Minutes of the Palomar Mountain Planning Organization Meeting
January 13, 2007
The PMPO Board Meeting was convened at 10:09 AM January 13, 2007, at the Palomar Mountain Volunteer Fire Department. The minutes of the April 1, May 27, August 19, and November 4, 2006, Board Meetings were approved as corrected. The Treasurer's report was not available due to Tracy Dixon's resignation from the Board; Chair Jim Hamerly reported the balance as of November 30, 2006, was $39,698.86.
Rob Hawk and Bruce Graves inspected several wells at the north end of Conifer road for suitability as monitoring wells, including Don Heller's residential well. Mr. Heller has given permission to monitor it, but it is on an automatic pump. Rob and Bruce identified one other well that might be suitable, in the Greenfield Observation Point development.
Tom Burton will send Rob historical data from the Yoga center monitoring well.
Robert Carlyle suggested the Palomar Mountan Mutual Water Company (PMMWC) might be able to monitor more wells if the cost could be covered. The well probe jointly owned by the PMPO, the Christian Conference Center, and the Yoga center is thought to be in the hands of PMMWC operations manager Mike Probert.
Earl Walls said that PMVFD Chief George Lucia submitted two grant applications: one for a trailer to house overnighting fire-fighters, and one for a $50,000 block grant. Earl and George met January 11 with the county planning office to modify the block grant application to include setting the trailer. Earl says a 24x50-foot pre-fab building could be donated to the CCPM. He distributed copies of the current plan, which has add-on portions adjoining so they do not depend on keeping the current house.
Bonnie Phelps has been collecting names of people offering to help on construction; so far has 44 ``general skills'' and 8 with contractor licenses. Earl has submitted these names as support for the grant application.
The plans extend from Interstate-15 to Highway 79 junction east of Lake Henshaw. Jim Hamerly will go to the hearings, beginning in February. He understands that the work involves not general widening but adding pulloffs and turn lanes.
Alan Serry noted the Palomar residents' frustration about the California Highway Patrol's lack of enforcement. He phoned the CHP and was told they issued 20 citations, mostly for crossing of double-yellow line, in November and will be back in May. The head of sergeants, Lieutenant Golonski, reminded us that we are not statistically important as far as injuries or accidents go, but that he welcomes us to write him of our concerns. The CHP cannot, on their own initiative, lower the speed limit or install speed-bumps on a 55 MPH rural road. Alan was told not to bother taking license numbers at the Summit or recording sound level data next to the road. Lt. Golonski did offer Alan a 24-hour CHP dispatch telephone number. Bonnie suggests a checkpoint for verifying the motorcycles are street-legal, perhaps at the bottom of the South Grade or at the Summit.
Alan thinks the military riders might be the worst offenders. The Camp Pendleton Provost Marshal says off-duty military riders are required to wear orange safety vests, and we might send a representative to him asking for a military police (MP) presence on weekends, as is done dockside and at the Tijuana border. We would be helping reduce active duty military road death, a big issue.
Susan Humason noted the PMPO annual newsletter has grown from 6 pages (3 sheets) entirely filled with PMPO ``issues'' in 1996 to 14 pages including two pages of ``retailer news'' in 2006. After discussion of policy and pricing issues, to help defray the increased costs of producing the newsletter the Board agreed to try offering ad space for sale. The Board gave Susan full advertising control of the newsletter, which means she can set pricing as she deems necessary, in the same way as she exerts editorial control.
Rob Hawk and Bonnie Phelps noted that dogs running loose is a problem on Crestline, Birch Hill, and Bailey's. Alan Serry said that Animal Control can be called and they will come up to Palomar Mountain. For a first offense they will leave a note, and on subsequent offenses will cage the dog; animal control will also lend you a trap. The PMPO will send out an email note to Mountain residents reminding them of dog owners' responsibilities and complaint procedures.
Chris Kusek said CERT is suggesting residents buy 5-watt FRS/GPRS walkie-talkie radios, for about $25-$40 each. Palomar Communications, who operate the tower on Birch Hill, will soon be adding a GPRS repeater there for CERT and PMVFD use.
Chris Kusek said the Communications Committee (chartered by the PMVFD) is working on four topics: fire organizations radio interoperability, backup communications for residents (in cooperation with CERT), low power AM radio broadcasting to provide travel & state park information on the grades, and wireless internet (WiFi) access.
The PMPO (Jim Hamerly) will also work with the communications committee (Paul Fitzgerald) to better understand the current level of Internet services available on the Mountain, the interest and current usage level of Internet services on the Mountain, and then host a special topics meeting on Internet access. Michael Pique noted we might attempt to tie in to the HPWREN network that currently serves the school, observatory, and La Jolla Indian Reservation (hpwren.ucsd.edu).
Bonnie Phelps and Jim Hamerly recounted their desires and attempts to achieve better cell phone service. Verizon says there are too few customers up here to justify the cost of additional towers, and Jim Hamerly has spent much time trying talking to Verizon as well as trying a commercial cell phone signal repeater (about $500) with no success.
Doug Lande and Linda Thorne went to a US Forest Service meeting on January 11. Because of the continuing drought, the USFS and California Department of Forestry are maintaining their fire-fighting manpower into the winter in case of wind-driven fires. The USFS plans some controlled burns on Boucher Hill but it is not clear how these will be announced.
With the resignation of Tracy Dixon and the death of Jack Norvall, there are two vacancies on the Board. Jerry Johnson was elected to Jack's seat, term expiring May 2008, and Alan Serry to Tracy's seat and the office of Treasurer, term expiring May 2009.
The meeting was adjourned at 12:04 PM.