Month: September 2019

Gonna Mish you

END OF AN ERA: All good things come to an end despite our irrational wishes to the contrary.SIMON WALKER: That’s Life archive
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There’s never a good time for a bad time, but when it’s time, it’s time.

Such wasthe reality confronted last week when we called a day on our beloved family cat Mish Mash.

It’s a situation many pet owners face, if they’re lucky enough, and I say that advisably because it’s a bittersweet moment.

The end of a two-decade era.

While the city was revelling in Supercars, and Same Sex marriage equality was passing the Senate, we were at home dealing with another big issue.

Mish arrived in our lives as a five-week-old rescue kitten and grew up with our kids, becoming a fixture over 20 bliss- and hiss-full years, depending on whether you were trying to clip her nails or not.

It’s fair to say she was as much a piece of the family furniture as the pieces of family furniture she spent most of those 20 years sleeping on, when she wasn’t sleeping on us.

It was the second familiar feline we’ve lost this year and a poignant lesson in loss.

The first went in June and was unexpected because at seven he was seemingly full of tomorrows.

Mish was tipped much more likely to cross the rainbow bridge due to miles on the clock but defied ever-advancing renal failure with a devil-may-care attitude to exercise and hitting the kitty litter tray.

Death is a fact of life, however, and like most consumer durables these days, none of us comes with a warranty. Deep down we hoped Mish wouldlive forever becausethe thought of parting seemed beyond sweet sorrow, particularly as that time grew obviously closer.

In the end it wasabout reducing suffering, and I promise I won’t extend yours by going on too much more about this, butmaybe one day our Parliaments will. Victoria’s did this week.

Vets obviously go through it a lot because when we took Mish in last Monday, a checkup nearly becameaput down. The ultimate one. The writing had been on the wall, but not in such big letters that we couldn’t yet cling to the hope of one last course of action. Or rather antibiotics. If they kicked in, and then the appetite, and then the digestive system etc, then maybe we could pushpast pseudo relevant landmarks like clawing past Christmas and New Year.

It’s called clutching at straws. And come Thursday, we were in little doubtthat the inevitablewas at hand, if we so chose.

As mentioned at the start, there’s never a good time for a bad time, but when the vet suggested that now, before puppy pre-school, was probably a better time, the finality of what you are doing strikes home. After all those years, it cameto this.

And with that, and some tissues and kind words and final pats and a paw print, we called time on 20 years.

The nest is now emptier than anticipated at the beginning of the year, reminding us all that nothing lasts forever and that we should always cherish what we’ve got.

Mish will live on in the memory as one of the great family cats but her passing, as does any loss, reallyputs the “purr” into perspective.

Innovative product delivers fatal ticking-off

Summer and more time in the bush brings the inevitable problem for us and our pets: ticks and their removal.
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The latest thinking is to freeze them and flick them off. But how to do that?

Last week I saw a new product on the market, Tick Tox, a small pressurised-can with a fine nozzle and a shielding device to target just the tick to ensure the tick, and not the skin around it, is frozen.

The life cycle of a tick, as it hatches from egg to larva, metamorphoses to nymph, grows to adulthood, mates and lays about 300 eggs, requires three blood meals from its host animal, or indeed any animal or human that might come along at the wrong time.

Our local ticks deliver a potent paralysis toxin that commonly sendspet dogs to the veterinary surgery. It’s less common, but some humans develop dangerous anaphylactic reactions to the tick saliva and some develop allergies to red meat such as beef.

During the long history of evolution, many human and animal bacterial pathogens have adapted to use the tick as a way of passing from one host to another, so a tick bite in Australia can cause disease such as scrub typhus.

Indeed our laboratory showed some years ago that the brown dog tick causes tick fever in dogs through injecting them with a bug, previously not thought to be in Australia, called Anaplasma platys. The symptoms being anaemia and autoantibodies to blood platelets, the target cell of the bug.

Tick Tox is a wonderful example of entrepreneurism. Canberran, Peggy Douglass, after having too many tick bites while working in her aunt’s Palm Beach garden, decided to do something to make it easier to kill ticks, by snap freezing them, thus filling a gap in the market.

Professor Tim Roberts is the director of the Tom Farrell Institute for the Environment, University of Newcastle

Around the world and back to Parramatta – a Hayne timeline

2006: Hayne makes first grade debut
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Bursts onto the scene as a teenager, making his debut on the wing against the Penrith Panthers. He grabs his first two tries in his fourth game and goes on to score 17 in 16 games to win Rookie of the Year. Eels lose in week one of the finals to Melbourne.

2007: Rep jerseys abound

No signs of second year syndrome as Hayne scores a try on his Origin debut as NSW lose the series, but wins NSW Player of the Year honours. Switches to fullback mid-season for Parramatta, who reach the prelim before losing to the Storm again. Represents Australia for the first time.

2008: World Cup dreams

The Eels fall off a cliff and miss the finals – Hayne again plays Origin, but represents Fiji at the 2008 World Cup and reaches the semi-finals before being thrashed by the Kangaroos.

2009: The magic run

Starts the season playing five-eighth and centre, before a switch to fullback ignites the Eels and they make a run to the grand final after finishing eighth. They are once again thwarted by the Storm – his last NRL finals match for 7 years – but Hayne wins the first of his two Dally M medals.

Fairytale run: Hayne’s performances in 2009 were arguably his best in an Eels jersey. Photo: Steve Christo

2013-14: Origin and World glory

The Eels spend several years in the cellar, including wooden spoons in 2012 and 2013. But Hayne shines on rep duty, earning the top tryscorer award at the 2013 World Cup as the Kangaroos easily win the tournament. In the 2014 State of Origin, the Blues win the series for the only time in his career. Claims his second Dally M, joint-winner with Johnathan Thurston.

2015: The switch

Moves to the San Francisco 49ers, and grabs headlines throughout a highlight-filled pre-season. Plays eight regular season games and struggles to make an impact, before retiring from the sport in 2016 when the team hired a new head coach.

Living the dream: Hayne in action for the San Francisco 49ers. Photo: AP

2016: Olympic dream and NRL return

After leaving America, Hayne expressed his desire to go to Rio with the Fijian rugby sevens team. He is left off the final roster for the Olympics as Fiji claim gold. After failing to come to terms with Parramatta, Hayne signs with the Gold Coast Titans for the second half of the 2016 season. They finish eighth and lose in week one of the finals.

2017: homecoming

The Titans finish second last as speculation mounts that Hayne is agitating for a return to Parramatta. The request is granted, as Hayne’s globetrotting career comes full circle.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

US teams tailored tactics around Kerr

Former adversaries aren’t surprised that Matildas star Sam Kerr has been crowned the Asian player of the year, having had to base their tactics solely around the threat of the nimble striker for years.
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Western Sydney Wanderers’ midfielder Lo’eau LaBonta spent two seasons playing against the Australian forward in the US National Women’s Soccer League and revealed her team’s game plan would always change whenever it faced Kerr.

LaBonta joined Sky Blue FC in 2015 but parted ways just before Kerr moved to the club, meaning they narrowly crossed paths at the New Jersey side. The American youth international then spent two seasons at FC Kansas City where the Australian forward became one of the most difficult opponents her team would face.

She said it was common knowledge throughout US women’s soccer that teams’ tactics and defensive set-up would be tailored around the threat of a then 22-year-old Kerr and Kansas City was no different. For each game against Kerr’s Sky Blue FC, Kansas would deploy two defenders on the Matildas forward with the sole task of marking her for the entire game.

“I just know that we were always watching her. I know with a lot of teams, their game plans are based around Sam Kerr. You always have to watch for her,” LaBonta said.

Even if that was successful in nullifying Kerr’s threat, LaBonta said that would still pose other problems.

“You always want to have someone on her and have another player close. The great thing about her upfront is she does a lot of the work and they forget about the other forward around her. She creates so much space for others, a lot of teams tend to focus a lot on her,” she said.

Kerr finished last season as the top-scorer in the NWSL with 17 goals and moved to the all-time leading goal-scorer in the competition’s five-year history. Combined with her 11 goals in internationals, her club form in the US and her impressive start to the W-League season made her one of the hottest properties in world football.

At a ceremony in Thailand on Wednesday, Kerr was crowned Asia’s best player, providing some comfort after narrowly missing out on the final three-player shortlist for the world player of the year and LaBonta isn’t surprised having experience her progress first-hand in recent years.

“She’s been improving so much as a player since I first saw her play a couple of years ago. She’s improved so much, she’s really established herself not just here but in the States as well and internationally. She’s gotten overseas prestigious recognition, she’s crushing it. Now she’s doing so well, it brings so much attention to not only her, the league but women’s soccer in general,” LaBonta said.

Kerr will travel from Bangkok to Sydney to play for Perth Glory against Western Sydney on Friday afternoon at Marconi Stadium. The Wanderers aren’t expecting jet lag or fatigue to diminish the threat of Kerr and her clinical striker partner Rachel Hill, who collectively have scored 11 goals this season.

“We have to be just very strict in our defending and focusing on our shape and not leaving them on their own. Hopefully we keep the ball on them. The game plan is to keep the ball so we don’t have to defend,” LaBonta said.

“You always have to keep your eye on her and her finishing, you just saw the finish she had the other day in their international competition but it’s just top of the class.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Diary

December 6Hunter Business Women’s Network Christmas event. Hosted byCoco Skin and Laser. 5:45pm registration for a 6:00pm start. Level 5, 175 Scott Street, Newcastle.Tickets:Members ticket & 2018 early bird membership $65; Event only tickets $35 for 2017 financial members and $55 for guests. Details and bookings via Sticky Tickets.
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December 6Throsby Basin Business ChamberChristmas Party. Topic: Jingle & Mingle. Speaker: Clare Monkley. 5.30pm Carrington Place. 132 Young St, Carrington. Free, however reservations essential for catering. Contact [email protected]南京夜网or telephone 4929 5544.

December 12A Crash Course in Xero.Speaker: Xero’s Hanna Barry. 5.30pm – 7.30pm. The Business Centre,265 King Street, Newcastle.Cost: $45.

December 13Gen Collective Christmas function. Speaker: Michelle Crawford. Bocado’s Spanish Kitchen, King Street, Newcastle.Tickets $55 plus booking fee non-members; $50 plus booking feeGen Collective members. Ticket includes two drinks. Tickets: Email [email protected]南京夜网419论坛 or callJennifer Parkes on 0438 121 119.

February 9Hunter Outlook. Property Council of Australia Hunter Chapter. Speakers: Leone Lorrimer, CEO dwp; Niall Cunningham, principal, development management, wsp; Amanda Wetzel, City Plan strategy and development.12.00pm-2.00pm, NEX, West City, 39 King St, Newcastle. Members: $110; Non-members: $165.

Knights banking on million-dollar Pearce to lead club to the finals

Wests Group/Knights chief executive Phil Gardner says Newcastle should be aiming for the 2018 play-offs after confirming that NSW halfback Mitchell Pearce had agreed to their terms for a four-year deal.
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The race to sign Pearce ended early on Thursday afternoon when the former Roosters halfback told the other two clubs with whom he had been negotiating, Manly and Cronulla, that he had accepted Newcastle’s offer.

All that remained was for the Wests Group board of directors to ratify the contract, understood to be worth more than $1 million a season.

Wests’ endorsement is considered a fait accompli, and there is a possibility that Pearce could be in Newcastle as early as Friday to meet his new teammates and face the media.

Pearce will become the highest-paid player in Newcastle’s history, and expectation of the impact he will have was best illustrated by bookmakers immediately winding in the three-time wooden spooners’ premierships odds.

The Knights tightened from $41 title long shots to $31, from $7.50 to $6 for the top four, and from $3.50 to $3 to make the play-offs for the first time since 2013.

Asked if the finals were a realistic goal, Gardner replied: “Absolutely”.

“If you bring in a player of the quality of Mitchell Pearce, you’ve got to have the expectation that the team will go better.

“You don’t go into any competition not to win it. That’s the ultimate goal and what we’re working towards.

“Realistically with regards to next year, even before Mitchell Pearce, we were confident we would improve and be very competitive.

“Now we have to be a bit better than that.”

Gardner was hopeful Pearce would not be the last player Newcastle recruit before 2018 kicks off.

They have already signed his former Roosters teammates Aidan Guerra and Connor Watson, ex-Broncos Tautau Moga and Herman Ese’ese, Kalyn Ponga (North Queensland) and Slade Griffin (Melbourne).

“We think that he is someone who will help us attract other players, because they will want to play with him,” Gardner said. “If there was player that suited the team and was capable of making a substantial difference, we would still be in a position to do something.”

Gardner said Knights coach Nathan Brown and football manager Darren Mooney deserved the credit for the Pearce coup.

“It’s a great vote of confidence in the program we have here at Newcastle,” Gardner said. “Mitchell lives in Cronulla and he’s played with a lot of their players in the NSW team, so the easy option would have been to sign with the Sharks. But he’s backed himself and the players we already have here to be successful, and we believe he can help take the team to another level.”

Gardner reiterated that Newcastle did not want to lose 20-year-old Maitland junior Brock Lamb, who was one of their standout performers last season.

Lamb has another year to run on his contract with the Knights, but there have been suggestions he may seek an early release, amid rumours that Manly are interested in signing him or Trent Hodkinson to replace Blake Green, who has joined the Warriors.

If Lamb stays, he faces a battle with Watson for the right to partner Pearce, and Brown has already stated on a number of occasions that Watson will get first shot at playing five-eighth.

“Brock’s a player of the future,” Gardner said. “He’s a very good prospect and a local junior, and he’s under contract at this club for another year.

“We want Brock to stay and get better. Good sides have depth.

“If Kalyn Ponga was injured, Connor Watson could play fullback and Brock in the halves. So we still see plenty of first-grade opportunity for Brock, and Mitchell Pearce can help make him a better player.”

Pearce’s signing leaves 29-year-old Hodkinson facing a career road block.

It is understood re-joining Manly, his original NRL club, might be an option.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Accused sex offender set to face trial

Newcastle courthouse. A MAN accused of breaking into an 85-year-old woman’s Edgeworth home and subjecting her to repeated indecent assaultover a two-hour period will face a trial in Newcastle District Court early next year.
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“I’m not happy with that,” Stefan Neil Thomas Wakeman, 54, called from the court dock upon hearing Judge Roy Ellis confirm his trial date of January 29, 2018; the first week the court will sit after the Christmas break.

“This is the first time me and [barrister William Hussey] have spoke.

Stefan Neil Thomas Wakeman said from the court dock.

“Nothing’s been done on my case. “I’ve got a witness…”

Mr Wakeman, who was by no means being critical of Mr Hussey, who has only recently come into the matter,was cut-off by Judge Ellis before he could continue outlining the defence case.

He has pleaded not guilty to aggravated break and enter and commit serious indictable offence –deprive liberty, inflict assault occasioning actual bodily harm with intent to have sexual intercourse and aggravated enter dwelling with intent –inflict assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Mr Wakeman is accused of breaking into the elderly woman’s home and subjecting her to repeated indecent assault between 6pm and 8.10pm on January 22 this year.

The alleged victim was able to hit a duress alarm and a family member interrupted the alleged assault, police said.

Police said at the time of Mr Wakeman’s arrest that it was believed he had undertaken gardening work at the alleged victim’s home on previous occasions.

Mr Hussey said on Thursday that he was awaiting “additional statistics” in relation to the DNA allegedly found at the crime scene, noting that Mr Wakeman had been found to be a “minor contributor”.

“I’m also seeking CCTV footage from Belmont police station to ensure there’s been no cross contamination,” Mr Hussey told Judge Ellis.

Creating that special bond

IMPROVING LEARNING THROUGH PLAY: Lake Macquarie Family Day Care currently has vacancies available across Lake Macquarie and Newcastle for children of all ages. Lake Macquarie Family Day Care provides the option for families to have their children cared for in a small-group environment by quality education providers.
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There is a special bond between Family Day Care Educators and the children under their care, and it is something that is hard to replicate in any other setting.

Lake Macquarie Family Day Care Educator, Mary Copas, has been looking after children for many years in different capacities but her passion is providing care for children in a loving home environment.

“My background is in nursing but after having four children of my own I knew that childhood education was something I wanted to be part of,” Mary said.

“I started my training not long after I had my children and have had experience working in centres and the coordination of Family Day Care services but being involved in the children’s lives directly and watching them learn and interact is where I wanted to be.”

Over the course of a week, Mary is responsible for the care and education of 12 different children, aged between 18 months and four years old.

“At Family Day Care we encourage children to learn through play and to just be themselves in the process,” Mary said.

“Watching the children learn and encouraging them to develop an enthusiasm towards life-long learning is important to me.

“I also try to create a space where children can feel like they belong. For parents to know that their child is comfortable and excited to come to care because they are happy to be there is so important.”

Lake Macquarie Family Day Care Educator, Mary Copas

In Lake Macquarie City, there are more than 115 educators caring for 700 children and helping them to improve their learning through play.

Lake Macquarie Family Day Care currently has vacancies available across Lake Macquarie and Newcastle for children of all ages.

To find out more or to enrol your child, visitlakemac南京夜网419论坛/childcare.

People not a priority in privatisation game

Mark Morey, secretary of Unions NSW
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Good government is all about setting priorities.So what does that say about the Berejiklian government’s decision to privatise the new hospital inMaitland?Especially when it is spending a whopping $2.5 billion knocking down and rebuilding relatively new Sydney football grounds?

It says this government doesn’t really care about services like health, education and transport.It says this government is more interested in providing games for inner-city residents than delivering on the basics for people in the regions. In short, it says everything we need to know.

Let’s be clear about what the privatisation of theMaitlandHospital means. Regardless of whether the operator is a big corporation or a religious not-for-profit entity, it will be running the hospital on the same type of contract. That contract will allow the new operator to extract a financial surplus – money for them that could and should be going into the provision of services.

We know from experience what happens under hospital privatisation: patient care suffers; cleaning happens less often; the standard of food slips; patients have to wait long periods for assistance because there aren’t enough staff to move them.

These arrangements don’t even deliver better value for money to the taxpayer. According to the Auditor-General, the 1992 privatisation of Port Macquarie Hospital resulted in the state “paying for the hospital twice and giving it away”. Costs were 20 per cent higher than those in the public sector, and risk was lumped with the government and NSW taxpayers.

While the NSW government’s argument for privatising hospitals has always been threadbare, it rested on the simple assumption the government should no longer be in the business of providing public health services.

Now, however, the claim that the state is too broke to run hospitals has been blown apart. The money has always been there – it’s just that Ms Berejiklian wants to spend it on something else, on a different set of priorities.First it was Parramatta stadium, knocked down and rebuilt.Now it will be Allianz Stadium – only 29 years old – knocked down and rebuilt.And the final insult: ANZ Stadium will be knocked down and rebuilt just 17 years after it hosted the Olympics.

Don’t get me wrong, I think there’s nothing better than a day at the footy.But even the most ardent sports fan can see the Premier’s $2.5 billion stadium program is one of the most obscene, disgraceful exercises in wasteful spending in the history of NSW. This is not an error of judgement, or a silly decision made in haste. The stadium program has been years in the making, and involves the highest-ranked people in government. And the privatisation of our assets is how they are paying for it.

I’m sure selling hospitals and rebuilding sports stadiums plays well for the Premier in the boardrooms of Sydney. The Premier will probably get an extra glass of champagne at the SCG Trust Christmas drinks this year. Maybe Ms Berejiklian needs to get out of the boardroom and see what life is like for the rest of us who don’t get a free ticket into the corporate suites for State of Origin.

Communities around the state have already rejected the NSW government’s hospital privatisation agenda. Bowral, Goulburn, Wyong and Shellharbour have already said “no” to privatisation.

It’s the Hunter’s turn to send Ms Berejiklian a clear message: your priorities are all wrong Premier, and it’s time to start putting people first.

Mark Morey is the secretary of Unions NSW

OrotonGroup collapses into administration, joining Aussie retail bloodbath

Oroton’s board hasn’t managed to find a viable way out of the retailer’s financial woes. Photo: Nic WalkerIconic handbag retailerOrotonGroup has gone into administration, becomingthe latest casualty in Australia’s retail bloodbath.
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The company said on Thursday morning that an eight-month strategic review failed to find a viable option to secure its future.

Its 59 Oroton stores, including the one at Westfield Kotara, will continue to trade as usual while administratorsDeloitte Restructuring Services pursue a sale or a recapitalisation, the company said.

Oroton has suffered falling sales in recent years and racked upa $14.2 million loss in 2017.

BUSINESS NEWS:Macca’s home delivery kicks off in Newcastle

Thecompany’s shares, which went into a trading halt on Tuesday while the boardfinalised the result of its review, had fallen from$7.80 in early 2013to $2.44 a year ago. On Monday, they closed at just43¢.

Interim chief executive Ross Lane, whose grandfather Boyd Lane founded Oroton in 1938 and whose family holds 21 per cent of the company’s shares, said management was unable to find a better outcome than voluntary administration.

“The board is disappointed that it has had to take this step after running such a comprehensive process,” he said.

“However…. it is apparent that voluntary administration is necessary to protect the Oroton business and the future of this iconic Australian brand.”

AdministratorVaughan Strawbridge said he and hiscolleagueGlen Kanevsky would be focused on continuing to operate the business as they seek to sell or recapitalise the company.

BUSINESS NEWS:Newcastle business 20/20: Watch Suki Hairdressing’s story

Restructuring the group was a possibility, and “our ambition is that a stronger Oroton business will emerge from this process”, Mr Strawbridge said.

Oroton joins a string of mid-sized fashion retailers to collapse over the past 18 months, with Marcs, David Lawrence, Herringbone, Rhodes & Beckett,PaylessShoes and Pumpkin Patch all going under.

Oroton said in August that it would close itssix Gapfranchise clothing stores so it could focus on its core handbag brand.

The company’s stock is tightly held, withfund manager and long-time company backerWillVicars, of Sydney-based firm Caledonia, owning18.2 per cent of shares.

Gazal Corporation, the listed wholesaler of Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Van Heusen andPierre Cardin apparel in Australia,bought 7.3 per cent of Oroton in July.

A privatisation bid by the Lane or Vicars camps, or a takeover from Gazal, were all floated as possible outcomes from the review.

The company had net debt of $5.4 million at the end of FY17, and a market capitalisation of $18.3 million at its last share price. The 31 per centshares in free float had a value of just $5.7million.

The Sydney Morning Herald