Saturday, October 31, 2020

The freedom of the press still furnishes that check upon government which no constitution has ever been able to provide – Chicago Tribune.

Kieran Finnane

1247 POSTS87 COMMENTS

Alice, working its power

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.

Will Alice Plaza businesses turn around?

 

 

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. 

Sally Thomas new NT administrator

Former Supreme Court judge, Sally
Thomas AM, has been appointed as the new administrator of the Northern
Territory. She is the first woman to hold the role.

The NT Government nominated Ms Thomas for the position, and she was
accordingly appointed by Governor-General Quentin Bryce  today.

Ms Thomas replaces outgoing Administrator Mr Tom Pauling, who has served in the role since 2007.

Ms Thomas served on the bench at the Supreme Court from 1992 to 2009
and recently also served as Chancellor to Charles Darwin University.

Rain is not a simple blessing

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.

Come close

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.

Northern mall and Parsons Street get top priority in revamp of town centre

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.

 

Aromas of eucalyptus, acacia, smoke … and grubs

 

 

 

 

 

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.

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