Letters to the Editor – 24.12.20

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At the start of the pandemic in March we took the decision to make online access to our news free of charge by taking down our paywall. At a time where accurate information about Covid-19 was vital to our community, this was the right decision – even though it meant a drop in our income. In order to help safeguard the future of our journalism, the time has now come to reinstate our paywall, However, rest assured that access to all Covid related news will still remain free.

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Merry Christmas to The Oban Times team from Manhattan

Thanks to generous family members, I recently received some much-needed tattie scones, whisky, and an Oban Times at my current home in New York (picture attached of me trying to look relaxed with the OT, in front of a fog covered Manhattan down-town skyline).

Admittedly, it did initially bring back a slightly painful memory: I remember when I got my first direct quote in the New York Times (one of not very many at all), and proudly telling my mum, for her to instantly reply, “well, your father is on the front page of the Oban Times this week” – a feat I am still working towards on one day achieving!

All this to say, congratulations on keeping a successful local newspaper thriving during such a challenging year. It is a testament to the hard work of local journalists. Half way across the world, it brought me a real sense of warmth and happiness to enjoy an Oban Times again. Thank you.

Best wishes for a great 2021 for the Oban Times team.

Michael McCuish, Manhattan.

Covid survey plea

I would be very grateful if you would please allow me to use your columns to draw readers’ attention to an international study currently taking place, which is seeking to find out more information on how Covid-19 affects different people and what measures they are taking to avoid contracting the virus.

In the UK it is being co-ordinated by Richard Clarke of the University of Southampton on behalf of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). You don’t need to have had the virus to participate: I have completed the survey and I think it is very important and well worth doing – the bigger the data the better the results! So do please join in, and spread the word. Hopefully it will go viral!
It takes about 20 minutes to complete. To participate go to rtocovid19.com

John Gosling, Barcaldine.

A82 issues are obvious

If the powers that be don’t know by now where the worst bits of the A82 are, they obviously haven’t been paying attention to what they’ve been getting told for decades!
We do not need any more surveys on which parts of the A82 should be fixed up: we need those responsible simply to get on with doing it.

I’ve been using the A82 off and on as driver and passenger for over 70 years now, and it seems to me that the easy bits to fix are repaired but the difficult bits are ignored: I seem to recall that it took about 40 years to get rid of the “temporary” traffic lights at Pulpit Rock!

My vote (and I strongly suspect that of many others) for the worst part would definitely go to the Tarbet-Inverarnan section, which is nothing short of a national disaster.

I did hear the rumour that the original plan was to upgrade all of Loch Lomondside, but they were working northwards from Dumbarton and ran out of money when they got to Tarbet: would anyone care to confirm or correct that rumour?

Davie Kerr, Ferry Reach, Onich.