It has been a manic first quarter this year with the DA contesting all three ANC seat vacated due to a tragic motor accident earlier this year. As a result, council has been rendered largely more dysfunctional than usual as the ANC majority in council has been temporarily taken away due to their loss. As I write to you, I am preparing for my shift at the Ward 15 by-election in New Brighton.
My colleagues and I on the Municipal Public Accounts Committee (MPAC) have also been extremely busy going through the audit report of the Auditor General and also the Municipal Annual Report to uncover and deal with the many, many problems currently facing the various directorates in respect of Key Performance Indicators not met, and dealing with numerous instances of irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure.
Under the very able guidance of Cllr Leon De Villiers, our Caucus Leader in the metro, I can assure you that no stones are left unturned in exposing inefficiencies, irregularities and waste.
This exercise has since culminated in the MPAC Annual Oversight report which will be tabled at a full sitting of council tomorrow.
Closer to Ward 2, the first phase of the King’s Beach environmental upgrade is now virtually completed with phase two set to begin within the next two months. The Mandela Bay Development Agency (MBDA) have advertised for the anticipated viability study to be carried out for the Apple Express, the Something Good and Macarthur Baths tenders have closed and it appears that an announcement with regard to these is imminent.
We have been fortunate that through the efforts of our caucus leader, that an additional budget allocation has been made toward grass cutting and bush clearing for the remainder of the financial year. Let’s hope that the Parks department are able to get to many of the problem areas identified !
Finally, I have included many of the submissions made during the recent round of Annual Report/IDP Public Participation meetings held around the city into the Ward 2 Integrated Development Plan (IDP) priorities. I will be fighting all the way to try and address as many of these as possible by interacting with the various Executive Directors and their departments to try and ensure that budget will be allocated where require.
I would like to extend sincere appreciation to each of you for the wonderful support that you continue to extend to me as your representative in council and assure you that I really do try my best to address each and every concern raised.
I remain at your service and bid you warm wishes until my next newsletter.
Warm Ward 2 regards
Ward 2 Newsletter By Ward Councillor Dean Biddulph – 1 April 2012
Safety & Security – Metro Police Force to be delayed to consider funding options
The Safety and Security Directorate has recommended that the application to establish a municipal police force should be delayed “to further investigate cost effective solutions, including possible alternatives such as a protection services unit”.
In a report to the Safety and Security Committee, the Directorate also recommends that the Metro Task Team should be reconstituted to ensure inclusivity. The Directorate noted that the 2009 motivation for the establishment of a metro police service, as far as financial viability was concerned, was “to a large extent based on the fact of the current poor performance of both Traffic and Security and that the establishment will resolve these issues”.
This was however unlikely to be successful as a result of a number of issues that arose after 2009 including:
- Budgetary restraints and costs that resulted in the current budget not even meeting the costs of Traffic and Security
- A serious shortage of personnel in key posts
- Miscalculation of actual operational personnel
- Labour disputes as a result of the grading of Traffic and Security personnel
- The ongoing law enforcement officer “debacle” and possible financial implications for Council, and the fact that many of the measures mentioned in the establishment of the metro police have already been put in place “with reasonable success”.
The Directorate proposes as the way forward that the new Task Team hold a strategic working session to draft a comprehensive turnaround strategy and to assess the possibility of amalgamating both sub-directorates into a Protection Services Sub-Directorate.
Further, it suggests that a focus should be placed on the enforcement of local government responsibilities such as the enforcement of by-laws and traffic rules coupled to a high visibility of officers.
Service Delivery JOC (Joint Operations Centre)
The metro Service Delivery JOC continues to be a tremendous help in improving turnaround times on a host of day-to-day complaints reported. As always, a special vote of thanks goes out to the JOC staff and to Brigadier John Best, assisted by Lee-anne Meiring.
Each and every complaint is given a unique tracking number on a dedicated system, with daily feedback going back to the office of the Municipal Manager.
Anyone wishing to report any municipal complaints can do so by making use the toll free number: 0800 20 5050.
Kings Beach Upgrade – Completion of Phase 1
Phase one of the project is still well on track and nearing completion. The expected completion date is anticipated to be end March/early April 2012 and the lake is now full. It is anticipated that the lake will take a little over two weeks to fill. The source of the water is a natural ground water resource situated beneath one of the beachfront blocks of flats. The flow rate is in the region of 2 litres/second. The lake, once filled, will also supply water for the newly installed irrigation system.
The water enters the system as a spring close to the Macarthur Baths complex and is then allowed to flow into a small meandering stream which ultimately flows into the lake. The water will also be re-circulated via a fountain system and any additional overflow will enter the municipal storm water system. In addition to the lake, a significant landscaping upgrade is currently being undertaken with plantings of new turf and trees. Attention has also been given to the lighting in the area which had been significantly upgraded.
The project is a tremendous boost for the Southern Beachfront which has for many years been neglected except for a number of cosmetic upgrades just prior to the soccer World Cup. It is extremely encouraging to see that the city has shown renewed commitment to our prime tourist attraction and bodes well for future expansion on this upgrade.
Phase two, it is hoped will start soon after completion of phase one. This will hopefully include the extension and upgrade of children’s play facilities, expanding the existing skate boarding facility and a number of tourist related projects. One of the issues that I am pushing for is for a call for Requests For Proposals to be advertised to allow for the upgrading of the King’s Beach Lifesaving complex.
The idea here will be for the complex to be developed to include a restaurant and deck etc. whilst still accommodating the lifesaving club and its activities. In addition I have engaged the MBDA to look at some king of food kiosk where beachgoers and other users will be able to buy something to eat or drink as well as looking at various SMME concession opportunities to operate lounger/towel rentals etc and finally to make some kind of provision possibly via lock boxes on the loungers for valuables.
I remain extremely positive about the long term prospects for our beachfront with other projects in my sights being the upgrade of the promenade, the upgrading of the badly eroded areas between Humewood and Hobie beaches and also a refurbishment of the Shark Rock Pier. What is critical is that we continue to build on the momentum already gained with the projects currently underway. The contractors, consultants and the MBDA have done a fantastic job and should be congratulated for their efforts.
Tank Farm Update – Scoping report for new Coega Tank Farm released
The Draft Scoping Report for the construction and operation of a world-class bulk liquid storage and handling facility has been released for public comment until 26 March 2012.
The environmental impact assessment for the facility is running simultaneously but independently of the second environmental impact assessment study on the decommissioning of the existing tank farm in the Port Elizabeth Harbour (see last newsletter).
The new facility, to be constructed by Oiltanking Grindrod Calulo (Pty) Ltd, a consortium of local and international companies, will consist of storage tanks with a combined capacity of approximately 790 000 cubic metres for both phases.
In addition, it will consist of road and rail tanker loading gantries, pipelines between the tank farm and berth, marine loading arms and related infrastructure at the berth. The rail tanker loading gantry is included in the scope of the work to ensure that the necessary equipment is provided to facilitate rail loading should this be necessary in future.
A phased approach will be adopted to the construction of the facility that will see the inland components such as the tank farm constructed first, followed by the remaining components in a seaward direction like the pipelines and berth infrastructure.
Atmospheric Emissions Licence application for New Coega Tank Farm
Oiltanking Grindrod Calulo, the consortium that will construct a new bulk liquid storage and handling facility in the Coega Industrial Development Zone, has applied for an Atmospheric Emissions License in terms of the Air Quality Act.
The application must be submitted to the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality which is the legislated licensing authority. The Draft Scoping Report (see above item), for the project was released for public comment until
26 March 2012.
The new facility will replace the existing facility in the Port Elizabeth Harbour for which a separate environmental impact assessment is already underway for its decommissioning.
EDTA Portfolio Committee wants Mandela/Freedom Statue Construction Prioritised
Nelson Mandela Bay’s Economic Development, Tourism and Agriculture Portfolio Committee wants the Freedom Statue to be completed within the next two years. The committee resolved at its meeting held on 02 February 2012 that the Mandela Bay Development Agency should submit a proposal at the next meeting on how the project can be fast-tracked.
The committee said further in a debate on tourism that the statue together with the Science and Technology Centre in Uitenhage were the two pieces of tourism infrastructure that should be prioritised. NMB Tourism Director Thabo Masemula pointed out in a report to the committee that there were few “offerings” in the Metro “that speak to the brand name”.
Originally planned for the Port Elizabeth Harbour as part of a waterfront development, other sites are now being considered including the Kings Beach area.
Probe into aborted Ward Committee Elections
A formal investigation into the aborted ward committee election process is underway and is expected to be concluded by March 2012. The probe is being conducted by an independent investigator.
A report to Council stated that the investigation will determine “who was responsible for the failed ward committee nomination and election processes and who should be held accountable for fruitless and wasteful expenditure”.
Further, the investigator will be required to make recommendations on what disciplinary steps should be taken, including formulating a set of charges, and make “appropriate determinations” for financial misconduct and recovery of expenditure on the failed process.
UPDATE – Proposals requested by MBDA for feasibility study of Apple Express
The Mandela Bay Development Agency has issued a request for proposals for the conducting of a feasibility study on the “utilisation of the narrow gauge railway line (the Apple Express) between Humewood and Avontuur in the Western Cape”.
The line is one of a number of branch lines throughout the country that is being considered for concessioning by Transnet Freight Rail as they no longer form part of its core business. The first concessions are expected to be announced shortly.
A previous study that looked at the line in terms of its tourist potential as well as the possibilities with regard to a passenger and freight service concluded that operating the line would not be viable without a subsidy from the state.
Request For Proposal (RFP) for Telkom Park out before the end of 2012
A Request for Proposal for the re-development of Telkom Park for retail, offices and tourism, leisure and entertainment purposes will be released before the end of this year.
The Mandela Bay Development Agency (MBDA) stated in its report to the Economic Development, Tourism and Agriculture Committee that the RFP has been held back to date because “the property market is still very slow and an RFP issued now will not get the required response”.
In addition, the MBDA notes, banks are “still reluctant to provide finance for what is envisaged on site”.
Council decided in March last year that the MBDA should be responsible for the redevelopment of the precinct through a RFP process. The MBDA says in its report that the precinct engineering report and Lo-cal Spatial Development Framework is “in the final stages of completion” and these will serve as a basis for the development of the RFP.
It is envisaged that the property will be made available on a long lease basis.
The MBDA says that urban planning proposals and required environmental impact assessment (EIA) have also been completed, adding that “a significant portion” of the land will be retained as a green belt with the development around it.
Economic Impact of Tourism in Metro unknown according to NMB Tourism
The “true economic impact” of tourism in Nelson Mandela Bay was “unknown,” Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism Director Thabo Masemula told the Economic Development, Tourism and Agriculture Portfolio Committee on 02 February 2012.
In a report to the committee, he said that based on national tourism surveys it was “possible” that the Metro welcomed 265 000 foreign arrivals a year. He said that based on the latest SA Annual Tourism Report, it was “possible” NMB received just over seven million day tourist a year of which 1.5 million stayed overnight.
The contribution of tourism to the local economy was “unlikely to be less than R3 billion”. Masemula said one of the key concerns was that there was “no mechanism for sustainable tourism funding”. South Africa, he added, was the only country in the world where bed levies were collected and paid into a national fund.
Masemula also singled out the Property Rates Amendment Bill that he said “unfairly targets” bed and breakfast establishments and guest houses by increasing their rates. He feared that this might be the “final nail in the coffin,” and declining occupancy and rising costs “will simply force closure in the informal accommodation sector”.
BAYWORLD Redevelopment plans now in the hands of the Provincial Legislature
The pace at which the redevelopment of the Bayworld facility takes place now rests with the Bhisho Legislature. Mandela Bay Development Agency CEO Pierre Voges has told Nelson Mandela Bay’s Economic Development, Tourism and Agriculture Committee that a resolution has been drafted to allow the MBDA to be appointed as the implementing agent for the project and must now be passed by the Legislature.
Apart from Premier Noxolo Kiviet’s State of the Province Address on February 17, the Legislature is scheduled to meet for the first time from February 21-24. The Legislature must approve a proposed change in terms of which the facility will be divided into two elements – the museum and the live animal component.
The museum facility will continue to fall under the Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture, while Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism will be responsible for the tourism elements that contribute to the overall economic development of the metro.
Until the Legislature has approved the change, Economic Development is unable to appoint the MBDA as the implementing agent or provide funds for the project. Once this has been done it will be possible to issue a request for proposals for the re-development.
BAYWORLD to get R10 Million in Provincial Budget
The Eastern Cape Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture is to make R10 million available in the next financial year for the “refurbishment and restoration” of Bayworld.
The money will be used to fund the second phase of the programme, a medium-term intervention that will focus on “key infrastructure improvements, renovations and additions” to enhance the successful educational, scientific and conservation and tourism aspects of the facility.
This will include the revamping of the Snake Park and museum and further improvements “on the smaller footprint of the aquarium”.
The third phase of the project that will involve a request for proposals from the private sector is “the redevelopment of Bayworld into a modern and world-class tourist attraction and flagship museum”.
The R10 million will be allocated for:
- Revitalisation of the Snake Park, that will include alterations to the enclosures and acquisition of animals, at a cost of R500 000. The work will start in April and be completed in June
- Revitalisation of the new reduced aquarium, including large tank aquaria for the underwater viewing of sharks at a cost of R3.3 million. The work will start in April and be completed in Feb-ruary next year
- Upgrading and refurbishment of museum exhibition display halls at a cost of R1 million with the work to be completeted by March next year.
- Revitalisation of facilities and staff offices at a cost of R150 000 and an elec-trical upgrade for R500 000
- R200 000 for the expansion of the dinosaur park and R300 000 for the restoration and expansion of research equipment and infrastructure, and
- R200 000 for the expansion of tourism partnerships to improve tourism and marketing
The budget documentation states that the allocation to the live animal departments is “major and takes into consideration the fact that through these components Bayworld is able to arouse substantial support and generate in-come to sustain all other operations”.
Expansion plans for City Lodge Hotel
Nelson Mandela Bay’s Human Settlements Directorate has recommended that approval be granted for extensions to the City Lodge in Summerstrand. City Lodge Holdings plans to in-crease the extent of the hotel by about 97.2 square metres that will see construction of a new terrace, new boardroom and the enlargement of the existing foyer.
Motivating the changes, City Lodge states that the renovation and pro-posed extension of the hotel “will enhance the aesthetics of the property and area viewed by passing traffic”.
It points out that guests using the City Lodge are largely business people who are usually collected from the airport.
In its comments, the Spatial Planning sub-directorate notes that the proposed increase in coverage “will not have any effect on the existing development and will not affect the character of this area”.
One objection to the development was raised based on the possibility that it would obstruct a sea view. This was satisfactorily dealt with as the changes do not affect the height of the building.
Green light for 13 storey block along beachfront
The Human Settlements Committee has recommended that permission be granted for a 13-storey apartment block adjacent to the Beach Hotel. The proposed development will also feature a gym and a conference facility.
New Beach Hotel PE (Pty) Ltd had applied to erect a 19-storey block but the Spatial Planning sub-directorate said this would be “unprecedented” outside the CBD and would “drastically change the cityscape of Port Elizabeth.
“Thirteen storeys is viewed by this sub-directorate as being sufficient, as it will blend in with the character of the beachfront and existing multi-storey buildings in the area.” With regard to the traffic impact of the development, the sub-directorate states that the proposal cannot be seen in isolation as “concurrently there are a number of other applications to increase residential density along Marine Drive.
“The sum effect of all these developments happening around the same timeline, suggests it would be prudent for the municipality to assess traffic impact.”
Motivating its application to the Human Settlements Committee, the company says that the apartments will “compliment the current hotel use and create a complimentary use between the hotel as a business venture and the adjacent residential building.
“The physical characteristics of the site, including its location, lend itself to become part of a higher density development such as the proposed residential building combined with the hotel”.
The company points out that Summerstrand has “a dual character” and is suitable both for residential develop-ment and holiday accommodation “which compliments the tourist attractions and facilities currently available”.
Pointing to the proliferation of higher residential developments, the expansion of the Boardwalk Casino Complex and the proximity of amenities, commercial enterprises and educational facilities, the company says that these factors “all contribute to the desirability of increasing residential densities”.
The committee also stipulated that a traffic impact assessment be carried out and that the possible effect of wind be properly assessed to properly mitigate this factor.
Directorate recommends that Great White Research should continue
The Sport, Recreation, Arts and Cultural Services Directorate has recommended that it should continue to fund the current white Shark Research Project. A three year contract was entered into with Bayworld Centre for Research and Education in 2009/10 to conduct research in Great White sharks in Nelson Mandela Bay.
The programme was conducted in two stages, the first of which was an investigation into the abundance and distribution of Great Whites around Bird Island and in the Marine Protected area. This also involved aerial sightings off Nelson Mandela Bay beaches. The second stage was an investigation into “spatial and temporal trends” of tagged Great Whites around identified hotspots.
The Directorate points out that the project forms a “key component” of the municipality’s Aquatic Management Safety Plan and needs to be extended to obtain the results necessary to reduce the risk of shark attacks.
“The Metro has developed an important brand image as South Africa’s water sports capital and a shark attack could be devastating to this image and would result in the loss of millions of Rand in tourism revenue.”
Including the appointment of a PhD shark researcher, the proposed budget for the next three years totals about R1.7 million.
Tenders close for Macarthur Baths and Something Good
The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality has finally advertised the tenders/RFP’s calling for expressions of interest for the appointment of an operator for the McArthur Swimming Baths Complex and the re-development of the old Something Good building.
The closing date for expressions of interest to be submitted to the municipality was 8 March 2012 and follows a decision taken by council on 13 October 2011 where it was decided that the terms of the lease would be based on the initial agreement entered into by the previous operator and the municipality, taking into account the provisions of the Municipal Finance Management Act.
It was pointed out that the facility was a prime tourist attraction and “in view of the fact that the overall condition will deteriorate over time it is necessary to appoint an operator as a matter of urgency”.
It is my understanding that an announcement in respect of MacArthur is imminent and that the competent tenders received for the Something Good building will be submitted to the Bid Evaluation Committee.
Acting Municipal Manager’s Contract Extended
Acting Municipal Manager Themba Hani’s contract was extended for a further three months at the beginning of February 2012. The extension was requested by Nelson Mandela Bay Mayor Zanoxolo Wayile.
In a letter to Wayile, MEC for Local Government and Traditional Affairs MEC Mlibo Qoboshiyane states that he has approved the extension, adding that his department will continue paying Hani’s salary during his secondment with the municipality making up the difference between this and the amount earned by a municipal manager.
In terms of the agreement, Hani is required to submit written monthly reports to the Mayor and once he is satisfied with the contents thereof, these are forwarded to the MEC.
Municipality gets tough over shoddy fibre-optic installation work
The Municipality has warned the various telecommunications companies currently installing fibre optic cables throughout the Metro that unless they address issues relating to poor workmanship and non-compliance with policy, stand-ards and legislation, it will request the Department of Labour to take action.
In a letter dated December 15 to the MTN Contracts Manager for the installation, the Infrastructure and Engineering Directorate states that “very little progress” has been made in addressing the concerns ex-pressed by the Metro.
Stating that the company will be held responsible for all costs associated with the rectification of work which “does not meet the municipality’s standards, even if such work is identified after the completion of the contract”.
The Directorate singles out:
- Fibre optic services not being laid within the 1 metre to 1.5 metre standard offset from the property boundary – this may have an impact on future road widening and installation of municipal services.
- Indiscriminate damage to existing services, and
- Deviation from wayleave conditions and route allocation.
The Directorate has warned that service providers “will be held responsible for the future relocation costs of the fibre optic services found to be in the wrong position”.
Metro to act to reduce R1.2 Bn arrear debt
At the end of last year, arrear debt in Nelson Mandela Bay had risen to over R1.2 billion, according to a report that submitted to the Budget and Treasury Committee meeting on 14 February 2012. The report indicates that overdue consumer debt increased by R58.1 million between June and December last year.
The report, drafted by former Chief Financial Officer Kevin Jacoby, points out that the debt has “escalated considerably” and cannot “just be written off without exhausting all possible collection measures”. He says one of the interventions has been to issue a Request for Information from service providers for an analysis of the municipality’s debt book and collection of inactive overdue accounts.
This was issued in November and from the submissions received the Metro will be in a position “to make an informed decision in pursuance of a formal tender for debt collection. “It is estimated that this exercise will see over 35% of the arrear debt being collected in the first year of the contract.”
With regard to the increase of R58.1 million over the six months to December last year, the bulk was for service charges with arrears rates increasing by only R1.7 million to R242.9 million.
The total owing for the provision of water increased by R17.5 million to R372 6 million.
The amount owing for electricity increased by R13.4 million to R198.2 million
The total owing for sanitation charges increased by R11.4 million to just under R135 million, and
The amount for refuse removal by R10 million to R101.1 million.
The bulk of the overdue debt – nearly 79% or just over R1 billion – was owed by households having increased by R85.3 million over the six months to December. The amount owed by Government departments also increased by R21.6 mil-lion to R45.3 million. The total owed by business in Nelson Mandela Bay decreased by R50.7 million to R222.5 million.
Nearly 19% of households within the metro have zero income
Some 18.7% of households in Nelson Mandela Bay earn nothing, according to the Human Settlements Development Plan, and are reliant on grants. In addition, 4.05% earn up to R200 a month and 14.05% up to R600 a month.
The total number who earn less than R3 500 and therefore qualify for a housing subsidy stands at 65.4% while those in the gap/affordability category who earn up to R16 000 a month account for a further 31.9%.
Some 1.83% of households fall into the R38 400 to R76 800 band. Just 0.4% earn between R78 800 and R153 600 and 0.47% above that.
Electricity Tariffs up 11.03% in Metro Draft Budget
The electricity tariff in the metro will increase by an average of 11.03% from July 1 this year, in terms of the draft budget proposals to be presented.
Property rates and water, sanitation and refuse tariffs it is proposed, will increase by 13% from the same date.
Total operating revenue for the next financial year increases by 11% or R728 million to R7.3 billion compared to the Adjustments Budget for 2011/12. For the outer two years of the three-year Medium Term Expenditure Frame-work (MTEF) period operational revenue increases by 5.1% to R7.7 billion and 11.4% to R8.5 billion.
Total operating expenditure for the next financial year amounts to R7.6 billion resulting in “a budget deficit of R320 million”.
The major operating expenditure items for 2012/13 are employees costs at 24%, bulk electricity and water pur-chases (30%), general expenses (12%), grants and subsidies paid (5%), repairs and maintenance (6%) and depreciation (10%).
The capital budget for the next financial year is R1.8 billion which is 46% more than that 2011/12 Adjustments Budget.
Water – Stepped Tariffs Remain
Residents are allowed to use hose-pipes and sprinklers to water their gardens only between 16:00 and 10:00 daily. In addition, the washing of driveways, cars, roofs and buildings may be undertaken but only with a high pressure cleaner.
The metro has taken a decision that stepped tariffs will remain in place to encourage users to remain frugal with their consumption as we are in a water stressed region. I have included the latest tariffs for your information at the back of this report.
Metro Dams slip to 88.3% Capacity
The levels of the five major storage dams supplying the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality have slipped to 88.3% when the latest reading was taken at the end of March 2012.
The Impofu Dam was 94.8% full with 100 256 megalitres of water, while the other large dam, the Kouga was at 84.6% with 106 580 megalitres of water. The situation at the other dams was: Churchill: 78.6% full, with 27 685 megalitres, Loerie: 77.5% full with 2 345 megalitres, and Groendal: 100% full with 11 640 megalitres.
The Metro’s average daily consumption has risen from 254 megalitres to 262 megalitres per day.
In spite of the recent heavy rains residents are still encouraged to be frugal with the water useage.
Traffic matters are dealt with on an ongoing basis – should you have any specific areas of concern, please bring these to my attention so that I can assist. Problem areas currently receiving attention remain the entrance to The Boardwalk casino, taxis and speeding along Beach Rd and La Roche Drive.
Ward inspections are still undertaken on a six weekly cycle between myself and representatives from metro parks, traffic, electricity, beach office, metro environmental. During these inspections various problem areas are raised and possible solutions and interventions considered for implementation.
Should you have anything that you wish to include into the ward tours, please let me know and I will include your concerns into my interactions with officials.
Thank you for your interaction and for bringing ward matters to my attention.
I must extend a special thank you to Patrick Cull for his excellent daily publication, Metro Minutes, from which much of the material for this newsletter was sourced.
METRO MINUTES is an electronic up-to date daily newsletter sent out between 12 noon and 2pm from Monday to Friday on decisions taken by the Nelson Mandela Bay Council and its committees, in addition to business developments within the Metro.
It is available on a paid subscription basis at R50 a month or R500 for the year. To receive this newsletter, send an e-mail to: email@example.com