The Bay of Plenty Times welcomes letters and comments from readers. Here you can read the letters we have published in your newspaper today.
Letter of the Week:
Book loss has fairy-tale end
Well done, Mount Maunganui.
I am on holiday with my wife from Scotland and have been in this area for the past three weeks.
On December 8 I was sketching and writing a children's story about the elements on the beach. This is an ongoing nine-year project.
After leaving a bench on Marine Parade I left the sketchbook behind. The book is of sentimental value and I only recommenced the story when arriving here, after a break of nine years, to this wonderful area. Unknown to me a very kind lady had found the book and handed it to Evan at Monte Gelato.
Everybody I came into contact with - Classic Hits 95FM, the lifeguard office, the cafes along the beach, Mount Beachside Holiday Park, Oceanside Resort - were kind, understanding and considerate.
I was re-united with the book on December 9 and grateful to everybody in the area for the kindness shown to me.
Thank you, Mount Maunganui.
Thank you, New Zealand.
Graham Brown, Edinburgh, Scotland
Celebrate even in hard times
We were discussing the poor who cannot afford to celebrate Christmas this year.
It brought back memories of hard times when we were children. We shared the gifts we got in those hard times.
One got a piece of fruit, another a bottle of fizzy drink, another his mother made toffee and that's what he got, another got a small stocking with a comic and box of crayons and a letter from Santa, saying: "I have run out of toys down your road but I will be back in a fortnight." What joy, a letter from Santa. By the way, jelly, trifle, and nuts left out for Santa and his reindeer were nearly all eaten.
It's not new to have hard times but we can celebrate the main reason for Christmas, which is that God so loves us, He sent his son Jesus, to give us true life in abundance. Happy Christmas.
Rita Jensen, Greerton
It is terrifying to think that an ignorant man such as Newt Gingrich could be the next president of the United States. His recent comments to the effect that Palestinians are an "invented" people and thus do not exist, is such an inane statement one wonders if the man has any brains at all.
The name Palestine refers to the region of the Eastern Mediterranean from the sea to the Jordan Valley.
After putting down the second Jewish revolt against Rome, the Emperor Hadrian renamed Judea "Privinia Syria Palestina". This remained until the fourth century when, during an imperial reorganisation, Palestine became three Palestines under Ottoman rule. When the Ottoman Empire was overthrown during World War I, the territory was taken over by the British Mandate for Palestine.
The worst thing the British ever did was to hand over Palestinian land to the Israelis.
There has been nothing but unrest and bloodshed since. Gingrich's comments are an insult to the brave people of Palestine who have suffered - and continue to suffer - at the hands of the Israelis.
M Brooks, Tauranga
Keep it in grass
It is very disappointing to hear that the city council is considering building a boardwalk above the Pilot Bay beach from Salisbury Wharf to Mauao.
It is so much more satisfying to have and retain the natural grass area between the road and the beach.
I often take some of my grandchildren there for a picnic and they love playing on the grass.
A large number of cruise liner passengers walk on and so enjoy the Mauao base track (which is probably the best 40-minute walk in the world) and they so enjoy walking on the grass before they reach the base walk.
Also, it is surely an inappropriate use of the ratepayers' funds to spend money on a completely unnecessary boardwalk.
John Davies, Mount Maunganui
I have now reached the tender age of 71 and, golly me, I have not thanked the Maori people for providing such a wonderful, pleasant place to live.
We have beautiful, tepid water and gorgeous beaches to go to. Wonderful weather, great walking tracks.
Plenty and many different fish. No dangerous animals.
What could be done to provide a better, more hospitable place to ever raise a family in.
To the Maori people, I thank one and all.
G Dreaver, Tauranga
Several months ago I went to my doctor for a medical to renew my driver's licence.
There were two questions that she asked me that I thought didn't sound right. One was "how are your teeth?" I don't use my teeth to drive. The other question was "how are your bowels?"
Other people I have spoken to who have had a medical for a driver's licence said they were not asked these two questions.
I am wondering if this is part of the medical questions for a driver's licence or did she add this?
I have since changed my doctor as I didn't like her abrupt attitude.
C H Moratti, Te Puke
Nurse well known
Following my letter (December 10) asking people to contact me with the name of the nurse who rode about Te Puke on a BSA Bantam motorcycle, I was completely unprepared for the response.
It started at 6.20am on Saturday when I took the first call and continued all day with three to four calls each hour until the last call at 8.40pm.
People continued ringing me on Sunday and 22 people emailed me.
The overwhelming impression I got was of a lady who was held in the highest esteem by everyone who contacted me.
Thank you for publishing my letter and my sincere thanks to all who contacted me.
I do believe that Sister Joy McKean (later Sister in Charge and Matron of the Tauranga Hospital Maternity Annexe) deserves a book in her own right.
W Hutchinson, Matata
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