Emergency Services and Events

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Fairly decent sorta burn.

I got snapped by Derek Quinn.

Today the news caught my eye for a couple of reasons...

Firstly, we have the case of the 17 year old who OD'd on Ecstasy in Perth and (to my disbelief) people are blaming the cops, citing the fact that sniffer dogs are causing people to do rediculous things to save themselves being caught.

Well. The victim in this case decided that the 3 tablets she had obviously could not go to waste - so she took all 3 at once when the police drug dogs were sighted at the entrance.

Really? You'd rather committ suicide than be caught?
Because that's what it amounts to!!
I'm sorry but my sympathy for the victim is tempered by the sheer stupidity of the move involved. Darwins law?
(It should be said that I have profuse sympathy for those close to the victim, they're infact the real victims when people kill themselves; because that's what this was. Suicide.)

Next, the Boyracer situation in Christchurch - which made German TV lately because of the apparent lawnessness of the neighbourhood! - is getting beyond a joke. After a Police Sergeant was attacked and shot-at by out of control boyracers (and I use the term sparingly - but honestly, what else to call these guys apart from outright criminals?) and there was an outcry of support for the Police, the local council and the central Government who are making moves to 'crack down', the followup is more threats of violence?

Sorry but this is definately criminal, there's nothing more to it. The guilty ones need to get pulled back, hard.... and sadly I bet there'll be some innocent collateral damage. Any gathering of young people with cars is going to be forbidden and those members of the public who are otherwise innocent are going to be penalised.

That all said, I wish the Police and the Council luck... these hoons deserve every piece of justice handed to them - and this speaking as a car enthusiast!

I just hope that new Central Government initiatives don't 'go too far'...

I'm sure everyone (in NZ) has by now heard about the Gunman who stole a car, led Auckland police on a hella-long chase terminating in an attempted hijacking on a busy North Western Motorway, and in conflict with the police, an innocent bystander killed by a round that forensics tell us, originated from a Police firearm.

Now with that in the press... all hell is breaking loose. As reported by the major agencies in NZ, the widow (ok, she was his fiancee) is letting rip and despite the killed boys mother saying "I am not angry with him I just want look at the face of the man who shot my son.", the fiancee is saying "She said she blamed the police and wanted an apology. "I am so angry. They should have been more careful. It is going to take more than apology. They have taken away my daughter's father - she is never going to know him. She will never know what a wonderful person he was."

For what its worth I entirely understand the emotional turmoil that she and her family and friends must be going through. For an innocent bystander to be killed in circumstances such as these is terrible, horrible and just plain sad.

However it's a fair point that Matt made when we were discussing this online this afternoon; whilst the grief and desire to lay blame is probably entirely normal, it's probably a little unfair that it's being reported on in this manner.

As much as my thoughts go out to the people who've lost their relative/fiancee/dad/etc, they also go out to the Police who fired rounds during that terrible incident. They were doing their duty, to the best of their ability and a tragedy resulted... the guilt involved must be incredible.

I refuse to lay blame until the situation is fully investigated and reported. I refuse to believe (as seems to be the tendency amongst those close to the victim) that the Police are 'responsible'. The idiot running around with a shotgun taking potshots at the police and members of the public is 'responsible'. The Police responding to the incident were doing their job. 'Responsibility' would only be shared if the cops 'stuffed up' somehow. And until proven that they have, they have my support.

Well, we made a bit of a trip of it and headed over the Rimutakas yesterday to Masterton for Wings over Wairarapa. (Actually we headed over on Friday afternoon and overnighted in Masterton, which was nice... )

Wings over Wairarapa is the regions big airshow. Having not been to one in a bloody long time it seemed appropriate, especially as it's relatively handy to home (an hour or so's driving time).

So I took a buncha photos and vids. Enough that it was lucky Liz took her Eee, we downloaded a full gigabyte of images and vids at least 2 or 3 times...

Sample from Gallery 1 - Yay the Sioux... !

Sample from Gallery 2

And then enroute home there was a nice line up outside of Carterton Fire Station:

Carterton 621

Click on the links to head through to the galleries of images from each session.

Twas a great day, Liz and I are both rather sunburnt (despite sunblock... !) and it was a great day for an airshow. It's on again today, though reportedly with high clouds greying up the place and a much lower temperature. (That may be both good and bad...)

The RNZAF Display was pretty cool - interesting to see an Iroquois dropping a car from height.. ! and there were some great displays by some very interesting privately owned aircraft. A real bummer about the two-seat Spitfire having crashed out on Thursday... !

(Interesting to see that aircraft under private ownership may even be perceived as having more firepower than the RNZAF... )

Updated, Youtube First Vid is up:

US Airways, this time. Sounds like the Pilot deserves a medal with no loss of life and not much in the way of reported injuries? Awesome.

Update: The worst injuries appear to be a double-broken-leg and a few minor scrapes, along with some hypothermia to those who ended up in the very-cold water. Considering 155 on board, still an impressive statistic. New Zealand Herald has details.

Biker Carnage. The article makes some good points - I wanted to get into motorcycling but gotta admit i'm being put off. However, somewhat concerning is the 'us-and-them' attitudes being bred - just look at the article feedback.

I offered the following, which didn't seem to get accepted:

Passing on the left

You can only pass on the left when:

* there are two or more lanes on your side of the centre line and you are able to pass safely by using the left-hand lane
* you are directed to by a police officer
* the vehicle you are passing:
o has stopped, or
o is signalling a right turn, or
o is turning right.

At all other times, when you are passing, you must pass on the right.


Perhaps the 'Lanesplitters' need to observe the road code. It's cut-and-dried what they're allowed to do, and for the most part they pay less than lip-service to the above.

I do note though that the us-and-them (motorcycles vs cars) attitude being bred by some of the feedback to this article is probably counter productive, though as a car driver I have to note that a disturbing number of car drivers seem to lack commonsense. A Defensive Driving course I did a few years ago gave a good pointer - always leave room to react to the stupidity of other peoples driving, eg, look after yourself first...

'nuff said, perhaps?

From the Auckland Central Leader and hosted on Stuff.co.nz.

An excellent article.

This blog says it all, I reckon.

Glad to see there's some heads screwed on the right way in the USA - if only it was the people in that Wal-Mart crowd...

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