigarette butts in the couch and on the floor of the clubhouse, and on the captainís deck, potentially a serious fire hazard. A motion to amend Standing Rule 2 Clubhouse Rules by adding section g, which would read ďSmoking is prohibited in the clubhouse, decks and tool shed.Ē It was pointed out that there were really only two isolated incidents where smoking was a problem, and that the bigger problem was unsupervised teens. The motion will be discussed and voted on at the May meeting.

Larry Heilman spoke eloquently about the need to put the swim safety equipment in place as quickly as possible, as the floats are now in the river. He quoted Davey Hearn as saying that each time a river is a different river. Never dive or jump into a river. Always enter the water gently.

The next meeting with be on the Island on May 8 at 8:00. The meeting was adjourned.

Respectfully submitted,
Ann Marie Cunningham
Co-Recording Secretary