We were told to stay local this year due to COVID-19 but our family's local playground, the public parkland and children's playground at Deakin Anticline, behind the Deakin Shops, is in a shameful state.
After contacting Canberra Connect's "Fix My Street" countless times over the past two years I am appalled to see the state of overgrowth and litter left in the public area yet again. The hip-high dry grass is a breeding ground for rats and snakes. Do we have to wait until a child gets bitten by a snake in the long dry grass before any action is taken?
Or is it because the surrounding housing is an old people's home and housing commission housing? The government doesn't care about these people, they don't deserve decent public parkland? Is that it?
Canberra Connect says there is "a grass mowing rotation" but local residents have complained over and again that the rotation isn't adequate. There hasn't been any attention to the pasture which is made up of dead grass and only green in winter from weed overgrowth. Its current state of dry, hip height weeds/seeds has been unacceptable since before Christmas.
No child can even get to the play equipment due to the overgrowth.
My children couldn't enjoy their local park over Christmas and after a full work week back in January the grounds are still disgraceful.
Where are the green park grounds for enjoyment with my kids that I was promised when I moved to Canberra?
Tanya Oliver, Deakin
Taking the waters
I enjoyed the account by Tim The Yowie Man,("The famous Spring of the Monaro", Panorama, January 9, p6) of the history of the Rock Flat Spring south of Cooma. However the story of its commercial exploitation doesn't stop in the 1930s, as conveyed in the article.
Around the early 1990s a gentleman with a European accent had a small operation at the site bottling the water and labelling it as "Cal Mag"; a reference to beneficial concentrations of calcium and magnesium.
I don't know how much he sold, but his operation may have benefited from speculation around the same time about a link between groundwater and an unusually high incidence of multiple births of lambs on some Monaro properties. Articles and letters in The Canberra Times about this included references to "miracle water".
Incidentally, a former University of Canberra colleague told me that the isotopic signature of dissolved carbon dioxide indicated a volcanic origin, perhaps the last gasp of the long period of eruption of basalt lavas of the region 55 to 20 million years ago. The high nutrient content and fertility of soils developed on the basalt may be a better explanation for the health of the sheep on the grasslands.
Max Brown, Mawson
How dare they!
Who does Twitter think it is suspending President Trump's Twitter account? There are two Americas. One wants freedom, the other power.
The ruling class (a revolving one party cartel) hates the masses. The masses hate the ruling class. The differences between the ruling class and the masses are irreconcilable.
The ruling class who teach the moral superiority of statism, egalitarianism and scientific planning during the day want their lobster thermidor and wine at night.
Can the United States of America separate peacefully?
It is absurd for several hundred legislators, a handful of Supreme Court justices and an unelected bureaucratic class to plan and organise society and expect social cohesion. When Washington's cheques bounce there will be a battle for the minds of Americans.
Subsidiarity, not winner take all democracy and statism, is the peaceful and productive way forward.
Victor Diskordia, McKellar
The myth busters
What we're seeing in US is the unravelling of the American mythos, which holds that America is the shining city on the hill, the beautiful pinnacle of democracy and freedom to which the rest of the world aspires. If that were ever true, it was true only for rich white males; the rest are increasingly awakening to the fact that the American Dream never did, and never will, apply to them.
Donald Trump's presidency and the storming of the Capitol is the direct result of their desperation for change, no matter how misguided. There are reports that the police, the national guard and the military were, if not involved, at least turning a Nelsonian blind eye to the clear signs that it was going to happen.
China has well and truly overtaken the US as our top trading partner, and the chickens of our assumption of the role of the US's deputy sheriff in the Asia-Pacific are now coming home to roost. A recent letter by Bill Stefaniak urged us to beware of becoming a tributary state of China, and rightly so, but failed to mention that we've been tributary state of the US for decades.
I'm fearful for my US friends and relatives, but I'm also fearful for Australia. Our Prime Minister has refused to condemn Donald Trump's clear responsibility for the riots while, apparently proudly, accepting the US Legion of Merit for "leadership in addressing global challenges".
These demonstrate how far down the US path we've travelled already. Unlike them, it's just possible that we have the time to recognise in our own country the identical issues that brought about the US situation; the question is whether we have the will to deal with them before it's too late.
Fred Pilcher, Kaleen
Walk on by
If you don't condemn you condone. Scott Morrison refused to condemn US President Donald Trump for his actions inciting Wednesday's invasion of the US Capitol by a crazed right-wing mob. Now he won't condemn maverick government member Craig Kelly for promoting yet another falsehood - this one being that anti-fascists were actually the invaders, not Trump supporters.
Free speech is one thing but this kind of incendiary falsehood can only lead in one direction and we've now seen in the US just which way that direction is. Morrison needs to drop his defence of the indefensible and carpet members like Kelly forthwith, taking action to have them expelled from the party if necessary. If he doesn't, the very clear message is that he agrees with them.
Keith Hill, Canberra
Much as I hate to say this, I'm afraid Clive Hamilton ("Canberra's experiment with e-scooters has well and truly failed", January 7, p22) is right. I don't know what the objectives were in the rollout of these scooters, which have arrived in enormous orange and purple flocks and are obviously a very significant investment, but it's hard to see that they are much more than an alternative form of entertainment for their mostly adolescent riders.
They add to congestion and hazards of shared pathways, are often ridden thoughtlessly by helmetless hoons and then abandoned in haphazard and unhelpful locations. Hopefully the companies involved will realise their monumental mistake before too long.
Richard Johnston, Kingston
Enough of this rubbish
Spot on M Sidden of Strathfield for putting it to commercial television and pleading "for God's sake stop this rubbish" (Letters, January 5). Why aren't more people complaining on the appalling recycled cheap self promoting garbage being pumped out on commercial TV that nobody watches anymore, and will it make any difference?
The reason is that over the past 20 or more years television has been taken over by business. Entertainment doesn't exist anymore as the new economic model calls for TV to gush out any cheaper than cheap content it pleases just to sell as many ads as possible to any still watching. The same economic business model has been placed on sport.
The only skills demonstrated by CEOs of these industries is to continually propagandise their non existent achievements and get paid ghastly amounts.
Do what I have done and make the move and turn it off and create your own life its much healthier.
Wayne Grant, Swinger Hill
We are at fault
On January 6 the France 24 TV program had a segment about Australia's preparation for the bushfire season with footage showing the indigenous advisors imparting their traditional knowledge to bushfire fighters today.
The commentator pointed out that of all "developed" nations, Australia has among the worst levels of pollution, contributing to the dire situation humanity is facing. This was said to be, in part, because of our government's association with, and support for fossil fuel industries.
People who wish to see that our species and others do not become extinct must put pressure on local members as well as cabinet members, including the Prime Minister, to end the association with fossil fuel industries at once. Lobbying personally and via the various Climate Change organisations is vital if we are to ensure a future for life on this Earth. Remember, there is no Planet B.
Mary Samara-Wickrama, Weston
TO THE POINT
I feel disgusted with what happened with the people in America because they rioted over Donald Trump's election loss. It is not a good idea to riot and break into the US Capitol during a pandemic. People are now going to get even more sicker thanks to the pandemic.
Anton Rusanov, Kaleen
THE PROUSTIAN VIEW
Amid the chaotic news arriving from Washington you may want to completely unplug by reading Proust. While the general title of his seven-volume masterpiece (In search of lost time) might depress you by reminding you of the past four years in USA, the last volume (Time regained) might give you hope.
Jorge Gapella, Kaleen
PARDON ME, PARDON YOU
I expect the unexpected. Will Trump pardon the horned helmet rioter Jake Angeli and Richard "Bigo" Barnett who occupied Ms Pelosi's seat during the US Capitol riots?
Mokhles k Sidden, Strathfield, NSW
THAT'S A COMMENT
Could ABC Classic's programming of the great G. F. Handel's oratorio The Messiah on Saturday afternoon not have been more timely? First, the aria He was Despised and Rejected (Trump?) and, later, We Are But Sheep (the rest of us). Just saying.
David Combe, Hackett
THE BAR SINISTER
Now that the outgoing US President Donald J Trump has lost any legitimacy to be in a position of power ever again does that make him illegitimate?
Mario Stivala, Belconnen
TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE
Trump getting a Twitter ban is too little too late. He should have been banned from American political life even before he had entered it. His installation as the President of the USA will remain a permanent blot on America's political landscape.
Rajend Naidu, Glenfield, NSW
A TOP EFFORT
A job well done by a group of five or six young male and female park rangers armed only with petrol whipper snippers. They mowed by hand the long grass fire danger bordering the Pinnacle Reserve and the back of houses along Marrakai St, Hawker. Maybe one kilometre long by 30 metres wide. Phew.
Paul O'Connor, Hawker
TURN OUT THE LIGHTS
Wow, our public servants work hard. The lights are still on all night at ABS House and at Home Affairs' offices in Belconnen. Government, increase the efficiency dividend. Don't allow this waste to continue.
Herman van de Brug, Belconnen
FREE SPEECH MATTERS
Here is a topic worth debating, particularly since we are being relentlessly forced onto the slippery slope of authoritarianism.
"The constitutional protection of free speech is fundamental to Australian democracy, as it is the strongest defence against authoritarianism".
Mario Moldoveanu, Frankston
JOIN THE CAUSE
I was thrilled to read Ronald Elliott (Letters, January 11) supporting Bill Bowron's suggestion for a new Australian national flag. That makes three of us who agree on a design. We have momentum.