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Visits by famous faces can make fans go Gaga

05/03/2019 | 杭州夜生活 | Permalink

Mark Twain is just one of many famous visitors to the Hunter.NOT as a matter of importance, but just to while away the finite hours till we die, who do you reckon is the most famous person ever to set foot in the Hunter?
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Topics doesn’t mean Mike Rabbitt famous here (though we’d take that in a heartbeat). We’re talking Mick Jagger, Keith Richards famous. Someone who’d be hassled for a selfie from Hope Estate to Hanoi.

So, Stones aside, who makes the list?

Mark Twain does, surely. On a stopover in 1895, the father of American literature famously quipped: ‘‘Newcastle consists of a long street with a graveyard at one end with no bodies in it, and a gentlemen’s club at the other with no gentlemen in it’’.

Lady Gaga.

He had our number, sure. But say we define ‘‘fame’’ by the sheer number of ears that, when a name is dropped, prick up with recognition? What then?

Is this where David Beckham enters the discussion? Or even – and this will cause beverages to be spat out with incredulity – Lady Gaga?

Who’s your tip, dear reader? Answers to [email protected] herald上海龙凤论坛m .au, or Tweet @TimConnell.

AT the drive-in: part three.

When John Duggan of Gateshead was a teenager (he’s 74 now), he and his mate Ronny Cameron asked two girls out to the Metro Drive-In. The girls said yes.

So, armed with stern parental instructions about when to be home, the four set out. As they joined a queue of cars idling at the entrance, John had a thought.

‘‘I asked Ron ‘how much money you got?’’’ he recalls. ‘‘Because we might be a bit light on here.’’

He was right; a quick count confirmed they only had enough for two tickets. Ron, ever resourceful, suggested the girls hide in the boot. The rationale was that they could fit.

‘‘They weren’t thrilled, but they were good sports,’’ says John.

‘‘Then when we got in, the people behind us realised what was going on and flashed their lights and blew their horns.’’

The double date earned John and Ron the collective nickname ‘‘the big spenders’’. John says that the Metro, before it was a drive-in, was a racetrack called Nickel Park.

EVERY time we think it can’t be long before all correspondence is delivered electronically, someone shows us a scam like the following. It’s pretty convincing.

‘‘Details of infringement notice,’’ reads the official-sounding email.

‘‘The goal of this letter of advice is to apprise you that you have exceeded the speed limit … The offence was detected by an approved speed measuring device and recorded by an approved camera recording device (within the meaning of the Road Transport Act 2014).’’

Sounds legit, huh? There’s also a link labelled ‘‘View camera images’’, which you’d be forgiven for clicking on. Alas, instead of being directed to evidence of you doing the wrong thing, you’re gleefully told you’ve got a computer virus and that your files are now ‘‘locked’’.

It can become an expensive, time-consuming exercise. Give us a good old-fashioned letter of infringement any day.

Winless Wanderers in great shape: Popovic

05/03/2019 | 杭州夜生活 | Permalink

Western Sydney are winless after their first six matches, but coach Tony Popovic believes his Wanderers are placed “very well” heading into this Saturday’s Sydney derby at Pirtek Stadium.
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Popovic’s side could easily have accumulated more points during the past week had it put away a litany of chances against Central Coast on Wednesday and then against Newcastle three days later.  Instead the Wanderers had to settle for a point from each occasion. However, the coach is adamant they can convert their domination over the opposition into something tangible in the season’s second derby – especially after losing the first  3-2 at Allianz Stadium.

“If we’re going to talk about performances – which we always do talk about – you can see an improvement. From Wellington to Perth, there’s just little moments, and the moments got bigger against Central Coast, they got bigger against Newcastle, and we want that now for the derby,” Popovic said. “Derbies, from my experience here, are unique, they’re unpredictable. Form doesn’t really matter in these games too much. There are always incidents and flashpoints, but we want the flashpoint to be a Western Sydney top performance. I believe, with that, that the three points will be matched.”

Squad selection will again be a hot topic this week as the Wanderers will likely have a fully fit and fresh squad to choose from, minus Brendon Santalab whose shoulder injury will keep him sidelined until the new year. Big-game specialist Mark Bridge looms to be one of the major talking points after being benched for the past two matches and there is no guarantee he’ll start against his old side.

Bridge has been sidelined recently as Popovic looks to get game time into new trio Nikita Rukavytsya, Vitor Saba and Romeo Castelen, all of whom showed glimpses in the past two matches. “We want our squad to get better and we want to keep evolving. We’ve had a lot of success in a short period. But the reason these players have come in is: can we get better? That’s why they’re here and that creates competition for places. I want everyone looking over their shoulder, including the new players,” he said. “They’re not guaranteed a start just because they’re new players. They have to earn that right. Every week the players train extremely hard to try and get in that first eleven. That’s the environment we want to create because all successful teams have it and if we want to keep challenging for honours, we’ve got to have that. We can’t get complacent.”

Castelen was blistering against the Jets early, but was brought off less than an hour into the contest with Popovic blaming fatigue for the Dutchman’s early exit. “If you watched the game, you would have seen he was probably tired after 35 minutes. He was dead, in terms of his physical [output],” Popovic said. “He’s a player that plays at a high intensity and we’re getting him match fit now, through the season. As I’ve said numerous times, with all the players, he was again better, but he will take time to finish a 90-minute game, to play at the tempo that he plays.”

Daniel Alessi was another pulled prematurely from the contest, with the coach admitting the teenager was overwhelmed at right-back. “He wasn’t injured, but I thought the young boy found it very difficult. He’s 17, he’s a young boy that has promise, but it was just one of those days,” Popovic said. “It’s part of his development. I had it when I was 16-17, and I had Ron Corry [now Wanderers’ goalkeeping coach] coaching me at 16, and he took me off numerous times at half-time. It’s just part of [Alessi’s] development, him evolving, it was a tough game for him.”

A more pleasing sign in the draw against Newcastle was the form of Saba, with the Brazilian previously flattering to deceive as the replacement for Japanese legend Shinji Ono. “It was good to see. We see his talent at training, we see small glimpses, then he gets tired at training. But the glimpses are getting more and more,” Popovic said. “The moments are getting more and more, and longer. This was his best game and I think he walked off feeling like ‘I’m starting to adjust, I’m starting to settle in to a new country and new football’. He’ll only gets better and better.”

Eric Abetz’s Employment Department floats extra job cuts for more pay

05/03/2019 | 杭州夜生活 | Permalink

More public service news
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Senator Eric Abetz’s department is forging ahead in hardline negotiations with public servants by offering staff a slightly higher pay rise at the cost of even more of their mates’ jobs.

The Department of Employment’s best pay offer will be 2.8 per cent over three years – a real pay cut because it is well below inflation.

But it would come with another 46 job cuts through natural attrition, a 30-minute longer working week, scrapping the half-day shutdown before Christmas and health allowance, slowing pay progression and making it harder to receive higher duties pay.

This pay increase would be a third less in percentage terms than the controversial pay deal given to Australian Defence Force members which Prime Minister Tony Abbott suggested would set the ceiling for public service negotiations.

The 2.8 per cent option at the Employment Department – 0.8 per cent to 1 per cent annually – would cost the Abbott government $11.7 million over three years while a second cheaper option being considered would cost $7.4 million.

The alternative of 1.7 per cent over three years – or 0.5 per cent to 0.6 per cent annually – would not include the job cuts or longer working week.

About 1800 Employment Department workers had until Monday to give their feedback to managers about the two options.

The department hoped to put forward a formal offer before Christmas and possibly become the first public service employer to send employees to a ballot on a proposed enterprise agreement in this round of Commonwealth bargaining.

Do you know more? Send confidential tips to [email protected]上海龙凤论坛m.au

Community and Public Sector Union national secretary Nadine Flood said she expected either of the “mean and nasty” offers put forward would receive a “no” vote from staff.

Staff could potentially then look at going to the Fair Work Commission for permission to take industrial action.

“The two options should not be a distraction – this is similar to what has been put forward in other departments,” Ms Flood said.

“Workers at Employment are already indicating the department’s proposals are completely unacceptable.”

She said the note sent to Employment staff outlining the two options revealed savings made in travel, accommodation, printing, reducing duplication and simplifying business processes would not be counted as productivity measures in bargaining.

Ms Flood said the Australian government was the only major employer in the nation defining productivity as cutting workers’ conditions.

In floating two informal offers the department could be testing a viewpoint put by Senator Abetz in June when he said public servants might want to forgo a pay rise to save their mates’ jobs.

At the time the senator said “regrettably” the higher the pay increases “the more people out the door”.

The federal public service was scheduled to reduce its workforce by 16,500.

The CPSU was preparing its members for potential industrial action across the public service.

Staff at the Department of Human Services have voted in favour of taking industrial action while Department of Veterans Affairs employees were taking part in a ballot.

Bathurst man drowns while saving daughter after kayak accident

05/03/2019 | 杭州夜生活 | Permalink

A man has drowned while rescuing his daughter after their kayak overturned near Bathurst. Photo: Paul JurakA 36-year-old Bathurst man has drowned while saving his five-year-old daughter.
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The pair were kayaking at Chifley Dam near Bathurst on Saturday night when their vessel overturned and they fell into the water. While the man managed to save his daughter, he failed to resurface.

Inspector Rhys Dive, who attended the search, said the man was at the dam with his family and friends when the “horrible” accident occurred.

“It upturned and they both ended up in the water and he managed to lift his child onto the boat,” Inspector Dive said. “The first thing he did was save his little girl.”

Emergency services personnel were called about 7.15pm.

“There were already people searching on kayaks and fishing boats and swimming when we arrived,” he said.

Police and SES volunteers began a search of the water and the man’s body was discovered just before 9pm.

Police confirmed the man and his daughter were not wearing life jackets.

The father of three was a dedicated community member who regularly volunteered with the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church’s Rapid Relief Team, Inspector Dive said.

“We know him, that church group is part of the group that come and feed us at emergencies,” he said.

A spokesman for the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church, John Wells, said the deceased man had been a member of the church’s rapid relief team for a number of years. The team is made up of church members who volunteer to provide catering to emergency service personnel.

Inspector Andrew Spliet from the Chifley Local Area Command  said the man and his daughter were paddling in water that was 3.5-to-four metres deep when the kayak flipped.

Despite the flat water, and innocuous nature of kayaking, Inspector Spliet said people should still be aware of the risks in deep water, especially if they are not strong swimmers, or they are with children.

“If you’re going into the waterways, especially if you have children, you need to ensure you have lifejackets with you.

The cause of the man’s death has not yet been determined. Police will  prepare a brief for the coroner.

Mother charged after newborn boy plucked from stormwater drain

05/03/2019 | 杭州夜生活 | Permalink

Map of where the baby was found. The drain where the baby was found at Quakers Hill.
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Found: the boy was down the drain for six days. Photo: Supplied

It was an unmistakable sound in the most unexpected of locations.

“I’ve got two kids of my own, so I know what a baby screaming sounds like,” Rydalmere resident David Otte said.

But the father of two said it was “unbelievable” to find a newborn boy down a western Sydney stormwater drain along a Quakers Hill bike path next to the M7 on Sunday.

The discovery sparked a police search for the boy’s mother – identified later as a 30-year-old Quakers Hill woman – and calls for the public to withhold judgment until it became clear what had led to the baby being abandoned.

Police on Sunday night confirmed the mother had been charged with attempted murder in relation to the incident.

Police believe the baby was born last Monday and placed in the drain on Tuesday, six days before it was found.

Mr Otte said he had been cycling with his daughter Hayley when at about 7.30am they were flagged down by two men who had heard an unusual noise coming from a drain in unkempt grass 150 metres from Quakers Road.

“It was so intense. You couldn’t not tell it was a baby,” Mr Otte said. “We couldn’t see it but we could hear it.It was distressed.”

It took about seven people to lift the concrete lid off the drain so police could retrieve the boy, who was described as malnourished, dehydrated and just a few days old.

The baby’s umbilical cord had been cut and clamped. He was wrapped in what appeared to be a striped hospital-issue blanket.

“We were going to get that lid off no matter what it took,” Mr Otte said. “Physically, no one could have fit themselves down into that drain. A child maybe but not an adult, no way in the world.”

The baby, who was taken to the Children’s Hospital at Westmead in a serious but stable condition, was believed to have been pushed through a narrow gap below the lid, before falling 2.5 metres. Police said on Monday the baby was in a stable condition.

Inspector David Lagats, from Quakers Hill, said police would have had grave fears for the child’swelfare if he had remained undiscovered for much longer.

The temperature soared above 45 Celsius in parts of western Sydney as the day wore on.

‘It’s a horrific incident, but with all the team work from the bystanders, too, it was a good result and hopefully the child will survive,” Inspector Lagatssaid.

There were unconfirmed reports a man of Indian appearancewearing an orange shirt was seen on the cycle track soon after the baby was discovered, he said.

By early afternoon, checks of recent hospital births and doorknocking of the local area had led police to the newborn’s mother, who had given birth at Blacktown Hospital.

Department of Family and Community Services western Sydney district director Lisa Charet saidsuch incidents were rare.

But post-natal depression, or young mothers who did not know where to turn for help, had been factors in previous cases, she said.

“I think you have to be in a fairly desperate place to commit this sort of act,” she said before the mother was located.

Andrew McCallum, from the Association of Children’s Welfare Agencies, urged people to withhold judgment until the circumstances surrounding the incident were clear.

“And even then there’s usually a lot of other factors involved in these things,” Mr McCallumsaid.

Police said investigations into the incident were ongoing.

“You go through life seeing things but you never, ever imagine you’ll see something like this,” Mr Otte said.

“That baby had no chance if we and the other people hadn’t been there. Something made us find that baby today.”