Letters 16.3.13

I AM writing in to make people aware there are crooks around awaiting any opportunity to strike.
We have just put a boat on a mooring in Bicton and had a yellow kayak chained down along the river, which we planned to use to get out to our boat near Blackwall Reach.
The kayak was at the end of Kent Street along Blackwall Reach Road. There are many dinghies and kayaks along the riverfront there. We’d only left it there for two nights when some opportunists came along, cut a rope on the kayak and took off with it.
Our daughter was having her birthday on the boat last weekend and we had to race out and buy a dinghy (at great expense) so we could get out to our boat. If you have seen anything suspicious or a child of yours has suddenly obtained a yellow kayak with a big black plug on top, we would appreciate your call.
Cherie Peacock
Stock Rd, Attadale
The Ed says: If anyone’s seen the kayak give the Chook a call on 9430 7727 and we’ll put you in touch with Cherie.

Thanks Adele
MUCH was made of the personal life of Adele Carles during her term in office, but I thank her for being a strong, progressive representative for Fremantle where it counted.
I worked in her office for two years and know she always fought for environmental and social issues in her parliamentary speeches and votes, and through the campaigns she instigated and supported. I wish her and her hard-working team well for their next endeavours.
David Robertson
Samson St, Fremantle

E Shed’s magic
I AGREE with Gemma-Lee MacDonald (Herald letters, March 9, 2013).
Not all traders in E Shed Markets are trading poor. I run JESABA “Earth Crystals—Earth Magic” at E Shed Markets, and have done so for the past six years, moving down from Station Street Markets in Subiaco. I have a solid customer base.
I’m not sure who your informants were regarding air-conditioning and smoke alarms “…. only just being installed”. Air-conditioning has been in place since 1996. Regarding smoke alarms—the building could not be open for retail were smoke alarms and fire doors not in place—which they are, and have been for many years. Additional smoke/heat alarms have been installed throughout shops in the markets.
“High rents, low traffic flow through the old building and a lack of marketing by Fremantle Ports and the council are some of the reasons for peple bailing”. Oh please. Some people obviously have no concept of the real world out there! Rents are reasonable. Parking is reasonable (go up to Subiaco and see if you can find all-day parking there, let alone for the cost we pay at E Shed!). Traffic flow will vary from week to week, depending on what is happening elsewhere. Your use of the words “old building” sounds as if E Shed is old, decrepit and well past its “use by” date—which it isn’t! As for marketing—every business is responsible for marketing and advertising their own business—anything else is a bonus.
As for “risky leases”—what? Nor have I heard of anyone having to pay six months’ rent straight up (as implied in the article).
Kaz Knudsen
E-Shed Markets, Fremantle

Who let the Boomers out?
I HAD to giggle when I read about G4F (Herald, February 23, 2013).
Just what Freo needs—another pretentious group of Baby Boomers who oppose and block all new residential development in a poorly veiled effort to protect the scarcity of the property they own and to thereby inflict high prices and high rents on everyone else not in their privileged position (hey, but they are funky and love the arts—as long as the artists have to live east of Carrington St).
Despite the dozens of empty buildings in the West End and along the river crying out to become cool warehouse conversions and despite the ‘70s heroin decay of the CBD, we are yet to see any residential development or affordable one- and two-bedroom apartments in Fremantle. And then everyone wonders why the place is dying.
Dudley Brook
South Tce, Fremantle

Can we trust the Trust?
WHAT a front page (“Fly in, Fly out?” Herald March 2, 2013).
As I wander the streets of Fremantle, all I hear is “rent increase”, and now the National Trust boss, Tom Perrigo argues “commercial rates”. At least it’s not greed in Bodkins Bootery, a few weeks ago.
How does Tranby House fare with visitor numbers? At least these places are open, the beautiful old Homestead at Bull Creek, which used to stand alone in green land and is now surrounded by a two-storey house, no longer visible and falling down. That could be all our historical heritages future without subsidy.
Commercial! I hear Fremantle is a commercially viable hub? Myer thinks not! Cant blame them, there is always a paid parking space available in Fremantle, whereas at Garden City, or Cockburn Gateway, Phoenix, etc…
The commercial competition is great, and Fremantle has been slowly inch by inch giving way over these past 20 years. Perhaps Fremantle needs to be cheap to encourage business, and in order to compete and attract something no-one else has.
Thirty-plus years ago, Fremantle Markets were unique, then came all the others, shopping centres now abound throughout the suburbs, Fremantle became the city of the artists, but there’s not so many of them now.
At this moment at least the Fly is still here, and it is unique, it should be preserved as culture both past and present. It is worthy of National Trust protection and it makes money, not millions, but enough to play a part in the community.
“Is that not “worth” something more than just a commercial rate?!”
Jonathon Di Hadleigh
Antonio St, Coolbellup

Correctness a curse
IT is ironic the media is now protesting over proposed laws which may restrict its freedom to publish, while at the same time capitulating to political correctness and denying freedom of speech.
Letters such as this, which are critical of the media’s insidious restriction of open and frank comment on contemporary issues, are rarely published for fear of causing imagined offence to vocal minority groups.
While pandering to these influences, the media is undermining those charged with the community’s safety and welfare.
Now gangs and individuals roam the streets committing violent offences against society’s most vulnerable. Before the PC brigade started flexing their muscle the media were able to publicise an accurate and informative description of the attackers, including their ethnicity.
What we are now provided in most media is a description of the wanted persons as being dark-skinned or fair-skinned, etc. This is next to useless for the community to assist the police in apprehending the culprits. It also unfairly casts suspicions on some groups who may be innocent, which leads to unnecessary racial friction.
It appears most of the media are now too scared to use terms such as African, Middle Eastern, Asian, Indian or Aboriginal to describe the offender’s ethnicity in fear of ethnic or religious leaders wailing their manufactured offence and making charges of racism.
Self-imposed media censorship of factual reporting, including TV images with faces blurred out, is a disturbing trend towards an Orwellian future.
It will only be a matter of time when these letters columns and news reports are reduced to non-controversial drivel to ensure no-one is offended by personal opinion and comments.
Instead of bleating about government restrictions on press freedom, it would be a good start if they addressed their own self-imposed restrictions on free speech.
Daryl Binning
Norton Ridge, Winthrop
The Ed says: Some of what you talk about—the blurring of faces, for example—is in response to calls for fairness. It’s generally accepted across the media that people arrested for a crime, as opposed to being formally charged, let alone convicted, deserve some measure of protection. Blurring a face or withholding publication of a name tries to strike a balance. As for reporting of ethnicity, we think it’s sometimes relevant to mention ethnicity, but not always.

Kitchen rules
I WAS excited to see a planning application notice in the window of Gino’s yesterday.
Plans to restore the original verandahs?! Perhaps to reopen the cafe to face Market Street?!
Errrr no, the plans are for an internal re-fit in the kitchen… new fridges, etc.
What on earth is the council doing accepting, and wasting time on, a planning application for an internal kitchen refit?
Where is there a requirement for a planning application in the scheme? What is the council planning policy on kitchens?
No wonder business in Fremantle is bewildered by council’s bureauctric treatment.
I hope the councillors can organise an application fee refund for the applicant, if not a refund for the cost of the huge one-metre notice in the cafe that’s so big it blocks the light. Laughable.
Advise Gino’s to liaise with the health department if need be on health requirements.
While the council wastes its planners’ time on such ridiculous and erroneous applications it continues to do nothing with a planning application we’d lodged (and paid $500 for) in December 2008 for the Precinct 5 Detailed Area Plan in Knutsford Street.  This is more than four years of inaction, if you don’t count council’s offer to refund our fee more than two years ago on the promise that if we did accept the refund the council would deal with the matter urgently. Yes, trust the council.
Our application was advertised twice, with no objections received more than three years ago and yet there has still been zero action.
Inexplicably officers “didn’t like” our application and so insisted on doing their own plan, two years ago. Their plan received “informal objections”… in “informal meetings” with other landowners. And so they now do nothing.
I have repeatedly requested that our application be processed by an external and independent, and unbiased, firm of planning consultants, as there is a clear conflict of interest in the council planning department, coupled with a clear lack of any sense of responsibility to process our application.
I hope east ward councillors David Coggin and Ingrid Waltham, representing the owner and applicant of this application, can step up their pressure and request a report on “progress” on our 2008 application.
I suspect it will be a very brief report.
Michael Willicombe
Chudleigh St, Fremantle

Malignant growth
THANK goodness there is someone from your newspaper that speaks the inconvenient truth about the mission impossible dream (Jon Strachan, Herald earthcare, March 2, 2013).
Never-ending unlimited growth in a finite planet of non renewable resources? A planet already so overburdened with gross human over-population, over-consumption, waste and planetary destruction?
Heck, you don’t even need half a brain to figure that one out so what’s the story with the business world. All we hear is growth, growth, and more growth. The obsession with growth is a fatal disease. What they teach at economics school is all lies. Gordon Gecko would be proud but as they say, all good things must come to an end.
Brad Capes
Prospero Cres, Coolbellup


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