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LIRA Newsletter

June 2013
News from Leisure Isle Residents' Association

Dear ,

Welcome to our second newsletter of 2013....
Security issues top the agenda

AS you are no doubt aware, there have been a number of distressing
criminal incidents on Leisure Isle recently.
   Members will share our deep concern at the spate of burglaries that we have experienced. After urgent discussion with Allsound, several preventative measures have been implemented in the short term:
  • Allsound have deployed guards on scooters on an hoc basis to visit/patrol the Island.
  • The guard complement on duty has been increased with an additional guard.
  • The Allsound security vehicle is to posted at Land's End on a more frequent basis.
  • ISD, a security company in Port Elizabeth, has been requested to review the current camera coverage and infrastructure.
   A LIRA sub-committee is investigating and will appoint expert consultants to advise on how we can optimise long-term security.
   We urge members to take basic precautions. Although it is indeed sad to note that we are undergoing security breaches, we must now face the reality that the relative safety that we have come to expect on Leisure Island is under threat and requires an appropriate, escalating response with co-operation from all.

Key safety tips from Allsound:
  • Close and lock all windows and doors at night and any time no one is home. Set your alarm whenever you leave your home.
  • Set your alarm at night in all unoccupied rooms.
  • Install burglar bars on any windows that may be left open at night, even on the second or third floor if they can be reached with a ladder.
  • No ladders should be left outside or anywhere that burglars can reach them.
  • Never leave any laptops, cellphones, wallets, purses, jewellery, or cash in plain view in a home or vehicle.
  • Please ensure that you have sufficient panic buttons (remote or fixed) and that you always know where they are located. In a panic situation, press and hold down for at least 3 seconds.
New Island infrastructure
THE Island entrance will soon be transformed with a new map!
   The final art work has been approved, while the building of the supporting structure and erection of the map should be completed in coming weeks.
   The project is being jointly financed by LIRA and Sotheby's — big thanks to Sheena Maré for their generous sponsorship.
Steenbok Upgrade
NEW paving has been laid at the eastern entrance to the park — and what an aesthetic and practical difference it makes!
   This project was made possible from annual contributions made by the Friends of Steenbok.
Leisure Isle Festival - 26 & 27 October
PLANS are already well advanced for the 2013 Leisure Isle Festival.
   The LIRA Committee is very grateful that stalwart festival mover-shaker, Roger Voysey, has agreed to manage the Festival again this year.
Events on Steenbok Nature Reserve

THERE has been
very positive response to LIRA's decision — made after long deliberation and consultation with Steenbok's committee — not to allow large-scale concerts and events on Steenbok park.
   This development followed the very successful Celtic & Blues Concert in March... while recognising the appeal and value of such great
cultural/social occasions and applauding its organisers, LIRA's concern was that its blessing on future events could open doors and set precedents that might give way to unforeseen and unwanted consequences.
   The committees of both LIRA and Steenbok unanimously agreed that too much has been invested, and is vested, in fostering and maintaining the environmental integrity of Steenbok. Further, it would be unwise in any way to prejudice the goal of achieving its permanent protection, under national legislation as a "National Protected Environment Area", a pre-requisite in having the municipal zoning changed from "open space" to "nature reserve" and therefore making it 'untouchable'.
For more on Steenbok, visit: 
Update on estuary health
FROM municipal reports in various media, it seems that implementation of the Knysna Estuary Pollution Action Plan is going well.
   It should be noted that swimming beaches and channels in the estuary are safe for recreational purposes. Water samples are taken monthly at 13 points throughout the estuary and the subsequent results published on the Knysna Municipality website at
   According to national Dept of Water Affairs guidelines, target water quality for recreational use may not exceed 400 E.coli/100ml. All these sites, tested in early May with lab results published late May, were well within guidelines:
  • Green Hole Culvert 110/100ml
  • Green Hole 52/100ml
  • The Heads 0/100ml
  • Bollard Bay 0/100ml
  • Crab’s Creek 20/100ml
  • Salt River 120/100ml
  • Belvidere 120/100ml  
Knysna's secret season

WE are enjoying a wonderful winter season, with mostly warm-sunny days and crisp to cold evenings. Not too many stormy patches as yet, but they, too, are special and welcome.

   What a pity that most visitors and many LI home owners miss out on Knysna's best weather champagne days with no wind or very little... days that are best described as 'almost heartbreakingly beautiful'.

   The island, too, is looking gorgeous at this time, especially with all the aloes in full bloom.

 We welcome your comments and feedback on this newsletter. And your input, too! Your news, ideas, stories, happenings are welcome.

Good reasons why you
belong to LIRA

SOME LI homeowners, alas, still fail to see the benefits of belonging to LIRA, but fortunately the majority do. With this in mind, here's a reminder of what LIRA does for us:

1. Providing first line of security defence through:
(a) Cameras at entrance
(b) Regular bike patrols by guards
(c) Allsound response vehicles, scooters
(d) Professionally trained guards
(e) Regular liaison with Allsound management.

2. Actively involved in environment protection.

3. Originally responsible for the establishment of Steenbok Nature Reserve and continued input into its management and operation.

4. Responsible for recent reduction of rateable value of properties on the Island through ongoing work on property sales vs municipal valuations.

5. Ongoing liaison with councillors and municipality on matters affecting residents, viz:
(a) Maintenance of sea walls, roads, signage and public amenity areas.
(c) Crowd behaviour over peak holiday season.
(d) Enforcement of by-laws such as no alcohol in public areas.
(e) Monitoring deviations from building standards.
(f) Working with Municipality to ensure that new legislation doesn’t negatively impact on island property, its value and saleability.
(g) Being a ‘watchdog’ for islanders that no new/unacceptable ‘precedents’ are set with regards to development on the Island.

6. Acting as  one voice for the Island community.

7. Employing gardeners once a week to maintain the look of Leisure Isle.

8. Ensuring the Leisure Isle is represented on the Council’s Ward Committee.

9. Providing input on behalf of Leisure Isle , into the IDP and budgeting process.

More on LI's silent sentinel

LAST newsletter we reported on the rather bedraggled Grey Heron that, for several years now, has stood sentinal in the area on the left of the causeway where it meets the Island.
   Thanks to Islander Ian Husskinson who let us know that its name is "Henry or Henrietta and has been known as such for a very long time".
   That the heron clearly was looking victim of a meagre diet tugged at the heart-strings of Islander Bob Hunt who has now taken it on himself to feed 'Henri' with a tasty pilchard every day, in the hope that it will give the bird some energy for more successful hunting.
   So far, so good. 'Henri' is looking good - and and eagerly awaits and enjoys the daily feeding session.
   Nice one, Bob!
Happy news on our injured Spotted Eagle Owl
THE injured owlet, hit by a car in Links Drive a few months ago, has made a good recovery from its injuries.
   It has been cared for at the raptor rehab centre, Radical Raptors, who report that their vet has given the okay for for its release.
   Radical Raptors is waiting to have a ring put onto one of the bird's legs for future identification. Thereafter, they will release it on a dairy farm in the Rheenendal area where the farmer has a rat problem and has a 'no rat poison' policy.
Good spotting!
This bushbuck was sighted on Sat June 8 in the wetlands opposite the turn off to Leisure Isle.
Keeping moving!
THE island has a new resident physio, Gael Stephens, who has relocated from Cape Town. She has long worked with the elderly and has started a seated exercise class at Leisure Gardens on Wednesday mornings.
   Being a little wobbly on your pins is no reason not to exercise and keep supple and warm!
   Seen here enjoying the class are Patty de Kock, Peggy Ford and Alpha Visser.
Spread the LIRA news!
LIRA wants as many Islanders as possible to receive these newsletters.
   If you have family members, tenants or friends who would be interested in getting our news, we'd like to add them to our mailing database.
   Please send email details to Brenda Neall.