PANIC stations, butchers of the Hunter: it’s ham-fest time. Free range organic, double smoked, triple smoked, laser guide long range, gluten free, nitrite free, moisture infused, massaged daily, kumba ya …Lord help me I need a beer.

Steve Barnett,Fingal BayOUR understanding now is such that the quality of future generations depends on how well parents treat their children. If children are not wanted and to avoid sexually-transmitted diseases, condoms should be used for all sexual intercourse.Prospective parents should avoid alcohol and tobacco for the harm transmitted to the baby in the uterus and after birth. Babies from birth should be loved with a lot of physical contact especially in the first two years, their cries should have a response. Leaving them alone does not develop strong characters. They need lots of cuddles at that stage.

John McLennan,CharlestownTHE widespread disgust provoked by the scheme to demolish and rebuild modern Sydney stadia should be an opportunity for Newcastle.Sydney-centric politicians and sport bosses have never regarded the Lower Hunter as being worth a major stadium. There is enough landeast of the Newcastle Interchange for a rectangular stadium within walking distance of pubs and trains.

E B Tierney, EastlakesWEwere struggling to change a punctured tyre on Parry, so we were bowled overby the immediate help of parking officer Donna. With no hesitation she weighed in with a huge smile,a great credit toNewcastle and the council. As we return to UK tomorrow, we’ll carry thatkindness with us right to our return next October.

Geoff and Julia Lawrence,Cooks HillTHE Newcastle Roosters might go alright.

John Keen,GatesheadON behalf of my wife, I would like to thank all nursing staff of the Mater hospital, who (as always)made her stay a little easier. Their24-hourcommitment of care is second to none. Thank you, especially ward 5B

Michael Casey,MerewetherI DON’T know who you have been talking to Colin Geatches (Short Takes, 5/17)but l have only heard positive feedback from knights supporters on the Pearce signing.

Grant Conway,LambtonI WAS surprised to hear from the Liberal Party, care of councillor Mitchell Griffin (Letters, 4/12). Having to dig down to council level to find a single Liberal isn’t surprising to me. Finding one who hasn’t become an independent is.

Colin Fordham,LambtonTHE POLLSSHOULD Mitchell Pearce be considered for Knights captain?

Yes60%, Not yet 35%, Not at all 5%CAN the Jets hold their own against the A-League big guns?

Yes91%, No 9%IF A natural disaster struck, would Newcastle be prepared to handle it?

Yes31%, No 31%, I don’t know 38%