Help me to help others

Help me to help others

I am a disabled woman who lives in Lismore and I have a spare shower chair, strong and sturdy, that I would like to see go to someone in need. I am trying to find a group or organisation that could possibly send the chair overseas to a disabled person in a poor country, or perhaps here in Australia.

Anyone who could help me in this quest can call me at home on 6621 6153.

Marion Sanders


Council fails on compost bins

I live in South Ballina and recently rang Ballina Council with an enquiry about a compost bin. I was put through to the weight bridge phone line at the tip where I was met with voicemail. I had not heard back so went to the tip to enquire as to whether Council had these bins, which they dont.

I have unsuccessfully tried to purchase a basic compost bin in Ballina and think that if Council is to live up to its environmental goals set out in its publicity then I would have received better assistance on this issue.

I think it is appalling that Council does not encourage, pay for or at least provide discount compost bins for the Council residents. If more people had these bins then the less refuse Council would have to pick up and take to the tip as landfill.

I also want Council to know that South Ballina Beach is covered in thousands of dead fish. How can such a huge ecological disaster occur when the world has only 10 per cent of fish stocks left? I eagerly await toxicology reports about the Richmond River disaster and hope that the cause of this tragedy is found and dealt with.

Tobin Saunders

South Ballina

Get real

It seems that B. Parker (Echo, January 17) cannot accept the record of history and would explain away that which he doesnt want to accept by saying that if something is copied enough times it automatically makes it fact.

That would exclude most of history because somewhere along the line it has been copied. Julius Caesar, Alexander the Great, Herod the Great, Nebuchadnezzar, to name just a few, were not real people?

The issue isnt, was Jesus of Nazareth real? The issue is that one day each one of us will have to meet Him face to face. What will you do with Jesus is the question? Because your answer to that will determine what He will do with you. It is a cop-out just to say that you cant trust the manuscripts. You did know B. Parker, that parts of the manuscripts that still exist were written as early as 25 years after the event. Copied? Come on, get real!

Roy Waters


Mything the point

Lee Andresen is technically right to correct me if he believed I was asking for a persons evidence for remaining sceptical (Echo, January 13). In fact it was my clumsy way of asking for what evidence other readers have for their positions on the resurrection of Jesus.

Both Lee Andresen and B. Parker fail to properly address the historical evidence I present. Instead they opt for a metaphorical interpretation of the resurrection events (I assume B. Parker is buying Tom Harpurs line). But without evidence isnt this identical to the sort of superstitious faith they oppose?

All those who claim that the resurrection is a metaphor have a mammoth challenge to explain how such a powerful and explosive movement as the early church arose from a myth. The evidence points to something literal which caused the birth of the early church.

All bar one of the Apostles who claimed to be eye-witnesses of Jesus resurrection were killed for these convictions. Would you die for a myth, a metaphor or a liturgical promise?

John Hannaford


Religious rantings

In reply to G. Hagen and his religious rantings I will say that while I admire anyone who can live his life under the convictions he has adopted, I do regret that he, like so many others when faced with any sort of reasoned argument, retreat to the verbal equivalent of hurling rocks of re-spouted religious embroidery sampler texts from another age.

Why on earth would Iwant to livethe apochryphal blameless Christian life when I am very sure even self-professed Christians do not achieve this?

Even Christ himself was prone to occasional fits of bad temper if I remember correctly.

Oh and if youre waiting to see the miracle of a truly converted life, please dont sit up too long in anticipation on my account.

Your man has been coming back now for over 2000 years... and despite all the rhetoric of the signs which theyve been seeing now for oh so many years, he still hasnt fronted up.

So you use the word dung when referring to our philosophies Mr Hagen?

Not very Christian, so in a return of similar spirit, the word I would use in conjunction with your theories is probably a more accurate good old plain Aussie bull s--t!

B. Parker


The truth is out there, a lot

Concerning Christian truth. I once thought I had everything pretty well nailed down during my Christian days as the church told me what I should believe.

If, during childhood, we received little or no religious training, we might adopt the belief system of someone we admire or fall in love with. Still others might gravitate to the organisation that has the most attractive package or proclaims the loudest that they have the truth. Then there are others who join a church simply because they perceived it would be good for business. Whatever the reason people embrace a particular religion, few take the time to compare alternative viewpoints. This is especially true of those who grew up in strong religious environments. They are quite comfortable in their religious niche and never venture beyond it.

Often even their devotional material is limited to what is approved by their own denomination, of which there are many. They are content with scripture interpretations funneled into their brains by those they think are more educated and, in their minds, more spiritual, such as the ordained ministry or priesthood. It is an unusual person indeed who objectively studies their holy scriptures on his or her own for the purpose of discovering whether the things taught are so. Have you ever asked yourself, with regard to religions especially, such questions as, Do I really believe this or Why should I believe this or Is there proof for what I have been taught?

Regarding the historical aspects of a New Testament Jesus, any Rabbi of Orthodox Judaism or Imam of Islam will deny outright that Jesus is Gods son or that Jesus became God due to some supposed resurrection and or supposed transfiguration. Both Judaism and Islam also claim to have the truth.

Jim Lee


A belief in acceptance

Of many comments about religion (Echo, January 17) Pastor Hagens was most interesting. His sincere, passionate words about his God were moving and informative.

He describes a satisfying life lived with a particular, personal God. Just as I live a satisfying life without any connection with his particular God (as far as I understand his description of it).

I wonder why that concerns him?

Id like him to know that I honour his commitment to his God. I sincerely hope it helps him live a good life.

But I expect him to give me the same respect. Let me live my own satisfying, productive life (after 70 years) without being hassled into accepting somebody elses God.

Whatever makes the Pastors life complete doesnt have to be what would make everybody elses life complete, does it?

For sustenance I draw on my own beliefs. They happen to be not Pastor Hagens. But I believe them passionately and sincerely, just like him.

I do generally keep them private and avoid inflicting them on others. Who needs to know what my beliefs are unless they ask? Its a private matter.

Cant the Pastor be happy with his own contentment and leave me with mine?

I reckon the world would be far kinder and more peaceable if we each happily accepted one anothers Gods.

Lets positively celebrate the fact that other people believe in a different God than ours. Lets say to them Gee, tell me all about your God!

Isnt that the Kingdom of Heaven on earth?

Ill start being interested in their God once they start being interested in mine. When did the Pastor (or any other Christian Minister) last invite a non-Christian to speak to their Church and talk about their own personal beliefs?

Im ready whenever they are.

Lee Andresen

East Ballina

Good intentions dont always work

A recent case to come before the NSW Land and Environment Court lodged by Ballina councillor Margaret Howes in order that she be permitted to construct an access road to her property on land which is designated as a council road reserve, makes interesting reading, as despite two staff reports recommending Cr Howes be allowed to build the road, a majority of councillors objected saying she could upgrade an existing service road, even though this road is flood prone.

To actually expect Ms Howes to upgrade a road she claims is flood prone is very difficult to comprehend. So, in the circumstances, it must have been a moment of great joy for her to accept that the court ruling was in her favour.

Ballina mayor Philip Silvers comments alluding to the fact that there are many areas throughout the shire where people need to work together is commendable but, unfortunately, can be totally impossible to achieve.

It has been my experience over many years as a property owner that the person/s in a position to make things difficult in a dispute, usually take advantage of the situation and acts accordingly, irrespective of the cost and inconvenience thrust upon their opponent.

So, whilst mayor Silvers good intentions of encouraging disputes to be settled amicably is full of merit, the chances of it happening are rather remote.

Basil Cooper


Self-inflicted disaster

Re: the Northern Rivers floods.

Is anyone, especially the ones who complain so loud, aware of the simple fact that a flood of this size is self-inflicted?

For 200 years farmers and governments legislation has degraded the land. None of the recommendations and change proposals after the 2001 flood were implemented.

Everybody is nicely complacent many abuse the land for a quick buck with irresponsible clearing and over fertilising because nobody controls it.

Councils give building permission for hilltop developments, more drainage of land and so on. Nobody thinks of replanting the hilltops to ease rain influx or stabilise creeks and riverbanks, or build natural windbreaks which are good for the fauna.

No, lets take what we can; more development, more clearing, more money... resulting in more destruction.

I am always so sorry for the cows and horses on the paddocks who have to stand around suffering in the searing summer heat without a tree to find shade in most places. Cows and horses are temperate climate animals. I am not sorry for the farmers.

Farmers! Where is your brain? Perhaps in the local stubbie.

If you dont like the blame, go to your councils and governments and push them.

Dont blame me or the weather.

Stefan Krobitzsch


Saving waterways means changing attitudes

The stark photo on the front of last weeks Echo showing an uncluttered slope to the water devoid of plant life is an illustration of just one of the problems facing our waterways.

Im sure this waterway was once lined with mangroves which send roots up through the water to tap into air. How many mangroves have been cleared from the banks of the Richmond River for development? How many swamps and wetlands have been filled in for agriculture, housing, sports fields and car parks along all the reaches of the Richmond?

Once thought of as useless areas going to waste, we now realise they were Mother Natures ways of holding back these huge flushes of water to be released at a slow steady pace over time, preserving the creatures of her dominion from destruction.

Currently we have widespread use of unhealthy farming practices in Australia that have cleared massive amounts of native vegetation and use large quantities of fertilisers and chemicals. As well, we are still suffering under the legacy of the years of DDT and arsenic use embedded in the soil.

We have not accepted the need to increase the humus in the soil through changing our farming practices or making it easier for our land to retain water by increasing the vegetation with far larger root structures like trees to increase the absorption.

We have built many large towns with large areas covered with tar, cement, roofs and manicured lawns that are designed to flush their stormwater into the river to be eventually washed out to sea with the myriad of toxins that are inherent in our industrialised culture.

I remember Bob Carr promising to stop runaway development like the canal estates on our coastline but he was obviously no match for the real estate industry. The fishing industry has been severely let down by the way we have managed coastal development, allowing many mangroves to be cleared and hence losing valuable fish breeding grounds.

Mother Nature will be the unavoidable reckoning for us all and its foolish to be in denial. Its time to stop coastal development now and begin a different attitude to our waterways.

Lynne Oldfield


GPS a grand little school

I would just like to say to Micky Foss... good on you!! I also moved to this area about 18 months ago and enrolled my two children in GPS. I have been nothing but happy with the way they have dealt with my children and me. I have found all staff to be friendly, helpful and more than willing to discuss my childs progress with me. My eldest child has some issues and the school went out of its way to do screening tests (which place him in the high percentile for autism) and to offer me help and assistance. My two children are both learning an instrument and this year my son will be joining the senior school band. Both my children are with the choral group. If there are any issues with school work or behaviour the teachers make time to discuss things with me and we work out a solution together... the teacher, me and my child. My children are learning respect. Not just for themselves but for others. I feel that GPS has taught my children more about respect and consideration for themselves and others than their last school did.

Walking around the school yard I see a lot of very happy children. Groups usually comprise of older and younger students of both sexes. Older students are encouraged to help the younger ones and they have a fantastic buddy system. Teachers are greeted by students with enthusiasm and happiness.

My children love going to school. And I have no hesitation or doubts about starting my youngest child at this school this year.

For those who have heard bad things about this school... come and visit us! Talk to the staff and students. This school has more of a feel of a very large, happy family. Yes there are problems, but you encounter them anywhere where two to three people congregate. The school deals with any issues in a positive manner that encourages the child to closely examine what they did wrong and what they should have done instead. They dont just punish wrong-doing, they help the child so that they dont do it again.

Thank you for publishing Micky Fosss letter. More people need to become aware of the fantastic school in our midst. Yes, at one stage it had a bad reputation. But things have changed a great deal and this school is not deserving of that reputation.

Narelle Johnson


Elsa Pataky stuns in incredible beach workout

Elsa Pataky stuns in incredible beach workout

Elsa Pataky treats fans to one of her intense leg workouts on the beach

Kindness please

Kindness please

Road rage comes in many forms

Compassionate funds fuel fantastic night

Compassionate funds fuel fantastic night

"We have some amazing singers in our area”