FURTHER to Paul Scott's opinion piece as to why he would rather watch Knights games on TV than go to games live ('Drinking in the atmosphere from the couch', Newcastle Herald, 15/7), I can add two more reasons why I gave up my membership a few years ago.
I used to enjoy watching three back-to-back games so I could keep an eye on up-and-comers, whereas now no one would know who is playing well in reserve grade. If there is an early game, we are subjected to 40 minutes of noise from the PA system to fill in time before the main game.
Secondly, the blaring noise includes what some would call music and it's even played during stoppages in the game. Maybe I'm just an old curmudgeon, but I don't enjoy this constant noise at the game so I'm with Mr Scott and I'd rather watch the game in the serenity of my own home.
Greg Hunt, Newcastle West
DON'T BE HARD-HEADED
THE collection of statistics worldwide is essential before any future decision is made regarding the wearing of helmets in rugby league or rugby union.
Some mention has been made that helmets are proving not to be as wholly protective as most people think.
In American football there are problems arising with helmets being quite ineffective, particularly on a player's neck, with the gap between the high shoulder pads and the helmet. So what are the suggestions for making rugby league safer?
Beside the usual football skills, players now show some high-skill levels in ballet movements, AFL and basketball high jumps and throws. Even their gymnastic skills are on the rise. Have the football trainers thought about applying some of the martial arts movements, whose goals are to not only stop their opponent, but to assist the opposition to land safely?
Elaine Street, Merewether
CITIES SPLIT ON PENALTIES
IT'S amazing the difference in refereeing between two cities. Newcastle gets some pretty ordinary calls. Gavet got 10 minutes in the bin for a minor knock on Harawira-Naera, then the same player gets a forward pass from five-eighth and scores a try, a try the on-field referee calls no-try before he is overruled by the video referee.
Then the ref pulls up Newcastle's Jesse Ramien for a shepherd when he cuts back in-field. At no stage does he impede the Canterbury defence, but a penalty is given.
Now Melbourne. Cronulla are coming back at the Storm when a crucial forward pass is called by the referee, who at the time is in the in-goal area and not in line with pass. No-try is ruled, then Melbourne forward Christian Welch hits Fifita in the back after he has passed. No sin-bin, just on report and a penalty. Melbourne then finishes the game with 70 per cent of the ball and run out easy winners. Melbourne over the last few weeks have survived by some dubious penalties in the last few minutes right in front of the goals getting them out of jail.
Allen Small, East Maitland
USER SHOULD PAY THE PRICE
HERE we go again, placing the blame on medical staff at concerts for drug related deaths ('Festival GP 'not equipped' for overdoses', Herald, 16/7). I am aware that readers disagree with some of my views, but you need to suck it up and stop putting your heads in the sand. Being neither naive nor complacent when it comes to drug use at these concerts doesn't cut it.
Medical personnel are deployed to many venues to look after various medical issues such as heat exhaustion, heart attacks, strokes and everyday bumps, not for revellers who are insecure and can't enjoy themselves without getting off on chemicals. Don't go and blame the lack of medical staff for your stupidity. If you use it and you lose it, then so sad too bad. Get a life, stop hiding behind your own insecurities and look after yourself. Don't expect others to risk their lives for your stupidity.
Graeme Kime, Cameron Park
DREDGING UP PAST FAILURES
LAKE Macquarie is still the generator of state wealth. The lights are on in Sydney, I believe at the expense of the Lake Macquarie and Central Coast environment. We are encouraged to believe we shouldn't care. It is more reasonable to believe we simply don't matter.
I believe the deepening of Swansea channel was carried out by those knowing at the time this serious situation would eventually occur. The ongoing damage to the Lake Macquarie environment caused by the dredging spoil is a continuous and increasing problem. I believe advice was ignored and the dredged sand was dumped in the middle of the wide channel mouth, which created the undesirable current flows that now exist ('Swansea Channel dredging a failure: MP', Herald, 6/11/15). Who named the dumped sand Elizabeth is unclear, but in my opinion appears to have spurious intent in avoiding the responsibility to repair the environmental damage that now exists, and requires continuous dredging and worsening the problem by increasing the enormous sand mound ('Dredging channel leads to 'Great Sand Wall of Swansea', Herald, 30/9/14). The state government benefited from profits of Vales Point power station as well as the eventual sale of the station to others. The supervising hydrologist stated at the time this cheap method of dredging would come back to haunt us. Now, taxpayers fund expensive maintenance dredging which worsens the problem.
Graham Burgess, Speers Point
OH BROTHER, IT'S RISKY
IN 2017 Malcolm Turnbull re-introduced a controversial Big Brother super ministry with an even more controversial minister ('Experts split over merits of Peter Dutton's national security super ministry', Guardian, 18/7). The justification for its new powers was never satisfactorily explained.
The story has since become a little clearer. I believe Turnbull knew that a challenge to his leadership was well on the way. It made sense to present Dutton as the evil face of the government. This would, presumably, make him un-electable. As it turned out, a different member of the Liberal extreme right was elected leader and Dutton survived the election, new powers intact.
Recent events have shown us that the home affairs ministry is implicated in attacks on journalistic independence and indeed in threats to our democracy. Since Turnbull is no longer under threat, perhaps it is time to close down the Big Brother ministry.
Peter Moylan, Glendale
LETTER OF THE WEEK
THE pen goes to Bob Hawes for his letter on referee abuse.