AS a bike rider, I believe that the 2021-22 southern extension of the Fernleigh Track should be to the eastern side of Belmont Lagoon, and not along the Pacific Highway on the western side. If Lake Macquarie council seriously wants a world-class recreational track that will attract tourists from Sydney and elsewhere, it will raise the extra money for the easterly route. To me, the choice is a no-brainer ('Path build to start in 2021', Herald 7/11).
The western route may be cheaper to construct, but because this track would be alongside Pacific Highway it would be boring, noisy and smelly for both bike riders and pedestrians. It would also involve serious wrangling for land with Belmont Golf Club.
On the other hand, the easterly route would be far more attractive and scenic and would mostly be through public bushland. Moreover, in time, the easterly route would reinvigorate Blacksmiths, Pelican and Swansea, because of the bike and pedestrian traffic that it would attract.
The hypothetical easterly route would branch off Fernleigh Track before it reached Belmont TAFE.
It would go through bushland, to the east of Belmont Lagoon and up the back of Nine Mile Beach.
After reaching north Blacksmiths, the path would proceed along the rear of Blacksmiths Beach. When the track reached Swansea Channel, it would turn west alongside the Channel and link up with the existing track that goes across Swansea Bridge.
Geoff Black, Caves Beach
Park idea of a Supercars return
IT is really disappointing to read that there is consideration of Supercars returning to Newcastle in 2022 ('Race reset: Supercars eyes new date for 2022 return', Herald 6/11). The Supercars infrastructure disrupts the East End for a full 2 months, not just the 3 days of the race. In 2019 the first fencing on the foreshore park went up on 13 October and was finally removed on 13 December.
If this is to take place in the peak summer season in 2022 it will severely limit the access to and enjoyment of the park and beaches, not just for the local residents, but for all those visitors from the suburbs and beyond who make growing use of Newcastle and Nobbys beaches and the parkland along the foreshore.
Supercars should not be granted any extension to their current contract and the city should now recognise, as did Adelaide last week, that the supposed benefits to the city do not justify the huge expenditure forced upon City of Newcastle and disruption to the East End by the existing Supercars contract.
Grahame Charge, Newcastle East
Light on details beyond the rails
THE October edition of the Railway Digest had an article where it was stated that the Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia gave the Newcastle light rail an excellent rating for both design and build. The article went on to say that sustainability initiatives included 100 per cent catenary-free design; a first in Australia.
It also highlights Newcastle light rail features including an onboard energy storage system reducing energy and material use; photovoltaic cells providing the light rail depot with its operating energy needs; the restoration of the historic Cottage Creek Bridge and reuse of sandstone blocks from the former 1872 Honeysuckle Station, and re-use of a remnant pier from the old AA Company Bridge.
That's all very well until one remembers what the light rail replaced. The fact remains that experts said the light rail should have been built on the rail corridor.
The light rail has resulted in a loss of many parking spaces in Hunter Street (about 280, by my count) and reduced the number of traffic lanes from four to two, making getting around Newcastle harder.
Having to change from a bus or train at Wickham has made getting into the city by public transport harder.
The train was a lot faster and more convenient because commuters did not have to change.
Many retailers don't seem to have been impressed with trade since the light rail started running. It would seem the light rail didn't attract the multitudes that were promised.
I wonder if the Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia was aware of this.
Peter Sansom, Kahibah
Turn up the noise expectations
NAILED it once again, Tony Morley (Letters, 3/11). I once moved near bushland and had my tin roof practically become a dance floor for possums, but I was okay with this because I knew that was probably going to be inevitable.
So when I hear inner-city residents request change and then complain about the change, their philosophy on compromising with noise restrictions reminds me of the Animal Farm quote that all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others. While they may "expect a certain level of noise", I wonder why they're surprised anytime the city noise is louder than their personal expected certain level.
I wonder if the same fate befell those who have moved near Williamtown's airport over the years and complained about the sound of the planes. Did they not know that planes are loud?
Adz Carter, Newcastle
States don't vote, but people do
WHEN you see the massive belt of bright red running right the way down the middle of the United States it is hard to see how the Republican Party could possibly lose the US election.
So much red compared to the fiddly blue fringe covering parts of the east and west coast with a chunk down the bottom on the border.
When you start adding up state wins on both sides, however, you begin to see why it became a win for the Democrats.
There was more blue around the edges than it would seem, and then there were the undecided states where the race was so close.
It is easy to believe when you see that huge red mass that it is completely made up of conservative, poor, less educated, racist, gun-toting Americans, forgotten people who found a voice in Donald Trump.
Looking into the middle of that red spread you will find Kansas, and while Trump won comfortably with around 750,000 votes, Biden received a sizable 417,000.
A little further south but still in the red is Mississippi, which recorded similar voting numbers to Kansas.
We shouldn't forget that within the red states are people who are different to the majority.
Similarly, within the blue states which we look on as being better educated, progressive and liberal are those who are mad as hell that Trump could possibly lose.
Either way, America is a fascinating and diverse country.
Julie Robinson, Cardiff
MY take on the US election is that Joe Biden was not voted in; rather, the people voted Donald Trump out (''It's a time to heal'', Newcastle Herald 9/11) .
Fred McInerney, Karuah
IT'S interesting to see the usual fawning acolytes in Australian politics and the media supporting the lies coming from America. If Trump claimed the moon was a balloon made of bubblegum Alan Jones and his like would back him in.
Mac Maguire, Charlestown
IT looks like Donald has finally been Trumped and Joe is just Biden his time.
Mike Wilson, Corlette
SUPERCARS take up far too much space, time and good will. It is not a three-day race but rather a two-month drama from start to finish. Newcastle East and all it has to offer to so many in so many ways is for everyone to enjoy regularly. Supercars prevents this from happening. Please stop it ('Race reset: Supercars eye new date for 2022 return', Herald 6/11).
Jackie Furey, Newcastle East
IAN Roach (Letters, 7/11) you are entirely accurate, but the point I am making is that alarmists' predictions are designed to scare people. Judging by the report in the Herald ('Our kids fear for the future', Herald 28/10) about the effect on the mental health of young people of climate scare-mongering proves the point. Many of these young folk say they have lost all faith in humanity: it is alarming. You also state that Tim Flannery is "not a climate scientist", again correct, so why was he appointed climate commissioner at great expense to the taxpayer?
Greg Hunt, Newcastle West
I SEE Peter Dolan (Short Takes, 6/11) is still campaigning against common sense, empathy, compassion and an individual's right to have control of their own body. There is only one way to frame the question: should a person of sound mind have that control? While there may be some ideal palliative care units, it is not the overall standard case. Mr Dolan, give me the right to my life and it's ending.
Allan Earl, Beresfield
KOALA habitat versus Brandy Hill Quarry and, surprise surprise, the federal and state Liberal Coalition backs the quarry. Liberal Prime Minister Scott Morrison's lump of coal takes first place. The states support more mining. I think most Australian politicians are working for the rosary beads, choking our independence, wanting Australia on its knees for globalisation. I ask, do we want to save the planet?
Maureen O'Sullivan Davidson, Swansea
I DID not compare Trump to Hitler, Peter Dolan (Short Takes, 9/11). However, now you mention it there is Trump's racist, delusional, egotistical personality.
Julie Robinson, Cardiff
MEMO John Arnold (Letters, 9/11): it was actually James Murdoch who left the Murdoch family company, not Lachlan, on the grounds you have quoted. Otherwise, I totally agree with your sentiments