LOCALS and visitors alike often refer to the visual vibe of the four-block town centre. It is always stunning with flower beds, 600 hanging baskets, tall Victorian iron lamps, chain links and clean sidewalks.

The jewel is the Watt Fountain, which sits in the middle of blocks one and two; beautiful by day or night, surrounded by four historic buildings. Part of that visual vibe of our town centre is our many small and niche shops and the massive popularity of cafes, and especially sidewalk coffee.

Of special joy for rest and socialising was the large bricked area outside the former Post Office, previously used by the Orange Cafe. This spacious and hugely popular central gathering point next to the Watt Fountain was filled with lots of tables and was a mecca for coffee, light snacks and good company. It looked alive and inviting and made this such a truly vibrant area.

We are left (for now) in the heart of the CBD with a stark and under-used area for much-needed outdoor relaxation. I was informed the coffee machine broke down and that it was sent for repairs. The machine never came back, nor did the newly employed, lovely barista.


Please, new proprietors, Momoji, please reconsider. Surely sushi with coffee and sweets is trendy! Please send them a lovely note to bring our daytime outside cafe and cake back. The disappointment is widespread and often commented on.


Car a disgrace

I read in the Chronicle (October 18) about Bruce Gordon's $97,000 BMW car and how he has the gall to show his face and car in our paper.

It is a damn disgrace, and does he really care about us ratepayers? If he does, he has a funny way of showing it.

Perhaps, Bruce, you should sell your car and get a scooter, or — better still — do you think Horizons would buy me a $97,000 BMW?

Mm, just asking.



State highway closure

Right from the "start go", I declare that I was not there to see the crisis. It has to be a crisis to close a state highway for nine hours.

Nor was I able to observe any of the resultant damage that occurred on early Wednesday morning, but a nine-hour state highway closure as a result of a single-vehicle, non-serious-injury crash?

Not acceptable and too redolent of the appalling historical automatic closures of Auckland's main routes in the past for minor incidents until the "authorities" were brought to task and forced to improve their responses.

Okay, I know that if a death is involved then the scene is treated as a crime scene, and I understand the need for any disruption of any thoroughfare involved. But there was no death.

Okay, I know there was a broken power supply line involved, but a nine-hour road closure for restoring a broken power line? Am I missing something here? I don't think so.

The disruption and inconvenience caused by the "authorities" to State Highway 3 road users on Wednesday morning was totally unjustified and, as such, the "authorities" are rated, on a scale of one to 10 for their performance, as minus several hundred.

Improvements are needed in respect of co-ordination between power supply, police and vehicle recovery operatives. A few "stop-go" men would surely have alleviated some of the obstruction problems facing the authorities as opposed to a total closure of a state highway.

Can we hope for an improvement in the future?


Well done, Coastguard

Over the long weekend, while looking out to sea from our Castlecliff home, I noticed what appeared to be a person a very long way out from shore.

Whatever it was, it was only visible off and on and I wondered if it might be a log that had washed down the river. After some time it was still in much the same position so it was unlikely to be a log. We found the binoculars and were still unable to be sure what the object was.

So often we will say to ourselves "She'll be right" but this time with the possibility of a life at stake I called the Coastguard. Within minutes a return call was made and we tried helping guide a boat that was already in the water out to the object. While doing this, two police vehicles arrived in record time to back up the Coastguard with a drone.

To the Coastguard and the police, a huge thank you for doing what you do best — helping people. Yes, it was a person in a kayak, and thankfully everything was okay. However, without the Coastguard and police, had anything untoward happened, we would have never forgiven ourselves.

If you think anyone is even possibly in danger, let the experts know and be reassured that you have done the right thing.

Coastguard and police, well done!


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