The Board and I want to thank everyone who helped their association and neighborhood last year. I think together we are making a difference. We had lots of free food and good company. We had lots of work. We cooked, landscaped, planned, painted. We had letters to write. We had financial contributions. We had contributions of materials. We had many people giving good sound ideas. So many people helped in so many ways, it is heartening. Iím terrible at remembering names, but I have gotten quite a few more names stuck in my head and many fond memories also. I look forward to another year of neighborly get-togethers.
I would ask you once again to re-new your membership or become a new member. We have not increased the dues, which are just $30 per year and includes all the fringe benefits as last year, such as a significant discount for the building use (see rates inside Ė no increase), free weekday communal use of grounds, quarterly festivities including free food and drinks, most importantly use of that nutria trap, etc. This will be your last newsletter this year unless you are a member.
In addition to the usual perks, we have one big addition this year. We plan to distribute a new directory for North Shore Beach in 2001. The directory is extremely helpful, which includes a phone and address list, but also has many helpful phone numbers and general information about the area. The directory is distributed to our NSBA members. Please include your email address on the membership form. This will be very helpful for us all to communicate. At this time we only have 25 on our NSBA email list.
Even if you choose not to be a member, please give us the information you would like to have in the North Shore Beach Directory.
Oh yes, you really ought to check our website. Buddy Mayfield has included more photos, articles. http://www.outlandtech.com/nsb.htm
Christmas Open House
On December 23, we had an open house with party sandwiches and hot chocolate. Joe Loyacono and Wayne Ciko brought Santa by and passed out a terrific photograph enlargement of the Finger canals. The aerial photograph was taken in 1980 and shows many vacant lots. Joe still intends to retire and we have a couple of new candidates to be Santaís helper. So with a little luck, our fifteen-year tradition of Santa on the Bayou will continue. Thanks to Joe and his family for many years of hard work and Christmas spirit. Thanks to everyone who brought snacks, cookies.
The renovation to the interior of our Community Building is nearly complete. Ray Wetta and Tommy Raymond built and painted two wood columns to box-in the exposed steel drill-pipe columns. We had a contractor re-paint the interior walls and ceiling. Sharon White cleaned all the curtains. We are still working on a few other ideas. Ray Wetta also helped fertilize the trees, which by the way, are looking spectacular since we have maintained them. Dick Pearsall let us use his tools to fertilize the trees.
Completed Building Projects
Fertilized all the oak trees and grounds (Ray Wetta)
Painted the ceiling, walls and trim in the Community Building (contracted)
Curtains cleaned (Sharon White)
Built columns around pipe supports in Building (Tommy Raymond)
Repaired BBQ pit
Spruced up the garden Sarah Petty and Sharon White
North Shore Beach Entrance Sign
Carr Dr. Bridge
According to the Department of Transportation our Carr Dr. Bridge will not be re-built until next year. I have asked for the plan specifications and they are supposed to mail them to me. I did find out the new bridge will have eight spans with concrete pillars. The bridge will be wider with 30í total clearance. The new roadbed will also be concrete.
This winter Iím sure you all noticed the startling white flocks of White Pelicans back in the marsh. We seemed to have more than Iíve seen ever before out here. They are magnificent to watch them soaring in formation over the marsh or high up. They often seem to be flying just for the pleasure of it. They do winter here and all along the Gulf Coast after their migration from Canada. Here is a bit of information from the Internet.
Although it was removed from the national list of threatened species in 1987, the American white pelican is still considered endangered in Alberta, Canada. White Pelicans arrive in Canada in late April. The birds are very social and group their nests together in colonies. They leave before freeze-up in late September and migrate to the coasts of Florida, Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coast, and Mexico for the winter.
One of the world's largest birds, it weighs 10- 18 lbs and has a wingspan up to 9 Ė 10 feet. Beneath its long, flattened bill is a bright yellow-orange pouch for feeding. But White Pelicans do not dive for their food as Brown Pelicans. White pelicans often feed together while on the water. They will swim in a line and gather a school of minnows and then in unison gently scoop the water and fish in front of them. It is graceful to see. White Pelicans live 12-14 years in the wild.
The Christmas Bird count for the White Pelican reports the highest counts in the past 10 years for St. Tammany were in 1998 and 2000. Overall the counts were very erratic and do not indicate a clear pattern of increasing or decreasing bird counts in St. Tammany.
The day after St. Valentineís Day, Sharon and I awoke to find a pair of otters at the end of our pier. They were swimming back and forth near the pier and occasionally diving. Then, they would climb up top to the fishing deck. With the binoculars we could see them playing and tumbling around on the deck. After they left, we walked out to the end of the pier and found freshly opened tops of several crabs. It seems the otters must eat the whole lower portion of the crab. This was confirmed by numerous piles of otter droppings on the deck. I guess even the otters like to have breakfast in bed with their favorite meal and mate.
Born to Crab
Crabbing season is here. I hope we have a better season than last, which was the worst Iíve seen in ten years. Please remember the size limit for crabs is five inches point to point. Also, it is illegal to use detergent or soda bottles (alone) as floats. Wildlife and Fisheries find these floats fill up with water and add to litter to our waterways. They require solid foam type float markers. You can use both together. I always keep an eye for old floats on the shorelines or in the marsh and just use the old Styrofoam floats. They are as effective as new ones, and itís a form of recycling. Also, if you crab in the canals, try to keep the floats to the side and keep the center of the channel clear.
For those who do not know, Dominick Bruno on Highway 11 sells crab bait (about half way from Carr Dr to the bridge). Dominick is a commercial crabber, but will sell poagy bait a single box at a time for about $13- $15. A box will bait about 40 traps so you will need space to freeze for what you donít use.
Traps are required to have plastic escape rings, which actually make the crabbing easier. Small crabs are generally not in the traps with crab rings and this makes the sorting of crabs easier. You really donít want a crab small enough to go through the escape ring. You should have either a commercial or recreational license to use crab traps. A recreational license allows use of up to ten traps. No license is necessary for crab nets.
NSBA Member Benefits(for just $30) -- Dues are Due NOW!
** Free weekday communal use of Community Building picnic table and grounds
** Use of Community Building for a fee & Sponsorship rights for Community Building usage
** Huge discount for Building usage fee (one dayís savings will pay for your dues for years)
** North Shore Beach Directory ***** New 2001 Directory *****
** North Shore Beach Newsletter (only 1st quarter newsletter goes to all residents)
** Free social events
** A more effective voice through an organization like the NSBA
** Absolutely free use of a nutria trap
NSBA Membership & Directory information Form
Please return to: John Lopez, 387 Carr Drive
or: North Shore Beach Association, P.O. Box 1187, Slidell, La. 70459
Last Name: _________________________________ email_____________________________
First Name: _______________________ Middle Initial(or Name): ___________
Owner ____ or Renter _____
NSB Property Address: ___________________________________________________
Mailing Address (if different): _________________________________________
2000 NSBA Membership Dues: ________ $30.00 __________ Contribution for legal fund
Regular member Associate member (NSB renter, Point Carr or Carr spur resident)
I/We would be willing to Volunteer: ___________YES
Other comments or suggestions: ___________________________________________
Additional Directory Information
Use this number for Directory: ________ - ____________
Other Resident's Names (children or others - please indicate):
Emergency Contact/Phone Number: _________________________________________