Friday, August 24, 2012

My Books are always available on Trade Me

What happens when a family’s existence is threatened by the father’s use of ‘P’? The son runs away and the daughter enters the world of the Chat rooms where she befriends someone who may not be who she thinks. A distraught mother digs deep and decides to fight back with the help of her new friends. Sometimes funny but with a serious under-message, this is a book that all teenagers should read and parents too; just for the reason that they may better understand what happens when they make dangerous decisions. This book has been endorsed by Ron Phillips, the author of ‘Gem Of The Frist Water.’
What's available?
1) A few first prints of Coastal Yarns. My new re-edited ones available soon.
2) Roskill---new cover, new ISBN and under my control---finally.
Free delivery in NZ and about $7 extra to Aussie. POA for other countries.

Wannabe Pussy Riot acts spread.

I have to fess up and admit that I had a head-rush when it came to the reports that Pussy Riot represent freedom of speech and that the Russian State was intent on making an example of the group for their transgressions in the church. I am not withdrawing my utterings about my fears of Putin’s actions in tightening up on dissidents in Russia and a possible return to the bad old days of the ‘KGB’ disappearing people in the middle of the night.
I watched with mixed feelings reports of a copycat Pussy Riot action in Germany and that the Catholic Church is pressing charges that could well carry a sentence even greater than that imposed on the ‘real Pussy Riot band.’ I shall wait of course to see how the legal system handles this act by the young Germans. I do have an underlying thought that democracy in Germany and access to legal defence, based on laws that are free from the political whims of desperate leaders will possibly vary the outcome. (Not forgetting Germany’s sad past of course.)
Where did I see the first report of the events in Germany? Why, RT (Russian TV) of course. I sensed a certain smugness about the reports, but assuming that they are reporting real events, one has to wonder at the reaction (of myself included) of the Western media to the original Pussy Riot theatrics. Remember, I wrote in a former blog that we should not be surprised if Pussy Riot makes a great deal of money once they have served their purpose. My only real concern for them now is that they are not mistreated; a real fear, given Russia’s past record of treatment for dissidents. Let’s hope that the whole affair is not used a modern day flip-back to the past when the Cold War featured in our lives.

Support Staff are a resource waiting to be 'plucked' by Charter Schools

Charter school are going to affect support staff in several ways. Firstly you are going to be ‘courted’ by CS administrators as a ‘cheaper’ source of teaching staff. I know this goes against your strongly and well-founded faith in the part you play in our schools now but the fact is that you are a tremendous knowledgeable resource that is sitting there waiting to be plucked.
Our schools will suffer as some of you step up to the mark to get better paid in these CS. It will be so sad to lose you but for some, putting bread on the table for your families will lure you away from the jobs you love and the people who respect and value your skills.
I for one will not be blaming you for this. Shock horror, some of you will be saying at my remarks, but you are only human. If the present system does not recognise your skills in an appropriate manner, then we will lose you.
Thankfully, most of you are massively opposed to CS, so it won’t be a rush. Maybe you can go in there and the report back to us and tell us what we already know--- the CS are going to fail and the waste of resources that will be put into them will be gone.
Keep up the fight along with the NZEI, PPTA and parent groups, just to name a few.
My comments are not meant to be snide. I am just simply pointing out a few facts.

The Hauraki Gulf---a jewel in Auckland's crown.

Auckland City, the ‘city of sails’, twin harbours and many regional parks; a city that has taken for granted the wonderful Hauraki Gulf, a huge area of beautiful beaches and islands, scattered like diamonds, all within kilometres of one million plus people.
We hear today that the Gulf is in danger from human activity and we risk losing much-loved marine life. However, all is not lost. We can bring the Gulf back from the brink if we act now. It will take cooperation from a range of groups, including local council action and a change in practice by those using the land that borders the streams that flow into the sea.
There is a growing groundswell of opinion that could result in real action. Volunteers policing the flow of nutrients and seeding mussel beds---all can make a difference. Add the will of local Iwi to act as ‘guardians’ and it could all come together to restore and preserve this wonderful jewel in the crown of Auckland City.
For those overseas, just Google ‘Hauraki Gulf’ and you will see what I mean. Better still, come and have a look for yourself. Hire a boat with a local and go fishing, swimming and diving or just relax on one of the beaches in a secluded regional park. I am sure you will be back for more or head south to the wonderful scenery of The South Island.