Friends of Daley Ranch Board Minutes

August 19, 2015


Present: Board members Fred Woods, Mike Whalen, Rick Paul, Jerry Harmon, Dick Althouse, Jim Schafer, Colleen Mackinnon, and Rick Mercurio; guest Su Scott.


Minutes and Treasurer’s Report: Fred opened the meeting at 7 p.m. at the Train Depot in Grape Day Park, Escondido. He introduced our guest, Su Scott, who just retired as a middle school teacher from Rincon Middle School. She has been an enthusiastic participant in our school visit program, and is interested in FODR. The Board thanked her for attending, and invited her back. Jim moved approval of the minutes from the July meeting. Fred seconded and the motion passed unanimously. Rick P had emailed his treasurer’s report and also had a print out. Rick M moved to reimburse Dick $559.07 for materials related to the building renovation project, using funds from the county grant. Mike seconded, and the motion passed unanimously. Rick P shared his interest in being named to the Fish and Wildlife Advisory Committee, which determines how to allocate environmentally-related funds that have been “confiscated,” or accrued from fines.


DR Archives: Colleen brought a box of FODR-related material in a box her mother had kept at the house. She invited Board members to look through it, and keep what they wanted. We may do so again at the September meeting, then possibly donate the rest to the Pioneer Room for safekeeping, as Rick P has previously done with other old FODR materials.


Grape Day and Second Sunday: Rick P has already sent in the fee for FODR to have a booth at Grape Day, on Sept. 12. Rick M has submitted the application for FODR to be part of the Grape Day parade. Colleen took charge of organizing materials and a schedule for workers on that day. We will have photos, a map, and hats and tee shirts available. September’s Second Sunday occurs on the following day. Fred hopes for some volunteers for that event.


School Trips and  Grants: Fred has been proactive in planning for the 2016 trips, with 11 already scheduled. It is important to be early so we can reserve the less expensive buses rather than outside vendors. Su suggested using the website, which focuses on environmental and educational programs, to let others know about the trips. We just received notice that Escondido Rotary has granted FODR $2000 for the school program. We are awaiting word from SDG&E and ECF on our grant status. The Board discussed the possibility of using grant funds to build a staging platform for Diane Caudell’s Native American presentation, plus the idea of replacing or refurbishing the old wagon wheels on the ranch house bridge.


Audio-Video Outreach: Sandy Zelasko has volunteered to produce a slideshow for FODR. Colleen led a brainstorming session to develop ideas for this, hopefully making this a comprehensive overview, including possible oral commentary, of DR’s natural wonders, its history, our school program, docent hikes, the ranch house and utility buildings’ renovation, plant identification signs, and the informational signs atop Stanley Peak. This list will be forwarded to Sandy. Colleen will also ask Don Piller to place the Channel 8 video of the school visits on the FODR website. The Board also continues to seek a video of the school visits from Mission Middle School’s video production department. In order to use students’ photographs, we would need to obtain written permission. Su suggested doing so by adding this component to the permission packet already used for the school trips.


Newsletter: Rick M will communicate to Bruce Swanson, inviting him to our next meeting and asking him if he may be interested in serving as our newsletter editor. We would like the next edition to come out in October. One idea for that newsletter is to honor our donors. We could also summarize the various grants we have obtained over this year. But the main focus will be the membership lunch scheduled for November 8.


Membership Event:  Colleen shared her ideas for the Nov. 8 event. It will begin with a hike at 9:30, led by Rick P. The lunch will be at 11:30 and presentations will commence at 12:30. Jerry emphasized the appropriateness of honoring people who have made various kinds of contributions; Rick M suggested Tony Smock as a possible honoree. Colleen has been working with Dan Hippert as to possibilities for shuttling those who cannot hike in. We would need specific RSVPs for that, and for food planning. Colleen looked into printing two-sided color postcards as invitations, using recycled paper. We would also use email for invitations. She also has been researching various sub sandwich outlets for the best deals. Colleen would like music, and has ideas for a bluegrass “band” or a middle school band. Rick P moved to approve funding for the invitation cards. Rick M seconded, and the motion passed unanimously.

Colleen also shared her ideas to encourage and reward new members, at the different donation levels. She thought of various giveaways for each level, plus the concept of honoring corporate donors by displaying their logo on our website homepage. We also like the idea of printing names of donors in the newsletter. She asked the Board to continue thinking about these ideas.


Building Restoration Project: Dick obtained the needed permits from the City to proceed. He worked with Jim and Peter Benson to put in the footings for the foundation. He will add more rebar tomorrow, and hopes for a City inspection on Friday. Plans were discussed to pour five yards of concrete beginning at 8 a.m. on Aug. 29. He needs workers for that day. He has found a fair price for the material. Dick knows that the grant money must be spent by this January.


Informational Panels and Iron Ranger: Jim has obtained new information related to the history of the ranch and its buildings. He has an update to the Van Wormer report, which documents the location of the original 1874 homesite of Robert Daley. There are also details on the barn and its 19th century building construction style, which used no nails or bolts. Jim is using this information, with help from Sandy and Dan to assemble material for the three informational panels.

Jim also purchased hardware to re-secure the broken iron ranger at the main entrance to DR. The Board approved of his concept. Rick M moved to reimburse Jim for his costs. Mike seconded, and the motion passed unanimously.

Jim also found that the City’s recreation guide failed to recognize the historic buildings at DR. Rick M will contact the City to correct this.


Nametags: After considerable research, Mike has determined that Office Depot offers the most practical and affordable way to produce nametags. They will be clip on, with “Friends of Daley Ranch” along with each of our names. The Board approved of this plan.


Next Meeting: The next meeting will be at 6 p.m. at the Escondido home of Jerry Harmon on Wednesday, September 16.


Respectfully submitted,

Rick Mercurio, secretary