Newsletter #78 November/December 2003

Art Harvest:

EXHIBITORS: We have potters, photographers, painters, quilters, sketchers, a mixed media artist, a lamp sculpture maker, and a glass and mosaic maker. If you don´t see your art form on the list, it´s probably because I don´t know what to call your work. We have about a dozen people, not all of whom have e-mail. Check the Walker Lake Web Site [www.walkerlake.com] for our invitation.  Please e-mail (janpop@ptd.net) or call me [570-296-6980] to confirm your participation. We´ll meet at the clubhouse at around 11:00 a.m. to set up the exhibit. We don´t want to damage the walls so if your work is not suitable for tabletop display, please bring a foamcore board or other upright display method. (Call me and I´ll explain). You may offer your work for sale, or not, as you please, but people want to buy, so I hope some of you will want to sell.

PUBLICITY: Kimberly Richards will make some posters, and she and her two boys and Woody and I will put them up on November 1.

REFRESHMENTS: Linda and Ralph Cioppa have promised 6 bottles of red wine. We still need white. Several cakes and batches of cookies have been offered. We have rounded up about 30 wine glasses; let me know if you have some that you could lend.

ARTS AND CRAFTS TABLE FOR CHILDREN: Kimberly Richards has agreed to supervise a table with art supplies for children so their parents can have moment to look at the art. We´re going to get a big roll of newsprint paper, but we need the loan of crayons, colored pencils and the like (dry media only, please). We could use adult help at the table. Let me know if you or someone from your family can help out.

FUNDRAISER: Please donate an item for a silent auction if possible. We recognize that this is more appropriate for some participants than others, so please don´t be deterred from participation by this request, but do let me know if you have something you can contribute. If not, perhaps you can contribute food, drink or supplies for the craft table, or a percentage of your profits if you sell your work. The Walker Lake Women´s Club has donated a number of small craft items that we can sell. Getting to know each other, not fundraising, is the primary purpose of this event, but let's see if we can enlarge the WLLA treasury a bit.

WHAT ELSE?: I´m sure I´ve forgotten something, so please e-mail or call me and let me know what.


Leaves: No leaf burning at all; you must inform Fire Dept.


Road Drainage: Property owners please try to keep your road culverts clear of debris to enhance proper drainage.


Report from the Treasurer: As some of you may know, we have had substantial expenses this year caused by a harsh winter, incredible rains, an oil tank leak and vandalism to the dam on at least two occasions.  I am still in the process of preparing a budget for next year and intend to present it to the Board before its November meeting for discussion and approval at that meeting.  Any Association member, who is interested, is welcome to attend that Baord Meeting and hear that report. Linda Cioppa, Treasurer


Road Markers: We are working on replacing our road marker signs. We have approximately 70 signs to replace. Some of our gracious homeowners have already done so at their own expense. 


Women's Club: Meetings are the 1st Monday (for crafts) and 3rd Thursday (for quilting) from 10 AM to whenever of each month unless a holiday is on that day. Please join our community women and find a new friend. 


Lake Draw Down: The lake draw down valves were opened on September 21.  The main purpose of this draw down is to do maintenance work on the dam and to hard freeze aquatic plants.  We have contracted to restore the spillway surfaces but not the center bulkhead.  Some dam earthwork maintenance was completed.  We removed grass from rip-rap and channels using the herbicide, Rodeo, as recommended by F. Schoenagel.  We removed overhanging limbs on the dam so that sunlight will encourage the growth of grass on the dam embankment.  We realigned erosion damage at the right wall of the spillway channel, removed vegetation and debris from all the stream channels, reseeded the embankment, removed vegetation from the vicinity of the outlet pipe, and removed vegetation from the spillway approach.  We need to repair the trash screens at the entrance of the outlet pipe and within the valve containment.

Many owners are interested in maintenance of their shorefronts during the draw down.  You may “clean up’ without a permit: you may remove infiltrated silt that is not part of the lakebed with hand tools. This silt may not be placed in a wetland area even if the wetland is on your property. Repair of bulkheads or docks is possible.  You may not disturb the lakebed or shoreline. You can put sand on the land but not on the lakebed, under the restored water line, or on wetland.  You can remove rocks or large stones as long as they are not deeply imbedded in the lakebed.  The removal of accumulated leaves and debris along the shoreline is possible.   Do not put the debris into wetland. 

Let me clear up a misconception.  During the last draw down, the Association obtained a permit to build only the bulkhead and boat launch at the dam area. The fire department placed standpipes.  At that time some owners misconstrued this as permission to build bulkheads, docks, and to use machines to remove silt.  This was done improperly.  During this draw down, the Association is not obtaining any permits.  Each owner is responsible for their own permit and will need to pay for this service.  We are only trying to assist shore owners with a letter of permission (see below).

Lakeshore owners may wish to work on their shores.  This work has become more complicated because any water impounded by a dam is considered waters of the United States and many government agencies are involved.  They are:  Pennsylvania DEP, Pike County Conservation District, Pennsylvania Bureau of Waterways Engineering, Pennsylvania Fish & Game, US Homeland Security and the US Army Corps of Engineers. Thus, shoreline work is not so simple any more.  There will probably be a delay is completing the “permitting’ process, please be patient.  Please refrain from calling any of the above agencies as this results in more complications and delays. 

The use of machinery requires a letter of permission from the Bureau of Waterways Engineering. If you need this letter, you must call me (Ralph Cioppa) at 296 6482.  I will be gone from November 16 through December 4.  During this time only, contact Chet Dawson at 296 8103 or (856) 273 0126 or Joe Gallagher of Ecosolutions at 1 (888) 433 3267.  We will need your permission to enter your property, take pictures, and survey wetlands areas to include your work in this process.  You will be expected to pay a fee for this service.  Under any circumstances, the machine may not enter the lakebed in the water at the level of the draw down.  The above silt rules apply.  Let us know if you are placing a new dock since this requires separate permission.

New bulkheads require a permit not the letter of permission.  This is a complicated and lengthy process.  It is too late to get this permit.  You must apply for this on your own or through your contractor.  You can do this work at anytime.

The lake is closed to fishing until the water level is restored (passing over the spillway). You will be fined by the Fish & Game Commission if you fish.  We will restock in the spring with large mouth bass, calico bass and perch.

We mapped the lakefront with GPS to determine the number of homes and septic systems on the lake.  This information is required by the DEP to determine the extent of pollutants entering our lake.

At the present time the geese population is down.  We anticipate an influx of new non-migratory geese in the spring.  A permit application for reduction of this geese population was submitted.  No word yet.

Purple loosestrife was found around the lake. This pretty plant is invasive and must be removed.  We will wait until spring and begin the use a specific herbicide, floridone.  This is a three to five year program and the use of the herbicide should be safe, specific and effective.

The clubhouse underground oil tank was removed.  It was leaking into the clubhouse´s perimeter drain.  All is well now.  No leaking oil is present in the drains or in the lake.  The oil like residue is due to rotting vegetation not leakage.  We still have to remove the soil involved which was placed by the badminton courts. This will be done as soon as possible. We are waiting for our forthcoming release from the DEP.  This was a time consuming and expensive process.  Please be aware that if you have an underground oil tank it will eventually leak.  Remove it before leakage occurs and you are faced with contaminated soil removal and fines. R. Cioppa will prepare the grant application to the DEP for up to $4,000 to reimburse the Association´s expenses.

We will continue wet chemistry tests even though the lake is down. Samples will be taken from the inlet, outlet and Little Walker Lake. Testing will continue on a monthly basis.  The pollutant levels of the waters entering our lake from runoff, streams and rain causes these reading to be above standard but not dangerous.  The lake is healthy now but will show excessive oxygen levels and aquatic growth in the future without continued actions.

The Board acted to remove the requirement that boats placed on Association property be removed by November first of each year.  This eliminates a cumbersome and unenforceable requirement. However, if you have a boat on Association property, you need an up to date Walker Lake (red 03, soon to be 04) sticker placed on your boat.  We removed boats without current Walker Lake stickers and will salvage them.

The Twin and Walker Creeks Watershed Conservancy received unpleasant news.  Our next grant was denied by the PA DEP.  Be assured that our work will continue.  We will seek other funds and reapply for grants.  In addition, you received a brochure from the Shohola Creek Watershed asking for contributions.  Our watershed drains into Walker Creek, Twin Creek, Little Walker Lake, Walker Lake and Twin Lakes not the Shohola Creek.  This area is the watershed we are mandated to preserve. We need your help with 2004 contributions more than ever.  Please make sure you send to the correct watershed.

Last but least, the dam seems to be an attraction for vandals.  Someone pulled down the gate that blocks access to the dam area and destroyed it.  Earlier, someone had driven a large pickup truck onto the dam causing damage.  This encourages erosion, especially in winter when we cannot grow grass.  We had to block access with tree trunks. This complicates our maintenance work but so be it.   We cannot allow “wheels’ on the dam embankment.  The dam is considered a high hazard dam because people live downstream.  It is under the control of Homeland Security.  Vandalism is considered an act of terrorism and a Federal offense. --Ralph Cioppa, Lake Chair.


Crime Patrol: Will be sending out a new listing for volunteers. SPEEDING has become a daily problem in our community.  There are many new families at Walker Lake with small children that play on the roads on their bikes and walk to and from the Fire House to catch the school bus, etc.  It is an accident waiting to happen. Recently, the Shohola Township voted to make a law requiring 25 M.P.H. on all township roads.  That includes Maple Drive.  Walker Lake roads are also a 25 M.P.H. limit zone.  Violators could and will receive a speeding summons. Please obey the laws and rules to protect yourselves and the children of our community.  DRIVE SAFELY. Jack Rauch, Chairperson


Roads:  5-year plan has been implemented with continuing asphalt replacement of main roads.


Rules & Regulations: All dues paying members are encouraged to vote on constitutional amendment that is being mailed out.


Deer: As posted in the Pike County Dispatch Game Wardens can now issue a $100 per day fine for feeding deer --this has been added to the bear management protocol.  This is because placing food for deer also attracts bear.


Boats: All boats stored on Association properties without 2003 Walker Lake stickers will be salvaged on Dec 1, 2003.


Tennis: The tennis court has undergone a resurfacing. We are asking for $$$ donations from any tennis-playing community members who would like to help out. The committee is headed by Woody Goldberg, 296-6980 and David Kener, 296-9641. Most important: Please, players, wear tennis shoes/sneakers that leave NO black marks on the new court. And remember to use the signup sheet adjacent to the court. It´s a TENNIS court, so please, folks, no skateboards, bicycles, etc.


Basketball & Volleyball & Horseshoes: The basketball hoop has been moved out of, and just below, the tennis court. We are hoping to reactivate the volleyball Court. We also need interested horseshoe players to remove weeds and reopen the horseshoe court. 


Pick Up Garbage: Ever thought about taking a plastic garbage bag with you when you´re out for a walk, and picking up roadside debris? Great exercise and helps keep the community  sharp!!


NEXT NEWSLETTER: Items for the next newsletter: please notify Bill Mays, editor (570-296-2134 or, e-mail billmays88@earthlink.net). Deadline for Jan./Feb. newsletter is Dec. 28.