Lake Cushman Firewise Council

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Lake Cushman Firewise Council
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Firewise Meeting Minutes
Oct 6, 2015

Meeting at LCMC Conference Room at 1:30 PM

Attending: Deanie Sostrich, Betty Widing, Lois Jerden, Joe Cochran, Ken Weaver, Donna Hellyer, George Fisher and Bill Sostrich

Treasurer’s report: Ending balance for September = $5707.25 Re-cap of Chipper day on 9/8: Total epenses = $179.52 and donations of $325.00 We also collected $210 in donations from Stump Dump

1st topic: Bill talked again to Anthony regarding replacement boards for LED signs. He again said he would contact manufacturer. Bill feels that since boards are quite simple, we should not have too big an expense once we have source for purchase.

At this point, meeting was interrupted by the arrival “in costume” of the “ExFed” member George Fisher. (We should have got a picture!)

Bill reported he has been talking with two people here in Cushman who have Ham Radios. Bill will attend a meeting on Oct 10th in Shelton of the Amateur Radio Club.

We discussed ways to increase communications during emergencies through use of CBs, radios, scanners, marine and aviation radios. Also discussed ways to insure coordination with Fire Dept. , Security and Block Watch. During emergencies Fire Dept opens Channel 9 for use. That is the nationwide React channel. Important we include in Firewise Plan documents what those resources and procedures are.

Bill passed around drafts of upcoming Newsletter article and a few changes were suggested. Those centered around the announcement concerning Evacuation Guides. Chief order of business was the Evacuation Guides. Since no money has been forthcoming from the LCMC and Fire Dept. we talked about ways to proceed. There may be future participation from LCMC and/or Fire Dept. We have also had several people who have contacted us to offer donations.

It was agreed that we would print 1600 maps at cost of $1200 (plus). We will then hand deliver where appropriate, with people in our membership doing that. Bill has been working on eliminating vacant lots, duplicates and other addresses that aren’t appropriate for our use. When Julie McGrady printed labels for us she gave us the entire LCMC ownership list. We also decided after narrowing down the list, we will mail the remainder.

Our total project is not to exceed $2000. Next meeting time to be concurrent with delivery and sorting of maps and labels in the next few weeks. We will communicate that time by email.

Adjourned: 2:45 pm

Respectfully submitted, Deanie , Secretary

Firewise Meeting Minutes
Sept 15, 2015
(Special Meeting)

Special Meeting to discuss printing and distribution of Evacuation Guides

Attending: George Fisher, Lois Casto, Bob Berger, Ken Weaver, Donna Hellyer, Deanie Sostrich, Bill Sostrich

Bill sent a file to The Shopper print facility and Betty obtained a bid for our job. The printer produced samples of their work, which were passed around the group.

The cost to print the 11x17” folded two sides full color brochure is $1200.00 for printing and $700.00 for mailing of 1500 copies. Cost for 2000 copies is $1600.00 and $1000 as above.

Betty said that there are 1959 owners at Lake Cushman. Betty asked Julie LCMC Mgr for breakdown of permanent and full-time. Block Watch also has maps showing each lot and type and occupancy. To be totally accurate with our distribution would be very complicated and probably not possible.

The questions discussed by group were:
        1. Do we mail to renters, snow birds, full-time, part-time?
        2. What is the best way to communicate with each resident to ensure that the maps are retained and understood?

Also discussed was the inevitable waste and what percentage of people might never see the guides. Can we add verbiage to the ½ blank back page that will catch people’s attention and encourage many more to read the brochure? (Update: After meeting Bill talked with Jeff at Shopper and the answer is Yes)

It was suggested Bill petition the LCMC board to donate money toward this project, since it concerns the safety and welfare of all residents. Also suggested was that Fire Dept. might be able to help with costs as it budgets money for fire prevention.

Another part of the discussion then moved to how we can make sure the most vulnerable people are reached and educated about evacuations. Those are people with recreation lots, renters, campers, shut-ins and part time. A disaster could occur when those people are at Lake Cushman too. George Fisher suggested there is some people we should hand deliver maps. We also could ask the LCMC office staff to help by giving out to new residents, people obtaining stickers, etc.

It was suggested that we should display permanently mounted brochures at each Division entrance.

During the meeting, Betty called the print shop for more information and found that minimum print quantity is 500. We can print now and then take back to the Shopper later for mailing. Reprints are same price as price is based on per piece.

It was decided that we would proceed with printing 2000 brochures based on belief our group can secure funds to help defray cost. Betty and Bill will continue to explore mailing options. Bill will petition the LCMC board and the Dist 18 Fire Commissioners for assistance.

Meeting adjourned at 2:00 PM
Deanie Sostrich, Secretary

Firewise Meeting Minutes
Sept 1, 2015

Meeting began at 1:30 PM in LCMC meeting room.

Attending: Betty Widing, Joe Cochran, Lois Jerden, Bert & Alice Downs, Carl Parker, Ken Weaver, Donna Hellyer, Bill & Deanie Sostrich

Treasurer reported ending balance for August of $5468.36.

First discussion: LED sign. Two vehicles at different times backed into barriers around sign. Those were replaced with very large "jersey" barriers and painted yellow. Mike Miller (Lake Cushman Grocery purchased the jersey barriers and Jim Goodpasture used his equipment to move them into place. So please thank them for insuring that we do not have a future problem with someone backing into our sign!

Bill also reported he was finally able to reach Anthony (technician that helped us install the sign). Anthony said he would look for circuit boards that would work for our particular discontinued sign. Another if we cannot find the boards off the shelf Anthony is checking on having custom boards made for us.

Second topic: Evacuation maps. All appropriate people including the Fire dept., Department of Emergency Management, Security, Blockwatch and Community Connections, have looked at the maps. Some changes have been made and final versions released. The only question now is the best way to distribute to all of the lot owners. Since there are 7 different sets of maps of 3 pages each it will be very expensive to print. Doing a mailing would make it prohibitive.

It was discussed if we could perhaps "piggy back" with water bills. Other questions: printing costs, would LCMC contribute dollars to help defray cost? Or would just a sample map in newsletter be sufficient if people were encouraged to pick up at office? We would like to have laminated permanent maps at entry to each division. Betty will talk to local printers about costs. We will need to make sure Sheriff and Fire Dept have permanent copies on file. We must re-educate and inform everyone on procedures and authority when an evacuation or warnings are issued.

A new group has formed (out of Community Connections) to investigate how to address emergency preparedness. Bill has talked at length with Patsy Schulz and Tami Close regarding the Firewise plan documents in works since 2006. All want to avoid duplication of efforts and work together to perhaps get a comprehensive plan completed. Betty Widing also suggested a meeting with Firewise, Security and Fire Dept. to discuss would be appropriate. Bill mentioned radios as communication. Ken reported Fire Dept has 8 frequencies. We also believe LCMC has several frequencies. Ham Radio operators should be identified if any. There is also a ham radio station at fire dept. Bill & Tami will attend Thursday Commissioner's meeting and report in October.

Third topic: Our final chipper day is September 8th At this point we only have 4 people signed up to have chipping done. We have 6 volunteers to help with chipping. It was noted that a lot of folks sign up at the last minute so we are hoping to recoup our $165 Per day to rent the chipper! If we don’t get enough signups we might have to cancel chipper days in Sept in future years.

Fourth: Deanie requested that left over ice cream (almost 1 tub) be donated for Sunday 9/6 Community Lifeline dinner in Shelton. That was approved

Meeting adjourned at 2:30 pm

Firewise Meeting Minutes
Aug 4, 2015

Attending: Lois Jerden, Betty Widing, George Fisher, Lois Casto, Joe Cochran, Bob Berger, Ken Weaver, Donna Hellyer , Deanie Sostrich, Bill Sostrich

Treasurer, Donna: We had an overall ending balance on July 31st of $5492.81 with $1000 from Booster Club donation, $138.94 in LED sign maintenance. We also have $5.00 in savings.

Address Marker project: Ken asked about perhaps using for out of area people. Bill reported he had talked with Mike Burgwin and Tami Close to see if it was possible to use that money for Firewise projects instead of Marker. Mike and Tami both agreed that would be a good idea. Mike will propose to Booster Club. Bill submitted in writing. Tami would also be able to use some money for Block Watch if they had a suitable community project.

Note: At Booster Club meeting on Wed Aug 5th a vote was taken and it was approved to have Firewise use the $1000 for Firewise Projects. Firewise will be putting the $1000 into the overall Firewise budget. There will no longer be a separate line item.

LED Sign: Bill reported he hasn’t located a source for parts or service in our area. One of the modules is out and other maintenance issues will undoubtedly come up. The group present volunteered to help research with other “lighted sign” owners.

Evacuation Maps: LCMC staff printed a few, but the colors aren’t really true so makes them a little difficult to read. It was decided that getting them distributed to everyone would be a gradual process as professional printing of 2000 would be too expensive. We will put maps on Firewise Website, the Forum, ask to have them available on LCMC website and laminate maps for posting at entries to each division. We will have article in Newsletter to promote and lead owners to where maps are available. We would also like to have a few available at front desk for requests of hard copies. These maps will be especially important for renters and new residents as Lake Cushman roads can be quite confusing. Lois C. suggested we change colors to dashed and dotted lines so that it won’t be necessary to print in color. We will be putting the maps out as they are now and see if there are further requests to have changes made. Bill has submitted examples to all concerned parties and it seems unanimous that these maps will be a helpful tool in case of disaster. We should be ready for information to be shared in September.

Ice Cream Social: Most important is for all of us to talk to visiting residents about Firewise and also to encourage them to look at our literature and the evacuation maps. We are purchasing 8 tubs of ice cream, with one to be used in our raffles. Town & Country Gentlemen will play during event. Volunteers are covering all the duties, set up and clean up.

Chipper Day: Scheduled for Sept 8th. We will once again promote. Machine rental will be $165.00

Adjourned: 2:45 pm

Respectfully submitted, Deanie Sostrich, Secy.

Firewise Meeting Minutes
July 7, 2015

Location: LCMC Conference Room
Time: 1:30 pm
Attending: George Fisher, Lois Casto, Ken Weaver, Bob Burger, Bert Downs, Joe Cochran, Donna Hellyer, Deanie Sostrich, Bill Sostrich

Treasurer’s Report: Ending balance June 30, 2014 - $5357.81 This amount included $1,000 donation from Booster Club for address markers and $138.94 in the LED sign maintenance category

New Business: Bill Sostrich had a conversation with Mike Burguin regarding the Booster Club donation. We have not been able to secure 25 addresses so have not been able to complete the project. Block Watch did find 9 addresses but was unable to locate the remainder. Mike suggested we write a letter to Booster Club Board and ask the money be allocated to future equipment rentals for Chipper Days. Ken indicated he would speak to Fire Dept re: securing addresses to use for markers. Donna suggested we could designate money for street signs on Dow Mountain. Bill opposed that suggestion, as that is up to LCMC and could cause unnecessary friction with LCMC Board of Directors. George suggested that request for change of use be left open for “Firewise Projects”. Group concurred with that idea.

Ken discussed the need for Dow Mountain street signs. There is a very real safety issue with no markings on a very, steep narrow network of roads. He indicated the Fire Dist. 18 Commissioners would write a letter to LCMC Board sighting the public safety problem. After a discussion, the Firewise group agreed to be a signer on that letter. If this fails then next step would be a petition to Mason County sighting same issues.

Bill showed slide of the Emergency Evacuation Plan flyers he has been working on. He explained his use of Congregation Areas. Bill said he would post on web site and the group should suggest changes and corrections. It was mentioned that Sherrif’s Dept would coordinate an evacuation, but also depending on type of disaster could be DNR or the Department of Emergency Management. After maps are finished to the group’s satisfaction we would foreword them to Security and finally to LCMC Board. Joe suggested final maps be laminated and posted at each Division entry. Office could hand out to everyone who comes in for a Park pass and could also be kept on the counter. Also, we could stock the info boxes, announce map availability and put in LCMC Newsletter.

Ice Cream Social: August 8th Noon to 2 pm. We have gazebo in Division 1 park reserved from 10 am to 3 pm. We have also talked with Paul, the camp host. Our entertainment this year will be the Town & Country Gentlemen, who will play at no cost. They play for fun, but also at a lot of different venues, including the Sr. Center once a month. They plan old time country western and a mix of some pop things. We need to make sure the Social is well publicized in our community with flyers and signs. We want to discuss final plans at the August 4th meeting.

Also on old business: Bill asked everyone to talk with your neighbors about timesheets. We need to let people know that anyone that lives in the Lake Cushman area can fill out a timesheet as they do work; picking up, limbing up, cleaning gutters or just anything related to removing fuel. And now with the LCMC starting on the Greenbelt maintenance plan we should be able to use the timesheets in helping to secure grants.

Reminder we are still planning a chipper day on September 8th.

Meeting adjourned at 2:45 pm

Firewise Meeting Minutes
June 2, 2015

Meeting began at 1:30 pm in the conference room at the LCMC offices

Attending:            Betty Widing, George Fisher, Bob Berger, Ken Weaver, Donna Hellyer, Deanie Sostrich, Bill Sostrich

Treasurer's report: Donna reported we had an ending balance in May of $5491.14. Garage sale netted $125, with donations from the Mitchell's, Weaver's, Sostrich's, and Hellyer. We've received $500 in donations from chipper project, with a couple more people who will donate, but we haven't received yet.

Old Business: Address markers donation of $1000 is still pending. Bill forwarded all information he has to Loretta Baker and hopefully the Fire Dept. will locate spots for our remaining number needed. We have addresses for 9 properties so far. Hopefully we will be able to talk to Booster Club in August for more input.

New Business: We discussed having a fall Chipper Day. It is likely a burn ban will still be in effect through Sept., so right after Labor Day on September 8th was selected. It was agreed that good publicity throughout the community will be key to a good response. It was also noted that we collected donations and cash at Stump Dump last weekend. That money can also good to this project or another in 2015.

Ice Cream Social Sat., August 8th: We have reserved Gazebo in Division 1, have reserved our ice cream from Olympic Mountain Ice Cream Co. at a big discount and have also reserved entertainment. The group is called the Town & Country Gentlemen and will play for free (note: we may want to offer to pay their gas?). The LCMC board approved a one- time exception on amplified music at our park. The group plays a lot of old time country western plus some newer favorites. There will be 3-5 playing.

To be decided:

-                     What kind of information do we want to distribute?

-                     Will we have something for the children?

-                     Shall we have a raffle with fire safety equipment?

-                     Perhaps local people might help as last year (Lois and Debbie Kilcup)?

At the Ice Cream Social we need to make a point to talk to folks attending about Firewise and what we are trying to do in the community. We should stress "free property assessments".  Bill will ask Jane Potter if DNR will be able to attend.  The same for Fire Dist. 18. Fire Auxiliary will serve hot dogs, soda and chips.

Bill talked about the LCMC green belt management project. Jesse Bloomfield, with Forest Management Consultants, LLC, reported to board that we have 292 acres of green belt. Phase II of the project which includes a draft of the Forest Management Plan will include finding grant funding.  Bill suggested our Firewise time sheets might be utilized as "matching funds". Bill also suggested (at the LCMC Board Meeting) that our roadways should be in project as there is not enough clearance in many areas, which would allow a fire to jump from one side of street to other. The money from the "marketable" timber could be used to fund cutting back of green belts and at the same time bring back the fire breaks to help protect the community.

It was suggested that at the Annual Meeting, perhaps Jane Potter could speak about Firewise and our roll in educating homeowners in wildfire protection and mitigation.

Meeting adjourned at: 2:45pm

Submitted: Deanie Sostrich, Secretary

Firewise Meeting Minutes
May 11, 2015

Meeting began at 1:30 pm

Attending were Deanie Sostrich, Bob Berger, George Fisher, Alice Downs, Joe Cochran, Lois Jerden, Donna Hellyer, Ken Weaver and Bill Sostrich

Treasurer’s Report: Donna Hellyer

Balance as of 4/30 is $4,866.14.  That includes $138.94 in LED sign project and $1,000 donation from Booster Club (project not yet complete)

Address markers:  Block Watch gave us 9 addresses.  We need a total of about 25 before ordering the sticks and numbers in order to use the $1000.  Lois had talked with Loretta Baker about Fire Dept preference for location and Loretta indicated she could help.  Bill will talk with her.  Time will also be needed to contact each prospective household for permission to place marker.

Chipper Days:  Chipper is reserved for May 26th & May 27th with Lews Rents in Olympia at $165.00 per day.  Price includes 8 hours run time each day.  Alice will make flyers to put in community boxes.  Bill will post on Firewise website and Forum.  Joe will post on Lake Cushman Homeowners .  Joe and Bill will meet at LCMC office at 7 am to go to Olympia.  Will we start chipping at approximately 9 am . Volunteers for project so far are Joe, Bert, Bob, Larry, Carl, Ken, Bill and Deanie

LED sign appeared to have bulbs out.  Bill will ask Dave Clute to help look at this.

Burn Ban:  LCMC resolution by Board has caused controversy and they are now looking at modifications to original.  Ken said the Fire Dept would welcome an enforceable resolution.

Memorial Weekend Garage Sale at Donna Hellyer’s house on 2/22 and 2/23.  Area for Firewise with sign that indicates items purchased are tax deductible.  Please bring any items you have on Thursday the 21st.  Donna has a covered area.  This is one more way for us to earn money.  Please look around and bring your clean, priced items (but no clothing).

Firewise Meeting Minutes
Mar 3, 2015

Meeting began at 1:30 PM

Attending were Betty Widing, Donna Hellyer, Deanie and Bill Sostrich

Treasurer reported ending balance of: $3798.30 plus $138.94 in LED sign repair fund and $1000 for address marker.

First topic of business were the address markers.  We are waiting for addresses from Block Watch to place an order with the $1000 donation from Booster Club last November.  Bill thinks money will purchase about 25 markers plus any needed numbers.  Bill will email Tami re: addresses.

Second  report by Bill was that the LED sign was repaired by some welcome expertise of Dave Clute.

The group decided first Chipper Days would be Tues and Wed on May 26 and 27th  following Memorial Day.  Residents would have the long weekend to get there trimmings stacked and ready and would not even have to be home when we come by with the chipper.  The “stump dump” will be open May 30th and 31st.

We intend to follow in late summer with another chipper day on Aug 29th and 8/30th followed by the open stump dump on Sept 5th and 6th (Labor Day weekend)

Bill is asking for people to run the chipper and help with the picking and feeding, etc.  He has a couple of people who have indicated they can run chipper and KNOW all our Firewise group will be so happy to assist J.

Emergency evacuation maps are completed for Divisions: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 11, 13, 14, 15 and 7.   Bill is still working on 8, 17, 18.2, 18.3,  9, 10, 12 and 16.

Bill did a Firewise Assessment for a resident in Div.2.  He encouraged everyone to get out the word on this service.

The Ice Cream Social will be August 8th at Division 1 park.  We are looking for entertainment and the expense will be in the range of  $150 to $250.  Ice cream expenses and permits, etc. will be on top of that.

 Other information:  Deadline for LCMC newsletter is April 10th.  To be mailed first week of May.  We will have all information about Firewise upcoming events in the newsletter

Donna reported she will have a garage sale on Memorial Weekend and has us to have a Firewise table.  Please save your items. Everything needs to be clean and priced.  No clothing please.

Meeting adjourned at 3:00 pm

There won’t be an April meeting.. Next meeting is May 11th (note change of day for that month only)

Minutes submitted by Deanie Sostrich, Secretary


Firewise Meeting Minutes
Feb 3, 2015

Meeting at LCMC Board Room at 1:30 p.m.

Prior to beginning Ken Weaver and guest Don Melton from DNR discussed coverage sturcture in event of wildland/rural interface fires in Washington.

13 people attended meeting: Bill and Deanie Sostrich, Betty Widing, Don Melton (DNR), Jane Potter (DNR), Lois Jerden, Joe Cochran, Ken Weaver, Bob Berger, Carl Parker, Lorna and Mike Burgwin, George Fisher.

Bill distributed agendas.  He introduced Don Melton (Fire Operations District Manager) who replaced Chuck Frame with DNR.  His background with DNR has been timber sales.  He has been in new position only three weeks. Also introduced Jane Potter with DNR (whom most have met).

Treasurer’s report shows a total ending balance on 12/31/14 of $4816.14.  That included $138.94 in LED sign category and $1000.00 for address markers.  Bill reminded member that Booster Club had donated that amount for Block Watch and Firewise to locate and install markers for residents in need and critical areas for Fire Dept to locate homes in the dark.  We can probably install 25+ markers when Block Watch has provided the addresses to Firewise.

Slide show highlighted our activities in 2014 These included Chipper Days, Ice Cream Social, Stump Dump, Property Assessments and Time Sheets.  Ongoing project for this year is to comple the Evacuation Plan for use by Fire Dept and lot owners.  Questions surround completion of the Plan include what DNR might have, what signage for divisions is needed and flyers for all homeowners showing individual division evacuation routes and a wildfire warning information sheet. Don indicated that Mason County Sherrif’s is tasked with control and responsibility in event of evacuation.  We also need to be sure this is outlined in our LCMC Newsletter twice a year.

Ken Weaver explained that although Fire Dept is allowed to cite people, they have chosen not to generate ill will with our neighbors.  The Dept also hope Sherrif will be given that directive.

More discussion insued concerning burn bans.  Don explained that DNR issues statewide bans for their lands and for lands controled by that agency.  He also said that having one coordinated policy is difficult because there are so many agencies involved (federal, counties, tribes).  That coordination would be ideal as it would eliminate the conflicting information..  Jane Potter stated there are properly constructed fire pits in Lake Cushman, but none are approved by DNR. 2015 will probably have same stages as in past.  During the total burn ban, only stoves and fire pits that are propane will be allowed.  In other words, fires have to be able to be turned off! 

Next order of business was approval of slate of officers as follows:

President                      Bill Sostrich

Vice President              Ken Weaver

Treasurer                      Donna Hellyer

Secretary                      Deaie Sostrich

Membership will be chaired by George Fisher and assisted by Lorna Burgwin.

It was reiterated that we need to put much more emphasis on membership.  Suggested that membership should include information handouts.  LCMC also could pass out more information to new residents and as people come to get their parking stickers.

For 2015 we discussed upcoming projects: Garage sale near Memorial Day, Cipper Days (dates to be finalized). Stump dump (dates to be determined), annual Ice Cream Social for 2nd Saturday of August and more property assessments.

 Next meeting will be March 3rd.

Meeting adjourned at 3:00 pm

 Next meeting will be March 3.

Submitted by Secretary, Deanie Sostrich