Home' Greymouth Star : March 10th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Monday, March 10, 2014
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uLetters to the editor
1863 - Prince Albert Edward (later King
Edward VII) of England marries Princess
Alexandra of Denmark.
1876 - US inventor Alexander Graham
Bell makes the rst telephone call, telling his
assistant in an adjoining room: "Mr
Watson, come here. I want you."
1969 - James Earl Ray pleads guilty
in Memphis, Tennessee to the April
1968 assassination of civil rights
leader Martin Luther King Jr and is
sentenced to 99 years in prison.
1973 - e governor of Bermuda,
Sir Richard Sharples, is assassinated in the
grounds of Government House.
1985 - Death of Soviet leader Konstantin
Chernenko, aged 73.
1988 - Death of singer Andy Gibb, at age 30.
1990 - In Florida American Jennifer Capriati,
at 13 years and 11 months, becomes the
youngest player ever to reach the nal of a
professional tennis tournament.
2002 - Russell Crowe wins best actor honours
at the Screen Actors Guild awards for A
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Chuck Norris, US actor (1940-); Dean
Torrence, US singer of Jan and Dean fame
(1940-); Morgan Tsvangirai, former prime
minister of Zimbabwe (1952-);
Osama bin Laden, former leader
of al-Qaeda (1957-2011); Sharon
Stone, US actress (1958-); Je
Ament, US rock musician of Pearl
Jam fame (1963-); Prince Edward
of England (1964-); Eva Herzigova,
Czech model (1973-); Shannon
Miller, US Olympic champion
gymnast (1977-); Carrie Underwood,
American singer-songwriter (1983-).
"What one Christian does is his own
responsibility, what one Jew does is thrown
back at all Jews." --- Anne Frank, concentration
camp victim (1929-1945).
"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for
and certain of what we do not see."
--- (Heb 11:1).
e centre rail on
the Rewanui incline
appears destined to
become a thing of the
past in the foreseeable future.Tests carried out
by the New Zealand Railways are expected to
eventually lead to the removal of the centre
rail. e district mechanical engineer, Mr W J
Watkins, said that the NZR is investigating a
possible change on the hill country line and for
this reason had studied the braking capacities
of trains on the incline.
e incline is the sole surviving track in New
Zealand still with the old non-air brake Q type
wagons. Most were constructed about 1890
and the department has 135 on its books here.
Hokitika's identical 14-year-old twins Gary
and Peter Howat have again been causing
confusion at the Westland High School.
Last month they shared the school's senior
swimming championship but they gave the
judges a real problem when they turned to
ey started in the open handicap mile
championships with Gary on the back mark
and Peter 10 yards ahead of him. e nal
sprint was a neck-and-neck struggle between
the two brothers and in a nish that was so
close that both were awarded the same time,
the judges were unable to work out which one
was which. ey had to wait for the boys to tell
Young Greymouth golfer Winston Beck
bettered his mentor at the South Island golf
tournament at Ashburton yesterday, when he
beat the former West Coast champion Tom
Pfahlert, now of Ashburton, 4 and 3. Beck was
playing for the Nelson-Marlborough-Buller/
Westland team against South Canterbury.
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
Sex education class
To the principal and board of trustees of
Where is the accountability? No
discipline of any kind has been seen to
be done. It does not matter if there is one
complaint or 100 complaints. What were
the health nurses doing as children covered
their ears and hid from explicit information
they were too young to assimilate?
Do all sta agree with what has
happened, or are they keeping quiet to
please others? Why is it that teachers can
suddenly get away with something like
this with no fear of reprisal? Once again
a double standard is on display. If it was
a male teacher who had done this, I am
con dent that he would have been vili ed
and his career nished.
Are we happy to allow the moral compass
to swing lower?
Any and all complaints should be
investigated regarding this issue, in any
school, with dignity and respect. Bravo to
those brave enough to speak out.
ank you for the article in the
Greymouth Star ('Seems like Yesterday',
March 8), which featured my late husband
Raymond (in the article, under his
nickname Rusty Stuart).
Unfortunately, the bottom photo on that
page is not Raymond (Rusty Stuart in the
caption). It is, in fact, John Morris who
was from Reefton at that time. is is not
a complaint but for you to mention to the
submitter of the photo so they can make
Just a note to express my thoughts about
the hospital meeting held in Reefton
last ursday. e meeting was held in
an orderly manner, with the West Coast
District Health Board chief executive
David Meates answering all questions.
It was good to see that one hospital board
member had the concerns of Reefton at
heart, as to the outcome of their hospital.
To Michelle Lomax, I am sure all Reefton
people will make sure you will be on the
board for a long time. As for the rest of the
board members, elections come every so
Again the New Zealand Motor Caravan
Association are extolling the right to
Now, let's look at this realistically. Correct
meifIam wrong,butis notone ofthe
criteria for the NZMCA that members
must have on-board facilities, whereas
'sleepervans' do not have to meet this
Also, I understand that the NZMCA
has private campsites dotted around the
country, there is even one here in Franz
Josef, and non-members cannot use the
sites. Given that they have these sites, the
NZMCA members do not stay in local
holiday parks/camping grounds, thereby are
not supporting the local community.
Now the NZMCA are telling us that
people have the right to freedom camp.
Well, let me ask the NZMCA to please
furnish the rental rms with the addresses
of all its members so that these freedom
campers in sleepervans can park up outside
their homes, pee and defecate in the gutter
and leave their rubbish in their front yard.
Franz Josef Glacier
Lest it be thought I unfairly target
West Coast health bureaucracy, I wish to
share a recent headline in e Australian
newspaper, 'Bureaucrats striving for their
benchmarks leave a trail of gibber'.
e Concise Oxford de nes the verb
gibber as, 'to speak fast and inarticulately',
and the noun form as, 'such speech and
sound'. How well we know the gibber
issuing from the mouths of overpaid
bureaucrats with no idea of how to
communicate in plain English My
favourite from e Australian has to be
the Victorian Department of Education
whose, 'stakeholder engagement
strategy â€¦ serves to communicate the
department's commitment to stakeholder
engagement to its stakeholders and
represent the department's ongoing
commitment to work with stakeholders'.
en there is the Australian Health
Services Commissioner who, because of
a 60% increase in complaints, 'has been
forced to adopt an 'increased workload
mitigation strategy' shunting o complaints
to hospitals and other government agencies,
a strategy once known as buck-passing
but now termed 'a whole-of-government
approach''. Sounds familiar.
Returning to local matters, I note that
referring to the latest in a long sequence
of expensive, abandoned plans for a
new Greymouth hospital the DHB's
programme director recently stated
(Greymouth Star, March 5), 'the facilities
development process was currently in
concept design'. is is classic gibber. Do
these people, and the politicians, really
think that such meaningless twaddle
conceals the fact that every time a hospital
plan seems about to be implemented there
is a change of direction and yet more so-
called 'planning' by so-called 'experts.
As a former British Prime Minister,
the Marquis of Salisbury obser ved, 'You
should never trust experts'.
NZ Democrats for Social Credit
Twenty- ve years ago, the
world wide web was just
an idea in a technical paper
from an obscure, young
computer scientist at a
European physics lab.
at idea from Tim Berners-Lee at the
CERN lab in Switzerland, outlining a way
to easily access les on linked computers,
paved the way for a global phenomenon
that has touched the lives of billions of
He presented the paper on March 12,
1989, which history has marked as the
birthday of the web.
But the idea was so bold, it almost did not
" ere was a tremendous amount of
hubris in the project at the beginning,''
said Marc Weber, creator and curator of
the internet history programme at the
Computer History Museum in Silicon
"Tim Berners-Lee proposed it out of the
At rst, said Weber, the CERN colleagues
"completely ignored the proposal''.
e United States military began studying
the idea of connected computer networks in
the 1950s, and in 1969 launched Arpanet,
the forerunner to the Internet. But the
world wide web was just one of several
ideas to connect the public.
Berners-Lee convinced CERN to adopt
his system, demonstrating its usefulness by
compiling a lab phone book into an on-line
A key aspect of the design put forward
by Berners-Lee was that it worked across
various computer operating systems. And
it o ered the ability to click on links to
access les hosted on computers located
e web was not a winner out of the
gate. ere were rival on-line services such
as US-based Compu Ser ve and France's
Minitel but they involved fees, while
Berners-Lee's system was free.
"It started as a real underdog; no one
would have predicted the system would
have succeeded,'' Weber said.
e Gopher system owned by the
University of Minnesota was beating the
web in the early 1990s.
Weber credited former US vice president
Al Gore with helping the web topple
Gopher by getting government agencies in
Washington to use the system.
e launch of the Whitehouse.gov web
site was seen as a huge stamp of approval
for the web.
In 1993, the web system was released free
into the public, while those behind Gopher
started charging, according to Weber.
"Most people don't realise that both the
web and the internet had competitors,''
"Had they lost the battles, we would still
be going on-line, but it could certainly be
di erent, a lot more top-down control like
the walled garden at Facebook.''
Web competitors were on-line
environments controlled by operators.
Under the Berners-Lee model, people
were free to publish what they wished on
Internet titans such as Google and Yahoo
were built on helping people nd pages of
interest as the amount of information being
hosted on servers exploded.
"At its birth, many of us were guilty of a
lack of imagination and just didn't see what
the web would do to the future,'' Gartner
analyst Michael McGuire told AFP.
" e personal computer changed the way
we work, but it was the web that disrupted
and changed a lot of industries.''
e ability to freely access les on the web
has shaken traditional business models in
music, lm, news and more.
" e internet pushes power to the edges,''
said Jim Dempsey, vice president for
public policy at the US-based Centre for
Democracy and Technology.
"Anybody can be a listener and anybody
can be a publisher on the same network;
there has never been anything like it.''
A powerful underlying tenet of the web
is that it is egalitarian and open, but those
principles are under threat, according to
It remains to be seen whether the web is
hobbled with regulations and fragmented
by governments walling o portions in
"You will never stop the teenage kid
from watching little snippets of cute cats,''
" e trouble is you could limit the ability
of people to criticise the government or
make a tiered internet in which it is harder
for innovators, critics, or human rights
activists to reach a global audience.''
reats to a web based on equality
concern its creators, according to Weber.
While the web uni ed the internet
decades ago, there is nothing "written in
stone'' saying it can not fragment anew, the
In the US, major internet service
providers have won the right to give some
on-line tra c preferential treatment, and
governments have shown willingness to
invade on-line privacy or restrain web
A big battle for the shape of the web
could be the e ect of billions more people
getting on-line with smartphones in parts
of developing parts of the world.
" e web is really only half built; it is not
worldwide yet,'' Weber said.
March 12, 1989: British computer
scientist Tim Berners-Lee circulates his
"informational management proposal'' at
the European organisation CERN, laying
the foundation for the world wide web.
He releases the code to the public on
Christmas Day 1990.
1993: Mosaic, the browser credited with
popularising the web with an intuitive
interface, is developed by a team led
by Marc Andreessen at the University
of Illinois. Mosaic is the basis for the
commercial browser Netscape in 1994.
1994: China gets rst internet connection,
but lters content.
e White House launches its web site,
www.whitehouse.gov; some users who enter
a .com address end up at a porn site.
Launches include David and Jerry's
Guide to the world wide web, the
forerunner to Yahoo, and Amazon.com.
1995: Microsoft releases internet
Explorer, touching o a ``browser war''
which eventually will kill o Netscape.
e on-line auction site eBay is
1996: Finland's Nokia launches rst
cellphone with internet connectivity.
1998: Google begins operations, quickly
growing into the leading search engine.
e US government hands over control
of the web domain system to the internet
Corporation for Assigned Names and
Numbers, a private entity.
2000: e internet virus ILOVEYOU
infects millions of computers around the
world, causing billions of dollars in damage
and highlighting the need for on-line
internet fever drives the tech-
dominated Nasdaq composite index to a
record high of 5048, ahead of the bursting
of the dot-com bubble, eroding more than
75% of the Nasdaq value by 2002. e
index fails to reach 5000 over the next 14
2001: Napster, a wildly popular music-
swapping ser vice, is ordered shuttered by
the US courts in a key ruling on on-line
2002: A denial of service knocks out eight
of 13 root servers that allow for internet
2005: e number of people connected to
the internet tops one billion.
2007: Estonia conducts the rst on-line
2012: On-line commerce for 2012 tops
$1 trillion, according to private sur veys.
e social network Facebook reaches
one billion members; A Nasa probe checks
in on Foursquare from Mars.
A global telecom treaty is signed by 89
UN member states, with some countries
claiming the US has too much control of
the internet. e United States and 55
other countries reject the document, saying
it could lead to government regulation of
2013: Some 2.7 billion people worldwide
are connected to the internet, about 40% of
the world's population. Chinese overtakes
English as the dominant language. --- AAP
25 years of www.
It was one of the odder moments in an
already extraordinary trial. And no one
knew quite what to do.
A teenage boy, brought into the court by
his barrister father during a tea break, stood
grinning next to Oscar Pistorius, having
already shaken hands with him earlier. As
he shifted expectantly from foot to foot, it
became apparent that he was waiting for
the go-ahead to snap a promised "sel e" ---
before being shooed away by Pistorius' legal
For Pistorius, it was a reminder of what
he once was: a globally renowned athlete
who, with boundless drive and ability,
shattered sport's glass ceilings and won
sponsorships from the world's biggest
brand names. Little over a year ago, he was
a hero for many young South Africans --- a
poster boy for achievement about whom
they were frequently taught in school. Now,
having shot dead his girlfriend on
St Valentine's Day last year, he is the
suspect in the country's most sensational
e rst week of what is expected to be
a six-week hearing started with Pistorius'
legal team adopting the strategy that the
best form of defence was attack. In an
opening statement read out to the court,
Pistorius spoke frequently about the "truth"
--- and how the prosecution was on the
wrong side of it. " e State has no basis
whatsoever for alleging that I wanted to
take Reeva's life," the 27-year-old athlete
said. " ey have embarked on a strategy to
rely on unsubstantiated allegations in an
endeavour to prove that I wanted to kill
He said that calling as witnesses old
girlfriends and men with whom he had had
ghts was akin to character assassination,
and that the defence would also highlight
the way the crime scene had been
"contaminated, disturbed and tampered
with" by South Africa's oft-criticised police.
His lawyer, Barry Roux, continued the
attack, with abrasive cross-examinations
that saw him ticked o on more than one
Yet in many ways, the prosecution team
is on the back foot. It has the right man
in the dock, since Pistorius has admitted
killing Steenkamp. But as he is the only
witness to what happened, the evidence on
which the prosecution must rely is largely
circumstantial. Only one person knows
exactly why Steenkamp was killed --- and
with no jury system in South Africa, just
one person, Judge okozile Masipa, has
the unenviable task of divining his reasons.
e facts of the case are that Pistorius
shot at Steenkamp four times through
a locked lavatory door at his home on a
Pretoria security estate in the early hours
of February 14. Bullets from his powerful
9mm Parabellum pistol burst through the
door, hitting his girlfriend of three months
in the hip, arm and head. ey killed her
almost instantly. Pistorius then bashed
down the door with a cricket bat and pulled
the 29-year-old out, phoning the estate
manager and friends seeking help.
At issue is whether Pistorius red the
shots at Steenkamp in a rage over an
argument, as the prosecution contends,
or whether he did so thinking she was an
intruder. Depending on the judge's decision,
he could walk out of court a free man --- or
be sent to one of South Africa's notoriously
tough jails for a mandatory 25 years.
e trial has trans xed South Africa.
ousands tune in each night to the Oscar
Channel --- a dedicated channel set up by a
cable tv network --- to feed on each detail,
which is then discussed relentlessly in bars,
cafes and on the daily commute. is is
also the O J Simpson trial for the Twitter
age. Like every other reporter who tweets
the trial from court, everything I post is
retweeted by people who then re back
questions and their own analyses.
Outside Pretoria High Court, in the
autumnal rain that has poured down since
the trial started, an army of broadcasters
huddle under tents. No day's evidence
nishes without United States television
anchors proclaiming their own verdict.
On the evidence so far, it boils down to
three key questions.
Could the high-pitched screams heard on
the night Steenkamp died have been those
of Pistorius? If they were Steenkamp's, it
case that he killed
her in anger; the
defence says they
have heard the
killed her? Two
witnesses claim that a woman was heard
screaming before a second set of gunshots
--- suggesting Pistorius knew who he was
shooting. e defence says the second set
of bangs was in fact Pistorius, realising he
had shot Steenkamp by mistake through
the door of the locked bathroom and then
smashing it down with the cricket bat.
Finally, was there a light on when the
shots were red? If so, the defence claim
that Pistorius could not see where he
was shooting seems less likely. Pistorius
insists he was "too scared" to turn on the
lights, until he realised he might have shot
e Pistorius family have never
entertained the possibility that he intended
to kill Steenkamp and is holding out for an
acquittal. But given the additional option of
a culpable homicide charge available to the
judge if she cannot be sure it was murder,
such an outcome seems unlikely.
Pistorius's brother Carl keeps up his
brother's spirits with motivational tweets.
On the morning the trial started, he quoted
J R R Tolkein: "You can only come to the
morning through the shadows."
eir sister Aimee broke the ice by going
over to talk to Kim Martin, Steenkamp's
cousin, who was sitting on the other
end of the family bench. Her approach
was welcomed after the disappointment
expressed by Steenkamp's mother, June, that
Pistorius would not even look at her when
she attended the rst day of the trial. e
trial has shone an uncomfortable spotlight
on the private life of Pistorius and those
around him. A former girlfriend, Samantha
Taylor, told the court how he had been
an angry boyfriend obsessed with security
and guns, and how their relationship
broke down after he cheated on her with
Steenkamp. Taylor was confronted by Roux,
who told her he had e-mails to prove that
she too had been unfaithful.
Although Pistorius has largely dispensed
with the tears that fell so readily during
his early bail hearings, his composure has
sometimes slipped. Any reference to the
injuries he in icted on Steenkamp prompts
him to cover his eyes and block his ears.
But as the week drew to a close, even
Pistorius seemed to feel a sense of reprieve.
As the court rose, I muttered " ank God
it's Friday". Pistorius turned to me, raised
his eyebrows and smiled brie y, before
heading out into the cameras once more.
--- New Zealand Herald
Fatal shots echo round Pistorius courtroom
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