Powered by Dzgd!

Herald Hill To Harbour: Get ready for race day

by admin on 28/10/2018

FROM BAR BEACH TO NEWCASTLE: Runners in last year’s race at the starting line. Picture: Jonathan Carroll● Touch base with Hunter Health Kick
Wuxi Plastic Surgery

IF you’ve registered for the Herald Hill ToHarbour on Sunday as part of Newcastle’s festival of running NewRun then first of all, a big congratulations. Entering an event for the first time can be daunting, so well done for committing yourself!

Now you need to make sure you are ready for race day. Hopefully you have been training and feel confident with the distance. But there are a few other things to consider, such as:

Rest: Do not expect to get the best out of yourself if you are fatigued, so get to bed relatively early tonight. And I would not advise doing anything too strenuous today – you want your muscles to feel fresh tomorrow, not sore and sluggish.

Eat well: You want to have plenty of energy to burn tomorrow during the race and what you eat in the days leading up to sporting events is important in terms of fuelling your body. According to Sports Dietitians Australia, this means you should choose high-carbohydrate, low-fat foods that are familiar and well tolerated. Read more at sportsdietitians整形美容医院m.au/resources.

Hydrate: Drink plenty of water on Saturday. And make sure you replenish after the race. You can read more about fluids also at sportsdietitians整形美容医院m.au/resources. You might like to also note that the drink stations for the Hill2Harbour will be at the 2.2km, 4.5km, 6.5km, 8km and 9km points.

Don’t change your routine: This goes for what food you normally have before running and the gear you wear. Stick to your usual pre-run meal (I don’t like to have too much before I run so I usually have a bowl of cereal then an apple or banana) and it is probably not a good idea to try out your brand new joggers today. Stick to your old faithfuls until you wear your new ones in.

Know the course: The course has changed slightly in the past few years so check it out at the website newrun整形美容医院m.au as you don’t want go the wrong way, or run further than you are meant to.

Pounding the pavement. Pictures: Jonathan Carroll

Stick to your race pace (if you have one): This means just run your own race. Don’t try to run with others if you know you are not going to be able to keep up.

Arrive early to ensure a good warm-up: There is nothing worse than literally running late to an event and having to sprint to start line. This blows your whole race plan out the window. Get there early and have a five-minute walk or easy jog and some range of motion stretches.

Don’t let nerves get to you: I was so nervous in the first big run I ever did that I ended up with gut cramps for most of the race and did not enjoy it at all. Nerves can also cause an upset stomach, so try to relax if you can.

Support and encourage: A few words of encouragement to fellow runners/walkers will go a long way.

Enjoy yourself: All of the NewRun events have beautiful courses so take in the scenery and atmosphere of your race if you can.

Renee Valentine is a qualified personal trainer and mother of three. [email protected]整形美容医院m.

Girls’ freedom at stake

by admin on 28/10/2018

An aid line at Damasak, north Nigeria, retaken from Boko Haram. Picture: ReutersGROWING military pressure on Nigeria’s Boko Haram Islamists has raised hopes that they may free some of their schoolgirl hostages as part of a deal to escape being hunted down and killed.
Wuxi Plastic Surgery

Tuesday marked the first anniversary of the kidnap of more than 200 schoolgirls from the town of Chibok and diplomats say the sole chance of any of them being released alive is if the cornered commanders of Boko Haram opt to use them as “bargaining chips”.

The girls’ plight drew worldwide attention last year, thanks partly to the BringBackOurGirls social media campaign endorsed by Michelle Obama and numerous celebrities.

But even with the help of Western military spy planes and hostage negotiation experts, they have remained well beyond the reach of the Nigerian authorities.

It is widely believed that they were split early on into dozens of smaller groups, making any rescue attempt on one group liable to invite brutal retaliation against others. But diplomats have now said that recent military gains against Boko Haram may have pushed it to the point where some of its individual leaders may be willing to negotiate to save their own skins.

Nigerian and Chadian troops fighting on either side of the border have retaken several towns seized by the Islamists and many of the group’s commanders are now scattered and on the run.

Some are believed to have groups of the girls in their custody and may be prepared to free them now that they are in a position of weakness.

The alternative would be to face continued determined hounding from the Nigerian military and the prospect of no mercy if caught. Given how the tide of battle has turned against them, that may seem a worse prospect than the risk of being punished by Boko Haram’s leader, Abubakr Shekau, for co-operating with the authorities.

“If pressure is maintained, that is one of the ways that the girls could find freedom,” one Western diplomat said. “For some of these armed groups, they could be bargaining chips for some kind of settlement with the authorities.”

Such a move might also open up the way for a longer-term settlement brokered by Nigeria’s new president-elect, Muhammadu Buhari, who beat Goodluck Jonathan in last month’s elections.

While more extreme elements such as Shekau himself are seen as “irreconcilable”, it is thought that some kind of amnesty would persuade many rank and file fighters to lay down their weapons, especially if combined with offers of jobs and economic development in the dirt-poor areas of northern Nigeria where they live. The diplomat said: “It is at an early stage, but that is a strategy that we would support.”

Diplomats say the last reliable sighting of the hostages was a group of 20 to 30 girls at an abandoned school compound around the town of Gwoza, near Nigeria’s mountain border with Cameroon, in September last year. It was taken by “eye in the sky” satellite planes. They were being watched over by Boko Haram guards.

Mr Buhari, a former general who served as a military ruler of Nigeria in the mid-1980s, made the issue of tackling Boko Haram a key part of his election strategy. Diplomats hope he will prove more engaged in the task than Mr Jonathan did.

A British military source said Mr Jonathan’s government had done relatively little with the “vast amounts of intelligence” supplied by RAF Sentinel spy planes and Tornados. The RAF resource was then diverted by increasing demands for their use in Iraq and Syria.

“We were not seeing a great clamour from the Nigerian authorities to sort this out,” the source said.

Since the kidnapping, attempts have been made to free the girls through back-channel negotiations, most of which foundered after opposition from the government, which did not wish to be seen to bow to Boko Haram’s demands.

Shehu Sani, a Nigerian civil rights activist involved in past dialogue attempts, said he agreed with the diplomats’ assessments that the playing field against Boko Haram had now tilted.

“The girls are now the insurgents’ last cards, and the best time to reach out to them for dialogue is when they are seriously under pressure,” Mr Sani said.

The Daily Telegraph, London

Ethics classes: Critical thinking

by admin on 28/10/2018

Craig Eardley, teaching an ethics class at Merewether Public School. The demand for ethics classes is outstripping the supply of volunteer teachers. Picture: Dean OslandIS it ever all right to lie? asks Ella, 11.
Wuxi Plastic Surgery

“Like, to your friends? I think it can be if you’re doing it for the right reasons.”

The children of Merewether Public School’s year 5 and 6 ethics class have slid their plastic chairs into a circle in the library. The bell is about to ring for sport, but they want to stay. Some are on the edge of their seats.

Lying might be all right, adds Max, 12, to spare someone’s feelings. Sakeel, 11, says he once coaxed a kid down from a wall with the promise of lollies. Except he had no lollies. The class nods, knowingly.

Then it’s my turn to wonder about lying.

Richard Hartley, the school principal, who bellows playfully at the kids – “come on, I’ll take ya” – and gets husky about how terrific they are, has sworn me not to ask the kids about scripture. They would be in scripture now, or non-scripture, if this was before 2011 and they weren’t in ethics. It’s a tense topic and the kids, with whom I’ve been granted a privileged audience, bring it up. Am I meant to shut it down?

“We do ethics because we don’t believe in God, and because we want to learn,” says one girl.

This isn’t strictly true. A boy from a Muslim background says he didn’t go to scripture because it didn’t teach his religion. A couple of girls say it’s not about God, exactly, though maybe it is. They murmur like this and point and counterpoint fill the library.

(I later learn that they were asked not to bring up scripture, either).

It’s as if the kids sense the invisible netting of conflict, a war that’s been fought and they’re on the right side of. Or maybe it’s just that they used to do scripture, and now they don’t.

The bell rings.

THE class talk about things like lying and punishment and moral responsibility for half an hour each week with Mr Eardley, their tall, gangly ethics teacher. By day he’s Craig Eardley, communications and media consultant. His daughter goes to the school.

“She chose to do scripture,” he says. “It was her decision.”

It’s another week, and Eardley has just wrapped up a lesson where the class voted, hypothetically, on whether to keep the school uniform. They argued the pros and cons. Most came down on the side of the uniform.

“In week one we laid some ground rules; you respect people’s opinions, when a person is talking you don’t laugh or judge, and what’s said in class stays in class,” he says. “I’m blown away by the answers they give.”

In this lesson, Eardley challenged his students to “defeat my argument”. It was absorbing. The only disruption – apart from a boy who went on tangents like Ross Noble – was from kids calling out, and the odd report from the playground.

“We don’t localise examples, in here.”

All ethics teachers in NSW are volunteers who teach from a curriculum – designed by the academic Sue Knight – and only the curriculum. No rants about gay rights or guns or 9/11.

The 78 topics have titles like “Teasing”, “Drugs in sport” and “Human rights – do other animals have them?”. Eardley just taught “Voting – an ethical issue?”

Teachers have to undergo the usual checks, and two days of training, and be able to commit an hour a week to preparing for class. Most are recruited by ethics co-ordinators, who are trained by Primary Ethics.

SAYS Teresa Russell, rather tersely: “If you look up the word ‘secular’ there’s nothing in there about God.”

Russell is chief executive of Primary Ethics, the company set up by the St James Ethics Centre and contracted by the NSW government to run classes in primary schools.

I find it odd that I’m being told what “secular” means. But this is something she’s wary, and weary, of talking about.

“We have a good emphasis on keeping opinion out of the classroom.”

That’s true, says Eardley, brandishing a copy of the curriculum. The point, he says, is to get children thinking critically, not recruit them to an ideological team.

Ethics teachers tend to be parents and grandparents, but not always. There are academics and lawyers and engineers. John Ure, an ethics teacher at Eleebana Public School, is a decorated former policeman.

“I’ve got a tremendous bunch,” he says, on his way to class.

“Kids these days are just so aware of what’s happening in the world.”

Technically, Department of Education-employed teachers can’t teach ethics. Nor can principals. But, says a man in the know, it happens. He knows a Hunter principal who, frustrated by a lack of volunteers, quietly taught the classes himself.

He’s heard of principals asking long-term casuals to teach ethics, dangling the lure of a full-time position.

“It’s a lot easier for schools just to run scripture,” says Man In The Know.

“For some it’s a philosophical thing, but there are extra staffing pressures with ethics classes running at the same time as scripture.”

SCHOOLS run ethics at the same time as scripture, as they are legislated to do. At Newcastle East Public School, scripture is coming off second best.

“We have good scripture teachers,” says principal John Beach.

“But we have trouble staffing scripture classes. Year 3 didn’t have a teacher for most of last year.”

Before ethics, kids ruled out of scripture would, for the hour, take part in supervised activities that “neither compete with [scripture], nor are they lessons in the curriculum”.

Russell remembers her daughter complaining about the overload of colouring in.

“It was a complete joke,” agrees Beach. He has a masters in philosophy. Peeking out from a shelf in his office is a copy of de Bono’s Super Mind Pack.

“Our business is meant to be teaching the kids meaningful things.”

If you tried to picture a place where ethics might flourish, it would look like Newcastle East; leafy, wealthy, parents who are young professionals. When the school ran a survey on ethics, 87 per cent of parents were interested.

But the school’s roster of teachers – “about half of them parents, half from outside of the school” – groans beneath the 150 students enrolled in ethics. Seventy students do scripture.

“One of the things holding ethics back is that you can’t get enough teachers for it,” says Beach.

“That is the case in every school.”

Russell is forever appealing for volunteers, and Beach knows Hunter principals who are getting desperate. He hasn’t seen principals or casuals moonlighting. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen.

“It certainly doesn’t happen here.”

Also undermining ethics is the “don’t ask, don’t get” manner in which parents are told about it.

In a leaked memo last December, an education official told principals not to give details about ethics or offer it unless parents had first taken their children out of scripture.

A department spokesman confirmed the policy to the Herald’s Joanne McCarthy. Indeed, scripture-as-default kicks in if a parent forgets to fill out a form.

“Please note that if the note is not returned your child will automatically be enrolled into the Scripture program,” reads the form at Mayfield East.

The murkiness creates an information vacuum for parents and staff. Parents at Adamstown Public School, for instance, were told in a newsletter, wrongly, that “all children are expected to attend scripture”.

The situation is ripe for opportunists, says Greens education spokesman John Kaye. The lack of transparency for parents is a subtle blow in the war over ethics.

“Some parents aren’t even being told that the classes exist,” says Kaye.

He blames Fred Nile.

WHEN the Rees Labor government trialled ethics in 2010, the Anglican Church reported that scripture in the 10 sample schools had been “decimated”.

A website run by Youthworks, a scripture provider, said the trials meant “to not only remove Jesus Christ from the state school system, but from the consciousness and hearts of the next generation”.

But after vowing to scrap ethics if elected, the O’Farrell Coalition government changed its mind. The classes were already legislated, Education Minister Adrian Piccoli told Fairfax.

“The battle over ethics classes is finished and we will be part of it.”

The battle wasn’t finished for Fred Nile, who invoked the Nazis.

“It’s relative ethics, which is the basis of secular humanism,” Nile told NSW Parliament.

“Situation ethics, as I see it, was followed by other regimes such as the Nazis and communists.”

The Christian Democratic leader – whose crossbench support is crucial to the government – introduced a bill to abolish ethics, saying that with only 2700 students enrolled in classes (at the time), it was a failure. His bill was defeated.

Today, it would be hard to brand ethics a failure. About 20,000 students take part, in 300 schools.

In the Hunter, 36 schools have ethics co-ordinators and there are three times that many ethics teachers. More than 1800 Hunter kids do ethics.

The number of volunteers isn’t keeping pace with the number of kids enrolled. Ethics can’t keep up with its own popularity. The war is over, but the supply lines are critical.

“Ethics is here to stay,” says John Kaye.

“But there’s still a form of guerilla warfare being fought by the anti-ethics brigade, and by Fred Nile.”

The scripture-as-default enrolment forms are a micro victory for Nile, and his party continues to chip away. Adrian van der Byl, a Nile candidate, told a Goulburn audience last month that ethics is one way the government undermines values and the economy. Another is “sodomy”.

Word is well and truly out about ethics, concedes Kaye.

But a parent enrolling a child in school deserves to hear their options from the outset, he says, not after they’ve ruled out scripture.

“I think we’ll win this war in the end,” Kaye says. “The more people see ethics in action, the more support it gets.”

ONE night in 2010, Bobbie Antonic breathed in and prepared for battle.

The mother-of-three had been steeling herself to make the case for ethics to a Medowie Public School P&C meeting. She was optimistic, and nervous. Medowie is the place, after all, where a Christian school banned Harry Potter.

But the backlash never came. Medowie now has a flourishing ethics program with Antonic, a skate shop owner and prolific tweeter, at the helm.

She makes two points. One: ethics needs to be driven by a school’s parent community. Two: not everyone in the faith community is Fred Nile.

“I have friends who are very religious, and we’re still friends,” she says.

“It’s OK to debate.”

SHERIE Donoghoe has seen the change in Lily, her youngest.

Lily is in the class at Merewether Public. Her older sister did ethics, but the lack of a teacher (before Mr Eardley) meant there was no class for Lily. So she went to scripture.

“At the end of scripture they would get a lollipop,” says Donoghoe. “Some kids would go just for that. I think now that she’s done ethics, she sees it as bribery.”

The Donoghoe dinner table is now a place for discussion of right and wrong and the rail debate. Sherie thinks the lesson on voting helped Lily understand the state election.

She has reservations about what is taught in scripture (“the teachers’ beliefs can be so strong”). One principal wryly recalls the day a child was traumatised by a description of Hell. The parents weren’t impressed.

Still, Donoghoe can see the value in both ethics and scripture.

“I think it’s wrong that the classes are on at the same time,” she says.

“Why not give them the option?”

Beach, the Newcastle East principal with the masters in philosophy, agrees. The scheduling clash is something parents bring up, a lot.

Charles, 11, in Mr Eardley’s class, doesn’t mind. This is his last year of primary school, and this is his favourite class.

“You don’t feel embarrassed here,” he says.

“It’s an open discussion.”

One happy story

by admin on 28/10/2018

Children are encouraged to play with books and interact with them.MY children’s faces lit up when we stepped through the safety gate at The Junction’s Nursery Rhyme Story Time.
Wuxi Plastic Surgery

First they spotted the finger puppets laid out in a circle, ready for the session. Then they saw the books. And then they locked eyes on the story time tree, replete with colourful, fluffy cushions and delicate, dangling decorations.

I was almost as excited as the kids.

When our first child came along, we did all sorts of things. Gymbaroo, swimming lessons, playgroup. Sometimes a reading session at the library. They were great excuses to get out of the house and socialise, as much as being good for development.

But when the second one came along, it got a little trickier to find things that suited both age groups at the same time.

Here, both children were catered for, and they both loved it.

We sang songs and played with the finger puppets. We read books aloud with the group, and played with fluffy toys that lit up, and games of peek-a-boo with soft, colourful scarves.

Sitting at the story time tree, one of the two teachers read another book to the children.

Later, we made our way over to the craft tables where the kids coloured, cut, glued and glittered some Easter-themed creations.

Owner Marsha Costanzo had worked in business for her whole career.

“After having kids my whole focus changed,” she says. “When I had my first child I wasn’t a very natural mum, and I really struggled.

“What I enjoyed doing was getting out and going to the different playgroups and things that they had around.

“But the one I enjoyed the most and found the most rewarding later on was the reading.”

Breaking the sessions up with songs, games and sensory activities was aimed at keeping the children stimulated and interested.

“I wanted to make sure the kids had their own books to read, so they could learn about books and understand books, and play with them and interact with them.

“I wanted to make it a bit more personal and intimate, without rushing through it. I wanted to work a few different angles to make it a bit different to what the libraries might do.

“The craft is about getting the fine finger motor skills going. A lot of parents don’t like doing craft at home because it’s so messy.”

Nursery Rhyme Story Time has sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and suits children from birth to five.

It costs $150 for 10 sessions, but the first session is free.

Visit nurseryrhymestorytime整形美容医院m.au.

SIMON WALKER: What goes down comes up

by admin on 28/10/2018

“Sometimes the weather [in Queensland], like its politics, is all over the place, making a trip to the reef not so much a bucket list item, as better get a bucket”. Picture: Tourism and Events Queensland.SIMON WALKER: That’s Life archive
Wuxi Plastic Surgery

A VISIT to the Great Barrier Reef is one of those things everyone should tick off their bucket list.

That’s because the reef is truly awesome.

But Queensland is not always sunny one day, perfect the next.

Sometimes the weather, like its politics, is all over the place, making a trip to the reef not so much a bucket list item, as better get a bucket.

And so it was on our particular “bumpy” day aboard a three-storey super cat with more than 200 passengers aboard – stoic Asian tourists in the main, the majority Chinese.

Not so much plain as hydroplane sailing.

Seasickness takes no prisoners in such conditions, and when the going got tough, the tough got throwing.

If he’d been there to witness the mass medical moment that unfolded, the late great Richie Benaud might have remarked, “not so marvellous”. But you take your chances when you travel.

The cold front that blew through southern Australia over Easter looked like it had missed us for the first four days we were in Cairns – leaving us hopeful we’d get a clean shot at the reef on our designated day.

But we soon learned that southern cold fronts sometimes get sucked back north, changing the chances of bad from “whether” to “probably”.

And so it came to pass the day before our journey: the swell swung round, the chop came up, the rain clouds loomed and the wind blew.

That was a bit of a downer on the ferry ride from Cairns out to Green Island, where we would launch our assault next day. And ominously for others, it was a bit of an upper.

But not so bad as what would go down, and up, 24 hours later.

For many that would be not only a trip to the outer edge of the reef but also to the outer edge of their stomach.

Sure enough, next day the weather swung from a bad joke to just plain ridiculous. Seasoned holiday staff termed it “squally”.

As I stood in line on the jetty unsheltered with 200-plus sullen types in high wind and vertical rain waiting for the daytrippers from Cairns to get off my boat so I could get on, I was thinking more “Cyclone Ida”.

Despite prayers through the night, the “bad whether” had proceeded through the “probably” to the “definitely” and now my sunnies and snorkel were in danger of blowing up to Port Douglas.

Mercifully, the daytrippers eventually got off and the reef trippers got on, via a dignified stampede up the gang plank reminiscent of the American evacuation of Saigon circa 1975, followed by a Confucian-flavoured game of musical chairs once aboard.

Complimentary tea and coffee flowed thereafter and at that stage you’d have to say the mood was buoyant.

Then the boat started moving. Or, should I say, bouncing. From there the atmosphere sank quicker than many digestive tracts as people started losing their tea and coffee and anything else they’d had for breakfast, like human popcorn.

To paraphrase Ron Burgundy, “things escalated”. Mainly up the oesophagus.

And there but for the grace of God did I, and those on sea-sickness medication, go.

By the 40-minute mark the vibe had slipped from “wretched” to “grim”.

The only humour to be found came from advice on how to use the sick bags: “Hold to mouth and follow instructions below.”

Top marks to the staff who kept it together while so many were falling apart.

The surreal situation was capped off by an air hostess-like demonstration on how to use a snorkel, delivered in rapid fire, cheese-grating “Strine” to an ailing Asian audience staring cross-eyed at the ceiling.

But what else could anyone do?

Thankfully we reached the outer reef without further aspew and the staff who had patiently tended to the sick transformed from a slick M*A*S*H unit into an impressive dive/snorkel/catering/glass bottom submersible/scuba-doing operation.

Obviously there were some empty tummies but people soon rediscovered their stomach for battle, in the queue at the all-you-can-eat buffet.

Yes, it would have been nice if we got a sunny day, because on the surface, the reef looked a bit post-apocalyptic, what with the wind, rain, white caps and Bladerunner-like commentary blaring over the public address system.

But it’s what’s under the surface that matters and once in the water we discovered all we’d been promised: beauty, wonder, coral and the entire cast of Nemo unaffected by any meteorological mishaps above.

Not to mention a frenetic photographer, whose task it was to snap every person who took the plunge in the hope that once back on board, they’d take the plunge on a happy snap.

And indeed we did. We’d come this far, we wanted proof.

It also gave us a deep insight into what is required to run a tourist operation to the Great Barrier Reef.

Intestinal fortitude on heavy days is a must.

But running with the wind on the trip back to Green Island, it was clear we’d all had a swell time.

Millers Point sales proceeds used to build Lurnea public housing

by admin on 28/10/2018

Brad Hazzard visits a property on Argyle Street in Millers Point. Photo: Brendan Esposito New for old: Brad Hazzard at the site of public housing construction in Lurnea. Photo: Brendan Esposito
Wuxi Plastic Surgery

The government says five properties can be built for every Millers Point property sold. Photo: Brendan Esposito

INTERACTIVE: Millers Point, a community under the hammer

More than a year since a contentious, multimillion-dollar public housing sell-off at Millers Point was announced, the NSW government has provided the first evidence of how the proceeds will be spent.

Ten public housing units at Lurnea, in Sydney’s south-west, are being built with takings from the sale of 293 historic homes at Millers Point and The Rocks.

Units in the $2.8 million complex are among about 1500 new public housing dwellings to be built from the proceeds of the controversial sale, which is expected to reap upwards of $500 million.

The divisive sell-off required relocating about 600 public housing tenants from the harbourside suburb – a move critics had decried as “social cleansing”. About 158 residents are yet to move.

Many residents are elderly and some have family ties to the area stretching back more than a century.

New Social Housing Minister Brad Hazzard toured the Lurmea complex on Thursday, before inspecting two Millers Point properties to be sold.

Almost $27 million has been raised from the sale of 12 Millers Point properties – averaging about $2.2 million each – and three more hit the market this week.

Mr Hazzard said for every Millers Point property sold, five properties can be built elsewhere.

It includes homes at present being built across Sydney and the Illawarra, including at Padstow, Miranda, Gymea and Warilla.

The government had been criticised for selling the entire Millers Point public housing portfolio, rather than allowing some elderly and long-term residents to live out their lives in the area.

Mr Hazzard’s predecessor, Gabrielle Upton, appeared to ignore calls for new public housing to be built at Millers Point; however, Mr Hazzard is taking a different view.

“I’m not ruling out trying to get more public housing in and around the Millers Point area and … the CBD because there are a lot of older residents who’ve been in that area for a long time,” he said, adding that moving was a “tough ask” and officials were attempting to relocate residents to nearby suburbs.

The government said the Millers Point takings would be reinvested into the NSW social housing system. However, there were fears the funds would be used to fill a $300 million annual hole in the department’s budget, rather than to build new homes.

Mr Hazzard said a separate bank account had been established for the proceeds, enabling full transparency on the sales and capital outlays.

Millers Point: a community under the hammer

He said the sale proceeds would help alleviate the public housing waiting list, which is expected to blow out to 86,000 by 2016.

“It [is] time to free up those dollars and make it available for those people who are sitting out there, often [homeless] under bridges in the most terrible circumstances, finding wet mattresses in warehouses to sleep on … I am committed to finding them accommodation,” he said.

Independent Sydney MP Alex Greenwich welcomed Mr Hazzard’s efforts to improve transparency and to consider building new public housing at Millers Point, describing it as “an improvement on the previous [term of] government”.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.

Irish tourist Barry Lyttle faces possible jail sentence over one-punch attack on brother Patrick

by admin on 28/10/2018

Barry Lyttle (centre) arrives at court with his lawyer Chris Watson (left) and brother Patrick (right). Photo: Daniel MunozAn Irish tourist who put his brother into a coma with a single punch outside a Kings Cross nightclub could be sent to jail, despite his brother’s emotional plea for leniency.
Wuxi Plastic Surgery

With his older brother Barry Lyttle facing jail over the attack, a recovering Patrick Lyttle told a sentencing hearing in the Downing Centre Local Court on Thursday that the only way for him to heal fully was for his brother to be allowed to go home.

“When my family is healed I will be healed,” Patrick Lyttle told the court during an emotional victim impact statement.

“Victims often want to see deterrence. But everyone can see how much my brother has suffered.”

Barry Lyttle broke down before Magistrate Graeme Curran when the prosecutor in the case said he believed a full-time jail term was “the only appropriate sentence” for the 33-year-old’s attack in January on his younger brother.

“… A sentence of full-time custody would provide certainty and send a clear message to the community in relation to these types of offences which are prevalent, serious and require the denunciation of this court,” prosecutor Alex Poulos said.

CCTV footage of the incident, played in court for the first time, showed the two brothers arguing and jostling with each other as they left Hugo’s nightclub on Bayswater Road about 3am on January 3.

Patrick Lyttle, 31, is then seen to angrily shove his older brother who responds with a single, heavy punch to the younger man’s head, sending him falling backwards to the ground.

Barry Lyttle, in obvious distress, immediately rushes over to assist his sibling.

Patrick Lyttle spent a week in a coma at St Vincent’s Hospital after the punch, before making a remarkably rapid recovery that has apparently left him with few lasting effects.

He told the court that, should his brother be allowed to go home, the pair intended to travel around Ireland together, speaking to young people about the devastating consequences of violence.

Barry Lyttle’s barrister, Chris Watson, asked Magistrate Curran to take this “restorative justice” work into account when considering an appropriate sentence for his client as well as the fact that he had pleaded guilty to recklessly causing grievous bodily harm earlier on Thursday.

He said the punch was a “very emotional, spur of the moment act” that immediately followed being aggressively pushed, and that Barry Lyttle had subsequently shown “an extreme level of contrition and remorse”.

“…this is one of the very rarest sentences where your honour might find that a sentence other than full-time custody is appropriate,” Mr Watson said.

Magistrate Curran said that while he believed restorative justice programs were beneficial, he could not allow Barry Lyttle to undertake such work as an alternative to being formally sentenced.

He said that, because Mr Lyttle was not an Australian citizen, many of the alternatives to full-time custody such as home detention and community service could not be applied.

“When it’s all boiled down there is only one alternative to full-time custody and that is a suspended sentence,” Mr Curran said.

“Bearing in mind the subjective matters, which are quite compelling in this case, there may well be an argument that the prison term should be suspended,” he continued.

However, the magistrate acknowledged that usually a suspended sentence was accompanied by a good behaviour bond and that such a bond would be virtually impossible to police in Mr Lyttle’s case because he would be living in Ireland.

The matter will return to court on April 24 for sentence.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.

HOUSE OF THE WEEK: Fresh take by the lake

by admin on 28/10/2018

HOUSE OF THE WEEK: Fresh take by the lake This old Eleebana home has a new lease of life after some clever and stylish changes. Picture: Peter Stoop
Wuxi Plastic Surgery

This old Eleebana home has a new lease of life after some clever and stylish changes. Picture: Peter Stoop

This old Eleebana home has a new lease of life after some clever and stylish changes. Picture: Peter Stoop

This old Eleebana home has a new lease of life after some clever and stylish changes. Picture: Peter Stoop

This old Eleebana home has a new lease of life after some clever and stylish changes. Picture: Peter Stoop

This old Eleebana home has a new lease of life after some clever and stylish changes. Picture: Peter Stoop

TweetFacebookIT can be difficult to see past the dated design and questionable colour palettes of an older home.

But if you strip away the drab trappings, you might just find a diamond in the rough.

Bede and Mel Campbell are putting the finishing touches on one such gem; a three-bedroom, two-storey house in Eleebana that they bought just over two years ago.

But they had a distinct advantage when it came to seeing beyond the property’s delightful salmon and green colour scheme and mismatched flooring.

Bede works at Newcastle’s EJE Architecture, where he helps clients create their dream houses and spaces every day.

Within moments of stepping inside what would eventually become their home, the architect could see its potential.

The cogs were in motion.

Their house is now a demonstration in how little changes can make a big difference.

“One of the best things we did was remove the wall to connect the kitchen with the living and dining area,” Bede says.

“It has completely changed the feel of that space, which is now open and bright, and we get a lovely breeze off the lake through the whole house.”

Windows running the full length of the living area frame a spectacular view of the lake.

A smoked mirror splashback in the kitchen means the Campbells can still appreciate the view, even when their backs are turned.

But one particular feature draws the eyes like no other: The couple’s custom-made, saltwater marine fish tank.

Full of colourful coral and tropical fish, it is mesmerising.

Picture: Peter Stoop

The Campbells were encouraged by friends who own the chain of PetQuarters stores.

“I was open to the idea, but if I was going to do it, I wanted it to be a feature of the house,” Bede says.

“I wanted it built into a wall. Better yet, on the corner of a wall with two sides exposed.”

Bede created a “fish room” accessed via the walk-in pantry.

The fish tank, and walk-in pantry, are framed by a product called CSR Cemintel Barestone.

Picture: Peter Stoop

“We received a sample at work of this raw concrete-look panel, and I decided to use it to introduce some texture and colour into the house, which is mainly white walls,” Bede says.

“It is a pre-finished panel usually used in external applications, but we wanted to use it internally to define the fish tank and walk-in pantry.”

They also carried the material into the kitchen on the front of the island bench.

The look is complemented by the three water drop cement pendant lights that hang above the thick white Caesarstone benchtop with waterfall edges.

Another small but significant change the couple made was to give the floor coverings some continuity.

They laid 130 millimetre grey ironbark hardwood boards throughout the kitchen, dining and living area, and along the hallway to the carpeted bedrooms.

Downstairs there is a self-contained space with a kitchenette, large rumpus room and bathroom, as well as access to a private in-ground pool at the front of the property.

Picture: Peter Stoop

They are in the process of laying timber-look vinyl planks over the dated tiles downstairs as a way of tying those rooms to the rest of the house.

The main bathroom also benefited from a revamp.

Large, charcoal vitrified floor tiles continue up the shower wall, and are complemented by the contrasting glossy white of the bathroom wall tiles.

The his-and-hers vanity was custom-made by Groves Joinery to the same specifications as the kitchen – white two-pac joinery with a “Snow” white Caesarstone benchtop. A ceiling-mounted shower rose, a custom frameless glass shower screen and a wide vanity mirror give the bathroom a simple, but luxurious finish.

“One benefit of being an architect was being able to visually express my ideas to Mel through the use of 3D CAD renderings,” Bede says.

Picture: Peter Stoop

“It allowed her to have some input on the finishes. She could see the result before we started construction.

“These images were also great to assist the builder – Malman Group – and tradesman so they could see what we wanted to achieve.”

The Campbells built a new deck and covered entertainment area.

Picture: Peter Stoop

They added a glass sliding door to create a visual and physical connection to the backyard and cubby house.

It is a change they anticipate will become more important after the arrival of their first child later this year.

Drive-by protest at mosque meeting with MPs

by admin on 28/10/2018

Drive-by protest at mosque meeting with MPs Muslim leaders talk about the plans while two protesters drive past. Picture: ADAM HOLMES
Wuxi Plastic Surgery

Police ask the two protesters to park elsewhere. Picture: ADAM HOLMES

TweetFacebookBendigo Advertiserand drove up and down the street while the MPs discussed the mosque.

Speaking at a lunch earlier in the day celebrating multiculturalism, Bendigo Muslim community spokesman HeriFebriyanto said there was still misunderstanding from some in the community about the plans.

“I think the majority of the people in the Bendigo community support us,” he said.

“(It is)only a small minority mostly from outside of Bendigo (who)might still have an objection with us.

“Maybe there is misunderstanding about what our proposed plan is.

“(The mosque has) nothing to do with a hidden agenda.”

Bendigo’s Muslim community has grown to more than 300 people in the last 17 years, constituting 25 different nationalities.

The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal case hearing objections to the mosque proposal will continue in May.

The Islamic Mission is yet to present evidence at the case.

Mr Febriyanto said he remained confident VCAT would find in favour of the mosque.

He said Bendigo’s Muslim community deserved its own place for worship and to hold gatherings.

“We also have some students from overseas and the local students within Australia, we don’t have any place for prayer, for gatherings,” Mr Febriyanto said.

“(There is nowhere) for big celebrations.”

Ms Chesters said she received a lot of calls from people wanting to know more about what the mosque would mean for Bendigo.

“Some people… want answers, they want to be able to get the right information,” she said.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.

CharlieHebdo editor Stephane Charbonnier gets last laugh in posthumous book

by admin on 28/10/2018

‘‘The suggestion that you can laugh at everything, except certain aspects of Islam, because Muslims are much more susceptible than the rest of the population, what is that, if not discrimination?’’ : Stephane CharbonnierLEFT-WING intellectuals who accused the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo of going too far by publishing drawings of the Prophet Mohammad are guilty of “disgusting paternalism”, the satirical weekly’s murdered editor claims in a book published posthumously.
Wuxi Plastic Surgery

Stephane Charbonnier’s message from beyond the grave will rock the sense of national unity following the Paris terrorist attacks in which three terrorists shot dead 17 people before being killed.

Charb, as he was known, finished Open Letter to the Fraudsters of Islamophobia who Play into Racists’ Hands two days before he was among 12 killed in the first attack by Islamist extremists to “avenge” the publication of drawings.

The book accuses the media of fomenting hatred against the magazine and the former Right-wing French president Nicolas Sarkozy of “freeing up” racism in France.

It criticises Islamists who apply the Koran to the letter as if they were “putting up Ikea shelves”, and are ready to “cut the infidel’s throats along the dotted line otherwise God will deprive me of Club Med in the afterlife”.

But it saves its heaviest salvos for Left-leaning intellectuals, described as “ridiculous demagogues” for accusing Charlie Hebdo of going too far by publishing the drawings. Many of those intellectuals joined mass street demonstrations after Charb’s death under the “Je Suis Charlie” banner.

“The suggestion that you can laugh at everything, except certain aspects of Islam, because Muslims are much more susceptible than the rest of the population, what is that, if not discrimination?” it asks.

“It’s time to finish with this disgusting paternalism of the white, Left-wing bourgeois intellectual seeking to prove himself among the ‘poor unfortunate undereducated’.”

Seeking to explain what he saw as intellectuals’ condescension masquerading as solidarity, Charb writes: “Since I am educated, I understand that Charlie Hebdo is using humour. But out of respect for you [Muslims], since you haven’t yet discovered second-degree humour, I will denounce these Islamophobic drawings that I pretend not to understand. I will put myself at your level to show that I love you.

“These ridiculous demagogues just have a huge need to be the centre of attention and want to satisfy their formidable fantasy to dominate others.”

Extracts from Charb’s book appeared in L’Obs, the weekly magazine.

The Daily Telegraph, London