When the Sun Shines More Years Than Fear

March 20, 2009

This Friday’s poem is by Janet Frame and comes from An Anthology of Twentieth Century New Zealand Poetry,  selected by Vincent O’Sullivan, published by Oxford University Press, 1976.

When the Sun Shines More Years Than Fear

 

When the sun shines more years than fear

when birds fly more miles than anger

when sky holds more bird

sails more cloud

shines more sun

than the palm of love carries hate,

event hen shall I in this weary

seventy-year banquet say, Sunwaiter,

Birdwaiter, Skywaiter,

I have no hunger,

remove my plate.

 

  – Janet Frame –

 


Falling demand for carpets hits workers

March 20, 2009

Staff at Oamaru’s Summit Woolspinners will learn today what impact a lack of orders will have on their jobs.

That is worrying for them and any job losses will be felt in the wider community.

It is also concerning for farmers because if there is a lack of orders for the wool Summit processes then as the there is also a lack of demand for coarse wool.

As the Dominion Post reports:

The big problem is that strong wool has really only one use – carpets. Some goes into furnishing textiles and some into house insulation, and occasionally an innovative deal, such as wool- coated tennis balls, is made.

But without carpets, New Zealand doesn’t have a wool industry, and it is disturbing to find that in the United States, the world’s biggest market, only 3 per cent of carpets are made of wool.

If only the coarse wool industry could follow the example of merino which has become a sought after product.


Small town drivers meet traffic lights

March 20, 2009

Oamaru’s main street has been a work in progress for months as two roundabouts were removed and replaced with traffic lights. Lights have also been put in at other intersections.

Yesterday the first set of lights was turned on and I didn’t notice anything amiss but a business owner near by told me there had been several instances near misses between drivers and pedestrians.

The ODT spent an hour watching and observed:

One woman driving south on Thames St who drove straight through a red light.

Pedestrians crossing Eden St east who did what they usually did – walked out on to the street without seeing or bothering about the green crossing light.

Motorists doing illegal U-turns on Thames St at the intersection.

Motorists not observing the right-turn light, especially those turning from Eden St.

Pedestrians stopping halfway across Thames St on the island, not realising they could continue crossing on the red flashing pedestrian light.

Some not going into the right-hand turn lane when wanting to turn right, then cutting across those who had waited in the correct lane.

Turning motorists getting stranded in the middle of the intersection when lights turned red.

Left-turning motorists not giving way to those turning right when the light changed to green.

One of the reasons the roundabouts didn’t work as they should have was because local drivers entered the intersections when they couldn’t get through and thus prevent those coming at right angles from getting round.

The list above suggests some drivers will have similar problems with road rules about lights.

The main street is also State Highway 1 which makes it busy and while retailers wouldn’t like it, the best – though expensive – solution would be a by-pass.

But main road or not, the real problem will be the removal of parks from between the trees which bisect the street. Small town drivers are accustomed to being able to park outside or very close to where they want to go and the loss of more than a dozen parks won’t be appreciated.


Fonterra gets gagging writ

March 20, 2009

Fonterra has won a gagging writ to stop a smear campaign against it in Sri Lanka.

Colombo District Court has ordered Mawbima Lanka Padanama (MLP) – a local lobbyist critical of imported foods – from making false statements about Fonterra’s milkpowders, reported the Daily Mirror newspaper in the city.

MLP had claimed Fonterra added non-dairy fat to its milk.

This is a particularly nasty form of anti-competitive behaviour, and given the nervousness about food saftey it is one which is likely to have an impact on consumers.


Does he think they should have two bites?

March 20, 2009

John Turton who runs the Lower Hutt Food Bank has criticised John Key’s suggestion that people who don’t save or spend their tax cuts could give them to charity.

His clients do not qualify for the tax cuts. Most of them get Working for Families payments, disqualifying them from receiving the cuts.

These people are probably getting nearly as much if not more than they pay in tax already so does he think they should have two bites at the public cherry?

Or is he just confused about the difference between tax cuts which allow people to keep a little more of the money they earn and welfare?


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