Month: September 2018

Guards ‘should patrol trains’

There are enough transit police patrolling Melbourne stations, according to the state government.ARMED guards deployed at rail stations should also patrol trains to boost safety across the network, about a fifth of Melburnians think.
Nanjing Night Net

But the government has rejected such a move, saying there are enough transit police already doing that job.

The government-commissioned survey showed that while making the system feel safer topped respondents’ list of the most important things that Protective Services Officers should do, followed by dealing with anti-social behaviour, next was patrolling trains as well as stations.

There were 36 reported robberies and 152 assaults on Victorian trains in the 2010-11 financial year, with most believed to have occurred on Melbourne trains.

Public Transport Users Association president Daniel Bowen said it was not surprising people wanted patrols expanded to trains because late-night journeys were often intimidating.

”This is a very expensive initiative involving a large number of officers and they should be placed where the problems are and where they’d be most effective,” he said.

”To have two officers at a station like Toorak all night may not actually do much for safety whereas putting those two officers on a train out at the end of the line near Frankston might do a lot of good.

”There are transit police but [they have] no routine presence, it’s essentially random patrols … you can easily go weeks travelling at night without seeing any staff at all.”

Police Minister Peter Ryan said PSOs’ role was to patrol stations and this would not change.

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

Read more

All-rounder a pioneer for today’s athletes

President of the Australian Paralympic Committee Greg Hartung has a look at the uniforms and medals donated to the Australian Paralympic Committee by Australia’s first female Paralympian Daphne Hilton.As Australia prepares to send its largest away team to a Paralympics, Daphne Hilton can’t help but feel proud of the role she played in inspiring the athletes.
Nanjing Night Net

The 161 athletes heading to London are second only to when Sydney hosted the Games in 2000, and is more than 13 times the size of our first team of 12.

Ms Hilton was the only female on the team that went to the first Paralympic Games in Rome in 1960, but she collected six of Australia’s 10 medals – including two gold.

And yesterday, Ms Hilton donated a set of those medals to the Australian Paralympic Committee, which will lend them to the Australian Sports Museum at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Across three games, Ms Hilton won 14 medals – three gold, five silver and six bronze. Remarkably, they were won across five different sports: swimming, athletics, fencing, table tennis and archery. In athletics alone, she won medals in the javelin, club throw, shot put, 60-metre wheelchair sprint and the pentathlon.

She won a further 18 gold medals at the Commonwealth Paraplegic Games in 1962 and 1966, and was the only woman in the Australian wheelchair basketball team at the 1966 Games in Jamaica.

But rather than boast about her versatility, Ms Hilton said it was a necessity. ”You had to participate in more than one sport,” she said. ”Unlike today, we had to concentrate on five or six just to make the team.”

As one of the Paralympic Games pioneers, Ms Hilton was made to earn her success. She relied on the generosity and goodwill of her home town – Harden-Murrumburrah – to help raise funds for her maiden trip overseas, and only a handful of people watched her gold medal races.

And her third Games were moved from Mexico City to Tel Aviv following doctors’ doubts on how athletes with disabilities would handle competing at altitude.

Ms Hilton, now 78, said it was encouraging to see how the Paralympics had evolved.

”The recognition now is absolutely wonderful, I just wish it was like that when we were on show – with the money support they get today, it’s tremendous and all the opportunities they have for special coaches and training,” Ms Hilton said.

”We had to fund the trip ourselves. My home town helped me a lot, running food stalls and dances and things like that, it was humbling.”

Ms Hilton, who was left a paraplegic after a horse riding accident when she was 17, said she donated the medals – along with three Australian team blazers – because it ”might mean something to people”.

APC president Greg Hartung said Ms Hilton’s efforts represented the foundations of the paralympic movement.

”We’ve all followed after Daphne,” he said.

”The achievements of our paralympic athletes are not to be underestimated … her achievements were remarkable.

”As Australia’s first medallist she’s a wonderful advertisement for that versatility. She competed in five sports, represented Australia in three Paralympic Games.”

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

Read more

Wangi’s golden Olympic sailors

FROM the Wangi Wangi RSL Amateur Sailing Club on the peaceful shores of Lake Macquarie to a tidal wave of success in Weymouth and Portland, this is the Olympic gold medal journey for Australia’s latest sporting heroes. Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen hold an unassailable lead heading into tonight’s final race of the 49-er class at the London Olympics.
Nanjing Night Net

Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen hold an unassailable lead heading into tonight’s final race of the 49-er class at the London Olympics.

Back home, the people of Wangi and the Lake Macquarie sailing community are preparing for the celebration of a lifetime.

Dobell Drive has been painted green and gold almost overnight with residents and store owners hanging balloons and signs in support of their home-grown heroes.

Even the Wangi RSL Club sign has been altered slightly to say ‘‘Nathan and Goobs’’ Gold instead of the usual XXXX kind.

Hundreds are expected to pack the club about 9.50pm to watch Outteridge and ‘Goobs’ Jensen compete in their final race.

All the pair needs to do is start the race, avoid disqualification and they will be crowned champions.

Wangi RSL Amateur Sailing Club life member Noel Butler said the pair were honest and hardworking athletes who deserved every accolade given to them.

‘‘We’re extremely proud of the boys,’’ he said.

‘‘The fact is all these juniors respect and look up to them as mentors.

‘‘Nathan and Iain both come back here and help with training sessions with the juniors, when they’ve got the time off to be at home.

‘‘Both their families live around here and they grew up here and sailed at the RSL as kids.’’

Wangi club member Karina Hansen said the pair’s success touched her heart and led to her wanting to organise the suburb’s celebrations.

‘‘I came through here last week and I didn’t like that there was no decorations so I started asking everyone if I could decorate the shops and the sailing club and everyone else has come on board since,’’ she said.

‘‘We did a letterbox drop to every home in Wangi Wangi and asked them to hang some green and gold and get down to the RSL to support the boys.’’

Wangi junior sailors Abby Hurst and Julia Tavasci have been sacrificing sleep to follow the progress of Outteridge and Jensen at the Olympics.

‘‘I think it’s pretty good and we’re pretty proud of them for putting in all the effort,’’ Julia said.

At an Olympics, where our swimmers have failed to bring home more than one gold medal, our sailors have exceeded expectations.

Gosford’s Tom Slingsby clinched Australia’s first individual gold medal of the Games yesterday and several Wangi club members are predicting a sharp increase in juniors wanting to try the sport next season.

‘‘I expect we’ll have to turn some away because we won’t have room for them,’’ Mr Butler said.

Jensen is expected to return to Wangi directly after the Olympics while Outteridge will head to the United States for more competition.

Wangi is planning a massive celebration and street parade in November when both competitors are expected to be on home soil together.

UNBEATABLE: Nathan Outteridge and Ian Jensen celebrate their winning position. – Picture by Jason South

Golden sailing celebrations.

Golden sailing celebrations.

Golden sailing celebrations.

Golden sailing celebrations.

Golden sailing celebrations.

Golden sailing celebrations.

Golden sailing celebrations.

Read more

Run for Charlotte has community on board

COMMUNITY support for Tim Blair’s run for Charlotte Rataj has been overwhelming.
Nanjing Night Net

It’s turned a generous act by an individual into a whole community effort and something of which the community should be proud.

That’s according to Mr Blair.

“Without them (community members) it would just be me doing a run like I would on any other day,” he said.

Mr Blair will run 100km from Launceston to Devonport to help raise funds for the Devonport youngster, who is receiving treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.

Mr Blair said the run had received overwhelming support from the local school community, with representatives coming on board from Devonport High School, Don College, Reece High School, St Brendan-Shaw College and Latrobe High School.

“All the kids are involved, all the schools are involved,” Mr Blair said.

“From a community point of view it’s been amazing.”

Mr Blair said three support vehicles, containing representatives from each of those schools, would follow his run, collecting donations along the way and harbouring some keen individuals.

“Some of them are going to run with me for some of the way,” Mr Blair said.

Mr Blair said preparing for a run like this was just as much mental as physical, but said he definitely had to be mentally tough.

“My pain is temporary, compared to what Charlotte’s going through.”

Tim Blair’s run for Charlotte will be held on August 25.

Tim Blair with three-year-old Charlotte Rataj, who has acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. Mr Blair will run from Launceston to Devonport on August 25 to raise funds for her treatment. Picture: Tony Cross.

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

Read more

Sikhs live in fear of the hate-filled and the ignorant

Sikh women and men hold candles during a prayer vigil at the Sikh Religious Society temple in Palatine, Illinois. The vigil was held in memoriam of those killed and wounded in a weekend Sikh temple shooting near Milwaukee. Mourners cry during a candlelight vigil at the Sikh temple in Brookfield, Wisconsin.
Nanjing Night Net

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (R) and Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch (L) attend a memorial service for six people killed in an attack.

AFTER shootings in America people tell each other in sad and shocked tones that the victims should have been safe where they were killed.

And the people are always right. The victims of Sunday’s shooting were praying in a temple, preparing for their weekly shared meal. They should have been safe. The 12 killed in Colorado should have been safe sitting with family and friends to enjoy a movie.

Congresswoman Gabby Giffords and her staff and constituents should have been safe at a public meeting outside a grocery store in Tucson, Arizona, but six of them died, and Ms Giffords will probably not fully recover. The 17 people wounded in a bar last month in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, when an angry man opened fire on them with an assault rifle should have been safe, too.

Everyone who has been shot in their homes, in bars and schools, colleges, universities, workplaces, even in the streets of the capital, Washington, DC, should have felt safe, should have been safe.

Even as police searched for a suspected second assailant in the Milwaukee temple on Sunday morning (it turned out there was only one), even before the death toll was known, it was clear that America’s Sikh community did not feel safe and has not since September 11, 2001.

“I request all everyone who know #sikhs & tweet or have access to media. Talk now. The world is listening. Tomorrow they won’t,” tweeted Gagan Singh just after midday, long before the police operation had ended.

Minutes later his Twitter account was suspended, but he was happy to speak to a journalist over the phone. He explained that hate groups had targeted Sikhs across the US since the attacks on September 11, probably because – unlike most Muslims – Sikhs wear turbans.

“A lot of the population does not know that these turban-wearing people are Sikh, they expect us to be associated with al-Qaeda,” said Mr Singh, a community activist with a blog called Urbanturbanguy南京夜网.

“A lot of Sikhs live [in America] with fear in their hearts.” (He stresses that no one, Muslim, Sikh or Christian, should be subjected to abuse for his or her beliefs or background.)

Even as he spoke, Sikh community leaders were on air on the cable networks trying to get the same message out, to explain who they were while they fleetingly held the nation’s attention.

The first post-September 11 attack on a Sikh came just four days later, when Balbir Singh Sodh, a petrol station owner in Arizona, was shot dead by a man called Frank Roque. Roque had reportedly told friends and a waitress that he was ”going to go out and shoot some towel-heads”. He is serving a life term in prison.

On Monday the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel published a brief compendium of hate crimes against Sikhs over the past couple of years, including the story of a Virginian family who received death threats last March by someone calling them “the Turban family” and accusing them of links to the Taliban.

Also that month two friends – Surinder Singh, 65, and Gurmej Atwai, 78 – were shot dead while taking an afternoon walk. The Southern Poverty Law Centre has suggested that assailants who mistook the men for Muslims committed the killings, the Journal Sentinel reported.

It now seems clear that Wade Michael Page, who was killed by police on Sunday morning after he is thought to have murdered six worshippers, was a member of more than one white supremacist organisation.

It is not known whether he mistook the Sikhs he shot for Muslims or whether he just hated anyone who did not look like him. Doubtless that will be discovered in the continuing investigation, and it is doubtless useful information.

But it is unlikely to be much comfort to America’s Sikh community, nor to its Muslims.

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

Read more