FROM THE ACTING CHAIRMAN - VERMONT RATEPAYERS ASSOCIATION
Anita Taylor, our dedicated and efficient secretary is on maternity leave, expecting twins. Her absence has revealed just how important she is to the VRA. Besides writing up the minutes, and preparing agendas, Anita is responsible for the distribution of trees. She also, inter alia, initiated and actively supports the popular ‘Friday at Flamingo Pan’ braais, in summer. The VRA wishes her well in her preparation for the big event.
This, of course, means we are even shorter than before, in terms of members of the VRA Committee, and I join the editor in appealing for residents to come forward and assist the VRA.
To judge from the number of vehicles on our roads, the Kalfie Fees was a great success. It was encouraging to see the Traffic Officials deployed on point duty at strategic intersections. This resulted in heavy traffic moving at a reasonable pace between the various venues. I hope the same can be done with the upcoming Whale Festival traffic!
DON MCDONALD (028-3163362)
VRA-ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
This is early notice that the AGM of the Vermont Ratepayers Association will be held at 6pm on Friday 3rd December in the De Wet Hall. The guest speaker at this event will be well known Vermont resident and birding expert, Mike Ford, who will talk on ‘The Birds of Vermont’. This promises to be both interesting, and entertaining. Please make every effort to attend, this, the most important event in our Association’s year. Remember that in terms of a change to our Constitution a couple of years ago, all ratepayers in Vermont are automatically members of our Association.
THE VERMONT RATEPAYERS ASSOCIATION COMMITTEE
Our Acting Chairman, Don, has again appealed for members of our community to come forward and volunteer to serve on our Committee. Most immediately, to take over from our secretary Anita! If you can assist in this regard, please give Don a call. At last year’s AGM we didn’t manage to fill all the vacancies on our Committee, and have been under strength all year, limiting what we have been able to achieve for the Community. We’ve done a lot (as Don will elaborate on at the AGM), but there is much more that needs to be done. One of our objectives, for example, is to develop a Marketing Plan for Vermont. So we need a number of additional members. On a positive note, following on our last appeal, Hein Moller came forward, and has taken over responsibility for the data base, and distributing our newsletter via e-mail. Thank you Hein! Let’s have more Vermonters following in Hein’s footsteps, so the VRA can deliver to its full potential!
VOS COASTAL PATH UPDATE
I am no longer a member of the VOS Coastal Path Committee, so I have asked Avril Steenkamp, the Chair of the Committee to provide an update. Avril writes as follows:
‘The funding from the Overstrand Municipal budget for 2010 / 2011 - R200 000 - will be shared between Vermont and Sandbaai.
In Vermont, the first new section will be the short part from Jan Rabie Pool, in a westerly direction to link up with the existing path. Thereafter the path will continue from where we left off- west of the ‘sloepie’- towards Brekvis bay. The new method of construction will be cheaper than the aggregate, which means that we will be able to do a longer section. The path will also be on higher ground, far from any potential sea storm damage.
The new bridge across part of Haarder Bay, near Davies Pool, was not part of our planning - not on our budget - however the donation of wood has made this possible. Jip Margadant a regular visitor from the Netherlands to Onrus decided that it would be rather nice to have a bridge at that spot. He donated the wood and his nephew, Arnaud Wieffering, an Onrus resident, is constructing the bridge which should be completed before the end of August. (VOS is paying for the construction). The wood was shipped from Durban to Saldanaha Bay free of charge by Conti Lines - (Antwerpen Belgium). It was then collected and transported by road from Saldanaha Bay to Onrus by Imperial Cargo (Paarl) also free of charge. It is great that these out of town people are willing to support this worthy project of ours - How about the locals!?
We will now construct a short section of path linking the new bridge to the existing path. (VOS is paying)
Donations are needed. ‘(Please contact Avril on 028-3164103 if you would like to make a donation, or buy a ‘memory tile’ for R2000)
By the way its good to see that the Municipality is coming to the party also in helping with maintenance of the path. Last week a team of workers were busy weed eating next to the path. Thank you Overstrand Municipality!
SAFETY AND SECURITY IN VERMONT
Assuming that you have read the hints in the last two issues of the Vermonter and assuming that you already have the contact details of at least two of your neighbours, who will come to your rescue in the event of an emergency, consider the following DO'S AND DON'TS:
DO make sure, should you be alone at home and without any other form of protection other than your dog/s, that you do not leave your doors and windows wide open. Should you have to go outside to do something in the yard or garden take the dog/s with you. Alternatively execute this task when you know that your neighbours are at home and aware of your presence. DO invest in a panic button that will sound an alarm that your neighbours will hear in the event of an emergency. DO test this alarm at least once a month, having advised your neighbours of your intensions. In this way they too will become familiar with the sound of YOUR ALARM and not that of the house behind or next to yours. DON'T just rely on your dog/s to sound the alarm or to protect you from an intruder or trespasser, they have ways and means of distracting or demobilizing your pets. An alarm can be replaced over night, your pets can't be!
Should you or your dog/s detect a noise outside during the night and you wish to investigate. DO turn off the lights in the room were you are, in this way should there be a stranger outside they'll have difficulty in seeing you and you may safely call for help. Should you choose to turn on the spot or flood light/s it may well serve as a deterrent? DON'T merely open a door to go outside if you are not sure that it is safe to do so. There may well be more than one person watching your movements.
Just going to the nearby shop or into town? DO keep to the speed limit and DO wear your safety belt. Most people assume that a safety belt is meant to save one's life or prevent injury. Only partially true. The main purpose for having to wear a safety belt is to enable the driver to maintain control of the vehicle that he is driving; especially at speeds exceeding 60kph and to prevent any passengers from being flung across in the vehicle should the driver have to suddenly change speed or direction.
DO adjust your speed to the prevailing road and weather conditions. Vermont has many narrow roads. This may often necessitate having to travel at speeds substantially slower than the official speed limit. DON'T assume that speed humps will make the road/s safer or that should you assume a vehicle/s to be speeding in your road that a speed hump or similar measure will be constructed. DO set a good example for others to follow at all times, this in the long run is the best deterrent.
BE PART OF THE SOLUTION. BECOME INVOLVED!!
We make no apology for this subject becoming a regular feature in our newsletter The intersection with Vermont Ave is such a dangerous one that we know of residents who are avoiding using this intersection, for example using the Old Main Road, and entering the R43 at the Kidbrooke traffic light-thus placing unnecessary traffic strain on this road. In our last newsletter we sketched some of the medium to longer term plans for the intersection. At the recent Ward Committee meeting Clr Solomon confirmed that new slip roads would be built soon at the intersection. We do hope so. But meanwhile, we thought immediate, cheap measures to help reduce carnage on the road would be to lower the speed limit on this section of the R43, have regular, visible policing here, and erect ‘High Collision Area’ warning signs. Clr Solomon has promised that there will be a fixed speed camera on this section of the R43. This will certainly help. However, we were disappointed that our other suggestions were not received sympathetically by the Ward Committee.
BIRDING IN VERMONT
Have you noticed how busy and vocal the birdlife in our suburb is at the moment? Spring is in the air! On our walks along the VOS Coastal Path here we have been overwhelmed by the birds’ activity. I commented on the arrival of African Openbills in the last newsletter. We saw one on the VOS path this morning! Also, on a recent walk we were surprised to see a Malachite Kingfisher busy in one of the gullies next to the path. This was a real treat, as this beautiful little jewel of a bird is normally only seen on inland waters. (Unlike Giant and Pied Kingfishers which we regularly see along the path.) Another bird, new to us in the area was an Olive Woodpecker, in our back garden. And recently, a Knysna Warbler has been heard from the path, a bird none of us have previously come across in our area. So keep your eyes and ears open, you never know what might turn up! And in closing this paragraph, a reminder that we are coming to that time of year when the many pairs of Cape Spurfowl (Francolin) in our area start producing their clutches of chicks. Please be particularly aware of these and make a special effort to keep your dogs and cats from harassing the birds and their chicks.