Factors in tough times go beyond timetable

CRUNCH TIME: Crunchy Carrot owner Trent Haynes acknowledged his business faced other pressures but said public transport changes hit hard. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers
CRUNCH TIME: Crunchy Carrot owner Trent Haynes acknowledged his business faced other pressures but said public transport changes hit hard. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

I SYMPATHISE with the owners of the Crunchy Carrot (“New routes kill off Carrot”, Herald 14/7). I have patronised that shop now for years. However, I think to level that amount of blame on the revised bus timetables is a bit of a stretch.  From my experience the 102 bus was mainly used by Hamilton locals to access Marketown. That service is now provided by the number 12 bus, which operates every 15 minutes during the day.

I have lived in Hamilton as a child, a teenager and am now in upper-middle age.  Never has Hamilton been considered a shopping strip where people would travel from elsewhere to shop.  Prior to the earthquake, it was a local village.

Since then it has developed into a popular restaurant precinct. Hamilton has always been the easiest suburb to access by public transport, and still is. Bus stops are situated on Tudor and Donald streets, and on Maitland Road. All bus stops allowed easy access to the Crunchy Carrot.

Perhaps the fact that there are two major supermarkets in easy reach of the Crunchy Carrot, as well as IGA and Aldi only several hundred metres away, may have contributed more to the demise of the business than the new bus timetables. Additionally, the change of business model may also have been a factor. That said, however, it is still sad to see a local small business close, no matter what the reason.

Brian Agland, Hamilton

MORE TO IT THAN PENALTIES

YES, Scott Hillard (Letters 14/7), rape and abuse are criminal and the way they are treated should not 'cheapen the impact on perpetrators'. Now may we look at the complexity of causes as a step towards deterrence?

It is dangerously wrong, and I think foolish, to assume responsibility for the future prevention of such criminal behaviour should lie solely in punishment of perpetrators. 

To claim patriarchy is merely a social issue and ‘rape and abuse to be criminal issues - not social’ as justification for men reneging on involvement in future prevention shows either cowardice or limited understanding of the causes of criminality.

Many factors contribute to rape and domestic violence and those of us with more than just ‘any wisdom’ understand that  allowing the reality of factors such as patriarchy does not disallow the existence of others such as individual criminal mindset.

Yes, I strongly believe disrespectful attitudes perpetuated by a society based on the dominance of men and assumptions of women’s lesser worth facilitate the abuser mindset. Yes I'm pleased our society is progressing from this.

Yes, we have further to go.

Janet Sutherland, Hillsborough

IT’S AN AGE-OLD PROBLEM 

IN his dismissal of Janet Sutherland’s well-reasoned letter touching on the fundamental gender imbalance in society, Scott Hillard claims the intellectual high ground with his reference to “those of us with any wisdom” (Letters 14/7), no doubt in the Trump-style belief that only he and his fellow-thinkers are capable of rational thought.

Thank you, Mr Hillard.  On a cold winter’s morning you need a good laugh to get the blood circulating. Yes, rape and sexual assault are crimes, committed by criminals, but to dismiss as irrelevant the underlying issue of millennia of male domination and subjugation of women, and the sense of entitlement that men have intrinsically held as irrelevant, suggests that you are not yet ready to apply your wisdom to the real problem that society is wrestling with.

John Ure, Mount Hutton

SHIFT THINKING ABOUT SAND

REGARDING the recent damage to Stockton Beach, in particular around the child care centre and further north to the old rubbish dump, may I be bold enough to suggest that instead of wasting money on a partial remedy, why don’t those responsible take a long hard look at the situation and put forward a plan which would have multiple benefits to the community as a whole? 

The soccer fields have no designated parking and are a dangerous alley for those who drive through, as vehicles have to park on the side of the road and not on the grass. Those who do could find themselves with a hefty parking fine courtesy of the over-zealous parking rangers. Why don’t both the council and the state government put their heads together and install a car park on the northern vacant land which is currently overgrown with the noxious lantana weed?

This would have the triple effect of removing the lantana, providing a safe parking area away from busy Fullerton Street. A ferry wharf could be constructed which would take people to the Interchange and those who work at the ever-expanding west end of Newcastle. Alternatively the ferry could deliver to both wharves. Does not it make sense?

Alan Metcalf, Stockton

SET SIGHTS ON BIG CHANGE

I AGREE with Jeff Corbett (“Aiming for a better target”, Opinion 14/7).

The public’s ownership and use of guns should not be legal excepting police, the military and possibly gun clubs, professional hunters and some farmers. When I was younger, possession and use of a gun was a male thing, as it is today. Perhaps some insecure males need confirmation of their masculinity. A gun or some other male ‘toy’ will provide this. 

Attacks using guns are far more likely to be lethal compared to other weapons. I believe many fatal attacks on females are by males using licensed guns. So how can we tighten the licensing and use of guns? Here are some suggestions.

Guns in urban areas should be kept securely at police stations and gun clubs. They should not be in houses. In rural areas, guns should stay in secure gun cabinets at farmsteads. Rural license holders should be subject to random police inspections to ensure that guns are kept securely. Licence holders should be required to reapply for their licenses annually and should be subjected to more detailed background checks. Bureaucratic? Yes. Legally possible? Yes. Unlike America, Australia doesn’t have a Second Amendment. Politically possible? Yes. Australia may have shooters seeking to disguise their agenda within the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party, but we don’t have a National Rifle Association.

Despite the cost and inconvenience of these tighter controls, I think they would be worth it as innocent lives would be saved.

Geoff Black, Caves Beach

This story Factors in tough times go beyond timetable first appeared on Newcastle Herald.

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