Letters 16.8.14

MY partner and I have worked at the Fly for nearly a decade. We have given our weekends away (and the rest!) because we saw the value in the ethos of  the club. We could see the joy it brings to audience and performers alike.
On one day, we might join in a spellbound silence with 450 people watching Bob Brozman, the next, share the pride of 500 community members watching more than 100 classical Indian performers, some as young as three.
To the mayor, your offer of Kulcha space shows you have no understanding of the value of the Fly space to a huge and varied demographic.
Kulcha is a valuable space, for sure, but it cannot host the entire Hamilton SHS band, nor the entire Fremantle primary disco, nor Beacy primary’s Got Talent and their adoring fans. All the community has had the chance to enjoy our space for decades.
I ask you this; if you are so keen to help the Fly, why did you not support us and assist Sunset Events to find an alternative venue? You are not welcoming more live music to central Fremantle as you claim, you are losing a space where music is created and revered in both a local and international stage.
I recently left the Fly’s employ to become a mother. I am heartbroken my infant son may now not know the Fly’s magic. That he may not see the storybook of Herman and Rosie come alive with a jazz band or perform on stage with the Rock Scholars. That he may not start his first band in the rehearsal space, pepper the sound guy with countless questions or pick the brains of the general manager about band promotion.
But, most of all, I am heartbroken my son may not see that it can be the best thing to pour yourself into a community like the Fly because you can see the joy it brings to all who perform there or see their favourite bands there, and by helping to bring that joy, you can share in it.
I am heartbroken he will not see it is worth all you can give, not to line the pockets of a man in an office, but for something money just can’t buy. The barbarians are at the gates, only now, the authorities have given them a battering ram.
McAtee Ct, Fremantle

Morale sapped
I WAS disturbed to read your front page report by Jenny D’Anger (Herald, August 9, 2014). Fremantle’s local hospital is a community institution under enormous stress.
I’ve seen this very recently, having emergency surgery which was fortunately successful. Surgeons and staff were skilful, patient and caring. However there were plenty of signs of the stress the staff and hospital endure.
During the evening before my discharge there were several announcements of ward emergencies, including the bed next to mine and Ward V6. Later there was an announcement of code Red and Black, that the hospital had no beds available.
The difficulties experienced by Ms D’Anger’s mother should have been handled differently and should not have been the subject of such a sensational and morale-sapping report—community morale and staff morale. Will you report on the political and economic reasons for our community hospital being under such stress? I hope so.
Geoff Lawry
Smith St, Beaconsfield
The Ed says: We’ve reported plenty of times on cutbacks and various stresses at the hospital, Geoff, and it’s not our job to be a cheerleader. Far from being sensationalist, Jenny D’Anger did a first-class job maintaining professional clarity despite the personal agonies involved.

READING your cover story “Our parents deserve better” (Herald, August 9, 2014) brought back some similar sad memories of when my own mum was in the V Block at Fremantle Hospital in 2012.
My heart went out to author Jenny D’Anger, as every word she wrote resonated with me. My mum had motor neurone disease and was very limited in what she was able to do for herself. She had a catheter fitted incorrectly and, after complaining for more than a week, finally a nurse came on duty who listened and reinserted it. She never had trouble with it again.
The staff also was not trained to use the standing hoist and jammed my mum’s toes painfully on several occasions. What Jenny wrote about the juice not being opened also resonated with me, as it was like the nurses didn’t read mum’s notes to see she was unable to open things.
When I tried to complain to the nursing coordinator, I was made to feel like we were being difficult, and it didn’t achieve anything. I don’t want to say the nurses didn’t care, but they did not act very caring. Our one pleasure was enjoying a coffee together on the balcony in the fresh air, which we were only able to do a couple of times until we were told off by nursing staff for being outside.
On top of everything, it was extremely difficult some days to find parking, and so expensive that I was unable to spend as much time with my mum as I wanted. She wanted me there to help care for her as she was not receiving the care that she was deserving of in the last stages of her disease and life. Luckily, I was able to care for mum in her own home for a week upon her discharge before she went into hospice for her end of life.
It is probably my biggest regret that I allowed her to stay in Fremantle Hospital for the two weeks she was there. She was so much happier and more comfortable at home. By contrast, the staff, level of care and facilities at Murdoch Hospice were amazing. Keeping Jenny in our thoughts as she and her mum navigate the road to a peaceful end of life for her beloved mum.
Name and address supplied

The good die young
THE City of Cockburn has been sentenced to death.
The crimes. Being among the top four local government bodies in WA. For being financially stable. For offering the residents many free quality entertainment events. For financially supporting young people in pursuit of their sporting and academic goals. For having a mayor who is approachable and willing to join in with community groups in on ground activities. For having a strong environmental focus. For attracting a satisfaction rating of over 90 per cent in the council and the services it provides. Need I go on? The premier and local government minister Tony Simpson know only too well, the City of Cockburn more than meets all criteria of what a successful and sustainable council should be. This is certainly not amalgamation. I strongly urge all Cockburn residents to send a submission. Premier Barnett, fix the councils that need fixing. Cockburn is running very smoothly, thank you.
RT Sallur
Corn Way, Bibra Lake 


Sterile Freo
THE Fremantle Society is very concerned about the state government’s latest plans that will further erode the power of local communities to influence or decide their destiny.
Sterile sameness will be the result of taking planning approval away from local councils. The individuality and uniqueness of suburbs and the amenity of these will gradually disappear as the development industry does it business.
For example, Fremantle is not Ferndale and Cottesloe is not Cullacabardee, so why mandate the removal of the tools that help create and maintain this identity?
The plans by Colin Barnett should worry all of us who believe in local government, community engagement and the essence of locality through local planning. Taking away more and more power from councils is a serious erosion of our democratic rights. We wonder what the alternative government might do about these and other so-called reforms that strip power from community.
Henty Farrar
President Fremantle Society
Stokes St, White Gum Valley 

Church needed
THE remarks of Dr Graham Mahony, as reported by the Herald (August 9, 2014), should not pass without comment.
St Joseph Pignatelli church building requires replacing as a matter of some urgency. The parish has duly undertaken the lengthy and complex task of church replacement, and this has included an appropriate consultation process.
Dr Mahony’s opinion, as reported, that Pignatelli parishioners can “use the Santa Maria chapel” reveals that he has little awareness of the reality of the situation. The chapel of Santa Maria College belongs to Santa Maria College and, while suitable for the needs of the college, is not suitable to accommodate an entire parish and all its various requirements.
Each weekend, St Joseph Pignatelli offers three Masses, all of which are well-attended, contrary to Dr Mahony’s notion the church is struggling to fill pews. Hmm, rent-free land from Pignatelli parish—and for 50 years? What would that add up to in revenue foregone by Pignatelli parish? Quite a tidy sum, one imagines: no wonder the tennis club doesn’t want to vacate this site so a new church can be built!
As a parishioner of somewhat longer standing than Dr Mahony is reported to be, I find shocking the implication in his reported assertion that Pignatelli’s tennis club generates “much better outcomes for a larger number of people” than religion. How does he know this? Tennis clubs exist for the benefit of those in the club, not for the wider community, unlike the Church, which is for everyone: that is the meaning of the word “catholic”.
Dr Pauline Farley
Studley Rd, Attadale

Adbusting agh!
WHEN I couldn’t find the fake ad in the August 2, 2014 Leeming-Kardinya edition of the Melville City Herald I checked the August 9 edition to see what it was.
The “Campbell Souper” fake ad had appeared in the August 2 Fremantle edition but not the Leeming-Kardinya!
I did write to you in June when this happened before. Herald—please lift your game and provide the same level of attention to your Melville papers that you provide to Fremantle.
Guy Mathews
Gowther St, Leeming
The Ed says: We’ve strapped the Adbuster guy in for back-to-back episodes of The Bachelor with a warning he’ll be forced to watch the full season if he does it again. Make sure you let us know!

Gone to the dogs
I AM fortunate enough to have a large dog park near me where I can exercise my small dog off the lead.
My dog has been nipped at and trodden on and even found himself locked in a bigger dog’s jaws. That dog’s owner casually sauntered over to exclaim his dog was just not a team player and didn’t “do well” with puppies.
My dog now always has to be on the lead, which is unfair, because other people haven’t trained theirs in a responsible manner. If your dog cannot socialise with others at a dog park, please ensure you keep them on a lead. I don’t want a dead dog.
Hollie Dunn
Marmion St, Fremantle
The Ed says: This letter has been significantly edited for length.

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