Sycamore Island
Meeting Minutes

April 12, 2017

Joe Palmore, Tara Palmore, Jody Benjamin, Molly Newberry, Judy Lentz, Bobby Benjamin, Star Mitchell, Marianne Ross, Diane Noble, John Noble, Larry Heilman, Richard Bertaut, Phoebe Hamill, Ned Goddard, Meredith Griggs, Cindy Bertaut, Robin Richter, Rebecca Carroll, Kathy Carroll, Phil Goldberg

President Richard Bertaut called the meeting to order at 8:00 p.m.

The minutes of the March meeting, published in the Islander, were approved unanimously.

John Noble reported that because of inability to pay the required fee, one prospective member had been removed from the membership list. He also advised that he had sent a note of condolence to former financial secretary Lisa Kleiforth on the death of her mother.

Treasurer's Report
. Ned Goddard distributed a budget balance sheet for the first quarter 2017. The club is financially solvent, with expenditures typical for this time of year, the main one being $1,600 for a well. The more than 25 percent spent so far indicates that the club may spend slightly more this year, largely because of utilities. To date, membership dues have covered expenses.

A question was raised about whether the financial secretary is bonded. Ned will look into this with Sherry Fizdale, the current secretary. He did explain that all checks over $5,000 must have two signatures. Ned also emphasized the need to clear or discuss with the captain any expenditures, to submit invoices for expenses, and not to pay deposits.

Membership Secretary's Report
John Noble distributed a written report from secretary Anne Waidmann, who was absent. He also introduced two new member families:

Joseph and Tara Palmore, parents of three boys, sponsored by Kermit Roosevelt with recommendations by the Lodishes. Joe is a Justice Dept. attorney, and Tara is an NIH infectious disease physician. They entered the wait list from the 2012 lottery.

Phil and Sue Goldberg, sponsored by Tryon Wells and recommended by the Benjamins and Jim Drew. They are parents of Tyler, Jenna, and Ava and were on the wait list for four years.

John explained that the club now has 156 regular members, 79 seniors, 17 inactive, 44 on the wait list, and 14 honorary. All applying from the 2012 lottery are members or have declined membership. Waitlisters now are from the 2014 lottery.

Swimming Safety Report
Larry Heilman highlighted various aspects of safety for the upcoming season. New equipment will be arriving. Red safety torpedos will be on each float; Larry demonstrated the correct use of the torpedo, which should be attached over the chest and dragged behind the swimmer and should always be used for swimming across the river. He will also ask the caretaker to check regularly that all torpedoes are in place. Finally, he showed a book (green, hardback, marked RECORD) to be kept in the clubhouse for recording by name, time, and description of any swimming safety incidents or issues.

Report from Islander Editor
Rebecca Carroll, editor since January 2017, was complimented by President Bertaut and others on the "wonderfully interactive content now fully on the internet." Rebecca explained that Karen Posner, club archivist, preserves a hardcopy of the newsletter, now with fewer links. All Island-related topics are in PDF format.

The Calendar
The following events will take place in April and May:

April 22: Visit to Rupert's Island, 11:00, with Jim Drew and John Noble.

April 23: Spring Workfest, 9:00 to about 3:00. Help is needed for putting in piers, cleaning, painting, setting up lunch, and much more. A light breakfast will be available and a potluck lunch, about 1:00. Please talk to caretaker, Joe, or captain, Stan, who will be coordinating the work, if any questions.

May 13: Downriver Race, all day. Star Mitchell would like help for this event: ferry duty, set-up, clean-up, monitoring. The race will be advertised again in the May Islander.

Other business
One member asked how to find out if the ferry was closed. Others explained that the Island's website, specifically the Caretaker's Log, and links to precipitation and river levels at Little Falls Dam, were the easiest ways.

Kathy Carroll mentioned that she had not received the email canceling the earlier workfest; Richard Bertaut said he would check with Tryon Wells to be sure of her correct email address.

Larry Heilman reminded members to swim only on the river side of the Island, not on the side toward the Canal, in order to avoid possible citations from the Park Police.

The meeting approved the reprinting in the Islander of an occasional wildlife column by Dr. Eric Dinerstein, biologist, who publishes this regular feature in the Cabin John Village News. His first contribution to the Islander will be in memoriam to Ann Lucy, a former club member and knowledgeable birder.

Before the next meeting, President Bertaut suggested advertising a potluck dinner, with grills set up, at 6:30 or 7:00.

The next meeting will be on the Island Wednesday, May 10, at 8:00.

Respectfully submitted,
Meredith Griggs
Substitute Recording Secretary