Monthly Archives: September 2012

Ripples in the Pond

Lola Lauri

I have been doing a lot of reading about Homeowner Associations, and I have found many interesting stories, but this one offers a wonderful lesson for all of us.  We are a diverse and wonderful community, full of interesting people from all sorts of cultural, religious and social backgrounds.  It is one of the things that makes our community special.  There are those who would add rules and regulations solely for the purpose of hiding these differences.  Some of my neighbors have beautiful lawns, some have lots of cars, some have big parties, and some come and go only in the dead of night, but they are real people who deserve to live their lives the way they like. Sure, sometimes I can hear the parties, and sometimes I don’t like the way they decorated their rocks, but we all need to be both tolerant and considerate of those differences. The link below will take you to a story about a neighbor who saw this all very clearly and who fought to preserve the freedom and diversity in her neighborhood.

Beaching and Boating: By the Weather or By the Calendar?

by Buz Whelan

     Sunday, September 8, 2010. The temperature between late morning and late afternoon ranges between 81 and 84 degrees. The sun is shining brightly and the blue sky is dotted with a few puffy white clouds. The lake water temperature is in the mid-70s. We’re just one week from the middle day of the Labor Day weekend. It’s a perfect day for sunbathing, swimming and boating. But there is not a soul on the beach during the entire day, and not a boat on the lake. What’s going on? Is the calendar so powerful that once we pass that unofficial final weekend of the summer, no matter what the weather is, summer activities are over? We’ve gone back to school and back to work and that means no more summer fun, even on days off. That’s the way it seems, doesn’t it?

The funny thing is, that doesn’t seem to work on the other end, the beginning of the summer season. Remember the unusual hot spell last April, when we had two weekend days with the temperature hovering near 90? Even though the water was an icy 60 degrees, folks were wading and even swimming in the chilly water. Apparently, we can’t wait to get summer started, but we are not at all reluctant to let it end before it has to.

I make these observations because I live directly across the lake from Pine Tree Beach. While there may not be anything profound here, it’s interesting to me to note the difference in the way people view vacation-type activities pre- and post-season.

Please Give Blood – September 22nd

HOA Horror Stories – Cautionary Examples for ELA

Lola Lauri

The decisions made by the Emerald Lakes Boards of the past and present have been the subject of many conversations on our Facebook page.  The bylaws revisions were soundly defeated, there is much debate over the new fee for putting our boats into the water, and who can forget the great “cover your propane tank” rule that cost many homeowners hundreds of dollars before it was finally deemed a failure?   HOA’s are notoriously difficult to manage, and are often managed by fools.  This is not an Emerald Lakes’ problem, it is actually quite widespread.  I found some interesting HOA horror stories to share with you all. Some are funny, some are tragic, and many remind me of things that have happened here in our community.  Click on the link below and tell me if you notice the similarities too:


Household Hints – For the Birds

Eileen Avrich

As summer ends, and the weather gets cooler, it is easy to forget about our feathered friends.  They aren’t ready to leave for their winter homes, so here are a few tips to help them stay healthy and strong.


Did you know that there are several diseases that can be spread by birds due to unclean bird feeders?  Birds with disease are likely to die from starvation, dehydration, predation and severe weather, so protect them by following these tips.

Avoid overcrowding:  If possible, spread them out.  Crowding creates stress making the birds vulnerable to disease.

Clean up waste:  Keep birdfeeders clean of bird droppings and seed hulls.  A shop-vac works well, but any method done consistently will help.

Disinfect your feeders:  Immerse your feeder or birdbath in a nine to one water-bleach solution, rinsing thoroughly, one to two times a month.

Make feeders safe:  check for any sharp edges and fix or replace.  Even a scratch can become infected.

Food – Discard any food that smells musty, looks moldy, is wet or has fungus.  Store where rodents cannot get into the food.  Mice carry many diseases that can affect birds.

Spread the word to your friends and neighbors who feed the birds.

Chinese to Outsource Sneaker Lace Manufacturing to U.S.

 SHIN BOAN, China (FNS) Chinese sneaker manufacturer Sum Yung Uns had made a deal with a small American company to outsource the manufacture of laces for its sneakers. R. Senneckan Olde Lace Company, located in tiny Litter Barrel, Georgia, will be the exclusive suppliers of laces for all sneakers bearing the Nikeand New Balance labels. Says plant supervisor Ho Lee Che’et, “We can get Americans to work cheaper than Chinese now that we’ve pretty much savaged the U.S. employment market. And Americans are just smart enough to make something simple like laces. I mean, how can you screw up laces? You don’t need a highly educated workforce like we have in China.”

In Backwash, Mississippi where the lace factory is proposed to be built, the locals could not be happier. Mayor Bubba Gumm reported, “This’ll bring jobs to Backwater. We don’t hardly have no jobs, so this’ll be good. Mostly folk here just ‘possum hunt and trap varmints. We don’t rightly have real job jobs.” According to trapper John MacIntyre, “I ain’t never worked in no factory. The hiring fella said you don’t need no high-falutin’ edication. I went all the way to fifth grade, and he said that’s good enough.” And so the excitement builds.

New Member/Volunteer Appreciation Party Pictures

Lola Lauri

Cutting the cake is former board officer, Claire Abbazio, who held the longest continuous tenure of 13 years, along with current ELA Board President, Al Leslie.

On August 25, 2012, Emerald Lakes honored its many volunteers and welcomed its new members at a party at the Community Center.  The party was hosted by the Emerald Lakes Directors Alumni Society (ELDAS).  ELDAS member Pat Galderisi put together some numbers to help us appreciate how much our volunteers contribute to the community, “AARP says in PA each volunteer hour is worth $20.51.  With 128 volunteers giving approximately 3 hours per week times 52 weeks each year, these volunteers have saved our community $409,543.68!”  We didn’t check the numbers, but there is no doubt that ELA volunteers provide many valuable and important services in our community.  As Pat says, “God Bless Our Volunteers, they are unselfish and positive.”

Just a few of the army of 128 volunteers who keep Emerald Lakes going all year long.

Some of our newest members. Welcome to Emerald Lakes!

Our Wonderful Vols. seated left front, Robin Mastrocola, Tobi Barnett, seated right front, Jean Petersen, Marge Indri and Bill Henry.

New Members, L. to R. Tatiana, Yuri and Natalia Sokolov, seated back row, Mark Colville.

Volunteers Phil Botti and Nancy Pitcher.

L. to R. Pat and Eric Bergstrom, Bob Walsh, Gilda Spiotta and George Haab.

Our New Members – Tiesha Phillip and Family

Treasurer Earl Frank and V. P. Millie Bishop

Sue Lodato, Mickey Lammardo and Dolores Saintil.

L. to R. Margaret Fitzgerald, Bob Leon, Former Dir. Louise Leon.

Former directors Dale Walsh and Pat Galderisi greet volunteers and new members.

Nancy Jean and George Hesser.

Adrian Saintil, Rosario Lammardo and Former Dir. Claire Abbazio.


Atheists Advise Wishing

GODFORSAKEN, Nevada (FNS) According to a study commissioned by the Atheist Social Society (ASS), wishing may be the best way to help you get what you want. In a study funded by the society and carried out by Professor Cy N. Testa at Southeast North Dakota State Teachers Junior College, a group of wishers seemed to have a slight advantage over a group of prayers and a control group.

In the first part of the study, a group of Christians were put in a room with a clearly visible clock on the wall at precisely 12 noon. They were asked to pray for 3:00 PM. Simultaneously, a group of people who described themselves as agnostic were seated in a separate identical room with an identical clock. The second group was instructed to wish that it were 3:00 PM. A control group of mixed beliefs (and lack thereof) were settled in a third room with an identical clock at the same time. They were not told anything about time and were asked to amuse themselves by conversing or playing cards, which were provided. The clocks were not interconnected. Careful observation and precise measurements by the experimenters revealed absolutely no statistical difference among them. All three clocks reached 3:00 PM at the exact same moment.

In a second study group members were asked to seek happiness. The prayer group was told to pray for happiness, the wishing group to wish for the same, while the control group members were simply told to pass time while conversing and/or playing cards. At the end of a precisely measured 2 hours, members were asked to rate their degree of happiness on a 10 point scale, 1 being how you feel when you’ve just gotten a traffic citation, 5 like how you feel when you hit a $10 scratch-off and 10 being the feeling you get when that hottie tells you you’re the best lover ever. Members of the control group scored an average of 5.3 on the happiness scale, the prayer group 7.1 and the wishing group 8.5. Experimenters viewed this as strong evidence that wishing is superior to praying in the attainment of goals, e.g., happiness.

In a third experiment, patients who had been told they had a terminal disease were separated into the same three groups. The prayer group patients were told to pray for health, the second group to wish for it, and the control group to get their affairs in order. Death occurred at the same rate for all three groups, the only difference being that those that got their affairs in order seemed more a peace with the situation, as did their heirs.

ASS spokesman R. U. Kidden promises that there is more research to come and that no conclusions are final. “We want to look at all possibilities. With what we know right now, wishing seems the best way to win the lottery, cure disease and return lost pets. But we’re going to examine hoping next, to see what that can do. You never know,” he cautions.

(for more Nearly News click the button at the top of the page!)

Annual Meeting – Manager’s Report

Lola Lauri

The following is excerpted from the Manager’s report delivered by Allen Roth at the August 25th Annual Meeting: 

  1. I  would like to report on the operations of the Emerald Lakes Association since the start of the new fiscal year on May 1 of this year. This report is not all inclusive but a highlight of the operations thus far and what we have accomplished.
  • Computer equipment upgrades
  • TOPS programs and website
  • Developed SOP’s for all department operations – make us become more efficient
  • Implemented attendance recording procedures for all amenities
  • Implemented recreation programs throughout the summer season for youth and adult
  • Contracted Kipcon to conduct a Reserve Study
  • Painted the interior of the Community Center
  • Removed carpet & installed new porcelain tile in Community Center
  • Replaced vinyl on bar, installed new table cloths and drapes in Community Center
  • Purchased and installed new street name signs and stop signs and trimmed intersections back
  • Performed numerous road patching and repair and construction of storm drainage ditches and pipes.
  • Painted yellow line on main roads in community
  • Installed certified playground mulch under all play structures
  • Repaired, painted and renumbered all the boat racks throughout  the community
  • Repaired cracks and painted both tennis courts adjacent to the outdoor pool
  • Replaced the roof on the Pinetree restroom building and painted both the interior and exterior of the building
  • Purchased and installed additional sand for the beaches and sand volleyball court
  • Upgraded the security cameras in many areas
  1.  What are we going to do for the members in the coming months?
    • Use the Reserve Study and work with the Finance and Planning Committee and the Board of Directors to complete a five year plan
    • Add additional road signs so that every intersection is labeled
    • RFP has been sent out for the repair and paving of roads in the community, approximately $235,000 will be spent on paving
    • The floating bogs on East and West Emerald Lake will be removed this fall
    • A new septic system will be installed at the Administration and maintenance building
    • New fence will be installed in front of the play structure at main beach and concrete ballards or boulders installed
    • Continue to develop and coordinate new recreation activities and events
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