Caring for beauty spots

I agree with councillor Helen Craig (Chronicle, November 15): "We must do better".

On the day Ms Craig's item came out in the Chronicle, I took two visitors from Japan around our fair city. One was a former Ueki District councillor and the other was an executive from a company that employs 7000 staff.

I had dealings with the former district councillor a number of years ago and he wanted to see me regarding an issue common to both of us.

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He wanted to see our city, so I arranged a sightseeing tour. First place was the St John's Hill lookout (our city sadly blocked by growing trees). Worse still was the rubbish stuffed into and laying on the ground in a district council bin. The rubbish was still there the following day.

First impact always counts.

Drove to the Durie Hill Tower. Oh dear, second impressions not much better. Long grass and rubbish lying around the tower. I acknowledge the contractor perhaps has a contract to mow the lawns to 10cm once a month.

Right next to the tower was a jungle of weeds, chest-high, where the historic Duncan Hospital used to be. Summer fire hazard?

These are two tourist attractions, so perhaps councillor Craig might do a "tiki tour" of council-owned sites before she bursts into print.

Fortunately, lunch at Rutland Arms and other sites had my guests taking multiple photos and our city and came out well.

So we must do better!
Bob Walker
St John's Hill
Religious fervour
Although I live in France, 20,000km from Whanganui, I read the Chronicle every evening and particularly enjoy the columns of Jay Kuten and Gwynne Dyer even if I know that every one will be followed by a renewed onslaught from F R Halpin, the prophet of Gonville - a place-name with a surprisingly French feel!

He seemed to have changed tack this week by praising his opponents for their learning and nobility before reverting to type and pitying them because they have no knowledge of God.

There is, he says, no idealism without God. Well, his saying so doesn't make it true and the history of his religion hardly shows much of it either, as it endorsed war, slavery, oppression, the suppression of women etc. Find an evil and you will find a Christian supporting it.

Out came his hobby horse too when he wondered how many geniuses have been aborted. Probably fewer than have been killed in all the religious wars, inquisitions and pogroms launched by people who believed in his God.

And if he really believes modern education is "entirely left-wing" he must know schools that are very different to the ones I do, or feel that John Key was dangerously leftist.

The teachers of my granddaughters hardly struck me as rabid communists, just decent Kiwis doing a difficult job. Yet, I suppose if you stand to the right of Genghis Khan the average teacher might be a leftist.

This week, though, I took his advice to read Daniel chapter 13 only to discover that neither of my Bibles contained more than 12 of the book. Perhaps he would like to issue a correction.
Ian Pashby
France
Comforting teddies
If you spend $30 or more at Whitcoulls you can buy a lovely, soft white teddy bear with a smart green bow for $9.99.

You can either take it home for your children or donate it to Whanganui Hospital, where it will be given to patients unlucky enough to be there at Christmas.

The young and the old find a lot of comfort when they are given them.

Well done, Whitcoulls!
Anne Ravn
Fordell