Newcastle Herald Letters to the Editor: Friday, October 14, 2016

PRIVILEGE TO OWN: Keeping a dog on a lead is not always about protecting people from the animal, but rather protecting the animal from inappropriate attention.

PRIVILEGE TO OWN: Keeping a dog on a lead is not always about protecting people from the animal, but rather protecting the animal from inappropriate attention.

I RECENTLY read your article about dogs being off lead and not controlled (‘The idiots who let their dogs off leads and don't care’, Herald, 11/10). I was of two minds about it.

As a dog owner, my dogs are trained, however I don’t let them off lead as I find people like to pick them up and cuddle them. I have three King Charles Cavaliers.

There are a couple of things I would like to add to the article. Firstly: owner responsibility. All dog owners need to be responsible for their pets. They need to train their animal correctly and ensure that the animal is safe when it is out in public. 

Secondly: Public responsibility. A lot of persons have no idea how to interact with animals, especially dogs.

A lot of the time I have children run towards my dogs while I'm out walking and they are on a lead. This is a threatening move sometimes towards the dog and they don’t know what to expect from the child. Children also can be very rough with the dogs when patting them. Parents should always tell their children to ask the owner if they can have a pat of the dog. This way the owner can have the dog in a calm state.

Do get upset if the owner says no. Some times dogs don’t want to be patted, they just want to go for a walk. Let the dog smell your hand. This way the dog can get to know the person waiting to touch them. 

Lastly, it is not a person’s right to have a dog. It is a privilege. Maybe we might need to look at who owns pets rather than being dismissive about the animal. Pets usually reflect their owners. 

Rebecker Butt, Carrington

Less haste, more planning

JAMES Garlick's opinion (‘Inner-city must stand tall for the wider good’, Herald, 13/10) calling for a hasty decision on the railway corridor for the sake of Newcastle's youth is, I think, supporting the government’s lack of information release and detailed planning.

Planning for the city's future is what town planners and urban designers are trained to do, but little of this planning is being made public or being examined with a combination of public transport and possible future extensions of the light rail to the beach and to the university at Shortland. Similarly, no planning to use the existing railway by light rail has been publicly examined.

The older generations have seen trams come and go in this city and when a transport corridor is threatened with removal questions need to be asked.

Why can't the light rail remain on the railway corridor and run under the proposed new buildings? Perhaps a more detailed study of this aspect including a visit to the North Sydney Harbourview Hotel built in 1967 over the north shore railway line would show that this type of development is possible and potentially rewarding.

The revitalisation project has limited funds which begs the question of releasing cost comparison studies to show how much is being wasted moving a set of tracks from the corridor to Hunter Street. Threats to take $100 million back to Sydney smacks of impetuousness toward Newcastle council and the community.

The last five years have seen Newcastle "clogged" by motor cars requiring parking exacerbated by the recent closure of the railway. Public transport together with park and ride solutions must be included with the planning if Newcastle is to have a truly futuristic urban design solution for growth.

John Carr, Toronto

Cost of ageing boomers

MIKE Sargent (Letters, 12/10) is running the usual Coalition line that by increasing the monetary amounts it is properly providing for the aged. These figures don’t cover the rapidly increasing numbers of the aged as a result of the tsunami of “Baby Boomers” moving in to end of life years.

The figures in Phillip O’Neill’s opinion piece (‘Changing population sign of poor economy’, Herald, 11/10) should alarm every retired resident. This report showed that our region, including Port Stephens, is going to receive a large number of these retirees who, as stated in the article will have less the $100,000 in super. From my research I have not found any developer building aged care hospitals in our area to provide for the future needs of this tsunami of aged persons to care for the some 10,000 dementia cases alone, predicted in the Port Stephens.

What Mr Sargent obviously mistakes as profitable retirement providers are those companies that build retirement lifestyle development. On the TV business program one of the largest companies in this field boasted that they had some 14,000 units and was very profitable. They did not build a single aged care bed but were only in the real estate business, not care.

Anyone who retires from a government career with substantial publicly-funded pension should not allow their good fortune to lose sight of the fact that this only applies to a small proportion workers.

Frank Ward, Shoal Bay

Hillary is not bill

MEMO to Margaret Priest (Short Takes, 13/10): Bill Clinton is not running for president. His wife, Hillary, is. 

The days of thinking that couples are essentially the same person is long over. They are two different people. A woman is not an extension of her husband, nor him of her. Hillary Clinton is not responsible for her husband's actions. By attempting to make Hillary Clinton look guilty by association (eg the comment about 'glass houses') is to ignore a woman’s autonomy.

Since you brought it up, it is well documented that Ms Lewinsky was a consenting party to her trysts with Mr Clinton. This is in stark contrast to the allegations made against Mr Trump. In speaking about women as if their consent does not matter and ridiculing them when 'rejected', Mr Trump has made it clear he does not consider women autonomous beings. I find this abhorrent. 

Sometimes people need to be reminded it's 2016, not the first half of the 20th century. 

Maree Raftos, Newcastle

Can’t speak for ‘most’

SO Mr Cassel, please be offended (‘Hold the line on corridor development’, Herald, 12/10). The data about the rail corridor is flawed because all people in the Newcastle and Lake Macquarie areas were not asked for their opinion. So you can not truthfully say "most wanted the old heavy rail corridor to be overhauled". It's exactly the same as the light rail route, all people were not asked.

The only way for the council to vote is delay their choice until the government makes good on the total plan for the whole area, and makes it public. 

Graeme Bennett, Warners Bay

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