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Palomar Mountain Planning Organization Minutes, 9/05/2015 Board Meeting minutes

Palomar Mountain Planning Organization Board Meeting

September 5, 2015

Board Members Present:

Glenn Borland [chair], Robert Carlyle, Steve Clark, George Evangelou, Elizabeth Getzoff, Bruce Graves, Sue Hanson, Rosemary Johnston, Michael Pique, Yvonne Vaucher, Michael Walsh.

Board Members Absent:

Terri Bailey, Heather Beer, Donna Dose, Brenda Fromlath.

The PMPO Board Meeting was called to order at 10:05 AM at the Palomar Mountain Fire Department, by Glenn Borland, chair. A quorum of Board members was present.

Acting Treasurer Michael Walsh reported our current balance is: checking $9503.11, savings $33,356.13, total $42,860.24. We need a treasurer since Linda Thorne retired last spring. Robert Carlyle declined; Michael Walsh suggested Heather Beer, who does some administrative work with the Fire Department. Glenn Borland will ask Heather.

Community Center of Palomar Mountain (CCPM):

John Lesac, CCPM Board Chair, announced that tonight the North County Lumber Truck, a rock and blues band, is performing at a potluck here at the Fire Station bandstand, with opportunity drawings for local restaurant dinners. The Community Center is also organizing events that take place outside of the Fire Department facilities. November 4 will be a tamale-making class, March will see a Palomar Observatory meet and greet for residents, and Crestline Lodge may host a movie night this season. The postcard-in-every-mailbox announcements cost about $40.

Community Emergency Response Team (CERT):

Alan Serry says he officially retired from being the CERT Manager at the end of August but there's no replacement yet. CERT's 13 members train each month. The classes are open to the whole community, and include wildland fire basics and Barricade gel application. On August 8, Rob Hawk presented on earthquake safety; next Saturday, September 12, will be a CPR/AED class, and October 10 a presentation on “El Nino and Palomar Mountain”.

Palomar Mountain State Park:

Ranger Jessica Murany said the Apple Festival will be held at the Park October 18, from 11 AM to about 3 PM. The Park's apple harvest is sadly low this year: perhaps 200 poor ones, so she is hunting outside sources for apples for the festival. She also wants to have a display of antique farm equipment this year. The whole purpose is a celebration of the history of the mountain and the importance of its orchards. All free and families welcome. In November, there will be two tree-planting parties, November 1 and 15, and everyone is invited to come help.

She is happy to report the campground was full every weekend all summer and many visitors enjoyed hiking the trails and touring the Boucher Hill fire lookout. The fire lookout volunteers are doing a great job for public safety and could use more help.

Rosemary Johnston says the “Friends of Palomar Mountain State Park” are donating apples for the festival. They met with Tina Chin hoping to restart the 6th grade camp program. Kevin Best, the Sector Supervisor, will come up and look at converting an unoccupied ranger residence into a visitor center. Kevin said they are working on making some campsites ADA-compliant, and that either Thunder Springs or Doane Pond trail will be made ADA-compliant. Rosemary went to a Sacramento meeting of the California State Parks Foundation on May 8.

Palomar Mountain Fire Department (PMFD):

Chief Cristina Williamson introduced herself as our new Fire Chief. She thanked the community for coming out last night to recognize our firefighters, who were touched. In particular, retiring Chief Cliff Kellogg, who's been nominated for the San Diego County Hero's Award. All residents are invited to tomorrow's noon Annual Meeting of the Fire Department board of directors, where you can learn more about the 50-year ground lease with the county, our status on getting a new building (we're #3 on the list), and our new equipment: a “Type 6” Patrol unit with 250-gallon tank, and a new “Type 1” 4WD engine being custom built to arrive perhaps summer 2016.

She also suggested the State Park may be able to use CalFire inmate crews this winter for trail maintenance.

Mike Pique says he has maps and information about the fire break being constructed near High Point, on the north edge of the Observatory property.

Gold-Spotted Oak Borer:

Glenn Borland reviewed the May presentation by Tom Scott (UC Riverside). Glenn and Cecelia have found several of their Black Oaks infested with the beetle: three trees died in two years. This is at the 5600' elevation at the north end of Birch Hill. Glenn thinks the infestation on Birch Hill is minor so far. He needs help meeting with Tom to discuss what to do. Yvonne Vaucher says she will help; Tom needs volunteers to survey areas of the mountain for evidence of infestations.

Yvonne asks if we still have GSOB info posted outside Mother's Kitchen since the Fire Safe Council sign fell apart. Terry Sproul says a new bulletin board is going up that we could use. Sue Hanson says she has a box of GSOB literature, specimens, and identification reference cards. Robert Carlyle asked what oaks are infested on the East Grade; Glenn says those are the evergreen Valley Oaks, not the Black Oaks.

Fire Safe Council and Tree Removal Program:

Robert Carlyle reported that his funding has run out; the last grant was two years ago and had many restrictions. He was unable to achieve the required 100% matching funds on the $200,000 and used only $60,000. When the program started, the matching requirement was only 10%. Basically, he's given up but if someone else wants to carry on, that's OK with him.

Yvonne Vaucher asked if money is still available. Robert says yes, but only 10% of what there was. There are now 130 Fire Safe councils in California, most of the councils are wildland/urban interface, but most of the money is now going to the urban councils.

Chief Williamson said the Fire Department has a grant to pay for two “community chipping days”, but residents will have to collect their cuttings and bring them to a chipping station that will be set up. Probably the first of these will be in spring 2016.

New Business:

Observatory Outreach Program:

Sue Hanson says Steve Flanders is the new Palomar Observatory community outreach representative. She went to a March meeting where Steve says he wants to bring the community back in, as Scott Kardel had done. Perhaps a star party, in cooperation with the Community Center. Mike Pique suggests a gathering to watch the September 27 lunar eclipse; Sue will introduce Steve to Mike at the potluck this evening to discuss.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:26 AM.

Next board meeting is November 14.

Michael Pique, Secretary (email:

Minutes approved by PMPO board NOT YET

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