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Highway cop an example to everyone

Highway cop an example to everyone

Graduating from university is an achievement for anybody but for Batemans Bay highway patrol Sergeant Rob Young, this success must taste all the sweeter for the sacrifices he has made.A number of students combine studies with full-time work or family commitments. Far less manage to juggle all three.Surviving on several hours' sleep a night, Sgt Young has not shirked on his duties as a father and has worked hard to ensure his children's needs are met. His commitment shows he recognises the importance of education; that it should be embraced and opportunities seized upon. He is an example of what can be achieved through determination and sheer hard work.The Young children will have made sacrifices in the past two years but what a fine example their father has set in both his work ethic and dedication to education.As he is planning to combine his professional expertise as a highway patrol officer with his passion for study, by looking at ways to reduce the road toll, Sgt Young's efforts may benefit us all.The graduations at UOW this week are a reminder of the value of education and our fortune in living in a country where opportunities to study are plentiful.
Nanjing Night Net

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Deputy Mayor wants a wind turbine in his Kiama yard

Deputy Mayor wants a wind turbine in his Kiama yard

A turbine used to generate power. Deputy Mayor Ben van der Wijngaart. Picture: ANDY ZAKELI
Nanjing Night Net

An artist's impression of how the 15m-high wind turbine would look in the yard of Ben van der Wijngaart's home.

Sleek eco-sculpture or ugly blight on the horizon?That's the question Kiama Municipal Council will ponder next month after its deputy mayor, the Greens' Ben van der Wijngaart, lodged an application to build a wind turbine in his backyard.Combined with 12 existing solar panels, the 15m-high structure is expected to make Mr van der Wijngaart's Kiama home energy neutral and deliver electricity back to the national grid. EDITORIAL: The winds of change still long way off "We all have to start thinking about reducing our carbon footprint … and two of the best things we can do are reduce consumption and generate as much as we can ourselves by renewable energy sources," Mr van der Wijngaart said.The 2.25kw spherical turbine consists of five rotor blades which silently produce electricity at a maximum wind speed of 19m per second. It is expected to save up to $380 in electricity bills each year and will earn 60¢ per kw hour for any surplus energy generated.Mr van der Wijngaart said he expected some opposition to the plan, but hoped the community would embrace the move away from coal-fired power to clean, green energy."Some people will say it looks like a piece of art, and others will say they don't like it." "But most people think nothing of ugly power poles and huge antennas on people's roofs … and if we want to reduce our carbon footprint we need to get used to these sorts of things."The $16,000 venture would prove its economic viability as electricity prices continued to rise, Mr van der Wijngaart said.His bid came as the Southern Councils Group (SCG) last week endorsed a new steering committee to help develop a community-based wind farm project. The group wants $1 million from the State Government for wind mapping, environment studies and land owner negotiations. The South Coast is one of five precincts where NSW's future wind power investment will be concentrated. Its first wind turbine was built last year.Kiama council's director of environmental services Andrew Knowlson said Mr van der Wijngaart's proposal would be assessed for noise, appearance and overshadowing.

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Fixed cameras cost Illawarra drivers $2.1m

Fixed cameras cost Illawarra drivers $2.1m

This speed camera, which monitors northbound traffic on the F6 at Gwynneville, raked in $900,000 for the NSW Government in the 2009-2010 financial year. Picture: ORLANDO CHIODOThis is the Illawarra's most prolific fixed speed camera, raking in close to $900,000 in revenue for the State Government in the 2009-10 financial year.Keeping a perpetual watch over northbound traffic heading towards Mt Ousley on the F6 at Gwynneville, the region's biggest infringement money spinner lightened the pockets of more than 5500 motorists.Revenue raised by the F6 detector dwarfed the income of any other camera in the region, accounting for almost half of the $2.1 million in fines collected across the Illawarra.The second most bountiful camera, located on the Princes Hwy at North Wollongong, raised $272,000, closely followed by the high-profile West Wollongong camera outside The Illawarra Grammar School with $264,000.While nearly 2300 fewer motorists were caught out compared with the previous year, revenue raised from the cameras jumped by more than $280,000 following the introduction of a new demerit and fine pricing system in July 2009.An RTA spokesperson said the reduction in infringements also indicated the message to slow down was sinking in.Although the $2.1 million in fines had been added to the State Government's consolidated revenue, NRMA Deputy President Michael Tynan said he believed all money raised from infringements should go towards improving roads."The NRMA would like all fixed speed camera revenue to be invested back into roads and details of revenue and expenditure made public," Mr Tynan said.The RTA spokesperson said revenue collected from speeding fines was paid to the Treasury and redirected into health, education, road safety and other initiatives.In addition to multi-million dollar investments in safety upgrades and black spot projects, the spokesperson said the State Government had allocated $40 million to Picton Rd and an additional $7.8 million to projects across the Illawarra.While acknowledging the fixed speed cameras did have their place, Mr Tynan said they were still no match for a strong highway patrol presence."While the NRMA agrees that fixed speed cameras reduce crash rates, the most effective deterrent for speeding drivers is a highly visible police presence," he said.More than 15,000 motorists were snapped exceeding the limit by the region's fixed cameras last financial year.New mobile speed cameras are being rolled out this week.They are targeting speeding hot spots in the Illawarra and the rest of NSW.
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DRAGONS BLOG: The Red V comeback

DRAGONS BLOG: The Red V comeback

It was when the Bunnies kicked a field goal on Friday night to go 13-12 up that I relaxed - because I knew the Dragons would win.It’s strange behaviour from a fan who has spent years watching games in fear, just waiting for the moment when we’ll throw it all away. And that moment usually came.Yet as Chris Sandow gave a little fist-pump after kicking that field goal in the 64th minute, I knew a win to the Dragons was inevitable.Which is strange behaviour from a fan who has been through enough grand final losses in last 30-odd years to know better than to ever count a game as won before the final siren.Yet the certainty was there - and it was a certainty.For mine that field goal was a sign of submission. An action that said ‘‘we’re buggered if we can figure out how to score a try so we’re just going to take a field goal’’.It was a compliment to the Dragons who, even though they weren’t quite up to scratch, were still good enough to limit the Bunnies options.(I should point out here, I’m not mocking the Bunnies. I think they’ve got a pretty good side in there somewhere but they just seem to lack focus and discipline. And make the wrong choices - such as kicking a field goal way too early.)And I knew that, with 16 minutes still on the clock, there were eons of time for the Dragons to make up a measly one-point deficit. Which they did, courtesy of Neville Costigan’s decision to run it on the last (though I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who thought at the time ‘‘what the hell is Nev doing running the ball on the last?’’).The play ended with Gasnier scoring - thus guaranteeing the man with the Roger Ramjet jaw would be the focus on media coverage of a Dragons game for the second week in a row.What I loved most about the game was that we came from behind to win.At half-time we were down 6-4 - and our record of winning games when we’re down at half-time is awful and, early in the second half it went out to 12-4.In fact we were behind on the scoreboard for almost the entire game - from the fifth minute, when Bunny Roy Asotasti scored an embarrassingly easy try, until the Gasnier try in the 71st minute.For a season and a half now, the Dragons’ ability to chase points has been called into question - and rightly so. I’ve felt the same way, figuring that once we were behind on the scoreboard we got lost and didn’t quite know what to do.But this game, where they used their defence to keep the scoreline close and their patience to wait for the right time to attack, may well have gotten that monkey off their back.Now they know they can come from behind and win. Though, to be honest, it’s always a little easier on the nerves when they lead from the front.
Nanjing Night Net

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It’s all show for Autumn

It’s all show for Autumn

As well as a range of autumn flowers, including chrysanthemums, container grown plants, fruit and vegetables together with a section for giant vegetables are always a highlight of this show. Specialist growers will also be at the show.
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Opening hours are from 2pm to 5pm today and from 9am to 4pm tomorrow.

Admission is just $2. Morning and afternoon teas are available.

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Indon embassy urges fisherman explanation

Indon embassy urges fisherman explanation

A statement from the Indonesian embassy said Muhammed Heri, the captain of the fishing boat Gunung Mas Beru, died while detained on his boat in Darwin harbour last Thursday.
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The Australian Fisheries Management Authority said on Friday that the man was the master of a vessel which was caught for illegal fishing in Australian waters on April 18. The vessel arrived in Darwin a week ago and Mr Heri, 37, and nine crew members were detained.

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

Monster mako has Rhiannon on top of world

Monster mako has Rhiannon on top of world

Warilla schoolgirl Rhiannon Halling set a world record with a 118.1kg mako shark caught 50km off the Illawarra coast. Picture: ANDY ZAKELISchoolgirl Rhiannon Halling's tussle with a monster mako shark three times her size has earned her ultimate bragging rights.Not only has the 11-year-old outdone her father Mark in the big fish stakes, her name has also been etched into the record books, after the 118.1kg catch was officially certified as a world record."When I saw it come up next to the boat I was shocked, I couldn't believe how big it was," Rhiannon said."I was puffed and my arms were really sore but I was really happy to have caught my first shark."The haul came while she was fishing in the family's boat 50km off the Illawarra coast in November.The gentle sound of the sea was suddenly broken by the squeal from Rhiannon's fishing rod reel, as the shark hooked up and headed for the ocean depths.The initial burst of energy from the end of the line indicated a massive fight ahead for the Warilla girl.Incredibly, the battle lasted just 15 minutes, before a family friend was able to secure the fish and pull it aboard the boat."The mako shark is a very aggressive fish, and they will often come back to bite the boat, and that's what happened here," her father Mark Halling said."Because of that, Rhiannon only had to battle with it for 15 minutes when it could have potentially been hours."For her efforts, Rhiannon is the proud bearer of an official world record for her age division, as well as a swag of NSW and Australian records.Amazingly, the catch was made during only her second venture out into open waters.Mr Halling said the family had to go to great lengths to confirm the world record, which had taken considerable time."We had to weigh the shark on certified scales, get measurements and take pictures of the teeth," he said."Then we had to submit a length of the line used to the International Game Fishing Association in Florida, where they verify everything."Rhiannon caught the shark on a 6kg line, and was completely unaided, qualifying for the record.
Nanjing Night Net

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Boy injured in Midlands accident

Boy injured in Midlands accident

The accident occurred at 6pm and the boy, a pedestrian, was taken to the Royal Hobart Hospital by ambulance.
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He was in a serious condition late last night.

Also in Hobart, a person was injured in a minor car accident in Elizabeth St last night.

The person was taken to the Calvary Hospital and was not in a serious condition.

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

TOP TEN …

TOP TEN …

4 Star Wars - Revenge Of The Sith by Matthew Stover
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5 March by Geraldine Brooks

6 Always and Forever by Cathy Kelly

7 No Place Like Home by Mary Higgins Clark

8 Vanishing Acts by Jodi Picoult

9 My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult

10 If You Faint Fall Backwards by Dr Frank Madill

- Supplied by Birchalls

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

DRAGONS BLOG: Give the refs a break

DRAGONS BLOG: Give the refs a break

Those of us with long memories probably found it amusing to read former ref Greg Hartley’s criticisms of the current crop of whistle-blowers.Seems he takes a dim view of their abilities and fears that one of their mistakes will cost a team in the finals.Now, here’s a little history lesson for you younger fans. Back in 1978, Manly and Parramatta played in the minor semi - in the days when there was just a top five.The two sides bashed each other for a 13-all draw. In the replay, on Greg Hartley awarded the match-winning try to Manly on the seventh tackle, which sent the Sea Eagles into the grand final. On top of that, he also miscounted the Eels tackles on at least three occasions - giving them five instead of six.So for him to whinge that one of today’s refs may make a blunder that costs a team in the finals is a bit rich indeed. He’s criticising others for something he’s done himself.His comments are the latest in big bout of referee bashing lately. Apparently everyone thinks today’s referees are woeful and make mistakes all the time. Some commentators (and I’m thinking of Phil Gould here) complain when the officials use the video ref too much but then also complain when the refs back themselves and make a decision.Well, guys, you can’t have it both ways. You either let the ref back themselves or let them use the video.And while I’m here, if you only spot a mistake after watching three replays then don’t go criticising the ref of missing it. Because you did too.You ask me, I don’t reckon the refeering is any better of worse than what it used to be. What it is, is more scrutinised. Back in Hartley’s day, there was no video ref and only a handful of camera angles available during the TV telecast, most of which told us nothing.Nowadays there is seemingly a camera to cover every possible angle and give a sharp picture as well. And TV producers can call up a replay really quickly, so we get to see the ref’s mistake straight away. Where in the old days, we mightn’t get to see it at all.Then there’s the raft of pundits wanting to bang on about the game - to a level that didn’t exist back in the day. So not only is there more TV coverage of the referees, there’s more people to comment on them.But guess what? Referees make mistakes. They always have and they always will. Some won’t mean anything, others will cost a team a grand final spot - won’t they Mr Hartley. Sure, I get mighty angry if the ref makes a dud call against my Dragons, but I live with it. Because I’m not perfect - and it would be enormously hypocritical to expect them to be.A good team should be able to overcome a bad call. Blaming the refs is always the easy way out.If a team gets a dud call a few minutes from full time in a close game and, on that set of six the other side scores the matchwinning try, who cops the blame? The ref of course. The fact that the dudded team still had the chance to win by defending well is completely ignored.We need refs - without them there is no game. If we keep scrutinising them and complaining every single time they make a mistake, no-one will want to be a ref.So get off their backs.
Nanjing Night Net

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