OUR beloved Newcastle Knights have lost three of their opening four matches by a combined total of 10 points: Panthers won by two, Raiders by seven, Dragons by one.
It is only early days in season 2019 and, once the new chums start to blend and form winning combinations with those already in the 13 or 17, victories hopefully will be there more often for the taking.
People are quick to talk needlessly about replacing our coach Nathan Brown prematurely. What did they expect? Get behind the team, uplift the players' confidence in themselves, and in time we will have the players, wisely purchased by Phil Gardner, to follow in the footsteps of the successful Melbourne Storm.
David Crich, Tenambit
DRIVING TOWARDS DANGER
AS a relatively new driver already suffering anxiety driving on motorways, main roads and back streets, myself and other safe drivers have to endure constant tailgating and bullying by owners of mostly faster vehicles with more powerful engines in the hands of irresponsible, aggressive speed demons of all ages and genders, but particularly young males around 30 years old.
Last week I was tailgated, followed and threatened by one of these drivers. As I pulled off the road, given the opportunity to ring the police while shaking, the driver had driven around the block and found me. He pulled up behind me, slammed his fist into my car and was headed to my window. Terrified, I drove off as fast as I could in my 2005 car to escape.
I drive at the speed limit, not below, but am harassed almost daily by highly aggressive drivers who are extremely dangerous at best. Something needs to be done, as there seems to be very little police presence and therefore no repercussions for their habitual behaviours.
Debbie Harrison, Whitebridge
A FIX IS IN THE FUTURE
MICHAEL Hinchey (Letters 9/4), any poll can be skewed to support different agendas. If you did a poll involving workers in coal mining areas and people who run supporting businesses, I think you would find huge support for coal. You, like most others, have really offered no low-cost alternatives the thousands of lost jobs and the billions lost to the economy.
Clean coal is just that. It burns cleaner by a big margin than products used in third-world countries like India that spew out much more pollution than our country ever would. How about the greenies travel to those sorts of areas to protest ('It's about animal rights, say protesters', Newcastle Herald 10/4)?
It wouldn't happen because they would be thrown in jail. People can hop onto wind, solar, gas, hydro and other alternatives if they can afford it, but the majority of taxpayers out there just don't have the means to do this. You can say I am cynical if you like, but until greenies give up their cars and stop dying their hair with toxic chemicals and totally get on board with their beliefs they have no credibility with me.
In the future, people with better intelligence than you or I will work out a cost-effective alternative, but I suggest that won't happen in your or my lifetime.
Tony Morley, Waratah
THERE'S MORE TO MEDICINE
I AM writing to express my dismay over the abolition of subsidies for natural therapies by the Australian government. I have always had great results from complementary medicine, particularly in the area of minimising the risk of potentially harmful side effects of prescription medication.
For the last 18 months I have been ill with breathing issues. After exhausting the medical system for answers, I started using Buteyko breathing exercises. My health improved amazingly, so this therapy saved Medicare a lot of money.
Many European and Asian countries accept natural therapies as part of traditional medical system. I believe pharmaceutical drugs provide band-aid treatment only and cover up symptoms. Are we just maintaining disease in Australia, or do we want to cure disease? I'm sorry to say that politicians have lost touch with what the people want.
Gayle Brown, Glendale
GEARS ARE ALREADY SHIFTING
THERE seems to be a lot of negative comment and emotion regarding the Labor Party's stated aim that by 2030 50 per cent of new vehicles sold in Australia will be electric ('Australia is 'well behind' in electric cars take-up', Herald 9/4).
I would assume that such an aim will be achieved by the government having a range of enabling strategies to make this happen, such as distributed charging and fast charging stations and creating other incentives to buy. A point not much talked about so far is that we currently have a large exposure because we no longer refine petroleum in Australia and we have to import it all. According to the Australian Petroleum Statistics 2018, we only have about 23 days worth of petrol, 20 days of aviation fuel and 17 days of diesel oil in reserve to use in an emergency (BBC 7/5/18).
So if we converted much of our vehicle population to electric vehicles, then we reduce this exposure and improve our trade balance.
Also, at the rate much of the rest of the developed world is accelerating away from internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles towards electric, if we don't get on board soon we may find it difficult to source new vehicles. The extreme view of this would be ending up with a fleet like Cuba's static population of ageing cars.
Mark Bailey, Hamilton South
STRANGERS OF UPPER HOUSE
PAUL Scott ('I'm hitting the snooze button for eight years', Opinion 8/4) implicitly ponders the role and the relevance of those NSW parliamentary members in the Upper House, the Legislative Council. Not answerable to their local constituents like their colleagues in the Lower House, the Legislative Assembly, once elected they serve for eight years.
Every person who cast a vote in the recent NSW elections would know how confusing for many, and intimidating for some, was the tablecloth of a ballot paper they were confronted with for the Legislative Council candidates.
I would speculate that in the vast majority of cases, none of the candidates were remotely known to the voter and, more than two weeks after the election, the final results are still not determined.
At least our local MPs have an office and a presence in the community they represent. If we must have an Upper House, surely it is time to insist that the MPs who reside in it while parliament is in session should have an office and a physical presence in locations beyond the Sydney metropolitan area.