LETTERS 6.8.16


Looking up
A TAYLOR (“Spray spray,” Herald letters, July 30, 2016) sees ugliness whether looking up at the Freo skyline (“slum-destined tenement blocks”) or down (“a Play School spree painting big yellow bicycles…on road surfaces”).
Donning my anti-depression counsellor’s hat, I advise urgent implementation of two therapies: Firstly, aversion therapy, which involves training the eyes to maintain only horizontal vision at all times; secondly, enlightenment therapy, which involves chanting the mantra ‘Yellow Bicycles Are Beautiful’ whenever Therapy One fails and the gaze drifts downwards.
Road Cycling signs are like wind turbines: visual pollution to one person, visual splendour to another.
I adore bicycle signs because I know they send the message that cyclists are encouraged here. These streets aren’t only (or even primarily) for cars. They are made for cycling – and walking too.
Even if you don’t think cycling signs are Michelangelo-perfection, there can be no argument that they involve a lot less visual pollution than streets full of cars. And of course with cars we must add noise pollution, air pollution and safety-pollution (I’m sure there’s such a word: car-dominated streets make residents feel less safe for the simple reason they are less safe).
A third therapy: Reclaim the street by getting yourself, your kids and your neighbours on your bikes rolling over those signs as often as possible. You’ll get a happiness boost – whichever way you choose to look.
Robert Delves
Gibson Street, Beaconsfield

No winners
ON Tuesday July 26 I witnessed an incident in my street, Healy Road, Hamilton Hill, which has left me troubled.
As I drove off from my home at about mid-day, I noticed three young Indigenous boys, perhaps 13 or 14 years old, walking along the footpath. They seemed very happy and it gave me a glad feeling to observe them; so young and full of life.
However, I hadn’t gone far when I realised I’d forgotten something and doubled back around the block. Less than two minutes had passed, but now there was a police car stopped in the road and two police officers had detained the boys who were all sitting on the footpath, one with hands restrained behind his back.
I felt a little shocked. As I listened I heard one of the boys ask what was going to happen. One officer replied that he would like to see him locked up and the key thrown away. Feeling desperate to support the boys, and also intimidated myself, I approached the officer and asked if they had actually done something.
The officer replied they had, ‘potentially’. When I asked did that not apply to us all I was told to leave.
I remained as a witness in my front garden and was joined by my son. After some time an unmarked blue Holden pulled up and two more officers in dark clothing, and one wearing blue gloves, arrived. One shouted at the boys; ‘You do not have to say anything … etc.’
This business went on for about 45 minutes when a third police vehicle arrived, this time a paddy wagon and the boys were each taken away separately.
Any person qualified in the field of human behaviour knows that if the purpose of the police here is to turn these boys into traumatised and alienated members of society, then these tactics will be effective.
If the purpose is to reduce crime and have the streets safe then the case is hopeless.
And it is not only the young boys who are suffering in this transaction. The police cannot, when the incident is over and they are no longer posturing in front of their mates, feel at peace with themselves.
They need to be given the skills and understanding to be an ‘uncle’ to these boys, to interact with the community in a way they can be proud of, and that will have positive results. They have been asked to perform an important task, important to the social health of our community; and they have not been provided with the skills to do this. The skills that I observed will foster suspicion, hatred, aggression and a whole lot more crime among the dispossessed; and depression and anxiety in the police force.
It is hideous that this continues into the 21st century.
Jane Crothers
Hamilton Hill

Camping threat
THE issue of MMA cage fighting in WA was raised last week in Herald letters (“Throwing them to the lions?”) by Warren Cassidy who shamed Mark McGowan for supporting this “most brutal human sport.”
MMA cage fighting sounds worse than it actually is, although there are some concerns about it promoting or encouraging violence in the community.
I’d say Mr McGowan doesn’t understand the genius of “ground and pound,” however, he does understand the value of the populist vote leading up to next year’s state election.
In that case, McGowan should extend his populism to include objecting to the state’s takeover of two strips of Pastoral lease along the Ningaloo Coast, because many people here in WA oppose that too.
An iconic piece of WA culture is going to die, forever, as camping could now be administered by the state government.
Jeremy Perey
Rambures Way, Hamilton Hill

32 Auspoint 10x332 Smittys Gutters 10x7

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