The BIG news is that the Palm Desert Tennis Club Board has promoted Greg Dunkel to Operations Manager.Greg is a five year employee who has worked tirelessly to learn about and improve the PDTC facilities. He will now bring the same energy and knowledge to the business side of the Club.
Glad and Sad! Glad because the desert weather that we depend on for all of our Club activities finally appeared. Sad because our season is coming to an end. Your Board has been very active this season with a number of previous issues to research and resolve, as well as new challenges to tackle.
What’s been Done:
The low voltage landscape lightening project is complete
The old lamps and wiring are now being removed
The Clubhouse and Quad Four pools have been completely refurbished
The Rules and Regulations for the Rental Program have been updated
A Compliance Committee had been created to observe and correct issues that affect the esthetics and tranquility of our property and members
Under the direction of Leif, Melanie, and the Court-Use committee, Tennis and Pickleball are thriving with great participation
Hiking has attracted a new following due to the encouragement of Don Cyphers and Dave Alexander
The beverage fridge is a new addition due to the efforts of Dale Shultz and Pete Szambelan. The program is self-directed for those who want to participate. Using the honor system, the user simply replaces what they consumed with a selection of their choice.
What’s to Come:
The Board is investigating Earthquake insurance coverage for the Association and for Homeowners
Based on our recent Reserve Study which reveals the challenges of maintaining an aging property, the Board will make recommendations for the establishment of a Reserve Fund
The Board is taking another look at restoring the Summer Watch program. Norm Dewitt’s recent inquiries are encouraging
I want to recognize my fellow board members for their time, effort and enthusiasm and all that we have accomplished this season. We have a great team. Having said that, we have two Board members who have completed their term. We need members to step up and serve. If you are interested, let me or one of the Board members know. I also want to recognize the homeowners who attended the board meetings and special presentations for their input and support.
We are truly a family.
Hello PDTC Owners and Members
Winding down such a great season, I am looking forward to more great things in the years to come. Despite a cooler and wetter than normal season, good times were had on the courts, in the clubhouse, in Quads between neighbors, as well as the many great things that were accomplished in the office.
A big thanks goes to the Board of Directors who have evaluated operations and established a direction for the club. This will better serve the owners and membership by addressing the needs of your club for today and the future.
My focus as Operations Manager is to maintain the current level of service and conditions throughout the facilities, implement improvements prioritized by the Board of Directors and ensure seamless operation among departments.
I look forward to speaking with each of you and expanding the prior relationship we built regarding pool and landscape operations to include all your club concerns.
Court-Use Committee: Season Round-Up
Sandee Smith Chair; Scott Bracke, Gail Broderick, Sara Freeman and Jake McDougal
We had an exceptional season both with the engagement and enthusiasm of our new Tennis/Pickleball Professional, Leif Nordlund and his wife Melanie, the major domo of organizing!! Leif and Mel have brought a new energy to the Club and we welcome their spirit!!
This year was one in which several items were brought to the Court-Use Committee, were discussed, taken to the membership, and received overwhelming support. Thank you for your survey participation!
We reviewed the membership levels, costs and opportunities – a situation that was very late in the season – and welcomed at least 4 new family and 5 new single non-resident memberships. All new members have been actively involved and we believe next season will be even more robust. Our membership ‘year’ is now officially October 1 through September 30. All members are billed accordingly. The Ball Machine Club is now on the same billing cycle as well. Ease and efficiency! All membership levels have 2 monthly guest passes to introduce their friends to PDTC. In any one season, a guest may only play 8 times whether they use a guest pass, pay their hourly fee or play after 11am. This is for both pickleball and tennis.
We constantly need to remind ALL members and guests to please sign in -- at the pro shop when it is open or the office if it is not. We are aware that the modified schedule of office hours can present an issue, but be aware there is a sign-in sheet on a clipboard outside of the pro shop too. This is important to all of us as it helps us have a better understanding of all court usage as well as the signatory accepting their own liability to use our facilities.
We affirmed that we love our Club and respect the games we play – and will dress accordingly, inproper tennis attire for both tennis and pickleball. We hope all members will remind their guests of appropriate attire before they arrive to participate. The details are posted on the bulletin board outside the pro shop as well as in the weekly members-only e-blast.
Following the BNP Paribas Open at IWTG, we welcomed the Easter Bowl National Junior tournament for the 12 and under girls, singles and doubles as well as some great matches for 14 and under boys. It was exciting to see the club members enjoying and supporting the intense effort and amazing skills of these young players. Observing activity on all courts (reduced wind screens provided extra viewing) and witnessing the patio filled with spectators was exhilarating! Dana’s Café had a record-weekend as well.
Easter Bowl action. Under 12 girls and boys.
We also engaged with Online Tennis Instruction (OTI), an organization which brings clinics to the desert during the BNP. With 2 or 3 courts being used over 8 days, we also maintained a high level of instruction and activity that many enjoyed watching after our member-play had concluded.
Nadim Nasser (in the green shirt), of Online Tennis Instruction, (OTI) seen here teaching the serve.
Both organizations are excited about coming back next year.
We have new net-straps for all tennis nets, purchased 2 new pickleball nets on rollers (less damage to the courts!) and are looking to other ways to improve the way our court areas appear. Overall, we want to raise all play abilities and have the most beautiful club to match the culture this club has developed over its history. (The flowers this year were awesome!! Thank youGreg, Steve and staff.)
Spectacular flowers make watching tennis even more captivating.
Mel and Leif will be with us next season and we know there will be even more excitement to come as their first year is behind them. We also have new PDTC logo (SPF 50) long and short sleeve tops, caps and visors!!
Thank you to all club members who participated in the sports as well as those who enjoy watching the action.
It has been a great season!
Communications Committee Report Communications Committee:
Greg Smith: Chair; Gay Gaube, Sara Freeman, Ed Morante, Pauline Olesen and Melanie Nordlund
Based on a March 2018 survey to Club owners, a communication road map of goals was developed to create a communication plan for the future...
These goals included:
Maintain timely issues of the Racqueteer
Continue weekly news and calendar web blasts October to April
Improve public access to the PDTC website for information and marketing
Increase use of members' only section of the website including providing more information on:
Landscape Committee Report Landscape Committee: Dale Schultz, Chair; Greg Dunkel and Jane Turner
The following items were recommended for 2019 summer projects: 1. Landscape common area:
Improve appearance of main gate on Racquet Lane from exit side including removing ficus tree and adding small specimen tree and pigmy palms
Fill in large empty area on slope between Alamo gate at Quad 1 and Court 5 with large specimen tree
Replace unsightly queen palms behind Mesa and Alamo sign with two hardier Bismarck palms
2. Clubhouse/Pool Area:
Replace queen and fan palms with date or Bismarck palms for more uniform look
Replace problem citrus tree at clubhouse pool citrus grove to add color accent
Replace a section of pyracantha between clubhouse pool and Racquet Lane with flowering hedge such as Orange Jubilee Tecoma
3. Landscape Lighting:
Improve electrical loading and distribution throughout Quads 2 and 3 where heavier wiring needs to be installed
Install accent lights on palm trees in street islands throughout the Club
4. Irrigation in flower beds and add lantana:
Improve flower bed irrigation on Racquet Lane
Install lantana in front of calliandra hedge on perimeter fence in Quad 5 along Alamo to improve health of calliandra and add more color
5. Rock and DG (decomposed granite):
Add rock and DG to washed out areas on Alamo perimeter
Add rock accent to desert areas between Quads 2 and 3 and between Quads 3 and 4 to prevent storm washouts of DG
6. Gates: replace compromised wire supplying power to the three street gates
7. Pool renovations: Quads 2 and 3
8. Tools and equipment:
including wire locator, moisture meter, street vacuum, turf renovator and scaffold planks
9. Converting front lawn areas to desert landscape:
Deferred for future consideration.
Architecture Committee Report George LeBlanc, Chair; Scott Bracke and Paul Ripp
Roofs: Pricing was obtained from two roofing companies for the inspection and repair of the roofs that were not part of the 2017 unit and garage roof repairs. These estimates were for the flat and pitched roofs of the Clubhouse, the Maintenance Shop and Racquetball Court. Pricing estimates were also secured for the maintenance inspection and repair of the condo and garage roofs. Beginning in 2020, it is recommended that every roof in PDTC be inspected and repaired (as necessary) every year to prevent additional damage and greater costs. Further, it is recommended that, beginning in 2025, and following every year thereafter, the unit and garage roofs of one Quad will be re-coated annually and repeated on a rotational basis throughout all five Quads. The Clubhouse roof and the roofs of other buildings would be similarly recoated into the rotation schedule.
Palm Desert Tennis Club as seen from above
Pools: The pools and spas in Quads 2 and 3 will be renovated this summer.
Additional (minor) architectural modifications: have been approved including installation of a satellite disc., installation of a built in barbeque and related light, running a Spectrum cable to the inside wall of a unit, and replacement of the concrete slab because of a unit’s raised and cracked front patio.
Architectural documentation: will be restructured with redundant documents deleted.
Sewage stoppage: Following a recent Clubhouse sewer stoppage, a proposal was sought from a plumbing company. Their recommendation to revise the sewer line was found to be overly costly and would disrupt the Clubhouse. PDTC staff was consulted and it was decided to have regular sewer cleaning every other year.
Social Committee Report Committee:
Judy Siegel, Chair; Chris and Tim Adams, Gail and Denny Lipke, Sandee and Greg Smith
Along with the BNP Tennis tournament at Indian Wells Tennis Garden, and Modernism Week in Palm Springs, the Art Festival in La Quinta, things continue to hop at the Palm Desert Tennis Club. The Pancake Breakfast served up an awesome selection of pancakes, eggs, sausage and juices, cooked and served by members of the club. We celebrated birthdays from February, May, August, and November with an old fashioned game of pin the tail on the donkey. Blindfolded and dizzy, the birthday kids were guided to the target by partners who could only bray like a donkey to get them to their goal. These birthday celebrations are fun not only for the birthday kids, but for all the guests who get to share in cake, ice cream and other goodies.
The Great PDTC Bakeoff and BBQ was a huge success. Club bakers created award winning show stopper cakes, pies and cookies, auctioned off with the proceeds going to the Coachella Valley Division of the American Heart Association. Members opened their hearts and wallets buying desserts to share for unheard of prices. Tim Adams, the auctioneer was quite persuasive in getting members to outbid one another. He even had one member outbid himself, at one point! One of the bakers was overheard as saying “If I knew I could sell my cake for that much all the time, I’d open a bakery.”
The lucky judges at The Great PDTC Bakeoff: L to R: Tari Gibson, George LeBlanc, Jake McDougal and Susan Williams
After it was over, the club donated nearly $1300 in cash and checks to the American Heart Association. In addition PDTC members provided hundreds of dollars of additional in-kind contributions that made the event so much fun. Gail Lipke and Judy Siegel donated food and decorations, Lyn Schultz donated the flowers that adorned the tables, and Peggy Sidor donated the embroidered aprons that were given to first prize winners in each division. Fraser Brinsmead set off the evening with his rousing one-man band. Be sure to thank them all when you see them next.
And although the Dinner for Winner’s Tennis tournament was rained out, the weather was not enough to ruin a perfectly good, already scheduled potluck. PDTC members again proved that this club has the best cooks in the valley. Speaking of cooking, the social committee cooked 47 pounds of corned beef for the Saint Patrick’s Day pot luck dinner which followed the rescheduled Dinner for Winner’s tournament renamed as the ”Top of the Morning Tennis Tournament.” The 64 attendees provided a banquet of vegetables, salads, potatoes in every form and a bounty of desserts to round out the meal. A real Irish feast, indeed along with 50 shades of green in attendance.
L to R: Judy Siegel presents our check for $1295 to Danielle Grout of the American Heart Association; Jim Zanner and Tim Adams show off some of the shades of green seen at the St. Patrick's Day dinner; Eliose Szambelen tries to pin the tail on the donkey; and Sue Long stacking apples
The Spring Salad Potluck luncheon hosted by Evelyn Bennett and EJ Cook was up next with special alumni guests Marilyn Fritz and Marlene Kaucher who were visiting the valley. This luncheon was open to all members and combined with the March, June, September, and December birthday gift exchange where the birthday kids had to prove their worth, playing games of skill and dexterity. The birthday celebrants, Pearl Evans, Sue Long, and Julie Zanner proved to be quite competitive when it came to the apple stack and ping pong ball bounce.
April showcased the always fun Trivia and Pizza Social, hosted by Tari and Larry Gibson, with musical interludes by Dan Merrill. The pizza and antipasto salad was from Haus of Pizza in Palm Desert and the cupcake dessert came from Nothing Bundt Cakes. The trivia was not easy – very few knew what tennis, fishing and tequila all had in common. We had some clear winners, however who took home certificates for a breakfast or dinner from our own Dana’s Kitchen.
Rounding out the official season is an Easter Sunday potluck. Even though many of our friends and neighbors fly the coop at this time of year, the parties continue into the spring and summer with potlucks and events to take away our thoughts of summer heat. And if someone approaches you and asks if you want to be part of next year’s social committee, give it some serious thought. Planning the parties and being part of Palm Desert Tennis Club events is a fun and rewarding endeavor.
Water Tanks Sara Freeman
About that noise...
The tented water tank east of Alamo Street has generated a lot of questions around PDTC, and rightfully so. In addition to being an eyesore, the noise has stripped the peace and quiet of Quad 5’s pool area and made it hard to conduct conversations on the tennis courts. So here’s the good and bad news, the why’s and what for’s:
According to Brian Fogg of Coachella Valley Water District (CVWD) and manager of this project, the work is approximately half done. Work on the north water tank is complete and sandblasting will soon start on the south tank with a completion date of June.
Q: What is the purpose of this work?
BF: Cal OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) requires stairs be added to the side of the tanks and the lead paint removed from the exterior (lead paint was not used inside the tanks).
Q: Normally lead paint is stabilized by painting over it instead of removal. Was that option considered?
BF: An adhesion test was conducted and the lead paint continued to flake off even after applying a coating of paint so it was deemed necessary to strip and repaint the tanks.
Q: Recently there were particles of something shooting out of the tent through a hole. Should we be concerned about lead escaping into the air?
BF: The lead had already been removed from the north tank so the tent was used to prevent paint from getting onto other properties.
If anyone has concerns about paint getting on their homes or cars, please call Coachella Valley Water District. Mr. Fogg says CVWD received complaints about the noise and have been able to reduce the levels by relocating their machines to the back of the tank. CVWD has also paid to have power lines buried which he hopes will benefit our views.
A Good Season Melanie and Leif Nordlund (Tennis and Pickleball Coordinator and Director)
As the end of our first season at PDTC approaches we want to thank all homeowners, members and staff for their participation in making the first year of our tennis and pickleball program a great success. Everyone was welcoming, helpful and cooperative which has made our transition to PDTC smooth and easy.
We are still around and available for 6 more weeks (until the end of May) for free clinics, lessons, game arranging, racquet stringing or any other pro shop services.
The pickleball drop-ins remain active with a steady group meeting on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays at 11 am on Court 4. And even though some have left for the summer, there is still a large group of tennis players playing and looking for matches.
Again, we thank you all for your enthusiasm and support and we are looking forward to another great season beginning on October 1st.
Message from the Editor by Ed Morante
This is the first edition of the PDTC Racqueteer following 20 years of superb leadership from Howard Back who has retired as Ye Olde Editor. I have talked to him and he has promised to give me guidance and feedback as needed. In addition, the members of the Communications Committee have promised to assist in guiding the Racqueteer into the future.
As many of you know, we sent a survey to all owners asking for feedback on the past, present and future of our newsletter. The results demonstrated general support for continuation of the fine work that has been done in the past including a rather broad range of topics. In fact, of the 79 people who responded to this survey, only two indicated no use for the Racqueteer.
Finally, a shout-out to those who contributed to the publication of this month’s Racqueteer with special praise for the considerable assistance of Melanie Nordlund in its production.
And CONGRATULATIONS to Greg Dunkel for his promotion to Operations Manager!
2019 - Upcoming Events
April 27 - Easter Potluck
August - Date to be announced for August Board Meeting November 9 - Annual Homeowners' Meeting
Board of Directors Brian Long -President Sue Williams -Vice President Norm DeWitt -Treasurer Greg Smith - Secretary Dale Schultz - Landscape Chair George LeBlanc - Architectural Chair Stephen Walters - Rental Chair
Committee Chairs Norm DeWitt - Finance Sandee Smith - Court-Use Greg Smith - Communications Judy Siegel - Social George LeBlanc - Architectural Sue Williams - Compliance
Brian Lord - Emergency Preparedness Chief
Club Staff Greg Dunkel - Operations Manager Jane Turner - Operations Assistant Melanie Nordlund - Operations Assistant Steve Geyer - Maintenance Supervisor Leif Nordlund -
Director of Tennis and Pickleball Melanie Nordlund -
Coordinator of Tennis and Pickleball Dana Hutchinson - Chef
Newsletter The Racqueteer is the newsletter of the Palm Desert Tennis Club Ed Morante - Editor Leon Bennett - Photographer Pete Szambelan - Photographer Melanie Nordlund - Newsletter Production Pauline Olesen - MailChimp Support