October 26, 2013 Monthly Open Board Meeting
By Buz Whelan
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 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.” 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.
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.
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.
‘The Who’ Get Fooled Again
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.”
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!
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
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,
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
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.
September 28, 2013 Monthly Open Board of Directors Meeting
President Alex Leslie called the meeting to order at 9:34 am on a beautiful fall Saturday. He began the meeting by telling the room that this President’s Message would be different from the usual. He then went on to describe, in somewhat vague terms, emails that seemed intended to undermine the board in general and himself in specific. He spoke of accusations of employees with arrest records, messages that hinted or charged outright that he and the board were not doing their due diligence in checking applicants’ backgrounds. He insisted that all prospective full time hires are given the same standard check and that one employee who had been singled out in the aforementioned emails had an arrest record that was made up of traffic violations. He also cited a recent Liquor Control Board surprise visit and inspection in which the association was given a warning. The initial warning contained comments on smoking violations and ‘gambling’ (bingo) violations. After a subsequent check of the law as written it was determined that as a private club we were not in violation of either smoking or gambling violations, and only an opened bottle in a restricted location remained in the citation. In all probability there will be a follow-up re-inspection, which the President is confident we will pass. He will be speaking with the association attorney on the matter.
As he concluded his remarks, the president expressed his belief that the emails indicated a lack of support for his leadership. He pointed out how easily he could be replaced and then, as chair, called for a motion to that effect. None was made.
Treasurer Earl Frank reported that aside from the Emerald Bar & Grill, we are currently under budget in all departments by the amount of $61,000. He said that the Bar & Grill have lost $12,000 in the first 4 months of the fiscal year. Some of this can be explained by overstocking caused by overly optimistic business projections. He also said that collections of delinquencies are far ahead of last year and if they remain on track we will collect over $100,000 more than fiscal year 2012/2013.
During the Committee Reports, Finance and Planning Committee liaison Frank relayed a number of recommendations from that committee. Chief among these was a declaration by the committee that a dues increase was not needed and that the committee would not participate in the upcoming Town Hall Meeting. The committee also reminded the board of their previous recommendation that swipe fees be charged to those members using credit cards to pay their dues, since the association receives a charge back commonly referred to as the discount. The swipe fees would compensate for that. The committee also reminded that they had recommended all late fees be raised from the current 10% to 15%, the maximum allowed by law. Of the more controversial recommendations were those involving the Community Center. One recommendation was that the center be closed for approximately 5 years with the money saved put into a building fund for a new state-of-the-art building, perhaps combining activity, meeting and administration venues. Another was to close the bar and grill or just the grill. Still another was to close the center for a year and use that savings to do necessary improvements.
Events Committee chair Stefania Johnson reported that the “Dancing with the Stars” event brought in $700 in revenue. Maintenance Committee Chair Bob Leon spoke of the committee’s task of ranking the major projects facing the association by priority. He also requested that the committee name be changed to the Property Management Committee with the committee assuming the responsibilities of the defunct Architectural Review Committee and the ad hoc Energy Conservation Committee. CrimeWatch chair Cookie Litwienski called for volunteers saying she was down to a committee of one.
Under Old Business the board passed a resolution filling the vacancy of resigned Director Joe Miller with the Annual Meeting’s first runner-up Margaret Fitzgerald. A resolution awarding the 2013/2014 paving contract to winning bidder Wayco was also passed. Wayco’s low bid was for $212,220.13 for road paving and $63,811.71 for the compactor area. The four road areas are Clover between Clearview and Sullivan Trail, Clearview from Clearview (no, that’s not a typo) to Clover, Glade from Roads End to Bull Run and the Glade/Ivy intersection.
Secretary Carmen Broadnax reported on a project to identify all Clause 15 properties and determine their status relative to the association. According to Broadnax, the deed covenants of these properties ran out in June of 1987. Ms. Broadnax explained that this is a slow, tedious process involving a great deal of research, including trips to the county recorder.
A reserve spending plan will be prepared when feedback from the F&P and Maintenance Committees on major project costs and priorities is received.
Under New Business the board passed goals and objectives for the standing committees and the ad hoc bylaws committee. Rules and Regulations were charged with eliminating redundancies and ensuring our regs are in harmony with the townships. Events was charged with producing a 2014/2015 annual schedule of events by early February so that the expected costs could be included in the budget. Maintenance and Finance and Planning were both charged with reviewing the latest reserve study and prioritizing projects using that as a guide. Bylaws was charged with producing a workable absentee ballot process. The board also approved new committee chairs, including Stefania Johnson for Events, Bob Leon for Maintenance, and Mark Davis for Real Estate. The Finance and Planning and Bylaws committees have not yet selected new chairs.
After public comments the meeting was adjourned.
- August 17, 2013 Annual Meeting Held (emeraldlakesfreepress.com)
Local Man ID’d as Right Guy to F*#& With
EMERALD LAKES, Pennsylvania (FNS) People in this sleepy mountain village have named Patsy Fallguy as the right guy to fuck with. Says neighbor Barb Dwyer, “If there ever was a right guy to fuck with, Patsy is that man. He’s afraid of his own shadow. I’ve never even heard him raise his voice, ever. He is so timid.” Her brother Guy Dwyer agrees, adding, “He’s so weak, he can’t lift his spirits. Plus, he throws like a girl. A very young, unathletic girl.” FNS tried to speak to Fallguy to get his take on all this, but was unable to reach him. Knocks on the door only produced an eyeball spotted between bent venetian blinds.
ELA’s Dancing With the Stars
On Saturday, September 21 Emerald Lakes hosted our very own version of Dancing With the Stars, and discovered that we have quite a bit of talent in our community! This evening of fun began at 5 pm with a buffet dinner and, by the time of the show, there was standing room only in the dining room and bar.
Judges, Amelia, Ana and Destini made their way to the judges tables to prepare their judges paddles (1 = not so good, 5= ok, 10= excellent) for the kids’ performances, but first up were Linda and Wayne Koslowski. Although they were not competing, they have trained
in ballroom-style dancing for 6 years. They danced a swing number to Moondance by Van Morrison.
First up for the kids’ competition were the Bat Girls (Teyanna Green, Gabby Skidmore, Brianna and Samantha Castro), who did a remix version of The Cupid Slide (final score, perfect score of 30). At the end of the show, they were tied for 1st place. Next we had Zandee, (Xandria Adams), who performed to the song Wings by Little Mix and earned a second place title (final score, 28). And finally, D Kool, (Dylan Colford) performed a DJ Scooter ReMix of Michael Jackson’s Thriller with makeup and glove to boot! (final score, perfect score of 30). The tie drove a freestyle dance that the audience called for and, after their amazing freestyle dancing, I decided to give them both 1st place and will purchase additional 1st place trophies for both acts.
We then closed the curtain for Ms. Silhouette’s (Heather Kelly) Intermission performance of an amazing modern jazz dance viewed through the see-through curtain. The song was Sail by AWOL Nation. When the curtains were opened again for the Adult Acts, our next judges took the stand. Adult Acts Judges (Sheri Ornitz, Cookie and Eileen Avrich) scored just like the actual DWTS competition.
First up was MJ Robot (Marquie Jardine) with a Mime/Robot style which showed amazing precision, performed to the song Radioactive by Imagine Dragons. (final score, 29). Our second act was The AWA Water Babes (Arlene Ciervo, Clara Bryantt, Joan Gregorio, Kathy Banghart
and their fearless leader, Heather Kelly) who did a mixed artist/music dance to the Twist, NY NY, Ring My Bell and finally, Skinny Dippin. They kicked off their shoes and dressed up with yellow sunflowers in their hair! (final score 25) The third act was our very own sous chef, Cool Runnngs (aka Bremmer) with a freestyle dance to As Your Friend by Chris Brown. His R&B/Pop style dance made the girls in the crowd go wild, especially when he took off his shirt and threw away his hat during the performance. (Final score: 27). Then came The Duet (Heather Kelly and Dennis Green), who did a Merengue Freestyle number to Calabria by Enur that was both spicy and fun (Final score: Perfect Score of 30). Finally, we had an encore
with MJ Robot who brought his cousin out with him. Although he performed before, he wanted to add a little more fun to the show before our closing performance. Although we didn’t count his score in this act, he received a 28 for this one.
The final tally gave us The Duet in first place, followed by MJ Robot in second, and Cool Runnings in third.
Before we closed out the show, I mentioned the recent news of John Belly’s passing and we had a minute of silence and requested prayers for his wife and family. I then acknowledged all involved in the preparation and execution of the show and urged our guests to get involved and make a difference in the community by taking time to be involved. We really believed this show demonstrated to all what our community is all about!
After the trophies were awarded, our final performance brought out all the performers to do “The Wobble”. We pulled audience members up out of their seats and onto the dance floor dance to join us. The show ended at around 8:45pm, when we opened the dance floor for the after party!
Ten More Foods That Are Just Meh
1. Guacamole dip
3. Boiled rice
6. Sweet potato/marshmallow casserole
7. Jello mold salad
8. Irish soda bread
9. Vegetarian Lasagna
10. Carrot cake
11. Ritz crackers
12. Baked ziti
13. Macaroni salad
14. Rice cakes
On Saturday, September 8, Camp KCS on Long Pond Road hosted Woofstock to benefit the Monroe Animal League. Neighbors from Emerald Lakes joined hundreds of others in a day-long celebration of our canine friends. Vendors offered dog treats, portraits, and even personality profiles for your pets. PMRPD
had their K9 unit there, and the Jubilee restaurant and others provided food and drinks. Local bands provided music, including Identity Crisis (theidentitycrisisband.com), with singer and saxophonist Mark Mecca, who is an ELA resident. And, of course, dogs. Big dogs, little dogs, dogs of every size and color. Blankets
and camp chairs were spread out on the lawn and neighbors and their puppies spent the afternoon socializing and learning more about the products and services available to dog owners in our community. Please support the Monroe Animal League and Camp KCS for their hard work in bringing us this delightful day, and for all their hard work in helping the animals we love.