Beach Woods Bulletin, Edition Number 001, April 2019

 

Please do not reply to this e-mail! We do not want to take the chance of someone's computer/device contaminating the BW Bulletin contact list.

You may reach me, the self-appointed editor for the time being, at garyhouchens@hotmail.com or 321-768-0766.

Beach Woods Newsletter Restarted. The goal of this electronically distributed newsletter is to offer easily perused and easily sourced information about our community – both within and outside our gates. You will get a feel of what to expect if you just read or scan these articles, which hopefully will be brief yet informative. No aims for a Pulitzer Prize for newspapers. Just the facts, as we learn them.

Do not expect monthly editions. Postings will come as enough ideas and information are available to warrant the time and energy to draft. I (Gary Houchens) am not in this alone; a number of folks thankfully have volunteered to help. You may “unsubscribe” from these mailings simply by letting me know by using the above contact data. Please pass this on to your BW friends who may wish to be added to our newsletter mailing list. (Note: This is not being e-mailed from the BW Office at this time.)

New Members on Board of Directors (2019 - 2020). New Board members elected at the annual membership meeting (April 11) are Chuck Least and Linda Calise, replacing Jack Lynch (Board President) and Dave Bates (Vice President) who did not run. John Wiener was reelected to the Board and and was made President of the Board at the follow-on Board meeting. (The retirement packages for Jack and Dave included applause and “thank you” expressions.)

 

Also approved (159 to 76) at the membership meeting was the monthly maintenance fee. The new fee rates start in May and are noted in the proxy votes mailed to you. For details of what you are expected to pay, contact the BW Office. Also, at the homeowner meeting, a membership resolution passed. It requested that the Board name a committee to propose updates to our BW by-laws. Any amendments drafted require a pre-announced vote of the entire BW membership.

BW Rules and Regulations. The March Board of Director's meeting emphasized the need to follow our BW rules and regulations which are documented in our phone directory. Also, noted was the need to submit requests to the BW Office before making or contracting for our individual residential exterior repairs/replacements.

Lagoon Cleanup. Several of us BW residents attended a town hall-type meeting in February at the Fla. Inst. of Technology. The title of the presentations and panel discussion says it all: Sewage Systems, Septics and Muck in Our Lagoon – Preview of 2019 Lagoon Project Plan Update. Scientists and environmental organizations and local politicians informed us of the many efforts to cleaning our adjacent waterway.

The local press has revealed the divided opinions over septic tank elimination, upgrading sewage systems, clearing age-old muck from the lagoon, and reducing runoff from homes and agricultural lands. Along with these big idea projects is the pressure for residents adjacent to the waterway to minimize our impact from fertilizers, pesticides, and grass clippings. BW management continually works with our landscape contractor to ensure state and local code conformance for runoff into the lagoon.

Regardless of opinion, most recognize the lagoon contamination as a problem with health and tourism/economic implications. If you were here in BW this past several weeks, your nose told you something was not right with the dead, floating vegetation blown in by the wind.

 

Florida Today has run articles about dolphin ailments linking algae toxins to Parkinsons, Alzheimers, ALS. Don't eat out of Indian River Lagoon. One biologist said infrequent eating of fish from the IR Lagoon is okay, another said he would never sample anything from this lagoon. (Fish caught from the beach is considered okay.)

Oyster Mats. BW residents are trying to do our part, not just sit and listen. April 12, about 80 volunteers dirtied their hands while using plastic ties to attach bare oyster shells to about 100 plastic meshes, each with about 50 shell halves. Soon, Fla. Tech students will encircle our pier pilings with the populated meshes. Those blank shell surfaces will catch oyster “seeds”, or “spat”, naturally floating in the lagoon. Those spat will start a new oyster, shell and all. Each adult oyster amazingly filters over one gallon per hour of excess nutrients from the water. (Hope this isn't embellished too much.) Thanks to Bob Hinckley for getting BW involved, and to our BW Directors for authorizing buying the plastic mats to do our part. Picture attached.

Landscaping. Our Landscape Committee efforts also show sensitivity to our estuary. Besides plantings in some new areas like along the north pedway, low maintenance native plants have been introduced that will lessen the need for water, fertilizer, and mulch. Thanks to Margaret Wiener and the Landscape Committee.

Farewell to Snowbirds. Later after the oyster habitat project, the Social Activities Committee had its usual “Wine at the Pier” (with finger foods) at the condo sea wall as the sun set. Saying goodbyes before the coming summer was a good excuse for tippling the wine. Thanks to the Social Activities Comm. Departing snowbirds precipitate a decline in the sports (pickleball, bocci ball) and other activity participation. But the nomads have something to look for next season.

BW Easter Egg Hunt Next Saturday, April 20. At Club House, 9 AM, with continental breakfast. Children and young at heart adults. Thanks again to the Social Activities Committee.

 

New A1A Pedestrian Crossings in Indialantic. It is impossible to miss the construction of four new crosswalks on busy A1A south of U.S. 192. (Seems like more than four.) The “ribbon cutting” has yet to occur. These eye-catching yellow flashing lights are a new crosswalk design. The DOT web site basics: Stop your auto at the stop bar when the lights are flashing and a pedestrian or bicyclist stands prepared to cross; make eye contact with the crossing party to show awareness of his/her presence.

A brief discussion with the Indialantic police (Saturday desk sergeant) revealed only (a) rules for these devices are like rules for any other cross walks; (b) drivers do not have to stop at flashing lights if no pedestrians or crossing cyclists are in or at the crosswalk; and (c) drivers may proceed once the pedestrians/cyclists have crossed even while the lights continue flashing. He did not know what traffic penalty (moving violation?) would be assessed if a driver continued through the flashing cross walk with pedestrians present. Probably it's not a good idea to ignore these flashing lights.

McKee Botanical Gardens (Vero Beach) Sculpture Show Ending in April. The 19 life size bronze-cast statuary in everyday poses have been painted to unbelievable realism. Then there's the outsized 30-plus foot statue replicating the iconic photo of a sailor kissing a girl after stepping off his ship that had just docked after WW II. An $11 (senior citizen rate) entrance fee will let you experience the botanical gardens as a setting for the bronze sculptures – until April 28th. (https://mckeegarden.org)

Space X Falcon Heavy Launch. BW beach with its crossover can be a great place to see NASA's or the commercial space sector's latest feats. Prior to the April 12 BW membership meeting, the Space X Falcon rocket lifted a commercial communication satellite into orbit. This launch demonstrated the amazing evolution of rocket technology, that is, the recovery of the side-strapped solid boosters and the main first stage engine. If you were patient for a few moments after the rocket sped out of sight, you could have seen the two boosters reversing their trajectory, side by side, back to a Cape Kennedy landing area. Plainly heard were the sonic booms of both the launch and the booster returns. After over 70 years of space launches, still exciting stuff. Picture attached, but only of the rocket going up.

Sorry this news brief is not so brief – longer than planned, but this time much timely info needed sharing.

Gary Houchens

321-768-0766

Please do not reply to this e-mail! We do not want to take the chance of someone's computer/device contaminating the BW Bulletin contact list.