Archive for April, 2019
18 Apr

Eagle Darling praises ‘fun’ forward line

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West Coast forward Jack Darling will be a crucial player in the AFL grand final against CollingwoodWest Coast forward Jack Darling is in the form of his life but it’s not the only reason why he’s having so much fun.

Darling is averaging a career-high 2.35 goals per game this season, with his strong contested marking a highlight.

West Coast are a perfect 12-0 when Darling and Josh Kennedy have played together this year, and the pair will be crucial planks in Saturday’s grand final against Collingwood.

But as good as Darling and Kennedy have been this season, it’s West Coast’s small forwards who have also been key to the team’s success.

Willie Rioli and Liam Ryan have been revelations in their debut seasons, while Jamie Cripps is enjoying a career-best year.

Veteran Mark LeCras has also been vital with 32 goals.

“The forward set up we’ve got going at the moment sure is a lot of fun to be part of,” Darling said.

“The new guys that have come in this year have really bought in and played their role, especially with their defensive pressure.

“A massive part of my game in the air is to make sure I at least bring the ball to ground.

“If I mark it, then that’s a bonus.

“I definitely try not to get outmarked. If I bring it to ground, we have those amazing smaller guys who can do some amazing things.”

Darling endured a nightmare performance in the 2015 grand final loss to Hawthorn.

The 26-year-old managed just one goal from 10 disposals, with his horror dropped mark in the third quarter costing the team dearly.

But Darling feels far better prepared to deal with the occasion this time around, and has gained confidence from his hot form this year.

However, he is keen to improve his accuracy in front of goal.

The 191cm forward has booted 19.16 since returning from a serious ankle injury in round 17, including 3.3 in the preliminary final win over Melbourne.

“All year haven’t really been kicking straight,” Darling said.

“If I play a good game, it’s usually 4.3 or something like that.

“At least I’m getting shots. Hopefully in the grand final it will come together.”

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18 Apr

Mick Horne followed his police instincts and it cost him his life

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Mel Horne and son, Tom, who are in Sydney to commemorate husband and father Mick Horne (inset) at National Police Remembrance Day. Photo: Dominic LorrimerFor 24 years Mel Horne knew her husband’s work put him in danger.

As a NSW Police officer for the Traffic and Highway Patrol Command, then-Senior Constable Mick Horne was often the man between dangerous or drunk drivers, and other innocent users of the road.

Long shifts, late nights and fatalities were just a part of the job.

“When they are in the force, it’s always in the back of your mind … something might happen one day, something could go wrong,” she said.

Once Mr Horne retired as a senior constable in 2009, there was no longer a need to worry; surely they were in the clear.

A career in policing was a life-long dream for Mick Horne. Photo: NSW Police

But on June 1 this year the 54-year-old retired officer again put himself in harm’s way, when he risked his own life and fell victim to another man’s alleged hammer attack.

Mr and Mrs Horne had been driving home from Bega to Merimbula when they allegedly drove into the path of Murray Deakin, a 20-year-old man who had allegedly stabbed both his grandparents Gail and Thomas Winner at their Bega home, before fleeing in their vehicle just hours earlier.

Mrs Winner later died.

Driving along Sapphire Coast Drive, Bournda, Mr Horne noticed a car driving erratically and with his policing instincts still sharp, decided to “call it in” and report the number plate.

When Mr Horne stopped his car, the man allegedly struck him in the head with a hammer, before stealing his car. Mrs Horne escaped without injury.

Mr Deakin was later arrested after a five-hour manhunt and has since been charged with two counts of murder and two counts of wounding with intent to murder, among others.

He will next appear before Bega Local Court on October 23.

On Friday, Mr Horne will be one of more than 270 police officers acknowledged for their courage and sacrifice at National Police Remembrance Day services across the state.

NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said the day was a reminder of the constant dangers that come with a police officer’s oath to protect.

“These men and women often place themselves in harm’s way, risking their own lives to help others,” he said.

“Their determination to protect the community sometimes has tragic outcomes and our duty is to ensuretheir courage and selfless action is never forgotten.”

Retired police officer Mick Horne, 54, who was killed in June this year.

Almost three months since his shock death, Mr Horne’s wife and son Tom, 29, have travelled to Sydney to commemorate the former officer, for whom a career in policing was a life-long dream.

And yet they still laugh at the reason it nearly didn’t happen.

Before 1986 Mr Horne was about 1.5 centimetres away from the 174-centimetre height minimum required to don the blue uniform.

“He did everything he could. He went to the chiropractor to be stretched, he lay flat [on the way] to his interview … but he didn’t get in, because they knew he was half an inch too short,” said Mrs Horne.

Luckily for Mr Horne, by 1986 NSW became the first police jurisdiction in to do away with minimum height requirements for officers, placing him front and centre for the force’s first intake in 1987.

When he was forced to retire early due to injury, he declined the option of a role behind a desk, because he “wouldn’t actually be out there, stopping people doing wrong. That’s just what he was about.”

Mr Horne was awarded a medal in 2004 for his 15 years as an officer.

On Wednesday his name was added to the Memorial Wall at the Sydney Police Centre in Surry Hills, in recognition of his bravery and service to the community.

“It’s nice to think people will walk past it and know he’s so much more than what happened to him,” Mrs Horne said.


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18 Apr

Opening of 100th surf season heralded by century-old bugle

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SOUND, SOLDIERS AND SURF: Maryland’s Kye Jeffriess will play the Last Post on a 1912 issue bugle on Saturday. Picture: SIMONE DE PEAKThe sounding of ahistoricbugleon the sands of Nobbys beach this Saturday will recallthe pivotal contribution of WWI soldiersto the region’s surf life saving clubs.

The Hunter Surf Life Saving branch formed in 1918,the same year the Great War ended.

BUGLE SOUND: Kye Jeffriess with his 110 year-old bugle. Picture: SIMONE DE PEAK

According to Cooks Hill Surf Club’s member services officerJohn Mayo, the branch rapidly expanded in the 20s and 30s due to the number of men who returned from service to the region’s coastline and signed up as surf life savers.

“Fromwhat I can best estimate there was somewhere between 200 and 300surf life savers whovolunteered to go to WWIfrom the surf clubs in Newcastle. Quite a few of them didn’t return,” Mr Mayo said.

“Many other guys joined after returning from the war. They were very enthusiastic for surf clubs because they wanted the comradeship,” Mr Mayo said.

To commemorate this contribution, 16-year-old Kye Jeffriess will play theLast Post during the Hunter branch’s centenary celebration on Saturday morning.

UNKNOWN HISTORY: Markings on the bugle’s bell show the bugle was of government issue in the NSW Citizens Military Force in 1912. Picture: SIMONE DE PEAK

The son of a keen military collector and former Nobbys nipper, Kye will sound a 110-year-old bugle believed to be connected to ’s effort during the Great War. The instrument bears the markings of the NSW Citizens Military Force and was found in Britain.

“I love the fact thatI’m able to go these ceremonies and play for everyone, because music doesn’t die. I can play exactly what was played 110 years ago and people can hear it now,” Kye said.

MAKERS MARK: Markings show the bugle was made in 1908. Picture: SIMONE DE PEAK

With a long line of relatives who have served overseas Kye said he hadn’t tired of playing the military refrain.

“It’s got a soft spot in my heart. It’s very meaningful to me.”

The opening of the Hunter’s 100thsurf season begins at8.30am on Nobbys beach.

Related stories:

Work begins on kiosk at Redhead Surf Life Saving Club after fireBogey Hole rescue in Newcastle prompts warning for rock anglers

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18 Apr

Letters to the editor Saturday September 29 2018

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HIT HARD: Billy Slater after the judiciary hearing that cleared him to play in the grand final on Sunday and, inset, the tackle that landed him there.AS EXPECTED, Billy Slater walked away from what I considered a blatant anddeliberate shoulder charge hearing free to play. This is very bad look for a game that talks a lot about cleaning up this sort of nonsense, yet turns a blind eye on what I considera blatant breach of the rules regarding shoulder charge offences.

Firstly, the rules are very clear:Billy Slater should have been sent off. Secondly, he should have received a four-weeksuspension and, thirdly, he should have been made an example of so young players learn that even high profile players are subject tothe same rules as they are.

It is no wonder that league fans are leaving in droves as these types of decisions, coupled with the refereeing that fans and players are forced to endure, leave us wanting to find a game that is above allfair, unbiased and consistent.NRL, pleaseclean up your act.

Dennis Crampton,Belmont NorthOUTCRY SHOULDERS BLAMEWHAT a joke, thisfiasco created from Billy Slater’s shoulder charge.

This fiasco was created a few years ago by the public pressure that led to outlawing theshoulder charge in the NRL.

Thanks to the public outcry about how dangerous the shoulder charge is, the NRL bowed to demand.

Apparently facing a dramatic loss of registered players in the code’s juniors,the NRL decided to outlaw a fundamental part of their game due to public backlash from parents who said they would not allow their kids to play rugby league because of the contact, especially shoulder charges. I believe it was afair point for them not to allow their kids to play, but not fair that the rules had to be changed to allow for theirneeds.I understand rugby league needs to compete with other footballing codes, but does this mean you have to change the rules?

Rugby league and rugby union have butted heads for years, but at least rugby union outlawed the shoulder charge a long time ago. At least rugby has stuck to their policy, with any player guilty of a shoulder charge being heavily punished and facingsuspension. For God’s sake, both league and unionarecontact sports. That requires contact of bodies, whether it be high or low impact.

I believe that if the Billy Slater shoulder charge was in round onethis year rather than the game before the grand final there would have beena suspension, so why havespecial circumstances seemingly been made?Is it because of his standing in the game? What if a lesser player committed the same offence, would they be treated they same? I think not. Commonsense would change the rules and deal with shoulder charges the same as tackles. If they were deemed dangerous, they would be sent to the judiciary and dealt with accordingly. Is that unreasonable?If not, why is this the way they deal with tackles?

If you are not happy with the physical contact made in these sports, that’s fair enough. But please don’t support a player who made an illegal shoulder charge and think he deserves to play in a grand final because of the many deeds he has done in thegame.What about the players and families who have suffered at the outcomes of a dangerous shoulder charge, how do you think they feel?

Groiden Schammell,Hamilton NorthWE’RE SHORT ON HONESTYIT SEEMSwe are unable to constitutionally recognise our Indigenous peoples. We can’t possibly establish an exclusively Indigenous body, as that might express an opinion contrary to the wishes of our parliament.We can’t seriously consider moving our national day so that it doesn’t coincide with British seizure and occupation of this continent, and the associated dispossession and destruction of Indigenous society.

Of coursein truth, we could quite easily do all of these things and be a better place for doing so. However, that would require a degree of national, political and personal honesty and introspection that is, clearly, in short supply.Prime Minister Scott Morrison continues to promote the government’s dishonest misrepresentation of calls for a “third chamber” which any informed observer knows to be false (‘Indigenous voice rejected’, Newcastle Herald,27/9).

He attempts to muddy the waters by promoting the idea of a national day of Indigenous recognition and celebration (‘Smile and dance: it’s a new Aboriginal day’, Herald, 27/9) seemingly unaware that one issue does not address the other. On this issue real honesty and genuine goodwill remain in short supply.

John Buckley,FloravilleMOST ARE GOOD APPLESI WOULD also like to give my praise to Amaroo Lodge (Letters, 25/9).My brother Ron spent his last years at Amaroo.

We cannot complain of the care the staff gave to him, in fact I am sure he enjoyed his tenure. He made friends easily and always had good stories about the mates he had there. The staff?He never had a bad word to say about any of them.

He was always kept as clean and tidy as his room. He was fussy about his foodbut he survived. I will never forget how the staff came to his aid in the end, compassionate and caring.Thank you.

Mum also spent 18 years in care. She was 14 years at St Vincent de Paul New Lambton and she enjoyed her time there. The friends she made and the staff were excellent, the food was pleasing and she never complained. It was only the last fouryears, when she became immobile, that mum went into high care at Narla Village.They were also very caring. God bless you all.

Not all aged care are bad places and have bad staff, so how about we give praise to the good ones?I am sure there are more good ones than bad. Ron did complain to me once: he said they did not iron his hankies.

Jan Thomas,ShortlandTHE SUNNY SIDE OF POWERI FREQUENTLY read comments by various writers deriding the reliability of renewables.

In the April 2015 storm the grid failed and our caravan solar, battery and inverter gave us a degree of civilisation with lighting and communication for three days.

Because of that outage, I have taken a section of our house off grid and run the TV and ancillaries, radio, modem and phone, device charging and six lights, one of which is over the barbecue,on renewables.

This equipment runs permanently on solar panels via a battery and inverter. There is adequate power even in cloudy weather.

On sunny days we have an abundance of power and we can vacuum or iron or use power tools.

Dave Hamilton,JewellsLETTER OF THE WEEKTHE pen goes to Gwen Tonge, of Cooks Hill, for her letter about green space.

SHARE YOUR OPINIONEmail [email protected]成都夜总会招聘.au or send a text message to 0427 154 176 (include name and suburb). Letters should be fewer than 200 words. Short Takes should be fewer than 50 words. Correspondence may be edited and reproduced in any form.

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18 Apr

NZ PM plays anti-Trump at United Nations

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Rejecting isolationism and protectionism in favour of kindness and collectivism, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s key speech to the United Nations lived up to the “anti-Trump” nickname she was once given.

Ms Ardern – who made waves this week by bringing infant daughter Neve into the UN chambers – didn’t name the US or its president during her nation’s address on Thursday, but nonetheless played counterpoint.

“In the face of isolationism, protectionism, racism – the simple concept of looking outwardly and beyond ourselves, of kindness and collectivism, might just be as good a starting point as any,” Ms Ardern said.

“We must demonstrate that collective international action not only works, but that it is in all of our best interests.”

In a speech focusing heavily on climate change in the Pacific, generational change and equality, Ms Ardern also made a plea for international cooperation on social issues.

“I for one will never celebrate the gains we have made for women domestically, while internationally other women and girls experience a lack of the most basic opportunities and dignity,” she said.

“Me Too must become We Too.”

The line received applause.

The statement was in stark contrast to US President Donald Trump’s, which – along with drawing laughter from other world leaders – stated: “We reject the ideology of globalism and accept the doctrine of patriotism.”

However, afterwards Ms Ardern told New Zealand reporters the speech had been written before the general assembly and was not intended to hit at Washington.

“We have held those values long before I was around. It’s not new,” she said.

Ms Ardern, the 38-year-old leader of New Zealand’s centre-left Labour Party, in June became only the second female world leader to have a baby while in office.

But while Vogue magazine this year described her as “the anti-Trump”, she has avoided directly criticising the US president during her year in office, in line with her generally positive political style.

Ms Ardern met briefly with the president while in New York and says he congratulated her on her daughter, while she raised the issue of aluminium and steel tariffs being applied on her country.

During an appearance on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert, she reiterated she wasn’t among those who laughed during Mr Trump’s speech, commenting she had just “observed”.

A heavily export-dependent nation, New Zealand’s leaders have for decades advocated for multilateralism and open trade.

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