I RECENTLY celebrated Mervyn Hall's anniversary by chatting to two of his pupils from 1965. Both expressed their absolute "honour and privilege" to have been in his class and to have known him as an intelligent, wise and guiding teacher in their younger years. My father would be so humbled by this.
John Beach, retired principal of NEPS, gained a grant to archive the school's history. He was so impressed by the documentation and letters written by my father in the 60s, he kindly invited me to come and see my father's work as principal.
Teachers can be wonderful role models and mentors for so many students, work colleagues and assist in general life experiences. COVID has increased the teachers' workload. My work colleagues have dealt with it with style, grace and hard work. Aren't we lucky to have such amazing teachers? Love you forever Merv.
Suellen Hall, Wallsend
PAUL Scott just beat me to it! I had my letter almost complete when I read his dissertation ('Chaotic times on the shared human path', Opinion, 20/9). I agree with everything he said, and more. Shared pathways are a great addition, but only if done to an excellent standard, unlike the recent additions along Hunter Street and in front of the Lume apartments.
Just because they are "temporary" doesn't mean they have to be unsafe! Paul highlighted the problems with wandering pedestrians, just as many dogs on telescopic leads, cyclists who don't have a bell, or don't know how to use it!
It is even more dangerous when many, (thankfully, not all) think they are doing the sprint stage of the Tour de France. Paul calls them walkers, cyclists, dog exercisers, a better term might be: Bogan Novocastrians (who think they are the only users of the facilities available).
Bill Livingstone, New Lambton
Costs of electric road transport
WITH the electric car making the scene, and 5000 roadside charging stations about to be installed, it appears the destiny of electric road transport is upon us, but how much extra power will be required, from where will it come, and how much will it cost?
A Tesla car battery will consume 80KW of power, the average household consumes 16KW of power per day. Even if the 80KW will last five days, it increases the home power supply, thus the cost by 100 per cent. As for cheap off-peak power, it will be a thing of the past. Power stations would need to increase their domestic output by 100 per cent, which seems unlikely at this stage, and home solar needs to purchase a house battery, as most solar power is produced during the day, when most people are at work, so no battery, no power, no work.
However, the environmental cost of battery disposal to landfill must be considered. Even if pulled apart, most parts will eventually end up in the ground. At present, a million new cars come on the road every year, thus a million-plus batteries would go into landfill.
Summing up, because electric road transport is the chosen path, power station capacity must increase, home battery installation a necessity, and safe battery disposal a necessity, whether these costs will be worth the expense, only time will tell.
Carl Stevenson, Dora Creek
I MUST have missed the announcement that we no longer had to abide by government health requirements/laws regarding social distancing, gathering in numbers and wearing masks.
Many groups of all ages have been congregating in Dixon Park without care or consideration for others and the potential spread of the virus. Police just drive past, allowing this to happen.
If Tony Abbott can get a fine for not wearing a mask, why shouldn't others? Hence the virus spread and lockdown will continue.
Noel Hoffman, Merewether
Don't need French support
I CANNOT believe that French people have such a short memory span. Have they forgotten the thousands of our young men who died defending them? Have they forgotten how they capitulated without even throwing a rock when they were threatened? I think not.
A buyer has the right to buy the best, unfortunately good old Mal got some brownie points, but that was typical of him. I am sure that we don't need their support. I seriously doubt they would come to our aid if needed.
I am an old bloke who is totally amazed about the change of the way that people think, countries conveniently forgetting their past obligations. The way that our young and our newcomers show their obvious disregard to showing respect to this wonderful country has a lot to be desired. God help us if we are relying on them to step forward, and I can clearly see a Dad's Army having to protect Australia in the time of need.
Dennis Crampton, Swansea
Climate alarms confound
BRIAN Measday ('Ignored climate alarms confound', Letters, 16/9) claimed that the UN, NASA and leading world scientists had warned "that unless the burning of coal to produce energy ceases very quickly Earth will no longer be capable of supporting life".
I would challenge that claim. There is no record of the UN, NASA or any reputable scientist ever stating such an extreme consequence. Repeatedly scaremongering with such baseless claims may make some people afraid for their future but provides no useful, credible information for people to conduct their lives. I believe Mr Measday is being irresponsible on the subject of climate change.
Further he states that "climate change is a proven scientific fact". That may be so, but nobody denies that fact as it has been shown in the geological record for millions of years. Making straw man arguments like that just shows that Brian Measday has no real argument to make about climate change.
Peter Devey, Merewether
RECENTLY Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce has indicated that any long-term emissions strategy would require the "concurrence" of National party MPs and Senators. Barnaby Joyce has also refused to say he accepts key findings of the latest global summary of climate science.
The comments made by Barnaby Joyce may well explain why setting a target date to reach net zero greenhouse emissions, by Prime Minister Scott Morrison, is now so long overdue with no clear indication as to when an actual target date will be established. In the meantime, any positive actions by the federal Coalition government in relation to setting a net zero emissions date and other climate change-related matters would appear to be - not any time very soon.
For many Australians, this will be far from being at all acceptable.
Brian Measday, Myrtle Bank SA
AFTER moving from Merewether to New Lambton last month, I had occasion to visit the Junction again a few days ago. The little gardens in Rowlands Park in Glebe Road still look lovely. Unfortunately, the footpath in front of some of the shops in Union Street, between Glebe Road and Kenrick Street, is a filthy, bird-dirt-covered disgrace. Time for some of the locals to take responsibility.
Anne Stuart, New Lambton
TO Greg Parrey (Short Takes, 21/9), you have got to be joking to suggest Mullen over Pearce for the Knights next year.
Tony Padgett, Newcastle
THOROUGHLY enjoyed reading Dr Barney Langford's letter ('Making sense of sub saga', Letters, 23/9), with almost watering eyes and side-splitting laughter. The total info being factual and passing any pub test. These statements ring true in our household.
Brian Watson-Will, Corlette
ON what planet has Paul Keating been living ('Keating: China does not pose a threat', Newcastle Herald, 22/9)? It seems everyone else is wrong except him, i.e. Scott Morrison, and yep, even his own mob Anthony Albanese and Penny Wong. He had his go at the top job and blew it. Now he wants to do it from the sideline. It just goes to prove the old adage: There's nothing so ex as an ex-Prime Minister.
Bill Snow, Stockton
SICK of Gladys and Brad talking about NSW being double jabbed when they should be saying Sydney double jabbed. The rest of the state can just stay closed down because they can't get jabs. The mismanagement they have shown to the rest of the state is incompetence allowing Sydney people into regional areas along with the rest of their stuff-ups.
Bruce Cook, Adamstown
SO what is the real reason for complaints from construction workers in Melbourne? Could it be that providing vaccination certificates identifies them and destroys the cash payments industry, which exists on construction sites?
Garry Robinson, Mannering Park
I'D rather speak ill of my dead mum than say she was sacred. In other words, it would be better to ask those fallen soldiers before putting them on your pedestal.
Dave Wilson, Bar Beach
IF the Supercars in Newcastle is going to be a super spreader event, I'd put QR codes all around Zaara Street.
Bryn Roberts, New Lambton
PETER Devey and David Stuart (Short Takes, 24/9) both make uninformed assumptions about the identity of rioting protestors in Melbourne, labelling them as trade unionists. Well here is my uninformed assumption, gentlemen. They are more likely disaffected Howard aspirationals.
Marvyn Smith, Heddon Greta
THE inner workings of the Labor Party appears to be quite a Colinundrum, me thinks.