Your say: City driving, waikaka, correcting, All Blacks

Last updated 05:00 28/07/2009

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Readers' opinions for Tuesday, July 28:

Ignorant, careless driving attitudes
I want to voice my total dismay and alarm at driving standards being displayed by some people in Invercargill whose ignorant, careless attitudes on the roads of this town are putting others at risk of being maimed or killed.

I have ridden a bike through London, over a three-year period, to and from work, 45 minutes to an hour each way, and had only two instances where bad driving caused me a problem.

Here in little old Invercargill, while doing two round trips to the central business district from Richmond each day about five minutes each way I have encountered the following in the past three months alone:

  • One car overtaking me to suddenly turn left in front of me I had to take evasive action (corner Doon and Yarrow streets);
  • One car crossing a thoroughfare almost hitting me (corner Doon and Yarrow streets);
  • One car U-turning from the opposite direction and then turning abruptly left into the supermarket in front of me I had to take evasive action (Countdown, Tay St);
  • Man walking out in front of a truck, parked illegally, in front of me (Tay St);
  • One car suddenly braking and pulling up to pavement in front of me I had to take evasive action (Yarrow St);
  • One car turning through the intersection from opposite direction in front of me (corner Tay and Kelvin streets);
  • One car not indicating and turning left into a supermarket in front of me I had to take evasive action (Countdown, Tay St);
  • One car indicating as I was alongside and abruptly turning into supermarket in front of me I had to take evasive action (Countdown, Tay St).
  • One lady crossing legally at lights and being hit by car (corner Esk and Kelvin streets);
  • People opening their driver's doors in front of me I had to take evasive action (Kelvin St, Tay St, and Kelvin St again).

I have also had the misfortune to observe the aftermath of the following:

  • Intersection smash a young woman killed (corner Gala St and Queens Dr);
  • Intersection smash (roundabout, Tay St/Dee St);
  • Intersection smash (corner Doon and Yarrow streets);
  • Intersection smash (corner Tay and Deveron streets);
  • Intersection smash (corner Macmaster and Yarrow streets).

I have also noticed in one five-minute period at the Dee St/Tay St roundabout that for every vehicle indicating their exit from the roundabout, at least two vehicles not indicating their imminent exit at all.

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Who of you will end up on my doorstep with the news that you have killed one of my boys as they ride to, or from, school?
D Sander, Invercargill
Abridged (Editor)

Thanks Waikaka
When briefly popping down memory lane one runs the possibility of shattering the images of a past life that moulded one's being.

Not so in this case.

Last weekend I ventured back to Waikaka to support their rugby team in their semifinal contest with local rivals Riversdale.

Having taught and played footy in the area 40-odd years ago I was interested in savouring some very pleasant memories and to discover whether my recollections were through "rose-tinted glasses".

I could not have been more impressed with my experience.

Strong loyalty for friends and district, willing volunteers, support for youth by inclusion, respect for the opposition and a warm welcome for visitors all contribute to a community with a sense of purpose and pride.

The local family names of Byars, McIntosh, Townsend, Miller and Lamb still feature throughout today's team sheets.

Thanks Waikaka you far exceeded my expectations.

Good luck to captain Paul and coach Bretton. To remain unbeaten for the season is a lofty goal, but one that your many sponsors and supporters know you can achieve.
Alan Dennis, Invercargill

Not bagging correcting
No, S D Payne (July 27), I have not been "bagging John Baird's accurate account of what is happening with the world weather", rather I have been providing corrections to Mr Baird's (and others') erroneous statements on global warming and climate, backed up with references to sources for that information.

How many mistakes need to be pointed out before someone doubts the reliability of the source of their information?

I agree with, and expand upon, Paul Rodmell, editor of Astronomy South (July 25): check the validity of your sources and the veracity of your information. That has been the gist of all I have written this year.

Weather is the atmospheric conditions experienced in a place day by day, week by week and so on. Climate is the accumulation of weather over decades and longer. A cold winter in New Zealand this year is currently irrelevant to the global warming recorded during the past 35 years.

Regarding sunspots (of which the first of the current cycle was observed on July 4) Dr Spencer Weart recently retired from the American Institute of Physics reported that during the past 20 years, all the trends in solar activity that could have had an influence on Earth's climate have been in the opposite direction to that required to explain the observed rise in global mean temperature (aip.org/history/climate/solar.htm). In other words, if solar activity alone were driving climate, we would have seen a cooling not a warming.

S D Payne stated that New Zealand's glaciers have been growing in the past three years, however, Niwa research shows that the Southern Alps glaciers have lost 2.2 billion tonnes of permanent ice from April 2007 to March 2008, the fourth-highest annual loss since monitoring started niwa.co. nz/our-science/climate/news/all/2008-09-15.
Carol Cowan, Lumsden

Shake off the ghosts
I have to ask how much the ghost of World Rugby Cup 2007 is hanging around Graham Henry and the All Blacks, despite his overall impressive coaching record.

The pressure to perform is mounting and there seems to be a dreariness in the All Blacks.

Either they must shake off the ghosts from the past or the NZRU must hire someone new to bring back the vigour and sharpness the All Blacks are capable of.
Andrew Prieditis, Hamilton

- The Southland Times

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