I REALISE there has been great animosity expressed by bicycle riders towards motorists and motorists towards cyclists so I would like to say that this is not always the case. A week ago I was riding along Turton Road at Lambton when the pedals came off (literally), as did the rider. The rather hard landing took me out of the bike lane and part way into the outside car lane. Great presence of mind by passing motorists meant that one motorist used their car to block traffic and two other motorists stopped to scrape me from the tarmac and to pick up various bike parts from the road. Now that I have recovered, I thought it appropriate to express my deep appreciation of their kind assistance and quick thinking – I only wish that I had the presence of mind to record their contact details so that I could do so personally.
John Hendricks, East Maitland
Toilets to talk about
CREDIT where credit is due. Further to my letter pointing out the disgusting state of the toilet facilities on the southern hill of MacDonald Jones Stadium (Letters, 4/1), something miraculous has happened to these facilities. I attended the Jets/Mariners game last Thursday with my daughter and to my surprise, the male toilets have had two new fluorescent light fittings installed, the roof and walls are free of mould with a fresh coat of paint and there are two new hand soap dispensers. My daughter had a look in the female facilities to find the same paint fairy had visited this toilet block, no mould and everything was fresh. Do you think this was routine maintenance or does someone from stadium management read the Newcastle Herald?
Chris McDougall, New Lambton
Final round for the road
I ALWAYS enjoy reading Jeff Corbett's column but ‘Shout? Get yourself out’ (Herald, 9/2) brought back practical memories. I should mention at the outset that I am talking about “pre-breathalyser” days.
Half a dozen of us blokes used to play a late afternoon two hours of solid squash when that game was at its peak, and follow that with some necessary thirst quenching at the pub. Six rounds of schooners would elapse, with everybody having a shout. That would be time to head home for dinner but, on a hot day and in a convivial atmosphere, another round would be desired. To avoid the unfair shout situation, we would have a “Scotsman's for the road”, a “Scotsman's” meaning that we all contributed a one-sixth share of the round. Sometimes the atmosphere was such that a second “roader” would be welcome, and, occasionally, a third. The “Scotsman's” was the best way of levelling the playing field (in the pub of course). The playing field on the squash court, although competitive, was sometimes one-sided because of the range of abilities.
Bruce Brown, Marks Point
Ratepayers’ war on waste
MONDAY’S Herald (Letters, 11/2) published some great letters highlighting how the ratepayers of Newcastle are dissatisfied with council spending and antics. Ray Dinneen took up the issue of the new city emblem which cost $50,000 to have designed. That is of course before re-branding letterheads, uniforms and vehicles. So unnecessary in the light of so many other maintenance issues. John O’Brien mentioned just one of them when he wrote of the deteriorating Newcastle baths and Dave McTaggart tackled the cowardly actions of the person who has bullied Cr Church for standing his ground against poor planning, wasteful self indulgence and lack of transparency. All great letters calling council to account. Keep those letters coming because our opinions should matter.
Denise Lindus Trummel, Mayfield
Untested after a year
I SEE Shane Warne is in a hurry to put Warner and Smith straight back into the Test team after finishing their suspensions. Personally, after “cheating for Australia” I think they should never be selected again. But given, I guess they will be, what should you do to get into an Australian cricket team as a batsman? Runs perhaps? Now these blokes hadn't played first class cricket for 12 months, others have, mostly … poorly. So who’s to say this dynamic duo will get runs first up? It shows there is no logic in the requirements to make the team. Someone once said, “It’s harder to get out of the Australian cricket team than get in”. Maybe this is the exception.
Richie Blanch, Charlestown
Feed the farms first
IT’S a pity that our bickering parliamentary factions didn’t place as much time and effort into our Australian farmers as they do into refugees on border control. Instead of fighting over political point scoring, they should be coming together to resolve and ease the problems that are confronting our Aussies who are struggling at this moment. They need help now, not after these elections. They argue about immigration and refugees, where the blazers are they going to put them? If our government doesn’t help our farmers now there will be no farms or farmers for these new Aussies to go. Help our true blues first.
Graeme Kime, Cameron Park
Ban the boat blow
MR Morrison has revived the Stop the Boats rhetoric of the Abbott era. Almost 30,000 people entered Australia illegally last year, but not by boat. The Stop the Boats rant has hit a low water mark. Mr Morrison should row a little faster and see the old Stop the Boats humdrum is well and truly dead. Refugees in detention centres suffering severe pain desperately need medical help which the Coalition refuses to provide. The law is on the side of these forsaken people and they are supported by Dr Phelps. Mr Morrison, on the other hand is instilling fear that sick children are terrorists and the government knows best. Refusing aid to refugees and digging up glib Abbott sound bites shows the Coalition is not listening to voters. We don't want messages based on fear. Dr Phelps is listening to voters who want sick refugees brought home and we want staggering illegal entry rates stopped.
John Butler, Windella Downs
Icy response to claim
PETER Devey (Short Takes, 11/02) suggests the Antarctic continent is cooling and growing. It’s hard to imagine with a warming global atmosphere and oceans. Unsurprisingly NASA data for the period 2002 to 2016 shows an accelerating rate of ice loss from both the Antarctic continent and Greenland. The annual average for Antarctica was 125 gigatons, and the annual average for Greenland was 281 gigatons. The total loss over the 15 years was 6090 gigatons. A separate NASA report shows an average annual Antarctic ice loss from 1979 to 1989 of 40 gigatonnes, jumping to 250 gigatonnes in 2017.