Illustration by Wade MickleyShould wild horses be removed from Assateague Island?Yes: 1%The horses are not native to the islands and are suffering. They might seem like beautiful wild ponies, but in fact, they are non-native, feral horses brought over to the islands in the last century. Many have diseases, worms, and malnutrition. They’re also competing with native creatures for limited island resources. Many die getting stuck in marsh mud. And they’re destroying the marsh grasses and the sea oats along the dunes. For the sake of the horses’ health (and the island’s), their numbers should be reduced to a small demonstration herd. —Karen Tiemeyer, Mt. Laurel, N.J.No: 99%The wild ponies are as iconic to Assateague as the dunes and the lighthouses. They should not be removed. If the health of the ponies or size of the herd is of concern, then appropriate wildlife management practices should be considered. To remove the ponies would be a national tragedy. —Kristina Plaas, Knoxville, Tenn.Removing them from their homes will disrupt family units, cause undue stress to the horses, cost taxpayers money that can better be utilized somewhere else, create situations of homeless, unwanted horses that will be vulnerable to abuse and sale to slaughterhouses. —Emily Pompei, Hampton, Va. Those ponies have been there longer than most of us have been around. They are part of the region’s heritage and should be left alone. People have been culling the herds for generations and that should continue to keep the ponies from overrunning the islands and stay healthy. —Kent Clow, Bellvue, Neb.The horses were there before man decided to take over the island. They are as much a part of it as the swamps and trees and grass and foliage and ocean. They must not be removed from the islands. —Gail Jordan, Washington, D.C. Spandex: Cool or Not Cool?Cool: 37%Spandex is cool—when covered up. It functions well as a material and feels good on the skin, but I’m glad that folks aren’t walking around at the crag anymore wearing their lycra tights. In the late 1980s, some of us climbers wore them as a fashion statement. Now I realize it’s much better to express that with your chalkbag, and not something that reveals the furniture placed in the front room. —Lynn Willis, Blowing Rock, N.C.Have you tried spending all day on a bike without it? Maybe it happened the day I said “I do,” or maybe it happened the day I turned 39, but at some point, self-preservation started winning out over cool. —Lisa Mattson, via e-mail 1 2
A new Lifestyle and Recreation Precinct has opened at Halcyon Lakeside.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus21 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market21 hours agoHalcyon Lakeside community manager Donna Osborne said the Rec Club’s packed timetable of activities, diverse interest groups and regular social events offered something for everyone. “A great deal of thought and planning went into the new Recreation Club to ensure it has something for all homeowners,” Mrs Osborne said. “From aqua aerobics, Zumba and Pickleball to home brewing, snooker challenges and Happy Hour at the Sunset Bar, the Recreation Club is a five-star hub of fun, friendship, fitness and relaxation. It’s become the heart of the community. “Our homeowners are getting active and involved, and living each day to the full. All they have to do is show up, the rest has already been done for them.”Residents Alan and Liz Hallgath have even created a special Halcyon diary to keep track of their activities. A new Lifestyle and Recreation Precinct has opened at Halcyon Lakeside.There is also an arts precinct that caters for creative types keen to indulge in pottery, messy art projects, wood working and metal work. Halcyon Lakeside residents Alan and Liz Hallgath“We have never been so busy and we can’t fit everything in,” Mrs Hallgath said.“We have to be careful not to double-book ourselves.“I’m doing circuit class, water aerobics and jewellery making on a Monday, craft on Tuesday, circuit class again on Wednesday and art on Thursday, it’s full-on every day.“And there are new groups forming all the time.”Mr Hallgath spends his days with the garden club, distilling group, aqua aerobics, men’s movie nights and tennis, which his wife also plays.“I’m so busy that it’s hard to get ‘me’ time,” he laughed. “I like the mix of what we do and there are things that I haven’t done yet that I’d like to try.”Evenings are busy too, with the couple boasting an active social life.Bli Bli Halcyon Lakeside is framed by 450 metres of lake frontage and natural bushland. New homes within the masterplanned community are now selling from $579,000. Halcyon Lakeside residents Alan and Liz HallgathWITH a focus on being “fun, accessible and stress-free”, there is little chance for Halcyon Lakeside residents to slow down.The Over 50s developer recently completed its $4 million clubhouse, which includes an impressive raised tennis court, a health and wellness centre with fully-equipped gym and circuit room, a mineral salt resort pool and a sunset bar.
Cameron Corner Outback NSWThe NSW Government will invest AU$43 million over four years in a major overhaul in the way regional and rural areas attract visitors, including the creation of six new Destination Networks throughout NSW.Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events Stuart Ayres said the new networks will work closely with local government, tourism organisations and operators, as well as collaborate on campaigns with Destination NSW and a new Destination NSW regional division.“The networks will improve industry engagement and better development of visitor experiences and products. Destination NSW is the state’s expert body in tourism campaigns, marketing and programs and their assistance in building the new regional networks will make a positive difference,” Mr Ayres said.“By investing around $10 million a year in support of the new regional initiatives we aim to bolster our efforts in attracting visitors to regional and rural NSW. The NSW Government has a goal of doubling overnight visitor expenditure by 2020, and we know that regional tourism is an important driver in meeting this target.”Deputy Premier Troy Grant said establishing new Destination Networks will create more jobs in tourism, which will have flow-on positive effects for regional economies.“Regional tourism contributes $6.7 billion to our state and employs 73,900 people. This plan will boost regional investment in tourism and strengthen the operation of our local tourism bodies,’’ Mr Grant said.“Skills-based, professional boards will deliver destination management plans with a focus on attracting more visitors to our spectacular regions, supported by more quality tourism infrastructure and job opportunities.”The four new regional destination networks are:Destination Riverina Murray;Destination Southern NSW (including the Snowy Mountains and Far South Coast);Destination North Coast (from Mid-Coast to Tweed Heads including Lord Howe Island); andDestination Country and Outback NSW.The two Sydney Surrounds destination networks will include:Destination Sydney Surrounds North (including Blue Mountains, Central Coast and Hunter); andDestination Sydney Surrounds South (including Southern Highlands, Wollongong and Shoalhaven).Other new initiatives include a regional conferencing unit within Destination NSW and an increase over the next four years to both the Contestable Pool of the Regional Visitor Economy Fund ($3.5 million) and to the Regional Flagship Event Funding ($4 million).The new networks were created after consultation with 93 key industry associations and stakeholders on ways to improve the outcomes for the Regional NSW visitor economy. Learn more hereSource = Destination NSW