Time to reminisce and reconnect

WHEN you are in your 70s and in isolation and lockdown with this horrendous Covid-19 virus that has hit the world (no I have not got it), you have time to think and maybe reminisce about life.

Being a football fan for all my life, my thoughts went back to the 1960s when I lived in Kawerau for four years and played football for the local club.

I test my old teammate Jeff Cannell and his wife, Lee, to see how they were. Then I got on the “blower” to Ken McGregor who still lives in Kawerau. Ken was a stalwart of the old Kawerau Town AFC when we played at Boyce Park. We chatted away for half an hour about the changes in football from our day.

I still think the “W formation” that teams played was the best, at least you had two wingers going down both sides of the pitch and crossing for the centre forward to head in.

Also, old names came flooding back: Dave Kelly, a wee Scotsman; Cyril Cutts, the goalie; Arnold ter Ellen. But to me the most talented was Horst Manthey, so much skill that man had. Well we all hope this Covid-19 will end soon so we can get on with our lives and football as well.

Clive Philip, Rotorua

Travel agents pleasure to deal with

IF I may, I should like to add a few words to travel agent Donella Buttimore’s column (Beacon 15/4) on the sad state of the travel/travel agent business due to the coronavirus insanity.

I have been using the services of the Buttimore family travel business since Moses came down off the Mount – first with Robert, then following his death when Donella, his widow, took over. This is a lot of years, and I do a heap of travelling.

I have never, in the time I have been living in the area, used another agency, nor booked tickets online. My satisfaction rate: 110 percent.

Since my type of travel is bare-bones, not a whole lot of profit has the agency made from my bookings.

Dealing with airlines must be unimaginably frustrating for agents as the corporations of the sky so very often change flight times/dates/services without prior notice and, of course, it’s rarely their responsibility to compensate the traveller.

I know Donella, and her ever-so-competent agent Christine Buddle, have fought any number of pitched battles with the airlines, and greedy travel insurance companies, on my behalf.

It has indeed been a pleasure to deal with these two women over the many years.

Barry Rosenberg

Sweep the street, do your part

THE Sullivan Lake Care Group’s steering group applauds the message from Whakatane District Council’s 3 Waters infrastructure nanager, Tomasz Krawczyk in the Beacon on March 25.

Mr Krawczyk was imploring residents, with autumn approaching, to sweep up the leaves from our gutters and stormwater grates to prevent flooding.

Our care group agrees totally with this request and for Sullivan Lake there are other benefits as well.

There are 10 stormwater pipes that enter Sullivan Lake as the lake’s purpose now, since the building of the stop banks, is as a stormwater holding area in times of flood.

The lake is an intermediary receiving environment for stormwater runoff before it enters the Whakatane River. The streets that feed into the lake include Douglas, King, Mary Henry, Fred Judd, Martin, Te Tahi, Olympic, Lakeview, Valley and Alexander.

All the leaves left in the gutters eventually enter the lake through these pipes, adding to the degradation of the water, build up of debris in the lake and the resultant high cynobacteria levels and botulism in the summer, a danger to humans and animals and killing many ducks on the lake, a distressing situation for children and adults alike.

Unfortunately it is not only the leaves that enter the lake but pollutants from the road, people’s homes, at times industrial areas, rubbish that is dropped on our streets and dog faeces from roaming dogs and owners who do not pick up their dog’s droppings while exercising. To make the problem more disturbing is that much of the debris including plastics and pollutants enter the river from the lake and then the ocean.

Members of our care group have been carrying out weekly water clarity readings of water in the lake. The clarity readings have been significantly clearer during the dry weather especially in the area where the lake was dredged last year and the fresh water enters the lake which reinforces our opinion that the debris from our streets is a significant reason for the poor quality of the water in the lake.

Sullivan Lake was once regarded as “the jewel in Whakatane’s crown”, a community asset to be valued and cared for. Since the Covid-19 lockdown the number of people walking the reserve has increased significantly – appreciating and enjoying this treasure in our community.

We implore everyone to please sweep your part of the street from leaves, don’t litter and pick up your dog’s droppings. It will also save our rates as any work on the lake is at a significant monetary cost to us all.

Lynore Craig
(for Sullivan Lake Care Group Steering Group)

Call to set the right example

I NOTE that MPs, and well-paid mayors and chief executive officers of district councils elsewhere are accepting reductions in salaries for the duration of the Covid-19 emergency, and beyond.

I look forward to an announcement by our mayor or council chief executive that we will follow that excellent example.

Staff elsewhere earning more than $100,000 pa are facing salary drops of 20 to 30 percent.

Whakatane District Council’s chief executive earns almost $300,000 a year and many of her staff earn well over $100,000. Mayor Judy Turner earns over $130,000.

I trust that our mayor and chief executive won’t set a wrong example.

On another Covid 19-related matter, I have signed a national petition calling for councils to cancel any plans for rates rises this year.

I would welcome a clear statement that our council has no plan to increase rates this our year or next.

The damage the new virus is inflicting on our economy and businesses won’t disappear when our alert level drops below one; it will take years to recover.

I and others will be keeping an eye on council’s spending from now on. Our councillors must be mindful of this as they plan to spend ratepayers’ money.

Alexander (Sandy) Milne

Drip fed and brainwashed

I BELIEVE we are all getting brainwashed each day by the prime minister and Dr Bloomfield concerning the Covid-19 virus.

They usually start the update praising the Government for going hard and going early, which I believe is not true. They then like to tell us how well we are coping comparing us to Sweden and other parts of the world.

After the daily death toll is given and the Covid-19 numbers update, we are told to expect more deaths from the Rosewood Rest Home in Christchurch.

Could this mean the Rosewood resident who have a “do not resuscitate” clause added to their medical file?

The Government said they had ventilators available but only two were being used. I believe most of the elderly who have a do not resuscitate clause on their medical file that contract Covid-10 will die because they will not be put on a ventilator.

Why did the Rosewood Rest Home care workers only just receive their new updated protective equipment (April 15).

While the World Health Organisation condones China’s wet markets re-opening and says face masks are not needed to give protection from Covid-19, we will have to learn to live with it.

I believe the Government could be doing a lot more by making face masks and hand cleaners freely available to everyone in New Zealand, not just the essential workers.

All public toilets should have automatic taps to wash your hands. Banks, cafes, all shops in the future should be required to have handwashing facilities. All of our airports, rest homes and workplaces should have temperature sensors to help control the spread of the Covid-19 virus.

I believe nobody has been prosecuted for driving outside their bubble on Easter Weekend.
Level 4 is a joke concerning alcohol, cycling, fishing, banking, postage, butchers, supply of face masks, lack of testing, and saying airports are closed when they are not.

D Dawson