I have noticed an unfortunate trend of some members being less than helpful to newbs.

This must change. I realize it is annoying when you see n00bs do n00b things like ask questions that they could have found by searching or whatever... Well get the frick over it. I have been doing this a long time and that is nothing new. Stop choosing to be ill over it.

A friendly non-condescending reminder or point of reference that they can find the info they are looking for with the search function, along with an answer to their question (if/when possible) will suffice.
If you are unable to be friendly and/or helpful in your replies to n00bs then simply do not reply.

I have even seen some giving negative reputation points to BRAND NEW members for not searching on their first post. I can see all the rep details and will start giving negative rep to those who engage in this activity myself or suspend your ability to give reputation points.

Every single one of us were n00bs once. Our Club reputation as always typically been as a friendly environment. Let's not be a place known for being condescending poop heads.