THE concept of shared pathways is all well and good if the users respect each other. Sadly, this is not the case in Wanganui.

I am a retiree new to this city. I walk every day with my dog. The tranquil riverbank is my favourite place in this town. The council crows about the increase in cyclists using this area; maybe they should come down and watch the cyclists using it like a racetrack.

It really is insane to have cyclists hurtling past walkers with a metre or less to spare between them, and single file should be the norm for cyclists when walkers are present.
To the people who slow down, ring their bells and sometimes stop to say hello, a big thank you. However, there is also an aggressive element who seem to take a perverse pleasure in racing up behind walkers and zooming past very close.

The walkers are quietly being pushed off the traditional walkways in this town. Shared pathways need to be wider; they need to have a line down the middle and indication of which side is for which user. So come on, council, get your act together.



Not our voices

Dr Nelson Lebo says we cannot afford to lose independent journalism, ie, the Chronicle. I am a fan of yours, Nelson.

Please note that Mike Hosking and Kate Hawkesby write the lead editorials frequently for our local paper. They would despise our culture of sharing, community work, racial inclusiveness, ecological concern and our great respect here for "the commons", the ordinary people who make up most of our fine city.

Many people in our city work for justice across all human concerns.

Those wealthy neoliberals — Mike and Kate — bear no relation to our values in this fair city, where we try to talk across all barriers. We are a democracy and we have a freer press than some. Mike and Kate have voices, they are not ours.


Secular atheists


I opine, contrary to opinions in "Today's thought" (May 11) but agreeing with BW Steyn (Letters, May 8), that to be a secular atheist is to believe in the remarkable evolving story people are telling us about the universe today, compared to the static biblical version developed before it was known that the earth orbited the sun.

Atheism has no priests proselytising and collecting tithes for it, or promises of eternal life to sell, but it is beset by the promoters of religious creeds who do, and market their opinions as the normative view of religion (April 16, May 8).

Some even suggest that a propensity towards religion emerged as an evolutionary advantage, but this is no more credible than any other "notion" they may have.
Even the word "atheism" is one of their etymological quirks, made up from "a lack of" (A) and "a sense of god" (theos) — it would have you assume it to be abnormal.

It's quirky, because it is actually quite normal to disbelieve anything that pretends to have magical or supernatural qualities.


Make your vote count


K.A. Benfell's letter (April 1) almost hits the nail on the head with sticking with FPP. Steve Baron has whinged on for years about STV, which I personally think is a dumb system.
Let me share my thoughts on making your vote count.

Let's say you have an election coming up; you need to pick 12 muppets and one puppet. There may be 30 to choose from but you only really like Grover, Oscar and Animal, so that's all you vote for. If you were also to vote for Miss Piggy, Kermit and the Three Blind Mice that you weren't really keen on, that then can work against the top three you want.

For example, although we needed 12 councillors, I could only come up with six suitable candidates, so that's all I voted for. This shows that no one got a vote I didn't want to vote for for council.

Durie Vale

Send your letters to: Letters, Whanganui Chronicle, 100 Guyton St, PO Box 433, Whanganui 4500; or email