Thanks, Bendigo – but Mexico needs you
Last week Mexico was affected by a devastating earthquake. I am a Mexican living in Bendigo and for me, experiencing this event in the distance was overwhelming. The images on the news were devastating: Mexico City and many other places in the country were shattered. I got really affected by what happened in Mexico. I had lots of anxiety, nightmares about the earthquake and couldn’t stop crying. Then, anxiety gave way to a feeling of guilt: Why was I safe and out of danger?
But I was able to overcome this thanks to the beautiful people of Bendigo. My housemates, friends, lecturers and classmates from La Trobe, and my acquaintances took time to be with me and showed concern about my family and friends’ situation. The human quality of Bendigonians has helped me cope better with the fact that I can’t be in my country helping my people the way I’d like. I am writing this letter to thank Bendigo for its kindness and to invite you to help the victims from this catastrophe. The situation in Mexico after the earthquake is critical, to say the least. We need your help! You can give a monetary donation to: Mexican Red Cross: https://cruzrojadonaciones.org / Civilian Rescue Brigade Los Topos: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p026smgf / an initiative by Mexican actors Gael Garcia and Diego Luna: https://donate.omaze.com/mexico
Your dollars are worth almost double in Mexico, so something small as $15 has a big impact. Mexico needs you! Thanks in advance.
Alonso Navarro, Strathdale
I am belatedly writing this letter (we have been away) as the easiest way of informing the hundreds of Byambee Rises residents in Kangaroo Flat, and their visiting families, who signed the petition for a second, safer exit from the rear of the estate to Railway Street, that it won't happen YET. The road exists, it just isn't sealed, so it's been blocked off with bollards for that reason alone. The councillors at their June 17th meeting relied heavily on a report from the CFA that we are not in any real danger from fire even though the bush and the train line borders 270 homes in our immediate area and besides we now have a footpath to access our 'safe area' at Lansell Square. (Why then do Council require all recent home builders to spend up to an extra $50,000 on fire prevention measures because they back on to this bush?)
Council seem to have missed the point here. The major everyday concern for most of the residents is accessing the highway when wanting to go to Bendigo. Crossing the four lanes of 70kmh traffic at any time, let alone peak hour is frustrating because Medika Ave has the only break in the highway median strip for all the streets between Bunnings and Harvey Norman to turn. Any break in the traffic that the lights at Lansell Plaza afford is annulled by the stream of U Turners that apparently have right of way, so after 5 to 10 mins or more of sitting at our one and only exit out of the whole estate and surrounding streets, people take desperate risks, just to get to work. In declining our petition, Council have said they would urge Vic Roads to consider another break in the median strip, to take all the U Turn traffic away from our corner. Vic Roads answer is .... they have no plans or money in their budget at present. I sincerely hope that Council don't have to say "we should have sealed that 1.40 kms of existing road and opened it up to make it safer for everyone" after someone gets killed on that highway.