It’s been a long time since I spent a pleasurable day reading a local newspaper with such interest, usefulness and amusement.
Many of the articles in last week’s paper (Coast Community News edition 237) also provoked some questions in my mind.
The first page article titled ‘Tourist asked to stay home’ quoted both my federal and state representatives supporting the view that non-residents should self-isolate in their primary residences, away from the Central Coast.
Yet, I’d been told by my lovely Avoca Beach newsagent, one week into the “shelter at home” period, that he was pleased that his business has actually picked up.
He was providing services to people he generally saw only at Christmas time.
He also said he’d been told by several customers that they’d never seen so many lights on at night along the waterfront and on Ascot Ave.
On Page 3, I learned that the Northside developer for the $350M Private Hospital has been requested to respond to two substantial public submissions, from Friends of Gosford, and the Community Environment Network.
I appreciated getting the summary of their objections, with which I agree.
Page 5 had very important information on the current state of COVID-19 cases on the Central Coast.
“On the front line in the battle against COVID-19” (p.6) was an interesting report of an interview with a local resident, who is the Australian Paramedics Association State President.
Also, on that page was a discussion about new provisions of rent relief for commercial tenants, which I was able to pass on to my partner’s son.
Page 8 had a great contribution from a friend, Rod Bower, who is Archdeacon for Justice Ministries in the Anglican Diocese of Newcastle.
I certainly agree with his description that ‘Easter 2020 will be like no other’.
Page 11 is one of my favourite pages in each of these papers, the Forum, for emails and letters from readers.
The variety of views expressed was refreshing.
I was amused to see regular letter writer Bruce Hyland limit himself to four short paragraphs this time.
I was surprised, and very pleased, to see that another friend, David Abrahams, was given the whole of page 12.
Is he now a paid editorial writer for CCN?
This full page editorial asked all the right questions on ‘Re-booting the economy’, in my opinion.
It ended with a wry question which made me laugh out loud.
Page 14 had two terrific “feel-good” local stories.
“COVID-19 Neil Diamond concert brought cheer to Brentwood Village” particularly interested me since I have many friends who reside there.
The two articles on page 15 gave me very important information about moves to have koalas listed as endangered, and Adam Crouch MP’s clarification that “Beaches for the purposes of exercise only”, ie. “walking, running and surfing”.
Page 19 has the terrific puzzles, Missing Link, and Sudoku, which I have enjoyed so much since CCN went weekly.
What a terrific boon this has been, especially with the final demise of the Express Advocate which had so declined in quality and local relevance since my seachange here in 2002.
I laughed out loud when I turned to the Book Review on Page 20.
I certainly never expected to see “The Communist Manifesto” being chosen for review in a local paper.
Thank you, Ross Barry for your review of a pamphlet which has influenced my philosophy since I first read it in the 1970s.
I look forward to seeing which neo-classical text you choose to review next week.
“Both sides of politics are calling on businesses to produce items in short supply” (p.21), and “From coffee spirits to hand sanitiser” (p.22) were great examples of local entrepreneurial spirit at this time of pandemic.
Page 23, on small and micro business grants, also provided me with information useful to my partner’s son whose business (a wellness centre) has had to close.
There were several more newsworthy articles in pages 26 to 30, but I think I’ve gone on enough.
Thank you so much for some very thoughtful journalism, CCN.
I will look forward to your weekly paper even more, this week.
Email, Apr 16
Romaine Rutnam, Avoca Beach