"Elevator cable snaps with operator inside" (Chronicle, front page, October 11).
That happened a month ago. The elevator operator trapped inside until she was winched to safety was my mother-of-two kid sister.

Pardon my cynicism, but I am guessing it took a month since the incident before the council staff with overall responsibility for the prior maintenance could think up a plausible story that "all was well" with the elevator until the cable snapped.

I am glad that Leighton Toy, council general manager of property, was "satisfied that we were on top of [the elevator's] service and maintenance requirements". I am less satisfied in that regard.

So "only one" of three cables snapped, to cause the problem, as reported. So how could the elevator have sped up sufficiently to activate the emergency braking if indeed there were allegedly two other "good" cables supposedly in use? It's a plausible front-page story of everything being just fine with the elevator. I just don't happen to believe some of it. There is an issue of people's safety here.

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Over decades, three generations of my family have been Durie Hill elevator operators. They have watched daily inspection of cables in recent times, "as it was cheaper to do daily checks than replace old cables" — so the comment was made.

Had the elevator budget run out? Was this why the operators were dealing constantly over months with ongoing problems with brakes and old and weakening cables due to lack of required maintenance, until a cable snapped and forced the council's hand into overdue safety maintenance? The daily inspections must have been done incompetently, as obviously no inspector assessed how dangerously frail the cables were becoming. If not inspection incompetence, I am open to another explanation — but it better be a good one.

Good that the council is forced to do a proper maintenance job.

Bad that it took a real emergency to force their penny-pinching hand. The elevator is an internationally unique tourist attraction.

Why isn't it getting a decent budget for both local user safety and tourist marketing?

STAN HOOD
Aramoho


Not cyber-bullying
NZ Herald columnist Lizzie Marvelly does a great impression of a virtue-signalling faux victim in her admonishment of what she calls "cyber-bullies".

Marvelly certainly has form in the lexicon of that she says she objects to.
Her columns drip disdain and radiate rancour against anyone that holds an opinion opposite to herself, particularly white men.

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Marvelly is a practised mistress of the ad-hominem attack and straw-man argument, both in hard print and Twitter, so it's no surprise that she gets some significant blow-back from those she works so hard to attack and marginalise.

Sharing an opinion is one thing, but doing so invites alternative opinion, sometimes robust.

If Marvelly is allergic to correction, then the best way to prevent her from regularly catching a cold might well be for Marvelly to conduct herself in a more respectful and dignified manner in her prose, rather than [as] the ill-informed ideological banshee she often portrays herself to be.

Alternative opinion is not cyber-bullying, no matter how much Marvelly would like to believe that is the case.

DYLAN TIPENE
Ranui, Auckland


Splitting straws

As a "general reader" of the Chronicle, I find Russ Hay's concern (October 5 letter) for my reading comprehension unnecessary.

Mr Hay takes umbrage at Karen Raaymakers' letter of September 28 when she takes him to task for inaccuracies in a previous letter from Mr Hay. I read Karen's letter. It was easy to understand, factual, and scientific.

In the years I've read Mr Hay's letters, I thought science was his bailiwick. At least that's the impression he attempts in his usual anti-Christian, anti-theistic rhetoric.

Abortion is not usual turf for Mr Hay to tread on. He cries foul for being caught short. He explains he got things wrong to keep it simple for the "general reader". Ironically, Mr Hay parses words in his defence only to reverse himself with "Straw splitting does not help clarification".

Okay, let's not split straws or hairs — or babies for that matter. When we "general readers" learn that a friend, or even a casual acquaintance is pregnant, we don't ask about the stage of "gestational development". We ask "When is the baby due?" — however early in the pregnancy.

We don't discuss the "viability of the foetus" because we don't think of it as a foetus. We think of mother and baby. I need not continue in this vein of normal language. My fellow "general readers" will get the gist.

It's a baby, Mr Hay. All your scientific jargon comes into play simply to distance societal sensibilities from and legally justify the act of killing the baby. How's that for not splitting straws? Are we clear?

TEDDY MARKS
Whanganui


Send your letters to: The Editor, Whanganui Chronicle, 100 Guyton St, PO Box 433, Wanganui 4500; or email editor@wanganuichronicle.co.nz