Newsletter articles

  • December 01, 2021 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By John Wayne – December 2021

    The Land Use Committee is charged with continually understanding new and proposed developments at the Lake, keeping our membership apprised of what is happening around the Lake. In the next few months, we will provide the latest information on developments occurring on or near the lake in Spotsylvania and Louisa Counties. For this month however, we wanted to provide an update on the status of the Special Use Permit for Four Seasons RV Park.

    As I hope you are already aware, the largest and most controversial proposed development on the Spotsylvania County side of the lake is the Four Seasons RV Park. The current proposal has the developer seeking a Special Use Permit (SUP) under the existing Resort-Agricultural zoning of this combined 135-acre tract located in the northeast corner of the lake on Pamunkey Creek. The proposal includes 300 RV Sites, 90 of which may be permanent “Park Model RV’s”, a restaurant, lounge, pools, gyms, an amphitheater, a marina with 49 slips and bait shop, and many other amenities. LACA polled its membership early in 2021 and determined that over 90% of our responding membership are opposed to this development on Pamunkey Creek. Based on this data, LACA has continued to be in active opposition to this development, the first time in our history we have done so. Your LACA representatives and many other concerned citizens have met with County Planning Commission staff and members, County Supervisors, and other officials voicing our concerns and opposition.

    On November 17th, a public hearing was held by the Planning Commission where over 200 of your neighbors were in attendance. The Public Comment period was led off by our President Greg Baker, who provided the top four reasons why the SUP for the RV Park should not be approved. Greg was followed by 48 other concerned citizens, who for two- and one-half hours provided reason after reason why the Four Seasons RV Park will be significantly detrimental to the Upper Pamunkey Branch, the citizens who make up the communities in that area, and Lake Anna as a whole. Next, statements that had been sent to the Planning Commission by over 250 concerned citizens began to be read into the record of the hearing. This continued until approximately 12:30 AM when the reading was suspended until the next Planning Commission Meeting, scheduled for December 1, 2021.

    On December 1st the Planning Commission met to resume reading of the statements sent by concerned citizens. As there remained many statements to be read, an agreement was reached early in this meeting that, if necessary, reading would conclude at 10:00 pm, and commence again with any remaining statements to be read at the Planning Commission meeting scheduled for January 5, 2022. Reading continued until close to 10:00 at which time two individuals who had requested to make in person statements were heard, and with no other business to be conducted, the meeting was adjourned.

    We will want to continue to pressure our elected officials to deny this SUP. By the time you read this article the Board of Supervisors meeting scheduled for December will have occurred and while they will not be considering this development at that meeting, I hope that some from the community will have taken advantage of the public comment period, available during every Board of Supervisor meeting, to let the Supervisors know the depth of the public opposition to this RV Park. It will be important that a good representation from the concerned citizens be present at all meetings until this SUP is defeated.

    Please plan to attend the next Planning Commission meeting on the 5th of January. Continued Statement reading should take about an hour or so, and then the Commission will hear a rebuttal from the Developer, followed by questions from the Commission. A vote at the Planning Commission level is likely at this meeting. There are currently no updates on the calendar for the Supervisors meetings for 2022. Normally they meet on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the Month and presuming a Planning Commission vote in their January 5th meeting, the earliest the Board of Supervisors could act on this decision is their first meeting in February. If this occurs, we will want to have a large contingent of folks there to make statements in opposition to this SUP. Please continue to watch the LACA - Land Use – Four Seasons RV Park web page, https://www.lakeannavirginia.org/page-18174 , for information on opportunities to continue to indicate the community’s opposition to this development on Lake Anna.

    john.wayne@lakeannavirginia.org


  • December 01, 2021 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Al Bennett – December 2021

    This article is a reprint of an article that was first published in October 2018.  It is a seasonal reminder that blowing leaves into the Lake is not a good practice.  As homeowners, it is difficult for us to control the amount of nutrients that enter our lake from upstream sources; however, as residents we can control what enters the lake from our respective properties.

    Blowing leaves into the lake is not recommended.  Although not illegal, it is a form of littering that is discourteous to neighbors and it is harmful to the lake’s ecosystem.

    Leaves blown into the lake rarely settle at the shoreline of origin.  They are carried by wind and current to other locations before they reach bottom.  In coves, it is usually the few lots at the back of the cove that receive the leaf debris.  They are unsightly and over time, sedimentation buildup will cause these owners to lose water depth and will leave them with a squishy bottom.

    Decaying leaves release nutrients, primarily carbon, nitrogen and phosphorous.  These nutrients are great for soil but excess nutrients are a pollutant to lakes like ours.  These nutrients, especially phosphorous, are a fertilizer for hydrilla and algae, promoting their growth.  As hydrilla growth spreads, herbicides and/or carp are then needed to control its growth.

    Similarly, excessive nutrient levels can contribute to low dissolved oxygen levels by causing abundant growths of phytoplankton (microscopic plants and algae) called blooms.  Living phytoplankton may deplete oxygen levels during the night and as the phytoplankton die; decomposition of the organic material by bacteria consumes oxygen.

    Let’s all be good neighbors and good stewards of our lake’s ecosystem by not blowing leaves into the lake.  Instead, please consider collecting and finely mulching your leaves and then spreading them across your yard so that their nutrients can be returned to your soil.

    alan.bennett@lakeannavirginia.org


  • December 01, 2021 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Sue Biondi – December 2021

    I hope everyone found the health article in the September newsletter helpful.  To continue in my series of articles pertaining to living a healthy lifestyle in the lake environment, I would like to address a topic that may affect you more than you realize.  We recently returned to Eastern Standard Time after enjoying longer hours of daylight during Daylight Savings Time. 

    Seeing the sunset during the summer after 8:00 PM offered us time to spend outdoors in the evening, perhaps going for a long walk or playing with the family in the yard after dinner.  Or maybe you took out the boat or pontoon and raced to the western shores to enjoy watching the sun go down below the horizon and watching the show Mother Nature has to offer.  But then comes the late fall and time to turn those clocks back, which greatly shortens the amount of daylight come around 5:00 PM.  Did you ever think this doesn’t affect you?  Let’s take a look.

    Many of us have different thoughts about turning the clock back.  Some who work and live very busy lives are happy for the extra hour of sleep.  On the other hand, many are dreading the darkness that comes late afternoon.  But those who are not doing well making the adjustment may be suffering from what experts from the National Institute of Mental Health call “Seasonal Affective Disorder” (SAD).  It usually affects people, as imagined, in the fall and winter when daylight is shortened, and disappears in the spring and summer. 

    People who live in normal areas of shortened daylight as well as those who suffer from depression or bipolar disorders, young adults, and females are mostly affected.  Experts believe the lack of light may interfere with the sleep-wake cycle and circadian rhythms.  They may also overproduce melatonin, a naturally occurring chemical that aids sleep.  Other nervous system components may be affected.
    Some signs, symptoms and most at risk groups follow: 

    • Feelings of sadness or hopelessness
    • Decrease in energy and ability to concentrate
    • Increased appetite and weight gain
    • Irritability, moodiness and sleepiness
    • Social withdrawal

    A thorough physical exam, which includes a mental assessment, helps to confirm a diagnosis.  Treatment, as well as prevention, includes medication (antidepressants), light therapy, which mimics natural outdoor light, psychotherapy and supplemental Vitamin D, which remains controversial.  Recommended is opening blinds and shades, trimming branches or shrubs that may be blocking sunlight from entering the home, and exercise, which can help elevate mood and relieve stress.

    Another situation to consider that may adversely affect health and well-being, especially in older adults, infants and young children,is hypothermia, defined as a decrease in body temperature, usually caused by prolonged exposure to cold.  Other causes include diabetes and thyroid disorders, severe trauma, and alcohol and drug use.  Normal body temperature is about 98.6 degrees F.  In hypothermia, the body temperature falls below 95 degrees.  About 90% of body heat is lost through the skin and the rest through exhalation.  As the body temperature decreases, shivering occurs to produce heat.  The effect is lower heart rate, slower breathing, which may lead to shock, cardiac arrest and death.  Categories of hypothermia include:

    Mild hypothermia - Temperature 90-95 degrees F, severe shivering, slurred speech and amnesia.
    Moderate hypothermia - Temperature 82-90 degrees F, unresponsiveness, confusion, rigid muscles, bluing of skin (cyanosis) and shock
    Severe hypothermia - Temperature below 82 degrees F, loss of reflexes, dilated pupils, inability to feel a pulse and no audible heart sounds.

    Treatment includes CPR in the absence of breathing or pulse, moving the person to a warm, indoor area, removal of wet clothing if indicated, followed by applying layers of blankets or coats.  The head should be covered except for the face.  If the person is alert, provide warm, non-alcoholic and non-caffeinated beverages.  Do not apply warm compresses as this would increase the heart rate and circulate the cold blood through the heart, lungs and brain, which may cause a decrease in core body temperature which could be fatal.  If advanced medical treatment is available, warm intravenous fluids may be administered.
    Prevention should be discussed with family and especially people who work or exercise outdoors.  They include:

    • Wear warm, windproof and waterproof layers of clothing.
    • Wear mittens instead of gloves so fingers can touch each other for warmth
    • Wear waterproof footwear with woolen socks placed over cotton socks
    • Wear a scarf or hat that covers the ears
    • Avoid alcohol or smoking
    • Avoid prolonged exposure to the cold.

    I hope this article helps to guide you through the winter months ahead of us and keeps you safe.  My next article will include tips for dealing with the dreaded snow that may or may not affect our area and the related activities that the snow brings.

    sue.biondi@lakeannavirginia.org


  • November 01, 2021 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Ronda Williams – November 2021

    On October 17, during a celebration of Kirk O’Cliff Presbyterian Church’s 145th anniversary, John Robert “Bobby” Goodwin stood in front of the congregation and shared his memories of growing up in “the Kirk,” where he has been a member for 70 years.

    His grandparents began attending the church when he was a young boy. Pointing to various places within the approximately 900-square-foot sanctuary, he recalled a pump organ that his grandmother played, as well as a wood (and later, oil) stove that sat where the second- and third-row pews are now located. Describing the winter Sundays of his youth, he rephrased the familiar Bible verse, “Many are called, but few are chosen,” to the way he understood it as a child, “Many are cold, but few are frozen.”

    It was a day to celebrate one of the oldest churches in the Lake Anna community – originally built in 1876 near the New Bridge. In 1911, following a donation by the Harris family (who still own the farmland surrounding this church), the church was moved brick-by-brick by its membership to the current location at 16420 Monrovia Road.

    “Not one pane of glass was broken and only three floor pieces were damaged,” Goodwin recalls from the stories passed down from his childhood.

    Another featured speaker was the Rev. Mary Harris Todd, a minister at Morton Presbyterian Church in Rocky Mount, NC, who grew up attending the Kirk. “I have often said that I could write a book called, ‘All I Need to Know About Ministry I Learned at the Kirk,” she said in her opening remarks. “Growing up in this congregation has had a profound impact on me, and it has shaped me as a pastor. I can’t share all of the lessons I learned here this morning, but I can say that just about all of them point to answers to this question: Who is the church?”

    Rev. Todd went on to speak about the importance of inclusion in the church, and the Kirk’s answer to that call.  “As we point to the Prince of Peace in a time of so much polarization and division, I thank God for the Kirk. I’m still trying to practice the lessons that I learned here, and to pass on the many gifts that I received.”

    Those in attendance echoed Rev. Todd’s praise for the Kirk’s warmth in welcoming them and their loved ones and pointing the way to Christ. Dale Guthiel, one of the Kirk’s newest members, said he had just learned that morning of the church’s mission statement included the commitment, “We will remain a friendly, caring, informal church, welcoming everyone who professes Jesus Christ as savior,” Mr. Guthiel said, “You all live it, and that’s what has kept me coming back.”

    Through the years, the tiny Kirk (meaning “church” in Scottish) has been a mainstay in what is now the Lake Anna community. Its current local ministries include supporting the eradication of food insecurity by holding food drives and manning mobile food banks in Partlow and Livingston, providing disaster relief support, responding to emergency concerns, providing warm clothing to the homeless, and supporting the school supply needs of low-income children. Regional and global ministries support Operation Christmas Child, the Presbyterian Children’s Home, and the recognized missions supported by the special offerings of Presbyterian Church USA.

    “We have survived and thrived for 145 years, not by our willpower, but by God’s spirit,” said current Kirk pastor the Rev. John Grotz.

    Mineral resident Hal Sharp is a descendent of one of the 13 original members of the Kirk. His grandmother, Victoria Holladay Alexander, was a girl riding on the wagon carrying the bricks from the original location (now covered by the waters of Lake Anna) in 1911. A native of Atlanta, Mr. Sharp grew up a frequent guest of the church, and remembered his grandmother’s love of the Kirk.

    “She always said to me, ‘Don’t forget your church.’ It meant so much to her, and I can’t wait to tell the rest of the family that the wonderful testimonies you all have given today would’ve pleased her so tremendously … to be here at the construction of this location, and to see how the church has been built.”

    ronda.williams@fedpointllc.com


  • November 01, 2021 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Irene Luck – November 2021

    The Lake Anna Civic Association has an award that it presents to a person, group or agency that has gone above and beyond for the greater Lake Anna community.  At this year’s annual meeting the group recognized Elk Creek Farm and its owners Dr. Randolph and Wendy Chisholm and Bill and Brenda Morris.

    This is the second time the family has received the award.  In 1999 Louis and Claudia Chisholm were presented the award, then known as the Good Neighbor Award, for their efforts to protect and promote Lake Anna and the Lake Anna Civic Association.  The farm is now owned by his children, Brenda Morris and Randy Chisholm, who spearheaded the efforts to improve the lake’s environment.

    The 625-acre farm sits along Elk and Millpond creeks in Louisa County and has been home to a cattle farm for many years.  The property is currently rented by the Goodwin family from Spotsylvania County and is home to anywhere from 100 to 200 head of cattle depending on the time of year.

    The owners recognized the impact the cattle were having on the lake’s quality as the cattle used it to cool off and often relieve themselves in the water.  Entering and exiting the lake was damaging the shoreline and causing the lake to become muddy as the cattle moved around in the muddy bottom.  To reduce the farm’s footprint on the environment the family installed six miles of fence along a portion of the farm with help from the Thomas Jefferson Soil and Water Conservation District.

    In addition to the fence, the property now boasts beehives to encourage pollination of the plants and trees have been added along the streams to slow run-off into the lake.  The cattle are now provided drinking water from wells rather than the lake.  These are situated around the 20 or so paddocks constructed on the property that allow the cattle to be rotated frequently to prevent overfeeding on the grass.  It also encourages the forage to grow stronger and healthier.

    For their efforts to protect land and water resources, the farm received the York River watershed Grand Basin award for 2021.

    Following the death of LACA founder Jack Bertron in the early 2000s, LACA renamed the honor in his memory.

    Each spring, the LACA board solicits nominations for the honor which is presented at the annual meeting held the last Saturday of July.  A list of qualifications and previous winners is listed on the organization’s website.

    irene.luck@lakeannavirginia.org


  • November 01, 2021 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Ron Skinner – November 2021

    LACA is requesting its members and fellow citizens to send letters to their elected representatives at County, State and US governments.  The purpose of this letter writing campaign is to i) inform officials about the Harmful Algae Bloom (HAB) issues at Lake Anna, and ii) request funding and resources be directed to addressing appropriate action to investigate, mitigate, remediate, and prevent HAB problems.

    Lake Anna is experiencing the growth of blue-green algae (Cyanobacteria) that has multiplied into Harmful Algae Blooms each summer for the past four years (2018 – 2021).  HABs create health risks and can release potentially hazardous amounts of toxins into the lake water.  As a result, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH), Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), and Lake Anna Civic Association (LACA) have been cooperatively monitoring designated sites on the lake for the presence of blue-green algae and their toxins.

    VDH has issued “no-swim” health advisories for several parts of the upper lake during each of those four years, including Lake Anna State Park in 2018 and 2019, when harmful algae blooms have been detected above “safe” levels, in accordance with Virginia HAB Task Force protocol developed from Federal CDC and EPA guidelines.

    Naturally, there is increased concern about the safety of the water for recreation by residents and visitors, plus the economic impact on local businesses that count on popularity of the lake for their livelihood, and among the several State agencies concerned with water quality and health.  These agencies include VDH, DEQ, Virginia Department of Conservation & Recreation (DCR), and the three Soil & Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs) that cover the Lake Anna Watershed.

    LACA’s Water Quality and Environmental Preservation Committees have conducted water quality monitoring activities, researched harmful algae bloom factors and management techniques, and collaborated with various state agencies and university researchers engaged with HAB issues.

    Why?  To first gain knowledge, benefit of experiences, and better understanding of the range of probable causes of harmful algal blooms here at Lake Anna.  And then to identify (a) prospective treatments, mitigation practices and behavior modifications which could be employed to mitigate and remediate current problems in the short term, and (b) environmental initiatives and capital-intensive projects which may be undertaken to prevent future harmful algae bloom problems over the long term.

    The answers we have uncovered all revolve around the same theme:

    Nutrients entering the lake water must be reduced.

    Primarily phosphorus and nitrogen, nutrients flow in by feeder streams back up in the watershed, storm water runoff and soil erosion near the river banks and shoreline (external sources), or lake bottom sediment that has built up over time (internal sources).  The excess nutrients available in the water are fueling growth of blue-green algae.  This must be controlled to mitigate, remediate, and prevent the unhealthy blooms of harmful toxin-producing Cyanobacteria.  Simply stated in four fundamental steps:

    • Follow the bad algae
    • Backtrack the nutrients
    • Stop nutrients at their sources
    • Remediate the residuals

    Unfortunately, our various State agencies concerned with water quality and health lack the budget funding and staff resources to do any more than their past efforts.  In fact, there is no budget funding dedicated to HAB work in the freshwater lakes and streams in Virginia.  Typically, funding for water quality and environmental programs derives from legislation and budgets at the Federal and State level governments.  Allocation and implementation follow at the State and County level governments.

    Dramatically increased funding and resources are required with dedicated allocation to freshwater HAB study and response.

    So it is important for concerned citizens to contact all their elected representatives asking for funding and resources be directed to addressing appropriate action on HAB issues at Lake Anna.  This applies regardless of where in Virginia (or other states) you may have permanent residence and vote.  Indeed, the more widespread participation across the region you can help to create will make the HAB letter campaign more effective.

    Contact information for elected representatives in the Lake Anna region is listed on the LACA website, under “About the Lake” then “Elected Representatives”. Or click here.

    Statewide elected officials in other parts of Virginia can be found at: whosmy.virginiageneralassembly.gov

    Please write to your elected officials today!

    ron.skinner@lakeannavirginia.org

    A sample letter follows:

    [Date]

    Dear [Elected Representative],

    I am writing to express my concern about Harmful Algae Bloom (HAB) issues at Lake Anna in Central Virginia, and to request that funding and resources be directed to addressing appropriate action to investigate, mitigate, and prevent HAB problems.

    Lake Anna is experiencing the growth of blue-green algae (Cyanobacteria) that has multiplied into Harmful Algae Blooms each summer for the past four years (2018 – 2021).  HABs create health risks and can release potentially hazardous amounts of toxins into the lake water.  As a result, the Virginia Department of Health has issued “no-swim” health advisories for several parts of the upper lake during each of those four years, including Lake Anna State Park in 2018 and 2019, when harmful algae blooms have been detected above “safe” levels, in accordance with Virginia HAB Task Force protocol developed from Federal CDC and EPA guidelines.

    Excess nutrients entering the lake, primarily phosphorus and nitrogen, must be reduced to mitigate, remediate, and prevent the unhealthy blooms of harmful toxin-producing Cyanobacteria.

    Unfortunately, our various State agencies concerned with water quality and health lack the budget funding and staff resources to do any more than their past efforts.  In fact, there is no budget funding dedicated to HAB work in the freshwater lakes and streams in Virginia.

    Dramatically increased funding and resources are required via legislation and budgets at the Federal and State level governments, with dedicated allocation to freshwater HAB study and response.

    Please sponsor and support legislation and budget allocations to address freshwater HABs in Virginia.

    Thank you,

    [Your Name]

    [Your Street Address]

    [Your City, State, Zip Code]

    [Optional: Your Email and/or Phone Contact]



  • November 01, 2021 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Greg Baker – November 2021

    The Lake Anna Civic Association dues have been a modest $15 per year with multi-year discounts available since the beginning of the organization approximately thirty years ago.  Many things have changed since LACA was founded way back in 1992.  The Dow Jones was in the low 3000s, a first-class stamp was 29 cents, a gallon of gas was $1.13, a dozen eggs could be had for under a dollar and a gallon of milk was $2.78.  In late 2021, the Dow is over 35 thousand, up tenfold, stamps are now 58 cents, a gallon of milk will set you back $3.53, gas has tripled to over $3 a gallon, and that dozen eggs will cost about two bucks.  Inflation stinks!

    Surprisingly, the main source of LACA’s revenue each year is not your annual dues, but rather donations made to our spectacular annual fireworks program. However, those donations are restricted and are used exclusively for their stated purpose.  (Please note that none of the LACA’s budget is used to subsidize our fireworks show.  It is 100% funded from these donations.)

    The second largest source of income to LACA is a couple of very important grants that we have received annually from Spotsylvania County and Virginia DEQ.  These grants are restricted and are solely for LACA’s water quality program.

    It is worth adding, that Louisa County has not funded the LACA Water Quality program for the past several years.  Our understanding is that the Louisa County Board of Supervisors felt we had too much money in reserves and have indicated that they would be open to funding us in the future once those excess funds have been reduced.

    Finally, our annual dues and donations from the community make up the rest of our revenue stream.  We run a very tight ship and have made changes in modernizing LACA over the past couple of years.  We have cut thousands of dollars in expenses by moving our newsletter to an electronic version.  Prior to this modernization, our newsletter was one of the largest expense line items.

    The biggest change to our expenses has been in our Water Quality Program.  We have increased the testing that LACA does both in frequency and scope.  Our team has invested in equipment that can help identify Harmful Algae Booms and the Toxins they produce.  The Water Quality Program is one of LACA’s most important core programs and is critical to the well-being of the lake.

    For context, our annual Water Quality budget is now over $40,000 per year and we currently receive approximately $12,000 per year from our two grants.  We have subsidized the program over the last several years and have significantly dipped into our reserves.  We clearly must close the financial gap if we are to continue this important effort especially with the fourth year of no swim advisories on Lake Anna.

    To close this gap, LACA’s board has voted to increase the annual dues for the first time in 30 years.  We also intend to request an increase to our grant application to Spotsylvania County and ask Louisa County to start funding our efforts again.  We plan to start a more proactive fund-raising effort with our membership base.  LACA is a 501c(3) organization and donations to our water quality program are fully tax deductible.  We have also initiated a “Drive to 1000” membership drive with the opportunity to win gift cards to local businesses if you refer new members.  You can read about this initiative here.

    Starting in 2022 after thirty years of keeping the annual dues stable, your LACA board has voted to modestly increase our dues as follows:

    1 Year Membership $25, 2 Year Membership $45,3 Year Membership $60

    It is not too late to lock in and extend your membership under the current rates until the end of 2021. You can extend your membership up to another three years from the current expiration date by clicking here.

    We ask that our members consider making an annual voluntary charitable donation to support all of the work we do. From the water quality program to the monitoring of development around the lake to the safety maps and yellow emergency signs, and of course hosting the annual fireworks celebration, LACA does so much with so little. Please consider a donation which can easily be made by clicking here.

    Finally, please consider setting up and using Amazon Smile. I continue to be amazed at how many people shop using Amazon, but are unaware of Amazon Smile. By simply going to smile.amazon.com instead of the regular Amazon site, Amazon will donate .5% of eligible purchases to you to your favorite charity. (Amazon does not charge extra for this benefit.)

    We ask you to consider setting LACA as your default charity. It does not sound like much, but think of all of those Amazon deliveries helping fight HAB on Lake Anna. It adds up!  And if you have a different charity in mind, by all means set them up, but please do not let this fabulous opportunity to give back go to waste. Remember, purchases through Amazon.com or through the app does not get the donation. You can always use the app and add purchased to your cart, but do NOT press the buy button. Instead, open a web browser and go to smile.amazon.com and Amazon will remember your cart.


    greg.baker@lakeannavirginia.org


  • September 01, 2021 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Rick Nehrboss – September 2021

    Thanks to the 504 members who completed our recent membership survey!  We were really pleased with the response since we had sent out 967 invitations.  This year we were up from the 360 responses we received in the 2019 survey.  Unfortunately many of you missed our presentation at the annual meeting so we wanted to provide some brief highlights on the results.  The survey was organized roughly along committee structures so the following are some observations from each section.

    When it comes to Water Quality, most of you used the LACA Website and LACA eGram (64% and 61%) to get your information on E. coli bacteria levels, cyanobacteria activities and water quality research and analysis.  Seventy percent suggested SMS text.  Eighty-seven percent said our research and analysis did impact swimming and boating decisions.  An overwhelming majority approved of LAAC’s (Lake Anna Advisory Committee) use of DEQ approved herbicides to control hydrilla (86%) and use of sterile carp (91%).

    When it comes to Environmental Protection, over half of our members do NOT know of our recommendations on what we can do to mitigate Hazardous Algae Bloom (HAB).  You can expect more information on what steps homeowners can do to mitigate HAB and the service provided by Soil and Water Conservation Districts for homeowner projects to reduce rainstorm runoff.

    Under the topic of Emergency Services and Safety, strong majorities believe we should support common sense requirements around wake surfing with 100/200-foot setbacks, limiting wake surfing to large sections of the lake and additional no-wake surfing zones.  In addition, close to 100 members were interested in purchasing 911 dock signs. Online store product

    Given all the interest in the Four Seasons Luxury RV Park and other Land Use projects, almost 90% of our members think we should be involved in land use decisions.  When it comes to the types of business our members would like to see, Urgent Care and additional casual restaurants rated the highest with fast food among the lowest.

    Under the Marketing and Membership section, 94% would support an increase in membership dues given a contribution to HAB research and remediation.  Our membership overwhelmingly supports (87%) a new category of membership for Homeowner Association (HOA) Presidents and a way to communicate with the lake community.  In addition, 394 responders were HOA members.

    Our last section contained general questions pertaining to the annual meeting, fireworks and general comments.  Ninety-one percent believe we present the right amount of information at our annual meeting and most people contribute to the fireworks when they attend with some extra donations.  The last question captured 75 comments on a wide variety of topics.

    The Board of Directors has begun the process of creating an Action Plan based upon the survey results.  Each question has been assigned to the Committee Lead or another individual to review, analyze and summarize the results and recommend specific actions with a suggested implementation date. 

    The Board will convene a separate meeting to review all the actions for approval and implementation and monitor progress at our monthly meetings.  You can expect to see responses soon because of all the survey responses.  Again, membership feedback is extremely valuable and we are determined to implement your suggestions! Thanks again to those who completed our survey!

    Rick Nehrboss

    rick.nehrboss@lakeannavirginia.org

    Brokenburg Regional Director


  • September 01, 2021 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Sue Biondi – September 2021

    Whether you’re having fun in the warm weather of summer or sitting by the fire watching the snow fall in the winter, as soon as you venture outside, you need to be aware of circumstances that can affect your health and safety.  I am writing a series of articles each month that will pertain to various situations related to the time of year and how you can prevent common problems that are present in everyday life that may harm you or your loved ones. 

    This information is offered in a nursing continuing education booklet, EliteCME.com/nursing.  As a registered nurse, I thought it would benefit members of the Lake Anna Civic Association as well as the community.  Although we are near the end of the summer season, a few months remain where boating, swimming and other warm weather outdoor activities will continue, and where increased temperatures may continue and have an adverse effect on the body.

    The first concern is hyperthermia.  Outdoor exercising, whether walking, running or bicycling, causes the muscles to heat and perspiration to begin.  As the body heats, blood moves to the skin surface in an attempt to cool itself.  Drawing blood away from the main circulation reduces blood supply to the heart, brain and other vital organs.  This can lower blood pressure and cause dizziness and dehydration.  In the case of heat cramps, potassium and magnesium are lost in perspiration, causing muscles to cramp.  An easy remedy is to stop the exercise, cool down and drink water or sport drinks to replenish lost electrolytes. 

    Heat exhaustion is an advanced form of heat related problems that may lead to altered circulation and brain function.  In this case, a person should be moved to a cool environment, and be offered water or sport drinks until the body temperature lowers too normal.  Both situations can lead to heat stroke.  This is where a person’s temperature reaches 104 degrees or above, becomes disoriented, and may have nausea and vomiting, rapid pulse, headache and confusion.  This is a medical emergency and requires calling 911, as the person will need immediate professional intervention in a hospital setting.

    Preventing heat related problems is fairly easy.  Exercise early in the day, drink plenty of water or sport drinks, avoid drinking alcohol or caffeine that may cause further fluid loss and increase heart rate, and wear loose fitting clothing.  Also, if you become aware of any heat-related symptoms, consider stopping the activity and taking appropriate action as described above.

    Another concern in the lake environment is spinal cord injury (SCI).  Whether jumping off a local bridge, swinging from a tree swing, or diving off a dock, the potential for SCI is present.  Statistics reveal that 80% of SCIs are males between the ages of 16 and 30.  SCIs affect about 17,000 people in the United States annually.  The severity of the injury depends on whether the spinal cord is partially or totally severed and the location of the injury on the cord, whether high near the neck or low near the waist and lower. 

    If an SCI is suspected, some symptoms are pain in the neck or back, inability to move arms or legs, or loss of bladder or bowel control.  The first action is to call 911, then immobilize the person as much as possible by supporting the neck and holding the head still.  If the person cannot breathe, indicating an injury high in the neck area, CPR or mouth to mouth breathing must be initiated until medics arrive.

    With more knowledge about the signs and symptoms of common outdoor hazards, persons experiencing problems have a better chance of recovery and returning to good health with the proper early intervention.

    If you would like more in-depth information about anything stated in this article, please contact me at sue.biondi@lakeannavirginia.org.  Look for information on how to prevent other injuries or illness, including Lyme’s disease, snake bites, or allergies to plants and insects in next month’s newsletter.  Stay tuned.

    Sue Biondi

    sue.biondi@lakeannavirginia.org


  • September 01, 2021 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By John Crowe - September 2021

    It is always a game changer when you get in your boat and head out onto the lake.  It seems like the stresses of the day and all your cares are left behind.  It’s just you, your compatriots, and the lake, ready to enjoy whatever activity you are pursuing.  Whether it is Fishing, Kayaking, Sailing, Powerboating, Watersports or just hanging out, that singular commonality is having a great time on the lake.

    To make this possible for everyone with whom we share our beautiful Lake Anna, there are some simple and straightforward guidelines of etiquette which are easily followed but often forgotten.

    If you are doing something at the expense of others a change is needed:

    Everyone has their own ways of having fun on the lake, and that can generally be accommodated without a problem.  If it is safe, doesn’t cause harm, and doesn’t hamper other people’s ability to have a good time it is probably O.K.  This requires a conscious effort to assess what you are doing and how it may affect other people and property.

    Think about where you are on the lake, what type of activities are being undertaken in the area and how your activity may fit, or not fit with other activities in the area.  For instance, if you consider an area where many people are hanging out anchored, beached, swimming, fishing, kayaking, paddleboarding, congregating on the shorelines and chilling on their docks, this might not be where you should be wake-surfing, blasting music, or racing about back and forth on high powered (and loud) watercraft.  The wake disturbance, noise and chaotic watercraft traffic can create hazards and will surely significantly detract from the potential for everyone around who is also trying to have a great day on the lake.  These more sedentary activities are not portable, but powerboat activities are, so you should think about moving away from these areas and seek more open water where you can enjoy your favorite activity, without doing it at the expense of others.

    In addition to the people and activities, consider the affect your chosen activity may have on the lake, it’s shorelines and the many structures built into the lake.  Powerboats all have wakes, the bigger the more impactful.  The closer you are to a shoreline or a structure, the greater impact your activity will have.  “Shredding” the same shoreline or cove repeatedly will do exactly that to the shoreline.  The damage wakes can do to the shorelines can be seen all around the lake and has impacted homeowner properties and undeveloped areas as well.  Wakes dissipate and get smaller over distance.  The further from structures and shorelines these activities can be done the better.  The popularity of wake surfing has brought this issue to the forefront in recent years.  By design wake surfing requires very large wakes with specialized boats to create them.  Those who are choosing this as their preferred activity should take extra precautions to ensure they minimize the impact these extraordinary wakes have on the shorelines and structures.  These wakes should never be generated near shores, structures, other boats, or people.  Move to open water away from shorelines and other boats so your wakes have time to shrink before coming ashore or swamping other boats or swimmers!

    Be courteous and give way to others

    There are no marked lanes or traffic control signs or signals to manage traffic on the lake.  There are no laws governing right of way as there are on our roads and traffic management is left to the boaters to manage themselves.  While the controls and laws are absent, the protocols and priorities do exist, and we all need to remain conscious that it is up to each of us to know the “rules of the road” (lake), and “collaborate to cooperate” to have a safe and pleasant boating experience.  Let’s keep “road rage” off the lake!

    Here are some rules to live by to “give way” or let them go by, altering your course or speed:

    • Powerboats should always give way to non-power boats

    Sailboats, kayaks, paddleboards, etc.

    Steer clear and minimize wake impacts

    • Always give way to a boat towing a person (tubing, skiing, surfing)

    Do not cut in front of and do not follow closely

    • Keep your distance from other boats and avoid erratic course changes

    Keeping a steady course helps other boaters know your intention

    • Moderate you speed to match your environment/location

    Too fast through crowded areas is dangerous

    Try to match the traffic flow

    • Complete your required boater safety certification to operate a boat, it’s the law

    “Rules of the road” are given in detail for safe and courteous boating

    • If another vessel is approaching you from the port — or left — side of your boat, you have the right of way and should maintain your speed and direction.
    • If a vessel is aiming to cross your path and they're on your starboard — or right — side, they have the right of way
    A little courtesy goes a long way on the lake.  Slowing down to let a boat pass or altering your course to contribute to safe and courteous traffic flow will not hamper your ability to enjoy your day on the lake.  It is a responsibility we all share: to work together and respect each other and the lake we cherish.

    So, remember, each of us must do our part to ensure we can all enjoy the lake, entertain our chosen activities, and do so in a safe and courteous manner while minimizing impacts of our behavior on the lake and on each other.  Follow the Golden Rule!

    john.crowe@lakeannavirginia.org


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