February 25 - March 2, 2024: Issue 615

 

North Avalon Surfriders Association Storage Space At The Beach Finally Realised

NASA presented Cr. Miranda Korzy, Mayor Sue Heins and Pittwater MP Rory Amon with Grand Opening t-shirts to celebrate the realisation of a place for boardriders in our community.

On Saturday February 24 the official opening of the North Avalon Surfriders Association storage shed took place at North Avalon Beach. Over the past 54+ years NASA has supported thousands of young people to become great young adults simply through sharing the stoke surfing is and promoting healthy lifestyles in the great outdoors. 

This is a family and community driven club whose members have performed thousands of rescues through its decades of existence simply through being experienced in the water and available outside of the patrol Season – they’re in the water all year round!

The storage space use will be limited to the organisation's general storage needs, including equipment for its monthly competitions and regional events. Stored items will include: surf boards, marquee, tents, flags, tables, the BBQ, First Aid equipment and a trailer.

Prior to this the NASA trailer had been moved from place to place, hosted by various NASA members where, inevitably, it had to be moved on for one reason or another. A range of other NASA equipment was stored at NASA members own houses. The 6.5 m x 6.5m storage facility now adjoins the existing public amenities block with ample space to store their gear securely.

To kick off 2024 and celebrate the official opening of their new clubhouse (shed), NASA put on their annual retro comp - The NASA Surf Classic! 

Open to all ages and all members past and present, with 70’s and 80’s single and twin fins only, the club closed the entries with around 100 surfers signed up. 

Part of the NASA Surf Classic is to crown an 'Iron Gut' champion - Alex McTaggart explained what that is and where it came from.

Younger NASA members checking out the old boards:


The official opening, and ribbon cutting was discharged by Mayor Sue Heins.

A few 'retro' pics to go with that:  and full report HERE


Mayor Sue Heins officially opened the place for NASA!

 

Getting To The Bottom Of Our Rockpool Problems

Pittwater residents’ complaints about murky and leaking rockpools have led to a local councillor's call for a review of maintenance and cleaning at this Tuesday’s February 27 2024 council meeting. 

Greens councillor Miranda Korzy said she has heard from numerous residents protesting about the condition of the pools during this summer and the previous one.

As a result, she has submitted a motion for the February Council meeting, calling for a briefing about the five rockpools between Palm Beach and North Narrabeen.

All aspects of cleaning and maintenance of the pools are the focus of the motion, including reporting on removal of sand, seaweed, testing and results of water condition, variations to the cleaning schedule, equipment and repairs carried out.

Ms Korzy is also asking staff for options to improve the condition and cleanliness of pools, particularly during the hotter months.

“Given the popularity of our rockpools and the numerous complaints I’ve heard from residents regarding the state they've been in recently, I hope councillors will support this call for a review of them to find out if we can do better,” Ms Korzy told Pittwater Online News

“I’ve seen the problems for myself - at Palm Beach, even after a clean and filling, the pool's half empty by the next low tide due to a leak.


“Many pools end up with seaweed and sand washed in by a big swell at high tide but, at Avalon, the water normally remains clear enough that you can see tiny iridescent fish swimming around you. 

“On one occasion when I was down there last month, the water was murky and smelly with rotting weed and little white floaters on the surface. 

“Bilgola’s had continuing problems and we’ve also had pumps replaced at Whale Beach and North Narrabeen. 

“I’ve also heard complaints about dirty water at Newport, meanwhile, Mona Vale has severe concrete cancer and elderly and disabled swimmers have problems accessing it - although it is due for refurbishment next winter.

“I’m concerned that someone’s going to dive in at Palm Beach and injure themselves, while it’s very frustrating for residents who've gone down to a pool and found it too grotty to swim in or empty due to unscheduled maintenance, especially in very hot weather - and without a public aquatic centre nearby. 

"With warmer water temperatures these days and reports of a stomach bug amongst residents, it's important for public health that the water is not carrying any nasty bacteria.

“Our rock pools are places where children learn to swim, people of all ages do laps for fitness, the elderly and disabled enjoy a splash or do their exercises, and the community meets in the long hot months to cool off and relax.

“They are also important places for several swimming clubs and those who are scared of the surf, can’t swim or when the surf is dangerous. 

A number of swimming clubs are associated with our rock pools: at Palm Beach the Barrenjoey Breakers; Bilgola pool hosts the oldest, Bilgola Amateur Swimming Club, still running as the Avalon Bilgola Amateur Swimming Club Inc; and the Pittwater Pirates swim at Mona Vale during winter.  North Narrabeen is home to Narrabeen Amateur Swimming Club, which commenced as the Narrabeen Ladies Amateur Swimming Club, along with the Shivering Sharks, another winter swim group.


Barrenjoey Breakers getting ready to dive on in. Photo: A J Guesdon


Winners of the Northside Shield in 2012 North Narrabeen Shivering Sharks (left to right, top row to front row), Steve Everett(coach),Graeme Jephcote, Rob Jack, Terry Taylor, Michael Whittaker, Ian Thompson, Steve SeeHoe, Alan Rose, Rod Tucker, Brandon Ockelford, Bruce Sweeting. Photo by Michael Mannington OAM

“I hope we can get to the bottom of the problems and find a way to fix them.” Councillor Korzy said

 

Call For Rethink Of Barrenjoey Road Crossing & Speed Limits: Avalon Beach

Barrenjoey road new crossing, Sunday February 18, 2024

We’ve had much debate over the last year or so about the pros and cons of the shared pedestrian zone on trial in the centre of Avalon. Its safety, convenience and aesthetic attributes have been a contentious topic of local conversation. However I’ve heard much less discussion about the new arrangements, implemented by Transport for NSW, involving the island crossing and fences on Barrenjoey Road.

For many of us, the appearance of the new fence, unannounced, in the middle of Barrenjoey Road last year was a rude shock, especially after the Avalon Preservation Association fought one off in 2020. This fence now partially blocks the open view from Avalon village through to the beach, whilst preventing passengers running late from cutting across the road to catch their bus. It also has the effect of corralling students on their way to school - and everyone else and their dogs on weekends - onto the island, preventing them from wandering across the road wherever they choose. It also means that fewer kids cross at the Avalon Parade lights, preferring the short cut across to Woollies (on the grass of course, rather than longer route via the fancy double concrete footpath that wraps itself around the Norfolk Island Pine tree right next to the supermarket.) 

Unsurprisingly, the crossing has proved a huge success with pedestrians - with so many of them now using it that they’ve worn a wide diagonal track through the grassy area from Woolies to the road.


Avalon Beach reserve beside village carpark - new crossing, Sunday February 18, 2024


Avalon Beach reserve  - new crossing, Sunday July 30, 2023


Avalon Beach reserve  - new crossing, Sunday July 30, 2023


Avalon Beach reserve  - new crossing, Sunday July 30, 2023


Avalon Beach reserve  - new crossing not used by these youngsters, Sunday July 30, 2023


Avalon Beach reserve beside village carpark - new crossingFebruary 20, 2023

I often walk from Avalon shops over to the beach on a weekday morning and see crowds of high spirited kids, in Avalon Primary uniforms, crossing from the beach side of Barrenjoey Road, and those in Barrenjoey High outfits going in the opposite direction. It concerns me that I’ve also seen some close calls.

The traffic’s heavy at that time of day and bunches of kids walking or on bikes, waiting for a break to cross, are surrounded by cars often travelling at high speed. Others are weaving their way around vehicles stopped at the lights.

On the other hand, if you’re driving, it’s hard - coming out of the beach carpark next to Avalon Surf Club - to see anyone crossing towards Woollies from the traffic island, and this section of road attracts lots of pedestrians and cars on weekends and during holidays as well.

So at this point, I’d like to kick off a conversation about traffic and safety in Avalon. I’m not going to quote reams of statistics, but the NSW government Centre for Road Safety says that: “In a crash between a car and a pedestrian, there's a 90 per cent chance a pedestrian will survive if the car was travelling at 30km/h. There's a 60 per cent chance if the car was travelling at 40kph, and a 10 per cent chance at 50km/h.”  

I think the island crossing needs a rethink and I’d like to see the speed limit reduced to 40kph, at least during school start and finish times and maybe more generally.   

And at the same time, how about we extend the 40kph school zone north to just past the bus stop at North Avalon Road, because lots of students catch buses south from there to schools outside Avalon, or get off at this stop to go to Barrenjoey High.  It would also make it a little easier for cars to enter Barrenjoey Rd from North Avalon Rd during these periods. 

Alternatively, we could consider changing the speed limit at normal times from 60kph to 50 or even 40 along the stretch from the intersection with Avalon Parade to just past the bus stop on North Avalon Rd. Palm Beach already has a 40kph zone and with children travelling to and from school right along this stretch of Barrenjoey Rd - with a 40kph zone to cater for Maria Regina Catholic Primary School - I think we could prevent a serious accident by extending the speed limit restriction further down the road.

On another traffic gripe, I’d love to see a speed bump just before the roundabout at Kamikaze Corner - where Barrenjoey Rd, Plateau Rd and Old Barrenjoey Rd meet - to help drivers coming off the Plateau turn into Barrenjoey Rd. As a regular user of this roundabout, I wait and wait and wait there for cars coming out of Bends to slow down, never mind give way to vehicles on the roundabout as the traffic rules require. (This is the top of Transport for NSW’s 10 most misunderstood road rules) However, much of the Bends has a slower speed limit - which makes little difference if you’re stuck in a traffic jam there anyway - and through Newport it’s 50kph, so maybe there’s an argument for continuing that through Avalon.

I’ve discussed some of these issues with council staff in December and also wrote to our state MP Rory Amon, asking for them to advocate with the state government on them. Although I’ve had responses to my emails, so far I haven’t heard of any progress. 

However, with consultation on the Avalon Shared Space finishing this week (on Wednesday 28 February 2024), it might be worth a mention if you’re making a submission to council. With so many recent changes in the village, now’s the time to speak up and let the council know what you think. I love our relaxed village atmosphere and think a few measures to slow the traffic on the main road - prioritising the safety of our kids and everyone else walking or bike riding - would fit the aesthetic perfectly.

Councillor Miranda Korzy

 

Secret Island Continues Scotland Island Theatrics Traditions 

The play will be performed in Scotland Island Community Hall (Catherine Park, close to Tennis Court wharf).

Scotland Island is well known as a haven for artists and musicians. But it also has a rich theatrical tradition. 

This week (Friday, 1 March) sees the opening of Secret Island, a new comedy written by long-term island resident Bogue Anthill. The production draws entirely on talent from Scotland Island and the western foreshores, particularly Elvina Bay. The play will be performed on 1, 2, 8 and 9 March (Friday and Saturday evenings), starting 7.30 pm. Tickets cost $30 ($15 concession) and are available from www.trybooking.com/events/landing/1161762. The show starts at 7.30, with a bar and hot food available from 7 pm.

For the opening night (Friday 1 March) a glass of sparkling wine will be included in the ticket price, and a special, late ferry will be laid on to take mainlanders to Church Point after the show. 

The play is highly contemporary, touching on local, as well as national and international issues. It’s a farcical romp that delves into the world of espionage and counter-espionage. The action is set mostly on Scotland Island and the western foreshore. While that might seem preposterous, it’s worth remembering that Pittwater has some associations with Cold War spycraft: www.pittwateronlinenews.com/The-Petrov-Safe-Houses-In-Pittwater.


Larry Woods and Betsi Beem play two Russian spies intent on infiltrating Pittwater offshore life

MORE HERE

 

Council Open Narrabeen Lagoon Entrance

Narrabeen Lagoon Open again - photo by Kevin Murray, taken on a sunny Thursday February 22, 2024


On Tuesday afternoon, February 20 2024, at 3:20 pm Council announced it was opening Narrabeen lagoon entrance prior to anticipated rainfall expected over the following days.
Residents had been sending in photos of the lagoon waters breaching their perimeters and flooding adjacent fields in the hours prior to this. 


Narrabeen lagoon at 11:24 am Feb 20, 2024. photo supplied


Narrabeen Lagoon at 7.20pm, Feb 20, 2024. photo supplied

Council stated the works would take 1-2 hours. 

These works were commenced immediately, although, as can be seen via the second image above, waters took some time to recede.

Narrabeen's Wakehurst Parkway, which had been closed at 1.00pm the same day due to flooding and remained closed for hours, and the creeks that fill the Narrabeen Catchment and Warriewood valley, were also adding to the volume of water running into a closed lagoon.

The volume of water can be seen in the below screenshot of just one of the creeks that flows into the lagoon.



screenshot from video by Michael Gleeson, posted at midday on Tuesday February 20, 2024, Mr. Gleeson stated; 'Our creek in Elanora going off and over a cliff into Deep Creek. Coming at you Narrabeen.'

On Friday February 16 more flooding on Wakehurst Parkway at Oxford Falls Road also limited residents access along this road.
The BOM rainfall table (5/02/2024 to 21/02/2024) - shows significant falls in the surrounding areas and those that have creeks that run into Narrabeen Lagoon.

Station name:
MONA VALE GOLF CLUB: 106.2mm
BELROSE (EVELYN PLACE): 130.0mm
TERREY HILLS AWS:  109.8mm

This Wakehurst Parkway alert, posted by Northern Beaches Police Area Command on Thursday Feb. 22, 2024, further underlines the amount of water that mpoved through the Narrabeen Lagoon catchment on February 20, 2024:



Council's works have opened a wide channel from the lagoon to the ocean, making for clean waters and a good flow from and to the lagoon.

Photos: Narrabeen Lagoon Open again - photos by Kevin Murray, taken on a sunny Thursday February 22, 2024:


 

summer becomes autumn in pittwater 

Is this the last green cicada for Summer? photo taken Friday February 23, 2024

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