Letters 13.9.14

Hilton hooroo!
I JUST want to say a big thank you to the Hilton Harvest Community Garden members and the Hilton primary school for creating such a supportive, inspiring and safe natural space for the Buds n Blooms inter-generational gardening group.
What started as a seed idea has absolutely thrived with very little effort and I can only put this down to the amazing sense of community that has been generated by the garden and the school.
Since we started six weeks ago, nearly 200 people of all ages have walked, crawled or rolled (in prams and wheelchairs) into the garden. We have had visitors from aged care facilities, day care centres, mums and bubs groups, local elders and families, adults and children with special needs.
We have had enquiries from other councils looking to set up similar groups and generous support from  private and government organisations.
This is just the beginning and has far exceeded my expectations on how quickly it has been embraced by the local community and all of Perth.
The community garden and the school are separate but my children have always referred to this public space as the “school farm”. What a great example of community collaboration that provides a space for people of all walks of life to share, learn and grow together. Thank you!
Sasha Wray
Buds n Blooms Co-ordinator

Fremantle fairground
SUBJECT to a recommendation by the WA environmental protection authority and approval of the federal environmental minister, the state government proposes to continue the “shark-kill policy” for a further three years with the positioning of up to 72 baited drum lines off Perth beaches and SW surfing spots over summers.
Whilst these drum lines will catch a high number of sharks under 3m, there is no guarantee they will prevent a “shark attack”. Over the past 12 months, I have been communicating with the WA fisheries department on this issue and recommended that a fixed shark-proof enclosure of similar design to the successful one constructed at the original South Beach in the late 1920s- early 1930s, (and used for more than 30 years) be located at a suitable site in the Fremantle area.
Beaches to the north of Fremantle are more subject to winter storms than those to the south. The northern suburbs are serviced with reasonably safe swimming facilities at Hillarys Boat Harbour, and I have recommended Bathers Beach in Fremantle as a suitable location, with the structure extending from South Mole across to the north breakwater of Challenger Harbour.
This location is less prone to heavy sea damage from the N-NW, and is protected to some extent by offshore reef systems and is not subject to swell and wave action to the same degree as beaches to the north, and could be used safely all year round.
Such a structure would be a one-off cost and not have to incur on-going costs other than occasional maintenance. Together with the adjacent ferris wheel and food outlets, this site could be made into an amusement area with a merry-go-round and other show type venues, as existed at the original South Beach many years ago. I have also made a similar recommendation to Fremantle council.
T Leaver
Mt Pleasant

ON two recent occasions I have been driving past The Lady of Fatima school in Palmyra and I have done the right thing and slowed down to 40kph.
However, on both these occasions a “super mum” in a 4WD has pulled out in front, causing me to brake suddenly.
Now, I would imagine that these ladies had a good reason for their actions, maybe an appointment with their hairdresser or something similarly important.
The fact is I have done the responsible thing by slowing down and staying alert to avoid any chance of an accident involving parents and children and, no matter that I would have been in the right, I would still have to live with the consequences.  Therefore, I would urge all parents to think before driving in this dangerous manner and putting their children’s safety before their busy lifestyles.
Steve Grady
Murray Rd, Palmyra
The Ed says: No excuse for bad driving, Steve, but perhaps those “supermums” were on their way to work?

They’ll be stumped with this solution
MY heart goes out to the lady whose garden hoses are being destroyed by hooligans (Herald letters, September 6, 2014), as what I suspect is a small piece of a bigger scheme by these ruthless individuals.
We’ve all been in that situation. It happened to me in 2005. The solution was relatively simple and harmless to most involved: I placed three bear traps around my hose bib where it protrudes from the wall. I then covered the traps with pine needles. (any type of mulch will do as long as it covers the traps). Then, just wait. The individual who was manipulating my pipe now goes by the nickname stumpy.
Scott Petrill
Marshville Rd, Wingate NC USA


Rid Of Me
Your plains are girt by wagging gums
toothless hacks and fair-go crumbs
my skin colour’s wrong
my name’s so difficult and much too long
my degree is suspect
my values don’t reflect yours well.
Whip me up ship me back,
Hang me out to dry never knowing why
you cut me loose surely knowing
on my return I face a noose.
My accent gives you pause
and you search for a clause
that lets you send me back
with a patronizing pat
and a dollar or three—anything…
anything at all that gets you rid of me
your inhumanity is showing
you play the game so well
you should check with whom
you’re playing to make my life such hell.
Whip me up ship me back,
Hang me out to dry never knowing why
you cut me loose surely knowing
on my return I face a noose.
Robots clog your pallid halls
clacking as their club-foot falls
your dry lips smack of fear
as you spread your queue-jump smear
riding high on the thrills ‘n spills
your doctors of spin manically sing.
Your inhumanity is glowing
you play the game so well
with just a click you void the clip
n discard me like a spent shell.
Whip me up ship me back,
Hang me out to dry never knowing why
you cut me loose surely knowing
on my return I face a noose.And you invent a clause
that lets you send me back
with a patronising pat
and a dollar or three—anything…
anything at all that gets you rid of me
devil’s advocate was inadequate
you choose to wear his face
your karma’s sure to catch you
see you burning in my place.
Your plains are girt by wagging gums
toothless hacks and fair-go crumbs…
Whip me up ship me back,
Hang me out to dry never knowing why
you cut me loose surely knowing
on my return I face a noose.
Francesca Meehan
• The author is a Fremantle-based creative spirit and community-minded mother of three who works in a primary school library. She has acted in community theatre productions, has occasional bursts of creative energy when she paints, and when she writes a poem like this one.

A great choice
LAST year my daughter started kindy, which is situated in the grounds of our local Hilton primary school.
She launched into her first day with excitement, not fear, as she entered a classroom filled with friends she’s known since she was one-year-old.
Each day we take the short bike ride or walk to school keeping a lookout for treasures and trinkets along the way. After school it’s catching up with other parents and relaxing as the day winds down in the school playground before strolling home.
Prior to kindy my daughter attended the local Hilton playgroup, or “Purple Palace” as it’s fondly been named—a small demountable located in the school grounds.
From her very first visit we—that, is our entire family—started to build a network of friends who live down the road, around the corner or somewhere not far from home. These are friends who rally around when life with young children gets heavy as it often can, and help lighten the load.
My daughter’s school is small in size but gigantic in community spirit but under the scrutinising eye of government funders it needs more students to sustain and grow the amazing staff and resources currently provided.
So if any parents are thinking of Hilton primary as an option for their family I say take the leap and give it a go, you won’t be disappointed. When I’m sitting back with my school buddies watching my child playing with hers I feel nothing but great about the choice I’ve made.
Jo McKay
Snook Cresc, Hilton

Drying, dying for the Dockers?
TO the people of Cockburn and all who wish to see our remaining wetlands afforded the care and respect they deserve, may I draw your attention to a precious little wetland situation on the vacant land earmarked for the Cockburn aquatic recreation centre and Dockers training fields.
Education studies show the water of this wetland to be of a very high quality and sustains a varied and healthy population of water borne animals and plant life.
The plans for this site will see the wetland modified and manicured to the point of destroying its natural appearance. Heaven forbid if it is used as a storm water sump. With around 70 per cent of our coastal wetlands destroyed since European settlement, we must ensure what remains are protected and preserved for the wildlife and for people to enjoy.
If you share these concerns, please let LandCorp know of them, as it is the body responsible for the development of this site.
Rex Sallur
Corn Way, Bibra Lake

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