Home' Greymouth Star : July 11th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Friday, July 11, 2014
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uLetters to the editor
1533 - Pope Clement VII excommunicates
England’s King Henry VIII.
1690 - During Britain’s Glorious Revolution,
King William III defeats the mostly Roman
Catholic English, Irish and French Jacobite
forces under James II at the battle of the
1892 - US Patent Office decides J
W Swan, not Thomas Edison, is the
inventor of the electric light carbon
for the incandescent lamp.
1935 - Death of French army
officer Alfred Dreyfus, whose
conviction on a false charge of
treason in 1894 became the centre
of a controversy that still troubles the French
1937 - Death of US composer George
1950 - Puppets Andy Pandy, Teddy and
Looby Loo first appear on BBC Television.
1975 - China’s great Terracotta Army
uncovered near the ancient capital Xian.
1989 - Death of Oscar-winning British actor
Laurence Olivier, aged 82.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Robert I the Bruce, Scottish king (1274-
1329); E B White, US author (1899-1985);
Gough Whitlam, 21st Australian prime
minister (1916-); Yul Brynner,
Russian-born actor (1920-1985);
Leon Spinks, former world
heavyweight boxing champion
(1953-); Richie Sambora, rock
guitarist of Bon Jovi fame (1959-);
Suzanne Vega, US singer (1959-);
Mick Molloy, Australian comedian
(1966-); Konstantinos Kenteris, Greek athlete
(1973-); Lil’ Kim, US rapper (1975-); Caroline
Wozniacki, Danish tennis player (1990-).
“ You come into the world alone and you go
out of the world alone yet it seems to me you
are more alone while living than even going
and coming.” — Emily Carr, Canadian artist
and author (1871-1945).
“ I am the Good Shepherd.” — ( John 10:11).
At 12 years of
age, Harry Gordon
decided to go to
sea. At 28, chief
officer Harold Gordon met a pretty girl at
table during a Pacific cruise. At 30, captain
H Gordon married the same girl. At 32,
captain H J Gordon became the youngest-ever
Quiet, with an undeniable air of competence,
captain Gordon sat in his Blaketown
home yesterday revealing some highlights
of his maritime and social life. Both he
and Mrs Gordon are thrilled with the
sudden promotion, but saddened that it
was precipitated by the untimely death of
captain H M Hughes, the former Greymouth
The number of pupils in the South Westland
area was insufficient to justify establishing a
secondary school, the Minister of Education,
Mr Kinsella told Parliament today. In a
written reply to the Member for Westland,
Mr P Blanchfield, the minister said there was
also no justification for a workable secondary
department attached to one of the existing
small public schools, though this possibility
had been investigated and would be kept under
“At this stage it seems that the most
satisfactory arrangement that can be made
for the secondary education of children in
South Westland is to increase the hostel
accommodation at the Greymouth High
School,” Mr Kinsella said.
The Governor General, Sir Bernard Ferguson,
would rival the Beatles for popularity in
Greymouth today. Instead of sitting in
classrooms West Coast schoolchildren are on
holiday, in recognition of Sir Bernard’s recent
residence in Christchurch.
uFood for thought
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dvocates for the blind
are debating whether
to use a carrot or a stick
to persuade one of their
oldest allies, Apple Inc, to
close an emerging digital
divide in mobile technology.
As digital life increasingly moves to the
world of smartphones and tablets, some
disabled people with visual, hearing and
other impairments are feeling more left
out than ever.
As baby boomers retire and age, the
number of people needing help is
multiplying. Many disabled advocates
believe federal law requires that apps be
accessible, but courts have not ruled on the
issue. Few disabled want to risk alienating
Apple, considered a friend, by fighting it.
Mobile apps that work well can
transform a blind person’s life, reading
e-mail on the go or speaking directions
to a new restaurant. Some young blind
people no longer feel the need to learn
Braille to read with their fingers, when
Siri and other computer voices can do
the reading instead. Captions on videos
and special hearing aids bring hearing
impaired into the digital fold.
But when apps do not work, life can
grind to a stop. Jonathan Lyens, a San
Francisco city employee, who is legally
blind, has a hard time browsing jobs on
professional networking site LinkedIn.
“The app is insane. Buttons aren’t
labelled. It ’s difficult to navigate,” said
Lyens. When it comes to social media
apps, new problems arise with every
release, he said. “ I get ner vous every time I
hit the update button. ”
LinkedIn has hired an accessibility chief,
Jennison Asuncion, who himself is blind,
and says it is working to improve the app.
Still, advocates of the disabled want the
problem solved by the company at the
centre of the app world — Apple. Rival
Google Inc, whose Android operating
system drives more phones than Apple, is
also under pressure, but as the creator of
the modern smartphone and a long-time
champion for the blind, Apple is feeling
the most heat.
Apple has not been a steady champion.
In 2008, the National Federation of the
Blind sent a demand letter to Apple
even as the Massachusetts attorney
general began an investigation into the
accessibility of iTunes. Apple eventually
agreed to pay $250,000 and add captions
and other accessibility improvements to
iTunes. Since then it has added more
such features to its iPhone, iPod, iPad and
Apple tv products.
Now, Apple and Google both have
developer guidelines on how to make
features accessible, such as labelling
buttons that can be read by Apple’s Voice
But they do not require accessibility, in
contrast to other strictly enforced rules,
such as a ban on apps that present crude
or objectionable content. Nor do they offer
an accessibility rating system, which some
disabled advocates say would be a big help.
That is where the new debate starts:
should the blind return to court for
protection they believe is guaranteed by
law, or nudge their old ally to work harder?
Should they pursue app makers, as some
lawyers have, or Apple and Google?
Attorney Daniel Goldstein, who brought
the suit against Apple in 2008 as counsel
for the National Federation of the Blind,
said the 2008 action could provide a
model for a suit focused on apps, but
the Federation says no lawsuit is being
At last week’s National Federation of
the Blind convention, members approved
a resolution to press Apple to create and
enforce accessibility standards. In the halls
there was some debate about whether or
when to play hard ball over requirements
that apps be accessible.
“It ’s time for Apple to step up or we
will take the next step,” said Michael
Hingson, board member for the National
Association of the Blind’s California
chapter, describing litigation as “the only
resort” if Apple did not bring accessibility
requirements to the app store.
To be sure, Apple, Google, Twitter
and other technology companies have
increasingly accommodated users with
impairments in recent years.
Many developers are ready to help when
they learn there is a problem, said Chris
Maury, whose Conversant Labs builds
apps for the visually impaired.
“I try to lead with the carrot and not the
stick. It’s better to inform developers that
accessibility is the right thing to do and an
opportunity to reach a whole new base of
users. It shouldn’t just be about compliance
or avoiding legal risks,” he said.
There is a worldwide market of
1.1 billion people with disabilities,
according to research firm Fifth Quadrant
Analytics. Nearly 21 million United States
adults experience vision loss, according
to the 2012 national health inter view
sur vey, and approximately 28 million have
a hearing impairment, according to the
Apple chief executive Tim Cook in
a 2013 speech at Auburn University
described people with disabilities “ in a
struggle to have their human dignity
acknowledged. ” He said, “ They ’re
frequently left in the shadows of
technological advancements that are a
source of empowerment and attainment
The company declined to comment
on its accessibility strategy or whether
developers should be required to make
Problems on apps begin with unlabeled
buttons, which can not be read by the
machine. New features and graphics
can be particularly challenging, and
many companies upgrade an app, before
bringing their accessibility features up to
date in a follow-up release. The result is
unexpected, dramatic changes in usability.
Several members of the National
Association of the Blind told Reuters they
struggle with apps from Bank of America,
TuneIn, Southwest, Mint and Netflix,
among others. Bank of America declined
to comment. Netflix said it had made big
strides on captioning and the others said
they were working to improve accessibility.
By contrast, ride ser vice Uber and
Twitter, frequently win kudos for their
Google accessibility engineering
manager Eve Andersson told Reuters that
product teams are increasingly encouraged
to consider users with special needs at the
“ We can’t stick on accessibility band
aids,” she said. The company now offers
training on accessibility implementation
and design in Zurich, Mountain View
and New York, she added. She declined
to comment on whether Google would
require apps be accessible.
Apple also is encouraging developers
to include accessibility, bringing
executives from Fleksy, which designed
an oversize virtual keyboard, to describe
their experience at the June developers
conference, for instance.
Apple’s next version of its phone
operating system, iOS 8, will have
a “speak screen” features that reads
whatever is on the screen, improved
zoom, and support for hearing aids for
hearing impaired made by companies
including ReSound. Apple helped
develop the hearing aid.
Howard Rosenblum, chief executive
officer of the National Association of the
Deaf, wants more. “Any app should be
accessible to everyone,” he said.
Disabled pressure Apple
I would like to remind the cyclists who
use the cycle trail out through Camerons
that they are supposed to give way to
traffic coming down Pandora Avenue. This
did not happen on Sunday and could have
been disastrous if I had not stopped for
the cyclist, who thought he had right of
Please, can cyclists take care and be
aware of traffic coming from all directions.
Pugh: same thing,
Steve Maitland (Greymouth Star, July
4) should not be “at a loss” to understand
what National Party candidate Maureen
Pugh hopes to achieve under the National
Party banner since, like all the major party
candidates, she will hope to perpetuate
the same, cosy, old boy-old girl network
control of Parliament that the public have
been conned into for several decades past.
Given the remarkable situation of the
Coast having just had no less than three
MPs — one of each variety, namely blue,
red and green — it is obvious that in the
current situation it does not make a blind
bit of difference to Coasters’ well-being
how many MPs they have when they are
all of the same old motley variety of non-
representatives from the major parties.
The burning question for the coming
general election is whether Coasters will
again be conned into voting for the same
hypocritical, self-seeking lot who promise
the earth before elections and then bend
the knee to their party’s dictates from on
high as they jockey for a bit of power in
As a spokesman for the Democrats I
would naturally hope that people would
give some thought to the fact that we are
the only party which has for many decades
consistently argued for loans for desirable
public works to be taken out of the greedy
clutches of overseas-owned commercial
banks and into the very low-cost realm of
Reser ve Bank arrangements as provided
for under the Finance Act.
Above all, my hope for the Coast is that
people just ask themselves — how many
more times are we going to hand power to
parties which have for decades abused the
trust that the voters have placed in them?
A few years ago a speaker on National
Radio stated, ‘True leaders tend to share
the dangers and hardships of other
people’. Let ’s face it — how many of the
current parliamentary mob share anyone’s
hardships? It i’ time to try a different way.
Democrats for Social Credit
I have just read the feature by Wellington
historian Peter Clayworth about the
Runanga Miners’ Hall (Greymouth Star,
June 24). In the interests of accuracy you
should note that Moses Ayrton was a
Methodist, not an Anglican. Thank you
Saving the Miners’
It is slightly troubling that only one
member of the Grey District Council
attended the recent meeting on the future
of the Runanga Miners’ Hall.
This meeting had a number of people
with incredible experience in restoring
heritage buildings on the West Coast.
These were some of the points I felt were
1. While the cost of any restoration may
seem large at first, by having a long-term
plan the cost is much more achievable if
divided up over many years.
It is believed that the restoration funding
can be sourced from organisations other
than the Grey District Council.
2. Gaining funding has been made much
easier by the work the current committee
has put in to gain a category A listing with
the Historic Places Trust.
3. The cost can be minimised by using
volunteer and local labour to get the job
done. A wonderful idea for a community
project in Runanga.
4. Not everyone gets the idea of
renewing old buildings but are often
surprised on completion.
The Runanga Miners’ Hall stands
alone as the only miners’ hall left in New
Zealand. This building has a social and
community history worthy of preser vation
that if restored would provide the
community of Runanga with both a
landmark and a resource to be proud of.
I do hold a glimmer of hope one
councillor and the Mayor have shown by
their past actions that they have the best
interest of West Coast heritage at heart.
To restore this building requires a
commitment from everyone and I for one
would love to see the council show strong
leadership on the issue of preser ving what
is both a national and local treasure.
Just a short note to congratulate your
newspaper for the great ongoing articles
on old West Coast churches — very
informative and highly interesting.
Keep up the good work.
Mike Bennett writes on June 25 of
‘a distant group of stars of no special
religious or cultural significance — of no
interest whatsoever with any other native
I beg to differ. Hugh Ross, author of
Hidden Treasures in the Book of Job,
claims this was the earliest manuscript,
pre-dating Genesis, in the Bible. This had
been attributed to Solomon (early Jewish
King) but now believed to have been
scribed by Moses, trained in the Egyptian
The words of the book, which makes
dramatic reading when read as a play,
about Job (Iyov in Hebrew) contain in
chapter 38, ‘Can you tie up the cords of
the Pleiades or loosen the belt of Orion?
Can you lead out the constellations of the
zodiac in their season or guide the great
bear and its cubs? Do you know the laws
of the sky? Can you determine how they
affect the earth?’
Words quoted by Adonai. I am tempted
to say, amen!
The event managers at Agfest West
Coast would like to publicly acknowledge
our local West Coast community for the
over whelming support which we have
received in the build-up, during, and in the
clean-up of our event.
We would particularly like to make a
special thanks to the residents of Cass
Square. We understand the event itself
does create some inconvenience to them
and we thank them for their patience
and understanding. We thank all the
volunteers — so many to mention — for
their help and appreciate it greatly.
We would also like to thank the public of
the Coast for attending Agfest.
Without that support the event would
not have the legs it has.
We thank the Hokitika community for
opening the town and making the 1000
people involved in the exhibits welcome.
The feedback we have had from exhibitors
who travelled about the hospitality they
received from the locals certainly made our
Agfest team proud.
Agfest will next happen in July 2016. As
a team, Agfest look for ward to making
this event another big one for the West
Tracey Anderson, Anna and Andy
Thompson, Phil Lemon
Agfest West Coast
In a court story published in the
Greymouth Star on July 4, I was referred
to as an ‘inadequate parent ’ by a lawyer
and judge, neither of whom are privy to
my own or the offender’s current situation.
The aforementioned lawyer called me
literally five minutes before the hearing,
asking me to bail the offender (my son)
to my home. I refused this request, due to
his repeated behavioural problems. After
many previously exhaustive attempts at
reintegration, my daughter, partner and I
decided we want a safe and peaceful home.
My son’s offending and behaviour
has seen him in court many times. The
limp-wristed approach by courts and the
Corrections Department has resulted in
My father and I have repeatedly pleaded
with National MPs, CYFS, government
departments, health professionals and
the media on the need for drastic policy
changes and approaches for this type
of young offender. I feel this particular
outcome was unavoidable, due to a legal
system that ties the hands of not only
those of us trying to help him, but also
those prosecuting him.
I was deeply offended by the comments
stated in court.
For every finger pointing blame at
parents and victims of these types of
juvenile offenders, there are four more
fingers pointed back at lawyers, judges and
a failing societal system persecuting them.
Mr Hickey ’s generalisation (Greymouth
Star, July 5) about ‘special interest groups’
opposing mining or development of any
kind is ironic, given that the directors of
speculative mining ventures are themselves
in many ways the epitome of a special
As for the supposed ‘over whelming
encouragement from all sectors of the
community on the West Coast ’ for
strip mining the Barrytown Flats, the
unanimity of this will depend on whether
any future ilmenite mining project must
entail the destruction of significant
wetland and reser ve areas or whether
the operation can achieve the balance
between environmental protection and
resource exploitation that mining company
directors like to talk about but often find it
so hard to achieve.
I was horrified to hear that the Maori
King’s son and his friends had all their
charges dropped because of who he is.
Then I remembered reading about
my 10th great-grandfather Sir Richard
Belden, Yorkshire, England. When he was
a 19-year-old he committed two highway
robberies (assault and robbery). He was
convicted and pardoned because his father
Sir Francis Bayldon was an MP. His
friends were also influential.
Richard went on to marry twice and have
lots of children. In the 1600s he, also with
three sons, moved to America. Richard did
well for himself and did not commit any
Without his second chance you would
not hear the names Clint Eastwood, Janis
Joplin or a poet from the 1800s, Emily
Elizabeth Dickinson (third cousin, four
Only time will tell if the judge’s decision
has paid off.
Cromwell and Districts School 150th
Including Cromwell DHS, Cromwell
Primary, Cromwell College, Goldfields
Primary, St John’s Convent, Q ueensbury,
Lowburn, Bannockburn and Kawarau
Gorge schools, March 20, 2015.
Contact: e-mail cromwellschools150@
gmail.com or PO Box 94, Cromwell.
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