What a terrible incident the Amish school house shooting.
But what captured my attention was that this was the third school shooting in America in a week!
This is just unacceptable. Although, after watching the documentary Bowling For Columbine what more could be expected? In some states in America it is illegal NOT to own a gun. It would seem that the ownership of a gun in America is as common as the ownership of a computer or television in Australia!
If you open an account in a certain bank in America, they GIVE you a gun as a reward! What planet is George Bushs brain living on?
It is about time that the gun laws in America were reviewed, as these incidents appear to be more common.
Sarah Hort (age 13)
Giving or taking?
I read with utter dismay and horror that the $120 million development earmarked for Ballina between the Ballina RSL Club and Kerr Street is choosing to flout existing height restrictions. Their negotiations with the Department of Planning have stated that the trade off is 14 metres of riverfront public access that would otherwise not be possible if the height restrictions were not exceeded. From the plan photograph it appears that the development has reclaimed at least 14 metres of river to give back to the public. How about sticking to restrictions in height and leaving our river alone for all to access? This is unacceptable behaviour by rapacious developers and subservient government planning organisations.
Ballina Gateway objections
Readers may not be aware that the proposed seven storey waterfront development in the Ballina CBD that was recently reported on in local newspapers has been officially submitted for approval. It is currently on exhibition at Ballina Council Chambers. Submissions close on October 30. Submissions should refer to the Ballina Gateway Development, Ref. No. MP05-0009 and be addressed to: Director of Coastal Assessments, NSW Department of Planning, GPO Box 39, Sydney, 2001. Alternatively, email to DAemail@example.com.
I urge all concerned members of the public to submit their objections as soon as possible.
Here in Germany the landscape is littered with not beer bottles, coke cans or cigarette buts, but windmill generators thousands of them! Along every autobahn wind farms are turning the air into electricity as nuclear power stations get decommissioned, while our backward imbecilic government looks at embracing nuclear power in the sunniest country on earth!
Europeans must laugh into their bratwurst as they see the idiot Americans and their Aussie counterparts sail into one unwinnable war after another with their troops having to go in and clean up the mess as is happening in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, millions of kilowatts of emission-free power is generated all over the land and Europeans enjoy one of the highest standards of living in the world.
Australia, under Howard and cronies, seems like a backward technological neanderthal compared to the far-sighted Europeans. When will Australia, so blessed with sun, wind, land and space, find leaders who will help it come into the 21st century?
Tabulam, via Germany
Play time for Ballina
Inspired by the cheeky appearance of a concrete block painted like a die on the North Wall at Ballina, I thought it might be even better to see several blocks along the wall painted as childrens alphabet building blocks.
It would be a great tourist attraction, presenting Ballina as a constructive community which values family, education and play.
The whole thing could be financed by ABC Learning Centres (they have made lots of profits from government monies) and could be a timely reminder to our government that much more money needs to be spent on community-based preschools where the most vulnerable members of our community are supported at the most important time of their lives.
We are fortunate in the Lismore area to have a rostered service for a doctor for seven days a week, but this is undermined by the rostered chemists deciding not to stay open on a Saturday till after the doctors close, to allow prescriptions to be filled.
With the industrial relations bill wiping out weekend penalty rates for workers, is it the pharmacist himself who supports penalty rates as he asks for a special fee to open his shop to fill a needed prescription? It may be that if pharmacies were allowed in supermarkets the public would get better service.
Why did our free and democratic country legalise abuse?
WorkChoices meet the communications system. Telstra staff say they are being abused. Ziggy CEO responds, were in it for the customers, so we can make MONEY.
So anyone who uses a phone now helps to abuse Australian workers. I believe the Telstra staff when they say they are being abused. Do you?
The abusers will be coming for you soon. There is not a thing that you can do about it.
Keith A. Stone
Belated thanks for LBH
The letter by Clare Kable (Echo, October 5) and her comprehensive praise of the treatment she received at Lismore Base Hospital prompts me, almost a year late, to add my appreciation of the loving but professional care I received during my almost seven weeks stay in the same hospital in November and December last year.
As an 80-year-old bloke (who was outwardly calm and confident, but bloody scared stiff inside) I underwent surgery twice in that time, the second while in pretty poor shape, but came through okay, thanks to the dedication and utmost care of all involved and with special mention of the nurses, both male and female, who encouraged me and assisted me whenever I needed it, in spite of being (in my opinion) seriously understaffed.
I join Clare Kable in urging our governments, no matter what colour, to increase funding for our excellent health system so it can be even better, including more appropriate remuneration for the staff who do such a superb job of caring for us.
Belatedly, a huge thank you Lismore Base Hospital.
Council bad sports
Lismore City Council is unfolding yet another Diabolical Master Plan for Lismore Park.
This time, not content to reclassify the oldest section of park from community to operational they propose to relocate the caravan park to a site adjacent to the netball courts and the preschool.
However, the real reason for the new plan of management is to enable Council to close off Crozier Oval to the public on the 350 days of the year when organised sport is not being played.
The real reason for the proposal to reclassify the land appears to be the same. Council is intent on creating very expensive, confusing and destructive smokescreens to mask its real intentions.
Residents near Crozier Oval know that Council has been unable to keep vandals out at night and we have had to put up with sporadic all-night parties at Crozier for the last five or six years. Inspection of the security fence has often revealed holes big enough to walk through. Council now blames this vandalism on the gates being left open during the day. $5000 damage to the fence in 12 months is not carried out when the gates are open.
To use a sporting analogy; In the Crozier Oval grand final court case Lismore City Council won the day. Their trophy was the construction of the grandstand and security fence on behalf of the sports community. The residents lost. Their runners up trophy was the continuity of access to the site during daylight hours on behalf of the broader community. To chase the runners up for six years and demand they return their trophy isnt very sporting is it?
Councillors should knock this plan on the head and instead of wasting ratepayers money fix up the adjacent Concert Band Hall, which is dying a slow death through Councils own vandalism by neglect.
Open letter to Chris Crawford
You stated (Northern Star, September 20) that a new rehab unit in Lismore will need to be built as part of Stage 3 of the LBH development.
However, in The Echo (September 28) you stated that there is no time line and no money allocated at present... It is unfortunate that there would be a time lag before new Lismore services would be up and running.
The inference can readily be drawn that a new rehab unit for Lismore could be very many years away.
In the light of the foregoing, the Board of the Rotary Club of Lismore West views the impending closure of the existing unit at St Vincents Hospital with some alarm and increasing concern as, since the Unit was opened in 1966, this Rotary Club has spent approximately $100,000 on equipment and improvements including:
The supply and installation of an hydraulic lift for the hydro therapy pool;
The supply of furniture;
The supply of television sets;
The construction of a gazebo in 2002 at a cost of $10,000;
The supply of medical beds in 2005; and
Most recently (2006) the Club supplied a bladder scanner at a cost of $15,000.
The Club is reliably informed that equipment, having been donated to St Vincents Rehab Centre, automatically becomes the property of St Vincents Hospital, the managers of the centre.
Rotary Clubs, of course, are manned by members of the local community who voluntarily work with the community to raise funds for community benefit and charities. We seek definite assurance that equipment purchased using funds raised from the Lismore community through Rotary Club activity will remain in Lismore to serve this community and its wider district.
We note that, in addition to Lismore, the present unit also currently serves the communities of Casino, Nimbin, Kyogle, Urbenville, Bonalbo, Coraki, Evans Head and district, all considerably less distant from Lismore than Ballina, the site for the new district rehabilitation centre/transitional care unit currently under development.
Rotary Club of Lismore West
Gateway heights illegal
A previous letter established, by reference to the current Ballina Local Environmental Plan (LEP), that the current building height limitations in the Ballina CBD are 6.4 metres and two stories. Council has the discretion to approve buildings up to 16 metres high if considered appropriate. So, when should heights up to 16 metres be considered appropriate? The LEP clearly states that a building should not overshadow or adversely affect amenity, privacy, views and scenic quality. No discretion is given over the two storey limitation. Further enlightenment can be found by reference to the Ballina Shire Local Environmental Study Tall Buildings, October 1983. This study was a prerequisite for the preparation of the LEP, under the EP & A Act. It included considerable public consultation. Overshadowing of the river waterfront was of great public concern. Conclusions in the study stated it is to be recommended that all land directly adjacent to the river foreshore be excluded from tall and medium rise building consideration. Thus, the 16 metre height dispensation was never intended to apply to residential buildings along the Richmond River waterfront. Council is under no regulatory obligation to approve it.
Negotiations for waterfront public access should commence with the developers right to build to 6.4 metres or two stories. Higher buildings could be considered as a trade-off provided that height is progressively increased away from the river and that it is in accord with public opinion. Public opinion has not, as yet, been effectively canvassed.
The recently reported waterfront Gateway development proposes buildings up to seven stories high. These buildings would be approximately six metres above the discretionary 16 metre limit and would therefore be illegal. For the proponent, the development would be a win-win-win-win all the way home.
I couldnt help but laugh at your report this week (Echo, October 5) about Ian Causleys selective hearing (!) and about how it picked up two hearing related problems, eg picking up high frequency sounds and how the hearing in his left ear is diminished. I mean no disrespect to people with hearing problems, but Mr Causley has another hearing problem hearing what his community is saying!
Several months ago I wrote to him asking what the Australian Government was going to do regarding human rights in China in the lead up to the Olympics. I have heard not a word from him! Last year I wrote to him regarding industrial relations. Again no reply!
We, the citizens of Page, have a representative who is supposed to represent all the community but is only representing a select few the wealthy and farmers. The Lismore area now has 60 people a night sleeping on the street with no homeless shelter since 2003. Ian Causley has not lifted a finger to help. He has never set foot into our local soup kitchen or breakfasts for the homeless and low income people behind the Red Dove. He has never been to Darcys food van. Has never even paid lip service to these organisations.
Hes refusing to see how people are struggling in the community. He refuses to acknowledge the pain that the new IR laws have inflicted on ordinary working people.
Here we have a man representing us and telling us (his community) that if we cant find jobs to move from the area he represents. He is not listening to us at all.
All you care about is the almighty dollar Ian Causley, and power. You dont care about those doing it tough in your community and electorate. All you do is follow Johhny Howard and agree with everything he says.
Ian Causley may you remember this: lots of low income people live in your electorate. They may be living on the streets, in boarding houses or caravan parks. We will remember you come election time and how you treat the battlers. Please voters of Page, get rid of this leech come the next election.
Who to believe?
In recent months weve heard fluoride blamed for almost every illness, disease and poison known to mankind, but can we believe any of it?
Members of the medical and dental association dismissed it all as myth and misinformation on a television show recently. They said: Nobody has ever been poisoned or suffered any illness from the small amount of fluoride contained in drinking water. To consume enough fluoride in drinking water to make you ill, you would have to drink an olympic size swimming pool of it in one day, or add up the amount you would consume in your drinking water each day for 600 years and swallow it all in one dose.
It was also said that non-fluoridated Queensland has the worst dental health in Australia and that If Brisbane water was fluoridated their dental health would improve by 40 per cent in a short time.
Fluoride tablets dont work because the fluoride has to wash over teeth to be effective and then goes straight through the body and out the rear end. Many countries dont fluoridate their water because they have enough natural fluoride already in their supply. They claimed that our bottled spring water contains natural fluoride, something thats not mentioned on the bottles.
Robert Boyd Boland, Australian Dental Association chief executive said in The Senior newspaper last month that water should be fluoridated across Australia to help solve our dental crisis.
These people all stood up to be counted, unlike the anti-fluoride lot that hide on a website. How does anyone know whether or not they were paid by overseas dental associations to lie about the affects of fluoride, just as the high ranking medical people in America were paid large sums of money to lie about the effects of smoking? How can anyone believe what they find on the internet? One guy in America bought a degree in science from a mail order firm and set himself up on the net as a scientist. A white supremacist group has a website claiming that black people are taking over America, and that the holocaust never happened. A convicted paedophile had a website on which he claimed that there was no harm in having sex with young boys. They enjoy it and it is good for them, he claimed. He was closed down.
So, who are we supposed to believe?