News

NSS Headquarters matching fund

SFBC can still match $400 of more money for the NSS Headquarters Fund! Please send money! The new headquarters is a really great property, and much needed for the library and other NSS functions including a campground. For more information about the headquarters and the fundraising visit http://www.caves.org/commission/hq/. We can also take donations by Paypal, which we will then include in the check with the matching money (or we can do cash donations that way also). If you write a check, you can make it out directly to the fund and I will mail it with our check. Click the button below to donate with Paypal.

August 2012 Members Meeting

Howdy!

Come all, come tomorrow for this month’s general meeting of the San Francisco Bay Chapter of the NSS! Alan won the lottery and he is now living in a castle in Switzerland (or maybe he is just out on a business trip) and you’ll have to endure a couple hours of accented and broken English since I’ll be trying to cover up for him.

As time honored tradition dictates, we will convene at 7:30 pm at the usual meeting spot at the Menlo Park USGS Campus. Don’t remember or don’t really know where that is? You can find directions here:
http://blog.sfbaycaving.org/sfbcinformation/#where

The presentation this month is a very interesting one by Chuck Chavdarian on his multiple trips to Armenia, in the South Caucasus. You’ll be sorry if you miss it!

You can join your fellow grotto members for pre-meeting dinner at Jeffrey’s Hamburgers (888 El Camino Real, Menlo Park): http://tinyurl.com/2syjef

And after the meeting is over, you can try to forget the experience of having me leading a meeting by going to the Oasis (241 El Camino Real, Menlo Park): http://tinyurl.com/ydppbd9

See you tomorrow,

– Fofo

Vertical practice at Castle Rock State Park, Saturday, August 25

Howdy!

I know you are all extremely sad because you haven’t had your fix of verticalness this month. But don’t worry! We have the solution for your vertical blues. How about a practice? But not just your regular vertical practice, one on real rock, with real trees! Um, er, well, yeah, the trees at the Frantz’s and Tom and Gail’s are pretty real too, so scratch that. So, real rock! Yeah!

We would be having it this Saturday at Castle Rock State Park:
http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=538

Which is here: http://tinyurl.com/9pjsywn

Really close, isn’t it? Perfect for going there for a couple hours and still having the rest of the day for doing something else (something not as cool and exciting, obviously).

The practice would start around 10:00 am, and depending on how many people are interested it could run to around 5:00 pm or so.

I don’t have specifics yet on where exactly in the park we will meet, but it will most probably be at Goat Rock.

If you are interested, please let me know so that I can know how many people to expect, and please let me know if I should bring vertical gear for you.

Please bring a helmet (and a headlamp, just in case), gloves, and often kneepads are very welcome when practicing rebelays next to the rock. Some protection from the sun, and a jacket because it can get chilly. Water! And snacks.

Again, please let me know if you are coming! I’ll be sending specifics to the people who sign up.

See you this Saturday!

– Fofo

June 2012 Members Meeting

Hi All,

Please join us, Tuesday June 26, at 7:30 pm at our usual spot in the Menlo Park USGS campus for our monthly members meeting. For those who need directions, you can find detailed instructions at: http://blog.sfbaycaving.org/sfbcinformation/

As usual, for the pre-meeting dinner you can find some Grotto members at Jeffrey’s Hamburgers (888 El Camino Real, Menlo Park): http://tinyurl.com/2syjef

For the post-meeting socializing, we will swarm the Oasis (241 El Camino Real, Menlo Park): http://tinyurl.com/ydppbd9

Dr. G.O. Graening will be presenting on the Marble Mountains which will also serve as a preview for those interested in joining on David Weaver’s trip during July 4th week. G.O. got into caving by chance: when he started his doctoral program in biology at the University of Arkansas (in the heart of the Ozark karst region), he joined Dr. Art Brown’s lab, who specialized in speleobiology and cavefishes. In 1999, G.O.  began studying the foodwebs of the Ozark cavefish, and got hooked on caving and cave science.  He expanded Dr. Brown’s research program into a 2-State inventory of cave life in Arkansas and Oklahoma, which culminated in the new hardbound book “The Cave Life of Oklahoma and Arkansas”.   G.O. then worked for The Nature Conservancy, and helped launch their subterranean biodiversity conservation initiative nationally, as well as in the Yucatan and Jamaica.  G.O. moved back to California in 2004, where he joined the Mother Lode Grotto, and began studying the cave life in California.  Collaborating with other speleologists and biologists, G.O. and his team have found several new species of cave arthropods, and he hopes to complete the California survey in a few years and produce a book on the cave life of California.

Looking forward to seeing you all at the meeting.

 

June 2012 Executive Meeting

Hi all,

Tuesday, June 12, we will hold the Grotto’s Executive Committee meeting, at the Sweet Tomatoes, 1210 Kifer Road, Sunnyvale, CA. For directions, check http://g.co/maps/8m9x8

For those coupon lovers, http://garden-fresh.s3.amazonaws.com/emails/june2012/coupons-most-060712.html

Please note the address change.As part of our “green” initiative, we hope to reduce our carbon footprint by driving less. Therefore we polled the Exec Committee to find a median location that would serve this purpose.

We will meet between 6 and 6:15 pm to eat, and the meeting will start at about 7:00 pm. Everyone is welcome to attend the meeting, and if you are interested please fill out the form below to let us know you are coming or to cast your comment on what we should discuss.

Unfortunately I, Alan, will not be able to make it to this meeting but Theral has agreed to help run the meeting and following my agenda.

Please don’t email directly.

Vertical practice tomorrow, June 5

Howdy!

Have you recently felt the need to climb on a tree and just hang out there, bat-like, just chillin’?

I know, it’s been a while, I feel that urge too, so to quench that thirst, let’s meet tomorrow for our monthly vertical practice.

Our kind hosts will be Bill and Peri Frantz. You can arrive after 6:30, the grill should be ready for cooking whatever culinary marvel you would like to bring. It’s a “modified potluck,” so please bring your own main dish and a small side dish or dessert for sharing.

After dinner we’ll get on rope and we’ll practice some of the ups and downs (and in-betweens) of vertical caving. Bring your own vertical gear, if you have it; if not, don’t worry, we’ll have some for you to try. Bring a jacket (it gets cold out there!) and a helmet with a light.

The address to La Casa Frantz:
16345 Englewood Ave, Los Gatos, CA 95032

On Google Maps: http://tinyurl.com/7j48x9v

See you tomorrow!

– Fofo

Issues for the 2012 Congress of Grottos

Howdy!

Here is the current list of issues that will be discussed at the Congress of Grottos during the NSS Convention.

As you know, in this congress the issues are discussed as grottos, not as each individual present at the meeting, so it’s important that our delegate(s) knows where we, as SFBC, stand in these issues.

If you have any comments or questions, or if you think that the SFBC should submit a motion, you can reach Alan, Gail McCoy, Ray Beach, Gale Beach, Jim Lakner or me:

Alan: bluepenguinpictures@gmail.com
Gail: tom.mathey@sbcglobal.net
Ray and Gale Beach: rjr3922@sbcglobal.net
Jim Lakner: jlakner@schaferlabs.com
Fofo: gonza142@msu.edu

Take care,

– Fofo

————————–

Motion:

The Southeastern Regional Association of the NSS moves:

All NSS publications that are scanned and made available online shall only be for NSS members and made available for printing.

Motion:

The Baltimore Grotto moves:

Newsletters shall be stored on an archival storage system.

Background: Old newsletters are mimeographed and are becoming unreadable. Others may be deteriorating. If those are preserved, they could be put on the NSS website in the future for research and reader enjoyment. Cave locations would need to be redacted before posting.

Motion:

The Battlefield Area Troglodyte Society (BATS) Grotto moves:

The NSS shall institute a grotto development program as described below.

Goal: To strengthen individual grottos, the NSS grotto system, and the positive effect that grottos have on the world of caves and caving.

Purpose: To provide a structure that encourages grottos to strive to improve their effectiveness and value to cavers, caves, the caving community, and the public, and for the NSS and its members to be able to recognize outstanding grottos. Background: Chief complaints from new visitors to grottos, whether existing or potential NSS members, concern the poor reception they received upon visiting a grotto, the lack of training and programs offered, the difficulty in being invited on caving trips, and encountering a cliquish culture within a grotto, thus indicating a lack of openness to newcomers. Additionally, regions have had a difficult time persuading grottos to host regional meetings and participate in projects and in finding individuals to volunteer for various jobs. This proposed Grotto Development Program is an effort to provide grottos with guidance in ways they might change their culture and practices to help the grotto grow and thrive, contribute to the overall caving community, and promote the future of caving and the NSS.

Details about this plan can be found here:

https://secure.caves.org/nss-business/congress/BATS_Motion_for_2012_COG.pdf

Presentation/Discussion:

Dean Wiseman, NSS PR Chair has requested time to talk with the Congress.

May 2012 Members Meeting

Hi All,

Please join us, Tuesday May 22, at 7:30 pm at our usual spot in the Menlo Park USGS campus for our monthly members meeting. For those who need directions, you can find detailed instructions at: www.caves.org/grotto/sfbc/information.html#where

As usual, for the pre-meeting dinner you can find some Grotto members at Jeffrey’s Hamburgers (888 El Camino Real, Menlo Park): http://tinyurl.com/2syjef

For the post-meeting socializing, we will swarm the Oasis (241 El Camino Real, Menlo Park): http://tinyurl.com/ydppbd9

Tracy Audisio will be presenting “Evolution underground: Cave arthropods of California and the Pacific Northwest”. Her talk will provide an introduction to the evolution of cave obligate animals and an overview of arthropods frequently encountered in caves. The talk will conclude with current cave spider research and exciting new discoveries in California and the Pacific Northwest.

Tracy is a graduate student studying cave spiders in a joint program between the California Academy of Sciences and San Francisco State University. Tracy began caving with the Stanislaus Speleological Society in 2004, and is affiliated with the Cave Research Foundation and serves on the Advisory Board for the Western Cave Conservancy.

A special request Peri Frantz, the chair of the upcoming BOG (Board of Governors) meeting in 2013, “If possible, can members interested in volunteering their time and home to accommodate hosting individuals for the BOG meeting in 2013 please tell Peri at the meeting your home location, time availability, and number of people you can host.” – Thank You.

Aside from the usual Oasis gathering, a post meeting activity is scheduled, which will require a sneaking suit, as a precelebration of Will Heltsley’s birthday. If you are interested, please contact Alan directly.

Looking forward to seeing you all at the meeting.

What will be discussed at the upcoming Western Region meeting

Howdy!

These are the business items that are listed for the upcoming Western
Region meeting and a very brief summary. Please check them out, and you
can let Peri Frantz know your opinions or concerns, since she will be
representing the grotto at the meeting.

Thank you!

– Fofo

——————————

*** Old Business
– New Melones Reservoir Project
The park wants a document with all the cave locations. Maintaining the
locations protected should be the highest priority. The Western Region
was to have a meeting with the park.

– Providence Mountains State Recreation Area MOU

– Possible Merger of the Western Region and the Northwest Caving
Association (NCA)
The Northwest Caving Association was going to evaluate merging with the
Western Region. If they decide to do so, the Western Region should
explore the proposal and decide if it’s beneficial to the region.

– Bylaws Updates
The current bylaws need an update, and Neil Marchington worked on them,
taking into account the NSS IO requirements.

– Name of the Publication
It was proposed that the name “The California Caver” doesn’t adequately
represent the region. But some people consider that the name “The
California Caver” carries historic significance and it should be kept.
Possible new names are being requested.

– Life Member Category
It was proposed to establish a “life” membership category for the region.

– Quorum Updates
For a meeting to be official it needs to have a quorum, and a simple
majority is needed.

– SFBC Hosting BOG Meeting
Peri Frantz is looking for people to help with organizing the meeting,
and she would like people from across the region attending the meeting
not just from the Bay area.

– Membership Drive

*** New Business
– Revision to the Region’s NCRC Scholarship

– Matching donation to the NSS Headquarters

– Wilderness First Aid Course

– Nominations for Next Region Officers
Elections for offices will be held at the Regional. If you would like to
be nominated, please let us know!

May 2012 Executive Committee Meeting

Hi all,

Tuesday, May 8, we will hold the Grotto’s Executive Committee meeting, at the Sweet Tomatoes, 1210 Kifer Road, Sunnyvale, CA. For directions, check http://g.co/maps/8m9x8


View Larger Map

 

For those coupon lovers, http://garden-fresh.s3.amazonaws.com/emails/may2012/coupons-houston-050312.html

Please note the address change.  As part of our “green” initiative, we hope to reduce our carbon footprint by driving less. Therefore we polled the Exec Committee to find a median location that would serve this purpose. As with all new locations, we do not know if Sweet Tomatoes can accommodate 10+ individuals. However, historical figures show that <10 attend so we should be fine. In the event we are not, we will attempt to utilize Costco’s food court and take advantage of the $1.99 pizza combo deal. I hope it does not come down to that even though a part of me wants that .99 churro and yogurt mixed berry parfait.

We will meet between 6 and 6:15 pm to eat, and the meeting will start at about 7:00 pm. Everyone is welcome to attend the meeting, and if you are interested please fill out the form below to let us know you are coming or to cast your comment on what we should discuss.

Please don’t email directly.

Thanks and see you all there.