Cloister Home Owners Association Standing Committees Contribute to the Cloister Experience


I have served on the HOA elected Board of Directors, chaired one committee and served as a member of several others. This volunteer work was very rewarding and satisfying.  I enjoyed the rewards and satisfaction of contributing to my community.

The Cloister HOA Standing Committees are those committees authorized by the elected Home Owner’s Association Board of Directors. The only description of some the committees I am able to find is located on The Homeowners’ Manual. I have included these descriptions after the below table.

Serving on a committee is a great way to get to know fellow Cloister neighbors. There is one committee opening that really needs a Chairperson and supporting members….that is the “Good Neighbors” Committee. This committee serves the very important function of being the first contact with newly moved-in residents. The last chair was Annie Sangervasi who now chairs the Library Committee. An active committee member was our roofmate Betty Sutter Tel. 352-6518. Betty visited us when we first moved in and made us feel very welcome. She gave us important information about the Cloister community and facilities nearby the Cloister. I’m sure Betty would not mind being called about her experience with “Good Neighbors”.

These are the Cloister HOA Standing Committees

Committee Chairperson Committee Members
Arms/Grounds John Sangervasi Al Lazaroff – David Stansberry – Charles Hilton
Bridge Thursday Janet Summers
By-Laws & Rules David Standsberry John Sangervasi – Al Lazaroff
Cloister Newsletter Joyce Fort Dixie Frederksen
Clubhouse Rosemary Padgett Billy Ann Parker
Covered Dish Dixie Frederksen Janet Summers
Directory Sophia Keller Joyce Fort – Billy Ann Parker
Document Coordinator Mary Ene Dixie Frederksen
Finance/Budget Al Lazaroff John Sangervasi – David Stansberry – Phil Lee
Good Neighbors Open
Homeowners Manual David Stansberry Al Lazaroff – John Sangervasi – Mary Ene
House Resale Sophia Keller
Library Annie Sangervasi Chris Phillips Dixie Fredricksen
Parliamentarian John Sangervasi
Picture Album Barbara Swift
Podiatrist Emily Lee
Security John Sangervasi David Stansberry – Al Lazaroff
Swimming Pool Barbara Swift
Video Exercises _ PM Open
Video Exercises _ AM Open
Water Exercise Barbara Bentley
Yoga Annie Sangervasi Mariette Dawson
Stitch & Chat Leroy Smith

From The Homeowner’s Manual………………..

COMMITTEES AND  THEIR WORK

The Board is authorized to appoint committees as needed to help them Administer and operate all Cloister business. No committee has the authority tomake or change rules. A committee planning to spend money in excess of $100.00 not specifically allocated to it in the budget should accompany its written request to the Board with an explanation as to the need. Questions and variances should be referred to the Chairman of the area you are concerned with, for himlher to research the problem and make a recommendation to the Board for its resolution.

ARCHETECTURAL REVIEW & MAINTENANCE  SURVEILLANCE

This Committee is concerned with keeping the exterior of all Units attractive and in conformity with the overall community appearance planned by the designing architect; and with keeping the exterior of all Units in good condition. It is also the concern of this Committee to ensure proper drainage of the entire area.

A variance form must be submitted to. the Chairman for any addition or alteration that you may wish to. make to. the exterior of your Unit. This includes storm doors. garage doors, windows, and storm windows.

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THE CLOISTER  NEWSLETTER

The CLOISTER NEWSLETTER is an in-house community newsletter, dealing exclusively with information and news for and about Cloister residents, and committed to help foster the CLOISTER  as an attractive, friendly community of adults considerate of the needs and best interests of all. It is the policy to promote only those activities sponsored by the Cloister Owner’s Association to which all residents are invited, to write obituaries and memorials only for Cloister residents to avoid listing illnesses and hospitalizations.

Anyone may contribute an article or news item and it will be printed over the writer’s signature  space is available. The editor claims the usual editorial rights to correct grammar, spelling, punctuation, and to rewrite for clarity and emphasis where needed. Substantive changes will be cleared with the writer before printing when possible. Items for the Newsletter should be typed, placed in an envelope marked CLOISTER NEWS, and left at the house of the editor, OR sent by E-Mail, on or before the 24th of the month preceding its publication.

CLUBHOUSE

The Clubhouse is provided for the exclusive use and enjoyment of the residents. The Managing Agent supervises the scheduling of private parties, cleaning the Clubhouse, and purchase of maintenance supplies. The Clubhouse Chairperson is the liaison between members and the Managing Agent, passing on to him their questions and suggestions.

Persons or groups using dishes, utensils, flatware, etc., from the kitchen are responsible for cleaning them and returning them to the proper storage areas and also placing the bagged trash in the containers provided in the fenced area behind the clubhouse. No smoking allowed in any part of the Clubhouse. Each Owner is entitled to a key, which opens the locks to the Clubhouse and the gates to the pool. It is available from the Managing Agent.  COA activities may be scheduled from 9:00 A.M. to 10:00 P.M. and take preference over private parties. Those participating shall share the cost of any COA activity. Owners may schedule private parties with the Managing Agent. A “Private  Party” is, by definition, one limited to the guests invited by the hosts. The Clubhouse is not considered reserved for a private party until the requested time has been cleared with the COA Calendar, and the written reservation form and deposit fee have been turned in to the Managing Agent. Anyone wishing to schedule a private party may pick up a form from the Clubhouse office. Explaining fee schedules, rules, parking, and clean-up as well as giving other helpful information about the Clubhouse facilities and their use.  No animals are allowed in the Clubhouse. Wedding receptions and parties are allowed only for Owners or members oftheir immediate family, parents, sisters, brothers, children or grandchildren. No teen-age or children’s parties are allowed. An adult must accompany children using the restroom. They may not play in the Clubhouse or enter it unaccompanied by a resident. Use of the pool  table by children at any time is prohibited. Use of the pool tableis prohibited at parties. Use of the organ or piano is limited to qualified musicians only with prior permission from the Managing Agent or the Board. Residents are invited to browse in the well-stocked library and may choose books or magazines to take home and read and return. The Clubhouse shall be used only for lawful purposes and activities.

GOOD NEIGHBORS

The good neighbors committee is made up of volunteers from the Cloister. Their function is to enhance fellowship and make new residents feel a part of this unique community. They send cards of get well, sympathy, etc., as appropriate. They also visit nursing homes and hospitals. They welcome new residents to the Cloister and give them an information sheet listing all available amenities. The members have a Good Neighbors Coffee once a year for all the Cloister residents with special invitati10ns sent to new residents so they can meet and visit with their new neighbors. The good neighbors committee members finance all aspects of the good neighbors. Several  non-members donate to the treasury and any assistance is appreciated.

Grounds and Beautification

The Grounds and beautification Committee assists in the orderly development and maintenance of the. grounds and recommends yard planting in keeping with the overall community. appearance. Any addition to the areas at the front, back or sides of a unit such as, but not limited to plantings, edgings, statues, or changes in foundation planting. with the exception of hanging basket, require a variance form to be submitted to the Committee and approved by the Board BEFORE being implemented. No furniture or potted plants shall be pieced at the front entrance that will possibly interfere with an emergency entry or exit.

Planting a tree or shrub requires a variance approved by the Board. A list of approved trees is available from the Managing Agent. The planting of shrubs is limited to foundation planting areas and the bed should not exceed five feet from the front, side or back of the unit except to shield air conditioner. The shrubs in front should be species that will remain green most of the year. Owners are required to keep shrubs and trees pruned so that branches and foliage is at least one foot from the building. Pine straw mulch is the only variety of mulch allowed. Termites too easily penetrate other types of mulch.

Areas within the privacy fence are unrestricted as to plantings and arrangements except for ivy and other plants that adhere to rock walls, buildings or fences. Planting of trees is discouraged in this area because of limited size of patio areas. Planting of flowering plants in the foundation area is permitted without a variance. Planting in any other area requires a variance. It is the owner’s responsibility to remove these plants at the end of the season or when they become unattractive. Planting of tomato plants or any vegetables limited to the rear of the house. These plants must be removed when they become unsightly. Landscape timbers are no longer allowed.

Lawns

COA arranges and pays for grass cutting and trimming during the growing season. Use of lava rocks or other stones in areas where the maintenance contractor trims grass and weeds with a weed eater is prohibited as flying stones can cause damage. General Maintenance Residents are encouraged to water and care for their lawns, shrubs, and flower beds. Owners are responsible for maintaining the appearance of their shrubs and flower beds by weeding and pruning. The addition of new landscape timbers is not permitted. All residents should be aware that the land cape timbers may create a problem with termites even though the timbers are pressure treated. No objects may be laced on lawns, shrubs, or planter/planting areas. Bird Feeders are an exception. Holiday decorations and lights are exceptions and are permitted only from December 1 through January 15th without a variance. One flag or banner may be displayed on a unit. No dirt, pine needles, or stones are allowed above the slab level at the building. Ivy and other plants that adhere to privacy fences, rock walls or buildings are not allowed and must be removed. No tree or other plant may be planted where its anticipated growth will encroach on another resident’s limited common area. Lower branches of trees must not interfere with pedestrian or vehicular traffic passage or sight. Branches must not come in contact with buildings or within four feet from overhanging buildings or gutters. Trees must be removed, if it is determined by the ARMS committee and the Board that they present a threat to property by virtue of height or proximity to the unit, deterioration of walls, slabs, drainage system, fences or street lights. Removal of trees by owners requires board approval. This will ensure that regulations for removal will be adhered to.

All “Old Growth” trees are the responsibility of the COA. “Old Growth” trees are trees that existed before development of the Cloister. All trees planted on an owner’s/resident’s “Limited Common Element (Area) by the Developer, a previous owner, or the current owner are the responsibility of the current owner. The expense of maintaining, or required removal of a tree equidistant between two units must be shared by the two Unit Owners.

Common Area

The Committee supervises the weeding, watering, and general care of the common areas: the main entrance and median strip, the Hwy 70 entrance, the corner plantings, the area around the clubhouse and pool, and other designated areas. Failure to adhere to these rules will result in a notification by the Management Company with a deadline for compliance. Failure to make corrections will result in the Board directing the Management Company to have the corrections made and charge all expense to the resident.

HEALTH PROGRAMS

The Health Program Committee arranges for and overseas programs such as the aerobics class, the summer water exercises, podiatrist, blood pressure monitoring and other health related services.

Christmas Holidays at The Cloister – 2011


Merry Christmas

December 25, 2011

Julian McBride

During the first few years we lived at The Cloister a wonderful and generous fellow by the name of Julian McBride would throw a small Christmas party at his home on 822 Marquette Drive.  It lasted just a few hours on a Sunday afternoon. But it gave some of the neighbors their only opportunity during the year to meet and talk with others in the neighborhood. Julian is passed now and I miss his parties.

For the 4th of July celebration at the Cloister Clubhouse Julian and Bob Freeland, both neighbors on Marquette Drive, would grill hamburgers and hotdogs for the Cloister residents, their families, and grandchildren on a charcoal grill made of a 55 gal drum.  I tried to help out but they were very organized and I felt I was in the way. 

Sulphur Dell Ball Park

Julian was well known as a baseball player at the old ballpark in Sulphur Dells but in my mind his greatest achievement was as a volunteer. Nearly every day he would go to the Bellevue Kroger store and collect food  with expired sell dates. I watched him in the driveway of his home as he sorted the various foods in the trunk of his car. He then delivered the food to feed the needy. He was a good man and I remember him well.

We have many fine people volunteering and doing good things here at The Cloister.  I have watched as John Sangarvasi frequently walks throughout our community inspecting our grounds, buildings and facilities. He is President of the HOA Board of Directors and spends a lot of time on behalf of the residents. A number of volunteers serve on a various Boards and committees at The Cloister at Saint Henry. Many thanks and a Merry  Christmas to all Board members and Cloister Standing Committee volunteers who make life better for we Cloister residents.

More about the HOA Standing Committees

https://cloisterliving.wordpress.com/2011/12/27/cloister-home-owners-association-standing-committees-contribute-to-the-cloister-experience/

Update on My Previous Post…. “Government Grants May Pay for Repair to Your Cloister Home”


Yesterday the TVA Inspector checked the energy upgrades I had made under the special TVA/NES Grant program I described in my post “Government Grants May Pay for Repair to Your Cloister Home”. I had several things done that resulted in an 18% annual energy savings.

  1. Replaced front Bay windows including main panel and both side windows.
  2. Air sealing to stop outside air infiltration
  3. Duct sealing
  4. Central air and furnace tune up
  5. Attic Insulation to R-38

All the work passed inspection by the TVA and we will be receiving a rebate check totaling $900. The 2011 Federal Energy Tax Credit  will add an additional $500 rebate. This totals to a whopping $1400 total rebates! Registration for the TVA/NES grants expires on December 31. For more information on registering see my post Government Grants May Pay for Repair to Your Cloister Home and my Useful Link…… Save on Utility Costs Free TVA Energy Evaluations and Cost Rebates.

Lawson’s…….About Low Tire Pressure and Check Engine Warning Lights


Tire Pressure Light

Friday morning as I turned north on Hwy 70 the low tire pressure warning indicator started flashing.  I wasn’t completely alarmed because I had just finished spraying defrosting liquid on the car windows. It was cold, and many times during the first cold snap of the year the low tire pressure indicator would warn me to increase the tire pressures. No problem, I simply pulled into Lawson’s shop and they added air to the tires since the cold weather dropped the pressure by 5 pounds.

There are very few independant auto repair shops. At one time Bonney and I have felt that we are faced with either the Car Dealerships or the “Quick Lube” type oil change shops. But the reality is that we do have a convenient choice just 2 miles down the road from The Cloister.

For a long time we drove by without noticing the place because it was located behind a now closed Quick Shop store and nearly out of sight. It’s Lawson and Son Auto Repair. The Shop is located at 5137 Harding Road and is managed by PK Kelley. A Cloister neighbor had recommended them to us. I use Lawson’s for my routine maintenance and they are really handy in case of emergencies such as a low tire pressure warning or a Check Engine warning light. They have reattached loose parts and repaired flat tires on the spot.

The Check Engine light can mean a minor problem or can be very serious. There can be a number of causes:

1 – Engine Management System

If the engine warning light comes on while you’re driving, pull over at the earliest and safest chance to have a look under the hood. Owing to the fact that the engine warning light can illuminate for any possible reason, it does not tell you exactly what to look for. Seeing the words ‘Check Engine’ isn’t actually that helpful. It could be that there is a malfunction in your management system and this will need to be addressed as soon as you can get it to a mechanic or diagnostic center. If the light flashes and does not totally light up, the first action you should take is to reduce your speed. If the light then goes out, it’s just a glitch.

2 – Oxygen and Any Other Sensor

Sometimes the engine light will come on if your oxygen sensor fails or malfunctions. Any sensor which is not able to function correctly will trip the management system to switch on the engine light. Having problems with a sensor does not mean you have to stop your vehicle immediately, but of course, seeing the most alarming light on your dashboard come on, it is likely to scare some people.

3 – Emission Control

Your Malfunction Indicator Lamp (the engine warning light) may well illuminate to warn you that there is a problem with your emission control system. This can stretch to an exhaust issue, a catalytic converter issue or an engine issue.

4 – Electrical Problems

Your engine light will notify you that there is an issue with the engine. It won’t spell out for you that it could be an electrical problem. You would have to have the whole car diagnosed to find out for sure what the cause is. If you’re having some obvious trouble with electrics, like lights not working or fuses blowing or relay switches malfunctioning, then the engine light is pointing to that being the issue. Have your electrics tested by someone reputable.

5 – Engine Warning Light Malfunction

In some rare cases the engine light will come on, not because there is an issue with the engine, but a malfunction with the light itself. If this happens, you can try resetting the check engine light. If there is a problem with the engine you can guarantee that the engine warning light will come back on again at some point soon.

In any case we have had such good experiences with Lawson’s that our first reaction is to give PK a call at 352-4230 and take the car in for troubleshooting and required repair if necessary.

Should I Change to a Medicare Advantage Program? Pros and Cons…..


What is a Medicare private health plan (Medicare Advantage)?

While the majority of people with Medicare get their health coverage from Original Medicare, some people choose* to get their benefits from a Medicare private health plan, sometimes called a “Medicare Advantage” plan.

These private health plans contract with Medicare and are paid a fixed amount to provide Medicare benefits. They are generally “managed care plans.” The most common types are Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO), Preferred Provider Organizations (PPO), and Private Fee-For-Service (PFFS) plans.

You may also see Medicare Advantage plans called Special Needs Plans (SNP), Provider Sponsored Organizations (PSO) and Medicare Medical Savings Accounts (MSAs).

You still have Medicare if you join a Medicare private health plan. In most cases, you must still pay your Part B monthly premium (and your Part A premium, if you have one). The plan must provide all Part A and Part B services but can do so with different rules, costs and restrictions that can affect how and when you can get care.

Starting in 2011, all private health plans must include a limit on your out-of-pocket expenses for Part A and B services. These limits tend to be high. Also beginning in 2011, plans can’t charge you more than Original Medicare for certain services, like chemotherapy and dialysis, but they can charge you more than Original Medicare for others, like home health and inpatient hospital services. Private plans can also provide additional benefits that Original Medicare does not cover, such as routine vision or dental care.

Different types of plans have different rules for how and where you can get coverage. However, even plans of the same type may have slightly different rules so you should always check with a plan directly to find out how coverage works.

Private health plans often charge a premium in addition to the Medicare Part B premium. They also generally charge a fixed amount called a “copayment” whenever you receive a service.

You can join any Medicare private health plan if:

  • You have Medicare Parts A and B; and
  • You live in the health plan’s service area; and
  • You do not have End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD).
    • If you have ESRD that requires dialysis or a kidney transplant, you can enroll in an MA plan if you join a “Special Needs Plan” that specifically accepts people with ESRD or if other special circumstances apply.

If you want Medicare coverage through a prvate plan and also want drug coverage (Part D), you must generally choose a private health plan that has this drug coverage as part of its benefits package. (If you join an MSA, a PFFS without drug coverage, or a Cost Plan, you can join a stand-alone drug plan known as a PDP.)

 *Note: If you have health coverage from your union or current or former employer when you become eligible for Medicare, your coverage may automatically convert into a Medicare private health plan. You have the choice to stay with this plan, choose Original Medicare, or switch to another Medicare private health plan.

Be aware that if you switch to Original Medicare or another Medicare private health plan instead, the employer or union could terminate or reduce your health benefits, the health benefits of your dependents, and any other benefits you get from your company. Talk to your plan before switching to find out how your health benefits and other benefits will be affected.

  • In a Medicare Advantage plans (private health plans) you generally must pay the Medicare Part B premium. Some Medicare Advantage plans may also charge you an additional premium. In some cases, the plan may pay part of your Part B premium.
  • Medicare Advantage plans may make you pay a deductible for doctor visits, but some do not. However, they may charge a deductible for hospital visits and prescription drugs.
  • Medicare Advantage plans usually charge you a copayment—a fixed dollar amount—when you visit a doctor, instead of the 20 percent coinsurance you pay under Original Medicare.
  • All plans must include a limit on the amount of cost-sharing you will pay during the year. These limits include copays and deductibles. These limits may be high, but they will protect you from excessive out of pocket costs if you need a lot of care or expensive treatment.
  • Medicare Advantage plans cannot charge higher copayments than Original Medicare for certain care. This includes chemotherapy, dialysis and durable medical equipment. They can charge you more than Original Medicare for others services, including home health, skilled nursing facility and inpatient hospital services.
  • Many Medicare Advantage plans have a network of doctors, hospitals and pharmacies, and provide services only in a certain part of the country. You will have to pay more for your health services if you get care outside of the plan’s network or service area.
  • Different plans have different rules for how and where you can get coverage. You may have to pay the full cost of services yourself if you do not follow your Medicare Advantage plan’s rules.

Medicare Advantage plan (private health plan) coverage:

  • Before you join a Medicare Advantage plan, make sure you understand the plan’s costs, rules and restrictions. Medicare Advantage plans can be less costly than Original Medicare if you do not need a lot of care, but you have less freedom to decide when you get care, what care you get, and which doctors you use.
  • Medicare Advantage plans have a limit on your out-of-pocket costs (deductibles and co-pays). These limits may be high, but they will protect you from excessive out of pocket costs if you need a lot of care or expensive treatment.
  • Medicare Advantage plans cannot charge higher copayments than Original Medicare for certain care. This includes chemotherapy, dialysis and durable medical equipment. However, they can charge you more for other services, including home health, skilled nursing facility and inpatient hospital services.
  • Many plans cover services only if you receive them from doctors, hospitals and pharmacies that are in the plan’s network. Before you join a Medicare Advantage plan, make sure your doctors (or other providers you may want to use in the future) are in the network and that they are accepting new patients from the plan.
  • Even though Medicare Advantage plans must cover all health services that Original Medicare covers, they may ask you to pay more for certain services or require that you take certain steps before they will pay for your care. For example they can ask you to get official permission from the plan before receiving certain services; this is called “prior authorization”.
  • Medicare Advantage plans can put other restrictions on the care that you receive, such as requiring that you get a referral from your primary care doctor to see a specialist. They can also require that your doctor ask the plan’s permission before giving you certain services or drugs.
  • Medicare Advantage plans may also close, requiring you to find a new Medicare Advantage plan or return to Original Medicare.
  • Keep in mind that doctors and hospitals may leave the plan at any time, but you can only leave a Medicare Advantage plan at certain times of the year.
  • Finally, remember that you cannot buy a Medigap policy to supplement a Medicare Advantage plan. Medigap policies work only with Original Medicare.
  • The most common types of Medicare Advantage plans (private health plans) are Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO), Preferred Provider Organizations (PPO), and Private Fee-For-Service (PFFS) plans.
  • You may also see Medicare Advantage plans called Special Needs Plans (SNP), Provider Sponsored Organizations (PSO) and Medicare Medical Savings Accounts (MSAs).
  •  You still have Medicare if you join a Medicare Advantage plan.

Different types of plans have different rules for how and where you can get coverage. However, even plans of the same type may have slightly different rules so you should always check with a plan directly to find out how coverage works.

Source: http://www.medicareinteractive.org/

Thousands of beneficiary calls to the Medicare Rights Center, lists nine common problems with Medicare Advantage plans. The problems include the following:

  • Care can cost more than it would under original Medicare.
  • Private plans are not stable and may suddenly cease coverage.
  • Members may experience difficulty getting emergency or urgent care.
  • Because plans only cover certain doctors, the continuity of care is often broken when the plan drops a provider.
  • Members have to follow plan rules to get covered care.
  • Members are restricted in their choices of doctors, hospitals, and other providers.
  • It can be difficult to get care away from home.
  • The extra benefits offered often turn out to be less than promised.
  • People with both Medicare and Medicaid can encounter higher costs.

Source: http://www.elderlawanswers.com/Default.aspx