Welcome To Fishing Creek Farm

James Hatt and Robert Hernandez:

A Couple with Many Talents

 

Click on Image to Enlarge

Jim and Robert moved from their 4-story townhouse in Capitol Hill into 1222 Thomas Point Court (previously the Ballinger’s home) in March of 2022. They were looking for a home with fewer steps, enough land for a garden, and proximity to the water – all within their price range. They considered homes in Fort Washington, Shadyside, Edgewater, Arnold, and Alexandria, but none measured up to their desires. When the Ballingers reduced the price on their home, the couple jumped at the opportunity.

Robert, who works as a residential real estate agent, says he knew 1222 TPC could be the perfect house as soon as he saw it, but Jim works in DC and had to be comfortable adding a long commute, at least on an occasional basis. But Jim agreed saying, “Yes, this is it - the house is too perfect to let go.”

Since moving in, the couple says FCF has lived up to and gone beyond their expectations. They had driven to Thomas Point Park when they first viewed the house, but were initially unaware of Southbreeze Beach and the Crab Pier, but now frequently take advantage of their proximity. And the many amenities in their own back yard, including a pickleball court, putting green, chess board, pool, hot tub, and “Breezes”, an outdoor bar, have all added to enjoyment in their new home.

Robert
Robert is a native of southern California and graduated from California State University, Sacramento with a degree in Photography. As a young professional photographer, he entered a time of transition from analog to digital photography. He initially worked for David LaChapelle as a producer for A-list commercial projects with celebrities including Sir Elton John and “The Rock”. Robert went on to work as Editor of Social Life magazine in NYC and as the photographer of socialites in a seasonal publication about the Hamptons. (Some of those socialites star as housewives on Bravo TV.)

As the technology behind digital photography improved, Robert found that almost everything he photographed ended up being “Photoshopped”. He wanted to return to “natural” photos and so he transitioned to real estate photography, eventually moving from NYC to DC in 2013 where he began taking on real estate assignments.

Robert went from photographing real estate to selling real estate and is now licensed in VA, DC, and MD. He says selling was a natural choice for him since good customer service has always been one of his passions. Robert plans to move his MD real estate license from the Georgetown Long and Foster office to one in Anne Arundel County soon.

Jim
Jim grew up in Orrville, Ohio – the home of Smuckers. Jim reminisces about the relatively rural setting of his hometown and life lessons learned from his parents. He learned baking from his mother who worked during WWII in a bakery, and he has put those skills to work in personal and charitable projects. Later his mom owned a florist business and taught Jim floral arranging. He used those skills to start a floral shop in Montana while serving in the Air Force there. Jim learned mechanical and business skills while working in his father’s heating and roofing company. He frequently used those skills during his career in the Air Force. And, from both his parents, Jim learned the value of work, collaboration, education, and workplace leadership, which he has used throughout his career.

Jim attended the University of New Hampshire for three years and then transferred to The Ohio State University where he was a triple music major in piano, tuba, and euphonium. In 1984, Jim recognized the practical difficulty of earning a living in music, and joined ROTC. Upon graduation, he became a 2nd lieutenant in the Air Force and between 1986 until 1999, was stationed in the U.K., at the Vandenberg AFB in California, and the Malmstrom AFB in Montana. During his years of active duty, Jim began what would be a distinguished career centered around training crews and staffs, developing and certifying curriculum, policy, and budgeting.

Jim joined the reserves in 1999 and began working in space-related fields, which he continues to the present day. Since 2004, Jim has served in civil service providing leadership and support for Air Force and Department of Defense space-related missions across the U.S. and in the Pentagon. He currently works in the Commercial Space Transportation Office of the FAA where he is responsible for safety, inter-agency and international cooperation, rulemaking. His office licenses all commercial space launches to and from the U.S., reviewing and approving payloads carried by the spacecraft include cargo, satellites, nuclear systems, DoD and NORAD-related items, and commercial human space flight participants. As such, Jim had the honor of presenting Sir Richard Branson with his astronaut wings at the March 2022 Space Symposium. Jim has also received Meritorious and Exemplary Civilian Awards four times during his tenure.

Colonel Hatt retired from the AF Reserves in 2021 and now looks to relax during his vacations rather than using them to fulfil Reserve duties.

Charitable and Advocacy Activities
Jim and Robert are both active members of the Foundry United Methodist Church in DC. Jim started a cooking mission there, which he spearheads twice a month to feed community members who are elderly, indigent, or who have HIV or terminal cancer. Robert helps with menu planning and shopping while Jim leads a morning of cooking 160-200 meals with at least five other recruits. The meals are readied for pick up or delivery in sealed bags that can be reheated in warm water or the microwave.
Jim is active in several Pride groups and currently serves as the President of FAA Pride. He served as Co-chair of DoD Pride for several years and is active in the LGBT group at their church. In addition, he is involved with Disabled American Veterans.

Hobbies

Gardening, cooking, and entertaining
Both Robert and Jim have a love of nature and, recalling the open space available to them while growing up, they are glad to now have a home with a yard large enough for a garden. Robert has already planted many herbs that he uses to make spice blends, and they plan to have fresh vegetables, as well. Both Robert and Jim are good cooks; Jim is also a good baker.

To choose the best accompaniment for their meals, Robert and Jim have a tasting room in their home! Interestingly, Jim worked in a tasting room at a winery while he was in the Reserves in CA.
In addition to the vegetable garden, Robert cultivates orchids. He began taking care of orchids so he would always have several on hand for open houses. Now he has a collection of orchids that bloom at different times of the year.

Robert and Jim enjoy entertaining using their talents in cooking, baking, gardening, wine tasting, and flower arranging. Throw in a bit of conversation about space travel, and you have a perfect event. Although both men have many talents, it is hard to escape the irony of Jim’s last name – Hatt – since he is truly a man of many hats.

Exercise
With a passion for fitness, Jim and Robert were so lucky to meet at a Zumba class in 2013, and since then their fitness passion has evolved to biking. In addition to their road bikes, they recently acquired mountain bikes to ride safely to Thomas Point. Robert also does weight training. Jim previously enjoyed participating in sprint triathlons and is contemplating another try.

The men are new to boating but recently joined the Chesapeake Boating Club and are enjoying sailing the bay in an Albin 28 ft cruiser. Robert is the captain with his first mate, Jim ready to help as needed.

Travel
Robert and Jim enjoy traveling and now that Jim has retired from the reserves, they can enjoy long vacations without the need to book time for the reserves. During the first of Jim’s “true” vacations, they went to the big island of Hawaii for three weeks. Jim says this was his all-time favorite vacation. They snorkeled and saw giant manta rays at night, visited volcanoes and the rain forest, and enjoyed delicious fresh fruit and great meals with friends.

Robert’s favorite vacation is to the wine countries of central and northern California. He enjoys both the natural beauty of the countryside and the unique taste of the wines, a result of previous volcanic activity in the area.

Welcome
Please join me in welcoming this talented couple to our neighborhood. They are enjoyable, easy-going, and will likely meet more of us if Jim gets his wish – a Brussel Griffon (the dog frequently pictured among royalty in Flemish paintings and the model for Star War’s Ewok).


Pickleball/Tennis Committee Update

 

Pickleball Open Play will continue through the summer months with sessions on Thursdays from 5-7 and Sundays from 9-11.  Players of all abilities are invited to join the fun!

In early June, the FCF pickleball courts hosted the first annual men’s Pickleball tournament.  The tournament was held over a 2 day period with all 8 teams playing each other.  Large crowds of spectators showed up to cheer on all of the teams.

The champion was crowned after a match between the top two teams.  Congratulations to Champions Jacques Smith and Jason Horst and runner ups Dan Attridge and Niels Holch.  A great time was had by all and everyone is already looking forward to the 2nd annual contest.

A mixed doubles and Women’s tournament are in the planning stages.  If you are interested in participating in a tournament or being added to the Pickleball distribution list, please send an email pickleball@fishingcreekfarm.org

First annual Men’s tournament pictures (Click on pictures to enlarge):

 


Book Club

The Fishing Creek Farm Book club will read The Magnolia Palace by Fiona Davis, the author of The Lions of Fifth Avenue. The group will meet at the Fishing Creek Clubhouse on September 8, 2022 at 7:00 p.m.

Barnes and Noble describes the book as follows:

"Fiona Davis, New York Times bestselling author of The Lions of Fifth Avenue, returns with a tantalizing novel about the secrets, betrayal, and murder within one of New York City's most impressive Gilded Age mansions.

Eight months since losing her mother in the Spanish flu outbreak of 1919, twenty-one-year-old Lillian Carter's life has completely fallen apart. For the past six years, under the moniker Angelica, Lillian was one of the most sought-after artists' models in New York City, with statues based on her figure gracing landmarks from the Plaza Hotel to the Brooklyn Bridge. But with her mother gone, a grieving Lillian is rudderless and desperate—the work has dried up and a looming scandal has left her entirely without a safe haven. So when she stumbles upon an employment opportunity at the Frick mansion—a building that, ironically, bears her own visage—Lillian jumps at the chance. But the longer she works as a private secretary to the imperious and demanding Helen Frick, the daughter and heiress of industrialist and art patron Henry Clay Frick, the more deeply her life gets intertwined with that of the family—pulling her into a tangled web of romantic trysts, stolen jewels, and family drama that runs so deep, the stakes just may be life or death.

Nearly fifty years later, mod English model Veronica Weber has her own chance to make her career—and with it, earn the money she needs to support her family back home—within the walls of the former Frick residence, now converted into one of New York City's most impressive museums. But when she—along with a charming intern/budding art curator named Joshua—is dismissed from the Vogue shoot taking place at the Frick Collection, she chances upon a series of hidden messages in the museum: messages that will lead her and Joshua on a hunt that could not only solve Veronica's financial woes, but could finally reveal the truth behind a decades-old murder in the infamous Frick family."

All Fishing Creek Farm residents are welcome to join the Book Club discussions. For further information, please contact Susan Magazine, 301-213-1799.


Fishing Creek Farm Logo Glassware

We have replenished our inventory of glass and plastic FCF logo glasses. They are $4 each and can be ordered by contacting boardtreasurer@fishingcreekfarm.org


 

Fishing Creek Farm Facebook Page

 

Fishing Creek Farm residents can post items of interest, for sale, or wanted to our FB page, “Fishing Creek Farm Homeowners’ Association”. The page is administered by Deborah Brafford and is open only to FCF residents. (Be aware: there is an old FB page that is no longer in use. Its address is: Fishing Creek Farm Neighborhood and it is open to the PUBLIC.)

Although anyone can find our private site, only members can see who's in the group and what they post. When you land on the FCF FB page, you may ask to join the group. You must submit your email and house address for verification. Once your credentials are verified, you will be notified of your admission to the group.

Please feel free to post questions, information, or photos to this closed group of Fishing Creek Farm neighbors!


Board of Directors

PLEASE NOTE:

  • The Clubhouse is now available to rent through our website for private events ($100).
  • Community events such as committee meetings are free. Contact admin@fishingcreekfarm.org or jpfinsgraf@gmail.com.

How to Contact Board Members

When contacting Board Members, please use their official neighborhood email address rather than their personal email address. The format of the FCF addresses is: boardPOSITION@fishingcreekfarm.org.

Specifically:

boardpresident@fishingcreekfarm.org - Julien Hecht 

boardvp@fishingcreekfarm.org  - Jacques Smith

boardsecretary@fishingcreekfarm.org - Dan Attridge

boardmal@fishingcreekfarm.org - Chris Caine

boardtreasurer@fishingcreekfarm.org - Deborah Brafford

Board of Directors Meetings 2022

Board of Directors meetings in 2022 will be held once per month on a Monday from 7 to 9 PM. All residents are welcome and encouraged to attend. The meetings are again being held in person at the Clubhouse, but are also available virtually. To see the agenda and access the virtual link, click HERE.

Upcoming 2022 Board Meetings:

Aug 15th


The pool is now open daily from 11AM to 8PM. We believe the lifeguard shortage has been resolved.

Rules & Reminders

  • A reminder that pool rules must be obeyed by FCF pool guests at all times. Please take the time to review the rules posted on the FCF website.  We've been informed by our pool management company that there was a very recent incident, when thunder was heard, swimmers refused to exit the pool when the lifeguard requested them to do so.  It is Maryland law that swimmers must exit a swimming pool when thunder is heard but can remain in the pool deck area.  The FCF lifeguard has the authority to require all swimmers in the pool to exit when instructed. If there is lightening, pool attendees must leave the pool area not just the decking.
  • Pool parties are allowed during open hours of the pool.  However, notification to the pool committee chair or a board member at least one week ahead of the party is required so that we are aware of the party and the number of guests anticipated to ensure appropriate lifeguard coverage.
  • A reminder to pick up toys and place behind the tiki bar when leaving the pool.  For more convenience and tidiness, we are looking into purchasing an appropriate receptacle to place in front of the tiki bar.
  • Please toss all food and beverage items in respective garbage and recycling bins. We have placed a garbage bin with a lid to help prevent racoons getting into the garbage.  There is a recycling bin to place recycling items.

Please observe the following safety considerations:

No Dogs on the Courts
According to the HOA rules, dogs are not allowed on the tennis/pickle ball courts at any time.

Stop Signs at Cherry Tree Lane
Just a reminder that traffic does not stop on Hidden River View at the intersection of Cherry Tree Lane and Hidden River View Road.  On a regular basis, there continues to be residents not coming to a complete stop when traveling on Cherry Tree Lane.  We have added extra signage that cross traffic does not stop and will continue to explore other options for additional safety at that intersection. All drivers, walkers, cyclers, and any other moving vehicle should stop at the stop signs.

Moving Vehicles to the Right; Pedestrians to the Left - It's the Law
Residents have reported near misses with pedestrians who walk on the right, especially in groups, because they don't see or hear approaching vehicles. Please walk to the left and drive/bike cautiously on the right.

Thank you,
FCF Board of Directors

Children's Social Committee

FCF Kids’ Splash-In Movie Night!
Saturday, August 20th @ FCF Pool
6:30-8pm Smash Up Food Truck
8:30pm Showtime featuring Lightyear

After a several year hiatus, Movie Night is Back! FCF Kids’ Splash-In Movie Night will be held Saturday, August 20th at our pool! Come grab dinner before the show at the Smash-Up Food Truck and then settle down for showtime!


 

Adult Social Committee
July 29th Sunset Friday at our marina. Photo by Wendy Gallo. Click to enlarge.

Sunset Friday
The social committee hosts Sunset Fridays at the clubhouse on Friday evenings from 6-8:30 PM through the warmer months. The next Sunset Friday will take place on Friday, August 26th. We provide cups, plates, napkins and ice. Bring your own drinks and an appetizer to share. Come and enjoy!

Our last Sunset Friday took place on July 29th and a good time was had by all!

         
Click on pictures to enlarge.

Land Use Committee

Smith Island Work
The sign pictured above was installed on the Smith Island walking path to be in conformance with one of the requirements of the grant we received several years ago for the Smith Island living shoreline project.  It talks about how the living shoreline protects Smith Island from continuing erosion and provides additional habitat for South River wildlife.

All the trails on Smith's Island and the path to the Crab Pier have been covered with wood chips, which were given to us by Bartlett's tree service. This is providing a relatively wide, obstacle free pathway to enjoy these HOA resources.

Southbeach Breeze Project
The Tiger Team of volunteers working on the project to protect Southbreeze Beach is negotiating with Wetland Study and Solution, Inc. (WSSI) to support an application with the Chesapeake Bay Trust that could provide a financial grant for the analysis and design effort needed to protect and preserve the Southbreeze Beach and Still Pond ecosystem from further erosion.  The application is due August 25th and would be a joint effort between Wetland and the SBB Tiger Team.

Marina

Slip holders,

We are now into the full boating season. Please keep an eye on your lines and make sure your boat is always well secured.  The marina should be in good shape for the season, but please reach out to the marina committee with any concerns.

Please do not leave any unattended boats on the the T pier with the pump out. We need that location open at all times for boats to get in and out of the pump out station safely.

We look forward to seeing everyone at the marina!

Thanks
Marina Committee 

Landscape/Architectural Committee Update

Draft Guidelines for Design and Installation of Solar Collector Systems are Ready for Final Review

The recently developed draft guidelines for Solar Collector System installations were reviewed, comments received, and adjustment incorporated during the 7-7-22 Open AC meeting. The updated draft of the guidelines have been forwarded to the Board for further review. It is expected that additional community review will be conducted before finalizing the draft by the Board. To see the most recent revisions and guidelines, click HERE.


CapEx Committee

The CapEx Committee continues to meet, walk and exchange emails with Miller Dodson in order to complete the refresh of the reserve study, which is required every 5 years by Maryland law. We expect a draft this week for us to review and will plan to finalize it by the end of July.


Committee Contacts

Do you want to know who is on what committee?  Do you want to know how to reach a committee member?  All of that information is on our website Committee page which is located here.  On this page you will note that a number of the email addresses are [committee-name/position]@fishingcreekfarm.org. This is part of our ongoing effort to have email addresses that we can use to transition easily from volunteer to volunteer when a position turns over. Take a moment to familiarize yourself with this, and thank you to all of our volunteers!


Mosquito Control Program Begins in August

FCFHOA has again signed up for the adult mosquito spraying program of Maryland’s Department of Agriculture (MDA), part of the Department’s broader mosquito control program aimed at preventing mosquito-borne diseases.  Spraying in our neighborhood will take place Monday nights between 7PM and 2:30AM. October 4 will be the last day of fogging. Please stay indoors during fogging.

FCF is one of about 2100 communities that participate in the fogging program, which typically runs from early June to end-September. The MDA team will be spraying our community one night a week (7pm to 2:30am) when conditions warrant it, considering mosquito counts and weather. MDA urges community residents to be proactive in reducing any standing water in their yards, as standing water can be a breeding ground for mosquitos.

MDA’s Mosquito Control Procedures: Spraying for adult mosquitoes is done at night using an ultra-low volume (UVL) spray to disperse tiny droplets (fogging) that do not coat surfaces, thereby minimizing the effect on other small organisms. Spraying is only done if an MDA employee determines it is necessary (considering “mosquito landing counts” and other data). It will not be conducted during rain, in wind speeds exceeding 12 mph, or if temperatures are above 89 degrees F. The attached PDF describes MDA's operating procedures in more detail.

Public Health and Habitat Concerns: Our beautiful community includes both wooded areas and wetlands, which provide habitat for fish, birds, mammals, and insects like butterflies, fireflies, and honeybees. Unfortunately, wetlands are also a breeding ground for mosquitoes, which can be both a nuisance and, in some cases, a public health risk. Tiger mosquitoes have been found in our region since 1987 and can carry diseases such as West Nile virus and several kinds of encephalitis in humans, and heartworm disease in dogs.

The MDA makes the following statement about their spraying practices: “We spray at night when bees and butterflies are not active. The droplets in our sprays average 15 to 20 micrometers. They are so small that they are acted upon equally by gravity and drag. They float in the absence of wind – just like a fog droplet. Because they are so small, they do not coat surfaces, so when bees and butterflies crawl on surfaces the next morning, those surfaces are not covered with our spray. Permethrin breaks down in sunlight. There is evidence that permethrin in our spray does not affect larger insects, like bees and butterflies. Bees have been studied extensively; there are no deleterious effects.

Exemptions from the Program are Possible:  By default, all FCF homes are enrolled in the program when the community signs up. Any resident can apply for an exemption for their property. That exemption will have a 300 feet buffer on either side of the exempted property.  An exemption form is available at:  MosquitoControlExemptionForm

To see the MD Department of Agriculture's Operating Procedures for Spraying of Adult Mosquitoes: Mosquito Control - Operating Procedures.

Suggestion Box

If you have an idea on how to make Fishing Creek Farm an even better place, please share it with the Board and your fellow homeowners.  Suggestions are sent to our FCF Board and posted on our website. To access the suggestion box now, Click here.