|Neighborhood News Four Lakes Summer 2007|
New Reservation System for Community Park
The Four Lakes website is now host to a new reservation system for those residents wishing to hold an event at the Gazebo and park. http://fourlakes.org/ now has a link on the front page (Rec Site Reservations) which will take you to a calendar listing existing reservations. Click on the Secretary link at the top to send an email to Rod Case with your request, and he will add it to the calendar if it does not conflict with a pre-existing event.
As always, those who host an event are responsible for clean-up and behavior of their guests. If the refuse container is used, please wheel it to the edge of the roadway for pick up and take any overage with you.
Due to another mess left this year with spent
fireworks, we ask that if you intend to celebrate the 4th of July
holiday in our park that you sign up to do so and clean up
afterward. Simple courtesy is expected toward nearby residents; no
illegal fireworks are allowed; and please, wrap it up by 10:30 or
Lakes Committee Works to Develop Plan
Shawn Mulqueeney's Lakes Committee has been working diligently through this year to construct a viable plan for both near-term cleanup and long-term maintenance of the lakes. Steady deterioration over the last few years will require considerable effort to arrest and reverse, and there are no quick fixes or miracle cures. Each of the lakes is different in some or several aspects (depth, shading, flow rates, temperature, inflow, flora, fauna, etc.), so individual plans must be worked up for each lake.
The big lake by the park is the most problematic due to its very shallow nature. Since dredging would be expensive and permit-intensive, chemical treatment is being considered to bring the weeds under control. If performed, the herbicides will likely preclude holding the fishing derby there next year, so an alternate site is being considered.
Grass carp are slated for some of the other lakes which are not as overgrown with aquatic plants. A permit has been applied for, but as the process is normally geared for the spring the fish will not be planted until sometime in early 2008.
Barley straw has been used with some success in small lakes to control the filamentous algae, so if a source can be found and floats constructed by early spring, this technique may be applied on a test basis to one or two of the smaller lakes.
Once the plan is formalized, grants will be applied for and mechanical clearing may also be incorporated. The lakes add considerable value to our properties, so please consider joining the committee at the annual meeting and lending a hand in 2008.
Volunteer Appreciation Night Next Month
Everyone who attended the annual meeting early this year heartily agreed that the Board should organize a way for the community to show its appreciation for the hard work our volunteers contribute throughout the year. The decision has been made to host a Volunteer Appreciation Night at a selected Mariners game in the coming weeks.
Many folks have pitched in to help with work parties, but no formal lists have been kept. We don't want to miss anyone, so if you know someone who should be recognized, or have been on a work party yourself, make sure all the appropriate names are forwarded to a board member for inclusion. Give us a call or drop a note through the links on the web page at http://fourlakes.org/ .
A date will be selected soon and invitations will be sent, hopefully by Labor Day.
Long-Gone Neighbors Return
Bob and Sue Liebling have returned to their home in Four Lakes after many years spent abroad and in Southern California. Welcome back!
Planning Begins for Fall Fling
Kara Mulqueeney and Diana Price are pondering a date in September for the annual fall community picnic. This has been a great opportunity the last few years to meet or reacquaint with neighbors, have plate or two of tasty potluck, and watch the kids play (or join in).
If you have any suggestions or would like to help, please call Kara at 557-8471 or Diana at 313-7300.
Parking Lot Has Been Posted for Towing
In order to exert some control over use of our parking lot and keep it available for residents, signs have been posted to enable Ruby's Towing to remove unauthorized vehicles. In the past, cars have been abandoned in the lot and non-residents have used it for long-term storage. Residents are welcome to use the lot, of course, but if you need to leave your car, truck or other vehicle overnight, please call or email a board member so we don't mistakenly have it removed. Since the lot is used several times a day during the school year by parents meeting the bus, please try to limit your use on weekdays during those months.
Water Committee Plans Work
The 4Lakes Water committee has been busy planning revisions to the pipe circuits and valving at the reservoir and wellheads in preparation for installation of a standby water tank. The auxiliary tank will serve as a buffer when needed and as a standby reservoir when the main reservoir is offline for maintenance or repairs, such as the new roof project coming up in 2008. Thanks to Evan and Ashley for their expert work!
Next Board Meeting in September
The Four Lakes Board of Directors (aka unpaid flunkies) will be held September 19thd. Terry Deschenes will host (again). Present members: Terry Deschenes, Pres:391-0608; Steve Scott, VP: 391-8588; Rod Case, Secretary: 392-5266; Shawn Mulqueeney, Treas: 557-8471; Brendon Pecht: 394-0387; Tom Price:313-7300; Mark Anderson: 391-5904; Mark Achzenick: 427-8199
Debbie Berto and Tom Norton gave a good presentation at the annual meeting of the CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) Program. As winter approaches, so do severe storms and power outages; last winter was a real wake-up call for many folks who had to scramble for heat and light, not to mention a valiant effort by the Water Committee to keep our system working as best they could. CERT training encourages identification of resources and those in the community most vulnerable and likely to need help during an emergency situation. CERT also helps convey information on how to prepare your own backup to support your family when food, water, electricity and heat may not be available. This program ties into and expands upon the "3 Days/3 Ways" program urged by Eastside Fire and Rescue. In case of major earthquake, storm or other calamity we should all have enough supplies on hand to last at least three days, or better yet a week. (Some of us were out of power last January for 9 days.) As classes are organized by Debbie Hoganson, please sign up to learn how to be self-reliant and help your neighbors who may need support should normal resources become unavailable.
Weeds are making seeds and preparing to spread right now, if they haven't already. We encourage you to control at least the worst of them before they spread to become your neighbors' problem, too. Enclosed is a copy of the 2007 King County Noxious Weed pamphlet; you can find excellent pictures and descriptions on the website at: http://dnr.metrokc.gov/wlr/lands/weeds.htm. The species seen most frequently in our neighborhood are the toxic Tansy Ragwort, ubiquitous non-native blackberry species, various thistles, Purple Loosestrife, Garlic Mustard, English Ivy, Scot's Broom, and Yellow Iris. Others occur to a lesser extent-- for instance, the county map shows an infestation of Policeman's Helmet not far north on Cedar Grove Road. Many of these are required to be eradicated by law, and others are classed as obnoxious such as the non-native blackberries. Those on the Class A, B & C lists (knapweeds, thistles, brooms, kudzu) can become a financial and legal liability for the property owner if not eradicated or controlled and contained.
Round It Up
I have a proposal for you. I have missed several work parties and meetings this year, including the revision of the intersection at 239th & 165th (the stop signs), So when last quarter's dues request came in the mail and I sat down to write the check, it occurred to me that there was a way to compensate, at least in part. When my neighbors work on the water system, do the monthly accounting, pay the bills, mail the invoices or fix the roads, they are in effect saving me money; if the community had to hire contractors to perform these tasks, my dues would inevitably be considerably higher. So, since I can spare a little extra, I rounded my quarterly payment up to an even $100 and asked Shawn to set it aside as seed money for special projects that we might otherwise not be able to afford. My proposal is that you join me and "Round It Up". If you are too busy to volunteer and can afford to contribute that little extra, add some to your check. My extra $24.73 is less than $9.00 per month, which most of us could certainly afford. We can structure the fund so that you can earmark your contribution for specific projects, or we can take a vote at the annual meeting to approve use of the fund in ways that benefit the community; we are certainly open to suggestions. Personally, I feel this is a great way to salve a guilty conscience or to help out when for some reason a person can't actually lend a hand otherwise, or to give that little extra if it can be afforded. Don't misunderstand: if you are of limited income or physically limited, or both, we certainly don't expect anyone to pay more than you can afford. But for many of us who are able-bodied, fully employed and too busy to get involved, here's your chance to help out. Thanks for hearing me out, and thanks in advance for joining me. Steve Scott