WATCHING and listening to New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in the hours following the horrendous event in Christchurch was an experience. I had forgotten how uplifting it can be to hear from a real statesman. She spoke obviously from her heart; concisely and articulately. No over dramatisation, no glib words; a simple message, straight to the point. It would be wonderful if we had such a politician.
Ruth McFayden, Merewether
WE would like to thank the gentleman Steve from Singleton Army Base who stopped to help our 18-year-old daughter when she experienced a flat tyre on the Hunter Expressway last Sunday evening. It's a parent's worst fear that in such circumstances your child is approached by a stranger with perhaps not such good intentions as Steve showed our daughter. When Steve was unable to change the tyre himself, he stayed with her until the NRMA arrived and then until she was back on the road safely again. Our sincere thanks, Steve, for being a rare good Samaritan.
Nandina Vines, Pelaw Main
The eco-alarm sounds for Aussie insects. Germany woke in 2017 to news that its flying insect population had plummeted by between 76 and 82 per cent over three decades. Yet, it’s rare that individuals can take personal action with immediate results to help reverse an environmental catastrophe. Stop mowing lawns, or mow just half. Seed them with native grass and flowers. Sprinkle local parks with pods of untamed meadow. Sit and watch nature's regenerative capacity.
Gordon Weiss, Newcastle West
A JAPANESE ferry travelling between islands collided with a whale and 80 odd people were injured. Will that be the reason for culling more whales now?
Andy Conn, Newcastle
LR Woodward (Short Takes 12/3), I believe the reason smokers get served first is simply they don't have long to live. Does anybody know of any smokers being fined for littering Nelson Bay’s garden beds? In the CBD they are treated as ashtrays, let alone the laneways. Smokers are filthy. So are spitters. Come on, council, start a blitz.
Steve Barnett, Fingal Bay
L R Woodward (Short Takes 12/3): I agree. Smokers getting priority service is my gripe also. I have complained at the register to no avail, a letter to the store's customer service department responded in a spin reply, and while buying a pack for another person I went to the checkout line to be told they can't sell cigarettes from that register. I had to go to the counter and waited while she served others. $25 for a packet of smokes and half an hour to get them.
Kevin Miller, Windale
GEORGE Paris (Letters 9/3) just about sums up what is wrong with our society. As he pointed out, we had an excellent mayor in Joy Cummings and a council plan for the foreshore that would have made Newcastle a garden city instead of a concreted one. Unfortunately, our political parties were subservient to either developers or miners, sometimes both, and the welfare of the public has come a distant third.