Who remembers the late ABC TV Sportscaster, Keith Jackson? That was his go to line when something unusual or special happened on the field of play.
Kind of feel like that now as the 2021 year quickly comes too close. It began with the pandemic, masks, social distancing and Zoom meetings. The LGA had to adapt to continue with the mission considering the board and a large portion of the membership was in the high risk category and adopt we did.
Our first Zoom membership meeting of the year was in February and we had the chance to meet Leanne Patrick, President/CEO, of the Regional Chamber of Commerce. We would have more opportunities to work with Leanne as the year progressed. Just recently, she joined us for the lake vegetation survey for the second year in a row.
February also marked the sudden passing of Jack Saunders, our long time Treasurer. Besides the personal grief, we had to find someone to manage the finances of the LGA. Jack did everything and we had to find a person with the skill set to do the books, pay the bills, etc. Luly Carson to the rescue and although she didn’t ride in on a white horse, it was the next best thing. With perseverance and patience, she sorted everything out on her own. WWJD was said more than once.
In April we were still in Zoom mode and our attention turned to Jessica Baumann, Extension Associate, Lake Gaston Aquatic Plant Management Program, NCSU. Jess shared with us a summary of the Fall 2020 Vegetation Survey.
Although vaccines were rolling out, we still erred on the side of caution and did yet another Zoom meeting. We heard from Fire Chief Lorenzo Wilkins and 911 Community Task Force Leader Sherry Herzing. Besides the fire tax discussion, Sherry emphasized the correct way call 911 from a mobile phone. Remember location first including state, county, city, subdivision and address. Then the nature of the emergency. With a land line the call is automatically routed to the correct first responder.
As a footnote, we thought Zoom might increase meeting attendance. To our surprise, the “attendees” actually decreased over time. The highest number of those attending by Zoom, minus the directors, was about 12. We normally do considerably better at the F2F meetings.
June finally ended the Zoom experiment. Following CDC and NC/VA health guidelines, on June 12, we had our first in person F2F for the Annual Membership meeting. We had to cancel the hotdog cookout and we ended up washing down each chair and cover the tables but it was good to get back together; first time since March 2020. Our speaker at the Annual Membership meeting, Steve Hoyle, began with why Lyngbya is becoming more of an issue at Lake Gaston. Lyngbya was first identified at Lake Gaston in 1995, spreads easily, and is now known to cover 1200 acres.
The July, August, September, October and November monthly meetings have “zoomed bye”. We were treated at the November 3 meeting when Stacy Woodhouse, consultant supporting the Fitts Foundation, briefed over 50 in attendance about the exciting things that are happening in downtown Littleton.
The Board feels good how we managed to navigate the pandemic. Fingers crossed for a safe 2022. We thank our membership and business members for riding it out with us.
Well, I’m preparing this the second week of November. With temperatures in the mid-70’s, it’s time to go outside and enjoy a boat ride. After all, that’s why we live on beautiful Lake Gaston.
We hope you find this edition of the Bulletin a good read. Please let us know what we can do better or ideas we can include in the next edition.
Enjoy Lake Gaston, be safe and stay healthy.
We live at a special place with incredible people.
President’s Corner Writing this column reminds me of the old Elizabeth Taylor joke about her 7th husband (she married Richard Burton twice so technically 8th (apologies in advance). “I know what I’m supposed to do but how do I make it interesting”. We made it past the summer hot temperatures and a very busy boating season. I think we are all looking forward to the quiet, perhaps slowing down and the cooler temperatures with fall colors. However, when you read this in early October, the LGA activities are still in full swing. I truly hope, if you haven’t already, will join us in the annual fall vegetation survey. Can you throw a rake, operate a tablet, operate a boat or willing to keep others doing those tasks entertained, we need you. This volunteer effort runs through the end of October and we have over 300 miles, yep miles of shoreline, to survey. It’s my favorite fall activity when the lake is quiet, temperatures are cooler and you start to see the leaves turn. As a bonus, you might even smell wood burning fireplaces. Look for more information in this Bulletin or contact Jeff Zimmer or me. For those who have either signed up or completed the task, a huge thank you. This project has a major impact what happens next year to ensure we protect this lake. Our Public Safety Committee (full disclosure my committee), Lake Clean-Up, Government Relations, Lake Environment and Marketing & Membership remain focused on the tasks at hand and are always looking for more volunteers. Remember without volunteers none of this stuff happens. Finally, we will soon be losing two long term board members who will be moving from the lake. Our thanks to past president Bill Heflin and E Coli kit Mr. Al Potter. Your behind the scenes work and countless volunteer hours are noted and will be missed. Best of luck when you begin the next chapter of your lives. A special welcome to Eric Wooster who has joined the board. Eric lives in Northampton County and is already an active member of the Public Safety Committee. If you live in Mecklenburg County (or any other lakeside county), we need you! Please join a committee which is the gateway to becoming a director. Why? Because we want to keep Lake Gaston a special place to live or visit. I hope I kept your interest and you enjoyed this column. Please tell us what we can do better and we will do our very best to accommodate. Stay safe, wear the mask when appropriate, wash your hands while you sing Happy Birthday, use hand sanitizer and floss daily. Thanks for reading and your support. Kind regards, Brian Goldsworthy Lake Gaston -Special Place, Incredible People!
President’s Corner It’s an honor and privilege to become the new president of the LGA. I want to thank Don for his stewardship and guiding us through the pandemic. A very difficult time for all and we managed to Zoom our way through it with technology and patience. Long ago lost track how many times we had to tell a speaker “you’re on mute” or how to turn on the camera. After two monthly meetings and the return of committee meetings, indeed, it is good to be back face to face. So what's next? First, I certainly want to enjoy my time doing this. I had a work colleague a long time ago advise me when doing something like this to “enjoy my time in the sun”. I plan to do that. We have a dedicated board who volunteer countless hours in support of the LGA mission. I can say without reservation every board member cares deeply about the LGA and wants to do the right thing the first time. The committee work is where ideas are born and carried out to hopefully a successful and/or impactful conclusion. If you’ve never been on one of our committees, maybe this will be the year to step up and volunteer. Over the year, you will hear repeated reference to upcoming projects and issues such as the lake vegetation survey, CERT, volunteerism, “What 3 Words”, etc. What we do is intended to “make a difference” and hope you can support us. Just so you know, we are looking for someone to Chair the Education Committee. If you have an interest in this discipline, we need you. Next spring we hope to resume normal activities now that in classroom instruction is back in session. The Lakeside learning days which is intended for sixth graders is a key component to introduce students to the lake; many for the first time. That’s all for now. We hope you find this edition of the Bulletin a good read. Please let us know what we can do better or have ideas we can include in the next edition. Sincerely, Brian Enjoy Lake Gaston, be safe and stay healthy. A special place with incredible people.
President’s Corner Spring has Sprung! As we march into Spring, I hope that everyone is healthy and getting ready for Spring housecleaning and chores. Please exercise caution in cleaning up around the yard, especially if you end up on a ladder or the roof. Pay particular attention to outdoor fires and any cautions or limits that local officials may issue about burning. After a winter dry air and sunshine it is amazing how easily a fire can accidentally spread to nearby areas. I hope you had a chance to participate in our recently held Meet the Candidate Forums in Northampton, Halifax, and Warren Counties. It is a great way to meet the folks looking to get your vote in a nonpartisan setting. The LGA conducts these forums as a service to the community, we do not endorse candidates or parties. At the time of this writing, we are watching the spread of the Coronavirus disease (or COVID-19) and the efforts being taken to mitigate the growing threat it presents. Both the situation and response are fluid and sometimes changes daily. The LGA is tracking the recommendations of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well as State and local Departments of Health as they may apply to our activities. Our highest priority is the safety and wellbeing of our members and the community. We have postponed our Five County Forum until such time as the threat has subsided and will be evaluating our other activities as the situation evolves. We must all do our part to minimize the spread of this disease. If all goes well, the spread will be checked and we will never know which of the protective measures succeeded. That will be a sacrifice worthwhile. If you have lived or visited here more than a year, you probably know that Spring is also the time when we tend to get high run off into the Roanoke River. This brings the muddy water that is a natural part of the Spring cycle. It usually clears up as the weather warms up. It is also when the Fish Spawning Season begins and runs through early June. During Fish Spawning Season, the flow rates out of Lake Gaston are specified for Dominion with much tighter limits than normal. In order to handle inflows from local rain events and maintain those tight flow specifications, Dominion is allowed to (and sometimes needs to) operate Lake Gaston at higher levels than normal. Enjoy the Spring, be safe and be healthy. Don Lake Gaston – Special Place, Incredible People!
This is my first President’s column … The first thing I want to do is express my thanks to past President, Mozine Lowe. Mozine led the LGA for the past two years, though some challenging times – ever positive, ever cheerful, and always effective. The whole Lake Gaston community owes her a hearty “Thank You!”