LM_NET: Library Media Networking

Previous by DateNext by Date Date Index
Previous by ThreadNext by Thread Thread Index
LM_NET Archive

It is Day 10 of the extreme bushfire weather alert that is unprecedented in
NSW history and the fires continue to rage and cause huge damage, although
the dedication and skill of over 15 000 firefighters have saved hundreds of
homes, especially in the north-west suburbs of Sydney.  We have winds of up
to 80kph, soaring temps in the high 90s+ and single-digit humidity.  Yet
there was snow on the mountains three hours west of Sydney last night, and
there are two huge bands of rain spanning the north and the south of the
continent.  This summer weather seems to be a corridor across the centre!

For a nation that is renowned for its weird and wonderful wildlife, the most
popular thing to be seen is a h-u-g-e mechanical 'insect' called Elvis.  It
is a helicopter but it hovers over a dam or the ocean, drops its hose like a
big proboscis, sucks up thousands of litres of water and then powers off and
spews the lot on the fire front - sizzle, sizzle - that bit is out!  But
there are still 100 fires in the state with an estimated perimeter of over
1500 kilometres and only one Elvis! And he is on loan from Victoria and they
have him on loan from the US! But the premier of NSW says that if the
experts say they need an Elvis, he'll sign the cheque.  So if you or yours
or anyone you know has had anything to do with its development, know that
your work has not been wasted and there are probably going to be four
purchase orders from Australia arriving soon!

As Brian says, over 20 have been arrested for deliberately lighting these
fires, many of them teenagers, and one as young as 9.  State legislation
rules that any juvenile offender who has no previous offences must go to
counselling / conferencing but already the government has responded to
public pressure and whilst this will still be the case, the conferencing for
these kids will include having to visit the burns wards of hospitals and
talking to the victims that they helped put there, going to the burned homes
and other areas and meeting the residents whose lives they put at risk,
going to the wildlife centres to help care for the animals they injured and
then getting in among the ash and debris and helping to clean it up.

The aim is to force them to confront the consequences of their actions so
there is a behaviour change, and although there are those who are agitating
for a return to the public floggings of 200 years ago, I think that is
probably a better way to go.  Adult serial arsonists will face quite
different penalties though, and at the risk of being labelled a 'do-gooder'
I think that this should be psychological rather than punitive. Bags NOT be
on the jury of anyone being tried though - these fires have affected so many
in so many ways that to get an impartial crew will be most difficult!

In the meantime, one wonders what roles schools will be asked to play in
educating kids about bushfire safety. And even if we teach them all the
right things, what impact it will have because the firies keep saying the
greatest hazards apart from the flames are the sightseers and it is NOT
children driving the cars of those who just have to stickybeak! We were able
to drive to where we went for Christmas along our normal route yesterday,
and it is just extraordinary to see the damage and how close things came to
the local zoo and some homes!  I'm glad I clapped and cheered for the
helicopter pilot, even if I did look like a dork!

Thank you for all your prayers and emails - we really are becoming a world

Kia ora

Barbara Braxton
Teacher Librarian
Palmerston District Primary School

T. 02 6205 7241
F. 02 6205 7242
E. barbara@austarmetro.com.au
W. http://www.palmdps.act.edu.au

All postings to LM_NET are protected under copyright law.
To quit LM_NET (or set-reset NOMAIL or DIGEST, etc.) send email to:
listserv@listserv.syr.edu   In the message write EITHER:
4) SET LM_NET MAIL  * Please allow for confirmation from Listserv.
For LM_NET Help see: http://ericir.syr.edu/lm_net/
Archives: http://askeric.org/Virtual/Listserv_Archives/LM_NET.shtml
 See also EL-Announce for announcements from library media vendors:

LM_NET Mailing List Home