Monthly Archives: May 2019

Short Takes for Saturday, January 23, 2016

WHY do the Jets and Knights lose so many players. Is Newcastle that unfashionable? The Pittsburgh Steelers have a similar demographic but have still wonseveral Super Bowls. As a local, I think it’s a great place to live. Have a look around the A-League. If you brought back the players who’ve left us, we’d have a winning team. I’d suggest Newcastle is a great place for a player at the end of his career to retire or start a family, but not a young bloke to be a superstar, unless he’s bred here.
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Mark Deller, MerewetherCLIMATE change divides the populist and the science community, so Ithink Peter Lewis was off the mark with his cartoon (23/1). On the same day the Herald ran an articleindicating how the temperature has occasionally spiked over the last 48 years, with a maximum variation of 1.5 degrees. I believe blamingcoalin a public forum such as a cartoon is an abuse of power, especially in a region so reliant on the industry.

Tony Mansfield,LambtonWHY would they put four extra carriages on five services daily on theHamilton to Sydney line when the trains can’t even run on time as they are. Commuters need to get to work.

Glen Morgan,MayfieldDRIVINGthrough Fern Bay I saw one of those signs,“Bugger off Nelmes”, and thought Ineed to get one. We don’t want to merge with Port Stephens Council either.Newcastle council isin enough mess. You can have too many clowns in a circus.

Colin Geatches,MayfieldRE the ShortTake by Julia Riseleyabout the Shooters and Fishers Party MP(20/1):Let’s hope this karma does not also apply to those who wish harm on others becausebeliefs orlifestyles differ from theirown.

Rick Thornton,StocktonLIKE him or hate him, Bruce MacKenzie has taken Port Stephens Council out of the financial doldrums others are facing.It is pleasing to see infrastructure projects benefit locals and tourists and there’smuch more to do. If Newcastle council wants to come on board as a junior partner, we may consider it. But amalgamation? No thanks.

Gerry Mohan, Shoal BayIF the present federal member for Hunter, Joel Fitzgibbon (ALP),is as good as his party thinks he is,let him take on Bob Baldwin (Liberal)in the new revised seat of Paterson and maybe do some footwork and win the seat back for Labor. I am sure he would be able to find a nice house in the Maitland area or have a seachange and look around the Nelson Bay area.

Robert Bowne,Marks PointLETTER OF THE WEEKTHIS week’s Letter of the Week goes to Lorraine Penfold, of Wallsend, for letter on helping thoseless fortunate. YourHeraldpen is in the mail.

TEXTALL of you, take up my yoke and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for yourselves.For my yoke iseasy and my burden is light.

Matthew 11:29-30 Continue reading

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Lake parking headaches to get attention

Park It: A parking area in Charlestown.Charlestown, Cardiff and Warners Bay were the Lake Macquarie town centres with the most critical parking problems, councillor Rob Denton said.
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The comments come as the city council calls for community comment on a Lake Macquarie Parking Strategy.

“As a user of those town centres, I’d love to see them all have more parking to increase their appeal,” Cr Denton said.

Business owners and residents had highlighted the three town centres as having “the most critical shortages”, he said.

Deputy mayor Brian Adamthwaite said the strategy would consider “the whole city and look at parking needs and what sort of mix there should be”.

Councillor Adamthwaite said the council had previously stated its opposition to paid parking.

But he said the new strategy would consider “multi-storey car parks at places like Charlestown, which may incorporate some paid parking”, as well as free spaces.

The council’s willingness to boost parking would be linked to its environmental outlook.

“Ideally we want to be greener and more sustainable and to that extent we’re increasing cycleways to help with transport,” Cr Adamthwaite said.

“The crunch comes with the state government, which provides public transport.”

He noted that Newcastle had been embroiled in “public transport mayhem”.

The availability of public transport was also a “real problem” in Lake Macquarie.

“To have a parking strategy work in concert with a Lower Hunter public transport strategy would make perfect sense,” he said.

“That involves local and state governments coming together to plan for the future, rather than just having band-aid solutions.”

Cr Denton said there was an “anti-car lobby” opposed toincreasing car parking spaces.

“They haven’t come up with sufficient alternatives,” he said.

Until this occurred, he was against stripping back the needs of motor car users.

Any alternatives, he said, must have “equal or greater convenience at the same or less cost”.

“A lot of people have their lifestyles based around cars,” he said.

Cr Denton said parking problems were caused by “short-sightedness of the past”.

In 2013, he opposed a parking shortfall at a medical centre in Cooranbong.

“It was politicised that ‘if you vote against this you’re voting against medical services’,” he said.

But from his perspective, he voted to avoid pedestrian and traffic chaos in future.

Until now, the council did not have a “formal citywide parking strategy”, a statement said.

It had previously dealt with parking demand and supply “on a case-by-case basis”.

The findings and recommendations from the strategy will enable the council to prepareforand manage parking issues.

“This may include individual parking management plans for each town centre, or other areas identified as requiring detailed planning or management controls.”

People can comment on the parking strategy on the council’s “Have Your Say” website.


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Letters for Monday, January 25, 2016

MY 19-year-old son and five friends decided to walk home from the Wests club at New Lambton about 2am on Sunday.
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As they walked past Lambton Park they encountered between 30 and 40 teenagers,aged about 15.

My son and one of his friends were attacked but thankfully managed to get away, although they both sustained injuries and torn clothes.

Police were called and came. They suggest my son and friend attend John Hunter Hospital if they felt their injuries needed medical assistance.

I called Waratah police when they arrived home and was told “there are lots of kids like that out there tonight”.

Luckily we were not seeing our son in a morgue today.

Unbelievable that not only these kids are out at 2am but more distressing at the violence they displayed.

Obviously the police have no answer to this problem and I do feel sorry for them.

Something needs to be done before the outcome is one of those tragic headlines we see when the victim is not so lucky.

Kim Watkins, WaratahIDEAS HEAT UPOLWYN Edwards (“Some like it hotter” 23/1)questions how people will survive if the sort of heat we have been experiencing continues into the future.

At present this is set to happen.

Even ifthe worldcould cease all greenhouse gas emissions overnight: – shut down all the coal-fired power stations, close all the airports and roads, factoriesetc. our planet will (because of the delayed response time) continue to heat up.

Becausethe necessity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions has been delayedfor so long, some scientists now see a need to attempt to artificially cool our Earth, using geo-engineering.

The term “Solar Radiation Management”is likely to come into use in the future and some people are taking out patents on ideas that they see as anew means of wealth.

Just two of these ideas include what is being called a “Cloud Brightening Ship” and a process that mimics the action of volcanoes when they erupt.

It is expected thatboth methodswill result in reflecting the sun’s rays away from our planet.

The first of these methods isby increasing the formation of clouds,by drawing salt water from the oceans up into the atmosphere.

Thesecond method is byproducing tiny droplets of sulphuric acid in the stratosphere.

How effective the methods will be of course remains to be felt.

One thing is certain though.

Geo-engineering should never be seen as an alternative to reducing greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible.

There is bound to be management problems and what happens when all that acid returns to Earth?.

John Ormandy,Beresfield TRANSITORY COOL THING: Letter writer John Ormandy says some scientists are looking at ways to artificially cool the Earth through geo-engineering.

BURNING QUESTIONSALL this unnecessary scaremongering – hottest year on record, etc.

In a comment piece on 21/1,Carbon Sense Coalition spokespersonViv Roberts, warns us that we are soon heading into another ice-age.

So we best keep on burning all that lovely coal to stave off the impending doom!

Quick … dig it up!

Shovel it into the furnaces as quickly as you can!

There is, however, the sticky problem of the time frames involved.

We may all be burned to a crisp before the “glacial winter” kicks in.​

Kevin McDonald,Balickera (East Seaham)BENEFITS OFVEGANISMI WRITE in response to the letter by Darren Burrows: (“Veganism a dead-end for sustainable future” 20/1).

Veganism has a minimal impact on the environment compared to the extensive worldwide deforestation caused in the name if agriculture.

It would allow us to feedthe world’s starving, instead of feeding a higher quantity to livestock each day.

Veganism is much more humane. The would be no need to manufacture life just to kill it off unnecessarily.

Worldwide health would significantly improve. I refer to the recent study thatlinked certain types ofmeat with types of cancers.

It is disappointing opinions such as Mr Burrowes’ presentedin such a way that misleads readers and attempts to undermine the massive validation of vegan diet benefits.

Ashwin Bhatt,Central CoastHELP THOSE WHO NEED ITI READ Lisa O’Brien’s opinionarticle. It made for good reading (“We need to do more for school leavers” Herald 20/1).

You’re correct:kids from disadvantaged backgrounds have the odds against them in the jobs market.

I know from my personal experience.

I left school in 1963. I passed my intermediate certificate, in all subjects, with an average of 85 per cent yet boys with lower marks, even some without the intermediate, gained apprenticeships.

I think that’s immoral.

David Davies,Blackalls ParkLEAVE THE GST ALONEONCE again the federal coalition shows its complete lack of any economic understanding or commonsense by introducing a 50 per cent increase of a regressive tax like the GST.

The GST rise andtheir frantic efforts to slash workers penalty rates show their complete lack of understanding of the basic rules of economics.

They come at a time when incomes are falling, consumer and business confidence is at record lows, real unemployment is 9.7 per cent, the market is tanking and returns to retirees and investors are at historical lows.

Any increase to this horrible tax will kill small business, causing more unemployment, lower tax collection from falling sales and wages and incomes,.

This is a time to stimulate an economy not starve it of fuel.

Here comes the recession we did not have to have.

Brian Crooks, SconePOLLIS it time that Australia got serious about building high speed rail?

Yes92.79% No7.21% Continue reading

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Canberra weather: rain dampens lead up to Australia Day

Hardy souls take a bike ride in the rain. Photo: Graham TidyThe weather leading up to Australia Day has offered little encouragement to employees weighing up taking an extra long weekend.
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Australia Day falls on a Tuesday this year, but forecasters predict rain and thunderstorms through to the beginning of next week.

Rain paired with the warm weather this week brought the tropics to the capital.

Twenty-six millimetres of rain fell on the capital on Thursday evening.

“That rain that came through [on Thursday], got really, really heavy and pretty much fell all at once,” Weatherzone meteorologist Kim Westcott said.

Ms Westcott said 17.6 mm fell in 10 minutes. “To put that in perspective you usually see that sort of rainfall heaviness in the tropics,” she said.

Forecasters predict another 10mm on Friday, and more possible storms over the weekend. The Bureau of Meteorology has predicted temperatures to top at 27 degrees or more at the weekend.

Canberrans have also no doubt noticed the above average humidity in the capital.

Ms Westcott said three days straight of above 35 degrees, together with the rain and cloud cover, were contributing to the humidity in the air.

The bureau recorded a relative humidity rate of 99 per cent at 7am on Friday morning, dropping to 54 per cent by lunchtime and rising back to 88 per cent by 3pm.

The story is similar at the south coast, with the forecast of rain and thunderstorms although temperatures were expected to be cooler, Ms Westcott said.

A thunderstorm or two is expected on Saturday, with more of a sprinkling on the days through to Tuesday.

On Friday afternoon a severe thunderstorm warning was issued for parts of NSW above the ACT and east to the south coast.

Weatherzone is owned by Fairfax Media, the publisher of this website.

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New Waratahs captain Michael Hooper relying on leadership experience from within squad to create something special in upcoming season

Michael Hooper sees no point in laying down the law to his Waratahs teammates about how things will be on his watch. There are so many experienced heads he hopes will impart their wisdom on a squad attempting to write a new and exciting chapter in the club’s history.
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The 24-year-old was named Waratahs captain this week by coach Daryl Gibson and, although Hooper has had success in charge of NSW before – he led them to an inaugural Super Rugby title in 2014 – it is the first time he has started a season as leader with a clean slate.

There is no better time for Hooper to take over the captaincy; a position many expect he will hold for many years. He had just over nine weeks to rejuvenate and recover from the bumps and bruises of a gruelling World Cup campaign and, in that time, ensured he did as little as possible.

Hooper did, however, manage to get out of Sydney. He attended Lost Paradise – a three-day camping music festival in Glenworth Valley – with a handful of school mates and friends from the northern beaches where he grew up.

For the record, Hooper’s favourite acts were British producer Jamie xx and local legend Hayden James.

“I had a great time,” says Hooper of the festival in which he danced alongside 5000 other avid partygoers. “It was actually a really good festival, really laid back. I enjoyed myself.”

After welcoming the New Year in relaxing fashion, it was back to business for Hooper on the first Monday of 2016.

The openside flanker, who became the first player to win three consecutive Matthew Burke Cups as the Waratahs’ Players’ Player of the Year, was informed by Gibson that last season’s leader, Dave Dennis, would be named club captain instead.

Hooper says the transition was speedy, but is adamant his bond with Dennis will be beneficial in the long run.

“Denno is such a respected presence that nothing is going to change there … the words that he says are more potent than ever,” Hooper says.

“He embodies what the club is about, so for myself and Dave it’s really a partnership of how we go about getting this team on the right page. It’s going to be a learning curve and I’ve got a great group of experienced heads here that are going to help each other to get the result we want. It’s definitely a cooperative effort and it’s a work in progress for me.”

Do not expect Hooper to stamp his authority on this squad in the way a cricket skipper might, for he feels there is no need to. Despite leading the Waratahs to that famous 2014 Super Rugby title in front of 61,823 fans at ANZ Stadium, Hooper wants his players to strive for new, lofty heights.

“I think it’s pretty important that we don’t chase the feeling of 2014; it’s about creating a new one, especially for guys who have been here before,” Hooper says. “There would be guys in the squad who would be looking at that year [2014] as certainly a standout year, but for the majority of guys, we want to create something new and unique.

“We want to create something special from this group.”

Like Hooper, Gibson will start the season in charge for first time after filling the void of now-Wallabies coach Michael Cheika.

​He is adamant Hooper will continue to demand respect from players, despite his age, because of his stoic on-field performances.

“I think Michael will be very much a follow-me type leader,” says Gibson of Hooper, who has played for 80 minutes in all but two of his 50 games for the club. “Everyone leads in different ways, and I think you’ll really see him leading from the front.”

Asked whether he thinks he still fits into young brigade of the squad, Hooper laughs.

“I’ve played a lot of footy and the body sometimes doesn’t feel like it was when you’re 18, but everyday turning up you pinch yourself at how good it is to play rugby in Sydney for the Waratahs,” Hooper says.

“It’s a pretty special place and that’s why we want to make the most every year that we have here.”

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