Welcome fellow Barbiebarians to this year’s State Of The Village Meeting newsletter. We had the SOTV Meeting on Thursday, October 20 in Rancho Cordova. Those of us in attendance thought it went rather well and would like to share with all of you some of the decisions we made.
Our finances have been in better shape but they’re not that bad. We did go several thousand dollars over budget for 2016 but are still modestly in the black. So because of that, we decided not to have a dues increase for 2017. Dues will remain, until June 1, $100 for veterans and $150 for newbies. However, there is a but here. There are a lot of people coming in from overseas that, because of the logistics of the distances involved, contribute little or nothing to the building and tear-down of Barbie Death Village. This places an unreasonable burden on those of us who do. So for those foreigners who both arrive late (Sunday or beyond) and leave early (prior to Monday afternoon after The Temple Burn) they will be assessed an additional $50 on their dues. Our experience has been that they tend to use more of our communal resources—as opposed to say somebody coming in from The East Coast—while returning comparatively little. Felony, Wildman, and I (Doc Pyro) will make the determination on a case-by-case basis beginning in January.
There was talk about needing people to hang around for clean-up until Wednesday. We are (mostly) green on the MOOP Map and Wildman believes that everything can be and has been cleaned up by mid-day Tuesday. So those who were wondering like Chris Haworth, a later stay is not necessary. And in this regard, we would like to thank Texas Joe for hanging around for the duration to help clean up along with everyone in his crew. And to everyone who remained until the end we thank you. Wildman did report that we hauled away 6,090 pounds (more than three tons) of camp-generated garbage, but even that number in an improvement over the past two years. Thank you again for your diligence.
We are expecting to have the number of Directed Group Tickets cut somewhat for 2017. We won’t know anything of course until the BMOrg makes their announcement sometime in January, but we are being proactive on this. (NOTE: Anyone changing camps will not even be considered for a DGT so we will not relive the agony that befell us last year.) These things are precious, so anyone requesting DGTs will be required to pony up beforehand an additional $100 which will be refundable after TTITD only if you either actually helped set up or, more importantly, helped clean up and tear down BDV. We had too many cases to mention—and furthermore we don’t really want to call out any individuals on this in print—of people promising to help clean up only to flake out. We heard, and I quote, “I’m too hung over to help clean the camp” and “I’m still coming down from my high; leave me alone.” Never again. If you are too irresponsible so to get totally wasted on Burn Night and become a burden on your fellow Villagemates we are through babysitting you. We recognize that people go to Burning Man to party, but if you’re too drunk or stoned to do what is expected of you, then we have no choice but to penalize you accordingly. To a lesser extent this same policy will extend to Early Arrival Passes. We will have further information in the February newsletter.
Stu is streamlining the process for purchasing Barbie Death Village shirts and hats, with the thoughts of having ever more choices in outerwear. We hope to have the ordering down earlier and shipping done sooner. There were a few snafus this year but we think we have them cleared up for 2017. Look for more information in January.
Kodiak McStompinboots sent along a list of suggestions which we have taken to heart. They are too numerous to list here and have more to do with the logistics of the Village rather than protocol, but I will begin highlighting some of them come Spring.
We did discuss the burn barrel. Please do not move it once it is set up. We hope to have a new one that will be on a raised platform for next year. But we placed it where we did for a reason and twice during the week some of you felt the need to move it to who-knows-where. If we need to lock it down we will. But at least it works well and is an excellent addition to the camp.
We are satisfied for the most part with our shower situation. With the exception of a few mechanical breakdowns the process seems to run pretty well. But we had a huge problem at the end of the week. Someone, after the gray-water tank had been emptied, decided to dump black water (read: human feces and urine) into the tank and has rendered it useless. We will need to have the 275-gallon tank completely replaced. This is going to cost us about $350 and we aren’t very happy about it. So because of this, we are going to put a locking lid system on the new gray-water tank which will alleviate a problem that never should occurred. If any of you know who positively did the dumping of the black-water into our holding tank, we’d really like to know.
There have been several campmates who will not be invited back for 2017. Suffice it to say, if you do not receive the January newsletter, then likely you’re one of them. And in that regard, if you want off of this newsletter list, please unsubscribe. We have over 1000 people getting the newsletter and at some point we’re going to begin to trim that down somewhat.
And on a final, non-Barbie Death Village note, our good friend Ygmir has for sale his Frankencamper! You may have seen it on the playa, a huge yellow firetruck with a camper shell on the back. We have used it to carry much of our water to the playa in the past. You can access info on it here: http://goldcountry.craigslist.org/rvs/5797185481.html or email me and I can send along a bunch of pictures. He would rather sell it to a burner and would be willing to negotiate somewhat on the price. Like we say, membership has its privileges.
The next newsletter is due out the first week in January. We hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season and are looking forward to seeing everyone on the playa next August.
Doc Pyro & Felony Arson