Spring/Summer                    2019



The annual meeting of the Bear Paw Property Owners Association (BPPOA) is May 25, 2019 at 1:00 PM in the Bear Paw Clubhouse. The proposed agenda includes discussion of last, current and next year’s plans/activities and election of directors for the BPPOA Board. You may vote in person or by proxy, a copy of which is enclosed in this newsletter. If you vote by proxy, fill out the form completely and ensure it is filed, preferably by the person given your proxy, with the BPPOA Secretary at the Bear Paw Office before the meeting or mail your proxy to BPPOA, 60 Village Rd. Murphy, NC 28906. Remember, one vote per lot regardless of the number of co-owners; and taxes must be current. 


Three directors will be elected at this meeting. A director must be a BPPOA property owner in good standing throughout his/her term of office, must be 21 years of age and can serve a maximum of two consecutive two-year terms. Any qualified member may officially declare their candidacy a

t the meeting. BPPOA directors will be submitted to the Cherokee County Commissioners to become Bear Paw Service District Directors. If you are interested in running for a position on the Board, please contact Dennis or Emily at the office (828) 644-0808. The Following Candidates have expressed a desire to place their names on the ballot:


David Marion- Current Board Chairman seeks re-election.


John Steensma- Current Board Treasurer/Finance Officer seeks re-election


Gary Holmes- I have been a small business owner in Georgia for over 20 years. I have owned property in Bear Paw for over two years and recently completed construction of a home on Beach Road. I have been married to my wife Angela for 32 years and have a teenage daughter. We expect to make Bear Paw our permanent residents in the next few years. I believe my business and interpersonal skills will be an asset to the Board and Bear Paw Community.



VOLUNTARY CONTRIBUTIONS OF $5 ARE VERY MUCH APPRECIATED. Please make checks payable to BPPOA and mail to:

Bear Paw Property Owners Assn.

60 Village Rd Murphy NC, 28906


Did you know…

BPSD gets money from our taxes to maintain the clubhouse, pool, tennis court, roads, guards and office staff. BPPOA gets no funding and puts together Community functions thru donations from property owners and fundraisers.

CAC (Community Action Committee) is a group of volunteer property owners who put together the functions for property owners to enjoy. Bear Paw Live! Is a group of volunteer property owners who have come together to arrange Entertainment and is funded by ticket sales only, it makes no profit. BP Ladies Auxiliary are property owners (women) who have come together to enjoy each other’s company with monthly luncheons. We have an annual Garage sale and use the profits to purchase various items needed in Bear Paw and make donations in the community. All Bear Paw Property Owners are encouraged to participate.


The Bear Paw website is a good place to see what’s going on in our community and keep up to date on current activities. Please visit bearpawnc.com and look around.


Garage Sale

 Thank you, ladies ....and gents.... who help with the garage sale? We are already packing donations away for this year’s sale. As of right now I have scheduled the sale for Saturday July 27th with a pre pricing day on Friday July 19th. Please save these dates as we always need all the help we can get. Your donations are welcomed and needed for a successful sale! Remember, no clothes, tv's, or mattresses. If you have any questions or suggestions call me. Many thanks, Marie Steensma 407-312-8707.

  911 Property Address

Many properties still do not have their 911 address sign posted. Having your address displayed will help emergency personnel such as fire trucks, ambulance & law enforcement identify your home or property in case of an emergency.


If you haven’t, please fill out the Homeowner’s/Property Owner’s Information Sheet provided in this newsletter and return to the office at:

60 Village Rd.

Murphy, NC 28906

This will ensure that our property owner records are kept current.

Volunteers Needed

More and more is happening every day in Bear Paw.  Volunteers greatly enhance the quality of life in our community by maintaining flower beds, assisting in the office, sponsoring social events, and helping with local charitable activities.  If you’d like to contribute and/or be involved, contact Emily in the office.


The weather warms, the lake fills up as the trees fill out and Bear Paw is coming to life!  Manager Dennis Strand and Administrative Assistant Emily Bryant, our two full time employees, have helped usher us through winter and have now successfully established themselves in running Bear Paw like a finely-honed machine.  We are so grateful to them and how they have improved our lives by being “on point” for us weekly, insulating homeowners and your Board from many tedious issues.

But it takes more!  Many years ago, back when my grandparents were cavemen and women, communities were smaller and individual initiative was far more crucial to actually make communities prosper.  Many people now hunger for a simpler time, and Bear Paw fits this bill.  But as a small community, our infrastructure depends on YOU! As you read through this newsletter, please understand just how many people it takes to make Bear Paw be the magical slice of heaven that it is.  Volunteering is an important way through which people connect with one another. It is also an important method of providing services and meeting the critical needs of communities that are not met by other means.

Firewise, under the leadership of Ron Taylor, (author of a great book about Bear Paw) continues and has seen great success in mitigating the overgrowth that naturally happens in a heavily wooded environment.  One of my mentors used to say, “The tendency of things is to the wilderness,” and Bear Paw is no exception.  If we don’t control vegetation and properly plan for extreme situations, we could find ourselves someday in a regretful position.  But Firewise and Bear Paw volunteers have significantly lowered our fire risk and simultaneously increased our road logistics in case heavy fire equipment must ever traverse our community.

Speaking of fire, recently the Hiwassee Dam Volunteer Fire Department successfully completed arduous testing that resulted in demonstrating an improved fire response capability, thus “raising” our score from Class 7 to Class 5.  Approval from Raleigh should be forthcoming. This in turn should mean lowered insurance premiums for many or most Bear Paw homeowners.  A huge shout-out to HDVFD for this incredible feat!  The days-long test was grueling and technical, and we are deeply grateful for their commitment and effort.  Please consider volunteering for this great group, they always need a “few fine men and women.” Didn’t we all once desire to be firemen?? Any help at any level is welcome and appreciated!

If the 2019 Bear Paw Calendar was a lady with a dance card, she must be gorgeous, because this calendar is FULL!!!  Meetings, Craft Fairs, Ladies Luncheons, Firewise Cleanup, Cocktail Parties, Parades and best of all, BEAR PAW LIVE! where bona fide professional musicians play for us in an intimate setting under Klieg lights. What more could we ask? Our thanks to the Community Action Committee (CAC) for helping our community thrive.

An issue that always comes up this time each year is elections.  We depend on ourselves to run Bear Paw and our love for this community is what inspires the volunteers who eventually become integral parts of the Board.  This year we have three people who will be rolling off due to term limits and it’s essential we gain three more to take their place and participate.  My father served on the Board for many years and for me, it’s been my turn, having just completed my first term. If re-elected, I will be on the Board again, but we need more.  Please consider joining us! This year’s annual meeting of the Bear Paw Property Owners Association (BPPOA) is May 25, 2019 at 1:00 PM in the Bear Paw Clubhouse. The proposed agenda includes discussion of last, current and next year’s plans/activities and election of directors for the BPPOA Board. You may vote in person or by proxy, a copy of which is enclosed in this newsletter. If you vote by proxy, fill out the form completely and ensure it is filed, preferably by the person given your proxy, with the BPPOA Secretary at the Bear Paw Office before the meeting or mail your proxy to BPPOA, 60 Village Rd. Murphy, NC 28906. Remember, one vote per lot regardless of the number of co-owners; and taxes must be current.                          
David Marion, Chairman



JULY 7 – BABY GRAY & jimmy Gillis

AUGUST 11 – Joe Gransden & Geoff Hayden

AUGUST 31—120 East Band

Manager’s Report: May 2019, Dennis Strand

Pool - County pool inspection scheduled for May 6, 2019. Skimmer baskets and covers, a new pump timer & chlorine injector have been replaced due to wear and replacement need.

New Home Construction - One new homes currently under construction.

on Highland. One new construction expected before 2020.

Other Construction / Zoning - Several deck replacement and extensions approved over the past two months, Highland and Ridgewood.

Security - Mike and Loy, our new relief guards continue to do well with positive feedback still being received from the community.

Trees - Guards continue to require all commercial tree cutters entering BPSD report to the Office prior to going to the property to insure their knowledge of BPSD restrictions as well as to check on approval having been given to the homeowner(s).

Several locations have been given approval for tree removal in the past two months on Village, Highland, Ridgewood and Island roads.

Clubhouse- Extensive work done on the heating during the Winter to fix a problem at the main unit & related issues with conduit & shut off valves have proved successful. Spring/Summer A/C check completed in April all units appear in proper working order.

Roads -  A cutting back of the trees hanging onto roads and back off the road to 10 feet was completed in April. Culvert cleaning will be undertaken in May-June. White striping will be done in mid-May.

Tennis Court - No issues encountered. New Squeeqies (2) and 2 court caddies (ball holders & waste basket) have been added. A new bench is expected in May.

Playground - Additional piece of equipment (Discovery Backyard multi-unit) to be erected in mid-late May or early June.

Other -  Due to weather issues landscaping and floral/shrub planting began in the past week and is expected to be complete by early May.





•Additional Cedar Rail Fencing at Entrance and Near Clubhouse MAY

•Cutting back of Annual Bushes and Shrubs COMPLETE

•Paint Maintenance Shed and Erect and Paint Fence Around it MAY-JUNE

•Two Areas at Pavilion APRIL-MAY

•Behind Clubhouse APRIL-MAY

•Postal Boxes MAY-JUNE 

•Guard House    MAY-JUNE


2.Power Washing

•Pavilion Floor   COMPLETED  

•Clubhouse Walls & Clubhouse Parking Area (rear) MAY-JUNE

•Pool Deck and Related Concrete Areas COMPLETE


•Paint Interior and Exterior Rafters and Roof in the Pavilion 2020 FY

•Maintenance Shack MAY-JUNE

•Benches and Tables MAY-JUNE

•Wood Rails on Pillars with Lights at Entrance COMPLETE

•Exterior of Guard House MAY-JUNE

•Fencing and Bridge Around the Guardhouse MAY-JUNE


•Replace Remaining Old Chaise Loungers at the Pool (8) JUNE-JULY

•Replace skimmer baskets and covers COMPLETE

•Replace Pool Timer COMPLETE

•Replace Chlorine Tablet Injector COMPLETE


•Re-Striping of White Lines on Village Where Needed MAY-JUNE

•Cutting Back of Canopy Limbs on Major Roads COMPLETE


•Install additional Play Station MAY

7.Tennis Court

•Additional Squeegee, New Bench and Court Caddie COMPLETE

8.Additional Mailbox Cluster Unit (16 individual addresses) JUNE      

Firewise Community Update

For the second year in a row, our Bear Paw community has been awarded a North Carolina Firewise Grant of $8,000 to continue our fire prevention program.  Hats off to each Bear Paw resident that contributed to this effort! 

With this grant award we completed two major brush removal, i.e. fuel mitigation, projects this winter.  The major hillside between the lower cottages on Village Drive and the upper cottages on Chittenden Drive has been cleared and the steep hillside the length of the five condo buildings along the lakeside face has been cleared of all major brush.  A special thank you is extended to both Nathan Rose and his organization and Claude and Jamie, respectively, for their fine work in completing these projects.

Our third Firewise goal for this year is the development and implementation of a comprehensive community evacuation/preparedness plan (A-E listed below).  County fire officials, local TVA and DOT management concur and recognize our need.  With only one entrance and surrounded on three sides by water, an event of this magnitude, particularly with our summer population, could result in chaos without an effective plan.  Imagine multiple fire stations’ equipment and personnel trying to assist and the possibility of blocking some of our roadways with their large equipment versus our resident population trying to exit at the same time using the same exit and roadways.

A community warning or siren system to notify residents of a pending threat and potential evacuation
A Nixle warning app that each Bear Paw resident/visitor can download on their phones, tablets, computers, etc. is available right now.  Sign up now at www.nixle.com, simply put in your zip code and complete the sign-up process or text your zip code to 888777 for mobile alerts.  You may add as many locations as you want.  It’s that simple, so please follow-up today.
Provide a resident/visitor evacuation kit or preparedness guide that includes suggested homeowner fire prevention steps, actions to take if an event is pending or occurs and what to do expect and do upon your return.  Multiple source material has been identified and will be used.  Working with the County Emergency Management Coordinator, Robin Caldwell, this needed booklet should be ready for community-wide distribution by late summer or early fall.
Complete a color-coded Bear Paw evacuation map by community section with corresponding directional road signs installed to safely exit the community and surrounding area.
Finalize and maintain an “emergency only” second exit using an old TVA locked and gated roadway.  Local fire management strongly advocates this step and TVA and DOT management supports and approves this idea.  This roadway has and would continue to have a locked gate system to prevent unauthorized use.  Only the Hiwassee Dam fire chief would have a key and would determine when it should be opened.  Hopefully this “emergency only” secured exit will never have to be used, but it is certainly a current and future need.

As always, your continued support is vital in our ongoing effort to reduce the threat of a forest fire within Bear Paw.  Much has been achieved over the last 5-6 years, but as we all know, the threat is still very real, and it can happen in one unforeseen accident or event.  Continued community resources are pledged to the following efforts.  Make sure to get involved and utilize any of these services if your property needs additional attention:

Kudzu control - summer and fall spraying by Claude and Jamie.  All affected community lands are sprayed each year and any individual lot will be sprayed upon owner request to the Bear Paw office and willingness to cover the cost of the chemical spray.
Individual homeowners and lots continue to follow the Firewise guidelines of brush and leaf removal, gutter, roof and porch cleaning and vegetation management.  Claude and Jamie will still provide their major brush removal program to any owner willing to cover the cost of their labor.  Average size lot is $300/day.
Signup and plan for one or both of our Saturday morning community clean-up events.  Mark your calendars for Saturday, June 22 and Saturday, August 24 from 9 - noon each.  Meet your fellow Bear Paw neighbors and let’s get hot and sweaty together!

See you soon in Bear Paw and let’s have a fun and safe summer together.

Ron Taylor





Your Community Action Committee (CAC) has put together plans for another season of fun for all at Bear Paw. We had great attendance at our community events last year but too many of you are still missing out on the fun.  There is a calendar of events in this issue or go to our website (bearpawnc.com) and print a copy for your refrigerator door. We hope you’ll plan to come out, get involved and enjoy the fun.

 We will kick off our season Memorial Day weekend with our Potluck Dinner. The 4th of July week will be packed with fun for all including Bear Paw Live, the traditional golf cart parade along with fireworks and the boat parade sponsored by the marina. The annual Arts & Crafts Fair will expand to include a couple of new exhibits and plenty of fun activities for the kids. If we have any artists or crafts people who are not yet involved but would like to be, please contact David Dempsey (404-386-1558 or djdempsey@bellsouth.net) for more information.

Please check out the calendar for more fun and entertainment continuing throughout the summer and fall.

Finally, we ask that you consider making a donation to our CAC fund to help us continue to bring fun and entertaining activities to Bear Paw. We are very frugal, and we do a lot with a little money, but we need community support to make these events happen. We are asking members of all the communities to consider contributing $25 or $50 to help us continue our work for all at Bear Paw.  REMEMBER - this has nothing to do with the Bear Paw Service District. The CAC has engaged all the communities within Bear Paw, and most are represented on our committee. We hope you will consider investing in the enrichment of life in Bear Paw. Please make your check payable to BPPOA – CAC and send it to John Steensma, BPPOA/CAC, 60 Village Rd., Murphy, NC 28906. We thank you for your support.



It’s time to mark your calendar and make plans now to be in Bear Paw for the exciting 6th season of Bear Paw Live! Because of the support and encouragement of so many of you, BPL! has grown from what many thought was an unrealistic dream to the exciting reality of providing first class entertainment for the residents and guests of Bear Paw. We think this summer may be our best yet as we continue to push our limits and raise the quality of our entertainment. We hope you agree.
As the finale to an always exciting Bear Paw July 4th celebration week, the first BPL! concert will feature BABY GRAY and JIMMY GILLIS. This talented trio opened our season last year and will be doing the honors again this year - because they are so good and because the audience last year just couldn’t get enough of their music. BABY GRAY (Bobby Kennedy and Michelle Milligan) along with Jimmy Gillis perform regularly with the Southern Satisfaction Band out of Tallahassee, Florida, but also enjoy branching out and doing their own thing – which, if you were here last year, you know is first-class. If you like to dance, make sure to wear your heavy-duty dancing shoes and, if you prefer just to watch and listen, we still promise you a rocking evening!  You can check out BABY GRAY on Facebook.

For our second concert, we are delighted (and amazed) to be presenting JOE GRANSDEN with pianist, GEOFF HAYDEN, for an evening featuring the “SONGS OF SINATRA AND FRIENDS.”  We’ve wanted to have Joe in our season for a couple of years now but always felt he was beyond our reach. Well, it took a few phone calls, a little underwriting from some dear friends, plus a scheduled engagement for Joe’s “Big Band” on Sunday, the 11th in Highlands, North Carolina, to make it happen but we are super excited that it is a reality this year. Joe, originally from New York, now lives in Atlanta and is well known throughout the country as a trumpeter extraordinaire and first-class vocalist. In addition to solo performances, Joe also performs as part of either a duo or quartet as well as fronting his own Big Band (their most recent CD “Go Getta” features saxophonist Kenny G).  Joe has performed with Michael Feinstein as well as the Atlanta Symphony and regularly plays events in California for his friend Clint Eastwood. To get the full story on Joe, you can check him out at joegransden.com or joegransden.net.

Geoff Hayden, who is the pianist for the “Joe Gransden Big Band,” is a highly acclaimed classical and jazz artist who has performed throughout the world and is also a prolific author and composer. Geoff is currently the Coordinator of Keyboard Studies at Georgia State University and we hope to entice him to perform one of his piano masterpieces sometime during the evening.

To complete our season in style and on a high note, you will want to wear your dancing shoes again so you can enjoy all your favorite dance tunes as performed by the 120 EAST BAND from Marietta, Georgia.  This 10-piece band does it all, featuring a three horn brass section as well as highlighting Kayla Taylor, an outstanding vocalist from Atlanta. Kayla has her own jazz band but just loves to spread her wings and stretch her vocals with 120 EAST. This versatile and talented band plays all over the southeast and recently was featured in a video with Dolly Parton.  Check out the band at 120eastrocks.com.

We are happy to report that there are no changes to our pricing from last year: the price is still $12 in advance (by making arrangements with Ginger Webster at 828/644-5807 before noon on Saturday) or you can pay $15 at the gate. Children under 13 are still $5 anytime. All performances start at 7:30 so allow plenty of time to get off the lake, get your chairs set up at the Pavilion and still have a little time to visit with your friends before we start. All concerts will be staged under the Pavilion - rain or shine.

This year, the Bear Paw Live! committee is comprised of Ginger Webster, Tricia Swiger, Lydia Kennedy, Marie Steensma, Beth Lucchesi, Marie Wang and Eileen Humphlett – with tireless help from their husbands, of course. We appreciate so much the prior service on the committee of Caroline Elkins, Pat Roberts and Gail Taylor and want to thank them, as well as their husbands, for believing in the idea of Bear Paw Live! from the beginning and for their many contributions of time and talent. We also appreciate the support of volunteers who pitch in when and where needed.

*Don’t forget – mark your calendar now and make your plans to be in Bear Paw on JULY 6, AUGUST 10 and AUGUST 31 for this year’s exciting Bear Paw Live! concerts.


Proxy for the 2019 Election of Directors

To the Bear Paw Property Owners Association

Board of Directors


I give (print name)_______________________________ my proxy to vote at the May 25, 2019 Bear Paw Property Owners Association meeting, or at any adjournment thereof, for the election of directors, on any other issues or matters raised at the meeting and to act on my behalf in any other business as if I personally was present. This proxy revokes all previous proxies.

I certify I am the owner, or duly authorized representative of multiple owners, of ____________________ lot/s (indicate number of lots) located in Bear Paw, and that all taxes have been paid on this/these lot(s).


Date: _____________________


Owners Signature: _______________________________________

Print Owners Name: ______________________________________







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