Spring is coming...
March 1, 2015: Meterologists will tell you that we have had a relatively mild winter, when taken from the broad perspective of December 21 to March 21. True temperatures were reasonable for much of the season but... Damn! These last few weeks have made up for it. It's been a while since the Severn froze over. A trip across the Bay Bridge would see ice all the way across on the south side of the span.
But wait! There is light at the end of the tunnel and it is not the oncoming headlights of a salt truck!
March 8 means the beginning of Day Light Savings Time. Who wouldn't give up an hour of sleep on a Sunday to get that extra hour of daylight every day for the next several months?
Then, on March 20 the Vernal Equinox is upon us and that can mean only one thing: Burning of the Socks! The official beginning of the Spring in these parts. Better yet; this year it happens on a Friday so there is no reason to not come down to the Club, bring some "orphan" socks (the ones who have lost their twin) or some with holes (that means I will have none left) throw them in the fire, get a drink and some oysters and warm yourself with your fellow members. The thaw begins and better boating days are ahead!
Coming the following day (March 21), I hope you will join Tom Mullan, the Building and Grounds crew, the Fools with Tools and other members for Spring Clean-up. We need to scrub, paint, fix and rake as directed by our Building and Grounds Chairman as well as the Chair of the Marina Committee (Gavin O'Hare) to get the Club, Marina and Grounds ready for the heavy uses it will host in the months ahead. It is a great time to get involved so look for notices or for a make-up if we have rain (or snow).
One agenda that the Long-Range Planning Committee has given me that I am anxious to act on is the formation of the Family Committee. We tried to get it off the ground last year and did make some progress on developing a space in the Club for kids to watch TV and play video games but the effort did not get enough follow-through. While we will have the "garage/classroom" downstairs fitted out with radiant heat and some video consoles to go with the TV already on the wall, we still have more to do to maximize the Club for members with children.
Holly O'Hare has graciously suggested that the Junior Fleet Committee help to get this Committee up to speed with interested members who have kids so we can get this vital effort under "full-sail." Look for notices to come concerning the Family Committee.
Another pet project of mine has been our investigation into the possibility of taking advantage of Solar Power to help reduce power costs and improve our status as a truly "Green" Yacht Club. In my day job, I work in the Energy business and am very aware of developments of businesses whose format is to take advantage of government programs and low costs of capital to offer solar services with zero capital costs to the consumer (EYC, in this case) and with a long-term contract for power that is under current and projected utility service (BG&E, in our case).
Reply to Ferris Letter of February 12: This is the transcript of the video linked in the Newsblast of February 18, 2015.
It is with great regret that I deliver the latest news on the now likely lawsuit initiated by certain Senior Members against our Club. In my last message, I urged those disgruntled Senior Members to avail themselves of rights under the by-laws to draft a motion and get the required signatures to be considered by the Members in a Special Meeting. I, and the rest of the Board were hopeful that this group would drop the threat of the lawsuit against the Club and dedicate the considerable efforts they have made on the initiation of this action towards more constructive means of engaging their fellow members.
February 1, 2015:
Turn, turn, turn…
Okay, you have to be of a certain age to remember this song by the Byrds which was a musical rendition of a quote from the Bible (Ecclesiastes 3:1, “For everything there is a season”). But it is appropriate for this discussion.
Following is a transcript of the video recorded message from Commodore Scott Miller circulated as a link in the EYC Newsblast for February 4 - 15, 2015.
I am using this method of communication because what I have to say concerns every member of Eastport Yacht Club and I have found that traditional methods of communication are often overlooked.
As most of you know, a few Senior Members are threatening legal action against the Club. They claim that the Club, by the vote of the Membership taken on September 7, 2014, committed a "breach of contract" in its changing of the discount they receive from 25% of voting member dues to 60% of voting member dues. These Senior Members are acting on advice from a local law firm: Krause and Ferris. As I mentioned in my previous communication on this matter, we have communicated back to them that we do not agree with their view of the Membership action. We believe we have acted properly and in accordance with our by-laws in making changes to the Senior Membership Category (formerly known as "Emeritus").
A few members have approached me to suggest that if the Senior Members who were in place prior to the vote were "grandfathered" – effectively allowing them to retain their previous dues discount level – the threatened lawsuit would not be filed in Anne Arundel Circuit Court. This would mean that the 55 Senior Members in place as of last year would pay 25% of voting member dues while any new Senior Members would pay the member approved 60% of voting member dues.
January and the Living is Easy?
January is not for the faint of heart, unless you are one of those lucky ones headed down for Key West Racing Week. The group of sailors I know who go down there SWEAR it is a serious race. That said, I’m not sure why so many check into Betty Ford afterwards. What of the rest of us who must get through this month?