Retail staff under fire
Who were the great killers of messengers down the corridors of history. Whose doors were the scariest to open? Attila The Hun, Tiberius The Emperor, Donald The Trump?
These days some of the killings are happening outside or inside retail businesses as imperious customers kill off underlings who are conveying hard-to-digest messages: Please wear a mask, please sign in, please keep your distance.
We dearly thank the majority of our customers who have responded with understanding, calmness and even humour. We are, after all, all in this together.
To those who have killed some of us messengers, remember, if, as you have threatened, you take your business elsewhere, it will possibly be to another kingdom where they care less about the welfare of their subjects!
As an addendum, this situation escalated on Saturday July 10, when a man, when asked to wear a mask and sign in, called our manager, Kelsey, a "f@#&ing piece of s@#&t" and our junior, Leo, a "d@#&head". The police were called, attended in numbers and took away quality photos to put out an alert. They were very supportive. The pictures can be viewed in store.
David Moss and staff, Springwood Newsagency.
Cost to economy
Thanks to Julius Zimmermann for his rant on climate change policy. Alas, no constructive solutions and the costs thereof addressed. It's all very well for political leaders to make feel good statements about a target without elucidating how to attain those targets and the cost to their economies.
One nation that is true to this is the China who say they will try and get to zero emissions by 2060. Meanwhile they continue apace to build a coal fired power stations. Germany, whom most of Australians would think are embracing renewables, burn wood to generate power, and open new coal mines (burning highly polluting lignum), because they have realised that without these inputs their industries will suffer.
Here we do not need to worry about industry because we basically have no heavy industry - we have sold our souls to China to provide just about everything from steel to cheap cars such as MGs, Volvo and Great Wall. So we become captive to the 'woke' pronouncements from the UN and bodies like the BMCC who huff and puff about a climate emergency but offer absolutely no sustainable solutions other than for the 'people' to heavily subside schemes such as windmills and solar which to date have only meant our power bills keep increasing.
Why should our leaders make silly pronouncements about imaginary targets when we are a some way from letting science and market forces determine what will be effective for Australians to make the slightest difference to climate change?
Andrew Niemeyer, Leura.
As regular visitors to the Springwood cemetery, my wife and I congratulate and thank the Blue Mountains City Council staff/contractors for the splendid maintenance of Springwood Cemetery.
Cemetery care is probably one of the most demanding tasks on council's work schedule and the current state of Springwood is a credit to all concerned. All grass and edges are expertly mown and the edges around every grave site trimmed to perfection. The edges especially would be the most tedious, demanding job of all.
To top it all off, council has done excellent job with new drainage to ensure storm water is effectively diverted from the main burial area.
Bob and Ann Aitken, Lapstone.
Hazelbrook may get a two-storey car park" (BMG 30.6.21): Why only Hazelbrook? Most of our Mountains shopping centres/railway station precincts have congestion with a shortage of car parking spaces (with many shoppers heading to Emu Plains and Penrith). Even without the recent proposal to increase building heights next to Blaxland rail and shops, the need for multi-level car parking seems obvious. This will become more needed post COVID-19, when rail travel patronage returns to former levels.
Susan Templeman and Trish Doyle may be able to assist with funding for car-parking-spaces. However, a rebadged Louise Markus could prove more successful using a Scott Morrison discredited $660 car park pork barrel.
J. Rickard, Linden.
It takes a village...
Thank you to the Gazette, and many friends and colleagues in the Mountains who have congratulated me for my recent OAM. I'd like to also congratulate my fellow Mountains awardees John Hardie AM, Dr Breda Carty (AO), Brian Turner OAM, Phil Isaacs OAM, Coralie Richmond OAM and Frances Maguire OAM.
In a very real sense my OAM has only come about because of the work of everyone in the Paint the Town REaD community across Australia. Here in the Mountains, Paint the Blue REaD (PTBR) has been lead by Mountains Outreach Community Services (MOCS) from its inception in 2009 through to 2020. Thank you MOCS, with a very special 'shout out' to Lyn Bevington and Judith Hawkes.
PTBR's sustainability has been assured by the safe and smooth leadership baton transfer to Connect Child and Family Services in 2021. Thank you Kim and Amanda for receiving the baton so warmly.
And final thanks go to our two local MPs Susan Templeman and Trish Doyle who sponsored Mountains early childhood and family workers to attend our recent eighth Early Literacy Conference in Bankstown in May.
It takes a village to raise a child to love books - thank you for being part of this Mountains' journey with me.
Barbie Bates, Lapstone.
We all know it is tough for newspapers to survive and our local Gazette is no exception. Advertising revenue for most papers these days barely covers running costs and then only if you are lucky.
Blue Mountains Council is a big advertiser in the Gazette. Last week they took out three full pages of advertising. Enough fees to pay about four Gazette employees for the week. This is purely discretionary spending. Council has no legal requirement to do so.
The question that needs to be asked is whether our local newspaper can report impartially on important local issues involving BMCC in such circumstances. Particularly when there is a council election soon.
Rob Thompson, Woodford.
Plaudits for council
Warmest congratulations to our council for the much needed and greatly appreciated work done on the north side of Glenbrook.
The recently completed roundabouton the corner of Levy Street and Glenbrook Road is a much safer option for pedestrians and vehicles alike.
The new pathwayalong Glenbrook Road near the lagoon is an attractive and safer alternative to walking on the road. Already it has been widely used and is popular with families. When the last few metres and a crossing are complete (soon we hope?) it will allow many more people to appreciate the beauty and peace of the lagoon.
Upgrades at Knapsack Reserve Sporting Areaare a work in progress. The new large parking area removes many cars from the sides of nearby narrow roads. Playing areas have been improved. Three cricket nets are almost complete and soon a new clubhouse will be erected. Landscaping is sensitive and blends in with the local bush land.
All these works increase our safety and pleasure during this COVID-19 period when so many people are exercising outdoors in their local area.
Alice Terry, Glenbrook.
Ditch the car
In response to Robert Deahm's letter (7.7.21)I would like to take up his invitation to come up with practical solutions to the traffic problems in the Mountains. Concentrating on the bridge in Katoomba where I live, I can see one workable solution: Considering that the more roads, tunnels and bridges you build the more traffic you will get, I would advise against making more space for private cars to stuff up our towns, ears and lungs.
The most sustainable way out is to improve public transport, namely the train system. Faster, safer and, most importantly, more frequent trains could convince residents and visitors to consider making their trip to our world heritage area part of their experience to relax and to enjoy the stunning views, without having to negotiate traffic.
For those people who are genuinely dependent on their car, we could provide car parks plus shuttle buses, in Katoomba's case on the north of the station near the highway. If we wanted to take a leaf out of many European towns, we could then keep our cozy villages traffic-free by creating pedestrian and cycling centres, a proven way of increasing small shops' business.
I gave away my car 30 years ago and have never looked back, even though, with the lack of public transport in Australia I do have to plan my outings a little more carefully, gladly, when I think of the environmental and health benefits I enjoy.