TOGETHER with the editorial (‘When awareness raised is falling away’, Opinion 13/10), thank you Scott Bevan, for your great article on Saturday regarding prostate cancer (‘Pricking memory of prostate cancer’, Newcastle Herald 13/10).
Apart from Brendon Young's personal story, Professor Denham's latest statistics on the recent local decline in prostate cancer awareness and an increase in mortality from the disease should be a wake-up call to us all. Sponsored by the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia, I am aware that the Hunter Prostate Cancer Support Group does excellent voluntary work in the community assisting men plus their families experiencing prostate cancer and its effects.
I know that following any requests for guest speakers, the group also readily provides free of charge to any forum men trained as speakers who are themselves survivors of prostate cancer. Who better to talk about it than those who have experienced prostate cancer?
While easily curable if detected early, we need to again better promote community awareness about prostate cancer.
The Prostate Cancer Support Group can be contacted at www.hunterprostatesupport.org
Gary Herrett, Eleebana
FURORE OBSCURES THE CAUSE
PERSONALLY I find the organ donation advertisement featuring Jesus Christ on the cross delivers a good message, but for all those who say that it really shouldn’t offend anyone I disagree.
If you ask me, it certainly does offend many of faith and even some of those with no religious faith. And I ask this: why didn’t they choose Mohammed for their advertisement? I believe the answer is clear.
Garry Robinson, Mannering Park
THERE'S NO HARM IN CAUTION
I DO not see myself as a fanatic or blinkered, but when I travel through the upper Hunter Valley I see very big holes in the ground which are not conducive to growing crops or grazing cattle. There are the high levels of particulate matter in the air, which I believe cannot be great for the lungs of anyone who needs that air to breathe. There are the miners and their families who have to manage with a diagnosis of silicosis.
Then there are scientists, a big group of people who are trained to know, telling me to reduce carbon and get out of coal or my kids or grandchildren have to put up with some pretty scary consequences.
Then there is AGL saying it is economically better for their bottom line to go onto renewables.
Then I talk to anyone going over to China and India and look at the high level of pollution in their skies from burning fossil fuel. Not so good for the health of their population. Then I hear about the hottest temperatures ever, or the strongest hurricanes, or the worst fires. I do not feel I am blinkered if I am worried about climate change.
So maybe we should not take the chance with our future generations. Maybe we should make some appropriate changes to our lifestyle and ask our politicians to make crucial changes to reducing our carbon footprint. Who could it harm? Definitely not the farmers or the reef, or our kids, or our air we breathe, and not the bottom line of our energy companies and their shareholders.
Chris Marley, Adamstown
WEEKS OF INCONVENIENCE
I COULDN’T agree more with you regarding Supercars, Jackie Furey (Letters 15/10). Here we go again. Also in the Herald on the same day (“V8 back for track rebuild”, Herald 15/10) the manager of the event, Kurt Sakzewski, stated that he wouldn’t be surprised if attendance dropped “a little bit” this year.
I’m not convinced that the crowd attendance figures from last year were accurate. The justification on a poorly-conceived plan with very little consideration for the people of Newcastle goes on. I believe the benefits are dubious and the true costs remain hidden. Now we have lost very precious parking spots and access through Honeysuckle to Nobbys and Newcastle Baths for weeks.
I feel it’s a disgrace and brought on through bypassing our elected councillors and locking ratepayers into this circus for years. So much damage to residents and businesses can surely not be justified, and like many Novocastrians I’m passed being upset and now reaching anger.
Denise Lindus Trummel, Mayfield
SAVE IT AS SANCTUARY
OK, so the Sydney Opera House was paid for with gambling money in the shape of the Opera House Lottery.
But lots and lots of blood, sweat and tears actually made it happen.
Of course, there is always a bottomless pit of money to build a sporting coliseums where the gladiators can send the masses into a frenzy. Rome lives!
But in spite of the latter, the iconic Sydney Opera House now stands supreme as an oasis of peace, harmony, love, entertainment, creativity, inspiration and hope.
To use its sails to spread the snake-oil message of professional sport, commercialism, politics, militarism, monarchism and, yes, even social issues is a trend that must end, and it will end.
In a society which is obsessed with meritocracy, that acquiesces to greed, nurtures inequality and, frighteningly, can even be brutal at times, let the cry "this above all" echo through the Opera House's awe-inspiring halls.
Robert Connell, Killarney Vale
NO FAITH IN RELIGION
RELIGIOUS freedom? I consider religion arguably the world’s oldest fraud. We don’t tolerate fraud or fabrications in our financial dealings or personal relationships, so why should we tolerate religion any longer?
I believe pushing these far-fetched fairy tales of Adam and Eve, and of a god making a woman pregnant and producing a baby Jesus, is doing wrong by children. Churches, along with other institutions, have allowed sexual abuse of children for decades. Enough with religious exceptionalism from the normal rules of truth and decency.
Children are owed truths, not religious or any other hogwash to muddle their developing minds and young heads. We have a responsibility to teach our youngsters critical thinking skills so they can learn to think clearly for themselves, and be immune to becoming easy marks for exploiters generally.
It is true that many religious people do good works, as do good and kind secular people. The problem is there are many in this country who benefit or gain political advantage from the religious manipulation. I can’t see us being freed from Religion’s negative influences, which in my view far outweigh the good, any time soon.
Les Hutchinson, South Maitland
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