Friends of Daley Ranch Board Minutes

April 16, 2014


Present: Fred Woods, Mike Whalen, Rick Paul, Jerry Harmon, Dick Althouse, Jim Schafer and Rick Mercurio


Minutes and Treasurer’s Report: Rick P moved to adopt the minutes from the March meeting. Mike seconded and the motion passed unanimously. Rick P presented a printed copy of his treasurer’s report. He also noted that we got $80 cash from the iron ranger and $54 in checks.


School Visits: The final day of the 7 school visits was postponed due to bad weather. It has been rescheduled for June 2. Fred reported payments of the following: Sky Hunters raptor program, $1800; Native American program, $300; lunches for volunteers, $472. The June trip will cost another $300 for the raptors and $98 for lunches. The visits have been a big success. Rick M and Fred have put together a slide show presentation for future fundraising and outreach at organizations such as the Rotary Clubs. Fred and Rick M also have been working on a San Diego Foundation grant for the school trips. We are requesting the maximum amount, $5000. We made the first “cut,” and are presently working on a second round application.


Supervisor Roberts Visit: Despite wet and windy weather, Supervisor Dave Roberts’ visit to Daley Ranch on March 26 was a success, thanks in large part to Jim’s planning and organization. Joining Roberts and his son were his staff members Tighe Jaffe and Sachiko Kohatsu; City representatives Barbara Redlitz and Joyce Masterson; Head Ranger Dan Hippert; guests Ben Cueva of the Charros, Steve Barrol, president of El Caballo Park Conservancy, and Dave Harmon; and FODR Board members Jim, Jerry, Rick P and Fred. Most of the group hiked all the way to the top of Stanley Peak. FODR provided beverages and the City brought pizzas for a lunch in the beautiful ranch house. Jim gave guests plant guides and student learning packets. Roberts was impressed with our utility building restoration process, even pounding in a symbolic nail to help. He encouraged us to apply for a county grant to help with the project. He also admired our viewpoint signs atop Stanley Peak. Dan was especially helpful in making the visit smooth and enjoyable.


Newsletter: Our next newsletter is slated to be published around May 1, right on schedule for our quarterly timetable. The following items are due to Wendy by April 23: Jim will write an article about Roberts’ visit and supply photos of the visit along with photo of the restoration project. Fred will supply photos of the school field trips.


Utility Building Project: Dick has led a continuing series of workdays, making great progress on the foreman’s quarters. The Board discussed future plans for the remaining structures. The permit process for rebuilding the creek bank is problematic: expensive and time consuming. To circumvent that, the Board discussed relocating the structures a few feet to the east, away from the creek, which would eliminate the need to shore up the bank. Mike spoke to Wendy Barker of the History Center about this. She said that it is always best to leave historic structures in their exact location, but that since we are proposing such a small move, it would be acceptable to her. The Board agreed with Dick’s idea to align the structures along a line starting at the southeast corner of the foreman’s quarters and continuing to a point several feet east of the northernmost building.


Proposal for Ranch House, Shuttle and Interpretive Display: The Board approved a draft proposal to the City summarizing our vision of restoring Sunday shuttle service, setting up a docent program for ranch house visits, and creation of a movable interpretive display. Fred will request a meeting with City staff to share our proposal and seek staff input. At this meeting we will also re-issue a standing invitation to City staff members, such as Dan, to attend our train depot meetings in order to foster positive communication.


Outreach Opportunities:

A.      Jerry explained a new “Opening the Outdoors Initiative,” being organized by the San Diego Foundation. FODR is invited to its initial lunch meeting on May 9 at Ecke Ranch. This will bring together interested groups who will discuss ways to connect youth from underserved neighborhoods to the wonders of the outdoors. Fred, Jerry, Rick P and Jim said they would plan to attend.

B.      Jerry also announced a fundraiser at his Oceanside home on May 17 for TKF, an organization dedicated to stopping youth violence. FODR may be relevant by helping to connect mentors for at-risk middle school aged students.

C.      Rick M told the Board about a seventh grade science and nature program for Rincon and Mission middle schools. Teachers are asking FODR for volunteers to lead student groups on their outdoor curriculum over three days from May 12-23, between 8:15 a.m. and 2 p.m. Rick M will forward information to the Board.

D.     The City had requested FODR’s help in spreading the word that equestrians would not be able to use the main ranch entrance on La Honda on Easter Sunday due to expected heavy use by the public. Thanks to Don Piller and Linda Shipman, the notice was immediately posted on our website and Facebook page. We are happy that our “technology network” was able to successfully assist the City.

E.      The Board agreed to co-sponsor a city council and mayoral candidates forum in September, along with a number of other community organizations under the umbrella of the Escondido Roundtable, where Fred, Rick M and Jerry represent FODR. The event will be facilitated by the League of Women Voters, and will hopefully be televised on local cable.


Next Meeting: The next meeting is set for May 21 at 6 p.m. at the home of Rick M.


Respectfully submitted,

Rick Mercurio, secretary