Short Takes for Wednesday February 21 2018

GOOD one Jeff Corbett (“Welcome end to ink era”, Herald 17/2). I am fascinated here where I live by the number of men in their 50s, 60s and 70s who walk around either shirtless or in tightly fitting sleeveless shirts exhibiting their tatts and unhealthy obesity.

Donald Mennie, The Entrance

MANY bus patrons could not make it to the public protest meeting arranged by Jodie Harrison MP (“Bus anger at boiling point”, Herald 20/2) due to the very reason the protest is being held: it now takes two or three buses to get to destinations where it previously took just one bus. This resulted in hundreds of bus patrons unable to attend the protest. Could the Newcastle Herald set up a hotline so everyone affected can record their protest?

Gina Giryn, Charlestown

IT seems that Keolis Downer have hand selected three bus routes (11, 13 and 363) which have improved patronage to "highlight" their success (“Keolis Downer calls time on ghost buses”, Herald 19/2). I wonder why they haven't released Opal data on the hundreds of other bus routes in order to give a truly reflective analysis of how the new system is working. In my view, probably because the rest of the data shows a dramatic fall in patronage on the rest of the system.

Phillip Mallows, Stockton

KEOLIS Downer and the state government are giving themselves a pat on the back for improving passenger patronage on the 11 and 13. Of course they have increased patronage, as they are the only services that travel past Newcastle West all the way to Newcastle East. I believe the passengers have mainly transferred from services that terminate at Wickham, so the actual number of total passenger numbers hasn’t increased at all. Very rubbery figures.

Nigel Dale, Hamilton

ON January 12 I notified the Hunter District Water Board of a water leakage on Glebe Road at Merewether, and again last week. That property has the greenest lawn in Newcastle at the moment. So much for wasting a vital resource in water. 

Graeme Gibson, Merewether 

I JUST read your article about fig trees being removed (“Axe falls on Cooks Hill figs”, Herald 1/2). I would encourage your city leaders to investigate closely the problems with Callery pears before you plant any. Ohio has just outlawed selling them in that state. They are a nasty invasive species and a lousy street tree to boot. There are other trees with beautiful flowers.

Gary Schultheis, Indiana USA

SHEILA Bourne (Short Takes 16/2), a large percentage of the Hunter Valley mine land is unsuitable for farming rocky baron ground isn't much good for cattle grazing also it would have been a long walk for you and an even longer swim for your overseas visitor to reach our wonderful country without the spoils of the mining industry.

Brad Hill, Singleton

GUNS again (“Ex-student confesses to deadly shooting”, Herald 17/2). If they kill people, I guess pencils misspell words, spoons make you fat and cars drive drunk. 

Charles Farley, Adamstown Heights

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