NEWS CLIPS - March 2012

Over Crowding of Beaches
Christmas, Boxing and New Year days have traditionally seen massive crowds thronging to the Green Hole and Bollard Bay. The past holiday season was no exception; in fact it was much worse with senior officials of Knysna Municipality and the Police agreeing with LIRA that it was by far the worst ever.

National laws and Knysna by-laws were flagrantly broken and ignored and Leisure Isle was trashed with enormous quantities of litter, high levels of alcohol consumption, noise levels early in the morning till late at night, drunk people urinating in our gardens and defecating in the bushes, braai fires wherever they chose, foul language, nudity, and abusive behaviour with un-controlled crowds spilling over onto residential verges and blocking driveways.

After careful consideration of reports coming in from residents, accommodation establishments, estate agents, visitors (both local and overseas) and Knysna tourism LIRA concluded that the illegal behaviour could no longer be tolerated. It appointed a six person sub-committee who assembled a 35 page detailed memorandum that was recently presented to the deputy mayor, municipal manager and other senior officials of Knysna Municipality, and a few days later to senior officers of Knysna Police.



The memorandum recommends a number of actions with emphasis on:
  • Banning the consumption of alcohol on beaches and public areas
  • Restricting the number of visitors, and limiting the hours when facilities within residential areas may be used
  • Providing properly trained and effective Law Enforcement Officers at peak times.
At the presentations the LIRA seven person presentation team emphasized that the authorities MUST:
  • act immediately on these issues
  • remove the causes for complaint
  • protect the rights of citizens and residents
  • act with urgency to protect and foster business interests.
LIRA is cautiously encouraged by the discussions with the authorities and the clear understanding that the Municipality realizes that matters have reached a most serious stage which, if not addressed will affect property values, tourism and thus the fragile economy of the region. The presentation team was particularly encouraged by one specific response from Lauren Waring the Municipal Manager that in regard to enforcing the ban on liquor a public campaign will start immediately to ensure “a difference over Easter”

Further details are contained in a detailed letter recently emailed by Keith Hollis (Chairman of LIRA) to members.

Click here to view this letter

Valuation of Properties for Rates
The revised Municipal Valuation Roll for the period 1 July 2012 to 30 June 2016 has recently been finalised and is now open for inspection. Those property owners who have not already done so are urged to ascertain the property values that have been determined for their properties. It is these values that will be used in calculating the amount of rates payable for the next four years. An examination of the roll shows that a number of property owners have already made representations and had their valuations reduced.

As a service to members we have copied that section of the roll relating to Leisure Isle.

Click here to view this and establish the value of your property against the Erf No of your stand. Alternatively visit the Leisure Isle Library where a copy may be viewed.

If you are unhappy with the value you are invited by the Municipality to submit an objection before 2 April 2012. Objection forms are available from the Municipal Offices and Geoffrey and Christine operating from 1st Floor, Municipal Building, Queen Street, Knysna have proved most helpful in answering queries and completing the prescribed objection form. They can be contacted on 044 302 6508 and Geoffrey’s cell number is 083 559 0606.

Security




We must unfortunately report two incidents of theft during the early hours of Thursday 9th February. Laptops, cell phones and a considerable amount of cash and personal effects were taken from two residences, in Bayswater and De Smidt Drives. In neither case was there forced entry. Access was through unbarred windows which had been left open.

Allsound and the Lira guards continue to be vigilant. A few days ago the guards followed up on an incident which led to the arrest of an individual who appears to have previous convictions and who was out on parole.

We have reason to believe that the perpetrators are entering the Island through the Green Hole area with entry facilitated at times of low tide. The two incidents of the 9th February were during low tide and full moon.

We appreciate that this spate of burglaries are of great concern to residents. Allsound and SAPS are of opinion that these incidents are mainly opportunistic and are confident that their focused and increased patrols will lead to the arrest of the perpetrator/s.

We again strongly urge residents to take prudent precautions and ensure that windows and doors, through which entry can be made, are not left open, especially at night.

We also urge members to be alert and report any suspicious person/incidents to the guards.
Contact number: 083 330 8533


Membership Fees
It is disturbing to note that although we are now entering the fifth month of LIRA's financial year there are still a substantial number of members who pay membership fees annually, who have not yet paid for the current year. This is a frightening trend and we must appeal to all those in arrear to PAY UP urgently. If on the other hand there are reasons for a delay in remitting membership fees please communicate with our chairman Keith Hollis or our treasurer James Botha.

Steenbok Nature Reserve




The AGM of Steenbok Nature Reserve will be held at 5:00 pm on Tuesday 6 March at the Leisure Isle Boat Club. Visitors are welcome and snacks and refreshments will be provided. The operational report for the past year and plans for the future will be presented. This will be followed by Lorna Watt of WESSA (Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa) talking on "Birding on the Knysna Lagoon". The talk will include details of the annual lagoon bird count.

A few days later at 10:00 am on Friday 9 March Esther Townsend, one of our committee members will be leading the first of a series of practical workshops for beginners on the Identification of "Plants in Steenbok". If you would like to attend, or need further information, phone Esther on 044 382 0046.

Management of Steenbok Nature Reserve appreciates the financial support of its "Friends". If you would like to become a "Friend" with an annual contribution of R300 - Click here and complete the Application Form

Municipal Affairs
New Municipal Manager
LIRA congratulates Lauren Waring on her appointment as Municipal Manager of Knysna Municipality. Following municipal elections over a year ago the then incumbent resigned and Lauren, then Director of Planning and Development, was appointed Acting Municipal Manager. In this position she has clearly demonstrated that she has what it takes to "make a real difference".

Following a long and comprehensive recruitment process Lauren was recently selected as the most suitable candidate and her permanent appointment as Municipal Manager was announced. LIRA has established excellent relationships with Lauren and is impressed with her public commitments that include:
"I believe in delegation, but with a hands-on approach and attention to detail. We have to foster internal and external communication channels and create an environment focused on service delivery. I will not hesitate to deal with non-performance or any form of misconduct within this Municipality."

We wish Lauren best wishes in the demanding position that she now commands and assure her of our support.

Establishment of Ward Committees
Following the re-activation by Knysna Municipality of Ward Committees we are happy to report that Chris Henwood and Ricky Maskew, both active members of the LIRA committee, have been nominated and agreed to serve on the Ward 9 committee under which Leisure Isle falls.

Chris represents Knysna Ratepayers and Ricky carries the environmental portfolio. It will be useful to have this additional and formal link to Knysna Municipality. Ward 9 also includes neighbouring suburbs such as The Heads, Thesen Isle, Pezula, Hornlee and Hunters Home.

Website Gallery Competition




We will be updating the Photo Gallery on the LIRA website during the second quarter of the year. Entries are invited for a competition to choose 25 photos for display on the website. All entries will be shortlisted by an independent judge, and the 25 photos selected will be judged by judges from the Knysna Photographic Society to choose the winner and four runners up. The winner will receive a prize of an A3 enlargement, donated by FotoFirst Knysna.

CRITERIA
All photos should depict some aspect of life on Leisure Isle, be it scenic, animal and birdlife, plants, or of course people and their activities. The photos must be either of Leisure Isle, taken on Leisure Isle or from Leisure Isle. We are looking for images which convey the special quality of life on this island.

HOW TO ENTER
Email your digital photos to Margaret Richards (drumcott@iafrica.com) The size of the photos should not exceed 1024 pixel wide by 768 pixels high, and portrait-shaped photos should not exceed 768 pixels high. Images should be saved in JPG, not larger than 400kb.

TIMELINE
All entries must be received by 30 April

Fresh Fish for Dinner




Earlier in the year Ricky, one of our members, saw a seal feeding in front of his Cearn Drive house. He was fascinated so took some house guests in his boat to investigate. They were cruising, just in front of his house, when one of them shouted, "watch out for the rocks!" He knew there were no rocks but was amazed to see a huge shoal of spotted grunter, varying in size from 1kg to 2,5kg’s, next to the boat.

"The seal, kept the shoal in a ball, and from time to time darted into the shoal, catching a grunter. More amazing to see, was that the seal was only after the roe (eggs) from the grunter. The seal would open the fish just below the gills and strip out the roe. The seal then discarded the whole fish and continued catching fish from the same shoal for quite some time. One of our lady guests saw supper floating a short distance from the boat. Without a second thought, she jumped off and dived for the dead fish which was later cooked providing fresh fish for dinner."

Contact Us
  • Persons interested in sponsoring a memorial bench along Cearn and Bayswater Drives are invited to contact us to discuss. There are a number of benches that now need replacing at a cost of R3000 and there are different positions to choose from. The new donor will be entitled to erect a plaque for the duration of the life of the bench. Phone Paul on 082 800 0052 or click below to send an email.
  • Treasurer Wanted: As part of a policy to broaden the number of volunteers involved in running Steenbok Nature Reserve applications are invited for the position of Treasurer. Contact Roger on 083 754 5390 or email info@steenboknaturereserve.org.za
  • We welcome your comments on any matter. Click here to send.


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