Letters 17.5.14


Mail marauder
RECENTLY I found eight unopened letters that had been thrown in to my rubbish bin. The bin had just been emptied, otherwise I might not have noticed them.
Some were from the Bicton street that I live in and others were from North Fremantle.
This has happened before: I’d found letters behind a hedge in the front garden, and a few months ago a young man was seen looking in all the letterboxes in the street during the early hours of the morning.
These incidents have been reported to the police, and the letters have been posted on to the correct recipients.
Locking letterboxes or at least emptying them each evening would safeguard mail.

Profligate waste
THANK you Julie Podstolski and Cliff Collinson (Herald, May 3 and 10, 2014) for your voices in the wilderness, decrying the wanton destruction of these gracious and beautiful homes of character from a time when people cherished their homes and possessions and treated them with the veneration they deserved.
I add my voice to your heartfelt plea. These homes were built to last, to shelter the generations of families who have grown up within these walls, grown up to contribute to the rich history of Fremantle near the river. These homes and others nearby have survived two world wars, have seen Fremantle’s secret submarine fleet go to war, the Great Depression and all the ups and downs through the decades as did all of Fremantle.
Many of these home owners plied their craft of boat-building right there at their front door, while the mothers raised large families of sometimes 10 or a dozen children. Sadly, many did not survive infancy or early childhood. Sadly too, many mothers died in childbirth.
Hard though life undoubtedly was for many, the families of the boxat builders and the fishermen worked and socialised together. The Left Bank cafe was a boat builders’ yard, the Carrolls’. Step inside the front door to see wonderful old photographs of the house and the families on the verandahs.  The ladies in their lovely dresses with their parasols. There were boat builders’ yards all up and down the river, North Fremantle as well as east. It was a place of great activity.
“Waneka”, the beautiful old house that was next door has already been demolished. My mother’s cousins were born there in the early part of the 20th century.  My mum’s father was an engine driver for the timber mills and they lived in Kirup. A lovely part of the cousins’ schooldays was visiting each other’s homes in the holidays.  Her “Waneka” cousin came down to Kirup and hugged the trees and mum came up to East Fremantle and attended South Fremantle Tech for shorthand and typing and Culley’s on Saturday mornings for apple sponge with cream, a special treat.
This gracious home at 3 Riverside Drive must be saved. It’s on a marvellous site and would be  a perfectly placed as museum of local history that everyone could enjoy, instead of a precious wealthy few. What profligate waste it would be to demolish this proud and tangible symbol of our heritage. How do we defeat the greedy developers with their great gaping maws? How about a small levy from our council rates, Fremantle, East Fremantle, even a grant from the state government? Or perhaps wonderful, generous Lotterywest, with its fine sense of history.  It is so worth saving.
Who is telling this story of Fremantle? There are some wonderful photographic books in Fremantle Library, John Dowson’s have superb pictures of riverside life.
Even today the water near the harbour and East Street jetty is clean, as Barry, a man of the river who swims there every day, says the tide washes in and washes out daily.
I don’t think Barry would mind if I quoted him here. He says the river has a sense of timelessness and peace and that many come to experience that lovely feeling. He held out his hand to show me his lunch, a thick slice of ham between two slices of bread.  To him, a morning swim in the fresh cool water, his sandwich lunch and “I feel like a king”.
What a profligate waste it would be to destroy even more of these heritage homes that have stood nobly throughout our history.
Wendy Shaw Markmann
East Fremantle

Corporate clanger
THERE are many sad things about contemporary Fremantle which my friend George Williams points to in his letter (Herald, May 10, 2014).
However, it is not hard to see why there were no flags out on what he calls Derby Day: this is now a clash between two corporations with little to do with Fremantle.
The Fremantle Dockers are neither Fremantle nor dockers, as journalist Zoltan Kovacs once remarked. Soon they will be moving on to a flash new home and perhaps be the Cockburn Dockers. It was so different when derbies were between South and East Fremantle.
Ron Davidson
Fothergill St, Fremantle  

Stump up!
IF Melville council and its mayor Russell Aubrey are so eager for Roe 8 to be built (Herald, May 10, 2014) let them put their own money into it—if they have any, after losing $20 million of ratepayers’ money in dodgy investments.
Maybe stick to what you know Mr Aubrey and Co.
Trucks will divert away from the road, into suburban streets bringing noise and congestion, to avoid the toll.
What trucks carry in several trips a rail service could do in one, thus easing the congestion of the heavy volume of trucks in the areas concerned.
The backward thinking of “ build more roads to ease congestion” will never work.
The Kwinana freeway extra lanes haven’t worked, Roe Hwy and Canning Hwy are all gridlocks at peak time.
Russell Aubrey and his council are in for a rude awakening if and when the Canning Bridge precinct is redeveloped. Watch for the traffic banked up even further than it is today during peak time.
I expect Mr Aubrey will be missing in action by then.
M Nardi
Joshua Close, Bibra Lake

No place for hysterical fear-mongering
I AM passionate about the health of my children. I am similar to most other parents in this regard and pursue the best course of health care provision for my children.
I am a health professional and meticulously researched the history, efficacy and risks associated with vaccinations before deciding not to vaccinate my children who are treated with medicine outside the prevailing medical paradigm of big pharma.
Parents who make the choice to not vaccinate their children or who simply question the efficacy of vaccinations are ferociously attacked with accusations of “baby killers” and “unfit parents” amongst a raft of spiteful rhetoric. Freedom of speech on this issue of vaccination favours those who vehemently accept vaccination as being the only option in preventative health.
There should be freedom to discuss the literature which appears worldwide on vaccinations, including topics such as vaccine failure, informed consent, vaccine shedding, the theory of herd immunity, and the cases of unreported vaccine injuries and cases of vaccine injury compensation.
There is a huge array of information available on both sides of the vaccination issue but mainstream media in Australia chooses not to publish any stories which place vaccination in an adverse light. In Perth, 2010, there were injuries from the Fluvax which was reported in the mainstream media.
My grandmother is 99 years old and lives independently. She was treated with homoeopathy in the 1920s, and beyond, as it was both inexpensive and effective.
Pharmaceutical medicines were prohibitively expensive. She also lived in sanitary conditions and was fortunate to be well nourished.
I grew up with measles, mumps and chicken pox being a rite of passage for children when a couple of weeks away from school was the norm; life-threatening allergies, asthma, learning difficulties and disabilities, and childhood cancers were not the norm.
I am passionate about health and freedom of choice in health care. I would appreciate a benefactor, such as the case with the I Immunise campaign, partly funded by the pharmaceutical company Sanofi-Pasteur, to erect posters stating public health should not be driven by the agenda of the multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical industry and that the unvaccinated do not put the health of others at risk.
We all care for our children; the animosity which this issue engenders beggars belief and the vitriolic attacks on parents who do not vaccinate is reprehensible and callow. K Atwell (Herald letters, May 10, 2014) asserts the “situation in Fremantle is dangerous” implying the unvaccinated are spreading disease; this is hysterical fear-mongering and vilifies  unvaccinated children which is both unjustified and without sound scientific evidence.
Margaret Shaw
Curtis Rd, Melville

Truth got steamrolled
YOUR front page story “Bell tolls for wetlands” (Herald, May 10, 2014) is incredibly disappointing.
Your journalist has quoted a member of the Save Beeliar Wetlands group who has made a series of statements that are not only defamatory and insulting to myself and the staff of the Office of the Environmental Protection Authority but, quite frankly, simply untrue.
I am disappointed that your journalist did not offer me the courtesy to respond to such outrageous accusations. For your information, the EPA is an independent body that is not subject to direction by the Minister for Environment. The EPA conducts environmental impact assessments, prepares policies and guidelines and provides advice to the Minister. The EPA is bound by the Environmental Protection Act. Our advice is always made public and our reports and recommendations are open to appeal.
The Appeals Convenor administers the appeals and once determined, the Minister for Environment makes the final decisions.
The EPA refutes any suggestion or inference, which might be drawn from your story that its recommendation to the Minister was subject to political interference.
As this specific proposal is with the Appeals Convenor, it would be inappropriate to make any comments about the proposal. However, I will say the EPA’s recommendation was made after careful and deliberate consideration of the best available information.
Dr Paul Vogel
Chairman, EPA
St Georges Terrace Perth


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