The Bay of Plenty Times welcomes letters and comments from readers. Below you can read the letters we have published in your newspaper today.
Has jazz festival lost its pizzazz?
Re Jazz fest feels punters' pinch (News, April 25).
Some suggested reasons for poor attendance at the jazz festival - the recession, petrol prices, clash with Waiheke Jazz Festival, poor publicity (virtually no advertising around the city), price of some concert tickets $89 and $95 (pricey for Tauranga). I haven't mentioned the weather as that would not have affected concert attendances.
I really believe the festival has gone backwards since the new director took over.
This year, a record number of 86 bands. Where were they?
Sunday afternoon I went to The Strand. Normally no room to move, crowded with excited fans, a fantastic atmosphere. This year, few fans, plenty of empty seats at all the bars, no atmosphere.
Three bands were playing but it was not jazz.
Historic Village - Sunday, far fewer people than last year. Although three bands were playing, four areas set up for bands (with instruments) were vacant while I was there. Not a good look.
There is talk of doing away with the free events. If this occurs, even fewer people will attend.
This year's festival definitely lacked the excitement and vibrancy of previous festivals. Apart from a couple of really top notch concerts, it was all a bit "ho hum".
I have attended the last eight festivals and this one was very disappointing.
Roger Bailey, Papamoa Beach
How fortunate we are here in the Bay to have the writing skills of Graham Clark available to us every Thursday in Bay Beat in the Bay of Plenty Times.
His insightful columns of our rich musical history are a must read every week. Graham's eulogy to Ritchie Pickett over three weeks was superb, and I know for sure, Ritchie himself would have been delighted. Keep up the excellent work Graham, I know many people so look forward to your weekly columns and hope there are many more to come.
Steve Grant, Mount Maunganui
I see that the police officer in charge of the Scott Guy case has been described as a tattooed grandmother. I find this description disgusting, offensive and a sexist remark. Would you describe a male police officer as a tattooed grandfather. I bet not.
A highly motivated and experienced police officer would be more appropriate.
R B Wyld, Tauranga
Re: Cricket club left on sticky wicket (News, April 26).
As part of an original committee dedicated to the development of Blake Park for cricket, I am very surprised at the latest news.
Sharing of facilities does not work. Mount Club is one of the true success stories of Bay of Plenty sport, growth in the club has come about by hard work by its members and a home is essential for any sport organisation.
Council in its wisdom must accommodate the continued growth and success in sport and foster excellence. Looking after successful organisations like the Mount Cricket Club should be part of that brief.
Roger Child, Morrinsville
As NZ Post is currently wondering how to improve its image, I'll provide an example of one area which could do with attention. Last year, on Easter Monday I posted a letter to my daughter a little way out of Katikati. On the same day, a friend in NSW, Australia, posted an airmail letter to me.
While visiting my daughter on the Friday, my letter arrived in her mail. When I returned home, the Australian letter had been delivered in mine. How come it took four days to get to a neighbouring town and the same four days to cross the Tasman?
Joy Z Marks, Greerton
Greg Southon, president of the local branch of the United Nations Association writes (Guest Editorial, April 27) "... our standard of living threatens the viability of succeeding generations ... and ... the effects of less developed nations to achieve our standards of living threatens the viability of our environment".
These two frightening, doom-laden sentiments are now standard rhetoric from the Green Left. The sentiments really began in earnest after the 1992 Earth summit. This gathering was chaired by Maurice Strong, who famously concluded: "Isn't the only hope for the planet that the industrialised civilisations collapse? Isn't it our responsibility to bring that about?"
Mr Southon's sentiments are Mr Strong's exactly, and while Mr Southon can only agitate locally, Mr Strong is a man of significant international power.
I invite Mr Southon to elaborate on the statements from his article that I have quoted above, and I invite your readers to follow and participate in the debate that would ensue.
Mike Houlding, Ohauiti
Tauranga HarbourWatch Inc strongly opposes Tauranga Bridge Marina Company's application to the regional council to build a 245m breakwater. This construction would halve the tidal inflow and outflow channel of the whole southern harbour.
This channel has already over the years been dramatically narrowed ; the old aerodrome wharf causeway, the Sulphur Point port development, the causeway on to the harbour bridge and the 33 hectares of infill in the deep water tidal channel for a car park when the Tauranga Bridge Marina was built 15 years ago.
The regional council did nothing to stop this 33 hectares of infill in a prime part of the harbour reducing the tidal flow area.
Now in 2011, the regional council is doing nothing to stop this huge construction rock breakwater - half the present already narrowed channel will be lost. Instead there will be a huge dead water area of 70 hectares catching outgoing sea lettuce in its arching southfacing hook.
The tidal flow will be like that at the harbour entrance - very swift - an environmental disaster.
Yet EBOP claims it can do nothing - that the RMA does not allow it to interfere - processes must be followed.
This is absolute nonsense. It is EBOP's task to protect the harbour's environment; not just monitor process and then allow private, profit-driven developments.
Hylton Rhodes, Chairperson Tauranga Harbour Watch Inc
Offending on bail
Re: Rapist strikes again on bail (News, April 29). It is of concern that too often rapists and murderers are given bail or parole, only to go on and rape or murder or continue to be law breakers.
As a taxpayer, I would support the erecting of "granny flats" accommodation for the judges to grant bail and parole and these criminals be accommodated at the judges' residence. Maybe there would be less liberal granting, less freedom for these criminals, and keep those antisocial out of the community.
Prison cells should be communal - 10 to a room (similar to the barracks used by soldiers that defend this nation), and then the Mongrel Mob, Black Power, Nomads, Hell's Angels, gangs and criminals along with child molesters and rapists could learn the social skills to get along.
Criminals need to be out of society and repeat offenders need the key disposed of. Strike three and no return.
Judges grant bail and parole, so they need to take responsibility for putting these repeat offenders back on the street.
It is time to harden up and clean up on crime. Send those Malay drug smugglers straight back to Malaysia with the drugs, and let them see how they get on smuggling drugs into their own country.
Lloyd Stone, Bethlehem
Good Tb news
Re: Bay gets all clear from TB (Rural News, April 20). It is good news all round not only for the farmers but for all the users of the Kaimai-Mamaku forest.
Earle Wells, TBfree BOP chairman, says: "Farmers need to be more vigilant." That goes without saying. If it wasn't for shoddy farmers we would have a lot less TB as this is how the wildlife get TB in the first place.
What is the cost to the rest of the country from TB outbreaks that are a direct result of lax stock movements from infected areas? Millions of dollars to say the possums being the "main source of re-infection" is just a bit more of the Animal Health Board's usual propaganda to keep the gravy train of public money flowing.
He also states the recommendation for infected animals to be buried or burned to avoid further contamination.
What a joke. Ironically this is the exact same advice given by the manufactures of 1080 poison on the recommended disposal of poisoned animals.
How often does this occur? Virtually nil.
The dead animals carry on killing and contaminating the environment.
What this episode does thankfully indicate is that they cannot use TB threat as an excuse to use 1080 poison in the Kaimais any time soon and that has to be the best news of all.
G Emeny, Pyes Pa
* No jail 4 hammer and baseball bat attack. Huh!! Wot the hell. Sounds like they nearly killed the guy. Wot planet do some of these judges live on?
* Cup extravaganza - the govt does not fund bands, the tax payer does dont forget it tcc.
* If the council needs funds for the cup extravaganza the councilers should donate there pay increase.
* For christs sake - get the miners out of pike river mine john key
* No consultatn given re enforcd plantg of pohutukawa tree outside my valley rd prop. Council advisd this was happeng and i had no say in matter. Why was
there no dialogue wth residents first b4 beaurocratic ltr sent? .,,,..C Potter
* Re. Mercury. Thrive in bay. A sorry dr. Graham tauranga has a very high cancer rate which is of course from sprays wich u wil no doubt claim is rubish
* Re. Mercury .dr lynam. Do you think formeldahyde leachin into ground via bodies is, and wil b an issue in future?
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