Location: American Legion Post #70 Saratoga Springs, NY


Meeting Date:  November 17, 2004 

·   The regular meeting of the Albany-Saratoga Base was called to order by CDR Singleman at 7:10 p.m. with 23 members and 2 guests present. This month’s meeting was held at the American Legion Post 70 in Saratoga Springs New York.

·   The Chaplain offered a prayer and the crew saluted the colors and recited the Pledge of Allegiance.

·   The Muster List was passed around for all present to sign along with a copy of the minutes of the previous meeting for all to read.

·   Bob Ondek had a video presentation of the lost boats for the month of November. He indicated he would be making a video for future months and possibly one for the entire “Tolling of the Boats” ceremony.

·   Base members stood and introduced themselves and indicated which boats they served on. One of our new members is Joe Buff who is a best selling author and was a guest speaker at our Convention was welcomed by the Base. Joe donated a number of his best selling books, which he personally autographed, to the Base Library.

WWII Sub Vets were asked to stand and be recognized. John Chestera, Walt Bydairk, and Ray Koch were applauded.

The Base Secretary reported there was a quorum present.  The minutes of the previous months meeting have been either mailed or e-mailed to the members and therefore the reading of these minutes of was waived. One addition to the minutes was added – that John Cook had received an anonymous donation to the Base of a framed picture of the USS Albany SSN753. A motion was made by Fritz Feldhaus and seconded by Walt Barden to approve the minutes.

The Base Treasurer gave his report. The bank balance for the Base at this time is: $9133.34.  A motion was made by Walt Barden and seconded by Randy Stein to approve the report.

Reports on Standing Committees

George Gasser gave a short update on the Convention.

He reported that although the final figures were not yet available it would seem that after all expenses are paid the Base would have enough money to reach their goal of having $25,000.00 in the Memorial Fund. It could be as high as $30,000.00.

Figures from the City of Saratoga indicate that the Convention brought in 1.6 million dollars to the local economy including over $100,000.00 in sales tax. This is what we promised the City and County and we delivered. The Saratoga Travel and Tourism Bureau reported that the Convention was so successful that they requested that the Albany-Saratoga Base bid on the 2010 Convention. The Base members agreed to table that thought for a while.

George requested that anyone who can make the County Veterans Committee meeting that begins at 3:00 pm on December 7 please attend so we can thank them for the assistance with the Convention. Also, Walt Bydairk will make a presentation to the County Board of Supervisors at the December 15th meeting. Members are asked to attend if possible. These meetings are held at the Saratoga County Office Complex at 40 McMaster Street in Ballston Spa. The meeting is at 5:00 pm and that is the night of our next monthly meeting. Our meeting begins at 7:00 pm so there should be no conflict. Also, we would like to attend the next Saratoga City Council meeting to thank them. Since they are in budget negotiations we will wait until after a budget is passed and then schedule a time to go.

George Gasser made a motion to request up to $300.00 from the Convention budget to hold a dinner meeting for the core committee that met at John Cook’s home and did the majority of the planning for the Convention. The motion was seconded by Bill Preece and passed by the Base.

George Gasser also made a motion and requested that each person on the core committee receive $50.00 from the Convention budget for mileage and other expenses incurred during the period leading up to the Convention. The motion was seconded by Walt Barden and passed by the Base.

Old Business

The proposed amendments to the Base By Laws were place before the Base, were all voted on and approved. A new copy of the Base By Laws will be forwarded to the Base Webmaster for posting on the Web Site. A copy of the Base By Laws is always available for review at the monthly meetings. See the Base Secretary if you wish to review them.

New Business

CDR Al Singleman reported on Michael Coene, the homeless man and former nuke ET who served on SSN685 Glenard P Lipscomb. He was attacked and had his personal belongings set on fire. Al visited the Homeless Action Shelter and met with Michael. Michael wanted no help and pretty much just wanted to be left alone. He was embarrassed by his situation and didn’t want any shipmates to see him this way. He was given a Base hat and informed that if he changed his mind or if he needed anything the Base would be supportive of his needs. Al also spoke with the administrator of the Shelter and asked her to please keep us informed of his status, especially if anything were to happen to him. The Base voted to donate $100.00 to the shelter and to purchase a one year membership in USSVI for Michael. When asked if there was anything else we could do the shelter administrator suggested donations of food and warm clothing. Institutional size cans of non perishable food items and hunting type jackets, gloves, and pants would be recommended.

Bob Ondek will have a short movie about the Convention to show at the December meeting.

Ed Luther is doing better. He is now up and about with the use of a walker. He is in good spirits.

Fred Carlson read a letter from Admiral Konetzni thanking us for inviting him to speak at the Convention.

George Gasser reported that “Traditions”, the embroidery company still had some golf shirts available with the Convention logos.

Walt and Chickie Barden said good-bye to the Base. They are moving to Florida but will maintain a home up north. They will try to make the meetings when they are around. The Base members thanked them for all their hard work. They will be missed.

A final reminder about the increase in National Dues. Members have until the end of December to upgrade their current membership to Life at the reduced rates. Base dues will remain at $10.00 per year.

The December meeting will be the election meeting. The following candidates have been nominated for office for the 2005 year.

Base Commander – Bob Ondek

Sr. Vice Commander – John Cook

Jr. Vice Commander – Mike Stoneback

Secretary – Jim Irwin

Treasurer – Fred Carlson

Nominations from the floor for any of these offices will be accepted at the December meeting. Any candidates who are nominated must be available to accept the nomination.

Also, the December meeting will be our Holiday Party. After a show of hands it was agreed that Bob Ondek’s son and new Base member Tom Ondek will be catering the event. Tom has catered for us in the past and has always done a great job. The cost is $10.00 per person. Please RSVP to Bob Ondek at 393-6944 by December 10th if you wish to attend. You can pay at the meeting.

There being no further business, CDR Singleman led the base in the Creed of the USSVI and the meeting was adjourned.

The next regular meeting will begin at 7:00 on December 15, 2004.  This meeting will be held at the American Legion Post 70 on West Avenue in Saratoga Springs NY.

Submitted by:
Jim Irwin
Albany-Saratoga Base
Pride Runs Deep

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