Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Quarterly Report April 2011

Northwest Paragliding Club
President’s Quarterly Report
April 2011

This report is primarily for those of you who pay your dues (for which we are very grateful) but don’t often make the meetings and therefore don’t necessarily know what your club is doing.  Although the weather has not been great this spring, Club members have been very active trying to improve our flying sites and getting the year off to a good start.

So far this year we have accomplished the following:

·         Passed new club By-Laws. 
·         Changed the club’s membership meetings to the third Tuesday of each month, at Pogacha’s in Issaquah. 
·         Re-initiated the Club’s Blog.  Thanks to the efforts of Chris Amonson and others who have written articles (John Kraske, Joanne Blanchard, Matty Senior, Murdoch Hughes, and George and CJ Sturtevant to name just a few) there are lots of good reading and great photos on the club’s blog.  (Reach it through the link on the club website).  We plan to keep the blog active and a place you can go to find out what others have been experiencing.  Feel free to write up your flying experience and share it with the rest of us. 
Contact Chris Amonson -
·         Up-dated the Club website.  Andy Wood is now keeping it current so that it is a good place to go for information about the Club’s activities.  It includes a calendar of 2011 fly-ins and club events, information about our flying sites, links to weather and other useful information. 
·         Established dates for the fund-raising Tandem fly-in at Tiger on July 17; a camp-out-fly-in at Saddle on August 13 &14, and the Baldy fly-in September 17-18.  We are looking for volunteers to help in organizing these events and making them great.
·         Purchased an AED (defibrillator) to be kept at Tiger in case we have the need to resuscitate someone.  Beth Friesen got us a great deal on a fancy new machine and Bob Hanna is getting it ready for storage/installation on north launch. 
·         Trimmed a number of trees from the north end of the Tiger LZ, opening up airflow from the north. 
·         Replaced the windsock on south launch, which blew down in a winter storm.  We now have two windsocks serving south launch which seem to work well. 
·         Purchased a 55-foot tall Rohn tower, which we hope to install on Tiger’s north launch.  If we are able to install it as planned (with an additional 15 to 20-foot pole), it will allow us to fly a windsock above the trees on north launch that will indicate wind from any direction.  We may also be able to move Wind Talker to the tower, improving its usefulness.  A web cam on the tower would also be nice if we can make it happen. 
·         Received a permit to make improvements to the Cut, which will allow the shuttle to drive through without changing vehicles.  Details are still to be worked out with DNR, but we expect to have a couple work parties in the next month or so to make the improvements. 

We were denied a permit to remove trees from the east side of the Tiger LZ, but Rich Hass is working on a new permit application that we hope will be more successful. 

The Club and USHPA President Rich Hass are working with the County to get the parking lot expansion finished.  The mud needs to be removed and a gravel surface placed.  We are waiting on one of the following, 1) the County to do it, or 2) the County to give us permission to do it. 

A number of our tandem pilots have requested that a 20-foot steel container be installed near north launch for the storage of gear.  We are attempting to get permission from DNR to place such a container.  If we are successful, the club will likely rent space in the container to interested individuals. 

We are also planning to install a new windsock atop Baldy and have committed to assisting DNR with maintenance on Blanchard Mountain.   There will be a number of volunteer opportunities at Blanchard and other flying sites in the North Cascades which NWPC members can take part in.  Watch for announcements or calendar dates for these events.

Lawrence Wallman is working with Washington State Parks to get flying rights restored at Ebey’s Landing on Whidbey Island, and we are looking for ways to help Roger Brock open up flying sites in Skagit County

As you can see, the Club has a lot of official business underway.  We have spent or committed about $4,500 so far this year getting permits, trimming trees, putting up windsocks and purchasing materials and equipment.  Our costs have generally been a bit less than expected for most items, and we are financially healthy, but the real construction is yet to come.   If we are successful in getting permits to do all the improvements we have planned we will need every penny we can raise.  This means we need another very successful Tandem fly-in this summer. 

At the club meetings so far this year we have heard great stories and descriptions of our member’s trips to Valle de Bravo and Yelapa, Mexico, Nepal and Costa Rica.  We also had a preview of what to expect if you go to the upcoming fly-in at Oceanside, Oregon.  Our monthly meetings are enjoyable and informative and the food at Pogacha’s is very good.  Come out and enjoy the evening with your fellow pilots on the third Tuesday of the month. 

With everything we are trying to accomplish, the Club is going to need your help.  Please be prepared to step up and help when the need arises.  Whether it is putting on a fly-in or maintaining our flying sites, having more people involved spreads out the workload and makes every event easier, more successful and more enjoyable for all. 

If you have an idea that might make flying at one of our sites safer or more enjoyable, please contact me or another of the board members.  We are always open to new ideas.   Our email addresses are on the club web site. 

Please note that all NWPC memberships expired on March 31.  If you have not done so, please renew your membership.  Go to and click on the JOIN button, where you can pay by credit card or PayPal. 

Thanks, and have a great flight. 

Ralph Boirum
President, NWPC

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