Slowing down the Laman Street racetrack is a great idea (Council set to put the brakes on 'rat run', Herald 2/12). Losing two car spaces is fine and a pedestrian crossing near Auckland Street is long overdue.
But if council is really concerned about safety, how about also looking at the intersection of the tiny Charles Street intersection and Laman Street? If ever there was an accident waiting to happen, this is it. The corner is completely blind. Cars exiting Charles Street can't see anyone using the Laman Street footpath until they've actually driven onto it, while many pedestrians don't even realise there's a road there. I've seen way too many cars exit that alley carelessly and pedestrians ignore it blithely, especially schoolchildren. That part of Charles Street should be closed as a road and improved as pedestrian access.
And, while council is at it, what happened to the proposal to change parking in Laman Street from four hours to two hours? With increasing migration of the university into this part of Newcastle, and no provision at all for student parking, parking for residents on Laman Street is frequently impossible. These are old houses without garages or car spaces and Laman Street residents pay a fee for parking permits, yet they frequently have to park as far away as Hamilton South.
Council's safety plan for Laman Street is welcome, but let's hope it amounts to something more than one obstacle in the road and no real improvement to the safety of pedestrians and the welfare of residents.
Rick Frost, Mallabula
Reasons for private option
These days it is not difficult to read or hear poorly researched and biased comments from a media contributor, but I think Garry Linnell's comments ("The inequity of private schooling", Herald, 2/12), is a gold medal contender. Parents are increasingly sending their kids to private schools as evidenced by the fact that the proportion of students enrolled in independent schools in 2022 has surged to 15 per cent of school enrolments and rising yearly.
Reports indicate parents choose private schooling for reasons that include quality of facilities and teachers, level of discipline and improved academic results. Surely government money to fund better outcomes in student learning and social discipline is well worth the money and should be welcomed and not criticised.
Perhaps Linnell would like to comment on how public schools can improve academic outcomes and classroom discipline?
John Cooper, Charlestown
Itemising blockade's cost
Anjali Beams' opinion piece was an interesting read ("I was one of 109 people arrested for blockading coal port", Opinion, 2/12). Beams, a young climate action warrior with a self-confessed one march under her belt as a 13 year old, explained her reasons for defying the allocated protest period during the recent blockade of coal ship movements in the Port of Newcastle.
Her excuses after being arrested were typical.
However, her plea for a "liveable climate" is not unreasonable. But I wonder if she took into account the carbon footprint of the protesters who travelled to and from the event, the t-shirts printed for the protest, the fuel used by police to monitor the event, the clean up, etc. Then there were all the everyday items, phones, laptops, cosmetics, snack foods etc that these people consumed and used.
Blocking 30 boats will hardly put a dent in the carbon footprint that is created by the so-called necessities of life these people consume and use daily.
Darren Saxon, Pelican
Club fee scale unfair
I have been a member of a leagues club for 30 years and always thought that as a member, whether new or after 30 years, we would be treated equally.
This appears to not be the case at my leagues club. They have introduced a tiered system of payment, whereby the members who spend more receive more discounts. It seems to me that new members and people who cannot get to the club regularly, through no fault of their own, are being discriminated against by the club.
Perhaps the CEO as a newbie should be paid accordingly on the same scale?
Steven Wisnie, Lake Macquarie
Jesus missing from season
WHAT has happened to Jesus? Going by all the promos for Christmas, he seems to have disappeared. It was supposed to be about his birthday. Maybe we should have a competition and re-brand this period with a different name. Such as 'Santamas', or maybe Xmas, the celebration of the unknown. I'm sure Jesus doesn't mind, after all he wasn't born in December. This celebratory season was originally dedicated to the pagan Roman god Saturn, with Jesus being born either the last week in September or the first week in October. The actual date is unknown.
Alan Kendall, Neath
Drawing a line on cartoons
I MIGHT suggest the two cartoonists, Pope and Broelman, and I use the term loosely, stopped being funny or quick-witted when they started reading from the Labor Party's hand book when in trouble or have nothing of interest to say, or, in their case, produce a cartoon. When all else fails, and nothing comes to mind, break glass and roll out "Peter Dutton bad" cartoons. You have become boring.
Andrew Hirst, Beresfield
YES Graeme Bennett ("Liberal mess hard to hide", Letters, 2/12), you do seem to be missing something completely. My original letter contained no opinion of previous governments' performances, only my assessment of the current weak-as-water Labor mob, who appear to be leading us to a train wreck. How long will their mess take to clean up? The only strong leadership at the moment is coming from Peter Dutton's team.
Greg Hunt, Newcastle West
Lowe's creativity a winner
C'MON Mac Maguire ("Taking a shot at columnist", Letters, 5/12), I reckon Dave Lowe is a pretty good and creative scribe and I enjoy his columns. Let's remember, you have to be creative to make soccer interesting.
Tony Morley, Waratah
Baby, we have a solution
HEY Jenna Price ("Want to lift the birthrate? Fix this", Opinion, 1/12). It looks to me as if men may be taking matters into their own hands by the look of the advertisement on page three of the same issue (pictured below).