Peter Brewer's article "Gone in 60 seconds: nicked on defrost" (July 4, p4) listed five tips on how to keep windscreen frost at bay.
All of the methods listed are cumbersome, inconvenient and produce poor results compared with the unlisted option of using a windscreen deicing spray.
Use of these sprays is clean, fast and effective, and has the great advantage over all the other methods that it provides some ongoing protection against re-freezing after you move off (which can readily occur on frosty foggy mornings).
The only problem is that because so few people in Canberra know about them it is hard to find shops that stock them. It is best to go hunting for them early in the season. If they are stocked at all they often sell out quickly. They are marketed in both aerosol and trigger pump packs.
Roger Quarterman, Campbell
Beat the deadbeats
The Canberra Times issued a salient warning on car thieves cruising during frosty mornings and stealing cars left in drives to defrost with the engine running ("Gone in 60 seconds: nicked on defrost", July 4, p4).
Unfortunately, the dregs of society will always be with us. An acquaintance had his car stolen from his drive inside two minutes
This is not a total solution in respect of security on the minus mornings when a jug of water just refreezes on the windscreen and scraping seems the only option; other than leaving the vehicle to heat up and shed the ice
Leave the car locked. Get that jug of water; not hot, because that will crack the windscreen. Pour a few of caps of methylated spirits into the water. The ice will dissolve and not refreeze with the metho.
Your car might be damned cold but it won't be in the hands of some opportunistic deadbeat.P. Reynolds, Gilmore
Your car might be damned cold but you'll have clear windows and your car won't be in the hands of some opportunistic deadbeat.
P. Reynolds, Gilmore
Creatives are worthy
Erin Cross's article "Canberra needs to support creatives" (canberratimes.com.au, July 1) is very welcome.
Yes, we need to give more support to community-based arts and culture in Canberra. We need to encourage more mural art such as the recent joint project between Narrabundah College and the Silver Sprayers at the Narrabundah Oval.
We need to ensure proposals such as the Kingston Arts Precinct actually support local artists rather than just being a money spinner to attract more tourists.
Pamela Collett, Narrabundah
Weekend penalty not on
A "penalty" loading on wages as a reward for working on Sundays has no legitimacy in the 24/7 economy ("Renewed calls to stop cuts to penalty rates", July 2, p10).
A loading for working in excess of a 40 hour week for an employer should be maintained, as there is a burden on any worker giving up free time to assist the employer's business, but such penalty rate costs probably discourage extra hours being made available.
The unfairness for the workers losing penalty rates is that rates per hour are inadequate. If every hour was paid a fairer rate per hour penalty rates would not be needed to give an adult worker a capacity to pay the costs of living for a family.
Warwick Davis, Isaacs
The future waits for no-one
With the ACT government holding consultations on e-scooters and looking to increase our use of public transport, I am reminded of when the ACT government introduced paid parking in the parliamentary triangle.
Before the date there was wailing and gnashing of teeth from the workers in finance, treasury, archives and elsewhere. They were being unfairly picked on. The government was stealing their wages. They should be reimbursed and so on, and so on and so on.
The day rolled around, and all of a sudden the same people discovered that they could actually catch public transport or car pool. The motorbike parking and bicycle racks went from empty to full.
People will complain about changing their ways, but they change when it hits their wallet.
Maybe rather than gently encouraging people to use public transport, we need a congestion charge or parking tax.
Paul Wayper, Cook
Energy never wasted
John Quiggin ("Facebook dives into a deep regulation void", canberratimes.com.au, July 2) suggests Bitcoin mining is wasting energy.
Surely an economist should realise energy is never wasted. Energy is purchased in markets and once bought can be used as the buyer sees fit, after all the buyer pays for the energy.
If he disagrees with this, he might also try telling people who purchase energy every December to power millions of Christmas lights they are also wasting energy.
Bill Burdin, Bonython
What an ugly thought
The tallness, resultant slenderness, and diagonal placement of the (ill-fated) New York twin towers resulted in a brilliant, remarkably unified architectural composition.
There were clear views and privacy for every facade, and a high degree of public amenity.
The proposed twin-tower, high-rise, predominantly residential development between Woden police station and the cemetery appears to achieve none of that. Its over-development, squatness, face-to-face tower arrangement, afternoon midwinter overshadowing of residential neighbours, and visually confusing duality, all seem to be misguided, greedy, and chancy responses to the planning controls.
These envisage maybe a single tower at most, on the least solar intrusive part of the site. ("Twin towers to reshape Woden's skyline", July 2, p.7).
Jack Kershaw, Kambah
I woke in fright
I fell asleep during the Logies awards last Sunday night.
I was both excited and pleasantly amazed to hear, upon awakening, the most popular presenter and most popular lifestyle programs were awarded to plants.
This confirmed my belief the quality of Australian television had finally climbed to the heights we have been demanding.
These great actors did not graduate from that over-rated NIDA. They represented the new breed from Bunnings.
Tears flowed from my eyes when I realised, while noting the mind numbingly boring content receiving other awards, we had now entered a new era of self-deprecating television beyond sanity and beyond belief.
From my interpretation this is our punishment for sinning (Corinthians 6:9-10 and a few more) so stop it and we will get better television.
I now desperately want to be a plant.
Wayne Grant, Swinger Hill
No wonder we are cynical
Whatever the facts may be, the recent behaviour of Christopher Pyne and Julie Bishop creates a cynicism about politicians.
It appears to fit with our picture of a revolving door where the wealthy business community encourages (and funds?) its own to enter Parliament and implement decisions such as the current tax cuts.
Retiring politicians can then get jobs where the knowledge and contacts they have acquired could hardly be seen as a disadvantage.
If a few politicians have qualms, they can wash them away with free alcohol because the reduced tax the government can now access will mean fewer nurses in the emergency department, not less alcohol at Parliament House.
Yes, I know. We voted for the Coalition. We're getting what we deserve and how good is that?
Rosemary Walters, Palmerston
Whitlam is the wilderness
Construction of Canberra's newest suburb, Whitlam, began on July 1 at the far end (to date) of the Molonglo development.
What's out there, besides suburban sprawl? Where are the public facilities? How many schools, shops, pubs, clubs, churches, tennis courts, post offices, restaurants, bowling greens, halls, community centres, swimming pools, shared gardens, banks and galleries are in place?
These are the places where people can meet and mingle, play and share, and build a society. Will Whitlam be fun and healthy to live in? You be the judge.
Hugh Dakin, Griffith
Bring back the (paper) bag
The second worst thing since sliced bread was the single use plastic bag it came in.
In the mid 1950s my Aunty Vida would do a continuous spiral cut down the length of the bread bag, turning it into a wondrously long strip of bread bag raffia.
She would crochet the material into hats to sell at the Bexley (Sydney) Senior Citizens Club.
Her speckled mauve "Tip-Toppers" have now had their day. Perhaps it's time for our fearless leaders to buy back Australian Standards, from whoever now owns it, and write a new standard for sliced bread packaging.
A suitably sized paper bag would do.
Howard Styles, Kingston
TO THE POINT
YOU COULD VOTE...
From the latest ACT government propaganda flyer: "Want a quick and easy way to help shape Canberra? Join the new YourSay Community Panel". Need one say more?
Klaus Inveen, Macquarie
Neutral Sweden was able to help liberate our young citizen from North Korea because it is a friend to all countries and the enemy of none. Neutrality is enjoyed by 19 countries including Austria, Ireland, Finland, Switzerland, Mexico, Japan and Singapore. Isn't it time to consider joining the neutrals to become a constructive force for peace?
Charles Foley, Queanbeyan East, NSW
WHERE ARE THE SAVINGS?
Politicians are crowing they have put more money in people's pockets with cross bench senators carrying on about reducing energy prices as a condition to passing the new tax bill. When and how much are the reductions senators? I received letters from Origin last week saying electricity and gas prices will increase from July 8.
Errol Good, McGregor
WHAT A WASTE
Rattenbury and Barr will waste more public money on a tram to nowhere by extending the tram line to Commonwealth Park. Very courageous, as Sir Humphrey would say. I predict any business case will turn out to be "positive", even if woefully not so; and tenders will not be let, as required by procurement regulations, but be a revival and extension of the stage one PPP contract.
M. Flint, Erindale
DON'T FORGET TOMIC
Dennis Fitzgerald (Letters, July 5). You forgot Bernard Tomic!
Norm Lewis, Queanbeyan
60 years ago I left Wimbledon to settle in Australia and brought my love of tennis with me. Each year I suffer total frustration at the biased TV coverage we receive. I like to watch exciting, closely fought games which does not necessarily mean an Australian player is involved. Does Ian Warden share my views?
Judy McClelland, Griffith
MAKE THE CASE
The proposal to partially construct the light rail to Woden demonstrates evidence based policy is critically ill, if not dead, in the ACT. Given the under funding of health and housing and the fragile state of ACT finances, infrastructure decisions need to be soundly based. An independent business case should be prepared.
Mike Quirk, Garran
WILL THE CHEQUE BOUNCE?
The Coalition's $158 billion tax bill has passed the Senate. Some of the tax cuts will start in 2024. I earnestly hope that it is not a post dated cheque on a crashing bank.
Sankar Kumar Chatterjee, Evatt
TAKE THE MONEY
Let's just check in on the situation with public housing in Tasmania and the national outcome from the tax cuts in 12 months' time. I suspect both will be hugely beneficial. Anyone care to wager?
Linus Cole, Palmerston
ET TU SCOMO?
Niki Savva's excellent book Plots and Prayers has a photo of Scomo with his right hand on Turnbull's shoulder. Well might Mr Turnbull say Et tu Brute.
Cynthia Moloney, Yarralumla
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