April 18, 2013
Present: Board members Fred Woods, Rick
Paul, Mike Whalen, Jim Schafer, Dick Althouse, Jerry Harmon and Rick
Mercurio; and guest Sally Costello
FODR invited the head of the Escondido Humane Society,
Sally Costello, to introduce herself and her organization, which is
a neighbor of Daley Ranch. Sally told us all about the EHS. It has
been in its present location next to the Caballo trailhead for eight
years. Sally has lived in Escondido since 1991. The EHS contracts
with Escondido, Poway and San Marcos for many services, with a focus
on companion animals. They pick up strays and house them; deal with
injured animals; pick up and rescue wild animals; deal with animals
threatening public safety or creating a hazard; conduct dog
licensing; monitor quarantining after bites; handle animal abuse;
contract with three Indian tribes for services; and provide
educational services including pet camps for kids. No healthy
animals are euthanized except for venomous snakes, which Sally said
is a state requirement. Sally said that she is happy to have a good
neighbor like Daley Ranch. Jerry asked if the FODR and EHS boards
might have an informal get-together, and Sally said she would take
that back to her board.
Minutes and Treasurer’s Report:
Jim summarized highlights
from the March meeting minutes. Rick P moved to approve them. Mike
seconded and the motion passed unanimously. In the future, Rick M
will strive to briefly summarize previous minutes at the start of
each meeting. Rick P delivered a printed treasurer’s report. He said
that the El Caballo Park has now been approved as its own 501c3 non
profit, and therefore will no longer need FODR’s assistance with
banking. Mike moved to approve reimbursing Rick M for $97.01 postage
expenses related to the upcoming membership mailer. Rick P seconded
and the motion passed unanimously.
School Visits: The first ten seventh grade field trips are
completed, with the final two scheduled for April 23 and 24. Fred
has been working hard to coordinate each visit, and all reports have
been positive. We will offer another invitation to Escondido
Charitable Foundation members to witness the experience on one of
these last two dates. The Board brainstormed ideas to raise money
and awareness in order to facilitate next year’s trips. Fred
suggested a “road show” to local service organizations, like Rotary,
and to Indian casinos. We also ought to meet with the school
district superintendent, who has shown great enthusiasm for this
year’s trips. We should encourage each middle school to help with
costs. We will also consider a “matching funds” program. The school
visits will be a headline item in all our fundraising efforts,
including the next newsletter.
Restoration of Buildings:
Dick Althouse has been very busy meeting with various City planning
officials in order to obtain final approval for the plans to restore
the foreman’s quarters building. He is still awaiting final
approval. Once it is obtained he will seek volunteers to help remove
the roof, and to continue the dismantling and reconstruction.
David Woods has launched the new FODR website.
Board members praised the site, and David’s work, for many reasons.
The Facebook presence has been particularly effective in bringing
new users to our organization. The Board is enthusiastic about all
the new features, and we thank Don Piller for agreeing to continue
as our webmaster.
Jerry re-stated his goal of having FODR become
an active member of the Escondido Creek Watershed Alliance. Rick M
mailed its current leader, Olga Diaz, a formal request from FODR to
join the group, and to appoint Jim as our representative. We have
not yet heard back. The Board is happy to make our native plant
guide available to ECWA when and if they request it. Jerry mentioned
upcoming hikes to which the Board is invited, including to Bottle
Peak April 27 and to University Heights on May 4. Rick P suggested
that FODR reciprocate by inviting members of other boards to FODR
hikes, including his own. The Board agreed that was a good idea.
Everyone is invited to Cruising the Creek bike ride sponsored by
Reveal Escondido Creek on May 5 at 8:30 a.m. starting in Grape Day
Mike was able to negotiate with EZ Signs to
produce a higher quality product for the replacement signs atop
Stanley Peak. Jim generously volunteered to install the new signs,
which are now in place. He said the photo signs look sharp, and we
are all very happy with how this project has turned out.
The Board agreed to participate in this year’s
Grape Day event on September 7. Rick P moved to pay the booth fee of
$35. Rick M seconded and the motion passed unanimously. Rick M said
that the Grape Day parade permit is usually mailed to him, and we
will once again join in.
Weekends at the Ranch:
Fred agreed to write a brief letter of
response to Barbara Redlitz of the City regarding FODR’s proposed
weekend presence near the La Honda entrance. This would be staffed
only on Saturdays and Sundays, if and when volunteers are available.
We are proposing only simple shade, such as an umbrella, with a
small table and chair, in order to provide information to users as
an outreach on behalf of the City and FODR. We would not sell
anything, but may accept donations.
Fundraising Campaign, Press Release & Newsletter:
Rick M read
his draft of a fundraising letter that will soon be mailed to
everyone on our database who has not donated in more than a year.
The letter emphasizes the need for funding for the school visits,
and also for building restoration and more signage. The letters will
include a remit envelope. It was decided to create a stamp with
FODR’s address to use as the return address on the large envelope
and the mailing address on the remit envelope. Rick M also read his
draft of a press release about the school visits. Fred will supply a
photo to go with this release. The FODR Board had agreed to publish
our newsletter on a quarterly schedule in May, August, November, and
February. Wendy Barker asks us to submit content a month before
publication. This means that we are already past that deadline for a
The next meeting will be on Thursday, May 16 at 6 p.m. at the home