Sycamore Island
Meeting Minutes

March 12, 2014

Because of predicted high winds, the meeting was held at the home of Bill and Lucky Marmon instead of on the Island.

Star Mitchell, Fred Pinkney, Bill Marmon, Lucky Marmon, David Winer, Karen Possner, Tryon Wells, Drew Walsh, Gerry Barton, Marianne Ross, Jim Drew, John Noble, Mike Petrilli, Davey Hearn

The minutes of December, 2013, were approved. Because of the lack of quorums at the January and February meetings, there are no official minutes for those meetings.

Star Mitchell brought to our attention the recent death of long-time club member John Heidemann. John is remembered by many for his contributions to the life of the Island. He, along with John Thompson and a few others, paddled across the river from Sycamore Island and climbed the hill on the Virginia side to their offices at the CIA. His little dog often accompanied him in his canoe. John was editor of the Canoe Cruisers Association newsletter and for years taught canoeing at Fletcher’s Cove and Swain’s Lock. John was also a mainstay of the Flower Walk.

Relief Caretaking
Supervisors Jody and Bobby Benjamin wrote to club President Bill Marmon about the difficulty she is having getting members to fulfill their obligation to serve as relief caretaker as least one Saturday per year. This issue was discussed and suggestions as to how to remedy this problem were discussed. Members will be reminded that the question is not "if" they will substitute as caretakers, but "when."

Treasurer’s Report
Treasurer Ned Goddard was out of town but submitted this report. Officers and Directors insurance is in place for officers, supervisors, and those serving official offices of the club.

Ned is preparing the 2013 tax filings to meet the April deadline. Ned continues to receive guidance for this job from Alan Gelb to whom he is very grateful.

Captain’s Report
Captain Drew Walsh reported that he planned to meet with Swimming Supervisor Roger Herst to discuss the various safety issues that have been addressed at previous meetings and to make sure that the proper equipment is in place when the warm weather arrives. Drew is considering putting some of the equipment on the shore instead of on the docks where it is often mistaken for swim toys.

Supervision of children who are swimming and canoeing remains of paramount concern. There seems to be a consensus that parents are responsible for the supervision of their child and their child’s guests. Karen Possner suggested that it be the part of the caretaker and relief caretakers’ duties to advise persons coming over on the ferry of this responsibility. It will also be announced during the orientation of new members. Captain Drew Walsh recommends that supervision be mandatory for children twelve and under.

Star Mitchell talked about the difficulty of docking the ferry when the wind was strong. Later in the meeting, Dave Winer shared his technique for accomplishing this. Drew will talk to Joe about how to instruct new members to successfully dock the ferry.

Environment Committee
The Greens Committee, which is a subcommittee of the Environment Committee, is planning a Tree Planting Day. The purpose is to prevent erosion of the Island. Committee members are planning to stake off and grid the Island so that it can be studied section by section. They are hoping to find some Google Earth satellite photos so that they can compare the Island of today with the old one.

Work Fest
The Work Fest is Sunday, April 13, 9:00 a.m.
Raindate: Sunday, April 27th.
Drew will start planning the Work Fest with Steve Newman, Gerry Barton, and Tryon Wells. They will develop a master plan for repairs. Drew will work on a list of tasks to be posted in in The Islander. The canoe dock will have to be repaired before the Work Fest. Drew will also contact George Malusky, our master chef at the Work Fest.

Membership Report
Membership Chair John Noble proposed for election to membership the following four families: David and Jennifer Hearn and son, Jesse; W. Parker and Molly Moore and their son, Rawles; Mike Petrilli and Meghan Mullan and their sons, Nico and Leandro; Fred Pinkney and Pamela Sommers and their children Gabriel and Gregory.

The Hearns are volunteer quartermasters of Lockhouse 6 and owners of Sweet Composites, offering everything you need to build your own canoe or kayak. David was a member of the US whitewater Team for 26 years and won the World Championships twice. W. Parker Moore is a principal with a large environmental law firm in the U.S. Their focus: clean water and wetlands. Fred Pinkney works for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Annapolis, where he studies the effects of contaminants on the tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay. Mike Petrilli works at the Fordham Institute, an education policy think tank. He bikes to work on the towpath. All four applicants were voted membership unanimously. Two additional applicants will be voted on at the next meeting.

Lottery—April 9th
The lottery to select new wait listers will be held at the club meeting on April 9th. So far, 70 applications have been received, twenty-two in the under-40 category. Those selected in the lottery will be added to the waiting list. Membership Chair John Noble predicts that 10 to 15 openings will be filled on the waiting list.

March 31, 2013 is the deadline for payment of membership dues. As of the meeting, a total of 41 (regular, seniors, inactive, and waiting list) persons have not paid their dues. Membership stands as follows: 154 regular, 67 senior, 20 inactive, 14 honorary, 56 waiting list.

Caretaker’s Report
Relief Caretaker Supervisors Jody and Bobby Benjamin say that a frequently asked question by prospective caretakers is whether there is WiFi on the Island. The answer could be “Yes,” according to Tryon, who will look into installing a router to hook up with the internet connection already on the Island.

The following members have volunteered as relief caretakers since the last published list: Jim Drew, Pat Roth, Robert and Barbara McCartney, Benjamin Robinson, Trip Reid, Star Mitchell, John Cunningham, and Clayton and Ellen Teague.

New Business
Gerry Barton noted that parking on both levels is a problem during the eight weeks that kayakers and canoeists are training for various races. They use the steps leading down to our ferry to access the river. These steps are the club’s to maintain, but are not on property owned by the club.

Archivist Report
Archivist Karen Possner reported that all necessary documents have been delivered to the D.C. Historical Society and stored in an acid-free storage box. So far, there are 155 folders containing documents dating back to 1885. Karen asked that any member possessing important documents concerning the Island give them to her or to the Historical Society.

The meeting was adjourned. The next meeting will be held on the Island on April 9th at 8:00.

Respectfully submitted,
Co-recording Secretary