August 13, 2018

Board of Directors Meeting Report - Aug 11, 2018

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Fall at Four Quarters, when the veils are thin.

For Release 
 
Four Quarters InterFaith 
Saturday Aug 11, 2018 
Board of Directors Meeting 
Prothonotaries Report 
 
 
The meeting began at 10AM and followed the usual structure of Standard Reports, Old Business and New Business, with an extended discussion of our Samhain/Nightmare dates to be the last item discussed in response to some Member and non-member concerns expressed on our Face Book Social Media page.

Please read on, there is quite a bit to go over.

Standard Reports and Old Business of Note

• Financially the Church has retired $40k in operational debt accrued funding the Roadway Court Case as well as $30k in direct payables also accrued in funding the court case. Current legal and engineering direct expense for the court case stands at about $80k. A very successful BigDub event has left the Church with an operational surplus moving forward. 
Construction projects are on hold pending the temporary replacement of the collapsed roadway culvert which washed out Tuesday the 31st of July. Since that time all service deliveries into Four Quarters have stopped, including sanitation and food deliveries, rendering our church operations impossible.  There has been significant damage to church property owing to wet weather and the record breaking downpour that washed out the roadway culvert, with staff working non-stop to keep roads minimally usable pending our trial date. 
Legal Matters reported a significant partial victory in court, Friday August 3rd. After a long day of closed negotiations in the Judge's Chambers, The Bedford Court of Common Pleas has recognized our dominant Easement extending to Silver Mills Road. The Court recognized our expert engineering witnesses and our PA Department of Environmental Regulation roadway design permits. The Court ruled that emergency repair work in keeping with the DEP permit can begin. The Court read into the record our agreement with Joyce Plake acknowledging our dominant easement and unlimited rights of use over her lands. Of the original 5 defendants in the case, only Luther Conrad's claims remain unresolved. The Court set a trial date of September 28th for a final hearing of these claims. Roadway and culvert reconstruction became legally permissible Thursday the 9th of August. Initial work has begun although as of this writing the roadway can only be traversed by light vehicles and service deliveries remain halted. 
Staff Matters reports three new Staff Interns began full time living at Four Quarters this Spring, and that their work has been in every respect, excellent.
 
New Business 

• Based on our very successful septic pumping strategy at WickerMan and Big Dub, and the tremendous reduction in water usage after installation of our shower timers, discussions have begun with Bedford County Sanitation towards issuing a permit that would allow our proposed shower and toilets in the Members Camp to flow into a temporary holding tank system, until final design and approval of a larger drain field can be engineered. As a practical matter this makes showers and toilets in the Members Camp a very real possibility for the 2019 season. 
The $10k order for the sedimentation sump and new culvert piping for the DEP approved roadway reconstruction has been placed, with delivery in 3 weeks. 
Clark Well Drilling has begun the process of removing the pump from our old well house and reinstalling it in our New Camp well. Clarks will also service and make operational the well and pump at the Fairview Station farm house. 
Clark Survey & Engineering has been contacted to create the PA DoT application to convert our Minimum Use Driveway Permit at Fairview Station into a Low Volume Driveway Permit (1,500 daily car trips), matching the LVD we hold for access to New Camp from RT26. 
PA DoT has been contacted regarding road use issues on RT26 for Samhain/Nightmare, and reports that no special permitting is required. PA DoT will supply at no charge two digital road message boards for our use at this event. 
Outreach for this event to Mann Township and local police/EMS is ongoing. 
An outline of our strategy for our next trial date was presented. 
A commitment has been made for construction of our Sidling Creek Pedestrian Suspension Bridge in time for the 2019 season. Engineering firms are being contacted and financing arranged
The Lead Planner for our Fall Dependency and Recovery Weekend reports strong attendance commitments and a full roster of presentations from addiction professionals. 
Negotiations have begun with our bankers, 1st United, towards funding the large construction projects slated for the 2019 season. Because Proper Ops Inc (Big Dub/NightMare) also uses 1st United, our shared financial statements assure a Line of Credit approval by our bank.

Nightmare/Samhain Discussion

Having lost their venue at Camp Ramblewood in Maryland, Proper Ops Inc has turned to Four Quarters as the new home for its Halloween festival, NightMare.  Proper Ops, which is also responsible for the Big Dub Festival, is an organization with which Four Quarters has worked closely for nearly ten years. Attendees from Big Dub, many of whom will attend NightMare, have developed a unique spiritual culture which is strongly influenced by Four Quarters, as well as by sacred sites such as the Sweat Lodge and Stone Circle. It should be noted that about 50% of new Members and Staff at Four Quarters come to us via music festivals like Big Dub.
 
The NightMare Festival coincides with Four Quarters traditional Samhain, which is scheduled for October 26-28 2018. The decision to host NightMare had to be made in very short order, and at a time when Four Quarters was preparing for Big Dub, dealing with the effects of an extremely rainy season, and most importantly preparing for the court case in which the central issue was Four Quarters ability to continue operations.  
 
Despite these factors, planning for such a complex event had to begin immediately.  We are setting up the camping arrangements to sustain as much insulation as reasonably possible between the two events. Our traditional Samhain activities will be conducted in Main Camp and in the Stone Circle, while NightMare activities will take place In New Camp. A limited number of NightMare attendees will be permitted to camp in Main Camp, for those NM attendees who wish to also share our traditional Samhain. There we will observe standard Four Quarters event policies, including no automobiles, amplified music or public drunkenness.

The Nightmare Festival will be limited to a maximum of 2700 tickets:
• 1200 tickets in New Camp
300 tickets for car camping in West Parking
1000 tickets in Hilltop Camp
200 tickets in Main Camp

Entertainment will be confined to New Camp; the main stage at Nightmare is planned to be enclosed in a large pavilion tent, containing much of the sound. A secondary stage is open air, but we plan to place it in a way that is minimally disruptive. We will be working with the Nightmare planners to work around our main ceremonies. Road legal shuttle bus service will transport attendees between the three camps. Four Quarters Members registered for Samhain will receive Nightmare registrations, and Nightmare attendees registered for Main Camp will receive Samhain registrations, but must register for the Feast of the Dead.

Planners from both Four Quarters and NightMare will be coordinating in order to provide for a traditional Samhain in the Stone Circle, as well as a very large-scale Ancestor Ritual in New Camp for the benefit of NightMare attendees.  Four Quarters Members are encouraged to participate in planning and conducting our NightMare ritual.

The Board would like to remind Four Quarters Facebook group members and guests that the BOD President specifically asked them to hold their comments for just a few days so that we could prepare and post a detailed statement to the page.  Unfortunately, some individuals chose to ignore that request.  Had we been granted that time to prepare such a statement, many questions and concerns would have been addressed more quickly, and the negative postings which were made could have been avoided.

The Board stands behind its decision to go ahead with the NightMare Festival. As stated in the meeting, the Board has no inclination to fill the calendar with EDM events, especially opposite major Four Quarters events. If Nightmare goes well, we intend to schedule next year's events on separate weekends. We consider attendees of Big Dub, and now NightMare, to be valued members of our increasingly diverse Tribe.  We remember our own past struggles with institutional prejudice, and we are proud to assist these young people in their struggle. We are especially proud that Four Quarters has had the opportunity to present attendees of Big Dub and NightMare Festivals with a safe and multifaceted spiritual landscape in which they can explore the depths of their hearts, mourn and rejoice their dead, and celebrate life—just as we have always done for Members and friends from other communities.

If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact the Office at 814-784-3080 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..