Monthly Archives: October 2013

Town Hall Meeting Draws a Crowd

by Buz Whelan

The Town Hall meeting held on Saturday, October 26th drew a full house.waterdrop[1] At a few minutes after 11am Dan Glasgow, a board director, began the meeting by explaining the water testing options and then handing out test kits and instructions to members who wanted them. Three levels of testing were offered. A package at $125 offered to test total coliform w/E. coli, nitrate and nitrite, pH, hardness, conductivity, lead, copper and iron. Another package at $85 included all but pH, hardness, conductivity and copper. A budget package at $30 tested only for total coliform w/E. coli. Anyone who missed the meeting but wishes testing done should contact Dan through the Emerald Lakes website or the admin office. You may also wish to contact the tester, Microbac Laboratories at (570)629-8900.

In the second part of the meeting Officer Dan Jones of the Pocono Mountain Regional Police made a presentation, complete with slides, on beatcrime[1]personal security and neighborhood watch practices. Jones is a large man with an even larger personality. He used both exhaustive statistics and a sense of humor to educate the attendees on local – Emerald Lakes – criminal activity. Among the 650 calls so far this year, 1 was for homicide, 1 arson, 1 rape/sexual assault, 2 robberies, 10 assaults (including attempted and threats of violence), 12 burglaries, 22 thefts, 1 act of fraud, 2 receiving stolen property, 17 acts of vandalism and 57 domestic disputes. He also noted that there were 141 false alarms and that an excess of 3 false alarms in a single year would result in a fine.

On the defensive side, Jones said that most crimes are committed by individuals ranging between 14 and 24 years of age, and further, that the peak time period is between 3 and 7pm. One of the ways to guard against a high crime rate is to provide supervised activities for young people, including Boy and Girl Scouting. Jones also said that ‘environmental design’ plays a role in vulnerability to crime. Such things as lighting, landscaping or structural impedimenta that give cover to burglars or, in the case of lighting, limit such cover, can be manipulated by the homeowner to decrease the attractive nature of his or her home to a criminal. He suggested that knowing one’s neighbors and familiarization with their vehicles helps in reporting suspected crime. Jones emphasized that anyone seeing what they suspect is criminal activity should report that to the police and never, ever confront a suspected perpetrator. He closed by saying he could be reached a djones@pmrpd.com or (570)895-2400.

thCAR4GP2N    In the third installment of the meeting Fishing and Conservation Club representative Eric Bergstrom spoke on fishing and stocking. He discussed the problem of ice fishing. Emerald Lakes has a catch and release rule. Any fish caught, of any size, must be promptly released back into the lake from which it was taken. Many members, including this writer, have observed ice fisherman set up multiple holes, with flagging devices that alert the fisherman to a catch. The fish is then hauled in and placed in a bucket which leaves with the fisherman. Ice fishing is rarely done for sport and is mainly subsistence fishing. A spirited discussion ensued in which it was pointed out that much of this activity occurs on winter weekends when Public Safety is not on duty. Calls for assistance are often delayed until
the fishermen have left. It was proposed that large chest tags be issued to members only so that they could be easily identified at a distance. It was also widely suggested that ice fishing be banned altogether.

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October 26, 2013 Monthly Open Board Meeting

By Buz Whelan

meeting[1]    With a Town Hall Meeting scheduled for 11 am, this had to be a fast meeting. It was. President Alex Leslie called the meeting to order at 9:33am and after thanking those who turned out and expressing the hope that they would stay for the Town Hall to follow, he turned the floor over to Treasurer Earl Frank. Frank reported that overall, we are under budget by approximately 10%. He stated that administration was under by $18,000, maintenance by $32,000 and the Community Center by $30,000. On the down side the bar and grill are $15,000 over budget. He further stated that the GM was taking measures to stem the bleeding in that area.

GM Allen Roth reported that Fred Spot of Fred Spot Engineering Associates, with whom Emerald Lakes has a long relationship, would be retiring soon. With that known, he said that he has sent out RFPs (Requests for Proposals) to several firms to get specifications and cost estimates for the Pine Tree Lake dam valve repair. He also reported that the paving of the compactor is largely complete but must be given time to cure. He anticipates that it will reopen fully functional on November 5th.under-construction-sign-hi[1]

Under Committee Reports, it was noted that John Avrich has been elected chair of the Finance and Planning Committee, replacing David Pope who recently stepped down. Events Chairperson Stefania Johnson reported that her committee is working on a calendar of events for 2014/2015 and will be workshopping that at their next meeting, November 2nd. She also said there will be a Thanksgiving-style dinner held the Saturday prior to that holiday. Connie Simpson reported that she had been chosen as the new chair of CrimeWatch, lately referred to as the Neighborhood Watch Committee. She also passed out samples of a newly created form labeled “Eyes on Report.” Neighborhood watch  1[1]These will be available at the admin bldg, and it is promised that any filled out will be acted upon. (The Emerald Lakes Free Press will shortly publish an exemplar of the form). It was also noted that Joseph Olall has been elected chairperson of the Communications Committee. There was also a note by the president that there is the possibility that one chairperson, unspecified, is not a member of the association and that a letter of inquiry has been sent.

Old Business had just one item, Clause 15 Properties. These are properties within the boundaries of Emerald Lakes, but whose owners chose not to join the association when it was formed. Board Secretary Carmen Broadnax, assisted by member Pat Galderisi, is currently researching to determine exactly how many of these properties exist, which ones they are and what their current legal status is vis a vis obligations to or privileges allowed by the association. In other words, after the elapsing of time, must they pay for such things as lake use and do they owe any monies for services from which they benefit? The association attorney is researching this.

Under New Business the board approved the aforementioned chairpersons. They also corrected a mathematical error by upping the quarterly late fees to 10% from 2.5%. This matches the 10% late fees charged in other cases. They also passed a resolution that would pass swipe fees, the amount charged by the clearing house for credit card use, to the user, ensuring that the association receives full payment on dues, fines and late fees. Transactions at the Emerald Bar & Grill will be unaffected. Under this new policy, which had been recommended by the Finance and Planning Committee some months ago, those paying dues with a credit card would find the fee added to their bill by the card company. GM Allen Roth found a clearer, Paylease, that would do the processing. Electronic checks would also be affected. Although the GM had explained this in detail at the Friday, October 18th workshop and the next day’s Finance and Planning Committee meeting, Directors Margaret Fitzgerald and June Solla abstained from the vote saying they did not have enough information. This was also true when the rest of the board passed an $11,000 change order on road repair. The change order was necessary when pavers noted severe problems with the base on a section of Clearview while preparing it for paving. The association’s Quality Control/Quality Assurance engineer validated the paver’s finding making the change order necessary as the scope of work had greatly increased. This information was made available to board directors prior to the vote, but Fitzgerald and Solla demurred nevertheless.

During the Public Comments section it was suggested that the board make the agenda of meetings available to the membership via an email blast on the day prior to the meeting. This would give members a chance to decide on attending a meeting based on an item of particular interest to them. President Alex Leslie said he thought this was a good idea and would work to effect it.

Pat Galderisi precipitated an extended conversation on criteria for voting at the annual meeting. Referring to a discussion she viewed on the Emerald Lakes in the Poconos Facebook page (unofficial), she said that posters seemed annoyed that some members with outstanding balances of less than $50 were permitted to vote. Some cited a literal interpretation of the bylaws that describe a member-in-good-standing as one who owed nothing at all to the association. Galderisi contacted several past Judges of Elections, all of whom took a slightly more liberal view. Most indicated that with small amounts, mistakes can occur and if an error is made it should be in favor of the voter. Galderisi read several responses that uniformly pointed to the importance of protecting the voting rights of those whose debts if, in fact, they existed at all, were de minimus, of little consequence. Board Secretary Carmen Broadnax, who served as Judge of Election for the last two cycles, said that was her motivation. Linda Shuey, present as an observer, volunteered that she had been initially refused a ballot based on an erroneous  debt listing and thanked Ms. Broadnax for allowing her vote, to which, it turned out, she was entitled. Most of those in attendance agreed that this (allowing voting with small balances) was a legitimate case of judicial discretion.

Emerald Love

Lola Lauri

On September 7, 2013, residents Frank Gonzalez and Jennifer were married at the Community Center.  The ceremony was performed by former Delaware Water Gap Mayor Frank Brown and attended by the couple’s four children and a few family friends.  Frank and Jenn met on Staten Island in 1992 and dated on and off for about three years before losing touch for more than 16 years.  They were introduced to each other by their mutual friend Cass, and it was through his Facebook page that they reconnected.  They reunited and Frank moved in with Jenn and her 3 children in Long Island.

Wedding Collage

Frank and Jenn both enjoy drinking Jack Daniels, so it was on a trip to the Jack Daniels Distillery in Lynchburg, Tennessee that Frank proposed marriage.  They were in the private Tennessee Squire room at the distillery, along with master distiller, Jeff Arnett, when Frank dropped to one knee and produced Jenn’s grandmother’s ring to seal the deal.

 

About two months later, and only days after finding out that Jenn was pregnant with what would be her 4th child and Frank’s first, Hurricane Sandy caused so much damage to the home they were renting that the landlord refused to make the repairs.  Coupled with the fact that Frank was a first responder during the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York, they decided it was time to leave New York for good. In February 2013 they began shopping for a place to live in our area.  On Easter Sunday, Frank and a very pregnant Jenn brought their children and pets and moved into Emerald Lakes.

 

Once they were settled in, and after Jenn gave birth to Gunner, they began planning their wedding at the ELA Community Center.  The ceremony was witnessed by Cass and his wife Melanie who, interestingly, were introduced by Jenn many years back.  Also attending were Jenn and Frank’s children; Maverick, Leilani, Hunter and Gunner.  So, we here at ELFP would like to extend our best wishes for a long and happy marriage and a big welcome to the community to our neighbors and newlyweds, Francisco and Jennifer Gonzalez.

 

Did You Notice the Changes?

Lola Lauri

Just wanted to call attention to two changes I have made in this page.  They are both to the tabs at the top of the page.

The first one is that there is now a tab that links to all the summaries of the monthly open meetings.  Now you can look back for information about each of these meetings without having to search through every post on the blog.

The second is the Nearly News tab.  I have included an archive there as well, so you can easily find all of those easily too.

I hope these changes make your experience here even better.  Please let me know if you have any suggestions for the future of ELFP.

‘The Who’ Get Fooled Again

  doc6a5ax1mbl8o1iaqnf43t_277_200[1]     LONDON, England (FNS) The three surviving members of the British rock band The Who have publicly admitted to being fooled once more. Speaking through a spokesman, the members, who had been living in various tax havens, were lured back to England by a Department of Taxation official who said the government was no longer interested in pursuing tax evasion charges that had been leveled against the three. A monument to deceased drummer Keith Moon was to be dedicated in a public park in Leeds, and the boys had sent out feelers to find out if it was safe to attend the ceremony. But when they landed at London’s Heathrow Airport frontman Roger Daltrey, lead guitar player Pete Townsend and the bass player who nobody can remember his name were immediately arrested and held until they could post bail of 5 million pounds each.

While preparing for a U.S. tour in the seventies, the group had been told that taxes owed on a previous tour would be overlooked so long as any new taxes were paid. Once the tour was underway, however, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service reneged and threatened prosecution that would end the tour unless old debts were settled. The group’s manager arranged payment and the tour was completed.

According to Department of Taxation agent Ryan Wissky, “We didn’t think it would be this easy. How could anyone fall for the old ‘We promise not to prosecute’ dodge? It’s the same one we used against Led Zeppelin. Seems you can get fooled again.”

The lads were free on bond within hours, but had to turn in their passports and can’t leave the country until all this is settled. Said spokesman Louden Kleer, “We were shocked the government would lie to us. Guess the songs were right.”

New “Star Trek” Script Leaked?

HOLLYWOOD, California (FNS) An outline for the next movie in the “Star Trek” series has been quietly circulating among the cognoscenti in Tinseltown. While studio executives deny its authenticity, those in the know say otherwise. Movie critic Helen Highwadder comments, “Whether it was accurate or not, no one connected to the franchise would ever admit it. Denials are de rigueur in a town where surprise, secrecy and publicity all intersect.”

st_shatner_nimoy_devil[1]    shatner-nimoy[1] According to the information shown to Faux News, the new script brings back the original cast. The Enterprise encounters a wormhole that turns out to be a time-shifting portal. Once through, our intrepid crew finds themselves nearing Earth in the year 2014. As they enter the atmosphere they begin receiving strange signals from a large building in Southern California. Kirk orders the source to be displayed on the view screen. The astonished bridge crew sees aliens of every stripe and a huge mockup of their ship. What they do not know is that they have stumbled upon a Star Trek convention, complete with costumed conventioneers. Kirk and Spock decide to beam down to get a closer look and find out just what is going on. Has Earth been invaded? Is it in danger of being taken over by hostile aliens? Is it their mission to prevent this? Is that why they were sent back in time, to save Earth?

As the pair beam down they are immediately surrounded by excited, chattering fans, many in full costume. Our heroes are concerned. What is this “oddograf” they are demanding? Why are they thrusting these primitive marking instruments at them? And then comes the dramatic moment when Kirk and Spock come face to face with convention stars William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy, dressed in full Starfleet uniforms. Convention visitor Imelda Mynde is stunned. “What the Hell?” she cries out. “This is way too weird.” Shatner points to Kirk and exclaims, “They’re impostors,” as he pulls out his prop blaster. Spock and Kirk, confused and unaware of the true nature of the situation pull out their own blasters. “Set your blaster on ‘disintegrate,’” he orders Spock. As the two are mobbed they become panicked and begin firing at the crowd. People are suddenly disappearing. No one is sure what is happening. The crowd backs away leaving Kirk and Spock to face Shatner and Nimoy. Shatner raises his prop blaster as if to fire. Kirk fires first disintegrating the actor. Simultaneously, Spock fires at Nimoy. As Nimoy disintegrates, Spock tells Kirk, “I have a strange sensation. I’m fading. Look, you’re fading too.” In a few seconds the two are gone. An acrid smell fills the area.

Back on the Enterprise, Mr. Scott informs Sulu that he has lost contact with the away team. “It’s as if they just stopped being,” he says breathlessly to Sulu. Uhura chimes in, “I think we better find that wormhole and get out of here before we all evaporate.” A final shot of the Enterprise sailing into the wormhole, a voiceover saying “Every five year mission has an end…” And then, cue theme music.

Is this really the outline for the next movie? We can only hope.

 

Basso’s for Italian Food – Yes!

Pomegranite Martini

Pomegranite Martini

Lola Lauri

Missing the fine Italian food of his youth, as well as the culinary delights of our trip to Italy last year, my husband charged me with finding a great Italian restaurant here in the Poconos.  Although we have tried several places in the area, none fit the bill.  Until I found Basso. Since they enjoy fine dining as much as we do, we brought our friends, Buz and Kathy Whelan along.

Located on Rt. 191 in Cresco, Pa, Basso is a small, family-run establishment decorated with rich colors and cozy seating areas.  Stone archways separate the full bar from the various rooms for dining, which makes it feel like dining in an authentic Italian home.  The sounds of other diners drifted from around corners, but none were too close to interrupt our own conversation and comfort.  It was quiet without being desolate; friendly without being raucous.  The servers were skilled, attentive and knowledgeable. And, most importantly, the food was delicious.

I began the evening with the pomegranate martini drink special.  Not too sweet, and with a lemon wedge garnish, it was a beautiful and tasty way to begin the evening.  After tasting mine, Buz and Kathy decided to get their own to enjoy.  We nibbled on bread with EVOO for dipping.  (Don’t fill up on the bread, it wasn’t anything special.) For appetizers, we had another special; baked brie with a sweet honey almond sauce, and the Melanzan a La

Fresh Mozzarella

Fresh Mozzarella

Toscana, (batter-coated eggplant, sliced tomato and fresh mozzarella with a balsamic reduction).  Yum.  The brie was rich, with a flaky crust, the mozzarella creamy and the tomatoes were fresh and meaty.  For dinner, Buz and I each had the Frutti di Mare Portuguese, which was a delicious mixture of shellfish in a bouillabaisse sauce,

Yum!

Yum!

served over linguine.   Bob enjoyed the Bianco E Nero, a combination of Veal Marsala and a strip steak with cognac crème sauce.  Kathy had the strip steak, cooked perfectly and served on a sizzling platter with roasted potatoes. Everyone was delighted with their choices and we each shared a bit of the others.  (Now you see why we brought friends – more to taste!)

When it was time for coffee and dessert, we were all so full that no one had much room left.    The cheesecake and the red velvet cake were good, but not spectacular.  The

veal marsala AND steak with creme sauce.

veal marsala AND steak with creme sauce.

Limoncello was my favorite, light and refreshing.

Basso is the fine dining option from the Pipolo family.  Entrée prices range from $18 to $39.  They also operate the Pour House, in Mountainhome, which features a more family-friendly, casual atmosphere, and the recently added Pipolo’s Italian Eatery – a delicatessen and pastry shop in Stroudsburg.  If these are anything like Basso, the Poconos is indeed very lucky to have this family bringing their culinary skills to our area.

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