It’s the good life
Our Fish Fry
The April Fish and Oyster Fry was delicious. It was even more delicious than expected. We never know how much food to plan for. Tommy Raymond, Harry Hildebrand, Buddy Mayfield and Bennie Baehr were catching as many fish as they could. Harry said the party was two weeks early for the normal trout run around the end of April. They ended up with 70 pounds of fresh Lake trout filets. I planned to buy a sack of oysters to have on the half shell or fry, but then Jimmy Petty called a couple days beforehand. He had apparently been thinking about those fried oysters for a while. He deftly suggested that maybe instead of getting a sack of oysters, why not get a gallon of shucked oysters instead? Interesting idea, except I like oysters on the half shell. I told him I would think about it and on an impulse later decided to get, a ½ sack of oysters and a gallon of shucked oysters. Jim was still thinking about those fried oysters. The day of the fry, as I’m unloading my truck at the Community Building, Jim drives up and a little sheepishly asks about the oysters. I was pleased to tell him I had gotten the gallon of oysters as he suggested. Then even more sheepishly, he admitted so did he..an extra gallon of oysters were in his car. We did not quite finish off all the fish but we did eat all 36 dozen (432) oysters. Maybe next year we’ll get three gallons. I guess it should not have been a surprise. Tommy did an excellent job frying again.
Oh yes, we also got about fifty memberships, had a $125 50/50 prize, a bonfire, and a good meeting.
Thanks to Irene Thibodaux for fruit salad, Helen Boepple for Jambalaya, Rose Mayfield for the potato salad, Sarah Petty for the cole slaw, Yvette Warren for deserts and others who contributed.
And big thanks to the Prince of 50/50 Jack Wester for collecting the money and ‘hawking’ the tickets.
Next General Meeting
Aside from the usual free food and drinks we have our Patron Raffle for a $100 gift certificate for Michael’s Restaurant. If you have not made the Patron contribution. There still time to send in the additional $20 over the dues. You do not have to be present to win, but you will miss out on the fun. It appears we are on track to exceed last year’s membership, which was itself a record.
Friday, July 12, NSBA Family Picnic
Space Walk, Snowballs, Bratwurst, Hotdogs, Crabs, Watermelon,
Water Sprinklers, Games, Patron Raffle
Start 6:00 p.m.
Short business meeting starting at 7:00
(Please Call Sharon or I if you plan to bring a dish – 847-1889)
The Public Beach Proposition Offered
A proposal has been made to the Recreation District regarding the public beach. It is a little confusing. (The Times Picayune article on it was very misleading.) The Recreation District has been taking the initiative on the Public Beach and a few other residents have gotten involved. First, you should realize that in the middle of the public beach is a private piece of property. This property was recently purchased by a developer (Bob Delaney) from someone who purchased it in a tax sale. Mr. Delaney has proposed he swap his lot for another piece of property at the end of the public property (east end). He has said he intends to build his own personal residence on this lot. He has offered to clear the beach property and possibly assist with dredging the finger canal mouth. There are a lot of questions to answer. The recreation district filed for permission to clear the property about six months ago and is waiting for a reply. Also, the undeveloped public property is classified as a wetland and will likely require a permit from the Corps of Engineers. We have offered to let the Recreation District use our Community Building for a special meeting to discuss the beach. In addition, we have asked Doc Hebert, who is heading the committee, to keep us informed of developments.
Free Access to Community Grounds and Bathrooms for Members
At the last General Meeting there were some members who expressed interest in greater access to the building and suggested the building be left open a lot more. A show of hands vote was clearly against a significant change. However, the board has been searching for some reasonable approaches so that members can have some additional access without creating great management and overhead problems. We are proposing on a trial basis that the Community Building Grounds, with access to the bathrooms and kitchen, could be open on specifically designated days as long as certain conditions are met.
We propose the following on a trial basis until the end of the year:
The following days have been designated for now:
July 28, August 18, September 2 (Labor Day), October 20.
The Building will not be opened unless some member calls. The Board reserves the right to cancel this policy if problems arise. However, we have faith that with a normal measure of common sense and courtesy this will work and allow us to enjoy the facility and grounds more.
Fire Protection Update
We have the tentative consent of three neighbors to put dry fire hydrants in our neighborhood.
Proposed Dry Hydrant sites are: end of Debbie, end of Clara, and on Carr near Debbie Dr. We also have a number of "side suction" locations along Carr Dr. that will be marked. We have a good location for a dry hydrant on Jacqueline, but have not been able to reach the owners. If anyone has information on the owner of 127 Jacqueline please let us know. We have not identified good dry hydrant locations on Evella or Terry, but we do have possible front suction locations. I will be sending a letter shortly to the Fire Department with our request. They have indicated they will meet our needs.
Chief Kennedy has reviewed the fire reports from the fire on Terry last year. He said a mistake in recording was made and that the initial report that their response was 19 minutes was incorrect and that the correct time was 9 minute 54 seconds. This is in line with other response times I have gathered which are generally 8 to 11 minutes.
A REMINDER: PLEEEEEEEEEEEZE, DO NOT FEED THE ALLIGATORS. A lot of us feel the alligators are really cool to watch. There is little chance of them becoming a problem AS LONG AS THEY DO NOT ASSOCIATE US WITH FOOD, WHICH IS EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU FEED THEM. I know it’s tempting to feed them, but you really harm the alligators when you do.
Fishing with the Web
I stumbled on a cool website to find real-time tide data close to home. At the website, tide data are updated hourly and you can easily generate a graph of the past week’s tides. Of course you don’t really care about the past week’s tides, but a quick look at the graph tells you very likely when the next days tide will rise and fall. You can easily tell how much it is going to fall also. The tide data is measured at the Rigolets so is generally a good approximation of tidal movement along the Trestles and Hwy 11 Bridge. Tide tables in the paper are often further away from us and are just predictions. This web site has the actual measured tide movement close to home.
Real time tidal data at Rigolets: http://www.mvn.usace.army.mil/cgi-bin/watercontrol.pl?85700
Buddy has set up a link from our NSBA website.
At the March Meeting the question of building insurance was raised. We have just renewed our policies and I will summarize them here.
The three policies the NSBA carries are:
Annual Fee coverage
Board Insurance $1090
Building Insurance (2002) $808 $123,000 Building
$13,161 Business property (contents)
Liability Insurance (2001) $2154 $1,000,000 aggregate
Tom Bonser is now officially our Guardian of the Flag. The old flag had gotten twisted around the top of the pole and somehow the rope broke. Our vigilant flagman replaced the flag and rope. Once again the red, white and blue honors the front of our Community Building. Please, give Tom a pat on the back.
Jones Dredge Permit
On May 1st a permit was given to Josh Jones/ Waterfront Developers to partially dredge around the island at the end of Carr Dr. The permit has several restrictions and limitations. For example, the areas of most ecologic value cannot be disturbed such as the abandoned marina areas cannot be dredge or filled. The canal around the island cannot be dredged closer than 15 feet – once again to protect the grass beds. The permit states unequivocally it is not authorizing or permitting any new bridge or navigation rights. It even states home sites cannot be filled until a bridge has been permitted. A required mitigation was paid for $3500 to the Nature Conservancy toward restoration of Pine Savannah habitat. The whole permit is on the NSBA website. The board feels the COE compromised to protect the environment and to limit what they permitted. Is such a compromise possible in regard to a bridge? I do not know of any simple solution for a bridge. However one proposal that some neighbors have suggested is to have a shuttle barge installed to move vehicles across the canal. This would address the biggest concern the neighbors have about a drawbridge. If a drawbridge is broken, it will almost certainly be in a down position and be a problem for NSB residents. However if there were a problem with a shuttle barge, it would likely be at the bank and not impede navigation. At this time there is no decision from the Coast Guard on the Jones bridge permit application.
In May there were two sighting of a manatee in the Faciane Canal. First, the Jacque family sighted one at 301 Carr Dr. and then the Smith family at 411 Carr Dr. These are the first I have heard of in our canal in the 10 years we have lived here. Rather than re-write an article, I have below a nice summary article published two years ago about Manatee in the Lake Pontchartrain region.
Reprint from the Basics of the Basin, 2000, University of New Orleans
Distribution of the Manatee (Trichechus manatus) in the Lake Pontchartrain Estuarine System S. W. Abadie, University of New Orleans, C. G. Brantley, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, S. Mickal, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and S. Shively, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
Manatees are large, endangered mammals inhabiting both fresh and salt water. Their average length is 10 feet and average weight is 1000 pounds. As vegetarians, they will consume about 100 pounds of vegetation per day including submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV), seagrasses, benthic macroalgae, floating plants and even shoreline vascular plants.
Unlike most marine mammals, manatees are intolerant of cold temperatures (< 200C). Although most manatees are year round residents of Florida or Central America, they have been known to migrate to areas along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts, including Lake Pontchartrain, during the warm summer months. However, due to their sensitivity to cold waters, their geographical range is limited and during the winter, they tend to aggregate near warm water discharges and springs in Florida. Therefore, most of what is known about manatees has been from studies of these concentrated assemblages.
According to aerial surveys conducted in Florida during the winter of 1999, the manatee population seems to be slowly increasing. The population is now estimated to be at over 2,000 individuals. This increase in the population of manatees is due largely to conservation efforts in Florida, including protecting habitat and enforcing boat speed zones. Although sightings in Lake Pontchartrain are rare, there has been an increase in the number of sightings since the mid-1990’s. The population rise in Florida may explain the increase in manatee sightings in and around the Lake Pontchartrain Basin.
Lake Pontchartrain has experienced recent water quality improvements and an increased abundance of the SAV, Ruppia maritima. Also, average water temperatures in the lake are at or exceed 200C from March to October. Thus, because of the favorable temperatures, abundant food supply, and relatively short distance from larger Florida populations, the Lake Pontchartrain estuary could potentially provide important habitat for manatees during the warmer months of the year.
A list of manatee accounts compiled by the Louisiana Natural Heritage Program, dating back to 1929, depicts manatee sightings in Louisiana as very uncommon and sporadic. In the Lake Pontchartrain estuary, sightings have been recorded from 1943-1999 (Figure 1). During 1995, 21 separate reports of manatees, comprising at least that many individuals were recorded in the Lake Pontchartrain area, including a report during the winter in a hot water canal near Michoud’s Entergy facility. The following year, only two sightings were reported. This may be a result of a red tide episode in Florida. Since 1997, there have been 16 sightings in the estuarine system and a general increase in the number of manatees per report. Unfortunately, these sightings are anecdotal and since a formal survey has never been conducted in and around the lake, an accurate count is not available. Basic information is still lacking on the number of manatees present, habitats used, and vegetation utilized in the Lake Pontchartrain basin.
Recent sightings have sparked local interest, giving an opportunity to educate the public on this endangered species and the overall environmental status of the lake. These sightings also have the potential to provide us with valuable information on manatee behavior outside of their winter congregations. Improving our knowledge of summer migration patterns may be an important component in manatee conservation.
Louisiana Manatee Sightings East of the Mississippi River
A letter to NSB residents from Dr. Richard Warren regarding contractors:
Dear Fellow Residents:
Numerous NSB residents have voiced frustration at getting contractors to come out to do piling work, deck work or dredging work. Mostly the problem is that the job isn’t big enough to make it worth their effort. Mobilizing equipment for a small job may be prohibitive for a commercial venture. I spoke to Nicky Mones Sr. with N&N who is doing a job on Carr Dr. He said he is interested in small jobs if there were enough of them. I suspect A.M. Phibious would also be interested. I am compiling names of those who might be interested in forming a group to attract a contractor to do several jobs at the same time once out in the area. This could make a contractor available, but would also minimize cost of mobilizing for a small job. Please call and let me know if you are interested. Principally I would like to know:
Are you interested in such an arrangement?
What kind of work do you need done? And when?
Once I have a general idea of the number and type of jobs that need to be done, I will speak with N&N, A.M. Phibious and possibly others. I will then call you back with this additional information. If a timetable for work can be developed, the contractor will call you specifically to work out your job needs, estimate etc.
Remember in numbers there is strength.
Dr. Richard Warren – second Vice President NSBA 985-781-8727
Please remember Benny Baehr every time you cross the Carr Dr. Bridge. For two years Benny has been cleaning the bridge area and making our entrance spotless, in spite of the troves of thoughtless crabbers who litter week after week.
Community Building Usage Rates -Reservations 847-1889
Community Bldg and picnic area
$200 for 1st 3 hours, $30 each additional hour
Picnic area & outside pavilion (no electric or A/C)
$75 flat rate
Community Bldg and picnic area
$350 for 1st 3 hours, $50 each additional hour
Picnic area & outside pavilion (no electric or A/C)
$150 flat rate
NNSBA 2002 Calendar
Spring Crab and Crawfish Boil July 12
Fall Fundraiser Late September or early October
Halloween Party (costume optional) October 26
Santa at the Beach December 14
A Bite of History
When I spoke to Miss Ruby Aymami about the old skating rink, she mentioned a lady called Suzie Pichon who ran the restaurant at the end of Carr Dr. long ago. It turns out that Suzie Pichon unfortunately passed away three years ago, but I did recently speak to her son Armand Pichon Jr. Armand, now 68 years old, recalled returning to Slidell after the war in the 50’s to find his mother - Suzie Pichon and Father Armand "Bud" Pichon, running a restaurant at the end of Carr Dr. called "North Shore Beach Harbor Restaurant". The restaurant was originally built by PJ O Reilly and included skiff rentals, docks, baits etc. Apparently the restaurant was part of a small marina. It pre-dated the attempts by Jewell and Ray Lamastus to further build-up the marina complex at the end of Carr Dr. Jewell most likely dredged to make the island, and later I believe it was Lamastus who brought in the old Coast Guard building and likely the old Quonset hut across the canal, which has just been removed. However the marina that Armand told me about was entirely on the Point Carr side of the Faciane canal and pre-dated all that.
The restaurant, according to Armand Pichon, was similar to Vera’s and was very popular in its day. His mother was the cook from beginning to end. His father Armand Sr. helped with the restaurant, but also trapped and processed soft-shell crabs. The restaurant was at the edge of the canal on land. The restaurant was small…Armand guesses 15’ x 30’ feet, but included an upstairs where his parents lived. It was the life they loved. They bought locally what seafood they did not provide themselves , and would serve typical fair of boiled crabs and shrimp or fried fish, shrimp and oysters – some things don’t change.
Thanks to Armand Pichon Jr. for relating these memories for us.
North Shore Beach Association
P.O. Box 1187
Slidell, La. 70459
Dudley Smith - The roof
Bayou Sauvage article
New board articles??
Letters to the editor?
Fire chief meeting Fire committee fire prevention new fire reports
Directory corrections / additions
Restaurant end of Carr
CB increase garbage pick up
Landscaping of grounds Amy Anderson
Fund raising David Anderson
Jones bridge consultants highlights
No wake signs
Trees mercote, Frey
Terry manning public beach lattice
Screening area of patio
Carr dr prop analysis
New residents houses
March newsletter: Newsletter, membership form, self addressed envelope with stamp
Fire report times corrections etc ;ocations
Harbor Inn Rest at end of Carr Dr. run by Buddy and Susie Pichon Susie is still alive in Slidell (Bayou Liberty)
CB trash pick up
Review insurance cost/ coverage
Coast Guard letter
Ground water/ community water