AS everyone knows, Stewart Avenue in the morning is very busy.
So there I am in Turnbull Street planning a left hand turn between the garden beds installed to reduce the street to one lane.
But wait, in front of me are a man and his female partner on their pushbikes. They have lovely matching bikes. They also have colour co-ordinated bike clothing. Oh they look so cute.
They are also side by side totally blocking the one lane looking for a gap in the traffic to cross. Sorry, it’s just not going to happen in peak hour traffic.
After waiting patiently behind them for several minutes I wind down my window, stick out my head, and ask if they can move to the right behind each other so I can turn.
What I get is abuse, yelling about the road rules for cyclists and the woman telling me I am rude and disgusting.
I'm always careful and respectful of bike riders but I also expect them to also behave sensibly. Bad look.
Ann Ellis, Merewether
AFTER a long campaign of advertising and media reports on rights and privileges for same-sex couples, I'm wondering if governments would permit special exemption for organisations who wish to remain operating traditionally, who don't wish to be a part of this alternate lifestyle.
I might be labelled homophobic for saying this but there is a heterophobic condition also. Most of us accept that all people live differently whether they be right or wrong but few of us appreciate being forced to listen endlessly to someone's opinion/philosophies and damned if we think differently.
Fair go for us heteros too, after all without us there'll be no children produced naturally and we too have rights.
Sandy Black, Cessnock
Calling for a leader
AS someone who was born in the late ’40s and experienced numerous changes within society I feel a great sadness to what is occurring in this once great country.
I can remember when coal-powered electricity stations where owned by the State and the coal came from State-owned mines. The profits returned to the whole community and times were stable. Then, for whatever reason, utilities were sold off, profits went to a few and the CEOs became multi-millionaires; virtually overnight greed replaced the care of the community.
The state of this once great country is fast becoming a shambles where greed has overcome the welfare of its people. There is nothing wrong in being wealthy as long as it is not at the expense of the community. I find it extremely distasteful that a lot of CEOs are foreigners who have no compassion and are interested in a quick pot of gold before leaving our shores, never to return.
I agree with Dick Smith who it seems has upset all these economists with facts which they themselves cannot answer. This country needs a strong leader who is there for all Australians not just a handful but I'm afraid not of those presently fit the bill.
Alan Metcalf, Stockton
Your vote, your choice
LAST week I said why I was voting “No” in the same-sex marriage vote (Short Takes, 4/9). Then a reader put a letter in asking if the Australian Christian Lobby told me to vote “No” (Short Takes, 6/9). Well I would like to say 100 per cent that that reader is wrong. The view I have is all my own. He had no right to tell me I was told to vote “No” – let me set out three things: I do not work for the Australian Christian Lobby; It is in the ACT, I am in Newcastle and; I know the Bible has a rule on marriage and I can not go anywhere off that.
But to say any one told David James Cox to vote “No” is 100 per cent wrong. Not ever have I been told what to vote, not by my church or any group like that. I will be voting the word “No”. I feel it is right. I do know people are not going to like me for saying that, but it is what I feel deep inside my soul.
It is bad that people are telling people what to vote. It is up to the people to vote the way they want.
David James Cox, Belmont North
Release the reports
As a NSW taxpayer and a Newcastle City Council ratepayer who is helping to fund the privately-owned Newcastle 500 event in our city streets, I think it is reasonable for the beneficiary (Supercars) to release the report(s) that underpin the recently published Noise Management Plan. I recall the release of such report(s) were refused at the community consultation meeting set up to support community and business concerns.
The Noise Management Plan indicates breaches of the safe limits of noise exposure and peak levels for at least some residents and businesses. In order to respect the privacy of such people, any identifying factors in the report(s) can simply be redacted. I believe the release of such reports is sensible and in the spirit of frank and honest disclosure to the Newcastle community and businesses in the precinct of the event.
Alex Spathis, Newcastle East
PETER Dolan (Letters, 14/9) takes me to task regarding him probably not being a Christian if he had been born in China. Peter also claims his information from the books of Phillips and Axelrod is that few wars have had religion as a causal factor.
As far as China is concerned, President Xi Ping has stated that all religions must be 'Chinese'. I understand the Chinese Communist Party has recently issued an edict launching a nationwide crackdown on Christianity. So Peter, good luck with your claim that China will have the world's largest Christian population by 2030.
I stand by my claim of religion being a major cause of wars in the past few thousand years. In order to agree with the claims made by Phillips and Axelrod's one has to look at their strict definition of a 'holy war'. They make many claims that wars previously blamed upon religion were not holy wars.
In my opinion Phillips and Axelrod's claims are easily disputed and do not stand close inspection. WWII was a war almost entirely caused by Hitler's hatred for those of Jewish faith.
As an aside, I was not surprised to discover that the main users of the Phillips and Axelrod definition of a religious war were, you guessed it, religious groups.
Mike Sargent, Raymond Terrace
Letter of the week
The Herald pen goes to Wendy Webb for her letter about rubbish.