I READ with interest your article on the dinosaur exhibition (‘Prehistoric beasts on show’, Newcastle Herald,28/10). I remember taking my granddaughter to a dinosaur exhibition about eight years ago, I think. I presume this one has more prehistoric animals than the last one. Can anyone remember when exactly the last exhibition was on? Looking forward to taking other grandkids to this one. It should be a great show.
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Maria McAlden, MerewetherJULIE Bishop, to be acting PM. As Paul Keating would say, God help us.

Richard Ryan, Summerland PointIN singling out only early white settlers as the inflictors of terrible abuse on Aboriginal women, Kay Duffy (Letters, 28/10) might consider reading Captain Tench’s diaries (1788-1791) and the well-documented evidence of the barbaric and cultural abuse of Aboriginal women at the hands of Aboriginal men during the early days of white settlement and before the introduction alcohol, which today is regarded as the main cause of violence against Aboriginal women.

Yvonne Thompson, Brandy HillAND the high Court will so hold. Missed again Malcolm. Something to remember: “He who gets carried away with his own importance often never has far to walk back.”

Darryl Tuckwell, EleebanaI THOUGHT Alan Earl was a little unfair in his comments about our homeland security in his letter (Letters, 28/11).There are dozens of convicted extremists in Australian prisons whose plans to kill or maim our fellow countrymen have been thwarted by our security services over recent years. Their painstaking work in tracking the movements and communications of possible suspects deserves the highest praise rather than scornful criticism.

David Stuart, MerewetherIT strikes me as strange, that no one seems to complain about anything other than energy (electricity and gas) bills. In Tea Gardens, the water bill exceeds the electricity bill by around 25 per cent, yet I’ve n’er heard a word of complaint.The ‘access charge’ is around three times more than the usage – and, up here, bottled water is the main drinking water because a lot of people can’t stomach the tap water. The government needs to investigate this, too.

Robert Suker, Tea GardensI’M not a fan of Channel Nine’s The Block. The programbores me. But, if they made a bid for the Old Newcastle Post Office, something might actually happen there.

Lee Craddock, Warners BayTHE POLLSHAVE you ever tried Hunter Valley semillon?

Yes 76.67%,No 23.33%MESSAGEBOARDTHE Lysaght’s Annual ladies reunion will be held on Friday, November 24 from noon at West Leagues Club in New Lambton. It is requested that those attending please bring with them a gift to the value of $10 for a “Secret Santa”. For further information about the event contact Jan Wrightson on 4955 9861 or Pam Ellen on 4955 8241.

ANinteresting name for a ship in the Shipping News today [Thursday], among other interesting names was one “KING COAL”. Very fitting for Newcastle Port.
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Fred Saunders,Waratah WestERWINZehentner has a good point: how can people get ahead without full-time work (Letters, 3/1)?The sad thing is politicians get paid full-time even though their brains only go to work part time, if at all.

Steve Barnett, Fingal BayREADINGPeter Dolan’s letter (Letters, 3/1) brought to mind the idea that there are two groups that tend to get things wrong, those who make science their religion, that is the anti-religionists, and those that make religion their science,the fundamentalists.

John Brattan, ThorntonGREATresult Jets. You will beat them when it counts (‘Undermanned Jets show they’re the real deal’, Herald, 4/1).

Bill Slicer, Tighes HillMR Bath mentions in the Heraldinappropriate behaviour in change sheds, and can he provide proof of community consolidation of removing sheds (‘Nobby’s toilet trouble’, Herald, 3/1)?

Life savers informedcouncil of consequences! Do councillors respond like politicians and tell furphies when their backs are to the wall?

Michael Casey, MerewetherWHILST I would be inclined to vote ‘yes’to Australiabecoming a republic, the details are important to me. If I’m reading ‘Labor rejects republic poll’(Herald, 3/1)correctly, Labor’s policy is for us to vote ‘yes’ and trust them to decide on the details later. That would be a NO from me.

Dave McTaggart, EdgeworthERNIEMerrick for president, John Maxwell Hollingsworth (Short takes, 4/1). Has sharp wit like Paul Keating, convinces police not to press charges for the theft of three points and psyched opposition players to settle for a draw before the contest.

Rocco De Grandis, Cameron ParkPETERDevey and Carl Stevenson(Letters, 4/1):whether coal-fired power stations are built is a matter for the private sector. Power stations need to be economic for 50 years. BHP thinks this isn’t the case. So, the big Australianis reviewing its membership of the Minerals Council,World Coal Associationand US Chamber of Commerce, which promote coal investment. The uneconomic outlook explains Australian banks’ policyto end coal investment.

Graeme Tychsen, Rankin ParkPETERDevey (Letters, 4/1) the CO2 levels in the atmosphere are higher than ever before, yes, ever.

Every year is hotter than the last, all this since the industrial revolution, all facts, and contrary to what you state, and there is loads of evidencethat storms are far more frequent and severe. So let’s do nothing about it, keep on burning CO2 producing fossil fuels to provide energy to a selfish out of control species, and let’s sit back and watch it all burn, what a show. Yep I’m over sceptics.

Dan Kirkpatrick, Karuah

I TOTALLY agree with Jan Caine regarding Halloween (Letters, 1/11) and, whilst on the subject of commercialism, why do we need Christmas decorations in October? Surely December 1 would be soon enough?
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Sue Fower,WaratahA SLEEP deprivation study showed 17 to 19 hours with no sleep is equivalent to a blood alcohol level of 0.05. Yet I believe NSW emergency services are working 24-hour on duty shift rosters. Clearly this certainly is not the best and most efficient emergency services for the communities within NSW. Premier Berejiklian must explain why.

Name suppliedWELCOME back Jeff Corbett. I’ve missed you. The sad thing is that many of the current readers of your column misunderstand your wicked sense of humour and how much you have always enjoyed ‘stirring the pot’. Sadly we are living in a world where political correctness has stifled satire. Looking forward to your next column.

Ann Ellis,MerewetherTHE result of the most awesome display of dogged determination and self belief came to fruition on Saturday night at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne. After turning down a scholarship to play baseball in America, a young Jason Doyle set his sights on being a professional Speedway rider. Sixteen years of relentless sacrifice, travel, competition, injuries and visa hassles were put behind him when he became the World Speedway Champion. Despite having 14 screws holding his right foot together, Doyle pulled on his boots and was merciless in destroying his opposition, wrapping up the title in round three and then going on to win the final from behind in emphatic style. Jason Doyle, take a bow, you’re a credit to your family and the sport of Speedway and you are a fine ambassador for our town and our nation, ‘Go Doyley’

Bub Phillips,BeresfieldTO John Butler (Short takes, 27/10): I may stand corrected but if my memory is correct the 18 “heritage” trees referred to removed on Carrington would be approx 25 years old. Most residents of my vintage could see no sense in growing trees on a main street. Their thoughts were proven correct when many of thesetrees caused problems as forecast, blocked drains, overflowing gutters, footpaths damaged and falls to the elderly and the unwary. On consultation with residents it was decided by council that trees more suitable will replace and enhance Mount Street and footpaths attended to. I can assure John Butler that innocence and beauty of the island has not been torn from its heart. It remaining embedded in the very bones of it to residents. Those most fortunate to reside here.

Neil Pitt,Carrington PAUL Nicol (Letters, 31/10) suggests that part of the rail corridor should be used for parking. Why not tar the lot and Supercars can race there too?

Lynne Jones,IslingtonTHE POLLSSHOULD food and drink be banned at the movies?

Yes 24.54%, No way 75.46%

NOW the crowing has subsided, it may be time to draw the attention of all genuine cricket tragicsto a little-publicised act of grace.When Mitch Marsh reached his superb hundred, English keeper Johnny Bairstow, himself a centurion, stood at his stumps and clapped his gloves together high, as long as the applause went on.That kind of camaraderie is what made the game great and one hopes this will keep it so.
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DonaldMatthews,Fennell BayIT’S actually a very simple scenario for the federal government.If the Catholic Church does not want to follow all 189 recommendations set forward by the royal commission (especially the reporting of instances of child abuse during confession and the making of celibacy optional for clergy) they should not be able to practice religion in this country,and should be stripped of all financial assets in Australia.

Karl Hogg,Warners BayI DON’T think that when the “right to freedom of religion” was put into the constitution that it was meant to encompass religions that turned into large successful billion-dollar businesses and give them a free pass on not paying their rightful share of taxation. Nor, as is happening now, being able to opt out of paying their share of compensation to victims of horrendous abuse on children in their institutions. It’s time Australia took its selective rose-colored glasses off and faced up to what is actually right and wrong, good or bad for the country and what is driven by ancient ideology or political agenda.

Allan Earl, ThorntonJUST a shout out to the good people at Hunter Valley Private Hospital, Shortland. Had to have an emergency procedure Monday night which involved an overnight stay. I cannot fault the great care I received from everyone involved. Thanks also to Dr Routley for fitting me in.

Tony Morley,WaratahPARKING problems these days have become right up there with traffic congestion as a burr under the public saddle, yet while we all blame everybody else and somebody should do something about it but nobody does, all the time we are the culprits ourselves. You and me, the whole grumpy lot of us, we don’t just have a problem, we are the problem. Good luck with that and happy motoring. Ho, ho, ho.

Ron Elphick,Buff PointOH well, summer is here again and the hypocrites are at it already, the cry goes out the hottest day since whenever I can recall. When I was a boy the same scenario the big difference being that the do-gooders and hypocrites were not yet invented, oh how things have changed. Time for a coldie, a BBQ and to enjoy the summer months. Cheers to the normal people and merry Christmas.

Brad Hill,SingletonTHE POLLSHAVE you ever had to deal with angry customers at work?

Yes 97.33%,No 2.67%SHOULD Herman Ese’ese be granted a regular starting spot with the Knights?

Wait and see 60.36%,Absolutely 35.5%,No 4.14%

THE lack of empathy and sensitivity of some Novocastrians is breath taking. I believe the East End residents, by courtesy of the Newcastle City Council and Supercars, have been traumatised. For many residents it has been a very tough year. I believe many residents will have lasting negative effects, including both financial and personal. Less than a week after the Supercars debacle, another group wants to “use” the East End. This time it is the runners, admittedly a lot less toxic event than Supercars, but nevertheless it does have the possibility ofanother mass invasion. Iurge all Novocastrians tobe aware of what the rest of us, by agreeing to Supercars,have done to the East End and its residents. Leave the East Endalone so they can rebuild their lives.I believe they have had enough.
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Henry Wellsmore, Carey BayI’M sure the ratepayers of Newcastle would be happy to supply the council with a list of things they’d like $1.6 million spent on, it wouldn’t be a Ferris wheel or a fountain. I’ll start the list with a request for repairs to the damaged and uneven pavements in my area which are a trip hazard.

Ann Ellis,MerewetherI FIND it humorous when the religious regime says same sex marriage would undermine the sanctity of marriage. Heterosexual marriage has been doing just that for many years, with murder, child abuse, domestic violence, and sexual abuse. A great deal of damage to love has been done by making a sin of it by these so called Christians.

Richard Ryan, Summerland PointREADING and watching the media I’ve come to the conclusion that the abusers of women actually despise women, not just exploit them (‘Cleaning up the mess’, HeraldWeekender,2/12). They seem to display contempt and hatred, it’s more than just sexualised behaviour. I’m sure a psychologist could explain this obsessive behaviour.

Mary Bourke, WestonAS Donald Trump continues to back himself into a corner and putting millions of people in unnecessary harm’s way with his school yard taunts and threats to North Korea, I believe it is the obligation of journalists, that when publishing headline news casts of his latest threats, also add what the consequences of such a preemptive action he threatens with, would have on millions of people in Seoul, Tokyo and North East Asia where tens of thousands of US personnel are stationed. The threat of terrorism would be a tea party compared to how the world would be changed forever if such politically irresponsible threats were – one way or the other – triggered. It is in no one’s interest to egg this bloke on.

Allan Earl,ThorntonTHE POLLSWILL you use the new McDonald’s home delivery service?

Yes 63%, No 37%MESSAGEBOARDTHE Belmont View Club will meet on Wednesday, December 13, from 10.30am at Central Charlestown Leagues Club.New members and visitors are most welcome to attend. For more information, please phone 4951 1524.

CONGRATULATIONS Mark Curry on your induction into the Australian Country Cricket Championship Hall of Fame. I have known “Prawns” for years and he is well deserving of this honour, not only in the way he plays cricket but the way he conducts himself off the field. A man in much the same mould as the late, great Dutchie Holland. Well done to those who bestowed this on Mark. Now all you have to do Mark is send me the $100 you said you would give me if I wrote something nice about you. Only joking. Well done.
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Melville Brauer,GatesheadCAN you please stop printing the rude letters from Fingal Bay about people from Sydney? It is unedifying to read such nasty, petty comments and one couldn’t blame anyone for deciding to take holidays elsewhere in future if an area whose income depends heavily on tourism is so unwelcoming. While you’re at it, can you please ask the butcher and his correspondent/s to meet for coffee and a chat instead of subjecting us all to their pointless banter? Thank you.

Wendy Webb,BelmontREGARDING ‘Dirty Dip’ (Herald,11/1). We get into trouble at times relating to the “good old days”. Well they were when Peter Walmsley, along with his wife Janette, managed the baths. Pristine? Yes.

Ken Harvey,Warners BayJAMES Macaulay (Short Takes, 13/1), then why not have those services running to ideal, functional Newcastle station? The station could feature a part of its rich history. Just think of the choice for a vibrant hub that’s ready to go. Now that’s a gateway, for our peerless CBD that has raved about beaches and waterfront. Services can stop at Wickham.

Graeme Tychsen,Rankin ParkSO Premier Gladys Berejiklian ignores her own Treasury’s advice of tackling negative gearing and the generous capital gains reduction to improve housing affordability in NSW. In whose interest is she acting – the ordinary taxpayer’s or property developers’?

Susie Johnson,AdamstownRECENTLY I had an emergency visit to John Hunter Hospital. The treatment I received was exceptional from everyone . They mended my heart with professional care, always keeping me informed, making sure I understood procedures and with a sense of humour thrown into the mix. In short you saved my life and my family and I will be forever grateful. A heartfelt thank you!

Christine Galvin,Cardiff SouthIS James Macaulay (Short Takes, 13/1) seriously suggesting that there is a train “every 10 minutes” from Awaba to Wickham interchange? How about every hour (two hours on weekends)? If he had to attend a funeral at Christ Church Cathedral, further east, instead of Sacred Heart he might be less inclined to say “Newcastle is looking good” and “change for the better”.

Keith Parsons,NewcastleTHE POLLSWHICH one is scarier?

Spiders 40.32%,Snakes 26.34%,Sharks 21.51%,Other11.83%

PERSPECTIVE is a wondrous, thing, Andrew Smith (Short Takes, 21/11). Depending on your focus, the mathscan demonstrate all sorts of viewpoints. Andrew’s focus is on who didn’t vote ‘yes’. Using the same method but focusing on ‘no’ shows that 38.4 per centof the 79.5 per centwho voted, equals 30.528 per cent. That is, fewer than one third voted against marriage equality. Another look at the glass reveals it really is half full.
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Janet Sutherland,HillsboroughPERHAPS Niko Leka (Short Takes, 21/11) should also consider the many Australians who will be living in darkness and heat this summer because they are so worried about how they will be able to pay their electricity bill they are scared to turn on their lights and air conditioning. These are not people who tried to enter Australia illegally. And what has this excuse for a government sitting in their comfortable offices in Canberra done to address this problem?Rhetoric and empty promises.

Ann Ellis,MerewetherTHEsong ” Running Scared” would be well known to Roy Orbison fans, and that is precisely what I believe the Turnbull government is doing by closing Parliament for an extra week. They obviously think theAustralian voters are fools and will not see what they are about.

Darryl Tuckwell,EleebanaWHY can’t people, in their interpersonal contacts, deal with others as normal in their own way as they expect to be treated as normal in their own way? Dealing with issues objectively, without a presupposed bias about the other person, would foster the idea of the fair go.

John McLennan, CharlestownWITH mad dogs and Englishmen about to take the field and tennis grand slam contenders warming up in the wings, those who report these dominant summer battles should be sure they know how to correctly do so. In recent years that has become a lost art.A tennis match is not lost 6-1 6-1 6-1, that is a winning score; and one-day cricket games, along with the big-bash, are decided simply by who scores the most runs, regardless of overs bowled, or wickets taken — 10 for 201 always beats none for 200.

Ron Elphick,Buff PointTO Mac Maguire (Short Takes 20/11):Belgium’s divorce rate has soared to over 70% since the introduction of legalized gay marriage. Like I’ve said the only winners trying to sort out Bruceand Barry’s divorce will be the lawyers, just stating the facts.

Brad Hill,SingletonTHE POLLSDo you think biofuels could replace coal as the Hunter’s biggest industry?

Yes, 52.8%, No, 47.2%MESSAGEBOARDOn Saturday, November 25, about 300 former workers of the Kurri Kurri aluminium smelter will reunite at the Kurri Kurri Bowling Club for the smelter workers’ fifth annual reunion. The event will begin at 11am. Light finger food will be available. All permanent, casual and contractors who worked at the smelter and their families are invited.

IT must be a wonderful ability to have selective memory in your dreams Allan Morris (Letters, 2/11). For the last 65 years in NSW the ALP have governed for the majority of that time. Closer to home the ALP have held the NSW and federal seats around Newcastle almost exclusively. In all that time, as the Newcastle CBD declined and rotted away over the last 40-odd years, what has the ALP done for Newcastle? I have put all their achievements below my name. Please look closely.
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Neville Morris,ValentineHDC’sMichael Cassel rightlycuts a lonely figure at Newcastle’s abandoned station (‘Night activity for station’, Newcastle Herald,2/11). Go nowhere ideas for the buried station.Here’s a policy for everything falling into place: Real Sydneyintercity coming right to thepeerless destination at the functionalstation, not the 65km/h trundlers, for humming activity, all around. Let’s have our cake and eat it too.

Graeme Tychsen,Rankin ParkTURNBULL delivering stable government: Deputy PM – gone, Senate President – gone, Nationals Deputy – gone, Leader of House Chris Pyne encourages Independent to run against his own party. What will next week bring?

Joe Roskell, CharlestownRECORD deficit federal Treasurer Scott Morrison, Thursday November 2 on ABC TV’s 7.30, telling Leigh Sales and viewers what a good job the federal government is doing and how united they all are.How refreshing. There is otherwise a current scarcity of good comedy.

Ronald Piper,East MaitlandLET’S all get together in our sunnier, less shaded neighborhoods and organise a ‘plant a tree in front of your house’ day. With summers only getting hotter, some shade for the streets would keep us all a bit cooler. Just a 2c thought.

Samuel Rogers, RedheadIF ever the federal government and the opposition stop their game of one-upmanship and political point scoring, maybe they will have time to do something positive for Australia, maybe, but with this current lot, I seriously doubt it.

Jim Gardiner, New LambtonAS one of the mere 40 per cent of Australian Australians who are entitled to sit in the Federal Parliament, I would gladly put my hand up and do the job for free, just to bring back some common sense.

Maree Eggleston,MerewetherI THINK Brian Roberts is optimistic regarding the trundlers (Letters, 3/11). I’ll give them five years and after the taxpayers compensate the operators the state government will have to buy it back at inflated prices. It means we pay three times. Once to travel on it, once for compo and again to buy it back.

Peter Grant,Speers PointTHE POLLSSHOULD shark nets be installed on our beaches?

Yes 53.45%,No 46.55%

Regarding Tony Brown’s letter (Letters, 24/11): Well said Tony Brown, you need to be congratulated.
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Neil Coutts,Martins CreekI THOUGHT the money the Catholics gave to the church was for the poor, not to buy the Pope a new car. But I see their schoolfees are going up in January.

Barry Spaulding,CardiffHA ha ha, Jeremy Bath, you’re hilarious (“Luke lashes luncheon”, Newcastle Herald,25/11). You decide to host a $40,000 party disguised as a charity event and then remember just in time to invite a charity! Unbelievable!

Lyn Linklater,KotaraGREAT column from Jeff Corbett (“Sliding into invisibility”, Herald,25/11).One point Jeff, I don’t think the”F” in FOC meant fantastic! As for you turning invisible in shops, this is a phenomenon that I started noticing at about 60. I found it helpful to ask the server if I was in fact invisible, got some queer peers from them. That said I believe the circle has come around, more people now do not step in front but say “this man is next”, people really are good.

Kevin Miller, WindaleTO my mate Steve Barnett, luckily you’re not of the generation useless era. If you were, you would be suing your work colleagues for bullying, sexual harassment, verbal harassment and everything else. This would of course happen between power naps and at the boss’ expense.

Brad Hill,SingletonA SIMPLE and blunt message to all those serving on local councils, state governments, and the federal government. Under Section 44 of our Constitution … “If you currently hold dual citizenship, you are there illegally”. So grow some balls, get your snouts out of the trough, and get the hell out. You can’t serve two masters.

Alan Wallington,Mayfield EastHOW did the American Black Friday sales become part of our culture all of a sudden?

Andrew Whitbread-Brown,Cardiff HeightsTHE decision of the state government to spend $2 billion demolishing two perfectly acceptable sporting stadiums just to build almost identical replacements is an absolute disgrace. That $2 billion would have been much better spent on schools, hospitals and rejuvenating TAFE, instead of wasting it on tearing down stadiums which are under 30 years old and adequate. This government certainly has some strange priorities.

Peter C Jones,RathminesAT last there is pride of place at the Newcastle Jets. Well done to Ernie Merrick and his team.

Sue Burrough,Carey BayCONGRATULATIONS to Victoria on its assisted dying with dignity bill, and I hope the rest of Australia will follow suit soon.

Eva Koulis, EleebanaTHE POLLSSHOULD the lockout laws be changed?

No, they work 51.63%,Yes, they should be relaxed 37.25%,Yes, they should be tightened11.11%

THE site of Malcolm Turnbull basking in the re-election of Barnaby Joyce nearly sent my beer flat. If he really thinks his great leadership helped Joyce be re-elected he should really consider seeking medical help. The only reason Joyce was re-elected was the people of New England thought he was treated badly.
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Les Baldwin, PelicanTWO words can describe the forthcoming bank royal commission, short and cheap. This will be a farce, it will be on the banks’ terms and will accomplish nothing, and of course the government had to include the union super funds.

Darryl Tuckwell,EleebanaCASTIGATED for not doing it, now ridiculed for doing it. One thing Malcolm can bank on, creditors and debtors will short-change him at every opportunity and foreclose on him at the earliest. When the penny drops, where will thebuck stop?

Ron Elphick,Buff PointIN another great article by Jeff Corbett (‘Despicable Don Burke’,Newcastle Herald,2/12),he writes of how the disgusting behaviour of Don Burke unfairly reflects on all men. I believe the same unjust treatment is occurring to members of the Catholic and other churches. The despicable actions of a minority and the even worse cover ups should not be seen as being the fault of the majority. Yet in our understandable eagerness to expose the evil, the balance seems to have tilted to such an extent, that many believe, all are guilty until proven innocent.

Dave McTaggart,EdgeworthIN regard to the Knights signing Mitchell Pearce it makes me feel like selling my new dirt bike and buying a horse, red and blue cape and running around like Super Hubert on game day. Great boost for supporters like me and our great city.

Mathew Earl,CessnockREGARDING the McDonalds proposed development: Like a previous correspondent, I was shocked to hear that McDonalds has submitted a proposal to redevelop their premises, increase trading to 24/7 and have two-way access in Dora Street. I think this would impact on traffic flow in Dora Street and surrounding streets adversely affect residents’ right of quiet enjoyment of their home and cause safety concern for children at the child care centre one property away.

Margaret Rees,MayfieldTHE election you have when you’re not having an election (‘Barnaby swings back’, Herald,4/12). Is that what we just had? Not a nice way to get rid of someone. People showed their disapproval at these underhanded tactics and in the interests offair play, by voting to return the person kickedout. Atleast till the next genuine election. It’s called giving someone a fair go.

Robyn Burtinshaw,Nambucca HeadsTHE majority of Knights supporters make me feel a little sick in the stomach. Last season you signed SKD and I heard everyone whinging about it, but he was your best player at the back end of last season. Now you are all complaining about the signing of Mitchell Pearce. I think he will have a great season.

Colin Geatches,Mayfield

I AM appalled at the significant changes to our local high school buses. My son attends Callaghan College, Wallsend and is “in zone”, yet has to wait 35 minutes after school finishes to catch a public bus home. School finishes at 1.30pm on a Friday and yet he must wait until 3.35pm for the bus. Prior to the recent changes there was a bus provided shortly after finishing their school days. I do wonder if this was a different area or school, whether there would have been such significant changes to their bus route.
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Claire Stanners,WallsendCORRECT Jeremy Bath. Newcastle has so much immense potential, as the most Australian destination, it defies belief it is no longer the destination of the nation’s leading trunk rail corridor, taken off global Sydney’s train network, (Weekender, 3/2). Where’s the policy for frequent 90 minute inter-cities, to 21st century-ideal Newcastle station, to tap Sydney’s wealth? Light rail can carry 1200 an hour, not even a train load.

Graeme Tychsen, Rankin ParkBLUE moon? Nonsense! I was reluctant to purchase some brie for the second time in the month in case it turned to blue vein. The moon is made of cheese, isn’t it (according to Trivial Pursuit).

Allan Milgate,ValentineWE were all hoping that the University of Newcastle’s academic Dr Xanthe Mallett was finally going to solve the mystery of the disappearance of the Beaumont children when it was wildly publicised that she was one of the key scientific minds behind the “breakthrough” in the disappearance.Police have now called off the search as a new dig sight yielded nothing. Those involved say they desperately wants to find the missing children so their parents can give them a decent burial but, like so many other false leads in this case, all this new theory did was give the Beaumonts false hope.

Margaret Priest, WallsendBLAISE Joseph and Dr Buckingham (‘It’s time to stop fixating on Finland’s ed system’,Newcastle Herald,31/1), should note that NAPLAN testing takes a full week out of the school year. Losing one week from 40 to 39. That’s not education, that’s a week of exam coaching.So yes, blame NAPLAN.

Peter Devey,MerewetherOH those poor humbugs who couldn’t see the fun side of Ferry McFerryface and its possibilities. It could have been scheduled for the runs to Taronga Park and Luna Park. As a May Gibbs fan for the past 70 years I can see openings for her with the next two ferries off the boards: Snugglepot and Cuddlepie.

Donald Matthews,Fennell BayTHE POLLSDo you agree with the removal of the Lombardy poplar trees on Maitland’s Long bridge?

Yes 50%,No 50%MESSAGEBOARDFIRST aid highlights, a course forparents of children and babies is on at Belmont Neighbourhood Centre on Monday, Feburary 19.Time: 1pm-3pmWhere: 359 Pacific Highway, Belmont North.Cost: $10 per family.Bookings essential. Call 4947 0031.

TO Niko Leka (Short takes, 9/11) –the refugees on Manus broke the law and were costing Australia too much. Too bad the lefties did not have same compassion for many disadvantaged people in Australia.
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Warren Parrey, TelarahTO Niko Leka (Short Takes, 9/11) – I get that you genuinely care deeply for the welfare of the Manus Island asylum seekers but to accuse our government of mass murder is over the top. The asylum seekers have been offered alternatives. If our government caves in to their demands we will, I believe, undoubtedly see the people smugglers back in business with hundreds more deaths at sea. Will those who pushed our government into softening its policies be guilty of mass murder for those deaths?

Dave McTaggart, EdgeworthYES,Tony Cooper (Short Takes, 9/11) –if only Malcolm Turnbull would target the thousands of his supporters who keep the superannuation payments of 2.8 million workers (tax Office figures). In the coming economic crisis, Australia will have to find hundreds of millions for the extra full and part pensions of those who had retirement stolen from their pay packets by greedy employers. If only Malcolm would pursue those thousands with the same effort and disproportionate expense he has of the few in the mostly innocent union movement.

Colin Fordham, LambtonHOW about the Jets. Top of the league. I hope the Knights are paying attention.

Bill Slicer, Tighes HillI HAD the most wonderful lunch with a group of talented, creative, compassionate women recentlyand our conversation turned to the Lisa andKarl issue. Why, we were asking, is she worth 24 per centless than him?.Sorry, but that is not OK. My lovely friends who are doing some of the most important jobs for our community seem to be terminally underpaid. Caring for our disabled and aged for some reason is not as important as some tradie putting an electric eel down your dunny. How do we change this?

Megan Askar, WaratahHAD enough of Manus Island, dualcitizens, yes votesand the Newcastle train issues. Someone send me a blanket. I am moving to Antartica with the penguins. Wake me when Trump has haircut.

Michael Casey, MerewetherI BELIEVE it is high time that the federal member for Port Stephens, Meryl Swanson,took a more aggressive role in defending the residents of Port Stephens in their fight for justice over the ongoing pollution scandal.Although Labor is not in government, she must take the fight right up to Turnbull and his ministers in preparation for the election of a Labor government and the greater responsibilities that will entail for her in the solution of this terrible injustice.

Brian Crooks, SconeSO I might get 25 per cent back of the 100 per centrise of my power bill in the next 10 years? Not good enough Malcolm. I think a class action againstunrealistic bill rises is in order,seeing as Malcolm won’t do anything.

Craig Burden, Hamilton

REGARDING Stockton beach erosion problems (‘Meeting planned to discuss Stockton eroison’, NewcastleHerald,1/11), maybe Simon Jones should arrange to have a car race at Stockton.It seems to get some action in other suburbs plus the parking arrangements have already been organised.
Nanjing Night Net

Graeme Galvin,WarabrookNO passenger drop off zone at Newcastle Interchange? What a failure inplanning not to have a safe place to drop off passengers.

Tim Roberts, NewcastleSO decorations and presents are OK for Christmas (Letters, 1/11)? Surely this is the epitome of commercialisation of a religious holiday. Ask most kids, they probably can’t tell you what Christmas means or that it is a religious holiday. Americans often say Thanksgiving is the best holiday, because the only expectation is that you get together with family and friends to give thanks.

Chris Bench,HamiltonMANY smokers must think their finished cigarette butt must disappear into thin air like their cigarette smoke after they discard them, usually on the pavement, road or a pot plant. It astounds me the amount of you seen doing this, it’s very annoying.

Neil Coutts,Martins CreekMAY well you say “God save the Queen”, because nothing will save an Aussie politician who holds British citizenship.

RichardRyan, Summerland PointCAN anybody tell me who the bright spark was that has allowed six extra car parking spaces to extend towards Whitebridge on the eastern side of Dudley Road on the corner with Bula Street? We now have a situation with anybody turning right into Bula Street from Dudley Road now stopping all traffic headed towards Charlestown. I watched it bank back almost all the way up to the roundabout. Maybe they are preparing the residents for congestion when the new estate opens in Whitebridge. Nah, that would be a conspiracy theory.

Ian Reynolds,ForsterRAY Davidson (Short Takes, 1/11) regarding insurance ads –do as I do when the ad comes on, phone and complain. They might get the message if everyone bugs them.

Tony Cooper,BelmontTHE law is an ass, taking the Constitution on who is an Australian to the Nth degree. People who think they are Australian and never seek benefit from another country and who for years have acted in good faith for Australia are ousted. What a joke, only it’s on us. Common sense? Moral reasons behind words written decades ago ignored. I am sick of the pointless, time and money wasting exercise played out in Parliament.

Betsy Watson, SwanseaTHE POLLSCLOSING Newcastle Grammar for one day during the Supercars race is:

An outrage 36.45%,A storm in a teacup 33.09%,A non-issue30.46%CAN Newcastle learn something from the Baltimore renewal model?

Yes 68.42%,They are unrelated 21.05%,No 10.53%

I WOULD like to know what party thought it a good idea to export water from the driest continent. And with zero day approaching in South Africa I say nobody or no company will take not 1 litre of water away from this land – the people own the water. Now if that ain’t a reason for treason.
Nanjing Night Net

Craig Budden,HamiltonSO Barnaby is slipping back to the backbench with Tony. Will this mean more tantrums in the sandpit now? Who will get the spade and who will get the bucket?

David Quinn,MayfieldCOLIN Geatches, you stated that when Newcastle introduced the lockout laws they were a success and “it worked” (Letters, 21/2), but what are you basing that on? Statistics showed problems for both patrons and publicans became worse after some bright sparks had the genius idea to introduce laws that saw all patrons turfed out onto the street at once, proving the “Newcastle solution” was a solution in name only.

Adz Carter,NewcastleBARNABYJoyce’s greatest enduring legacy may not only be to political history but Australian slang. So and so has done a “Barnaby”

Tony Brown,NewcastleANOTHER good win for the Jets. Not such a great start for the Knights but I’m sure they will have their excuses ready.

Bill Slicer,Tighes HillTO John William Hill (Short Takes, 24/2), glad you agree that thousands of acres of land are taken up by vineyards and thousands more by the horse studs, the biggest gambling industry in the world, and that hundreds of thousands of acres that are used for mining are unsuitable for farming. I think hypocritical Greens and do-gooders encroaching on our every day way of life is far more concerning than a few coalmines encroaching on a few vineyards.

Brad Hill,SingletonTHE most important thing Newcastle needs to do is tidy the place up, it’s disgraceful. The cruise terminal should have been built five years ago. Too much talk almost no action! Wake up. Get out of the stone age.

John Wrightson,HamiltonBARNABY Joyce has no right to sit in parliament. He is an achiever who gets things done, a job creator who works hard to represent the people who voted for him. Barny’s hands don’t shake on pay day unlike the useless self interest mob that wastes our time and future.

Steve Barnett,Fingal BayTHE POLLSWHICH would be your tourism priority?

Stockton 13.42%,Glenrock 4.53%, Foreshore 38.76%,Broadmeadow 13.76%, East End 9.9%,King Edward Park 6.38%,Conference centre 13.26%MESSAGEBOARDA FREEBlackalls Swing Band concert is being held on Tuesday, March 6,atToronto Community Hub, 99 The Boulevarde, Toronto from 2pm.Revive memories of music from the ’50s.Admission: Free. Afternoon tea:$5. Contact:4959 3821.

THEremoval of change rooms at Nobby’s Beach seems to be the latest step in a long line of stupid decisions to discourage people from going into Newcastle.
Nanjing Night Net

Scott Dwyer, Cameron ParkI SUGGESTall families who are using in-homechild care tolook at the effect the new child care subsidywill have onyour care.Can you afford to work after July 1, 2018?

Amanda Johnstone,MayfieldTHEUSA, Cuba, North Korea, Haiti, Somalia, Italy, Serbia are just a few republics we can try to emulate.With Paul Keating as president we could not fail to have the odd revolution. It would only cost a few hundred million dollars to start with and be of no real benefit. Bring it on.

John Maxwell Hollingsworth,HamiltonISJulie Robinson confusing Jesus with Moses(Short Takes, 29/12)? According to some, Joseph (from the line of David) and Mary were betrothed, and the Roman Emperor had decreed a census would be taken, of men only, who had to be counted at the place of their birth.So Joseph had to travel from Bethlehem to Nazareth.He took Mary with him as she was expecting a child.Because of overcrowding in his family home, the couple were allowed to sleep in the barn with the cattle, where Mary gave birth.As Mary and Joseph were not married, would Jesus be illegitimate rather than a refugee?

June Porter, Warners BayTHINGSmust be slow in your shop if you just look at hindquarters all day. It could be worse, they could do a hambone in front of your place, or they could be mutton dressed up as lamb. Don’t be a silly sausage, they can’t all be big heifers.

Gary Edman, Adamstown HeightsIFeveryone is concerned about paedophiles, as I am, is it safer to get changed in the open? I believe not, as privacyis important to all but especially the ageing and the very young.Our beaches in Newcastle are our showpieces and tourist attractions, so perhaps money couldbe spent on these areas in lieu of moving council offices or councillors pay raises.

Denise Lindus Trummel,MayfieldLORDMayor Nuatali Nelmes – listen to the community re Nobby’s change rooms, instead of giving yourself a pay rise.

Michael Casey,MerewetherINreply to Olwyn Edwards (Letters, 2/1). Whilst travelling through a country town, I noticed outside one shop a sign which said ‘Bored Husband’s Seat’. I thought that this little gem could apply to anywhere.

DaphneHughes, MayfieldWITHthe Nobby’s Beach changing facilities the centre of controversy at the moment (‘Hot under the collar’, Herald, 3/1), the public toilet/changing facilities at Merewether Beach should also be added to the mix.The shower/change (if it can be called that) spaces were an afterthought and definitely cannot cater safely during the summer months.How they have missed being complained about in the past is anyone’s guess, but they definitely need being brought into the 21st Century.

David Barrow, Merewether