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The Beast’s Monthly Mailbag – October

By The Wonderful People of the Eastern Suburbs on September 22, 2021 in People

COVID-19 IN THE EAST

Myopic Carrots, Deficient Sticks
In the September edition of The Beast, Dave Sharma addresses the federal government’s plan to exit lockdowns (Planning Ahead: A Four-Phase Path to Freedom, The Beast, September 2021). Scott Morrison has also begun spruiking this plan during his press conferences. Plainly, the plan is myopic and will not satisfactorily achieve its stated aims.
The 70 per cent of eligible Australians who are fully vaccinated entirely excludes children aged between 0-16 years, who are not vaccinated and not eligible for vaccination. Morrison proposes that if this cohort gets infected by COVID-19 our hospitals can cope with the projected patient loadings. He says that Australians should learn to live with the consequences of COVID-19 including, but not mentioned, death. The government, in the meantime, has made no provision to lower the age of vaccine eligibility or to source a vaccine suitable for this cohort. It is premature therefore to open the economy without having firstly reduced the risk of infection for this cohort. Otherwise, we could be pushing passengers out of an aeroplane without a parachute.
The carrot in this plan is that life will return to normal and there will be an end to lockdowns. However, there is no proposal to introduce rapid testing for COVID-19, despite evidence of numerous asymptomatic patients released after 14 days’ quarantine. There is no proposal for purpose-built quarantine facilities or to improve quarantine protocols, despite the numerous breaches of hotel quarantine and the likelihood of undetected, infectious inbound travellers. No one can observe the reasons for the Delta strain spreading rapidly from Sydney into the rest of Australia and suggest that self-isolation at home for 14 days would be a sufficient form of quarantine. The plan is deficient.
Can the plan return us to normal? Until children are vaccinated it would be ill-advised to travel to any overseas country that does not observe quarantine and vaccination standards similar to Australia’s, so travel destinations for adults with children will be severely restricted. There will be travel restrictions within Australia until pockets with vaccine hesitants or Indigenous communities with low vaccination rates and secondary diseases catch up. So, again, the plan is jumping the gun.
Finally, can we trust Scott Morrison to deliver on his plan? His record with vaccine delivery, Afghan translators left stranded in Afghanistan and returning Australian citizens left stranded overseas speak for themselves.
Regards,
Steve Barker
Bronte

 

Vaccination
Australians, we are in Dire Straits, let’s be Brothers in Arms and get vaccinated against the silent enemy.
Doug
Bronte

 

PANDEMIC OR ENDEMIC?
For the safety of us all, we need to be vaccinated! Lockdowns should go away when vaccination rates are around the majority so we can go back to work, see our families and enjoy parties, weddings and a normal existence.
Exaggerated fear of AstraZeneca is hindering the process, but there is a risk in any medical procedure and benefits far outweigh the risks. The symptoms from catching COVID after vaccination have been described as the mildest of summer colds. There is no guarantee on life, and death is part of it, with many other causes out there.
If the government could put the money spent on lockdown benefits into upgrading the hospital system, we could have the security of a superior medical system that could handle any new virus that may arise – and they will. Then we can get on with our lives, with COVID existing as an endemic, not a pandemic. If all sides of government could pull together and stop criticising each other, we could get there even quicker.
Regards,
Georgie
Bronte

 

Lockdown’s Double Irony
As Gold Standard Gladys’ lockdown moves on, the Australian Retailers Association estimates the weekly cost for the economy to be $1.5 billion. This will hit small business owners where it hurts.
Here comes irony number one… More than others, small businesses tend to fall for the idea that the Liberal Party supports them. It doesn’t – it supports big business.
In part, their support for the Liberal Party made Gladys possible. Since Gladys’ “weak-on-the-virus” approach got the Coronavirus into Sydney, it keeps spreading and lockdowns keep extending. Ironically, this will hit even those small business owners who voted for Gladys.
And here comes irony number two… Some of the very same small business owners also voted for Scomo. For months, PR man Scotty has failed to secure enough Pfizer vaccines while sitting on his hands. As Muhammad Ali might have said, “If you fight with your hands in your pockets, you go down.”
The Liberal Party’s double screw up will knock out even those who are supporting the Liberal Party. Yet, as long as small business owners can be kept in the mythical hallucination that the party supports them, the double irony will work its way ever deeper into their small businesses, causing miseries and bankruptcies. Ironically, it comes from the very Liberal Party they vote for.
Thomas Klikauer
Locked-down Coogee

 

Where’s Kate?
Re: the escalating NSW plague, I believe Michael Daley was cheated out of the last NSW election. The Fairfax Press had been newly acquired by Fox buddies Channel 9 with scant publicity (I don’t think most people are aware of this fact, even now), and The Sydney Morning Herald editorial the day before the election urged voters to give Gladys a chance. She had only got to be premier because of the resignation of Michael Baird, the editor reasoned, and deserved to be given a chance under her own steam to see what she could achieve. For a long time now, undecided, uninterested or ignorant voters have been checking out – and following – The Herald’s Friday selection on the grounds that they believed it to be “Independent. Always.” – i.e. fair and impartial.
Question: If Michael Daley had won the last NSW election, and if voters realised they were voting for a Fox Trojan Horse, would he have done what Gladys did with the minor COVID outbreak – nothing at all for 11 days and then institute a Clayton’s lockdown? Or, would he have done what other (Labor) premiers have done and hit immediately and hard?
Another question: Did Gladys hesitate to act appropriately because she feared reprisals (perhaps being thrown into Sydney Harbour in a chaff bag) from Alan Jones and the Fox people, or because our Fearless Leader asked her not to do anything drastic? After all, he had mocked and viciously attacked Labor premiers, particularly Dan Andrews, for their lockdowns. We knew where he stood. It is cruel irony that Dan Andrews’ two latest lockdowns are due to Gladys’ prolonged hesitation.
I wonder if some intrepid Fox journalist (sorry those three words express a triple contradiction in terms, but you know what I mean) would do a Kate McClymont-like investigation of these questions and provide the answers in due course?
Pamela Young
Maroubra

 

Weightlifting next to a playground
The Delta virus spreads in open-air settings too! I thought politicians had finally woken up to that well-documented fact when, at long last, the mandatory wearing of face masks came into force.
It appalls me to see grown men not taking notice – despite their overdeveloped muscles they should have some sense. Every time I walk past the park in Ebley Street, Bondi Junction, there are groups of them 2.5 metres from the perimeter of the playground (I have measured this) on the corner of Ebley and Newland Streets – well supplied with weightlifting gear, as you can see! All those forcefully expelled droplets generated by their exertions lift into the air and drift up to 10 metres away, where they can hover for hours.
Council should cordon off this area and advise the owners of the gym on the other side of the street to take their equipment further away into the park.
I’m not sure if Bondi Junction is part of the area of responsibility of Dr Marjorie O’Neill, the MP for Coogee, but if not, could I ask you to forward this message plus photo below to the right person? I think it is a matter that needs urgent attention.
Kerstin Thorn-Seshold
Bondi Junction

 

EQUAL RIGHTS, I MEAN “SIGHTS”, FOR ALL
With the COVID lockdown, young women are on the streets exercising their bodies and also their right to wear highly revealing activewear.
I propose men do the same thing. We’re all equal after all, aren’t we? I’m tired of seeing camel toe. How about a bit of camel tail?
And, gentlemen, don’t forget to be just as outraged if a woman stares at your groin.
Bored on my balcony,
Coleen Blomkamp
Bondi Beach

 

Pandemic over!
I took a ride down to Bondi Beach this morning and was super pleased to see that there is no pandemic, there is no lockdown and there are no health orders. Woohoo!
Gavin Kleinhans
Bondi Beach

 

Local Development Applications
COOGEE BAY HOTEL
Development Application Dear Sir/Madam – I would like to support the DA for this site (Coogee Bay Hotel Lodges Development Application, The Beast, September 2021). I am a local resident. My family use the shopping centre regularly, as well as the adjoining beachfront. I understand submissions are accepted up to August 26. My contact details are below.
The Coogee Bay Road commercial centre requires a major facelift. Council has done an excellent job with its streetscape improvements, however, the building stock is old, rundown, disjointed and dilapidated. The proposal to upgrade the hotel site will bring more choice, vitality and aesthetic benefits. The proposed restaurants, cafes and supermarket will benefit the local community and visitors in many ways. It will help to upgrade some existing businesses, especially the dysfunctional Woolworths shopping mall. The additional residences will increase vitality, safety and the late night economy.
Council can use a VPA (developer contributions) for capital and in kind contributions for further streetscape improvements and public areas upgrade. It could also add some public art in prominent locations.
The proposal represents urban renewal and revitalisation and should be supported. It is transformative and has vision. This central part of Coogee is a tarnished jewel that requires some fixing and polishing.
Best,
Stephen Bargwanna
Coogee

 

CBH Development Worse Than It Sounds
Under the proposed development the Coogee Bay Hotel site will be subdivided and this has created some confusion over how much it will exceed existing planning limits. To be clear, the area designated as heritage listed will approximately be halved, the floor space ratio for the larger Western Lot will be 2.24:1 – or roughly a 50 per cent increase on existing planning limits (not a 19 per cent increase) – and Coogee Bay Road will have six stories on the Western Lot side of the road and two stories on the other side of the road. This is where the more than doubling of the height planning limits really kicks in and Coogee Village becomes lopsided.
In The Beast’s recent article (Coogee Bay Hotel Lodges Development Application, The Beast, September 2021), a spokesperson for the developers said, “At the end of the day, whatever DA goes in, it will always be controversial.” However, I think it is safe to say there would be more acceptance if the proposed development conformed to existing planning rules.
Michael Olive
Coogee

 

There is an association…
To answer SN & PYR (A Tale of Tree, Letters, The Beast, September 2021), the first part of the story – while the timing of the removal is questionable, if you wanted to check whether there was a tree permit it would have been better to call at least one of the Bondi Ward Councillors whose phone numbers are on the Council website.
Second part of the story – I’m not sure how you missed it, but Bondi Beach Precinct fought this development for almost two years, including the removal of the trees. We had public meetings outside the post office, which were attended by security guards called in by the developer, as well as the police. We had online petitions, we made videos of notable and other locals objecting, we put up banners and distributed leaflets, we had the matter raised in parliament and we attended the Land and Environment Court hearings to make our case.
The whole sorry saga was predicated on a non-transparent and undemocratic process, a privatisation process by government for one of ‘the boys’. We know that in 2016, without any tender process, Australia Post entered into an agreement with Jamie Nemtsas for a $10 million option to purchase the post office, a public building on Commonwealth land that had been in operation for almost 100 years. Mr Nemtsas then onsold the post office to North Sydney based construction company Taylors for a reported $15 million, making a personal profit of $5 million.
The legal protections through obligations under the Heritage Act, that existed while the post office was owned by Australia Post, were sacrificed when the (second) $15 million option was taken up by Taylors before any DA approval. Taylors gambled $15 million on a favourable outcome, which they subsequently got.
So, yes, there is a resident group, Bondi Beach Precinct, who have been fighting for our beach and suburb for many, many years, with some wins and some losses, particularly against developers. You should always get a bright yellow DL in your letterbox the week before our meetings. We are currently Zooming. Details are also on the Council website.
Our FB page is facebook.com/Bondi.beach.precinct.residents.group. You can also see a lot of what we have done on our old FB page at facebook.com/bondi.beach.precinct.
Lenore Kulakauskas
Co-Convenor Bondi Beach Precinct
Bondi Beach

 

Is Nothing Sacred?
I have no words (War Memorial Hospital Development Proposal Sparks Concerns, The Beast, September 2021). Living down the road from this beautiful historic building, and spending time in the serene grounds with those stunning and significant trees – planted with love and purpose so long ago – is a privilege afforded to locals and visitors alike, as well as being therapeutic to patients and staff. Is nothing sacred?
Why can’t we, in the year 2021, preserve and enhance our history? I’m so angered by the money hungry and power crazy decision makers who ignore the residents and local community, especially during the current pandemic – unbelievably inept and stupid humans!
Thank you for the great article. How do we sign the petition? What else can the community do to help fix this monumental bad decision?
Dee
Waverley

 

Valuing Heritage
I was a student nurse at War Memorial in 1979 and would think that any planning to extend aged care capacity must protect the beautiful heritage buildings I fondly remember.
Janene
Mudgee

Local Government Issues
Waverley Cemetery – Henry Lawson
To the Editor – As I walk through Waverley Cemetery, I often wonder who manages it and what those who have chosen it for their resting place expect of it. They obviously don’t not have a voice in the matter, except perhaps Henry Lawson;

He only said, ‘Beyond the grave you’ll cop it hot, by Jove!
A Derry on a Cove, 1894

As he is the cemetery’s most famous resident, a sign has been erected to direct visitors to his grave. While I know the bard was not an outstanding citizen in life, one must ask if this decrepit sign was a reflection of him or a reflection of the standard of management of the facility.
It has obviously been there so long that it must now be listed as an historic artifact by the National Trust. With the 100th anniversary of Lawson’s internment coming up next year, I hope management might afford at least some antirust treatment for the painted over traffic sign to preserve it and/or a new post before it falls over.
I was surprised the sign was not replaced when someone was good enough to remove a plaque placed on the grave, by the mayor of the time, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Henry’s death. It gave one the distinct impression that its only purpose was to give the mayor an opportunity to deposit his name in an historic place.

The brooding ghosts of Australian night have gone from the bush and town;
My spirit revives in the morning breeze, though it died when the sun went down;
The river is high and the stream is strong, and the grass is green and tall,
And I fain would think that this world of ours is a good world after all.
– After All, 1903

Regards,
Andrew Goldfinch
Bondi Junction

 

Kitchen Caddy Bins
Dear Ed – A big thumbs up for Randwick Council’s recent introduction of the kitchen caddy for disposal of food scraps that can be placed in the green recycle bins. And a big thumbs down for whoever designed the biodegradable liner bags that are a tad too small and don’t fit properly, as well as tearing easily.
You’d think someone would have checked the durability before distribution.
John Swanton
Coogee

 

The Council Isn’t Your Daddy
To Alexa from North Bondi (Disrespectful Dog Owners, Letters, The Beast, September 2021) – Two things… Firstly, I’m a dog owner and lover. Secondly, it’s shitty that you had to deal with dogs annoying you. I’m on your side in so far as those dog owners were in the wrong (swimming and off leash in no dog areas), but why immediately reach for Council to save you?
The very nature of this publication is community. When did we all become petulant whingers that expect Council or Gladys or ScoMo to save our souls and deal with all our woes? Dogs, parks, people on the street, driving behaviour… the regular monthly contents of these very pages!
When did we lose sight of participating in our own community? Since when are we unable to speak to our neighbours and call them out on their shitty behaviour? The very basis of good relationships is honest and open communication – good, bad or otherwise.
Council rules and enforcements are good for when we need them, which should be almost never. If we rely on the government to help us at the tiny turns, it’s a slippery slope. Be a person, be a neighbour, be a participant in society first and have your own conversation.
Ryan
Bondi

 

Bronte Cutting
During a recent walk along the beach, I idly wondered just how much Waverley Council had spent on Bronte Cutting upgrades. Was it $2 million, $5 million or even $10 million?
With the many changes over the past few years my memory has dimmed, but I seem to recollect that some five or so years ago a barrier was installed and then, soon after, dismantled. This was followed by car spacing with each individual parking spot carefully numbered. Pay stations were also strategically put in place.
Not long after, it was decided that sensors, accompanied by an elaborate electronic board, would answer any problems. The censors were duly placed in every parking spot.
It seemed only a matter of weeks before the electric board (which nobody looked at anyway) was dismantled and the glass sensors filled in. And, for some reason, all the numbers were renumbered.
In a good move, and in response to many comments (and complaints) from the public, Council installed a designated pedestrian walk. We were told that this was a temporary measure. A number of parking spots were sacrificed and plastic posts put in place.
Now, once again, the cutting is a hive of activity. Many workers, using heavy earthmoving equipment, have installed new guttering, footpaths, etc. Huge trucks have been employed to remove rubble and earth.
Bronte Cutting is, hopefully, getting its final upgrade.
Robert Sharpe
Bronte

The Beast’s Double Century

Congratulations
Hi James – Congratulations on achieving 200 editions. I enjoy the The Beast as it has local news plus, in my opinion, a balanced content.
As a senior, I doubt I will be around to enjoy the next 200 editions but look forward to many more in the meantime. Keep up the good work.
Regards,
Ian Smith
Eastern Beaches

200 issues
Dear Editor – Congratulations to The Beast for achieving your 200th issue. That is a remarkable achievement, over how many years, 17?
I had my doubts about The Beast in its early years. However, one day when I was on the Coogee foreshore prom, one of the “Beastly Boys” stopped and had a chat. I was there with other Coogee residents petitioning against overdevelopment (www.keepcoogeeavillage.com). He signed the petition and wished us well.
I thought more kindly of The Beast after that, but it was not until recently that I started taking it seriously. This was when The Beast gave voice to residents’ concerns about the Berejiklian Government’s plans for our bus services.
It says a lot that you have survived the ongoing massacre of print media and the first lockdown and produced your 200th issue in our current dire circumstances.
Well done The Beast. May you provide a voice for the community for many years to come.
Rona Wade
Coogee

Cyclists in The East
Centennial Park erosion due to Mountain Bikes
Dear Editor – I love reading The Beast, but some people do not understand satire. Your article, I fear, has encouraged adults and let loose youths throughout the grass and wild areas off the park.
They are blissfully jumping around, unaware that a condition of entry is that they remain on the paved roads. It is heartbreaking to see the soil erosion and damage to lawn and tree roots. The attitude from many I speak to is that the government will fix this up.
Please could you have an editorial feature on Centennial Park, including the following: 1. Highlighting that a condition of entry is that all bikes stick to the paved roads; 2. Enlightening your readers that Centennial Park is run by a trust, and funding is not provided by the state government, and; 3. Why not make a request for donations and fundraising from all who have enjoyed the park and unknowingly created damage?
Thank you for reading my message.
Jen
Paddington

 

In Defence of Cyclists in Centennial Park
In ‘Adrenaline Pumpers’ (Letters, The Beast, September 2021), your correspondent attacked cyclists using the bike lane around Centennial Park, saying how he was confronted when he crossed the lane, didn’t see the cyclist, assumed that he was exceeding the 30km/h speed limit and was therefore somehow at fault.
The real issue, however, should be with the motor vehicles that crowd the park and curtail the ability of both pedestrians and cyclists to roam at will without one-way restrictions and use the park as intended, as a green lung. On busy days the park becomes a glorified car park, with streams of cars circling looking for a parking spot.
Let’s have a debate about whether there might be a much better and more sustainable way of using the park. Why not limit car parking to properly designed parking areas, located only at the entrances to the park, signposted and showing the availability of spaces. Picnic facilities could be located there as well, making litter control easier. The rest of the park could then be freed of its burden of circling vehicles.
There would need to be provision for disabled access to parts of the park and limited access for deliveries, but otherwise people would have to park and walk. I know that is a radical concept, but the ‘first Sunday’ closure of the park to cars shows how wonderful the core of the park could be all of the time if it were free of vehicles.
Maybe then we could see the end of the constant animosity towards cyclists, who are only enjoying the very limited opportunities that Sydney offers for safe riding.
Simon Bartlett
Coogee

 

A Potential Solution
Dear James – Regarding the letter about bicycle maniacs (Adrenaline Pumpers, Letters, The Beast, September 2021), having spent decades as the consumer rep on Australian standards committees (sunscreens, sunglasses, plastics for food contact, etc.), I have a suggestion for a standard to meet the anxieties of your readers facing adrenaline boosted cyclists…

AS xyz draft. Trekking sticks; alternate use; bicycle stopper [replaces earlier provisional standard, umbrellas, bike stopping, for the use of].

When inserted between the spokes of a bicycle using the WWI trench departing bayonet stance, the device must be capable of holding or breaking the spokes that follow (depending on bike speed), while maintaining 95 per cent structural integrity (7 per cent bending acceptable). Once used, the device must be labelled with the number of “incidents”, so to warn further traditional walker-users to be aware of the incipient geometric changes to the stick.
Name and address withheld to avoid possible personal structural damage

Other State and Federal Politics

Doctor, Doctor, give me the news
James – Hope you are well mate. Please find following litany, hopefully for September’s issue, regarding Dr Marjorie Spooner O’Neill’s position on plastic.
Dr O’Neill, during a notable debate with the imminent outgoing member for Coogee, Bruce Notley-Smith, at the Coogee Diggers many moons ago, spooned (apologies for the pun on your middle moniker) some interesting points. The main point being, “We (the Australian Labor Party) shall ban plastic bags.” This has been a product of our present NSW diabolical disregard for the state, let alone Dr Pacific (my fond term for the sight I have of it every time I swim at Clovelly and Coogee). It’s quite ironic Doc, with the constant outflow of said plastics.
I know the present greedy, environmental terrorist Liberal Party have no interest in the above, except maybe in South Australia, and can understand that she is unable to promote this policy due to being in the opposition party, but why has she gone ominously quiet throughout her subsequent employ?
I commend her community contributions, and she looks stunning in her white attire – the Anzac Day Dawn Service, for example. She also has an open, receptive rapport with people on the Coogee Beach promenade, often responding to people’s concerns, and here is where my ire begins… Is there going to be this pussy footing around with matters that really count with this party? Or do we need to exhume Hawky, a man with intestinal fortitude, to fight for these essential policies?
Come on, Doc. ‘Man up!’
Now back to the turntable and weeping over lost love!
Regards,
William Ockham
Clovelly

P.S. James, I hope you are bearing up in lockdown, with suitable nourishment and imbibing elixirs! May I take this opportunity to thank you for your invaluable service to our community in producing this wonderful magazine. Miss your bro as well R.I.P. See you at the Cloey when it opens!

 

Joining the Dots
Dear James – What have we learnt from the sports rorts and carpark-per-vote gate? Nothing. Pork barrelling is alive and well in the Eastern Suburbs; pork barrelling for the ones who already have and not for the have-nots.
Just ask Mr Dave Sharma, MP for Wentworth. He has awarded a $7.5 million federal grant to a planned private country club in White City with no public access.
The Hakoah Club’s board was taken over by developers around 15 years ago, and they achieved the sale of its club building at Bondi Beach – a much prized community centre – to developers. It is now an oversized residential/commercial building complex, with its excessive floor space ratio bypassing Waverley Local Environmental Plan controls. And, relying on existing use rights to an envelope originally permitted as a community benefit.
Surely the board and developers have the funds to develop White City without the assistance of taxpayers?
Is there a connection between the $7.5 million grant and the fact that a federal election is looming, especially when Sharma only narrowly won the last one?
Kind regards,
Boaz Magal
Bronte

Other Local Happenings

What Internet?
Hi James – I read with interest Georgie’s letter in The Beast (What Internet?, Letters, The Beast, September 2021). I thought we might have been the only ones plagued by constant NBN outages. In a two-month period recently we had ten days with no internet at all. My internet service provider tells me that the NBN won’t send anyone out to see what’s wrong unless you have minimum six outages a day. So, five outages a day is supposed to be acceptable.
I agree with Georgie. It is a total disgrace, and what makes it particularly irksome is that the NBN replaced a system that worked all the time. I have raised this issue with Dave Sharma’s office on several occasions and never heard back. I suppose that shouldn’t surprise me, given that it was his party that inflicted this stupendously costly third rate system on us. I guess I will just have to get used to hotspotting off my phone.
Regards,
Penny
Bronte (which is in the middle of Sydney, not the Nullabor)

Bondi Junction Cycleway
Hi guys – “$240 million” it says on that sign at the lights by Syd Einfeld Drive and Old South Head Road. $240 million? Surely they mean $24 million?
I’m sure you could buy a lot of traffic calmers, speed bumps and street furniture for $240 million, with some trees thrown in I bet. Having cycled on the Bondi Junction Cycleway, the one thing it is not is the provision of a facility for cycling, unless the number of cyclists is one or two perhaps travelling in the same direction, as long as they are separated by one hundred yards and can avoid parents teaching their infants to cycle in the most inappropriate place they could find (other than the middle of the road). $240 million? Please, say it isn’t so.
Gareth Davies
Bellevue Hill

 

Leaf Blowers
Dear James – Awareness of careful water use has seen hosing down driveways and garden paving replaced by clean-ups with leaf blowers. Council even blows sand from the beach promenades. Machines are often the noisy ones, not quieter electrically powered technology.
In these COVID days when many people are working from home, sensitivities to loud, intrusive daytime noises are heightened. Waverley is a densely built up area where sound is amplified as it bounces around all the masonry surfaces.
Many flats and multi-unit developments employ garden maintenance contractors who work during normal daytime hours, often using blowers to clean up.
Could battery powered machines be encouraged more? Or, even better, let’s bring back the humble broom!
Yours faithfully,
Mora Main
Waverley

 

Beautiful coastal walks
I spent the first 28 years of my life living in the Eastern Suburbs and the next 33 years in Melbourne. I have now returned to Sydney and I marvel at the magnificent scenery every day.
I walk the coastal walks with my husband and Cocker Spaniel Maya nearly every day now and the blueness of the sky and turquoise water are so breathtaking. I had forgotten how special these coastal walks were and I will always appreciate this beautiful scenery.
Rachel Copolov
Randwick

 

Reply to Ross from Randwick
This is in reply to Ross from Randwick (Randwick Ritz Reply, Letters, The Beast, September 2021), who also seems to have a problem with The Ritz refusing to take cash. Get over yourself Ross! The Ritz is a business like any other, and is therefore entitled to run it however it sees fit.
I fail to see how taking credit/debit card payments instead of cash is a cost saving venture, as any card transaction will typically incur a surcharge from the bank. If they wanted to save money, they would instead be cash only, as those payments can be hidden from banks and governments alike (I don’t recommend any businesses do this, mind you).
And, yes, I operate on the assumption that the virus can spread on any surface, which is why I use hand sanitizer while out and wash my hands thoroughly when I get home. Working in retail, I have seen many people lick their fingers before handing me cash to purchase their items, and every time I have to sanitise that cash while worrying that they may have passed something along in their saliva. Let’s face it, a lot of people have very poor hygiene.
So, once again, I commend The Randwick Ritz on running its business its way and not pandering to those who do not care about the health and safety of others. I guarantee you, Ross, that your patronage (or lack thereof) does not affect The Randwick Ritz in the slightest.
Emma
Bondi

Local Poetry

Lockdown Poem
Sunrise. Waves refract. Cloud cover is lineated. It’s special. Take notice. Count them. Six. New Breath. Dismiss alarm. Feeling flat. Berocca bubbles. Sparkles on teeth. Wings clap. Sunrises. It’s a new lockdown day. What will become? Sunrise cloud covers. Gone is the sun. The sky is grey. Soft light covers. Sun is swallowed. Birds fly. I plan my great escape. Sun returns. Breaks through the clouds. New day. Day 28 or 33?
Edward Dostine
Bondi Beach

Just A Passing Phase
I dreamt that Lockdown was just a passing phase,
We all caught up and felt so free but my mind was still in a daze,
I eventually recovered as there was lots to cover,
We continued our conversation as we did discover,
That we can now travel anywhere since we have passed first base.

Graeme Bogan
Bondi Junction ¢

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