I FOUND the article by Paul Scott rather confusing (‘It’s ugly when architects get their knickers in a knot’, Herald, 2/10). He does not quite seem sure who to blame for some city buildings that he regards as ugly and finishes with the usual flourish of environmental shaming.
However, Paul I have good news.
There is no need for clotheslines on the roofs of apartment buildings, nor is it necessary to hang clothes in windows or on balconies, in order to avoid the guilt trip caused by using a clothes dryer.
In my apartment building and in most others, as required under the BCA, there is a rising exhaust system to serve bathroom and laundry areas. So rather than turning on an exhaust fan when you use a bathroom or toilet, there is a constant low flow of air rising from within each apartment, drawn up by fans on the roof of the building.
This air flow can be used for a second purpose – simply set up an internal clothes line in the laundry and the flow of air will dry even a large cotton blanket overnight.
So, no ugly clothes on the roof or the balcony – and no environmental guilt trip.
Zenon Helinski, Newcastle
CHEAP ALARMS EFFECTIVE
I BELIEVE the sad flooding deaths at Dungog may have been unnecessary if flood alarms had been installed (‘Storm was extraordinary’, Herald, 30/9).
In our area, flood alarms were recommended as far back as the Flood Report on Swamp Creek, 1992.
Kurri Kurri Landcare have developed flood alarms and installed them on Swamp Creek. They have the advantage of being cheap and effective. They are set at warning height and evacuation height.
Their main use is for night time when the creek flash flooding is not readily evident.
We will provide circuitry and purchase lists for any electrician or handyman to assemble.
The advantage of early warning alarms is that the siren alerts knowledgeable neighbours. Neighbours who are immediately on hand to assist with furniture saving and car sharing for evacuation.
We have had no vandalism of the alarms and associated signs in over 10 years of operation.
Col Maybury, Kurri Kurri
Tram planning done right
NEWCASTLE can learn from both Bordeaux (France) and Barcelona (Spain).
In the former they have created a massive tram system through the city. Heavily articulated trams could turn 90-degree corners, and in peak hour they were close together.
Only taxis and delivery vehicles are allowed in the historic city centre. There are three tram stops at the university, and just past it is the second part of the successful transition – large car parks where it costs little to park and then ride on the tram. (Historically, Newcastle council would struggle with the concept of cheap parking). The old gas works site at Hamilton is an ideal car park site, and if the light rail gauge is the same as the railway, trams could travel through there to the university.
Barcelona has wide boulevards, with parking underneath. Central Square with its fountains and huge statues is on top of the main underground rail station.
The “Diagonal” is a very wide boulevard with two tram tracks through lawn with trees and gardens completing the median strip dividing the roadway.
Combining the two – the rail corridor could be excavated for a much needed car parking (underground), with the tram lines, parks and gardens above.
Daryl Heslop, Cedar Creek
Wise words in Whitebridge
MY boyfriend and I walked through Newcastle on our way to Brisbane (wearechasingrainbows.com.au). We’re just two guys willing to meet people and talk about the reasons to vote “yes” til the survey closes on November 7. Newcastle gave us so much support in this difficult endeavour, and I was minded to share with your readers a response to one morning spent in Whitebridge.
Sitting in Whitebridge, having a coffee,
And I’m amazed to hear a local
Took on some bikies for breakfast.
They’d set up by her local cafe
To tell all around “Vote No.”
I probably won’t meet her,
But I’m sure no-one beats her
For sheer courage!
In this long-drawn debate
The defenders of hate
Tell us “pipe down, respectfully.”
We’re called “radicals” and “thugs,”
With indifferent shrugs
For “Marriage, Mother’s Day, Christmas!”
Any respectful debate
With apologists for hate,
Must start with confession
Of their part in repression
Of the kids in their hood
Who were misunderstood.
In my Wollongong days,
Boys beat up the “gays,”
No mercy was shown,
No dignity was known.
For the “no” side it suits
To swap the black boots,
To reverse weak and strong
As they’ve been all along,
And to say they’re walking a mile
In our shoes.
This would be fit for satire
If repugnance and ire
Could stay contained.
Sometimes they can’t:
If I deny apartheid,
A black person is right not to hide
Their contempt for my views.
If I deny genocide
The victims are right to abide
None of my views!
If the “nos’” strongest point is that we’re too loud,
It’s time that we all finally felt proud.
And to the lady in Whitebridge who put up a fight,
Two guys were humbled by your belief in what’s right
Adam Russoniello, Sydney
Praise for free speech
CONGRATULATIONS to Jeff Corbett for not restricting his views for the sake of political correctness, and saying it as he sees it, and for the Herald for providing free speech (‘Downsizing the dream’, Herald, 30/9).
Two subjects l believe have been used and abused, resulting in confusion, misunderstanding and loss of the Australian way of life. Whether my praise will be published, may be too much all at once, but then again, maybe it won't.