Home' Greymouth Star : December 10th 2013 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Tuesday, December 10, 2013
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uLetters to the editor
1520 - Martin Luther publicly burns the
Papal Bull excommunicating him from Roman
1845 - e rst pneumatic tyres are patented
by British civil engineer Robert ompson.
1868 - e world's rst tra c
lights begin operation o London's
1878 - Ned Kelly gang robs bank
at Euroa, Victoria, of £2000.
1896 - Alfred Nobel, Swedish
industrialist and inventor of
1899 - British forces are defeated by the
Boers at Stromberg, South Africa.
1902 - e original Aswan Dam, built by the
British to control the Nile oods, is completed.
1936 - King Edward VIII of Britain
abdicates with the intention of marrying
American divorcee Wallis Simpson.
1941 - Japanese planes sink the British
battleships Repulse and Prince of Wales.
1996 - South African President Nelson
Mandela signs a constitution guaranteeing
equal rights to all races.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Ada King Lovelace, English mathematician
and world's rst computer programmer (1815-
1852); Emily Dickinson, US poet (1830-1886);
Rumer Godden, British author
(1907-1986); Dorothy Lamour, US
Billy Dunk, Australian golfer (1938-
); Tommy Kirk, US actor (1941-);
Susan Dey, US actress (1952-);
Kenneth Branagh, British director
(1960-); Meg White, US rock
musician (1974-); Summer Phoenix, American
"I dislike arguments of any kind. ey are
always vulgar, and often convincing."
--- Oscar Wilde, Irish poet, dramatist, author
" ere will be signs in the sun, the moon,
and the stars, and on the earth distress among
nations confused by the roaring of the sea and
the waves." --- (Luke 21:25).
e Director of
has been asked by
the Grey Hospital
Board for an independent investigation of
the local water supply from the health angle.
is information was given to members of the
Greymouth Borough Council at their meeting
last night from a report from the street and
e committee recommended that, in view of
public interest, a request be made to the Health
Department for weekly samples of water to be
taken and tested and analyses made. At present
the samples are taken on a monthly basis for
e view was that this information should be
made public when it came to hand.
A former policemen who spent seven of his
36 years in the force as a senior-sergeant at
Greymouth, has chosen suburban South Beach
as his retirement haven. He is Mr Tom Doole,
who transferred from Greymouth to Auckland
some four years ago with the rank of Inspector.
is rank he will hold until his retirement leave
runs out in January.
Mr and Mrs Doole, who built their South
Beach home some three years before Mr Doole
transferred north, are "quite happy" to be back
on the West Coast. Mr Doole said today: "We
are making the most of this wonderful weather.
Of course there is a bit to do around the
section but we are getting on with it."
ADVERTISEMENT: New Century Fruit
Shop (still opposite the Grey Main) takes on a
new look with modern shopping, easy ser vice
and selection for you. Tomorrow we open
our new drive-in premises designed to o er
customers this ultra modern convenience.
uToday s birthdays
uFood for thought
Printed and published by the
Greymouth Evening Star Co Limited
3 Werita Street, PO Box 3, Greymouth
03 769 7900 (o ce)
769 7913 (editorial)
768 6205 (fax)
Sports Editor Tui Bromley
Chief Reporter Laura Mills
03 769 7913
03 755 8422
In one of the world's best cities
for bicycles, Copenhagen cyclists
are earning a reputation for
recklessness and arrogance,
prompting calls for politicians to
back-pedal on plans to further
boost bike tra c.
Long considered one of Europe's two
'bicycle capitals' along with Amsterdam,
Copenhagen counts more bicycles than
people and 36% of those who work or
study in the Danish city use a bike for
their daily commute.
But as cycling has increased, so has the
number of cyclists barrelling down the
city's pavements, car-free streets and even
train platforms, to the dismay of spooked
" e cyclists aren't very good at sticking
to the rules. ey typically go into
pedestrian areas," Mogens Knudsen,
operations leader of the Copenhagen
police's tra c unit, said.
"If you walk down pedestrian shopping
street Stroeget, you will see cyclists
zigzagging between the people, and they
do so at a high speed," he added.
For years city o cials have prided
themselves on Copenhagen's many
cyclists, receiving politicians and
journalists from around the world to
study the city's infrastructure
and its plans for an even more
ambitious network of "cycle
e current goal is to increase the
number of work and study-related trips
taken by bike to more than 50% of all
journeys by 2015.
While a growing awareness of climate
change and the need to reduce carbon
emissions has made it unpopular to
criticise the ever-growing number of
bicycles on the roads, some are beginning
to speak out.
e backlash has been fuelled by a sharp
rise in deadly cycling accidents this year,
following a decline over several years.
"I think cyclists believe they are above
general tra c rules," said Kjeld Koplev,
a journalist and author whose ankle
and shinbone were crushed in a cycling
accident with a car 11 years ago.
"I think you are more careful in a car
because you know you are the stronger
Others put it more bluntly. Tom
Joergensen, an art critic, irked Danish
cycling enthusiasts last year when he
claimed they were "Copenhagen's number
one tra c problem".
In an op-ed, Joergensen claimed that
people who cycle tend to vote for leftist
parties but once they get on their bikes,
they become raging individualists, caring
little about fellow road users.
"It's nearing anarchy," Joergensen told
"We pedestrians have completely
disappeared from public debate on the
issue. You talk about cyclists and you talk
about motorists but nobody is interested
in those of us who walk on the streets,"
"If you ask elderly people, I'm sure
they will agree with what I say: that the
biggest problem in Copenhagen isn't the
drivers, it's the cyclists, who are extremely
Mikael le Dous, chairman of the Danish
Pedestrian Association, said bully cyclists
have created an atmosphere of fear and
intimidation for people on foot.
"Nine out of 10 of those who contact us
do so because of frustration and fear over
these bully cyclists. ey feel scared and
there are some areas they avoid because
of this," he said.
But pedestrians are not the only ones
complaining. Car owners too have begun
to push back against what they see as
policies that discriminate against them in
favour of cyclists.
Ahead of November's local election in
Copenhagen, the centre-right Liberal
Alliance party campaigned under the
slogan: "A city for all --- motorists too."
e left-wing Red-Green Alliance
responded with posters displaying the
back of a bus and the text: "Cars to the
e party's top candidate, Morten
Kabell, won the powerful position of
mayor for technical and environmental
a airs --- putting him in charge of tra c
and urban planning.
Although something of an anti-car
crusader, Kabell admitted that some
cyclists needed to change their ways.
"It's true that many cyclists forget their
manners and that's a cultural problem,"
"I think a lot of it comes down to there
not being enough room in tra c for the
number of cyclists there should be. If we
get more and wider cycling lanes, we can
also solve this problem with ruthlessness."
It's a policy that's unlikely to win him
any friends at the Danish association of
car owners, FDM.
"Politicians have a clear goal to make
it less attractive to be a car driver in
Copenhagen," said Torben Lund Kudsk, a
spokesman for the group.
ey had done so by "widening cycling
lanes, narrowing car lanes, introducing
special bus lanes, closing streets to tra c
and removing parking spaces", he noted.
Kudsk said cars would continue to
compete with cyclists for space until there
was a viable alternative for commuters
driving into the capital.
Journalist Koplev, who has not been
able to cycle since his accident, suggested
a more radical solution.
"If you took the cars out of the city, you
could cycle all you want."
Cyclists make their way through the streets of Copenhagen.
When Mohammad Hamedi Rad arrived
in the United States last year, he carried
his Iranian passport, a hard-won student
visa and a backpack containing $14,000
in hundred dollar bills, because there was
no simpler way of getting money into the
"It was scary," Hamedi Rad, a
chemical engineering graduate student
at the University of Illinois at Urbana-
Champaign, said of his late-night arrival
in Chicago, where he declared the funds to
airport customs o cials. "I've never carried
that much money before. I was extremely
Hamedi Rad's experience is by no means
unheard of among many of the thousands
of high-achieving, mostly middle-class
young Iranians who are coming to the
United States to study in increasing
numbers despite United States and
international sanctions on their homeland.
After gaining admission, they must
navigate a way around sanctions on
Iranian banks that make direct legal
wire transfers to the west a practical
impossibility, impeding the students'
ability to pay tuition or transfer money for
living expenses. Obtaining a US visa adds
to the logistical hurdles and a depreciated
Iranian rial means money can be tight.
e hardships facing Iranian students
in the United States and elsewhere were
spotlighted after a clause aimed at aiding
them appeared in a landmark deal struck
last month between Iran and world powers
on curbing its nuclear programme.
"Many students are su ering," said
Tony Akhlaghi, who has served as faculty
adviser to a Persian cultural club at
Bellevue College, outside of Seattle. " ey
cannot get money from home, and the
price of the dollar makes things very hard."
Under the interim agreement, Iran
agreed to halt its most sensitive nuclear
activity in return for a six-month respite
from some of the sanctions that have
crippled its economy.
As part of the bargain, the United
States and its partners agreed to open up
a channel between Iranian and foreign
banks to enable "direct tuition payments
to universities and colleges for Iranian
students studying abroad."
At the time of the Iranian Revolution
in 1979, more than 51,000 Iranians were
studying in the United States, far more
students than from any other nation,
according to gures provided by the
Institute of International Education (IIE).
With relations between the countries in
a deep freeze, that gure fell precipitously
to a low of fewer than 1700 by 1999. Since
then, Iranian students have been steadily
returning to the United States, the IIE
is year, 8744 Iranians are in the
United States on student visas, more than
at any time since the late 1980s. Most
are graduate students, many focusing on
math and science, who are more likely
than undergraduates to receive stipends
covering a portion of their tuition and
But the return of Iranian students has
not come without hiccups. Students must
travel out of Iran to acquire a visa because
Washington has no embassy in Tehran. In
Hamedi Rad's case, it entailed travelling
twice to Dubai, waiting 111 days and
arriving at school a month late.
Additionally, the Iranian rial lost about
two-thirds of its value against the US
dollar over the 18 months to late 2012,
e ectively wiping out years of Iranian
family savings. It has since recovered some
ground and stabilised.
Last month's nuclear deal o ers the
potential for tangible help for Iranian
students, authorising $400 million in
state assets frozen abroad to be used for
tuition payments to foreign colleges and
universities over the six-month period,
according to a White House fact sheet.
Precisely how, when and perhaps even
whether that money will be spent will
be the subject of discussions this week
in Vienna, when Iran and major powers
begin talking about how to implement
the accord, according to a US o cial who
spoke on condition of anonymity.
Iranian students are hopeful the deal
will help ease their woes, although it was
not immediately clear that it would help
students already in the United States to
transfer private funds to pay for their
e Iranian Interests Section in the
Pakistani embassy in Washington did not
immediately respond to questions.
Saghi Modjtabai, executive director of
the Public A airs Alliance of Iranian
Americans, said that in the middle of
last year her group began hearing from
nancially strapped students who were late
on tuition payments and struggling to pay
for essentials like food and rent.
After surveying nearly 1000 Iranian
students in the United States, her group
found over 90% were in nancial di culty.
Her group and the IIE last spring raised
over $100,000 and negotiated tuition and
meal plan deals with schools across the
country for 67 students on the cusp of
attaining their degrees.
Among those given support was Ali
Samadian, a petroleum engineering
graduate student at Texas Tech University,
who said in a thank-you letter that
without the help he would have been
forced to leave the country short of
completing his master's degree.
"I was nancially in trouble and I was
so worried that it was also a ecting my
performance at school," he wrote. "But
now that I have your generous support
I feel relieved and I can focus on my
education as e ectively as possible."
Still, many more students were left
without needed assistance, Modjtabai said.
Some dropped out and returned home,
while others may have found work beyond
what the terms of their student visas allow.
"I continue to get e-mail from students
who are back in the same place in terms of
their nancial hardship," she said.
Cash-strapped Iranian students struggling in the United States
A Hollywood movie star and
a two All Black brothers have
helped launch a campaign raising
awareness of New Zealand's
second most deadly cancer.
Twenty-two well-known Kiwis,
including Nigel Latta, All Blacks
Owen and Ben Franks, Sam
Neill and Sir Douglas Myers, are
urging people to get over their
awkwardness and talk about bowel
It claims 1200 lives each year ---
four times the number of people
killed in road crashes --- but is
rarely talked about because of its
Beat Bowel Cancer Aotearoa
says the death toll doesn't need to
be so high because bowel cancer
can be treated successfully if
" e tragic thing is that 75% of
cases are curable if caught early,
but too many Kiwis are dying
because they're not willing to
discuss their symptoms," chief
executive Megan Smith said.
Only 55% of people diagnosed
with bowel cancer, also known as
colorectal or colon cancer, survive
more than ve years.
In other OECD countries
which have national screening
programmes, the survival rate is
e "I give a crap" campaign is
aimed at sparking conversations
about bowel cancer and its
symptoms, a subject avoided by
Clinical psychologist and tv
personality Nigel Latta urged
people to talk about "number
twos" particularly if there was a
family history of bowel cancer.
"My dad died of bowel cancer.
I wish he'd talked about his
symptoms sooner, because then
my boys might still have their
e campaign video on You Tube
has had more than 5500 views and
Mrs Smith is encouraging people
to spread the word by liking
the campaign on Facebook and
posting comments on Twitter.
A link to the video, which
encourages open conversation
about warning signs among
friends and family when they
get together this Christmas, was
tweeted by Sonny Bill Williams,
who has more than 330,000
A $31 million bowel cancer
screening pilot programme started
in the Waitemata District Health
Board region in October 2011.
rough it, 75 people have been
diagnosed with the cancer.
But no national screening
programme likely until 2021, and
Mrs Smith said 10,000 more New
Zealanders would die in that time
from bowel cancer.
People worried about bowel
cancer can buy the same tester
kit used by the DHB from any
pharmacy or go to a GP.
--- New Zealand Herald
New Zealanders urged to be upfront on No 2 cancer
Nigel Latta is one of many New Zealanders urging people to get over their awkwardness and talk about
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