Home' Greymouth Star : February 5th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Wednesday, February 5, 2014
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uLetters to the editor
1811 - British Regency Act is passed,
whereby the Prince of Wales becomes Prince
Regent during King George III's temporary
1862 - e United States issues its rst
"greenback" bills, nicknamed for
1869 - Nugget known as e
Welcome Stranger, yielding
69.92 kg of pure gold, is found at
1922 - Reader's Digest begins
publication in New York.
1941 - Death of Australian poet
Andrew Barton 'Banjo' Paterson.
1958 - Gamel Abdel Nasser is formally
nominated to become the rst president of the
new United Arab Republic.
1985 - Spain reopens the border with
Gibraltar, ending a 16-year siege imposed by
1989 - Rupert Murdoch launches Sky
Television in Britain.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Sir Robert Peel, English statesman (1788-
1850); John Boyd Dunlop, Scottish inventor
of the pneumatic rubber tyre (1840-1921);
Andreas Papandreou, rst Greek socialist
prime minister (1919-1996); Red
Buttons, US comedian (1919-2006);
Frank Muir, British comedy writer
(1920-1997); Charlotte Rampling,
British actress (1946-); Barbara
Hershey, US actress (1948-);
Jennifer Jason Leigh, US actress
(1962-); Laura Linney, US actress
(1964-); Du McKagan, US rock musician of
Guns n' Roses fame (1964-); Bobby Brown,
US singer (1969-); Crown Princess Mary of
"Many excellent words are ruined by too
de nite a knowledge of their meaning."
--- Aline Kilmer, American poet (1888-1941).
"Here is the Lamb of God who takes away
the sin of the world!" --- ( John 1:29).
A suggestion that
the north tiphead
could be developed
as a tourist vantage
point was made at last night's meeting of the
Westland District Progress League by Mr W
D Taylor. Mr Taylor said that it would be hard
to equal the view from that point anywhere else
in Greymouth. e view extended for some
miles along the beach in both directions and
right to the Southern Alps.
He suggested, however, that some
improvement would be needed to the road
access before full use could be made of it.
ere was an urgent need for improvements
to the upper Buller Gorge, said Mr C R
Rollinson at last night's meeting of the
Westland District Progress League. He
pointed out that Buller organisations were
making representations to have improvements
undertaken and suggested that the league could
well interest itself in the matter.
" is is a matter that a ects the whole of
the West Coast," he said. He was referring
particularly to the stretch of road between
Inangahua Junction and Murchison known as
Dublin Terrace. Mr W D Taylor agreed with
Mr Rollinson and said that that road was going
to be "a shocking bottleneck" when the Haast
Pass road was in operation.
No organisms dangerous to human health
have been traced in the town's water supply in
a series of 33 regular tests carried out by the
Greymouth Hospital laboratory. But on four
days there was evidence of some pollution from
e town clerk Mr N E Clemens said the
results did assure the public that the water was
satisfactory for normal purposes.
uToday s birthdays
uFood for thought
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Sports Editor Tui Bromley
Chief Reporter Laura Mills
03 769 7913
03 755 8422
Williams hit the
red carpet at the
Grammy Awards, all
the talk should have
been on his seven
Instead, discussion soon turned to and
continues to focus on Williams' awkwardly
large brown hat.
Sparking an uproar on Twitter (the hat
has its own account now), users began
sharing memes comparing the hat to those
worn by the likes of Smokey Bear, Woody
from Toy Story and the Royal Canadian
Williams has since stated that the hat
was in fact, a Bu alo hat by famed designer
No matter what the origin or inspiration
of Williams' hat, there is no denying that
it has cemented its place in pop culture
history, just like many other hats before it.
Here are ve other famous toppers that
have left lasting imprints in our minds and
in the history books.
Jacqueline Kennedy's pillbox hat
An iconic image in American history,
the pink pillbox hat and suit that Jackie
Kennedy wore the day that President John
F Kennedy was assassinated have often
been described as symbolising the essence
of Camelot and the death of it.
Sadly, the whereabouts of the hat are
unknown to this day.
Left with the Secret Service, the hat was
given to Mrs Kennedy's personal secretary
and has not been seen since that tragic day.
e rst lady was often credited for
bringing the pillbox hat into style,
beginning with the blue version she wore
to her husband's inauguration. e hat was
made by the designer Halston, who at that
time was almost a complete unknown.
Heisenberg's porkpie hat
As the antihero of the Emmy-winning
series Breaking Bad, Walter White's
transformation from a lowly chemistry
teacher into the meth lord known as
Heisenberg kept faithful viewers on the
edge of their seats in anticipation week
Part of that transformation? A black
porkpie hat that White began donning
after he shaved his head midway through
the rst season. Now, much like his
signature blue meth, the hat has become a
calling card for the popular tv character.
Looking to nab your own version of the
famous porkpie? Goorin Bros, which made
all the hats worn by Bryan Cranston on the
show, have now made the famous headwear
available for purchase to the public for
a cool $170. Loose change if you are
pocketing Heisenberg-level money.
Aretha Franklin's inauguration cloche
Upstaging the inauguration of the rst
African-American president of the United
States is no easy feat, but if anyone came
close to doing so in 2009 it was the Queen
of Soul and her eye-catching hat.
Made by Detroit milliner Luke Song,
Franklin's custom grey felt cloche featured
an outrageously oversized bow (outlined
with rhinestones no less) that kept everyone
talking well after the event had taken place.
Post-inauguration, Franklin's famous hat
has continued to live on. Not only has it
inspired a Facebook page,
which at last check has over
91,000 likes, but pop star
Katy Perry even carried a
miniature version of the hat
when she attended President
Obama's second inauguration
ose wanting to see the
famous hat up close need not
fret. It currently resides in the
Smithsonian in Washington,
DC. Indiana Jones'
No matter where Indiana
Jones' travels took him, his felt
fedora was sure to always be
xed right atop his head (an
amazing feat when you think
about how much running he
Unlike the many mass-
produced versions available
on the internet, Jones' fedora
originally belonged to a
treasure hunter named Garth
who gave the hat to him
when Indy was a young boy.
Along with his leather whip,
Jones' hat remains one of
the most iconic symbols in
cinema today. In 1989, Lucas
Films and actor Harrison
Ford donated the character's leather jacket
and fedora to the Smithsonian. Ten years
later, the whip was added.
Princess Beatrice's fascinator
It is no secret that the British are crazy
about their ashy headwear. But when
Princess Beatrice stepped out in April 2011
for her cousin Prince William's nuptials to
Kate Middleton, her wedding day hat took
ashy to a whole other level.
Designed by famous milliner Philip
Treacy (who has also made hats for Sarah
Jessica Parker and Lady Gaga), Beatrice's
sculptural bow fascinator drew comparisons
ranging from a toilet seat to a pretzel to an
In the end, all the attention the hat
drew paid o in a big way when it was
auctioned o for charity for $148,435.
Jackie Kennedy wears a pillbox hat the day President Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas.
Americans love their local shopping
malls. People eat there, buy clothes there
and some suspect teenagers may actually
live there. So perhaps it was just a matter
of time until funeral homes began moving
in.Over the past two years, Forest Lawn
has been quietly putting movable kiosks
in several of the malls that dot Southern
e move, by one of the funeral
industry's best known operators, expands
on a marketing innovation that appears
to have begun at the dawn of the decade
when a company called Til We Meet
Again began opening co n stores around
"We try to reach our audience where
they are at and the mall is a great way to
do that," said Ben Sussman, spokesman
for Forest Lawn, whose cemeteries count
among their permanent residents such
notables as Walt Disney, Elizabeth Taylor
and Michael Jackson.
"And it's also, perhaps, a way to reach
people who might be a little leery about
coming directly into one of our parks,"
As to why folks would be leery about
that, industry o cials acknowledge the
answer is obvious: Who really wants to
enter a funeral home even one day before
they have to?
"Funeral planning is something
everybody knows they must do, but at the
same time it's something nobody wants to
do," said Robert Fells, executive director
of the International Cemetery, Cremation
and Funeral Association.
"Nobody gets up on a Saturday morning
and says, 'Gee, it's a nice day. I wonder if
I can go out and get myself a burial plot,"'
But if they are strolling past a funeral
outlet at the mall, where they are
surrounded by happy, lively people and
maybe clutching a bag of Mrs Field's
cookies, the thought is that they will feel
"When they're going to the mall, people
are not going out of need," said Nathan
Smith, co-founder and chief executive of
Til We Meet Again, which has outlets
in malls in Arizona, Louisiana, Kansas,
Indiana and Texas.
So if they do happen to see a place
peddling co ns or urns while they are
pricing t-shirts and hoodies, Smith said, it
will look far less intimidating.
Forest Lawn's e ort began modestly,
with just one kiosk (one of those movable
things that usually sell stu like calendars
or ties) in a mall in the Los Angeles
suburb of Eagle Rock.
When no one was creeped out, the
programme expanded to about a
half-dozen malls. Now Forest Lawn
periodically shu es them from one mall
to another to reach the largest audience.
Unlike the people at other such stations,
who can seem like carnival barkers as they
walk right up to you and hawk discount
calling plans or free yoghurt samples,
Forest Lawn's operators are more
At the entrance to a Macy's department
in the Los Angeles suburb of Arcadia last
year, operators were quick to smile and
hand out brochures when approached.
But they kept their distance until people
came to them.
It was the same at a mall in Glendale
on a recent day, where people stopped
to examine cremation urns ranging from
one with a subdued design of leaves to
another that brightly featured the logo
for the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball
Also on display was a recruiting
poster for potential future Forest Lawn
employees, complete with a picture of
the great Dodgers pitcher Fernando
Valenzuela, who urged them to consider
"joining a winning team."
Still, not everyone is thrilled with the
"You're in a shopping mall and you're
walking along and there's a funeral place?"
retired high-school teacher Stan Slome
said incredulously. " at sounds too
After thinking it over, however, he
acknowledged it is something that could
At age 86, Slome said, he gets his share
of mail from funeral operators inviting
him to seminars at local restaurants,
where he can have a meal on them while
he hears a pitch on why he should use
their services when he exits this mortal
He does not care for that either, he said,
but he gures somebody is attending
If the mall e ort catches on, said
Jessica Koth of the National Funeral
Directors Association, credit the ageing
baby boomer generation at least in part.
Historically, people have not wanted to
talk, or even think, about their demise.
But baby boomers, the oldest of whom
are pushing 70, are di erent. Many are
beginning to press for so-called green
funerals that do not require the use of
co ns or burial vaults, Koth said. Others
want custom-made co ns or urns that say
something about who they were.
at often means something that
represents a favourite car or sports team,
said Smith of Til We Meet Again. He
pointed out he even got a request once
for a co n built to resemble a portable
toilet --- from a guy whose company made
With that mindset, could going to the
mall and planning the whole deal just
steps away from the merry-go-round
really be that unusual?
American funeral outlets head to the mall
A funeral outlet's display in a mall in Glendale, California.
It was with great sadness that I said
'goodbye' to my granddad, Jim Keenan, at
He was always a kind, gentle man, a
loving and patient grandfather and great-
grandfather to my two children, Lily and
I am writing to say 'thank you' for the
lovely tribute in your recent article. I have
always known that he was involved and
recognised for his community work, but
as he was a humble man I never quite
realised the extent of his contribution to
Hokitika and Westland.
e vast number of people who attended
his service is also testament to that.
As I live in Dunedin it was sad leaving
Hokitika for home, but I also feel
immensely proud that I can always come
back and see the legacy that he has left.
ank you again.
Anoushka Ballantyne (nee Keenan)
Pike River hero
In Monday's edition of the Greymouth
Star it was great to read that the 11 young
people who jumped into the Kakanui
River to save a mate from drowning
were rewarded for their bravery, and well
To date, I do not believe any such
recognition has been given to Daniel
Rockhouse for his heroic actions that
ultimately saved a workmate from certain
death, on November 19, 2010, at the
Pike River Mine. It has been over three
years now and still Daniel has not been
Daniel had a couple of choices that day,
either to walk out of the mine and save
himself or try to rescue others. He chose
the latter. rough his sel essness he made
one less widow that day. He gave that
miner's children their dad back.
Daniel is a true hero and he must be
recognised as such
e 1080 madness
I suppose we can expect to see the kea
pushed closer to extinction with the latest
decision to increase 1080 poisoning this
Why does DOC think bird repellant
will stop kea from being killed? Kea are
hunters and scavengers --- mice dying
from 1080 will be the easiest ones to catch.
e same probably applies to falcons,
moreporks and weka.
As 1080 is an insecticide, every year it
kills insect-eating birds --- robins, tomtits
and fantails. We will not see any statistics
as most of these birds will die unseen in
I used to have fantails regularly visiting
my garden for the fruit ies around my
compost. Since 1080 has been used on the
Cobden Hills I have not seen any.
Can someone from DOC tell me what
the nal breakdown products of 1080
are, as it is very di cult to nd this
information? One source claims that it
breaks down into sodium bicarbonate
and methyl uoride. If this is true,
then why are we not worried about
increasing the ozone hole, as methyl
uoride is an ozone eater? Are our
children to inherit higher rates of
deadly melanomas as a result?
What is the long term e ect of
saturating our forests (adapted to acid
soils) to repeated doses of sodium
1080 poisoning is wrong on so many
levels. It is morally wrong to subject so
many creatures to such a cruel, slow death.
We know for sure that it kills native birds
every time, while DOC claims to be
protecting them. It is taking a huge risk
with forest ecosystems.
ere are always accidental poisonings
of livestock and people's pets --- cats and
dogs; to witness the horri c su ering of
these loved family members is hugely
Mother Earth is already dying under
a toxic overload. Future generations will
wonder how we could have been so stupid
and so cruel.
$600,000 legal bill
e response by the Grey District
Council chief executive, Mr Pretorius
(Greymouth Star, January 15) leaves
ratepayers wondering why there is a
$600,000 legal bill to 'recover' less than
3% of that gure and at best, the council
refers to this extravagant debt as an
'unfortunate result of a legal process'.
e legal process did not incur the debt,
the council did.
Lessees in 2009 approached the council
to discuss the issues; the Mayor and chief
executive granted one initial meeting,
thereafter the council wrote to lessees,
stating 'thank you for the spirit in which
the meeting yesterday took place and
your commitment to negotiation as
opposed to legal action'.
How then was it possible in the same
letter to contradict the above with 'your
(lessee') declared intention to go to court
precludes me from expanding further
As we all know, lessees did not take
legal action, the council did.
Readers may recall the council
promising to release their legal opinion if
lessees took legal advice, rst mentioned
in a letter of June 18, 2009. We took
legal advice, released it to the council;
the council refused numerous times
thereafter to release their legal opinion
but instead, took legal action.
It appears the council is not inclined to
explain why such an extravagance
was required when clearly the other
party was ready and willing to talk in
good faith, saving ratepayers' money;
nor can we expect an apology
from the council for squandering
our ratepayers' money.
Labour Party leader David Cunli e
has seemingly developed a penchant for
labelling Conser vative Party leader Colin
While I recognise that honest
transparency as that practised by Colin
Craig would be a parallel universe to the
less-than-authentic David Cunli e, there
are some examples of genuine political
'craziness' that David Cunli e would do
well to own up to for himself. ese include
attempting to hoodwink parents over baby
bonuses; calling a $1.8 billion pro t on the
sale of Meridian Energy a 'break-even' on
costs; and giving at least three di erent and
con icting reasons for being the permanent
'in absentia' MP for New Lynn, while living
in Herne Bay.
What is truly 'crazy' is that David
Cunli e believes that he can continue to
talk out of both sides of his mouth like
the allegorical wide-mouthed frog, and get
away with it, in an election year.
Less arti cial croaking, and more truth-
telling would thus signi cantly contribute
to David Cunli e returning to some
semblance of personal and professional
sanity. Either this, or some enforced bed-
rest for David Cunli e's tongue, which
spouts 'crazy' almost every time he opens
his cavernous gob.
I was pleased to read that my good mate
Jim Casserly is enjoying life (Greymouth
Star, February 4).
Jim's superior secondary education was to
the fore when, as secretary of the Brunner
Rugby League Club, he recorded in their
minutes back in 1994: "All members,
supporters and players must take a
rmer control of themselves. Swearing
and referee abuse must be kept to an
My computer's spell check wanted me to
change Jim's surname to 'Casserole' but my
Marist education was up to the task.
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