Home' Greymouth Star : February 26th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Wednesday, February 26, 2014
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column as a public forum for West Coasters and
welcome your opinion and suggestions.
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must include your name, address, phone number
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uLetters to the editor
1308 - Edward II is enthroned as King of
1545 - Scots defeat English forces at Ancrum
1601 - England's Earl of Essex is executed
1841 - Explorer Edward John
Eyre leaves Fowlers Bay in South
Australia on an overland trip
around the Great Australian Bight.
1914 - Death of Sir John Tenniel,
English artist and illustrator of
Alice in Wonderland.
1954 - Colonel Gamal Abdel
Nasser usurps power as president
of Egypt; Syria's President Chickekli ees
following army revolt.
1956 - Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev
goes before Communist Party congress in
Moscow and denounces late dictator Joseph
1983 - Death of Tennessee Williams, US
1986 - Philippines President Ferdinand
Marcos resigns, brought down by a "people's
power" uprising, military revolt, and US
1988 - ousands demonstrate in Soviet
Armenia despite directive to local authorities
to restore order.
2001 - Sir Donald Bradman, the greatest
batsman in Test cricket history and Australia's
most revered sporting gure, dies aged 92.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Victor Hugo, France, author (1802); William
F "Bu alo Bill" Cody (1846); Betty
Hutton, actress (1921); Antione
"Fats" Domino (singer) (19280;
Johnny Cash country singer (1932);
Bob " e Bear" Hite musician
(Canned Heat) (1945); Sandie
Shaw (Sandra Goodrich) singer
" e beginning is always today."
--- Mary Shelley.
"Every sabbath day Aaron shall set them
in order before the Lord regularly as a
commitment of the people of Israel, as a
covenant forever." --- (Leviticus 24:8).
For the rst time, a
West Coast vocalist
has been engaged to
sing with the New
Zealand Opera Company during its main
national season. He is Greymouth baritone
Mr Don Smith, who captured much of the
limelight at the Auckland competitions last
year by taking three of the top awards. His
excellent performance there resulted in an
approach from opera company o cials and
Mr Smith agreed when asked if he would be
interested in touring with the opera this year.
is is Mr Smith's rst step in the opera eld
and he expects the experience he should nd
while with the company should bene t his
singing at home and away in the future.
A modern touch was added to the St John's
Presbyterian Church hall at Greymouth when
a new wing was opened at the end and the
contemporary note struck by the design was
seen in the £7700 addition.
Veteran Sunday School teacher Mrs M A
Wise, who had 50 years' service to her credit
when she retired just over three years ago,
turned the key to o cially open the new wing
for the rst time.
It is possible to build a new house more
cheaply than in Greymouth in any South
Island centre but Dunedin or Timaru. It will
cost the same in Nelson, £2850 per house,
compared with £3015 at Dunedin and £2890
at Timaru. A Christchurch home will in come
But homebuilding anywhere in the North
Island but Palmerston North will cost
more than on the West Coast. e price at
Palmerston North, £2750, £100 less than
Greymouth, is the cheapest in New Zealand.
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
scored a huge
victory with the
capture of the
wanted drug lord
but the cartels will
remain a powerful force, and could unleash
a fresh wave of violence as they ght for
control of his turf.
In a lightning raid early on Saturday,
Mexican Marines arrested Joaquin
Guzman, whose dominance of the drugs
trade and ability to elude the law since
escaping from prison in 2001 had lent him
almost mythical status.
Immortalised in songs and revered
by many in his home State of Sinaloa,
Guzman leaves behind a criminal
organisation that employs thousands and
ourished even as it fought brutal turf
wars with rival cartels.
Experts say his Sinaloa Cartel should
have no trouble in continuing without
"Chapo was the strategy guy, he was
the chief executive, but he still has his
board of directors who are running
things," drug war expert and retired
United States Air Force captain Sylvia
"Day-to-day on the ground, I don't think
there is even going to be a hiccup in the
drug ow," she added.
Nevertheless, Guzman's imprisonment
could encourage rivals to try to muscle in
on the turf his business empire has held
for years from its base in north-western
For now it is a personal triumph for
President Enrique Pena Nieto, who took
o ce in December 2012 pledging to
cut spiraling violence in Latin America's
second biggest economy.
Doubts about his strategy on organised
crime have grown as the violence
continued and his government made a
risky alliance with vigilante groups in a
confrontation with a drug gang in the
state of Michoacan.
e arrest of Guzman o ers a strong
riposte to the president's critics.
Pena Nieto's predecessor Felipe Calderon
staked his reputation on bringing the
gangs to heel, but despite capturing or
killing many capos, violence leaped during
his six year term.
No-one was a more telling reminder of
the Calderon government's shortcomings
than Guzman. After escaping from prison
in 2001, the drug lord built up an empire
and made his way on to the Forbes list of
Pena Nieto has taken a more low-
key approach to ghting organised
crime than Calderon, and the cross-
border intelligence operation that led
to Guzman's capture is a boost for
Mexican-US co-operation on organised
Initially focusing on the Zetas, a brutal
cartel that has been behind many of the
most shocking atrocities of the last few
years, Pena Nieto's government put the
group on the back foot by capturing the
gang's boss Miguel Angel Trevino last July.
Murders fell by more than 16% during
his rst full year in the job, but he had
hoped for a greater decline and serious
Homicides are still well above the levels
recorded when Calderon took power, and
extortion and kidnapping rose last year,
according to government gures.
e removal of Guzman from the scene
does not mean there is any less for the
cartels to play for.
Tr a cking remains a highly lucrative
business: according to US State
Department gures, the gangs send
between $19 billion and $29 billion each
year from the US to Mexico.
In spite of steps to decriminalise
marijuana usage in parts of the United
States, the drug is still smuggled in vast
quantities, and the market for harder
narcotics is thriving.
Between 2008 and 2012, the amount
of heroin seized at the US southwest
border increased by 232%, according to
National Seizure System (NSS) data.
Although cocaine seizures are down, that
has been o set by higher consumption in
Mexico and Europe, said Alberto Islas of
consultancy Risk Evaluation.
Meanwhile, demand for Mexican
methamphetamine is still enjoying
"double digit" growth annually, Islas
Such is the size of the illicit drugs
market, that by the time of his fall,
Guzman was probably overseeing an
empire with as many as 150,000 people in
its employ, Malcolm Beith, author of e
Last Narco, a biography of the kingpin,
e fallout will probably be violent, he
"Whenever the leadership of a drug
cartel is compromised, there are turf wars
at lower levels," Beith told Reuters.
"We've seen increased violence already
in recent months in Sinaloa since the
capture or death of several high-ranking
lieutenants. I expect more to follow."
Blows against capos have sparked
con agration in the past. Killings surged
in the border city of Tijuana during a
lengthy battle for control of the local cartel
following the capture of kingpin Francisco
Arellano Felix in 2006.
Guzman's lieutenant Ismael Zambada
could now take over but he is over 65 and
younger rivals may seek to exploit the
In the meantime, the government must
press home the attack on the Sinaloa
Cartel, Michael Braun, managing partner
of security consultancy SGI Global who
was formerly a top o cial at the US Drug
Enforcement Administration (DEA),
"Now is the time to throw every available
asset and resource, Mexican and US, at the
cartel and relentlessly strike at every aspect
of the organisation," Braun told Reuters.
But Mexico's e orts to stamp out
organised crime will fail if the government
does not do more to tackle the corruption
that has sustained Guzman and his ilk for
years, Edgardo Buscaglia, a crime expert at
Columbia University, said.
" e politicians who protected El
Chapo aren't being arrested, nor are the
businessmen who worked with him," he
said. "Without that, the arrests end up
being inconsequential for dismantling the
organisation." --- Reuters
Joaquin Shorty Guzman is escorted by soldiers at the navy air eld in Mexico City. Mexico captured its most-wanted man, drug kingpin Guzman, in his native north-western
State early on Saturday.
e article on NZ Post slow mail
delivery (Greymouth Star, February 25)
was of interest as I recently had personal
experience of this.
I posted an envelope containing a card
at the Greymouth Mail Centre on Friday,
February 7, well before the 5pm deadline,
expecting it to reach my daughter in
Palmerston North by the following
Tuesday, which was her birthday.
Instead, it was delivered on Friday,
February 14 --- exactly a week later. Snail
is letter is written on behalf of John
Prince and Mike Coll, who recently
had the good fortune to have a hip
replacement operation done at Grey Base
We often read of complaints about
things that have gone wrong at hospitals
but it seems we hear very little about
the good things that are an everyday
occurrence and passed o by the sta with
a shrug as, 'oh well, this is what we do'.
We both have had little experience with
operations of this type and were both
amazed and humbled by the considerate
and caring treatment we received from
the sta in Barclay Ward. Despite the fact
that they had a full book of operations,
and then some accidents on top of this,
there was no panic, things just slipped into
place and everything went like clockwork.
Nothing was a bother or too much trouble;
the sta were at all times courteous and
pleasant and worked well together.
A few inquiries told us that strangers
who had to have treatment at the hospital
in the course of their travels could not
get over the friendly and again caring
environment they received.
is speaks highly and well for the
service o ered by Grey Base Hospital,
and we are both proud to be part of a
community that provides something as
special as this.
We have made no mention so far of the
surgeon Dr Kristin Dalzell, who operated
on both of us. After the operation, he
attended to us and was both relaxed and
informative re the procedure and anything
else we wanted to know. We are fortunate
indeed to have at our disposal a man of
such ability and we thank him, not only on
our behalf but also for the accident victims
who had the good fortune to time their
misfortune to his visit.
e hospital has of recent been subject
to discourse on the possible replacement
and reduction in size of a new one. We can
only hope that good common sense will
prevail and not political games and penny-
We live in an area that is isolated and
the hospital caters for a large electorate.
To diminish such a great service second to
none would be a great shame.
John Prince and Mike Coll
Late last year the Greymouth Volunteer
Fire Brigade was the recipient of a
donation from the Greymouth Warehouse.
e brigade would like to sincerely thank
e Warehouse for the generous donation.
It is understood that the donation
came about as a result of the programme
e Warehouse is currently running
whereby shoppers are invited to place
tokens in boxes with the names of local
organisations on them.
At the time of the donation it was
desired to run an article including a photo
in the Greymouth Star to acknowledge
the donation, however this proposal was
declined by e Warehouse, simply stating
that "word of mouth is good enough for
Well, it was thought what better word of
mouth than a letter to the editor? Once
again, 'thank you' to e Warehouse and to
those who supported us in this initiative.
Greymouth Volunteer Fire Brigade
e prospect of secondary poisoning
of sports sh, following DOC's much
vaunted 'Battle of the Birds' troubles me
e voracity with which trout will
prey on mice in forest headwaters is
well known. As a dedicated and lifelong
freshwater angler, I wish to express my
extreme disappointment in DOC's
o hand response to legitimate concerns
Despite the glib initial rebuttals, a
careful review of the scienti c literature
they cited, along with other peer
reviewed papers, shows that no testing for
secondary poisoning of trout and sports
sh has ever been reported.
Ironically, one of the references DOC
have cited revealed the eels studied
had over 12 times the amount of 1080
permitted by the New Zealand Food
Safety Authority in them.
is is a serious threat to both
NZ anglers, and a very signi cant
international tourism trade. It deserves
some serious studies, and some serious
I agree with your correspondent Rex
Cook (Greymouth Star, February 19)
that the kea's natural inquisitiveness
makes it vulnerable to 1080 poisoning, as
are some other bird species.
However, I have had personal
experience of the e ectiveness of 1080
poison used in bait stations for possum
control on our property near Punakaiki.
We do not often get kea in our area,
but on that occasion I monitored
weka and morepork for any accidental
poisoning and was relieved to discover no
signi cant losses. Indeed, the weka and
morepork populations in the area now
are very healthy, as are the other usual
forest species such as kereru, bellbird and
tui. ere are even a few pairs of great
spotted kiwi and New Zealand falcon.
I recently conducted a survey of the
popular Inland Pack Track in the Paparoa
National Park and recorded: kaka,
parakeet, tui, bellbird, robin, ri eman,
fantail, tomtit, greywarbler, brown
creeper, silvereye, green nch, cha nch,
long-tailed cuckoo, falcon, redpoll,
pukeko and fernbird.
I am also aware that earlier in the
breeding season I would have recorded
other species, such as shining cuckoo,
blackbird and song thrush, which had
ceased calling for the season, and many
other species I did record, such as robin,
would have been far more obvious
because they are very territorial and vocal.
Similarly, kiwi and morepork calling can
vary considerably during the year.
I am not an apologist for bird losses
that can be attributed to 1080 poison, but
anecdotal observations need to be put in
the context of variables, such as observer
skills, altitude, forest vegetation type, time
of year, time of day, weather, wandering
dogs and possum/stoat densities, before
they can be used to argue a particular
case. With regard to the latter, the
possum numbers in our area are at the
lowest I have known for 30 years.
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