Everyone has an opinion of Nick Kyrgios. Yes, he can be irritating, bombastic and even occasionally annoying. We all have bad days. But when you strip away the bravado, underneath lies a tennis genius, consummate showman, bold tactician with a huge heart, and a proud Canberran.
He is a Canberra icon, the Captain Cook Jet of the tennis world seeking to go higher and higher with every spurt. He embodies the Anzac spirit of mateship, determination and defiance. If you were in a trench up to your knees in mud or about to scale a hill to an uncertain future, you would want Nick Kyrgios at your side.
I know every proud Canberran stayed up late to savour the Wimbledon Men's Final of the ages, to experience the raw passion on display, and be in awe of the prowess of Nick's creative stroke play, nimbleness of footwork, and entertaining antics.
Bravely, Ian Warden's prediction (Panorama, July 9), perhaps in another context but no less insightful, of a 7-5, 6-1, 6-0 victory to Nick says it all.
We all dared to dream of Nick lifting the shiny mug in triumph but alas it wasn't to be. Our Nick fell short of taking the Holy Grail of tennis, however he was victorious in our hearts, taking us on an emotional journey of hope, and making us forget, just for a short time, about the mayhem in the world.
Thank you Nick. You did us proud.
The ACT Chief Health Officer Kerryn Coleman has made it quite clear that we are in for a disastrous situation with COVID cases probably rising to between 2000 and 3000 per day by early August.
It is quite clear that vaccination has not been the panacea that many, including politicians, had hoped for. Vaccination against the original Wuhan strain may reduce hospitalisation and death, but with new Omicron variants taking over that are more infectious and can evade the immune system, we are not adequately protected.
A fourth dose of the original vaccine will only transiently increase neutralising antibody levels and to only the level achieved after the third dose. Having been infected with COVID does not prevent reinfection. Simply put, we are all vulnerable.
Whilst a broader availability of anti-virals is welcome, the simple measure that we can all do is wear a mask. Epidemiologists are united in stressing the importance of wearing N95 masks when indoors and for adequate ventilation to remove aerosols that contain virus.
What we need are our political leaders and health professionals to lead by example and wear masks, and be shown to be wearing masks in the newspapers and on TV.
I, along with others, have spent a day a month for 35 years regenerating Red Hill's woodland and wildlife. It is now a nationally important woodland and habitat. While the need to cull kangaroos is regrettable, it is necessary.
There are four species of kangaroo on Red Hill, but only the eastern grey is super-abundant. We first undertook kangaroo counts in 1989 when the Hill supported 86 animals. In 2010, numbers had risen to 447. By 2017, it was over 1,000 and is higher today.
Red Hill and the neighbouring golf course can sustain only about 450 kangaroos. There is now plenty of feed, but this will not last.
Unless managers act, Red Hill will quickly revert to a marsupial lawn as it was two seasons ago, when grass across the Hill was less than two centimetres high and habitat for all of Red Hill's wildlife decimated.
This includes rare, grass-dependent species such as the Perunga grasshopper.
Sub-adult kangaroos have a high energy need. At current numbers, come the next inevitable drought, many will starve.
As grass gets eaten out, some roos will be attracted to longer grass by roadsides. In the last drought, 70 kangaroos were horribly killed each year by cars along the Red Hill section of Hindmarsh Drive.
Humanely culling Red Hill's eastern greys now is good for roos and Red Hill's other plants and animals.
The ACT is doing great on renewables. But we have no storage.
Many areas of Australia have no storage options except big batteries.
Canberra is fortunate in that we have three dams on the same river. The Corin, Bendora and Cotter dams are all on the Cotter river.
An obvious storage scheme is to pump water between the three dams in a process akin to Snowy 2.0.
Unfortunately there appears to be a wilful ignorance by the government and its profitable subsidiaries, ACTEWAGL and Icon Water, to even investigate this innovative and arguably cost-effective option.
The article on the education revolution ("Canberra Goulburn Catholic schools focus on the science of learning with Catalyst program", canberratimes.com.au, July 11) included the statements "... educators are moving towards explicit, direct instruction over inquiry based learning - and the early results are very promising" and "We're not focused on test results, but we believe that high-quality learning is related to students being able to answer more questions correctly on a test".
That sounds exactly like the way education was delivered to me in primary school 75 years ago. What goes around, comes around.
UK PM Boris Johnson merely postponed the inevitable when he refused to resign after his partying during the COVID lockdown at 10 Downing St was first exposed. He tried to hang on to power.
I had predicted at the time that his days were numbered on the basis of my understanding of how things work in a true democracy.
Leaders in a true democracy can't do crooked things and ride roughshod over public opinion to cling to power. That can only happen in a dictatorship and phoney democracy.
So it comes as no real surprise to see Boris Johnson finally gone.
Leaders in other democracies can draw valuable lessons from Johnson's exit from power.
The seductive illustrations of the new road arrangement at south City Hill ("$60m contract awarded to raise London Circuit for tram", July 2, p19) never show one of its main purposes - high-rise property development on the important open spaces around the existing intersections of London Circuit, Vernon Circle, and Commonwealth Avenue.
The disruptive roadworks should be abandoned to save City Hill's inwards and outwards vistas, and loads of money, delays, and disruption. Vaunted improved pedestrian access from Civic to the lake and beyond, flowing from the roadworks, is actually already available from the recent traffic light controlled connections of Edinburgh and Constitution Avenues to Vernon Circle.
A workable, more inclusive, cheaper route for the Civic to Capital Hill section of the current stage 2 (Civic to Woden) tram, that avoids City Hill and Commonwealth Avenue, is available.
I refer to the thought provoking editorial on the Trump situation "America on the brink of new dark age over abortion and guns" (canberratimes.com.au, July 4) and the several letters for and against its content since then.
The essential truth regarding the US Supreme Court is that senior Democrats are already talking about the need for Biden to increase the size of the Court beyond the current nine justices. An increase to 15 judges would negate the Trump legacy.
The analysis that Clarence Thomas is a friendly grandpa character as advanced by one reader is not supported by the facts. His decision in overturning Roe v Wade includes reference to other inferred rights such as the gay marriage and access to contraception.
His wife's antics in the aftermath of the election have also been revealed in the January 6 Commission hearings, raising questions about Thomas's impartiality. There is a need to reform the size of the bench of the US Supreme Court. I understand the White House will be doing this.
Stewart Bath is mistaken about the period of Galileo's house arrest (Letters, July 7). When his original sentence of indefinite imprisonment was commuted to indefinite house arrest, Galileo had already claimed not to have held the view that the earth revolved around the sun ever since it had been condemned as contrary to scripture by the Church some 17 years earlier.
Two days before the commutation of his sentence, he had formally abjured that view under oath. He nevertheless remained under house arrest for the rest of his life.
Australia's intelligence agencies shouldn't be expected to be ethical. That's absurd. They should always put the national interest first. No matter what.
The Chief Minister and the Chief Health Officer just glibly warning us that COVID cases could triple to around 3000 is not an acceptable plan of action to address this rise in infections. This was entirely predictable, and widely predicted, given their ongoing refusal to implement sensible public health measures.
What next? As a third wave of the pandemic rolls inexorably into town, some may wonder if the authorities might as well credential a placebo.
I wonder if those who have criticised Adam Bandt for not standing in front of the Australian flag criticised Scott Morrison for not standing in front of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags.
Christopher Smith's "spray" (Letters, July 5) regarding your informative editorial makes me wonder whether he actually has been to America. It's not as free and fuzzy-feeling as one might think. I find his statement that "there would be no freedom anywhere in the world if it wasn't for the United States" absolutely ridiculous and a complete nonsense.
Has anybody done a DNA test on Scomo and Bojo to see if they're closely related? Or did Scomo lend Bojo his Playbook for Political Survival without telling him most of the plays are duds?
Given the near invisibility of the LNP following their implosion in the wake of the election, the pot shots they are taking on the rare occasions they pop their heads up over the parapet are risible. Dutton's attack on Albo's travel is absurd, as was Sussan Ley's juvenile response to the Jobs and Skills summit.
At the end of this year, I'll be hosting a party for all Canberrans who haven't had COVID. I've reached the point in my planning where I need to organise a venue, so if anyone has a good-sized wardrobe available for hire in December that would be great.
Could I just add to the list in Alison Gerrard's splendid letter on the decline of Canberra (Letters, July 7) that the proposed wilful vandalism of the heritage Himalayan pines in Commonwealth Avenue in favour of the tram to nowhere is completely unconscionable. I don't understand how any responsible government could even consider such an act, let alone one with Green credentials.
I hope we lowered our flags on Tuesday for PM Abe's funeral. What a sad end.
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