What’s up in The Scenic South – April 2015

Have you seen the new look of the Scenic South? Although we have not quite finished with the changes being made, we are very happy with the results so far and hope that you will be too! There is more excitement still to come. Watch this space!

Life is full and full of interesting people. Retiree Rotarian Rob Lindegger visited the Stanford Rotary Swop Shop (see below) while passing through on his 25 000 km journey by bicycle from the Underberg to London via Cape Town. To date he has been on the road for two years, covering 2000 kms. He writes: “ I see life as it is.  I meet real people, not the baddies we constantly hear about in newspapers and on television…” Be an armchair adventurer and enjoy his journey vicariously!

Two young people also following their passions are engaged in ground breaking research on the Great Whites at Gansbaai.  They kept their audience captivated with their presentations at a Marine Evening hosted recently by Marine Dynamics.

Happy reading and good wishes for a joyful season of mists and mellow fruitfulness.

Warm regards

Viv & Michele

“Over time, grit is what separates fruitful lives from aimlessness.” – John Ortberg

“Let me tell you about the birds and the bees …”

A first class African Penguin and Seabird Sanctuary has opened in Kleinbaai near Gansbaai. It is sure to become a major tourist attraction in the Overberg.

An American bird, the exquisite Wood Duck, has found sanctuary on the Klein River and the Willem Appel Dam in Stanford.

The call of the Fish Eagle is a common sound in Stanford. Not so the sight of one denying a saddle-billed stork its supper! See this fabulous footage of the encounter in the kruger here.

The Walker Bay Bird Fair: The very brief and unrepeated sighting of a Painted Snipe was a source of great excitement for the birding fundis as was the sighting of a “lifer”, a.k.a a Terek Sandpiper, at Die Mond.
http://scenicsouth.co.za/walker-bay-bird-fair-outing-to-die-mond/

Hot issues

Dogs on beaches
Lewis Walter of Fish Hoek questions the banning of dogs on beach on the grounds of them being deterrents to criminal behaviour.

Eskom 
Load shedding has become a feature of our lives. On the topic of South Africa’s electricity crisis Dr Dale McKinley writes that “Big Business is both the primary consumer of electricity and the principal culprit when it comes to non-payment for services.” Read his article calling for Power to the People.

Meanwhile the Bantamsklip Organisation opposing the construction of a new nuclear power station in the Overberg has published a report on the renewable energy workshop recently held in Stanford. This should be of interest to anyone wishing to find alternatives to using ESKOM power.

And the City of Cape Town has some positive news for consumers
http://scenicsouth.co.za/electricity-infrastructure-upgrades-worth-over-r250-million-scheduled-for-completion-in-june-in-city-of-cape-town/

SANRAL’s tolling secrets 
On another hot issue the City has disclosed SANRALS tolling secrets to the public.

GM Crops
We also feature two opposing views on GM crops, both of which make interesting reading:

http://scenicsouth.co.za/biotech-gm-crops-can-make-a-major-contribution-to-feeding-a-global-population-of-9-billion-people-by-2050/

http://scenicsouth.co.za/us-force-feeds-gm-crops-to-african-nations-new-report/

The trade in rhino horn
“ South Africa does not yet have a mature and accountable democracy that has a reasonable chance of implementing a horn trading system that can sufficiently restrict illegal trade.  To trade now is to risk too much.” WESSA expresses its opposition to legalising rhino horn trade.

Conservation Matters

WESSA is also appealing for support for its elephant project.

Heartening and interesting information is to be found in the newsletters of the Friends of Silvermine Nature Area and Whale Coast Conservation:

Eva van Belle of Fish Hoek shares an excellent idea for making your own shopping bags to take with you when buying fresh fruit and veges.Ban the plastic!

Life Matters

“What a drag it is getting old” sang the Rolling Stones. Need it be? Stanfordians are looking at ways to stay healthy and to stay in their own homes in their golden years. We invite you to join the conversation.

They are also involved in community projects that are making a great difference in the lives of people less fortunate. The Stanford Rotary Swop Shop is a phenomenal success, with children arriving with bags of recycling and leaving clutching a treasured item. The surrounding streets are clean. This is a project that could and should be emulated in every centre in our country..

“ Buying into the “Sacred Money and Markets” story that money is wealth and the key to happiness locks us into indentured servitude to corporate rule.”  David Korten urges us to replace the gospel of money.

Lifeline offers a personal growth course in Cape Town
“If you are the kind of person who wishes to be of service to your fellow humans or simply learn more about what makes you and others tick, this is the course for you!”

Images
Fiery spirits
The destructive power of the fires last month also brought forth acts and images of great beauty. A selection of them follow:
The awe-inspiring image below is by Andrea Nixon of Muizenberg.

http://scenicsouth.co.za/a-heart-gripping-video-of-the-cape-town-fires-by-thomas-van-der-spuy/
http://scenicsouth.co.za/cape-town-fires-finding-beauty-in-disaster/
http://scenicsouth.co.za/after-the-fire-images-from-ou-kaapse-weg-by-photographer-and-writer-karen-larsen/

Some of the interesting  items on our Facebook page:

3 Decisions That Will Change Your Financial Life

News items from Greenpeace

Overpopulation and over consumption in pictures that bring home the stark reality of what we are doing to our planet

10 things to do in Stanford

For daily alerts to new posts and events join us at  https://www.facebook.com/scenicsouth

Events
See all the upcoming events here.
NOTE TO ALL COMMUNITY ORGANISATIONS.  The Community pages receive hundreds of hits.  Make sure that I have your updated contact details. Send them  to viv@scenicsouth.co.za