Home' Greymouth Star : January 9th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Friday, January 9, 2015
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uLetters to the editor
1324 - Death of Italian explorer Marco Polo.
1793 - French aeronaut Jean-Pierre
Blanchard makes the first balloon flight over
the North American continent.
1799 - British Prime Minister William Pitt
(the Younger) introduces income tax at two
shillings in the pound to raise funds for the
1806 - Lord Nelson, mortally
wounded in the hour of the British
fleet ’s victory at Trafalgar in October
1805, is buried at St Paul’s Cathedral
1868 - Last transportation of
convicts to Australia: to Fremantle,
Western Australia, where ship
Hougoumont arrives with 279 prisoners.
1902 - Legislation is introduced in New York
to outlaw flirting in public.
1965 - An estimated 500 people suspected
of being rebels are executed by Congo
government forces in Stanleyville in six weeks
since city was retaken.
1973 - White-ruled Rhodesia closes its
borders with Zambia to try to cut off black
1978 - Islamic revolution erupts in Iran.
1997 - Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak
inaugurates a pumping station designed to
send Nile river waters west from Nasser Lake
to create a second river valley for Egypt’s
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Pope Gregory XV (Allesandro Ludovisi)
(1554-1623); Thomas Warton, English
poet laureate (1728-1790); Karel Capek,
Czechoslovak author (1890-1938); Dame
Gracie Fields, English entertainer
(1898-1979); Simone de Beauvoir,
French novelist and critic (1908-
1986); Richard Nixon, US president
(1913-1994); Sekou Toure, first
president of Guinea (1922-1984);
Brian Harradine, Australian politician
(1935-2014); Joan Baez, US folk
singer (1941-); Jimmy Page, British
rock musician (1944-); Crystal Gayle, US
singer (1951-); Joely Richardson, British actress
(1965-); Dave Matthews, US musician (1967-);
Catherine, D uchess of Cambridge (1982-).
“Those who give have all things. They who
withhold have nothing.” — Hindu proverb
“ Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke
Him.” — Mark 8:32
At 7.15 this
morning a man had
a miraculous escape
from serious injury
and the Christchurch trotter Wayren was badly
hurt when a car and horse float hit two cars
and uprooted a telegraph pole at Wallsend.
The driver and sole occupant is also Wayren’s
owner, Mr William Edward Taylor of Ilam
He was returning to Christchurch after the
final night of the Greymouth Trotting Club’s
mid-summer carnival yesterday and en route to
the Timaru Trotting Club’s meeting tomorrow.
After the accident Mr Taylor told an Evening
Star reporter that Wayren — if it sur vived the
trip back to Christchurch — would not be
racing for a long time.
The accident happened on a straight stretch
of road about 100 yards north of the Wallsend
Hotel. Mr Taylor stepped from the wreck
with a slight laceration on his head. Wayren
was trapped inside the smashed horse float
but got to his feet when released. He had two
bad gashes to his throat and was still bleeding
when put on another horse float for the return
Despite efforts of local residents they were
unable to obtain the ser vices of a veterinary
For the second time vandals have vigorously
attacked the composite tiles beneath the
display windows of Mr Glyn Jones’ menswear
shop in Tainui Street. A Greymouth police
constable discovered the damage to the tiles on
Wednesday night. The CIB is investigating.
Someone has systematically kicked the black
glass-like tiles beneath all the windows in the
entranceway until they broke and fell away.
uFood for thought
Printed and published by the
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3 Werita Street, PO Box 3, Greymouth
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769 7913 (editorial)
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03 755 8422
he American Red Cross
risks damaging the
reputation of the global
Red Cross brand because
of its refusal to stop
accepting donations from
tobacco companies, a top official with the
humanitarian network said.
These concerns are prompting the
International Red Cross and public health
organisations to press the United States
group to end its longtime policy of taking
tobacco money, Reuters has learned.
The International Red Cross, which
recently rolled out a global disease
prevention programme with a strong anti-
smoking component, has not accepted
tobacco donations since 2008. Most of
the group’s 189 national affiliates do not
accept money either, but the powerful US
member does, as do about half a dozen
other countries, including Germany,
Russia and Vietnam.
While precise figures are not available,
the American Red Cross and its US
affiliates have received at least
$12 million from tobacco companies such
as Altria Group, Reynolds American
and Philip Morris International since
2001, according to Red Cross tax records
and tobacco company press releases and
An American Red Cross spokeswoman,
Laura Howe, declined to comment on
the dispute with its parent body — whose
guidelines are not binding on its affiliates
— but said it was happy to accept any
funds that support its efforts to assist
disaster victims. She also declined to say
how much it received from each company.
International Red Cross officials say that
by accepting the donations, the US group
risks damaging not only its own reputation
but that of the entire global humanitarian
network. Some public health advocates
agree, saying there is a contradiction
between the Red Cross’s mandate to aid
the vulnerable and its acceptance of money
from an industry whose product may cause
Matthias Schmale, under-secretary
general for the International Federation
of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies,
said officials have talked with American
Red Cross officials and asked them to
drop the tobacco funding.
“ We have been very clear about the
potential reputational damage not just
for them but for all of us,” Schmale said
in a telephone inter view from Geneva.
“So far we have not taken the route of
public condemnation. We want to respect
that they are an important supporter of
He said the parent body would continue
“to put pressure” on the American Red
Cross to change its policy, although he
would not say what form that pressure
Despite the controversy, there has been
little public debate about the donations.
The dispute between the American Red
Cross and its parent body has not been
reported until now.
How the dispute is resolved could be felt
beyond the American Red Cross. Anti-
tobacco activists hope that if the US group
bows to pressure, it could influence other
nonprofits to reject millions of dollars in
John Stewart of Corporate
Accountability International, a watchdog
group, said if the American Red Cross
stopped accepting tobacco money it would
undercut the tobacco industry’s global
public relations strategy to gloss over its
Critics argue that by accepting donations
from tobacco interests, the organisation,
one of the largest charities in the United
States with 2013 revenue of $3.4 billion, is
muddying its public health mission while
providing the tobacco industry with a
Major US and European tobacco
companies including Reynolds American,
Altria and Lorillard as well as Philip
Morris International and British
American Tobacco Plc acknowledged the
donations and said they were among some
of the millions of dollars they give away.
“ When there are important disasters, and
people have significant needs, that is the
right thing for corporations to do,” said
Altria spokesman David Sylvia.
Howe, the American Red Cross
spokeswoman, said in an email that all
donations “are important to the American
Red Cross and the disaster victims they
assist. ” “Collectively, donations of all
amounts allow us to provide disaster
victims with food, shelter and emotional
Asked about any pressure from the
international body to stop taking money
from tobacco interests, Howe said: “As
a matter of practice, we don’t share the
details of private conversations between
Red Cross officials.”
The International Red Cross has been
encouraging its US member to drop the
funding since 2008, but it stepped up the
pressure in 2014 after implementing a new
healthy living programme that includes
Pressure on the American Red Cross
is coming on other fronts as well. On
December 19, some of the largest US
public health advocacy organisations,
including the Public Health Law Centre
and Action on Smoking and Health,
wrote to American Red Cross President
Gail McGovern, urging the organisation
to stop taking tobacco donations.
“The Red Cross/Red Crescent
Movement is respected around the world
for protecting life, health and human
dignity,” the letter said. “ To lend its
enormous credibility, connection and
influence to an industry that sells and
promotes a product that kills six million
people a year is a serious violation of the
most basic principles of public health.”
The American Red Cross would not
comment on the letter, which has not been
made public before.
The tobacco money represents a steady
but small percentage of the American Red
Cross’s annual contributions — it took in
more than $1b in donations in fiscal 2013.
Tobacco companies have been donating
to the American Red Cross in some
instances as far back as the 1960s, but
confirming the size and dates of donations
made before 2001 is difficult because
historical documents are not easily
The Red Cross may take the money
from tobacco companies because like most
non-profit groups it is under pressure to
raise money each year for its general fund
whether or not there is a disaster that
brings in donations, Ken Berger, president
and chief executive of Charity Navigator,
which rates charities for donors, said.
“One reality is no matter what size a
non-profit (organisation) is, they are
usually strapped for cash,” he said. “ To
have money that is unrestricted and could
be used for general operations are the
most precious (donations).”
Altria’s Sylvia said it has donated to
the organisation for decades and now
contributes $500,000 annually to the
American Red Cross annual disaster
giving programme. It also has provided
many one-time donations after specific
Reynolds American, its foundation
and subsidiaries have given more than
$1 million to the American Red Cross
during the last five years, according to the
company. Philip Morris International has
given $123,000 since 2008. — Reuters
A cigarette smoker stands in the designated smoking area across from the National Headquarters of the American Red Cross in Washington.
Risk to Red Cross seen in tobacco company donations
The recent release by Tb-Free NZ/Ospri
of Tb-infected herd figures shows there is
still considerable confusion within those
In December 2013, Tb Free announced
there were 100 Tb-infected herds in
New Zealand. In November 2014, we
were told (Central South Island Farmer
newspaper) that the total herd numbers
had dropped “from 91 to 72 in the
past year”. Why can that original total
number suddenly change from 100 to
In another Ospri release (Southern Rural
Life, December 3, 2014), we are told by
Dr Stu Hutchings there were only 65 Tb-
infected herds in September 2014. Were
the six newly infected Southland herds
part of the 65 herds mentioned? What is
the new total number — 65 or 72?
The Animal Health Board’s Nick
Hancox announced on Radio NZ
(February 3, 2009) that after spending
$50 million over 10 years, Southland cattle
herds were free of Tb. That lasted just
over a year; a cow moved from the West
Coast tested positive to Tb. $50 million
of taxpayers’ money just went down the
In June 2014, Tb Free Southland
announced that five herds were infected
with Tb — three by either possums or
stoats, no mention how the other two were
infected. To me, that automatically means
it was by herd movement. After being
questioned on these figures we were given
the truth by Tb Free Southland. There
were now six herds infected -three by
ferrets and three by herd movement.
The much maligned possum, and stoat,
had nothing to do with it.
Tb Free trapping had caught 11 Tb
positive ferrets over 18 months. In the
North Canterbury paper The News ( July
17, 2014), there was a release from Tb
Action North Canterbury-Marlborough.
In that it was noted ‘while ferrets pass Tb
to deer and cattle, it is not possible for
cost- effective control of them’.
With herd movement being a major
vector for new Tb infection in herds and
Tb-infected ferrets not considered as cost-
effective to control why do the people of
New Zealand put up with this confused
incompetency from Tb Free NZ/Ospri?
Family tree surprises
On December 19 there was an article
on the Salem witch trials. To many people
this is just a story that happened a long
time ago. No one knows their personal
stories so shrug it off.
Here is a true and very sad story of Alice
(Harris) Lake, executed in Boston in
1650, aged 30 years. Alice Harris, at the
age of 19, became pregnant. As she was
single Alice tried to self-abort Elizabeth.
Thankfully, it did not work. Alice went on
to marry Henry Lake and have four more
When their last girl was born she only
lived a few months. Alice grieved for her
wee girl as all good mums would. One
night her daughter came to her in a dream.
Unfortunately for Alice, she told two other
women in the village. They said the devil
came to her in the guise of her daughter.
On the day of Alice’s execution she
was given the chance to deny she was a
witch. Alice did not as she believed God
was punishing her for having sex before
marriage. After Alice was killed, Henry
fled to Rhode Island where he remarried
and had more children.
Elizabeth became a maid to her uncle
at the age of 10. The other siblings were
taken in by other villagers. They did not
see Henry for over 20 years.
Alice was my ninth and 10th
great-grandmother. When my great-
grandparents married the two lines
connected. It is possible Beyonce Knowles
is also a descendant.
Behind these ‘stories’ are real people
whose lives ended tragically and without
Hospital pay packets
I was reading the recent article about
DHB big pay packets. Pay packets do
not always reflect the training and ser vice
Locums and part-time staff can
negotiate $100,000-plus salaries for
shorter hours. For a big pay packet a
senior doctor providing on-site full-time
specialty ser vices is usually expected
to have worked under super vision and
undergone a training programme totalling
about 15 years (including medical school
Hours committed to work for a senior
doctor on 1 in 3 on-call roster averages
to about 80 hours a week. The fact is
that on-call commitments working in
a small hospital are greater than in a
large hospital. An on-call senior doctor
is supposed to be available within a few
minutes of being called and usually should
see an admitted patient within hours of
arrival. The patient should be seen more
than once a day if the need deman ds. In
larger hospitals, responsibility for patient
care and junior staff super vision can be
delegated to trainees in specialty, on-site
senior accident and emergency staff and
on-site ICU staff.
The article and the evidence presented
at the recent coroner’s case of one patient
questions how wisely the big pay packets
are used. Despite arriving in hospital in
the afternoon this patient did not get seen
by a ward senior doctor till 18 hours after
arrival and then the misdiagnosis was not
corrected. Two of the misdiagnosed and
mistreated problems were an infection
and heart failure. These are two of the
commonest treatable medical problems,
yet he was not seen by a senior doctor
approaching necessary scope of expertise
till nine days after admission. It makes you
wonder how many other misdiagnosis go
unreported and contribute to unnecessary
disability or suffering.
Thank God for
Thank you for an opportunity to ‘thank’
the people around us who volunteer — for
the glory of these people is that they give
of their time and talents to help, wherever
and whenever they can. They are in the
front line of defence for our safety and
peace of mind, e.g. Fire Ser vice, St John
ambulance, search and rescue, Victim
Support, Rape Crisis, Women’s Refuge —
the list is endless.
It is people like that who gladden the
hearts and minds, and welfare (think
Meals on Wheels, Home Hospice,
hospital visitors, etc) of those they ser ve
and help. To find another branch of their
kindness flowering is akin to the warmth
of the sun after a cold winter — a season
of clear sunshine to warm us after rain.
To realise that these ‘angels’ are
volunteers in so many ways is to discover
that truth is beauty and goodness. How
many of us have been helped by these
quiet unassuming people? How many lives
have they touched?
To this silent army, forever keeping on
keeping on, ‘thank you’ — your numbers
are unknown but your deeds shine as you
go your myriad ways.
After all is done and dusted, how
on earth would New Zealand manage
without the volunteers? For the
government is pitiless, mercenary, uncaring
and totally corrupt — obviously.
Your article of December 24 re the poll
on Greymouth renewal refers,
The person who thought this one up was
looking for the answer they required. Why
December 24, I feel is significant. Perhaps
they are trying to tell us the floodwall
funds have been spent elsewhere.
To bracket a perhaps life-destroying
situation, with stardust wishes, I cannot
understand why someone would do this.
Not only is it bracketed with the stardust
wishes, it is there twice.
Furthermore, the floodwall has been paid
for by the ratepayer. To have an honest
vote all items should be equal.
Without the floodwall — which the
ratepayers paid for and at this stage are
still waiting for the completion of — their
so-called Opus plan for the Greymouth
central business district would be another
Somewhere I heard that the original loan
to build the floodwall, taken out in 1990,
was for 25 years. So when was the last
instalment paid, so we all can look for ward
to the reduction in our rates?
You mention upgrade in your article.
Isn’t this what someone has been taken
from the ratepayer $100,000 a year for
and I believe still are? Although I will
admit the council knew it was too much
so cut it back to half last year, $50,000.
So $100,000 x 25 years = $2,500,000,
and that is an awful lot of money to do
I gained the impression somewhere that
the original floodwall cost about this same
figure to build, $2,500,000. Since then
we have the third lot of paying for the
extension. This is the third hand they have
extended into the pockets of the ratepayer.
There you have it Mr /Mrs Spin Doctor.
My name is Trevor Molloy, what did you
say yours was?
In the next episode of soap, the question
we have to look at is, the Government
and Christchurch council are looking at
compensation for the depression of prices
of homes which have been flooded in
Christchurch. Depression of homes in
Cobden — this depression of prices flows
on to every home in the area.
Happy New Year to all.
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