The Beast’s Monthly Mailbag
Loving the March Cover
The March cover, painted by a local female artist, depicting a rear view of a female surfer holding a surfboard while seemingly looking out to sea, has excited your critical correspondents in a variety of ways.
On the one hand we have, “It is a beautiful image by an obviously skilled artist.” On the other, “It is … a distorted image of the female body,” “…condescending, ugly, dirty, sexual and degradingly portrayed.”
Other comments include “misogynistic,” “…featuring not even a woman’s face, just her bottom,” “…suggests and promotes … rear and anal sex.” And, “…suggests dominance and entitlement.”
To me, after a 79-year lifetime at Bondi and Bronte, the painting represents beach normality, however the subject’s bikini bottom is modest by comparison with the new vogue amongst younger beachgoers. What the image conveys to me is realisation of the significant participation by females in the joys of surfing; virtually non-existent in my youth, now being commonplace. It seems to me that those being critical ought to applaud this work of art as a celebration of growing female freedom and independence. Instead, the artist is bashed up by a vitriolic reaction.
If my mind imagined that the image is condescending, suggests dominance, entitlement and also rear and anal sex, I would be worried about myself. Goodness knows what imaginations would be aroused in the critics’ minds by Michelangelo’s David or the famous and ancient statue of Venus de Milo. I think I would rather not know.
What will be made of the April cover, which depicts a macho figure straddling an obviously unwilling and non-consenting horse?
Keeping it Real
Dear James – I was surprised to read the negative feedback related to the March cover of The Beast mag. It’s disappointing to see that we have more than a few hyper sensitive and prudish readers in our community, in a country where our beach culture is such a huge part of our national identity and appeal.
Whilst a painting of a female hitting the surf in long sleeved overalls would have received less complaints, it wouldn’t have been very realistic, or comfortable for that matter. She probably would have drowned.
Artists have been admiring the human form for centuries. Female muses were frequently fleshier in the past and this had nothing to do with the lack of kale smoothies, surfboards and the world wide web for health and fitness tips; it’s because this is the form that was considered more captivating for so long. I wonder if readers would have complained or covered their children’s eyes if the cover of the magazine was of The Birth of Venus? Is it wrong to admire a body that looks like it is cherished and looked after by its owner? We appreciate a far more diverse range of bodies now than ever before, in my humble opinion.
There was a comment made that “the only way to stop men from objectifying women is to stop glorifying images such as this”. The female and male forms have been glorified for all of time. So they should be. They are all we really ever physically have from the cradle to the grave. They are the bare and beautiful overt reflection of both our individuality and commonality as human beings.
A healthy attitude or respect towards human forms runs far deeper than what we celebrate as art. This is established through values and belief systems instilled through our parenting and education systems. If we feel threatened by a painting of a female surfer with a perky bum used on the cover of a coastal magazine then perhaps there is a personal feeling of inadequacy or insecurity that should be explored.
This is my two cents’ from a fellow female. I am proud to see a local up-and-coming artist being celebrated and this was a fun, playful and cheeky magazine cover.
The Beast mag, I think you would have gained more readers than the two you lost through publishing this edition. Well done Yasmin! I can’t wait to see more of your work.
A letter to the offended
Dear James – I was extremely shocked to read the readers’ comments on the March cover. I was highly surprised that a beautiful painting of a woman in a bikini, facing the ocean and holding a surfboard, triggered such adverse, almost allergic reactions.
In the painting, as in some of the other artworks from the artist, I can see a portrait of a free, sexy and unapologetic woman. Some claimed the image was degrading and offensive. Since when has a beautifully chiselled body been considered offensive? Should we then knock down the David of Michelangelo and burn the Venus of Botticelli?
Kathleen was worried about the message it sends to kids when they open the mailbox and see the oh-so-provocative and misogynistic image. I would much prefer my kids to learn to appreciate, criticize and question art, rather than watch a seventh episode of Peppa Pig on the iPad. We can have a conversation, and they may even learn something.
Some others considered that the cover may promote the potential abuse of women. This is a very dangerous suggestion. A woman’s body, or the representation of a woman’s body, is never a promotion of abuse. Women are allowed to feel good in their body – to feel empowered, sexy, desired – without fearing that it could provoke an attack on them. Men should control their urges, women should not have to cover their bodies. This is Bondi Beach, not Islamabad.
I suggest these persons relocate from the Eastern Suburbs to Afghanistan or Saudi Arabia, to make sure they won’t receive any more unsolicited depictions of a sexy butt in their mailbox that may hurt their sensibility and the one of their family.
Dear Editor – I am shocked by the letters from the ‘virtue signalling champions of women’s honour’ that criticised the March Beast cover painting, and also my painting on the January cover.
Are you people for real? What world do you live in? Artists have always depicted the female form in painting and sculpture and they are on display in museums and galleries all over the world. I don’t see how the images on The Beast front covers are any different. There is nothing on either cover that you can’t see at the beach on a sunny day or in the streets of Bondi for that matter. Shame on you!
On a brighter note, James and I auctioned off my original painting on The Beast January cover, ‘We’re all in this together’. The highest bidder was a delightful gentleman from London. James and I decided to donate half the proceeds to the Nelune Cancer Centre in Darlinghurst, which will go towards training three new cancer care nurses. The other half we donated to Dreams2live4, a marvellous organisation that makes dreams come true for people stricken with incurable cancer.
Love your work!
Just wanted to let you know we love your work and The Beast! Don’t let them get you down (I just read through the monthly mailbag)!
Liking the cover painting
Dear Beast people – I am a bit dumbfounded at the outpouring of negative sentiments about the March Beast Cover.
I would be happy to have such a painting on my wall – it is bright, happy and shows a woman surfer. What about all those nude figures on classic paintings shown in art galleries or churches? I don’t hear those sort of remarks about them! In fact, they are referred to as ‘beautiful’ (e.g. the Three Graces by Botticelli)
Go to a life drawing class and see with what respect a nude model is treated by the artists working there.
The ‘Take offence brigade’
James – I completely agree with your editorial in the April edition. How anyone could be offended by a fun, colourful piece of art is beyond me. Those toxic letters of complaint were unfounded and quite ridiculous, especially the one about the artwork promoting anal sex! I had a great belly laugh over that one!
I’m sure most readers of The Beast appreciate the innovative art on the front cover of the magazine each month, so keep up the good work of supporting local artists and ignore the ‘take offence brigade’ whose priorities are pathetic and who clearly would be happier living in Saudi Arabia today or Nazi Germany in the 1930s.
Best wishes as always,
What’s that About?
Hi James – Interesting response to ‘that cover’. I must confess I thought, “Hmmm, what’s that about?” but I’m not sure the umbrage or outrage – take your pick – is merited. First, it is a work of art, and clearly so. What was the artist saying or wishing to provoke? Consider, there are millions of such images in circulation – some more explicitly prurient – promoting the Bondi experience, bringing prosperity to the neighbourhood. Perhaps the artist was wishing to bring this to our attention?
To describe such an image as misogynistic is clearly absurd. The word simply just doesn’t mean what the author implies. For those wishing to improve relations between men and women, perhaps they would be better advised to work to turn off the extreme and violent pornography now available at the inadvertent click of a mouse.
Take a chill pill
To James – Why is everyone so up in arms with the March 2021 cover? Clearly, these people have too much time on their hands. It’s just a bum… and a nice one at that. Take a chill pill people, it’s not like it’s a global pandemic or anything!
OMG! I just read The Beast’s monthly mailbag regarding last month’s cover. Do you really have to read these ridiculous letters from people? I actually thought that bikini was conservative compared to what I see walking up and down Coogee Bay Road! But I guess all the feminists are out in full swing at the moment. Keep doing your thing, James, and entertaining us with the mag’s humour, creativity and truth!
The Recent backlash
Hi – You have all my details and I am not a keyboard warrior. I flick through your publication and have a good laugh every now and then. I couldn’t help but notice that you have been targeted by anonymous feminists (could be frustrated men) regarding local artists expressing art.
Can I just say that this is an ongoing trend of individuals that have no real life (besides looking for something to complain about). Some of the complainants said that they don’t want children getting a terrible view of how women are treated and viewed.
I will give you a tip: children learn from people yelling in their ears. Most young girls would not have noticed anything about the cover of The Beast. But once again, it’s all about the parent.
Keep going, Beast.
Who are these people?
Anal sex? Are they serious? Bit of a giggle though! So there you have it, bums all over Bondi, more bums! What a bunch of repressed nongs. Loved reading them though.
Bemused and Bewildered
I am bemused and bewildered by the complaints directed at the front cover of The Beast’s March edition. Did I receive the ‘clean’ version in my mailbox?! Where is the highly offensive image alluded to in the monthly mailbag?
Instead of a ‘disturbing image’, I am seeing an image promoting strong, healthy, athletic female surfers – one that should be celebrated – and I would be happy for my six-year-old, water crazy niece to see and be inspired by the March cover.
I suggest the complainants revisit the painting after reading Duncan Horscroft’s April column about the wonderful Pauline Menczer and direct their misguided energies to having a statue of Pauline erected at Bondi Beach.
And, to Paula Bruce, I strongly advise that you enrol in an acrylic painting workshop or an art appreciation course that teaches you about tonal values. That will save you from making the awfully embarrassing mistake of interpreting shadows as holes.
Stop Your Whinging
I cannot see anything wrong with the cover of the March issue of The Beast. Considering what I have seen on Coogee Beach over the years, including women nude, and now walking up and down Coogee Bay Road in G-strings.
I don’t think these people should whinge about your mag. They’re probably a bunch of unhealthy overweight things ashamed to look at their big backsides in the mirror. I think next time we should have a full-on nude. ‘Misogynist’?! What a load of crap!
Hey James – I love the cover of the March issue. I am over sixty, and to me it represents the Australia I grew up in. It saddens me that so many women cannot see the beauty of an Aussie surfer girl.
It bemuses me that anyone can be so offended, that they introduce “rear end and anal sex” into their correspondence. Is this sort of language offensive, or is it just plain bad taste?
If I don’t like a publication, I don’t read it.
Not Really Loving the March Cover
Cover Images and Free Press
James – You need to stop doubling down on your view of free press in your editorials. The female bikini cover images are inappropriate in a community magazine, and on top of that, read the current mood, especially with what’s happening with parliament and in particular local schools. Apologise and move on.
You cite free press and reference Saudi Arabia, but free press comes with a responsibility that recognises our society’s values. I do not believe your January or March cover images reflects this country or this community’s values. If anything it is a time when, as an editor of a well-read magazine, you need to show responsibility to help change the culture that portrays women as objects.
I want a community where my two girls when they grow up do not have to be afraid of walking home at night. And whilst indirect, your role (and our broader community’s role) is critical in making our society better.
No Means Yes
Hi James – I love the cover of the March issue of The Beast! You are obviously a very enlightened publisher. You understand the difficulties women experience everyday in our patriarchal culture – the cat calls, the suggestive behaviour, the male sense of entitlement, the misunderstanding when a ‘no’ means a ‘yes’.
We have come so far as a society, and the ‘bikini-clad bum’ highlights just how far!
I cannot thank you enough.
Lucky to be living in Sydney?
I was going to write something well-considered, researched, and pointing back to your own articles about the lack of respect that teenage boys in the Eastern Suburbs display towards women. Then I decided I couldn’t be bothered wasting my time on someone who thinks ‘at least it isn’t Saudi Arabia’ is a good argument.
I can only hope you wrote this editorial before the recent events in the news, particularly from teenage girls in our very own area and the sexual abuse they suffered, but honestly, with attitudes like that, I doubt it. I got as far as that page and, after getting your email address, put the magazine straight into the bin where it will always directly go in future. I do not want such ignorance or toxic ‘whataboutism’ in my house.
Do some research, listen, understand, and just do better.
The Artist’s Response
As the artist who created the work featured on the front cover of the March 2021 edition of The Beast, I felt compelled to respond to the people who decided to take offence at my surfer girl in a bikini painting. While I recognise that the editorial that accompanied my painting has also inflamed some people’s emotions, I’ve found some of the negative commentary shocking.
I wanted to do something different from my usual body of work. I didn’t just want to paint the ocean; I wanted to paint something iconic that represented Bondi and empowered me as a female artist by celebrating the female form.
That a female artist is called misogynistic for celebrating the female form, I cannot comprehend. I chose to use a figurative form of art as my expression, I never intended to offend anyone.
I think The Beast does a brilliant job of showcasing artists on their covers, and this poses a rare opportunity for independent artists to have their creativity exposed.
The new COVID reality has hit the creative industry significantly, as it has affected business, culture and general life as we know it, so I welcomed the opportunity with open arms.
I love painting beauty, women and animals, and I appreciate the female form. I don’t believe women’s bodies should be taboo, and I certainly don’t believe that women should be objectified, but if we aren’t allowed to celebrate and own our own feminine power, what kind of message is that sending? If it were a fit man surfing would it attract as much attention? I guarantee not.
To those who felt compelled to comment on my art, what part of you is challenged by the beauty of a woman?
I acknowledge that the commentary around my art is coming at a sensitive time. As an artist, I stand strong around the passion for my craft. As a woman, I stand beside those women who want to achieve.
I’m proud of my artistic developments. I’m proud to be an entrepreneurial woman. I celebrate the success of women alongside men.
Pearl’s Fan Mail
Dear James – I can’t see what the fuss is about women in bikinis to be honest – being a woman myself – and we live in Bondi Beach. But I do find Pearl’s column this month (Middle Aged Fat Men In Lycra, The Beast, April 2021) highly hypocritical and offensive to men.
She labels male cyclists as “middle aged fat men”, and says they should “lose a few kilos,” and uses language like “rotund” and “lard arse”.
Excuse me? If this was said about women there would be an absolute uproar. Just look at the fuss people are making about women in bikinis!
Body shaming is never okay, regardless of gender. I work in the adult industry where I hear and see men vulnerable, lacking in confidence and self esteem. I agree that all cyclists are annoying at times, but to publicly criticise men and their bodies is not okay. We constantly bang on about women being equal to men; well how about we show men the same respect? And, to be honest, give me a dad bod any day of the week…
Feral Camels loose in the hood
Hi The Beast – I trust you and yours are all healthy and well. The following is not really a direct response to Pearl’s MAFMILs rant last month, however, I think it only fair and balanced that FCWDs (Feral Camels Walking Dogs) should also be brought to your readers’ attention as an equally, if not far more, distressing trend.
There I am on most mornings checking the surf at Maroubra and agonising over whether to go out or not given my dicky back and shoulder. I occasionally take my eye off the surf to notice the constant stream of early morning walkers taking their dogs for a shit and I can’t help but notice that a good proportion of the canines are accompanied by camels on the other end of the lead!
I’m left wondering if mirrors are deliberately avoided when active wear is donned by a majority of females, irrespective of their age? At times I literally don’t know where to look (or to jump) as a pair of these feral creatures close in on me on the footpath! The anxiety doesn’t end there either. As I’ve successfully negotiated the feral creatures on their approach, I’m greeted with a front row box seat view of their sphincters as they stroll off into the distance.
I don’t deserve this level of anxiety each and every morning; the Lexapro stash is running low as it is with COVID! Please ask your readers to be more considerate and give the mirror a quick glance before taking their animals out in public!
P.S. Sphincter back pants should be a candidate for the ‘Thumbs Down’ section I reckon.
Imagine the outrage and inevitable accusations of misogyny if I wrote an article with the headline ‘Middle Aged Fat Women In Bikinis’ (Middle Aged Fat Men in Lycra, The Beast, April 2021 )?
Middle Aged Fat Men in Lycra
So much for Middle Aged Fat Men in Lycra. What about seeing these same men, up to old age, who unfortunately I have seen in various locations with no shirt on, showing their rotund abdominal region with rolls of fat as well as wearing Stubbies?
The last example of a middle aged man that I saw was not only showing his rolls of fat dressed in Stubbies, but also had dyed his hair black with the comb over his scalp! Very ugly and repugnant indeed.
What happens to the mindset of these middle aged and older men? Do they really think that it is acceptable to be seen in public with no shirt on wearing short shorts? I think not.
Rights and Responsibilities
Kudos to Pearl for having the balls to call it as it really is (Rights and Responsibilities, The Beast, March 2021). The dog situation along the Eastern Beaches is way out of control. Unleashed dogs in prohibited areas are one concern that Pearl raises, but it extends from there.
One recent Saturday morning I counted five dogs roaming freely along the Coogee promenade, even though local government has generously designated parklands/reserves for unleashed dogs. Local government in my opinion is like a limp dick; very little visible action in addressing this escalating problem.
Pearl indicated that she didn’t want to ‘upset the sensibilities of sensitive people’ (ignorant dog owners, in my view), but I have no issue in raising my concerns. When walking along Coogee Bay Road or the promenade these days, one needs to step over or around these obstructions laying across the footpath. In fact it now is difficult pushing my grandchild’s stroller along these pathways, similar to the many chicanes on a Formula One track a driver needs to negotiate. As with the number of people on beaches, local government should limit the number of dogs along popular pathways.
NSW Government health laws prevent dogs or other pets near where food is served or prepared. This is ignored by cafe or restaurant owners while local government does nothing to uphold state health laws. I find dogs sitting inside and outside cafes, on laps and even chairs for goodness-sake, with their paws all over the tables. Dogs are even permitted into supermarkets where fresh produce is sold. Go figure! I like to sit on outdoor tables on warm days, but in no time find myself surrounded by these yapping pests. Cafes and restaurants should consider separate outdoor areas for patrons and their dogs or ban them altogether.
Hey, doggy owners; dogs are not people, they’re dogs! And even though you give them human names, they’ll always be dogs! Remember, there are many of us in the area and society who do not wish to be surrounded by them.
Pissed off Human
Public Transport and Traffic
Bondi and Coogee Bus Problems
Dear Editor – I heartily agree with the sentiments of Con Gestion in your April edition of The Beast (The Bondi Junction Bus Sewer, The Beast, April 2021). As he correctly stated, from a safety and aesthetic point of view the current situation is just awful.
In an ideal world we would have long ago extended the rail line down to Bondi Beach itself, but we all know what happened when the NIMBY brigade got wind of that plan a couple of decades ago. Perhaps though it is time to revisit the idea, and despite the fervent hopes of some locals, thousands of people from all over Sydney still flock to the beach (as they are entitled to do), and we all suffer because of the lack of an efficient transport alternative to the crowded, noisy and polluting buses, that both get caught up in and help create traffic chaos.
Meanwhile, here in Coogee the bus situation is not much better. Despite several prominent signs, bus drivers regularly ignore the 40 km/h limit along Arden Street, and it is probably a matter of time before we have a fatality in this pedestrian-heavy stretch of road. In addition, every day I see buses run red lights on this road (the junction with Carr Street being the worst example of this), and never do I see any attempt at enforcing the road rules for these heavy and fast-moving buses.
I know that bus driving in Sydney must be a frustrating gig, but roaring along Arden Street (and before it was blocked to buses, Coogee Bay Road as well) is not a safe practice. Neither is the bus drivers’ habit of darting out of Havelock Avenue into oncoming downhill traffic along Arden Street a good idea. Many a time I see motorists having to slam on the brakes to avoid a collision.
In summary, perhaps like with Bondi, the time has come to accept that the sole reliance on buses for our public transport in Coogee is no longer tenable.
I know Con well from my trips to Sydney, and his diatribe on the sewer that is the Bondi Junction bus station got me thinking of H.G. Wells. Sydney is becoming a city of Morlocks and Eloi, but with a distinction. Sydney’s underground dwellers are the middle class Eloi travelling to their city job on a subterranean train and wandering the labyrinth of underground walkways during mornings, evening and lunchtime. The Morlocks? Well they stay above ground but way out west.
Sydney’s not alone. When I was consulting in Chicago years ago in the middle of a blazing hot summer, I went for a walk at lunchtime with my English colleague. We were alone, there was nobody else in sight, the concrete canyons were deserted so we heartily sang ‘Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the mid-day sun’.
We went back to the office curious. The following day, Don, our ex-Italian client, invited us out for a walk at lunchtime. Don came around to our desk the next day and we all strode off, turning left at the office door and down the corridor past the lifts. ‘We’ll be using the stairs,’ I thought. We turned left at the end of the corridor, and then left again, and we were marching along the other side of the building. We turned left again and were back at our office door! “Aren’t we going out of the office?” I asked. “No,” said Don, “it’s too hot in summer and too cold in winter so we don’t go outside unless it’s to the underground mall where we have a walkway.”
The next day we went down the lift and to the underground mall and it was heaving with people shopping, eating their lunches, getting their keys cut, etc. at an ambient air-conditioned 24 degrees – a veritable underground city! Certainly no sewer, but nevertheless disappointing to Eloi like me, conditioned to see and feel the sky. So, keep Bondi above ground and move the buses out of sight!
Dear Waverley Council – I learned from The Beast publication that the council may revise its motorcycle parking laws. I am strongly in favour. I live in Randwick and own a motorcycle. If parking for motorcycles were free in Waverley I would certainly spend beach days at Bondi and Bronte, as well as spend my money there. Until then, however, I’ll stick with my local beaches with free parking.
All the best wishes,
Two Wheels Good, Four Wheels Bad
Dear Beast – Every day I spend at least one hour commuting from Bondi to the CBD, 17 kms in total, so my average speed is 17 km/h. Some days it takes longer and the average speed drops to 10 km/h.
So when I see those bikes and scooters on the road, I am grateful that they decided to use a bike and not a big car, because if they did, my average speed could plunge even further, and my residual spare time would be fatally devoured by commuting.
It seems that the riders are three times more likely to die on the road, and they certainly do not enjoy taking the risk. Most of them ride a bike because there are already too many cars around, the traffic is horrendous and parking a car is never easy. Not to mention that four bikes fit into the space of one car, if not more than that, depending on the size of the car we consider.
That’s to say that, in my opinion, the council should promote and facilitate the use of the two wheels for the sake of our community, rather than changing the parking rules and asking them to pay for it.
No More Shared Village
Hi James – I am replying to Stephen Kodak’s letter (The Beast, March 2021) titled ‘Coogee Shared Village Project Needed in Bronte’, to let him know that, as at the end of April, Coogee Bay Road will be restored to its original format and the affected bus stops and bus routes will also be restored. The majority found it to be inconvenient and the outcomes not as beneficial as expected
Protecting Our Public Spaces
Bronte Cutting Lighting
Hi James – It’s great to see that Waverley Council listened to residents’ concerns about lighting Bronte Cutting and abandoned the proposal. Even better that they went a step further and passed a resolution to cut light pollution and examine whether to establish a Dark Sky Reserve in parks and along the coast. Great for people and for the animals that inhabit our parks.
Dear James – I read with interest the letter from ‘Concerned Resident’ regarding Varna Park (The Beast, April 2021). Thank you for publishing it.
We have enjoyed Varna park for the 26 years or so we have lived very close by. I love the big trees and the open aspect. I have seen a family of kookaburras asleep on one of the big tree branches at night, and our dog has benefited from a bit of ball throwing over the years. We feel lucky to live close by.
I did write into the survey and voice my concern over (yet another!) fitness station, and felt a more natural environment would benefit all of us. Lord knows we all need nature in this busy area.
Also Concerned Resident
Good to see Varna Park is getting a facelift. How about Burnie Park? A gem of a location but neglected, tired and hazardous. The surface is deadly on small feet and the slide is an accident waiting to happen. The equipment is dated and the wood is splintering and warped.
This park is used twice as much as Varna Park and the one table is hardly adequate for the number of birthday parties held each weekend. The swings are always broken and too far from the other equipment. A water source would be a bonus too.
How about a competition around the local schools to design a functional, fun and safe Burnie Park?
The FOGO Bin Roll-out
BINS, BINS AND MORE BINS
Having lived in a small bock of units in Coogee for many years, I was surprised that Randwick Council increased the size of the red bins so that they no longer fit in the space built for them. Can we get the perfectly good smaller bins back? Now every unit has been burdened with a new huge green bin and there is of course no place to put them. As a consequence, this restricts our off-street parking facilities. Does the council really want to encourage a sea of ugly green bins left on the street throughout the suburb? Why do we have so many huge green bins for food scraps? Where are residents supposed to put them? Are we going to be charged extra? What is the cost of replacing and adding new bins?
I am surprised that Randwick Council has implemented this system, as it is normally quite efficient in most matters. It is obvious that this project has been passed without proper planning.
This scatterbrain idea needs rethinking.
The Great new bin debacle
Seriously, what about the new bin debacle! There are old bins all over my street, some upside down, some in driveways, some down embankments, just old bins everywhere! And not collected anywhere near on time! New bins have arrived, so most people have up to six new bins in their garage and four bins outside all over the street!
Neighbours are calling me asking what bin night it is? The whole street didn’t receive the new bin program!
And the red bins are being collected every fortnight? Now I’m all for sustainability, but which modern country on earth collects raw garbage every 14 days? Come on Randwick Council, get your shit together! Aren’t we paying enough rates?!
Waste management genius and An epic engineering fail
Though my heart swells with FOGO-ing delight at the thought of our progressive Randwick Council initiating a superb waste management initiative in our local area, the reality of a badly designed kitchen caddy with equally useless bags has totally taken the shine off our brave new world. How hard is it to manufacture a plastic bin with a lid that actually closes without gaping or popping off its hinges, and a corresponding bag that actually fits the aforementioned caddy?
Lake Macquarie City Council nailed it a year ago, while Randwick’s tendering process has given its residents a total lemon.
Such a shame that so many people will be rolling their eyes and sucking in their cheeks in frustration and disappointment. Come on Randwick Council – bring in a bigger bag and ultimately ditch that crappy caddy so our crappy food waste ends up in the compost it is destined for.
Other Letters to the Editor
Response to ‘Nippers’
(Letters, The Beast, March 2021)
Bronte Nippers had just under 600 registrations in the season that just finished, which was less than normal as we did not run an U6 program.
On a usual Sunday, Nippers are spread across the pool, Bogey Hole and beach from 8-11am. This year, Waverley Council approved the dedicated use of one lane of the Bronte Ocean Pool and shared zones across the beach including the Bogey Hole.
It is true that when Waverley Lifeguards make a safety decision to close the beach we do not allow activities in the open ocean, so there is a convergence of both Nippers and members of the public into the pool and Bogey Hole. During February and March the beach was closed on most Sundays.
Anyone wearing a bright orange rashie with ‘Water Safety’ printed on it has completed the Surf Life Saving Bronze Medallion course and is a proficient ocean swimmer. We ask all other parents to maintain space and not enter the water.
Across the Eastern Suburbs about 4,000 kids and teenagers attend Nippers each Sunday from October through to March, and locals would know that Sunday mornings are busy at most beaches. Some beaches have more space than Bronte and may not be as crowded, and some beaches are safer than Bronte so are open more often.
Nippers provides a learning space for children to develop their confidence and ocean skills, and the Bogey Hole is a great place to start because Bronte is a challenging place for young kids (and many adults) to swim. We are proud that many of our Nippers graduate to become both professional and volunteer lifesavers and safeguard the public when swimming at Bronte.
Nipper programs across the country also provide a great meeting place for boys and girls to mix, to see each other as equals and start respectful friendships as teenagers while they also learn about leadership, responsibility and community service. The Nippers community is a lot more than just a quick swim or board paddle on a Sunday, and I respectfully ask that you and other members of the public visiting Bronte Beach please be patient while Nippers is in progress as maybe one day it might be you being rescued by one of these Nippers.
Director of Bronte Nippers
Where have all the postboxes gone?
Dear all – Around a quarter of the population of Bondi Junction is over 65 (census data) and these most probably over-represent the mailers of letters. They also probably over-represent persons moving around with walking aids that limit access above or below street level.
Unfortunately, the street accessible post boxes in the great hub of Bondi Junction are fast disappearing. The sad rusty one in Denison near Spring Street, and the one in Leswell near Oxford Street, are now closed (temporarily?). A real post office can be found upstairs in Eastgate Shopping Centre but is closed outside office hours and on weekends with, unusually, no outside postbox. The inside box is a discreetly hidden cardboard one.
For a start, why not tell the staff the situation, such as where the only other street-side post box (Hollywood near Oxford) apparently resides? Could an up-to-date notice be placed outside of the Eastgate Post Office?
Some situations still require signed original letters. Legal matters? Some people still send postcards. Is any politician interested in rectifying this? Can someone be offered a Cartier watch to fix this?
Emeritus Professor Ben Selinger AM