The Bay of Plenty Times welcomes letters and comments from readers. Below you can read the letters we have published in your newspaper today.
Coal mines should be open cast
I know they'll scream "foul", and other things, but have any of the 40,000-odd protesters over mining, given any thought to the fact that possibly, due to their efforts, 29 people are trapped under the earth on the West Coast.
Coal seems to be the only mineral with these gas dangers, so surely it should be open cast. Sure, we'll learn from the mistakes, but this one's a major, and hopefully, this time, we really will never forget the lesson.
R MCGUINNESS Cherrywood
As a cyclist, I agree that it is up to cyclists to be more vigilant about road rule compliance and improving courtesy to other road users.
However, in almost all cases of cycle vs other vehicle accidents, the cyclist is struck from behind or simply not seen by the other road user.
Despite taking more than reasonable precautions to be visible, I have been knocked off my cycle at a roundabout by a driver not giving way, and narrowly avoided other collisions by riding defensively when motorists have not given way when required.
Improving road safety requires all road users to be more vigilant about road rule compliance and to improve courtesy to other road users, cyclists or otherwise.
While ACC may have funded a lot more medical treatments for cyclists than would be the ideal, any person who remains physically active into their older years will spend a lot less of the public health purse than their sedentary contemporaries.
Less diabetes, less heart disease, lower cancer rates, fewer mental health issues, the list is endless. That's got to be good for all New Zealanders, and worth the investment in cycle lanes and cycle-friendly road systems.
LINDSAY VETTE Otumoetai
Not the answer
Re Mrs S Williams (Your View, Dec 2). Two-thirds of fatal crashes where alcohol was involved, the driver was more than double the legal limit (2008 statistics).
Reducing the legal blood alcohol limit for driving will not improve this statistic. Consequence? Maybe.
STEVE MACKENZIECEO, Restaurant Association of NZ
Life bans urged
I entirely agree with Jos Mason that the current offence of "drink driving causing death" should be replaced with the offence of "vehicular manslaughter" (News, Dec 4).
This reflects better the seriousness of the offence, and then hopefully long prison sentences will be dealt out by the courts.
I would also like to see the offenders banned from driving for life. This is the only way to ensure that they will never again cause mayhem and death on our roads.
DAVID CLARKE Waihi
I am a mother of three children - one of whom attends Matua Plunket Kindergarten in Tauranga. Our kindergarten has 100 per cent qualified early childhood education (ECE) teachers and parents and staff have voted to retain this. It is a key part of our kindergarten's values to provide high quality ECE with fully-trained professionals.
As a National voter in the last election, I am dismayed that National has blatantly gone back on its election promise to not alter the 20 hours free ECE. This is shown in a recent letter from the Hon Anne Tolley to Matua Plunket Kindergarten suggesting: "you may wish to consider an optional charge for 20 hours ECE".
It was always "20 hours free ECE" up until recently.
Does the National government really think we'll put up with second-best education for our precious children and vote them in for a second term? Shifting money from ECE to other areas and yet part-funding Hobbit movies and the like is robbing Peter to pay Paul.
Honour our children.
Aren't they the best investment for the future of New Zealand?
SUZANNE ARDERN Matua
A big thank you to the unknown person who found our granddaughter's gold watch at Bayfair on Saturday November 27 and handed it over to management. Your honesty was greatly appreciated.
JOAN PIESSE Rotorua
Dear oh dear. Would Roy Edwards (Your View, Dec 6) be happy with a ship's captain operating a large vessel with a blood alcohol level of 0.05? He is right about a radical view not being helpful.
Alcohol Action NZ takes a moderate point of view, aiming for reduction in harm from alcohol by using science to guide policy, not "emotive responses" as postulated by Mr Edwards. The goal is to take the extreme corporate booze environment and to mediate it with regulation that lets us all enjoy alcohol with the minimum of harm to others.
Lancet has recently published a landmark article which shows that for ethanol as a drug at least 60 per cent of the harm it causes is in fact damage to others, not just the drinker. All other drugs including heroin cause the majority of their harm to the individual.
The NZ Drug Foundation has reported that 85 per cent of New Zealanders support lowering the BAC to 50mg or less.
So, Mr Edwards, where is the Government setting the guidelines despite that majority? 80mg - showing their lack of respect for the wider community. The only way to change this is to submit to Parliament on the Alcohol Law Reform Bill so they know that votes will be lost if they fail to act responsibly as individuals elected by their community.
TONY FARRELL Mount Maunganui
* cycles 4 work and school r ok.recreation speedsters shud b on baypark..2 many in large groups at dangerous speed unable 2 stop or remain in cycle lane.p
* Light trail. To the 4 homes in cumberland cres very nice well done thank you.
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