THE Scottish Government's much-trumpeted Wild Land policy is reaching its first major test.
THE Smith Commission sat and produced an agreed way forward for additional powers for the Scottish Government.
OVER the last several days we have been experiencing a fairly typical and not infrequent UK midwinter weather pattern - fairly static high pressure bringing relative calm, though not windless, conditions and near-freezing daytime temperatures.
FURTHER to Thomas Crooks's letter (January 31), perhaps if cases were televised the use of the negative question would be clarified.
I AM delighted to read that John Knox's magnificent painting of the Glasgow Fair has been returned to the city ("Lost painting is displayed", The Herald, February 3).
I READ with interest your article on the announcement of the annual Scottish Carbuncle Awards, with the recipient this year being Aberdeen ("Row over gardens plan sees Granite City named worst place in urban poll", The Herald, February 3).
IT is good that the new South Glasgow Hospital has been completed on time and, unlike all too many present and recent major projects, within budget.
I EXPECT that many retired people like myself will have read your report on employers practices with sadness, though without displaying much by way of surprise ( "Thousands of Scots workers complain of unfair practices by their employers", The Herald, February 5).
LEADER of the House of Commons William Hague has now laid out his plans to limit the right of Scottish MPs to vote on legislation which applies only to England ("Hague warns of Scots MPs holding England to ransom, The Herald, February 4).
WITH reference to his letter (February 4) about Andy Murray's allegedly scruffy appearance in the Australian Open final, I can only assume that Norman Adams does not consider Bjorn Borg to have been a great champion.
YOUR story regarding James Barclay of St Cyrus and the boiling of a Mearns sheriff misses out the most interesting part ("Former home of the Cannibal Laird on the market", The Herald, February 4).
I AM bound to say that I found Alan Taylor's championing of Prince Charles something of a surprise (" Heir to the throne's mission is admirable", The Herald, February 4).
HAVING been a staff nurse in a care home, I was interested to read your report regarding lack of palliative care for those with dementia ("Care warning over sufferers from dementia", The Herald, February 3).
IT is with some relief that I read of the serious, if somewhat belated, concerns expressed by some headteachers regarding the new exam system designed to assess the Curriculum for Excellence ("Teacher in 'disaster' warning over exam changes", The Herald, February 3).
THIS week I heard a commentator say Andy Murray "will come back like the great champion he is".
WHAT a disastrous decision it is turning out to be to centralise hospital facilities at Southern General in Govan ("Parking fears for new city hospital", The Herald, February 3).
FURTHER to Rosemary Goring's column this week ("Capital continues to lose ground", The Herald, February 2), I wish to reassure your readers that the National Galleries are extremely mindful of both the aesthetic and recreational worth of Edinburgh's Princes Street Gardens and are in complete agreement with Ms Goring on this.
IT is pleasing to note that the whisky sector appears to be in robust health and that the world continues to enjoy consumption of our national drink.
WHILE being generally supportive of my comments on the public ownership of utilities Ian W Thomson (Letters, February 3) condemns me for "fantasy politics" while at the same time highlighting the fact that the reality of Thatcher's "nightmare politics" of privatisation could be reversed if the political will existed to do so.
I NOTE with interest your article on trade unions and universities ("University leaders in row over union snub", The Herald, February 3).
THE desperation of the Gordon Brown and Jim Murphy "Vow Plus" in trying to win back votes for the Labour Party is plain for all to see, but their latest special offer is fundamentally deficient in four important respects ("Murphy promises new powers if Labour win election", The Herald, February 2).
I NOTE with interest your report on the controversy over the expenses of Vic Emery, the chairman of the Scottish Police Authority (SPA) ("Chairman in pledge over crash funerals", The Herald, February 2).
IT was fascinating to read the letter (February 2) from Olga Gordon and Nicholas Birkett anent their father, the one-time head of Russian at Glasgow University, G A Birkett.
THE composer William Jackson unwittingly underlines the reality of trying to foist a national anthem on the people( "Contest-winning composer says anthem issue already settled by his Land of Light", The Herald, February 2).
THE story of Alan Barnes, the disabled man who was attacked and badly injured as he put out his bins then left lying on his Gateside doorstep; and Katie Cutler, the young mother who set up a fund-raising page on social media to help him, is a timely reminder that all is not cruelty, depravity and self-serving materialism in our modern, global society ("Mugged pensioner thanks fundraiser after £227,000 raised online", The Herald, February 2).
IT is, of course, not difficult to understand the criticism and dissatisfaction expressed by David J Crawford (Letters, February 2).
IT is inevitable but disappointing that the bidding war on how we are governed continues with little end in sight ("Murphy promises new powers if Labour win election", The Herald, February 2).
AMAZON has been a valuable phenomenon.
NOBODY will be surprised by the news that Ofgem believes customers are being fleeced by the major energy suppliers; they would be more likely to be shocked if something actually happened about it ("Probe call as energy company profits grow despite price cuts", The Herald, January 30).
I HAVE read with interest the recent letters (January 26, 27 & 29) on the 51st Highland Division.