Regarding the size of fatsia japonica (Gardening, August 2) stated as two or more metres on your garden page, I believe it can grow to double that.

Plant labels often have an incorrect size listed.

When I pointed out some examples to a plant nursery the owner told me that if he put the correct size on the labels, he wouldn't sell anything.

Customers need to consult a plant dictionary.
Diane Calder


Library praise
I would like to offer my sincere congratulations to the numerous people who run our very extensive library. These people ensure that we always have excellent reading material for all pursuits.

I was brought up to respect books from a very early age, by my parents, and it absolutely appals me the number of books defaced by pens or pencils.

It seems some "types" have to sit down to read with a marker in their hand to either mark the page they are reading, circles around the numbers of the pages, turn corners of pages down or correct spelling or punctuation mistakes.

Why? These books are public property, paid for by our rates, and therefore should be respected by readers.

I realise some people think they are superior, education-wise, and have a need to show off in some way, marking spelling mistakes etc, but keep it to yourself and look after our very valuable books.

For goodness sake, teach your children to respect books and in the end they will reap the benefits. Keep up the good work all you library employees and thank you.
Jacque Douglas

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Bigger picture
Firstly to Tracey McLeod and Jacqui Cornish, a huge thank you for sharing your concerns with me with regards to the conditions of some of our footpaths.

In councillor Charles Sturt's reply to Tracey, he refers to the expansion of dual cycleways and footpaths.

When I purchased my mobility scooter I rang the Rotorua police to get clarification on using the cycle lanes. They informed me that I was allowed to ride in the cycle lane as long as I went with the flow of the traffic. Fantastic! I thought. I did this for two weeks.

But then on my way home to Ōwhata using the cycle lane, I was approached by a police patrol car and was told to get back on to the footpath, leaving me somewhat confused.

When going into town on the left-hand side, the only way to cross to the other side is to go under the bridge at the Sala St lights. Unfortunately that path is really rough and steep; I almost ended up in the stream.

The path on the left side ends at the Sala St lights. The council has put cycle lanes throughout the city where they are rarely used by cyclists. All that has done is taken car parking away, affecting the poor retailers.

With reference to councillor Sturt's comments on the suburb of Glenholme, he is referring to a small portion of the city's problem. Please look at the bigger picture Charles, it is time to walk the walk not talk the talk.
Harold Hunt

Just the basics
In response to councillor Sturt's letter (August 8), I hope it results in a "spurt"; a brief burst of effort, activity or development.

Myself, Harold Hunt and Jacqui Cornish have recently lamented about the state of the cracked footpaths and crumbling kerbing.

We don't want the "Rolls Royce" double cycle lanes that nobody uses, we just need the basic infrastructure our rates are paid to provide.

There is a link on the council website for Requests for Service which I completed on July 1, 2017, which is the proper channel to make such a request. I cannot be held accountable for that request not reaching the right person in the chain of command.

The state of our footpaths and kerbing have often been stated in letters to the editor, published alongside concerns about luxury projects like the $2.1 million skatepark instead of the basic infrastructure being maintained and upgraded, as regularly promised and publicised by the council in its pie graphs.

It's time for action to speak louder than words, and give the ratepayers what they pay for.
Tracey McLeod
Lake Tarawera