Letters to the editor - Jan 17

Wildly inaccurate

With apologies for the delay and extremely modest thanks to your sub-editor ('Arts Scam?' Echo 16/12/12) I'm writing to set the record straight. The building in Hampton Lane is not part of the Lismore Art in the Heart Project and has never received any form of financial assistance over a period of 12 months as correspondent Barry Lowly has asserted, erroneously.

The premises are rented at a commercial rate by an artist who uses the space as a studio and who hosts occasional exhibitions by community groups and individual artists on a 'not-for-profit' basis, which is to her credit.

Had Mr Lowly seen fit to visit our website or contact me in person, I could have provided him with this information; albeit at the risk of the facts interfering with a wildly inaccurate story.

Stephen Nelson

Coordinator, Lismore

Art in the Heart Project

 

Words can camouflage

In last week's Echo, local hunter Rob Andrews says that 'conservation-hunting' is good and should be allowed in National Parks. By combining two contradictory words, another politically correct term is fabricated that makes killing sound more palatable. National Parks / hunting / conservation - see if you can pick the odd word out!

As a former gun nut and military serviceman, I can recall many occasions when a round would penetrate bush, small trees or your target and ... keep going. High velocity rounds can travel vast distances and strike many things aside from your intended target. Even with great care and years of training, shooters cannot guarantee where a fired shot ends up.

When I was in the SAS Regiment, we managed to accidentally shoot the ground-keeper at the local golf club, over the hill and several kilometers away! Every shooter, past and present, has a shooting story like this that includes some bizarre accident, near miss or tragic outcome.

So the thought of 'conservation-hunters' patrolling our National Parks frequented by families and bush-walkers is a little daunting.

Detailed studies gushing with safety concerns and that justify hunting in contradictory terms, are no guarantee against the accidental shooting of native wildlife, people, whatever! Nor do such studies address the broader question of a subculture that celebrates killing.

Killing is an honest word that describes the taking of life. Killing for fun is an honest description of what hunters do.

For those of us who have suffered from this sickness, there are no clever words to camouflage the blood on our hands nor the stain on our conscience!

R J Poole

Lismore

 

Shark shock

Shark finning is an incredibly barbaric act and a wasteful one. It's illegal in most but not all countries, but it is illegal in Australia.

On most commercial trawlers, sharks are caught as bycatch and due to lack of education, the fishermen see them as a pest, so they are usually killed or thrown overboard, now with more awareness around the value of sharks' fins for the Asian status symbol 'shark fin soup', it's not uncommon for these vessels to store fins in hidden places or take the opportunity when it arises as they are worth a lot of money.

The real shock is that this continuously happens in these waters, and nothing has been done about it yet. The authorities should be checking vessels coming in at every port along the coast line area where this happens, and security needs to be tighter.

Many countries around the world that are less developed than Australia monitor their sharks better and have tighter patrolling and stronger laws to protect sharks. The consequence of this being ignored in Australian waters will be the loss of our beautiful ecosystems, because every creature we enjoy in the oceans is a product of the apex predators, the sharks.

The food chain isn't just a drawing, it's a map of status, and sharks are at the top. I have seen shark finning first hand in Mexico and the Caribbean. In Australia it is just not acceptable.

Anyway, I'm sure you are shocked and I would like to see this in the local newspapers... it's crazy that this keeps happening!

More info on shark finning in our waters at www.taasfa.com (the Australian anti shark finning alliance)

Madison Stewart

Ballina

 

Revolution on Zadoc St

Have you heard the news? Great excitement in Zadoc St. Residents and business overwhelmed by Council's decision to place new recycling centre amongst them. And they only have to lose all their off-street parking for the privilege.

Now we all know how Council struggles with its finances. Council's rejection of the art gallery's request for funding to honour the late Margaret Olley is a good example.

Council can find money to relocate Brewster St recycling depot but no money to honour an inspirational hard working, successful local artist. Well, we have an idea to change that.

The positive art loving souls living/ working in Zadoc St (with enthusiastic support from the Little Keen St Margaret Olley Smokers Appreciation Club) wish to name this proposed new colourful addition to the streetscape - a sign - The Margaret Olley Recycling Centre.

I can see it now, her name up in lights - the fame, the recognition - if she were alive today and were to paint this apparition in her intimate style - I see a pig … with lipstick. Very colourful. Lots of colour. So colourful I can smell it! Yes, here in Zadoc St we're very excited.

Bruce Saltmarsh

Lismore

 

Pilot medicals

All people over 65 years of age take note! The Civil Aviation Safety Authority has now introduced a special 65+ exam component as part of the pilot medicals.

The quality of the questions compares with the 11+ exam of my youth. When I was 11, no-one had heard of dementia or alzheimers, but this seems to be what the 65+ is all about. But don't laugh, because if they can do this to pilots, it is only a matter of time before it becomes mandatory for renewing a motor vehicle driver's licence. Here goes with the test…

Question No.1 - link the circles. There were five circles with letters and five circles with numbers. I was asked to link the circles by a line from A to 1 to B to 2 and so on until I had completed the lines and linked as far as E to 5.

Question No.2 - examiner says he is going to give me 5 words and I must repeat the 5 words after he has said them. He then says to remember the 5 words as I have to repeat them again at the end of the test.

Question No.3 - draw an exact copy of an outline of a rectangular box.

Question No.4 - identify the animals from the pictures - yes a lion, a rhino and a llama (no wrong, CASA says it is a camel). I say "but a camel has two humps and a llama only has one hump". The pictured animal only had one hump.

Question No.5 - draw a clock at 10 past 11. No mention here of digital or analogue clock and remember here, we are pilots and look at a circle with marks round it as a compass. Trick question which I got wrong as I put 5 past 11, which would have been 10 degrees on a compass.

Question No.6 - take 7 away from 100, then 7 away from 93 until you have subtracted enough 7s to get to 65. No problem; my maths are always ok.

Question No.7 - say again the 5 words in Question No.2. I have always been taught to put useless information out of my memory bank, so I failed this one! All I could remember was "church" (so help me God!).

I hope this improves my ability to fly an aeroplane, as the 60 other questions about whether I drank booze, smoked pot, sniffed coke, had seizures or fits paled into insignificance to the 65+.

Margaret Howes

Empire Vale

 

Learn Australia's 30 human rights

In Canberra right now the Senate is inquiring into combining existing legislation on human rights and discrimination into one act. The government doesn't intend to use this opportunity to make the laws more comprehensive despite the fact that Australia is one of the very few western nations not to have a real Bill of Rights.

Both sides of politics are in fact opposed to a Bill of Rights for Australia despite the fact that Australia helped draft the UN Universal declaration of Human Rights and an Australian was the president at the head of the UN General Assembly when it was adopted.

The key themes of human rights are: equality in freedom and dignity; fairness in justice; no discrimination and to be free to live a happy and safe life. These are qualities all Australians would want.

Law-makers consider that making human rights into law will restrict the laws they can pass. But other nations have successfully done it and even some states in Australia. As we come to the 225th anniversary of the arrival of the First Fleet, surely it is time we grew up and worked it out?

Our national record is an international embarrassment. UN High Commissioner on Human Rights, Navi Pillay was extremely critical of Australia's human rights record, saying that our mandatory detention of refugees, guilty of no crime, for prolonged periods was "extremely distressing".

On January 26th, citizenship ceremonies are being held around the nation as we all welcome brothers and sisters of all origins into our country. Australia is such an eclectic melting pot which helps make it so wonderful. Let's help protect it by safeguarding human rights on every level. This Australia Day, spend some time to learn your 30 human rights. It is all about being Australian: www.humanrights.com

Nigel Mannock

Youth for Human Rights Australia, Ascot Vale, VIC

 

We'd like to thank ...

This year's Great Eastern Fly-In was a wonderful success. What a weekend, great weather, full of aircraft, air displays, people going for joy flights, markets, classic cars, WWII vehicles and boats, community organisations, lots of yummy food and drinks and so much more.

So it's with great pleasure that we would like to thank all those involved in making The Great Eastern Fly-In, 2013 such a wonderful event. Having had to miss two years running, it was a big effort to get things running again and the number of people and organisations which stepped in to help was just great.

This is a community event and it really was a wonderful example of the community getting together and having a very good time! The list of supporters and

organisations which made it all happen is very long and not possible to list here, for a full list go to our website.

However there are some key groups we would like to thank; all the pilots who flew in to the event, our air display pilots and joy flight operators, Casino, Lismore and Ballina aero club members ...

Local aviation enthusiasts, Westpac Helicopter, Rural Fire Service, the Evans Head/Woodburn Lion's Club, Thirstbusters, Wombat Coffee and South Indian Food, Spar, Jim Butler (car and boat display organiser), Jenny, our market organiser ...

SES members, stallholders, The Men's Shed, Perkins Caravans, the Evans Head Living Museum, Evans Head Heritage Group, Woodburn and Evans Head Motels, Evans Head Bowling Club, Koinonia ...

Our sponsors the Richmond Valley Council, Air BP and Shannon's insurance and aviation media including Aviation Trader, Sport Pilot and Pacific Flyer and more.

A huge thank you to you and the rest of the people on our list, the Fly-In happens because of you.

We wish everyone a very happy 2013 and look forward to seeing you all at the next Great Eastern January 2014, See You There!

Gai Taylor

Lismore

 

What's happened to our humanity?

What is happening to humanity? Wars waged on the weakest people on earth for resources have created a climate of hatred which will keep the warmongers and armaments manufacturers in work for decades to come.

Remember George W Bush telling us "The war on terror will be a long war." Now ten years later Australian troops continue to kill people in Afghanistan under the all encompassing lie spread still by PM Gillard that they are keeping us safe from the bogey man wearing a beard and turban. The so called terrorists. Who does she think she is kidding?

Our hands are soaked in innocent blood and the best this foolish woman can conjure up is the same fears that Howard did. This is the longest war America and Australia have ever been involved in and there is no end in sight. In fact it is spreading across Africa with the US mooted to be planning an invasion of 35 African nations under the pretence of the bogus war on terror.

Obama keeps telling us drones will make it a more surgical and precise killing spree, yet we hear that for every "suspected" terrorist killed, what was once known as extra-judicial killing, between five and ten innocents are blown away - Rumsfeld's "collateral damage".

Imagine you are at home in Pakistan just returned from feeding the animals or fetching water when a drone hovers overhead and the next thing you see is a flash and the next you hear is a boom.

After that you become another statistic, a piece of collateral damage. What the hell has happened to our humanity?

Where are the street marches condemning this war for an oil pipeline and strategic dominance across Eurasia?

Is the current young generation so busy playing with their iPhones and worrying about their hair and getting whacked off their little brains that they have totally lost contact with their humanity and the plight of the weakest on earth?

When I was 15 we marched against the Vietnam war. The only marching you see these narcissistic brats do is to the pub or nightclubs and then they play the vcitim when their behaviour lands them in trouble with the police.

Here is an idea. If you are going to get in trouble with the police make it worthwhile. March against this murderous and immoral war before you too become "collateral damage".

Use that amazing tool nature gave you, your mind, and apply it to doing something decent instead of stumbling around drunk and stoned.

Otherwise the world you will inherit will be one of perpetual war and perpetual hatred.

M Mizzi

Tabulam

 

Frank's rant

What? You think that major party pollie got that management position with that coal mining company, because of ability?

Don't be silly!

Our current Prime Minister was a solicitor in real life, but by her own admission she set up a shonky slush fund so her boyfriend and his mates could rob union funds and she didn't realize what she was doing. I'll bet her boss was glad to see her go!

Howard didn't even understand English! He thought, "never, ever introduce a GST", meant, "not for a while, anyway."

There are countless instances like this which demonstrate how stupidity is a necessity, if you are going to get to the top in the major parties.

Stupidity generally gets you the sack in the private sector. Therefore, if they have a stupid person in a highly paid position, there's some shonky reason for it!

Frank Brown

Richmond, Qld


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