Mark Lynch

Letters to the Editor - Wednesday, December 21

Western bypass should be the preferred route

GREAT to see we have nearly started a Coffs Harbour Pacific Hwy bypass.

I am confident it will be in use inside a decade.

What we will then plug for is the western bypass that will follow.

By then the Coffs Harbour basin will be filled and so will the nearby suburbs, perhaps with a population of 150,000 and many visitors as well. 

It is worth noting that two council surveys in the 1980s itemising vehicles that came through Woolgoolga and Repton roundabouts found (twice) that only one vehicle in eight didn't stop in Coffs, no doubt for a variety of reasons.

People make Coffs a stopover destination, including trucks.

Times have changed by I feel it will be similar in 2020. 

We will notice only a slight difference when the Coffs basin bypass opens. 

Maybe we should start right now to pre-plan the western bypass as well. 

Merv Pitman 

Coffs Harbour

Pets are friends for life

IF YOU are thinking of giving a dog or cat as a "gift" this Christmas, please reconsider.

Animals require a lot of time, attention, patience and money - all of which are scarce during the holiday season.

When their novelty wears off, animals who are given as "gifts" are often neglected, left in backyards, dumped on the streets to die or surrendered to shelters - which have to euthanise thousands of animals every year for lack of good homes.

Adding a dog or cat to the family means promising to care for, spend time with and love this animal for his or her lifetime - which could be 15 years or more.

If you're ready for this, please adopt a dog or cat from a shelter.

Laura Weyman-Jones

Cyclist reinterates the road rules

I HAVE always found Coffs Harbour bus drivers to be both skilful and patient.

Sadly, last Thursday I encountered an exception who used aggressive horn blowing, and an angry demand that I "learn the road rules and obey them" when I cycled up on his left when we were stopped by the Harbour Dr/Curacoa St traffic lights.

In fact, under Australian Road Rules, bikes are the only vehicles that can legally overtake other vehicles on the left. (Road Rule 141) 

This allows bike riders to proceed on the left past congested motor vehicle traffic to the front of the traffic lane -it's one of the efficiencies of bike riding.

The over-the-top aggression he displayed, continued a further two blocks on.

Lets all "chill out" know the rules and learn to share the road. 

Bruce Robertson

Take time to reflect these holidays

WITH the final weeks of 2016 upon us, it is a good reminder to think about what has happened over the year, the things we have achieved and also what the New Year will bring.

For some, this time of year can be challenging.

This is particularly so for people who are experiencing isolation, loneliness and mental health issues, as we are bombarded with messages of family celebrations, gifts and holidays.

Young people who may be facing some big life changes like starting a new school, awaiting exam results to get into higher education, or commencing employment can be the most vulnerable. When normal routines change and daily structure is altered, along with missing regular contact with friends or having to financially support themselves, it can cause additional pressure.

During these times, it is valuable for families and friends to be aware of signs and symptoms that something might be wrong with their loved ones. Being withdrawn, not doing the things they would normally enjoy, ongoing worry or irritability are just some of the changes to look out for.

If you need support or advice, headspace is here to help.

As the National Youth Mental Health Foundation, headspace provides support to young people aged 12-25 years old who are going through a tough time and their parents.

This can include support around mental health, physical health, work and study or alcohol and other drugs. No matter where you are, you can access help through one of our 95 centres in metro, rural and regional areas of Australia, which you can locate on our website along with mental health and wellbeing resources.

You can also access help via providing online and telephone support between 9am-1am (AEDT), seven days-a-week.

From everyone at headspace we wish you and your family a safe, relaxing and enjoyable break over the holidays.

Dr Natalie Gray,

Chief Medical Officer headspace

Northern jet trek enters our harbour waters on Friday

Northern jet trek enters our harbour waters on Friday

Adrenaline junkies on jet skis heading to the Coffs Coast

Kayaker reattempts paddle to New Zealand after ocean rescue

Kayaker reattempts paddle to New Zealand after ocean rescue

Kayaker makes third attempt to paddle across the ditch

Homeless may no longer conform to stereotypes

Homeless may no longer conform to stereotypes

An estimated 863 homeless live within Cowper electorate boundaries

Local Partners