Last Updated on November 28, 2019

(web version)

August 6, 2019
Residents’ Council Website:

The August 6, 2019 Resident’s Council meeting was cancelled because of a power outage.  We are issuing the written materials prepared by the Residents’ Council to inform residents of council activities in July 2019.



There are 3 Mission Moments this month.

Anthony Kowalski recognizes Don Salvucci for his services to Our Daily Bread. For the past 10 years Don has led the effort at Charlestown to provide food regularly for the poor and needy in the Greater Baltimore area. He has encouraged new residents and guided them in the preparation of meals, placed freezers in the major laundry areas, and facilitated the regular delivery of foods to Baltimore. Under his leadership, residents of Charlestown now contribute between 80 and 100 meals monthly for our needy neighbors.

Nan Amann demonstrates enthusiasm, friendliness, caring and concern in the Charlestown community. When Pickleball could be played at the Arbutus Senior Center, Nan became a recruiter for new players and helped acquire the necessary equipment to get it going. Off campus she helped with voter registration for new citizens and helps sort and pack boxes at the Maryland Food Bank. Even when she realized she needed knee surgery, she established a puzzle table near the Caton Ridge third floor elevators. Nan’s smile and friendly conversation make that puzzle table a good place to get acquainted and to rest your knees (along with hers).

Rick Jones works diligently with the Grounds and Security Departments to keep the Lake Charles area safe. He has assisted identifying and monitoring places that have been used to enter the lake area through the perimeter fencing. He has wide knowledge of wildlife and birds found on campus. Recently, he saw a Great Blue Heron having problems. The heron couldn’t move very far from shore because he had a fishing line wrapped around its neck. He reeled in the bird and found he had a hook in its mouth.  He cut the line and the heron flew away. Rick also serves as the Chair of the Tree Working Group, Co-chair of the Community Gardens and works with the Invasive Plants Crew.

Announcement: The Residents’ Association, of which every resident is a member, will meet here in the auditorium next Monday evening at 7:00 pm for our Annual Meeting.  We have usually met in the Conference Center which was being renovated when we made the reservation for this space. We decided to stay here as our stage can accommodate more people with safe access to the stage.  We can seat on the stage the retiring and new members of the Council as well as the alternate members. Please join us to see the change in Council membership and to hear about the highlights of this past year and what may be on tap for next year.

Nothing to report.

SECRETARY’S REPORT (Sherry Stewart):
At the July 8 Work Session Sherry moved to make a $100 contribution to Benevolent Care to honor Becky’s years of service as Council Parliamentarian.  Joan seconded. All in favor. She will be presented with a Certificate recognizing her effort at the August Council meeting. All agreed to keep the August 12th Association meeting in the Auditorium.

Discussion about distribution of Minutes via email to residents and staff who request them. Anne moved to send monthly Council minutes to residents and staff who request them with the questions raised by residents, after the official adjournment, and their names removed, as they are in the minutes posted on the Residents’ website. Gil seconded. 19 in Favor and 1 Against.

During the month of July, I issued one check in the amount of $100.00 and received Association dues in the amount of $45.00. The amount of the check was an honorarium for the Benevolent Care Fund in the name of Becky McNamara our retiring Parliamentarian.

At the end of the month of July, the book balance amounted to $5,003.39 and the bank balance amounted to $5,103.39.  The difference consists of $100.00 from an issued check not yet cashed by the recipient.


BENEVOLENT CARE (Jean Eichenlaub, Chair):
The meeting was held on Wednesday, July 24th with Patti Santoni and Lisa Zehring from Philanthropy.

TIN CUP:  Although weather forced a delay of one week, the event was very successful. Net proceeds $38,893! The winner of the 50/50 raffle gave a donation of part of the winnings back to BCF.

GALA:  Lisa displayed the invitation. Event to be held on Friday, September 27 with a theme: “A Magical Evening”.  The invitation will include a letter encouraging participation and also inviting family and friends.  Seeking donations for the silent auction. Lisa had a discussion with a magician who will be appearing at the Gala.  He is very sympathetic because his own parents had to support the grandparents who ran out of money. He would be glad to relay their story – possibly a commercial during BCF month.

Benevolent Care Month is September.  Events include; Donor Reception, Foundation Board Meeting, Fruits of our Labor, Women’s Coat Sale, ELLIC Presentation on BCF. Gala, Financial Assurance Presentation in Auditorium. The prize wheel table will occur at various times at the dining rooms.

Also seeking real Benevolent Care stories – maybe from relatives of deceased family members who benefited from BC.    Also to dispel stories that people come in and go on this program immediately – the average recipient has lived at Charlestown 14-17 years.  Currently 18 residents receive benefits.

The next Treasure Sale will be August 22, 23 and 24th.  There will be a RG Moving Sale on August 8th & 9th, open to residents and employees only, in the RG Meeting Hall from 10am – 1pm to sell items such as TV’s, furniture, art work, etc.  100% of proceeds from RG Sale benefit BCF.

We discussed encouraging friends and family to use the site to purchase items and designate “Charlestown Community Inc.” as the charity. Proceeds benefit BCF.

Use Facebook to encourage contributions to BCF in for special occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries, etc.

Next meeting is August 28th at 2pm in CTS 116.

COMMUNICATIONS (Walt Howe, Chair):
The Communications Committee met on 22 July in CTS Classroom 216, attended by 13 resident members and 3 Erickson staff. We summarized the recently completed Communications Survey, showing the growing use of technology, and discussed the next steps in distributing and making use of the results. IT staff member Jonathan Williams updated us on the progress of the Wi-Fi improvement project and emphasized that anyone who still has problems should report it to the IT office. Wayne Smith and Art Timmons showed their two new navigation guide maps to be made available to new residents. We have begun development of a new tri-fold brochure for the Residents’ Council. No meeting is planned for August, and the next meeting will be held in CTS Classroom 116 at 2pm on 23 September, preceded by the Website Subcommittee at 1pm.

CONSERVATION (Bill Tilles, Chair):
There was no meeting in July 2019. We will continue to track the trash and recycle numbers during July and August. The next meeting of the Conservation Committee will be at 2:00 pm on Tuesday, September 17, 2019 in HR 142.

DINING SERVICES (Bob Caulfield, Chair):
The Dining Services Committee met on July 15, 2019 with Ken Zahn, Assistant Director of Dining Services, 3 guests and fourteen Dining Committee members.

The Chair welcomed guests and introduced Pat Talcik, a new Dining Committee member representing Fireside.

The following dates were noted: July 26 – Dining Services Town Hall–11:00 AM   Auditorium.

There will be no meeting of the Dining Services Committee in August.  The next meeting will be September 16. There will be no August meeting of the Dietary Focus Group.  Their next meeting will be September 6. All other dining rooms will have their regularly scheduled Coffees with the Managers in August. August 19 – There will be a focus group meeting at the Refectory at 11:00 AM relative to the renovation anticipated at the Refectory in 2020.

The various dining committee sub-committees met in July as follows:  Atrium 7/1, Chesapeake & Shortline 7/8, Fireside 7/9, and Refectory & Terrace 7/11.  Highlights of those meetings included:

  1. While there is currently no ability of the medical facilities at Charlestown to identify the number and nature of residents’ special dietary considerations, it remains imperative residents identify themselves to staff in the dining rooms so their needs can be addressed.
  2. The new Summer Menus have or will shortly begin in all venues.
  3. The patio at the Atrium opened July 4. Twenty-eight seats at 4 tables with umbrellas and an outdoor grill.  Available for outdoor dining and special events.
  4. In August all ala carte dining venues will begin monthly menu changes. Up to 8-10 items are subject to change predicated on their popularity.  If it is not being selected by you it will be gone.
  5. As previously noted, significant staff changes are taking place now. This will always be the case at this time of the year.
  6. A resident suggested new employees be paired with more experienced servers for training. It was explained there is a certification program to become a trainer.  Currently there are six certified trainers at Fireside.
  7. The problem of “run-outs” at the Refectory Buffet has been noted and the staff is making it a focus for improvement.
  8. Plans for a Crab Feast at the Terrace in September are being developed.

The Grand-Opening of Chesapeake Dining on Monday July 8 after three days of “soft openings” at the Chesapeake/Bar were evaluated:

Concerns – The majority of the guests visiting the Chesapeake at its opening were looking to be accommodated at the familiar, signature dining facility they were used to.  The problem, the new dining space is now two dining rooms made up of 120 seats at the back having regular signature dining, and 82 seats at the front having the new concept “Bar at the Chesapeake” dining.  Within an hour and a half many residents were facing an anticipated wait, up to an hour, to be seated at the back while there were several open tables at the front bar area.  For the remainder of “opening week” the problem eased.  More residents were trying the bar area, some were dining elsewhere, and the dining staff were being a little less conservative in the seating of guests in the back.

The absence of table cloths in signature dining has been noted by many. The Management position is that the newly renovated Chesapeake dining room looks awesome.  The appearance and décor of the space with the high-end new tables and chairs dictates a more “natural” look which tablecloths would detract from.  Some disagree but please know we are all open to your comments and suggestions.  You will be heard. Regarding the valeting of mobility devices, most residents are helping by allowing their rollators and chairs to be stored.  The problem remains a lack of space which will be addressed when the area around the fireplace is completed in September. The Chair of the Dining Services and several members of his committee have spent time interviewing, explaining, reacting and listening to many comments about the Chesapeake, especially the bar dining area. Some don’t like it and probably never will.  A few said they were hungry after eating an item from all four sections of the bar menu. Some are waiting until the “kinks” get resolved and then they will give it a try.

By any measure of comparison, the substantial majority of residents we talked to “loved it.” It’s faster! It’s a new option for dining. The twenty-one-item menu, with ongoing changes, reads and looks professional.  The presentation is arguably the best I have seen at Charlestown.  The food was hot or comfortably warm.  We hope you will give it a try.

The next Dining Committee meeting will be at Brookside 1 on September 16 at 2:00 PM.

FINANCE (Gil Fisher, Chair):
The Finance Committee met on July 30 with Pam Stiner, Finance Director, and Eric Schwab, Assistant Finance Director. Fourteen committee members and three guests were present.

Eric presented the Occupancy and Financial reports for June. Occupancy rates were over 98 percent for independent living, assisted living, and memory care. The skilled nursing occupancy will be trending upward now that transition to Wilton Overlook is being completed.

The June total operating revenue exceeded budget projections by $318,000. Operating expenses were very close to the budget projections. Overall operating income exceeded the budget estimates by $284,000. So, June was a very good month. In addition, for non-operating items, investment income was over $1,000,000.

Turning to restricted funds, in June, 19 residents received benevolent care assistance, and these expenditures totaled about $113,000. These numbers are about the same as for May.

The Committee also reviewed budget suggestions made to management over the last 5 years. Pam indicated that the management reactions to specific suggestions for 2020 will not be communicated until the after the Charlestown Board of Directors has approved the budget (in late October). The Committee discussion emphasized the need for the Residents’ Council to stay on top of suggestions made, such as improvements in the nature trail, which has been a priority for several years.

The Committee will not meet in August. The next Committee meeting will be on September 24 at 9 am in Brookside 2 Classroom.

GROUNDS (Ted Durr, Chair):  
Ryan Truitt reported that he has the chemicals to deal with efflorescence on the loading dock at St. Charles and will work with it. He said that 16 new pots of flowers were placed as well as four new pedestrian signs. Wilton Overlook landscaping has been replaced where necessary and some asphalt also has been replaced as necessary. Striping is being redone where necessary. Ryan Truitt will check on the water supply for outdoor planting at St. Charles. Dead ash trees will be removed from Erickson Way and a shrub also will be removed in order to make the stop sign more visible in front of St. Charles. Improvements are to be made to the entrance.
Louise Dempsey reported that the gate in the fence surrounding the lake property has been removed and replaced with strong fencing, done by Long Fencing. Louise suggested that more flowers are needed by the pool where they have been previously.

Pat Kasuda requested that road patching be done under her car at Brookside.

There will be no meeting in August and the next meeting will be on September 23rd.

HEALTH SERVICES (Louise Dempsey, Chair):
The Health Committee met on July 9, 2019 with 10 members and 4 guests.

Dr. Pelczar
-Reminded us that the flu season is ongoing in the Southern Hemisphere and travelers who need vaccination should receive their vaccine two weeks before traveling.
-Measles: There have been more than 1100 cases reported nationally to date.
-Mosquito borne diseases are a serious health risk. They breed in any shallow/stagnant water and multiply very quickly. Do not leave standing water in saucers of plants or elsewhere.
-Tick season: Ticks are also a serious health risk by transmitting diseases.  It is recommended that if you are in wooded areas or tall grasses that you wear long pants and tuck them into your socks. Spraying clothing with Deet is also recommended.

Renaissance Gardens/Caton Woods:
-Residents began moving into Wilton Overlook on July 8th.
-Pat Kasuda continues to work for Standards of Care for Memory Care and is still working with Maryland Legislators in an effort to establish standards in Maryland.

-The Health Committee continues to partner with Security and Emergency Services and the Baltimore County Police Department in holding dedicated Old/unused Medication Collection Days for residents and staff. Our next Collection date is scheduled for Monday, July 29th from 1-3pm in the Fireside, Terrace, and Cross Creek areas.

-Dean Crawford, Medical Center Administrator, met with the Chair of Health recently to discuss the formation of a Patient Family Advisory Council (PFAC) Charter.  The Council will consist of 5 patient/family members and 3 medical center staff including one provider. The PFAC will have co-chairs, one resident/family advisor and one medical center staff advisor each serving a two-year term.

-Home Health/Home Support has named Alex Kareem as Assistant Manager.

-There will be a Red Cross Blood Drive in the Gallery on August 9th.

-Residents’ Council Elections will be held on August 7th. Don’t forget to vote!

Finally, August completes my three-year term on the Residents’ Council as Chair of Health Services.  It has been a pleasure and privilege to work with dedicated fellow residents who were always willing to share their time, talents, and expertise.  As a team, we were able to accomplish many positive goals.  My sincere thanks to each of them!

The Health Committee will not meet in August.

HOUSEKEEPING (Diane Lyons, Chair):
The meeting was held on Friday, July 19, 2019.  Seven members were in attendance along Michelle Fenn from the Housekeeping Dept.

There was general discussion about on-going issues:  the trash bags left in the stairwell or opposite the elevator in the 5th floor Caton Ridge. Michelle has alerted Krystyna to try to identify the resident and explain the proper trash days. Terrace Dining room yellow trays being left in the Chapel Court entrance – despite a large sign requesting trays be returned to Terrace.

BLDG 9:  An unresolved issue at the entrance where the carpet needs to be cleaned often due to dog urine.

Harborview: Laundry room. Concern about unauthorized personnel using the machines. Michelle recommended, if in doubt, call Security.

Edgewood: The highly traveled hallway between stairs from Terrace and the Auditorium has stains and spots in the carpet and the stair carpet is wearing down.

Parkview: Stairwell near PV-119-129-121 observed to have dead bugs (beetle type) and needs to be vacuumed. Michelle noted that she has seen these dead bugs in other areas. A seasonal infestation?  Wood floors in front of elevators need to be cleaned more frequently.

Brookside:  Public restrooms in Harbor View and Brookside need to have a thorough cleaning at the base of stalls and along baseboards.  Michelle agreed the bases need more attention and that the drains do get sanitized.

Thank you to all the committee members who have checked our public areas and reported the most urgent issues.

The Legislative/Political Committee did not have a scheduled meeting in July. However, committee members did meet to watch the first two democratic presidential candidate debates on June 26 and June 27. The committee met again to watch the second series of debates on July 30 and July 31.

Because the orientation and luncheon for new resident council members coincides with the committee’s scheduled meeting time in August, there will not be an August committee meeting.   Six of our committee members will be attending this orientation event.  Our next meeting will be held on Wednesday, September 11th at 10:00 at Brookside 1.

The meeting was held on Tuesday, July 23rd with General Services” Kevin Crawford, Jesse Morgan [Out-going Supervisor] and Chris Caldwell [In-coming Supervisor] and 11 members.

General Services Update

  • Installation of hook on all restroom stall doors is almost complete.
  • Electric upgrades to the pond will begin within the next two months.
  • Completion of work on Brookside elevator #2 will take approximately another month. After completion of elevator #2, the work on elevator #1 should take two months.
  • Cross Creek building re-roofing is scheduled to begin the first week of August
  • Water-proofing the exterior entrance of bldg. 1 has started.

Items to be Addressed

  • Cosmetic repairs of damaged wall, non-functioning lights and necessary repainting in Edgewood as well as bldgs. 1&2.
  • Issues concerning mobility access throughout the Charlestown Campus.

The next scheduled meeting will be held on Tuesday, September 24th at 2pm in GS Conf. Rm.

RESIDENT LIFE (Sam Cushman, Chair):
The next meeting of the Resident Life Committee will be held in September.  If any emergency concerns arise. Sam will call a special meeting by email.

SAFETY & SECURITY (Janet Allan, Chair):
The next meeting of the Safety and Security Committee meeting will be on September 10, 2019 in Brookside Classroom 1 at 1pm.  There will be no Committee meeting in August.

The work of the Nominating and Election Committee is almost done. The election is Wednesday. August 7th. All residents are encouraged to vote.