On a crisp and beautifully serene late Febuary morning in 1988 a young couple ventured up a rocky climb on the outskirts of town. While both were fit, healthy and familiar with the land, theirs was a particular challenge, given that one was 36 weeks pregnant.
She was my mother on her way to the very top of the MacDonnell Ranges, on the eastern side of Emily Gap. Knowing that I was not far away, both she and my father wanted to fasten an image to my birth. That they certainly did! Within a few hours of reaching the peak my mother went into labour with your honest author. MOZZIE BITES reflects on the ties that bind her to this place, even though for now she is taking up residence in Melbourne.
Pictured: That's me not long after, getting a big cuddle from Denis Neil. His family's friendship with my family is part of what will always keep me connected to Alice.
Owners of the Alice Plaza would welcome the re-introduction of traffic to the northern end of Todd Mall. Their representative, Tony Bruno, says they have always believed that the mall was too long and that traffic and some convenient, short-term parking would help bring life back to the northern end.
If that were to happen, would the Plaza consider re-orienting its business towards the street?
"Anything's possible," says Mr Bruno. "If the landscape changes that could be looked at."
UPDATE, posted October 7, 2011, 9.40am : Steve Thorne, of Design Urban Pty Ltd, who headed up the design team behind the proposals for revitalising Todd Mall, is "hugely encouraged" by the responses of Alice Plaza interests. "Unless there is a response from retailers and other businesses adjacent to the mall, it is not worth spending millions on bringing traffic back in." Revitalisation can't be done "half-heartedly", he says. "There's got to be a dramatic change in the environment. The mall has suffered 'death by 1000 cuts', through a lack of transparency, activity, vibrancy. "Without those things then what you get is the anti-social behaviour that people don't want."
While Mr Thorne's role in the CBD project has finished for the time being, he has been engaged by the NT Government to chair its Urban Design Advisory Panel and will be keeping a watching brief on what happens in Alice.
Pictured: Top – Musicworld with its back turned to Todd Mall. At left – Could this lively frontage, inside the shopping centre, face the Mall? KIERAN FINNANE reports.
Rain, in fact hail, helped fire crews last night when they were battling a deliberately lit fire at the inter-section of the Plenty and Stuart Highways, a 45 minute drive north of Alice Springs.
It was but the latest in the "absurd number" of deliberately lit fires along the roadsides of a widespread area of Central Australia, says Neil Phillips, Acting Senior Fire Officer for Bushfires NT.
While helpful last night, the rain may pose a problem further down the track. KIERAN FINNANE reports.
Posted Oct 4, 2011:Interesting story on the ABC about concerns in South Australia about buffel grass invading from the NT. The introduced grass species is a major contributor to the seriousness of the current bushfires. Today rain is providing relief. Search the Alice Springs News Online archive for articles about buffel grass.
Pictured: Fire alongside Stuart Highway. Archive photo.
Students at Acacia Hill School were working this week with guest artist Kat Worth to develop their theatre project, Close to Me.
Through talking, writing, drawing and dancing the students had arrived at a theme for the piece of personal space – who to let come close, when and how, how to set boundaries.
Their thinking started with defining what's important and precious to them. The answer was family, friends, and home and the work grew from there.
Kat devised tasks to get their performance ideas flowing, for example, by creating their own 'countries' on the floor, bounded by masking tape, then inviting people in and pushing them out. Pictured: Kat Worth with, front row, Chris and Tiffany, and at rear, Jasmine and Harishma. KIERAN FINNANE reports.
It's official: the northern end of Todd Mall is definitely intended to be opened to traffic – two-way – down to The Sails and left into the eastern end of Parsons Street opening onto Leichardt Terrace. The road will be narrow, the speed 30kmph, and the footpaths wide; at Parsons Street on the southern side, as wide as 7.5m.
This will create space for pedestrians, for future al fresco seating in front of commercial premises, and also for a "bio-diversity corridor". The idea is to make a connection between the majestic red river gum, known as the Grandfather Tree or Knowledge Tree, that stands just west of The Sails, and the Todd River. The bio-diversity will come from a water feature – a slender stream, fed by periodic flood irrigation, running the length of the street, and plantings, including "dancing trees", coolabahs with their writhing limbs, planted in human-like clusters. These in turn will attract wildlife, such birds and butterflies. Pictured:from top – View east from the Knowledge Tree through The Sails to the river: de-cluttering will be a first step to improving this area. • The Knowledge Tree from Parsons Street west: the works will restore it to pride of place. • Yeperenye hawkmoths, detail of photograph by Mike Gillam: the moth wings have inspired the design of new shade structures. KIERAN FINNANE reports.
A burger 'n' chips with a difference won the wildfoods/bushfoods competition final on Sunday. Its creators were Michael La Flamme and Pamela Kiel, who have been regular competitors since their "Gecko's Revenge" – a sausage made from feral cat – won people's choice in 2006.
In the intervening years the couple's culinary creations have moved towards more subtle messages about food in our environment. On Sunday Michael said their aim was to create an everyday dish with a taste like the smell you get when you step off a plane in Alice. At the moment, he said, that would be eucalyptus, acacia and smoke. KIERAN FINNANE tastes. PHOTOS: Top - Judge Beat Keller musters his courage before tasting a witchetty grub.By Peter Carroll.At right - Ronja Moss gives the grubs an oriental touch.By Edan Baxter.