Soup Kitchen Xmas

Soup Kitchen Xmas

The annual Lismore Soup Kitchen Christmas Day luncheon is being held at the Lismore Town Hall in the Function Room from 10am-3pm.

All people who are on their own and who have friends on their own are welcome plus those just doing it hard (families included).

This is an alcohol free event. A hot lunch will be served. Anybody willing to donate food etc can drop off their donations to the Lismore Soup Kitchen seven days a week from 9am-1pm in Norco Lane, South Lismore.

Feel free to come along on Christmas Day and have a friendly face greet you and have a great time. Merry Christmas.

Helen Coyle

South Lismore

Good on youth

With so much negative news about youth, Id like to recognise the kindness of Lismore Girl Guides, who visited self-care units in Caroona Village to give residents a Christmas card and a handmade tree decoration. Mine is hanging proudly on my front door.

It is so good to know that these young people are willing to reach out to the elderly.

Val Kwong


Political dinosaurs

What planet are Cr Crimmins and Cr Graham from?

I want to know, because perhaps we can all move there in 50 years time after weve ruined this one wasting time debating the politics of climate change all because they dont want to upset their mates in Canberra.

I think that it is entirely appropriate that Cr Graham referred to ice ages because his views on climate change are so out of step with the 21st century that I am sure he can remember the last one. And congratulations must go to Cr Crimmins for politicising the views of a 14-year-old girl. She was, after all, an ALP conspirator!

Clearly with councillors as progressive or impartial as those two in its midst, LCC has a snowballs chance in hell of ever writing to my government (as Cr Graham puts it) to request that they ratify Kyoto, or indeed to even ratify its own version as have done the mayors of 339 US cities including: New York City, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Dallas, Seattle, San Diego, Miami, Los Angeles, Boston, Washington, DC (I could continue).

Cr Crimmins and Cr Graham you will, in time, be embarrassed by your resistance to this inconvenient truth.

And to the rest of Lismore City Council wake up. You dont live in an isolated utopia.

Mark Bailey


Selective hearing

Quoting one of those high minded enlightened beings called a councillor below:

Im not going to support a motion to lobby or write a pretty little letter to my government that I represent, he said. Nobody yet has come up and said this is definitely what is happening with climate change. Weve only been here for a very short time. Ice ages happen. Industry may not be (the cause) and until its pointed out that yes it is, we cant be blaming or pointing fingers at one particular part of our nation. Which makes absolutely no sense at all if read carefully!

Um, well, actually several well educated, highly skilled research scientists, climatologists, ecologists, biologists, chemists and even the odd politician has said yes it is. Maybe the selective hearing of the conservative representatives of this mans government (as opposed to what I and many others would like to have, our government) is simply not tuned into the sound of ice shelves cracking as they melt, glaciers grinding as they recede, sea temperatures increasing as the earth warms up, not to mention millions of hectares of forest burning as the air crackles with hot wind.

One sure way of avoiding climate change is to keep your head in the sand, that way only your bum will get roasted. But by the sound of it this councillor has already has his brains fried! Who votes for these jokers anyway?

M Mizzi


Private religion?

Christianity like most faiths is not a private religion. So when B Parker says that P Gosper should keep his religion firmly to himself (Echo, December 14) isnt he simply asserting that Christians have no right to participate in the political process? Just who has the blind spot here?

I note also that he didnt criticise Lee Andresen for his free advertising of the recent HREOC meetings.

As a person who attended both sets of meetings (although I attended Dr Moyes meeting in Ballina rather than Lismore) I can say that they were both very informative gatherings equally worthy of being brought to public attention through the letters column.

Hearing each others stories is an important part of building community. It helps us broaden our perspective and soften our prejudices. A good place to start is always with someone who has a different perspective to you.

Perhaps it is time Mr Parker got out more and got himself along to some of these meetings.

John Hannaford


Christian hypocrisy

So Mr Hannaford (Echo, December 14) praises Christianised Kevin Rudd for voting against stem cell research. Most other Christian politicians including Bonsai (little Bush) Howard voted against it also. So whats the big deal? Im personally glad it got approval for ongoing research.

It never ceases to amaze me, even though I was one of them once, how Christian bigotry tries to excel in manipulating the minds of folk with poppycock. When a zygote is considered to be a potential human individual, it robs disadvantaged people of the possibility of a chance to live a normal life through stem cell research.

So John Hannaford states; How dare we call it therapeutic when the first duty of a healer is to do no harm. He then prattles on about the (mythological) New Testament healer.

The majority of these Christian parliamentary bigots who voted against stem cell research, sanctioned an illegal invasive ongoing war against Iraq based on lies and more lies. Innocent people are being maimed and killed almost daily. I see all of this as nothing short of grand scale Christian hypocrisy.

Merry festive season to all.

Jim Lee


The War on Love

Regardless of the attempts by the protagonists of the brave new world to reduce Christmas (as well as everything and everybody else) to its market value, this day has remained, for many, a celebration of love; commemorating the birth of a man who was crucified because his message of love was regarded as heretical and dangerous to a ruthless empire and a hypocritical religious hierarchy.

Sadly, there will be no celebration of love, nor reprieve, for the little Aussie in Guantanamo Bay, so shamefully abandoned by his own government an example of Howards understanding of mateship and a fair go.

You might find it in your heart this Christmas to spare a thought for David Hicks, who has been rotting in an American concentration camp for five years now, without having been charged with any crime at all. At the mercy of men who claim that torture is not really torture unless the President of the United States deems it to be so.

All of which is just the kind of behaviour you would expect from the country that claims to uphold the highest human values the world has ever known.

Furthermore, as David Hicks lawyer Michael Mori has revealed, Hicks American captors persistently keep erasing one particular word from the letters sent to Hicks by his loved ones from Australia.

And that word, the word the mighty empire of our times is so afraid of that she needs to erase it even from the letters of an innocent man who is locked up in a dogs cage, is none other than the word love.

Tom Koo


Not so wholesome

An article appeared in your newspaper last November entitled Teds one night stand with Bob, telling of Ocean Shores resident Ted Harvey putting on a display of photographs of the Led Zeppelin heavy metal rock band.

Ted claims to be an active practising Christian. How does he then justify promoting and glorifying rockers who advocate evil, dope, obscenity, blasphemy, trashing hotel rooms etc? Does not the bible say Friendship with the world is enmity to God. Avoid all appearance of evil.

More wholesomeness please.

Vyvyan Stott

Blue Knob

True believer

Sincere congratulation, B Cooper, LGBTI youth activist, in stating what Ive always instinctively known to be true. That LGBTIs are born.

Not decided, perhaps on a whim of an individual.

Barbara Elliott


Give us a break

To that Lee Andresen (Echo, December 7). Why dont you give us all a break about your sexual habits and what you want. I think that 90 per cent of the Northern Rivers are getting sick and tired of your rantings and ravings about changing the same-sex laws in Australia. I know that I am.

Why in the hell dont you go over to one of those same-sex countries that allow this disgusting habit to happen and live there, then the readers of these local papers may be able to read some sensible letters, instead of your inane ramblings about same-sex marriages and queers, like you. So shut up and give us a break.

John Lenon

Evans Head

Bad idea

There is a lot of intellectual waffle used in this tiresome campaign to try to get the average citizen to accept the idea that it is normal, even acceptable, for gays to marry and have children.

Im sure that most people would agree that there is in fact something very fundamentally wrong with this idea.

If asked, Im sure that they would say that on an intuitive level those who also harbour these ideas are bordering on mental disturbance.

Gavin Begbie

Byron Bay

Not so Kuhl!

I felt so disappointed when I read Joan Kuhls letter (Whats God got to do with it, Echo, December 7) with her predictable Christian-based homophobic response. She proceeds to enlighten us with quotes from the heavily biased regurgitated dogma they call the bible.

When Joan?

When will you accept not all share the same belief system as you?

When will you grasp that not everybody wishes to live out his or her life according to your chosen religion?

When will you realise that Christianity is not compulsory?

When will you understand that not everybody thinks or feels the exact way you do?

When Joan, will you stop trying to force others to live to your Christian based expectations?

When will you start to accept that there are other sexualities other than heterosexual?

When will you realise that concepts such as good morals/virtues/ethics are not exclusive to Christians?

When will you gather that the world will not cave in without religion?

When will you learn that enforcing religion on others is just brain-washing?

When will you stop believing that your lifestyle is better than anyone elses, or indeed the only one?

I could go on, but I think thats probably enough for you to consider for now.

Please remove those Christian-bound blinkers, and start accepting others and their diversity.

Its a whole lot kinder; so much less conflict, and lets face it Joan, the world could do with that.

P DeGray


All or nothing

Regarding Joan Kuhls letter (Echo, December 7).

Joan we all went through the biblical quote war at the beginning of the year! I think it was fairly well pointed out back then that when you quote passages for the reader without the reader being able to benefit from the entire text then it is easy to manipulate points to fit any side of an argument.

I have to say though that I am a bit tired of people making thunderous denunciations based on texts such as Leviticus. Its a bit hypocritical to only quote certain sections of text. If you want people to abide by your Christian laws then you best start following all of Leviticus no more prawns or oysters as that is also an abomination (Leviticus 11:10), no more wearing of mixed fibres, no more women speaking in church, no more women teaching men, no more blind or lame people at the Lords table etc etc (see I can do the quote thing too!).

So any Christian person who practises any of these sins should be ousted for the sinner they are, then I may listen to your point of view.

God clearly means different things to different people. I am sure Lee Andresens God loves him just as much as your God loves you.

Cannot help myself, one more quote for the road: As ye see yourselves in water or mirror, so see ye Me in yourselves Jesus.

Bernie Romer


Personal choice

After reading various letters to the editor of late regarding the homosexual issue, I am again compelled to take up the pen.

Certain writers expressing their ideas in your paper seem to think that people are born as homos, but this reasoning is flawed. While it is true that we are all born with a fallen nature (the result of Adam and Eves original sin), that is not an excuse for sin of any kind. If it was, then we would have to excuse the paedophile for molesting our children, the rapist for violating women, the adulterer for not being faithful to his wife, on and on and on. It is not so much a matter of being born wrong; it is a choice that we ourselves make. No; homosexuality should no more be tolerated than any of these other sexual perversions being forced upon our society today.

Graeme Hagen

Manifold Ministries


Going against nature perfectly normal

Thank-you Joan Kuhl for reminding us of Gods Law on homosexuality as revealed in Leviticus (Echo, December 7).

Leviticus also prohibits contact with a woman during menstruation (Lev 15:19-24), eating shellfish (like homosexuality, an abomination Lev 11:10), trimming of male hair around the temples (Lev 19:27), wearing garments made up of two kinds of thread or cross-breeding cattle (Lev 19:19), or eating pork (Lev 11:7). However, one may possess slaves, both male and female, providing they are from neighbouring countries or are foreign immigrants (Lev 25:44-46).

Observance of these tribal taboos would, according to the authors of Leviticus, set the Jews apart from their neighbours and justify their taking possession of other peoples land Canaan. (Lev 20:22-25)

It is surprising that Ms Kuhl should quote St Paul, given his views on women expressing opinions on matters of religion. Paul reflects the views of his time. Had he the chance to visit the Against Nature? exhibition currently at the Norway Museum of Natural History he (and Joan, hopefully) would learn that homosexual behaviour is well documented in 500 species of animal, has been observed in another thousand, and probably takes place in thousands more (The Weekend Australian, Nov 18, pg 25)

So, yes Virginia, there are gay whales, swans, monkeys and dolphins out there (perhaps even Skippy and Flipper), all having sex against nature and rebelling against Gods Law. Will the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah be visited upon the Barrier Reef? Is Gods purpose served by selective quotation from scripture without awareness of its historical context or of modern scientific understandings of the world?

Peter Mullins


Dare to accept differences

As Christmas approaches, people may be reflecting on some of the central tenets of religions love, supporting, giving, loving and understanding are a few of the wonderful things humans are capable of. Judging others that dont fit ones antiquated, xenophobic or constricted views is not only un-Christian but non-giving.

I am saddened by letters to local papers that attack homosexuality. I am a man who was born gay (contrary to one myth that it is a lifestyle choice); I vote, pay my taxes and spend a great deal of my time helping people of all walks of life. I recoil at ridiculous talk that any healthy acknowledgment of homosexuality will lead to our children taking this path. For if this outrageous premise was correct then how have homosexuals developed in a global heterosexual environment?

On marriage, it is about two humans that love each other and want to show a commitment and contract for this love. To even dare say who can or cannot enjoy this most beautiful ritual should reconsider their moral and ethical existence. Love is precious and universal and to withhold it is wrong.

I speak as an out HIV positive gay man in regional high schools and have worked on charity events for disadvantaged youth, women and others in our community. It hurts a great deal when others choose to judge me, particularly when I am trying to make life better for others. The real dangers lurking in our community are coming from the unenlightened and frightened folk. Ignorance creates fear and fear does not allow rational thought. Acknowledgment, education and learning gives us the tools to not only help ourselves but others.

Be brave and accept all into this wonderful world or forever be on the back foot of progress, decency, love and religion.

Tobin Saunders

South Ballina

Looking for McGuiness or Leaney

I am looking for descendants of Kenneth Henry McGuiness and Miriam Elizabeth Leaney. Kenneth was born April 19, 1904, in Blakemore, Lismore, NSW.

Any inforamtion is much appreciated. I can be reached at email or Ted Wallace, 21 Southglen Road, Brantford, Ontario, Canada, N3R 6Z8.

Ted Wallace


Human Rights support

Thank you for the lovely article about the poster competition that we ran for International Human Rights Day and accompanying picture in last weeks edition (December 14) of The Northern Rivers Echo.

I wish to point out that your article failed to mention the sponsors of our competition, international law firm Allens Arthur Robinson, who provided the competition prize money of $200.

Allens Arthur Robinson, along with many other major law firms, provide significant pro bono support to community legal centres. We couldnt achieve as much as we do on behalf of our clients without their support of our work. We would like to acknowledge their support for the competition and their contribution of the $200 prize money.

Bridget Barker


Northern Rivers Community Legal Centre

Paying for fluoridation

Rous Water seems to have gone very quiet on the fluoridation cost issue. I feel it is time for the public to know what it is really going to cost. Now that Ballina and Byron Council have decided not to fluoridate it would in my opinion be highly unethical to charge those councils and their consumers for something they wont be using. The supply of water by Rous Water to each council is basically user pays. Why should fluoridation be any different? If Lismore and Richmond Valley Council wish to fluoridate that should be their prerogative and at their cost.

If the cost has skyrocketed as happens with so many public estimates and, as I am told, it has in some other towns and cities, say so and inform the water consumers what they are going to be up for and how the cost is going to be levied. Rous Water at the outset stated that if the councils wished to have fluoridation they would respect their decision. The councils have made their decision. It is time for Rous Waters respect on costs.

It may have been more prudent for Rous Water to have stayed out of the equation in the first place instead of seemingly getting involved with NSW Oral Health and pushing their (NSW Oral Healths) unethical scheme of medicating the water against the rights of the individual with a fluoridating chemical that has never been tested as safe for human consumption. Then possibly no consumer would have to pay.

Col Bilston


How it all began...

For want of a nail/The shoe was lost/for want of a shoe/the horse was lost/for want of a horse/the battle was lost. How many critics of the war in Iraq can, or will, tell you how that war started?

It started when April Glasby, US Ambassador to Iraq, on specific instructions from Madeleine Albright, persuaded Saddam Hussein that America would not intervene if he took military action to prevent the ongoing theft of Iraqi oil.

But as soon as he crossed that border, the massive military and propaganda machine, loaded and waiting, struck. Iraqi troops were accused of every atrocity in the book rape, baby murder, all later proved to be lies.

Glasby refused to carry the ball for Albright, maintained shes acted on instructions from Albricht, who then announced that, born in Prague, shed gone to America with her parents, as a child, but had since discovered that, although brought up as a Christian, she was actually Jewish.

From that time on, anybody who accuses her of being a war criminal is denounced as being anti-Jewish.

Eddie Burns


Iraq crisis a grave concern

David Suzuki has expressed his grave concerns about the looming environmental crisis. It is like a car travelling at 100kph towards a brick wall and all the occupants are arguing about who is going to wear which seat belt. Applying a similar analogy to the current Iraq crisis, we have a madman at the wheel. In the back seat is Tony Blair twisting and turning and yes, grovelling in the dark in the boot is John Howard.

But this is no laughing matter for anyone. Bush and Blair are now being seriously challenged about their war, while Howard bleats out his pathetic mantra of continuing the fighting as withdrawal would send a message of defeat to the terrorists. World leaders, including Britain and now the American people, want a way out of this horrendous mess. Meanwhile, Howard and his mate Bush are alone in their opinion they can win. Downer waffles on about supporting our mates. I suppose this is what Howard calls mateship. This has been an illegal war (if you could call any war legal) defying the UN, and defying the peoples wishes in America, Britain and Australia. The Iraqi people continue to suffer and prospects for world peace diminish day by day.

On the domestic front, Australia continues to be drawn deeper and deeper into an unquestioning alliance with the war cabinet of an increasingly isolated, yet dangerous militant fundamentalist. Howard and his government have acted with complete indifference and contempt for the confidence, safety and security of the Australian people. As days go by, our options become less and less and Australias reputation as a decent, peaceful and fair minded country is being trashed before our eyes and the eyes of the rest of the world. And, in our own region, there is growing unrest.

We cant ignore these realities. New strategies for peace and community dialogue are urgently required as we are being drawn into long term scenarios of fear mongering, war, aggression, increased military spending, anti terror laws and suppression of human rights, all of which pose great threats to our democracy and way of life.

John Jessup


Second rate services for country areas

Aside from The Channon, other areas such as Wyrallah, Gundurimbua and Tucki Tucki also do not have broadband. Visitors to my place do not believe me when I say I live seven minutes out of town and have no broadband.

I have been trying for two years to get it happening with no luck. The Wyrallah exchange is required by Telstra to get 210 registered users to register demand. We are currently at 87 people. Yet many other exchanges in the local area have been upgraded with much less users. What is the process Telstra uses to determine which exchange gets updated, and is it fair? How do we know? Check the register online at and you can see that Woodburn only required 58, Woodenbong 67, Jiggi 65, Modanville 72, Clunes 132, Coraki 112, Goolmangar 85, Rosebank 97, Federal 92. Clearly the more populated areas were required to get less registered users and yet they received broadband. Why does Wyrallah need 210? We would be lucky to have 210 people live near the exchange. Raise the goal post a bit higher so you dont have to upgrade the exchange.

Now Telstra has been sold in the T3 sale and become a private company the remaining exchanges will not get upgraded, you can bet on it. Telstra will be under no obligation to upgrade exchanges and the government will no longer be able to make then or assist as it will be unfair to Telstras competitors. The 3G network they have been touting is expensive, does not offer download rates comparable to standard ADSL and is currently only available in this area to laptop users. I know for certain that I will not be supporting Telstra as a private company.

Wireless broadband is a solution, and under the Broadening Broadband initiative, a rollout in the Northern Rivers was supposed to be finished in August/September, yet it is still not available. There are installation costs associated with this technology which make it dearer than standard broadband but much cheaper than satellite. The catch with wireless broadband is that it is a 24-month contract which I do not feel comfortable entering into. Standard broadband has providers with a minimum six-month contract which allows you the freedom to change if you do not like a service.

How can one try to study, work from home or run a business on the North Coast in areas that dont have broadband 10 minutes from a major regional city? As an IT professional it is extremely frustrating to get any work done with dial-up access.

There is no reason for the Far North Coast to be second rate to the city. It is up to the members of state and federal parliament in our electorates to ensure that the bush gets the same services as in the city and that government controlled companies are obliged to do so. Broadband access is as much of a right these days as is your right to a standard phone line.

Luke Haber


Time to go Green

During his reign as PM, Howard has become far too arrogant, nestled under the right wing of George W Bush his friend, mentor and role model. Howard involved us in Iraq, against public opinion and on a basis of lies. Where was Labor then? Signing up to the big lie.

Britain? Labor government. Signed up to the big lie.

Who stood up in our parliament and took Bush personally to task? Bob Brown and Kerry Nettle. Only to be silenced and banned from our own parliament.

To my mind, federally the Labor party has been complicit to the Coalition agenda far too often. But with Howard now in control of the Senate, Labor are virtually powerless, largely thanks to Labor preferences serving up a Family First senator instead of a Green, and Howard can ram through any laws he chooses. As has been the case for Bush the past few years.

But the pendulum has swung in the USA, and Bush has made a smooth transition from war president to lame duck president for his last two years in office. Rumsfeld has gallantly fallen on his sword, only to take up a nice cushy corporate job no doubt.

Transfer that scenario to Australia Labor wins control of both houses federally. Whoopee! Would things really change that much? At least Howard would go. But would Labor actually act on climate change, or talk about it? Would they mine uranium or wouldnt they? Labor are in power now in NSW yet they take away our train and our kids dental health plan? How can we believe them? Where has Peter Garrett gone? Why was he spruiking anti-Greens messages in Melbourne on behalf of the Labor party?

Its unlikely that Labor could win back control of the Senate, in its own right, at the next federal election. They will need the Greens to side with them. And we will, when it is healthy and just policy.

So what are our hopes for the USA with Bush on a Democrat leash? Not much, but at least Dubbya has lost control of the cheque-book and will have to change his tactics in Iraq quick smart. Howard must be feeling the sting of the neo-con defeat and if hes smart, and he is, then hell see the writing on the wall and know whats coming next election.

With Kevin Rudd at the helm we have a new look federal Labor team. It remains to be seen, however, whether anything substantial will actually change.At the state level here in NSW, the Labor Party has nothing to offer the Northern Rivers. But what have the Nationals done for us lately, and what will they do if they form another Coalition government? Follow Howards agenda, no doubt. At least as far as the WorkChoices legislation goes. Hand control to Canberra.

We have to act locally and reject the National Party, and Thomas George, for supporting Howards agenda. But should we reward the Labor Party? For what? Iemma and his cronies are giving us a pretty raw deal the way I see it.

Its time to go Green.

Andy Gough

Greens candidate for Lismore

Thanks for KICing in

The committee of Kids in Community Inc wishes to thank John Scholten (racing secretary) and the Lismore Greyhound Race Club for allowing KIC to utilise the race meeting of November 28 as a fundraiser for the Kids in Community Awards. The event was a great success and the Greyhound Clubs commitment to assist local community/sporting groups is very much appreciated.

We would also like to thank and acknowledge the Jetstar Gold Coast Titans for supporting the function by providing players and management to meet with racegoers and KIC supporters. They were generous with their time and many fans took the opportunity to have photos taken and secure autographs.

Of course our fundraiser would not have been possible without the support of local businesses and we particularly thank our Greyhound Race Sponsors Fleurs Restaurant, Rehab Visual Constructions, Alstonville Quality Meats, Club Goonellabah, KE & K Gava Bricklayers, Lickiss Fabrications, Coster Constructions, Sidney & Hacking Plumbing, Daleys Homewares and NRMA Lismore

Thank you also to Greg Jones Barber Shop and the businesses that donated to our raffle prizes Farmer Charlies, Daleys Gourmet Meats, Duck Creek Mountain Wines, Cherry Street Butchery, Parrs Bakery, Mary Gilhooleys Irish Pub, Darrell Lea Chocolates and Hec McDonald. Our raffle was so well supported by racegoers that we sold out of tickets. Thank you all for your generosity and congratulations to the winners.

Finally, we thank The Northern Rivers Echo, The Northern Star, and local radio stations for promoting our fundraiser.

Proceeds from the night will be used for the Kids in Community Awards, an annual event which celebrates all that is wonderful about our local young people and generates community-wide respect for the commitment and effort they make to improve the lives of those around them.

Maria Kelly


Kids in Community Inc

What a mess

I would like to commend the God, if there is one, because no other entity could have created such a mess that within it every soul is tested.

I would also like to be a writer but due to the fact Ive spent large chunks of my life under the influence of alcohol and drugs, combined with my lack of absolute photographic memory, how can I guarantee anything I produce wasnt subconsciously plagiarised?

Marcus Davis


Community groups rally for homeless

Community groups rally for homeless

Community groups rally for homeless at the Winsome

Art recognises the memory

Art recognises the memory

Gallery plays host to new Art & Dementia Program

Give me Fisherman's Co-op over swanksville any day

Give me Fisherman's Co-op over swanksville any day

hygge is the Danish word for enjoying life's simple pleasures

Local Partners