Minutes from 4 Sept 2008

PLAIN Monthly Meeting
September 4, 2008

The meeting was called to order at 7:40 p.m. by Gwyneth Butera.

Attendees: Gwyneth Butera, president; Lalah Manly, Vice President; Mary Stuckey, Treasurer; Linda Orgain, secretary; Karen Burnheimer; Jean Gosselin Chidi, Kathie de Nobriga; Cheryl Feenan, Candy Howland; Ella Johannaber, PLAIN Talk Editor; Charlotte Neil; Matt Pulsts, Faye Ridling, Co-chair, Neighborhood Watch Committee; Nicky Rosenbluth, Immediate Past President; James Schwarzlose; and Cre Sechrist.

The minutes for the August 7, 2008, meeting were submitted and accepted.

Treasurer’s Report. Mary Stuckey submitted the Treasurer’s Report for August. The current balance is $1,176.22; however, she has not made deposits for August. She stated that nearly all of the checks written in August were on the Playground account. These checks were for $1,075.45. Miranda Nomura asked to cash out the balance of the Playground account. There also is a $2,044 balance in the Tree Fund. Linda O. reported that she had gotten in touch with Dr. Finkelstein about his payments for advertisements in PLAIN Talk for last Fall, and he said these could be deposited.

Old Business:

Non-Profit (501c3) Status Update. Mary still needs to get together with K.C. Wildmoon to make sure work this work is completed.

Membership Drive. PLAIN memberships were due to be renewed for all members on July 1. Mary thinks we are now closer to having 50 families as members. She will give the group updates so that we can remind members who have not renewed that it is time to renew their memberships.

PLAIN Talk. Discussion continued on PLAIN Talk becoming paperless. There have been a couple of articles in PLAIN Talk about discontinuing home delivery unless an individual specifically asks to receive a copy at their home. We will still continue to print through the October issue. Starting with the November issue, only those people who have requested a hard copy will receive delivery. Gwyneth said that she has not received any requests for a printed copy at this time. We will print some copies that will be placed in boxes at specific locations around the city.

Nicky has investigated PLAIN having an account with Office Depot to print PLAIN Talk. She said that they will let us set up an account (for PLAIN Talk Editor) that has a 40% discount, which is the same discount she receives for the YMCA. This is 22 cents a sheet for color, and is less for black & white. These prices are less than those we have received from our previous vendor. Once we have set up the account, she suggests that we establish a relationship with the specific store where we pick up the copies. Once the newsletter gets sent electronically to the Home Depot, it will be ready for pick-up the next day. Nicky will set up the account with the Office Depot representative for PLAIN by next Tuesday. The current print quantity for PLAIN Talk is 450.

Ella J. said that she wants to move the monthly PLAIN Talk deadline for submissions to an earlier monthly date because the last few issues have come out late. The current deadline is the 15th of the month. Both she and Kris Casariego (who does the layout) feel that they need a little more time. After discussion, it was decided that the new deadline be the 10th of the month, beginning with the next issue (October).

Ella would like to invite people to brainstorm with her and Kris on developing a set look and placement for regular articles. She would like input for the look for the newsletter, as well as to develop a PLAIN Talk mission statement. Currently, Ella makes the decisions on which submissions are accepted and which are not, and she would like more guidance for making these decisions. It was discussed that the publication’s mission should build on the overall mission of PLAIN. The publication’s mission of would then be to facilitate communication between PLAIN members, residents, etc.

Faye says she has been asked by PL residents that a synopsis of the PLAIN meetings be included in the PLAIN Talk. Linda O. who takes the meeting minutes will develop this and submit it following the monthly PLAIN meetings.

Advertising: Ella needs someone to take responsibility for working on advertising. Ilsa (a resident who lives in Bitsy’s house) has asked if she could get involved with PLAIN. Ella also met a recent college graduate who would like to work as an editor/designer/layout because she needs some experience. Ella said that she would like to offer her an internship with PLAIN Talk.

Ella also mentioned that she needs more writers and to take over some of the columns, e.g., Meet Your Neighbor and Resident Spotlight. Nicky suggested that article templates be established for regular submissions.

Nicky said that she has been asked about preschools in our area; she volunteered to write an article on this topic. She also noted that many people in Atlanta are being laid off, and that this has affected some PL residents. She suggested that we include information about upcoming job fairs in PLAIN Talk.

Volunteer Drive. There recently was a recruitment drive for new volunteers for several city organizations. Kathie de Nobriga suggested that we could email people who signed up as new volunteers top information on the “volunteer jobs of the month.” She is trying to match people with volunteer opportunities that match their experience and interest. She asked whether PLAIN Talk could list some of these opportunities. Ella J. said that several of those opportunities could be with PLAIN Talk. Kathy is eager to get the 8–10 new volunteers working on projects.

Nicky mentioned that teenagers who participate in the local Naval Junior ROTC program must complete a certain number of volunteer/community service hours. Nicky also mentioned that we have some seniors who need assistance with tasks. This could be added to the volunteer list. Anita Towns and Faye R. have a list of people who currently need help. Faye Ridling asked that Neighborhood Watch Street Captains be added to the volunteer needs list. We currently are in need of street captains. Once the list of street captains is determined, they (the Neighborhood Watch Committee) can develop the new telephone tree.

Neighborhood Watch. Faye Ridling said that she is working the Dekalb County Emergency Response Unit to offer Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) certification training to Pine Lakers.

Matt Pulsts has received the CERT training from the Dekalb County Fire Department. He said that some of the duties for people with this training would include conducting inspections following major storms. Matt said that team members go door to door to make sure everyone is O.K. They drive and walk around the neighborhood, taking notes on property damage, etc. He believes that he currently is the only CERT trained person in Pine Lake. He said that in case of community emergencies, the First Responders know to look for these individuals. Faye said that at the October 23 Neighborhood Watch meeting, a person from Dekalb County will provide a presentation on the CERT training. She said if we can get 15 people in Pine Lake interested in taking the training, they would provide a training here. Matt says the current training program lasts 9 weeks and is provided in the North Lake area. Faye mentioned that we have had 2 tornadoes touch down since she has lived in Pine Lake.

“Greening” of Pancake Breakfast. There was discussion about the August Saturday Pancake Breakfast. To inform Pine Lake residents about the new pricing for the Saturday Pancake Breakfasts, Gwyneth sent out an e-mail on the Pine Lake list serve. Last month, quite a few people brought their own plates. However, some problems were noted with implementing the new policy. There was a shortage of food, which was thought to be the result of people having larger, firm plates (we previously used paper plates). We also ran out of coffee, probably because people’s mugs are much larger than the styrofoam cups previously supplied. It was decided that a sign be displayed for this coming Saturday morning about being courteous in how much food is taken at any one time and to leave some for others. Gwyneth will make the signs.

Playground Build. Gwyneth said that she has been approached by city manager Phil Howland about raising money for a fence between the playground and the water. She said that Phil had mentioned that the city’s attorney was concerned about liability issues to the city. Nicky asked how this had been handled with the old playground, which was previously sited between the basketball court and the lake. However, because of the higher structure of the new playground, parents cannot always see where the children are playing on the facility, particularly in some spots, e.g., the rock climbing wall. In addition, with the new picnic tables and benches, parents tend to sit there to watch their children. It was mentioned that we do not have information on liability questions, such as what is recommended for the minimum height of the fence. Nicky said that if PLAIN is going to continue to hold the funds for the Playground Committee, then someone representing that group needs to attend PLAIN meetings to explain their current activities. Gwyneth said that she will be working on this issue with the members of the Playground Committee, and will get the requirements for the fence from the city attorney and the city’s insurance company. At this point, the status of the Playground Committee is not clear since the playground has been completed. Kathie says that city employees worked for a week to follow up with some activities from the build, and that there are still some things that need to be done.

It was mentioned that the Playground Committee wants to raise $1,000 at Lakefest for the purpose of playground maintenance.

Nicky will talk to Kris Casariego about the Playground Committee’s future plans.

Emergency Communications. Nicky said that in the past, an automatic phone system was used. The call would be repeated, with no explanation, which was irritating to some residents. It was decided that a Telephone Tree will be developed.

International Dinner. Gwyneth wrote an article for the September PLAIN Talk about the upcoming International Dinner, scheduled for Saturday, September 20, at 5:30 p.m. Linda Orgain and Marie Andrade are responsible for setting up the Beach House for the dinner. Signs are also needed to inform PL residents – James Schwarzlose will make the signs. Linda O. will purchase beverages and paper products (we are expecting about 100 people). Kathie de N. noted that there are some soft drinks and water left over from the Labor Day picnic. Gwyneth will handle communications through the PL list-serve; she will emphasize that people need to bring a dish to share, because last year food.

Halloween Party. The annual Halloween Party will be held Saturday, October 25. Nicky will coordinate this event. Kathie de N. is working on getting a storyteller. She would like to have a microphone so everyone can hear better. Kathy will look for a small mike; it was stated that Greg Creech has a speaker and a mike. Nicky will make an order for arts and craft supplies with the school. We will need adults to supervise and provide the arts and crafts activities. Ella will assist with this. Last year the kids really loved the arts and crafts and the outdoors games. She also needs volunteers who will help out with the games. There also is a spaghetti dinner provided following the children’s activities, and we need to ask Pam Heiges about cooking the dinner; Cree said that she will ask Pam about dinner. Nicky said that it also is a good night to have a movie for the kids. If we do that, we will need a few adults to supervise. The adults could enjoy a “Halloween drink.” Nicky will check into getting a license for the movie. We also need people to bake cookies as well as the icing decorators. Faye suggests using the senior ladies for the cookies.

Gwyneth will write the article for the October PLAIN Talk about the Halloween Party.

Lakefest. Lalah provided an update on planning for Lakefest, which will be held Saturday, October 4, and Sunday, October 5. There will be a Beach Party on Saturday night with a dance band. There is a full schedule of activities for both Saturday and Sunday. Due to this event, Lakeshore Drive will be closed between Pine and Clubhouse; this will affect parking for the monthly PLAIN breakfast, which is also scheduled for that Saturday. The committee is still planning children’s activities. Ella suggested doing a tile project with the children. The tiles are the same size of the top lip of the planters made during the Playground build. It was also suggested that we have the “Plamingos” decorating and parade, with a decorating station for adults.

There is a need for a flyer to promote Lakefest to the general community. Ella said that it also would be nice to have a printed one to put up in nearby communities. There are people working on promotion, and they are responsible for promoting this event. It is planned to put a notice in Creative Loafing and Access Atlanta. This year, the planning committee is aiming for 16 booths. Adult beverages will be available. Kathie de N. said that PL residents should plan to attend and bring other people from outside the community; we would like greater turnout than we have had in the past. The next Lakefest planning meeting is September 14 at 6 p.m. by the beach.

Pine Lake Art Exhibit. A new art exhibit is going up at the end of September at the exhibit space in City Hall. This will be a display of the work of young artists (age 15 years and younger). The opening reception will be held in City Hall on Sunday, September 29, from 12:30 to 2 p.m.

Food Bank. Faye Ridling and Anita Towns, as discussed with City Manager Phil Howland, have been approved to start a Food Bank in Pine Lake. Ella J. also volunteered to help with this effort. Ella has run a food bank in the past. They will set up a way to involve people in making regular donations.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:50 p.m.

Submitted by Linda Orgain, Secretary