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Palomar Mountain Planning Organization Minutes, 5/28/2011 Annual General Meeting minutes

Minutes of the Palomar Mountain Planning Organization 2011 Annual Meeting

Saturday, May 28, 2011 at the Palomar Mountain Volunteer Fire Department

Board Members Present:

Heather Beer, Glenn Borland, Robert Carlyle, Steve Clark, Donna Dose, George Evangelou, Elizabeth Getzoff, Bruce Graves, Doug Lande, George Lucia, Mich Pique, Alan Serry, Linda Thorne, Martha Vargas

The annual general PMPO meeting was convened at the Palomar Mountain Volunteer Fire Department 11:03 A.M. Saturday May 28, 2011. In addition to the Board, about 33 members were present. The Chair, Glenn Borland, thanked the Palomar Mountain Volunteer Fire Department for hosting the Pancake Breakfast and Annual Meeting, Susan Humason for editing and producing the newsletter, Donna Dose and sister for organizing the breakfast, and Bruce Graves for setup.

Secretary's Report (Michael Pique):

The minutes of the May 29, 2010, annual general meeting were distributed and approved unanimously.

Treasurer's Report (Alan Serry):

As reported in the PMPO spring 2011 annual newsletter, our balance carried forward from December 31, 2009, was $38,283.65. Our 2010 expenses, totaling $1,779.97, were $834.16 for annual newsletter printing, $427.00 for newsletter postage, $375.82 for breakfast food and supplies, $142.99 for general expenses. The donations were $2,240.19, we had $486.75 receipts from the 2010 breakfast, $320.00 revenue from 2010 newsletter advertising sales, and earned interest of $88.94, giving us an ending balance (Dec 31, 2010) of $39,639.56. A loan of $4,412.96 made to the Community Center of Palomar Mountain on February 4, 2010, was repaid in full on April 12, 2010. Alan said donations were down from 2009, as was interest income. He explained that the PMPO keeps its $40,000 on hand to look out for the community by being able to respond quickly to pay, for example, expensive consultation fees. The treasurer's report was approved unanimously.

Traffic Safety (Alan Serry):

Alan said the PMPO has been working closely with the Palomar Mountain Volunteer Fire Department (PMVFD); George Lucia and Cliff Kellogg have been helpful on topics from night racing to cattle on the road. The new center rumble strips on the South Grade Road seem to have helped keep drivers and motorcyclists on the right side of the road. We are seeing great cooperation with CHP, USFS, and the Sheriff on snow emergency days, and are working on getting electric signs for the bottom of the Grades to inform visitors of conditions up top. Palomar Mountain residents should carry ID and some proof of residency, in addition to chains, in the event of partial road closures.

If you see unsafe driving, such as reckless motorcyclists, call the Sheriff or CHP, non-emergency numbers. Otherwise, the complaints will not be documented. Phone (866) 986-9852. Anyone with traffic safety ideas, call Alan, (760) 742-0444.

Sheryl Einer asked who to call about hearing gunshots on Crestline; the Sheriff's office said they could not act if the shooter is on his own property. George Lucia said shooting was prohibited within 100 feet of homes; State Park Ranger Jessica Murani said she can respond.

Palomar Observatory (Andy Bowden):

Cal Tech is making the Observatory's “Outreach Center” (the former school house) available to the community as a meeting venue. Bruce Graves offered to coordinate requests for it with the Observatory.

State Park (Jessica Murani):

Park Ranger Jessica Murani said the Park will likely experience partial closure (open only weekends) in September 2011 and full closure in July 2012. She is trying to finish some planting and repair projects as soon as she can before the closures; recently, 74 volunteers showed up to plant 320 native big-cone Douglas Fir seedlings. It is likely the Nate Harrison Grade will be locked at both ends, the Boucher Hill Fire Tower closed, and the School Camp discontinued. The Christian Conference Center will have keys to their own gates. Bruce Graves asked if the Harrison Grade could be legally closed since it pre-dates the Park; Jessica said the Park, not the county, has been maintaining it and it is unsafe without regular maintenance. Doug Lande asked if any rangers would be patrolling the park grounds; Jessica expects occasional patrols from Cuyamaca. Elizabeth Getzoff asked who to contact for more information or help; Jessica's boss is Superintendent Nedra Martinez, relevant state legislators are Senator Joel Anderson and Representative Kevin Jeffries, relevant web sites are , , and .

Fire Safe Council (Robert Carlyle):

Robert Carlyle said that the Fire Safe Council has funds to help residents needing removal of small dead trees in their yards, or light brush clearing and chipping. The residents pay 10% of the cost, which runs about $1500 per day, with small work done at no charge. They should see him to sign up. If your non-resident neighbors have work needing done, they need to sign a contract of liability waiver; if their conditions are actually making a fire hazard, call Kerri Uglik at the Cleveland National Forest. The past two years' work has concentrated on Crestline, Bailey's, and the south slope.

Ground Water Monitoring (Linda Thorne):

Mike Probert is now measuring nine wells periodically, and Linda Thorne said she has the data and can provide it. The PMPO would like to have permission from residents to monitor more wells, currently are monitoring one well on Observation Point, two on Birch Hill, and six along the East Grade road; contact Michael Pique (858) 354-4391 or email if you are willing to have your well measured every two months.

The goal is to have a 5-10 year record of well water levels to be able to evaluate any impacts from the La Jolla Indian Reservation pumping project or other man-made or natural stresses on the water supply. The Reservation has not yet started pumping their wells on the East Grade road. Elizabeth Getzoff has been unable to learn the current status of this project; and is not even sure if the land transfer from the late William Yale to the Reservation was completed; a recent Freedom of Information Act response posted on the internet listed the transfer as “pending”.

Mutual Water Company (Linda Thorne):

The water tanks up on Birch Hill have been relined with plastic liners, the generator in Pedley Valley is saving money and serving as an emergency standby water source, and there are currently no water restrictions. An exercise with the PMVFD showed the water system could provide a flow of 250 gallons per minute for at least 90 minutes to a test site on Crestline Road.

Goldspotted Oak Borer (Dr. Thomas Scott):

Doug Lande introduced Dr. Thomas Scott, University of California Riverside Department of Earth Sciences, to explain the threat of the goldspotted oak borer beetle to our native oak trees. He passed around samples of infected trees, with elongated holes about the width of a car key where the larvae emerged after feeding on the live cambium layer of the tree. The beetle was recognized as the cause of “sudden oak death” in 2008, and is known to attack both deciduous (Black Oak) and evergreen (Coast and Canyon Live Oak) trees. Repeated attacks occurring over several years can kill mature trees, and the beetles hit the biggest and oldest trees first - bigger than 8 inches. Most oaks die within three years of an attack and outbreaks typically cause 6 to 12% annual mortality and 70 to 90% eventual mortality. Dr. Scott asks us to inventory our oaks, looking for thinning leaves at the top of the canopy and early shedding. The only thing you can do with infected trees is to cut them down and burn the wood as promptly as you can.

The beetle has steadily moved north since its discovery in California at Cuyamaca Rancho State Park in 2004; it was recently found as close to Palomar as Morettis Junction (Highways 76 and 79) three miles southeast of Lake Henshaw. The beetle is a poor flyer and spreads largely by people moving infected firewood - even after a sick tree dies and is cut down, the beetles can still survive in cut wood and in the “dead” stump for close to a year. For some other beetles, though, chipping downed wood into pieces smaller than 1-inch has been effective in killing their larvae. No insecticides are known to be effective and using screens to protect mature trees is impractical, especially since the adult females can lay eggs even through a 1mm (1/25-th inch) mesh. He urges avoiding importing any oak firewood, but especially from infected areas including Descanso, Pine Valley, Julian, and Ramona. He suggests campground site booking agents tell people not to bring up wood, noting that Yosemite rangers are trying to inspect all incoming wood. Further, he suggests supplying local campgrounds with locally-cut firewood and telling campers not to bring any of their own.

For more information, call Doug Lande at (760) 742-3435, email Dr. Scott at thomas. HREF=""> or see color photos and a guide “Oak Borer Community Preparedness Planning” at Minutes approved May 26, 2012.

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