Santa goes solar for Christmas

SANTA’S SHIP: Passengers for the SolarSailor waiting to board for a cruise as the vessel arrives at the Speers Point Park jetty on Thursday evening. Picture: MAX MASON-HUBERS SANTA’S SHIP: Passengers for the SolarSailor waiting to board for a cruise as the vessel arrives at the Speers Point Park jetty on Thursday evening. Picture: MAX MASON-HUBERS
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SANTA’S SHIP: Entertainers on the SolarSailor Ninan Matthew, aka Santa’s chief safety officer Sparkey Opensleigh, with singers Chloe Jeffery-Williams and Emma Sutton. Picture: MAX MASON-HUBERS

A SOLAR- and wind-powered vessel will do this year’s traditional Christmas Eve cruise around Lake Macquarie.

The word is that Santa is happy about that because he’s a bit of a greenie.

Decked out in solar Christmas lights and spreading festive cheer, the SolarSailor will have Santa and his elves aboard to give out bags of lollies at stops on the shore.

The vessel will wind its way around the lake from Warners Bay to Rathmines, with each stop to last about 20 minutes and musicians playing Christmas songs onboard.

The iconic Wangi Queen had traditionally done the Christmas cruise for many years, but it left the lake in September.

Up to 25,000 people usually gather on the shore to see the vessel’s Christmas lights and wave to those onboard.

SolarSailor owner Robert Dane said he felt privileged to take over from the Wangi Queen.

‘‘It’s been great working with Santa on this project,’’ Dr Dane said, adding Santa loved coming to Lake Macquarie.

‘‘He liked the old boat, but he’s really excited about using the SolarSailor because he believes in renewable energy.’’

Santa and the elves will be wearing life jackets to send a safety message to the community.

TIMETABLE

SolarSailor Christmas Eve cruise stops on Lake Macquarie

4.25pm to 4.45pm Warners Bay

4.55pm to 5.15pm Eleebana

5.30pm to 5.55pm Valentine

6.15pm to 6.35pm Toronto

6.35pm to 7pm Coal Point

7.20pm to 7.40pm Kilaben Park

7.45pm to 8.05pm Rathmines

Ready to run and win at Bendigo Bank Stadium

LONDON Olympic 4x400m team member Ben Offereins will be running in the $10,000 Peel Health Campus (PHC) 120m Peel Gift to be held at Bendigo Bank Stadium on January 5 next year.
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Sanctioned by WA Athletics the event will also feature the 550m Peel Health Campus Classic, Australia’s richest 550m race with $3000 to the winner.

2012 WA State Open 800m champion and AFL boundary umpire Jace Collingridge will contest in this event.

The event is made possible by funding through the PHC Community Fund and the Peel Thunder Football Club.

The City of Mandurah has also contributed funding for the event.

Offereins grew up running for the Rockingham Little Athletics Club and ran in a 2010 Commonwealth Games 4x400m heat.

The eventual final was won by the Australians without Offereins, but he received a gold medal for his efforts in the heat.

West Coast Athletics League (WCAL) chairman Paul Edmiston said the event was a “huge bonus” for WA athletics.

“With a Premier Gift race in WA absent from the athletics calendar for almost a decade, the Peel Health Campus Peel Gift and Classic is now the major professional event in Western Australia giving our local athletes a major goal in the WA Athletics season calendar,” he said.

Mr Edminston said the timing of the race could not be more appropriate with a new WCAL board formed earlier this year to promote the professional side of athletics.

The Peel Health Campus Peel Gift will be a headline event on the WA Pro calendar.

“We look forward to expanding the Peel Health Campus Peel Gift into Australia’s Premier Professional footrace carnival,” Edmiston said.

Event organiser Peel Thunder Football Club chief executive Russ Clark thanked PHC for the support of the initiative.

“The Peel Health Campus Board were very positive in their support of this community event from the start,” Clark said.

“The event is based at encouraging a healthy lifestyle of exercise, athletics, outdoor activities and family entertainment and is something both Peel Health Campus and Peel Thunder have a strong connection to.”

There will be a free bouncy castle, face painting, a footballer’s race and a mascot race to keep families entertained throughout the afternoon.

The community event has already attracted some of the best sprinters and 550m runners in Australia with the names growing by the day including 2012 Queanbeyan Gift winner Dean Scarff.

Scarff will join Offereins in the main 120m race for the $10,000 prize.

Also entering the competition is local Mandurah resident Brett Blanco – Master’s Record holder in 60m, 100m and 200m, Dylan Panizza – 2011/12 Sprint Athlete of the Year, Tenneille Trigwell –2011/12 Female Athlete of the Year, Adam Moore – $3000 Mullewa Gift 2011 winner, Cole Unasa, Alex Glorie, Chad Perris, Aldis Jaunzems and Sophie Watts.

A full form guide with heat draws will also be released in the week leading up to the race.

Gates will open at 2pm at Bendigo Bank Stadium with a gold coin donation entry fee.

For more information and times go to wcal南京夜网.au or peelthunder南京夜网.au

Former Rockingham local Ben Offereins will take part in January’s $10,000 Peel Health Campus (PHC) 120m Peel Gift. Picture by Getty Images.

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

LIZ LOVE: The Bistro

Where: 102 Darby Street, Cooks Hill.
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Prices: To start, $2.50 to $12.50; entrees, $18 to $23; beef, $34 to $38; mains, $34 to $36; sides, $8.50; desserts, $16, cheese, $12 for one, $28 for three.

Chefs: Thomas Green and Dylan Evans.

Wines: Well chosen and eclectic list of Australian, French, Italian, German and Spanish wines; 19 by glass.

Hours: Lunch, Friday; dinner, Tuesday to Saturday.

Vegetarian: Three snacks, one entree.

Bookings: 49294854.

Bottom line: Entrée, main, dessert about $150 for two.

Wheelchair access: Good.

Website: thebistrorestaurant南京夜网.au

Last time we were at The Bistro there was a fresh breeze blowing through this popular Darby Street institution. We are back and the vibes are as invigorating as ever, but there’s now a settled, established air.

They are busy tonight with a large function in the next room. Linen-covered tables keep the noise level under control and the service in the main area is not suffering although it might have been a good idea if the waiter had not relied on memory and written our order down. Two dishes are mixed up; one was confirmed before it was served, but the prawn beignets didn’t arrive.

Fortunately the sweet corn and mushroom fritters with parmesan cream which came instead provide four scrumptious mouthfuls, so I don’t complain.

Warm, marinated olives – large fleshy Spanish, bright green Sicilians and tiny Niçoise – are an ideal choice to span the gap between ordering and the first course.

An entree of sauteed spanner crab ticks all the right boxes. Plenty of sweet crab meat, tiny crisp young artichokes, finely sliced fennel and basil providing a refreshing aniseed note.

A previous starter of crunchy pork-cheek kromesky shows up as a perfect partner to pinkly moist pork loin. You have to love the texture and flavour contrast from roasted almond pieces, sweet and creamy butternut pumpkin puree, tiny peas and double-peeled broad beans.

But the go-to dishes are all about beef. Tonight there’s a 250 gram sirloin, 200 gram eye fillet and 350 gram Scotch fillet, all carefully sourced from producers around Australia. Eye fillet can be disappointing but this one is bursting with flavour and cuts to reveal perfectly rested flesh, cooked medium rare. Caramelised roast onions and garlic puree come with all the steaks. Red wine sauce, my preference, is rich and unctuous and waiting in a tiny jug.

The non-beef mains really don’t need any extras but you might like some kipfler potatoes roasted in beef fat, garlic and rosemary or a dish of buttered green beans and asparagus to have with the steak. This kitchen knows how to cook greens – not too crisp, but still keeping the vibrancy.

I like that the number of wines by the glass has increased. A bottle is not always a good idea when there are just two diners. I’d just like my glass poured at the table so I can see the bottle.

The dessert list hasn’t changed much. There’s no panna cotta but the dark chocolate mousse is still there. There’s caramelised-banana tart with almond crumble, and passionfruit pavlova with in-season mango and berries appeals.

I just have to see if the raspberry soufflé is as good as I can remember and am not disappointed. It’s a texturally perfect, airy delight, rising well above the dish. The already intense raspberry flavour gets a boost from the raspberry coulis in a jug on the side.

There’s a confidence about this place that gives the impression they are here for the long haul. This is a worthy update to the already impressive Newcastle restaurant portfolio.

DELIGHTFUL: The revamped Bistro is a worthy addition to the Newcastle restaurant portfolio.PICTURE: MAX MASON-HUBERS

CYMS eye off semi berth

A WIN for CYMS in today’s Orange District Cricket Association match would mean more than five-straight Saturday victories for the side.
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CYMS vice-captain Dave Neil says a win would help them take a step closer to cementing a semi-final berth.

CYMS will take on Kinross in today’s one-day match at Kinross, the last round before the holiday break.

Neil said the CYMS players had no shortage of motivation.

“If we win it’s five straight in Saturday cricket,” Neil explained.

“While it’s too early to look ahead to semi-finals, it’s clearly important to try to cement a place in the top three as early as possible. We’re on our way to doing that but there’s some good teams chasing us.

CYMS had a bye last weekend but didn’t lose any momentum as they enjoyed a Royal Hotel Cup win over Centrals on the Friday night.

CYMS might be in good form but Neil said there was plenty of pressure from the club’s second grade players for spots in the top side.

This competition from within was pushing the first grade side to perform well.

“There’s some boys in second grade – Tommy Evans, Michael Campbell, Grant Koch – who have been playing well, so there’s a healthy amount of pressure coming from beneath,” Neil said.

“Jake Sands, who captained first grade until three years ago, is also back in town, so the competition for first grade places will intensify, and that can only help us.”

Kinross are yet to win a Saturday game but they’re still not a side to be taken lightly.

The students will be without player-coach Andrew Litchfield as well as Charlie Litchfield and Louis Kostoglou.

They will be ably replaced by Stuart Crisp, Peter Crisp and Angus Gilmore.

For Peter Crisp and Gilmore, it will be their first grade debuts.

Both boys have shown they’re ready to step up to the top grade.

Gilmore has been a consistent performer for Kinross in the ODCA second grade competition, with 213 runs from six matches this season, including an unbeaten 62.

He is also still young enough to play in the Orange District Junior Cricket Association’s under 16 competition, where he regularly scores runs.

Peter Crisp could be an all-round threat like his father, having shown ability with bat and ball in second grade and under 16s.

Andrew Litchfield said senior players Stuart Crisp and Chris Gavin, along with captain Tom Bristow, would keep the Kinross players on track today.

“The boys have just got to put their best foot forward and try to do everything as well as possible,” Litchfield said.

“The talent and ability is there, we’ve just got to have it fire for 80 overs.”

Today’s game at Kinross Oval will start at 1pm.

ON THE RUN: Kinross captain Tom Bristow will try to steer his side to a first grade win today. Photo: STEVE GOSCH 1124sgcrick5

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

Transplant saves PNG doctor’s life

LIFESAVERS: The team, from left, Dr John Ferguson, Steven Kendaura, Dr Kapiro Kendaura and transplant unit director Dr Paul Trevillian. Picture: RYAN OSLANDGAINING access to health care in Papua New Guinea is difficult but becomes even more so when the doctor delivering the services gets sick too.
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That is what happened at Goroka Hospital in Papua New Guinea’s highlands, when acting medical services director Dr Kapiro Kendaura suffered kidney failure.

Despite receiving regular dialysis treatment he was only months from death before the intervention of Hunter New England health infection prevention and control director John Ferguson.

Dr Ferguson travels to the country each year to teach and heard of his colleague’s plight.

Some months and a massive community and logistical effort later, Dr Kendaura was flown to John Hunter Hospital to receive a kidney transplant from his brother Steven, a high school teacher.

Dr Kendaura was released from hospital a week after his surgery on December 3 and will soon return to the country where his 100-bed hospital serves some of the 300,000 people who live in the highlands.

‘‘I’m so lucky. I owe the hospital a lot. They spent a lot of time and resources helping me,’’ Dr Kendaura said.

‘‘I don’t know how to thank these people.’’

The surgery was made possible after the health care service offered its services pro bono and hospital staff raised $15,000 for travel, accommodation and medication costs.

The hospital has done work for Papua New Guinea previously, but nothing as major as a transplant.

The staff also had to conquer challenges such as cross-matching blood across international borders.

‘‘Chronic renal failure is a death sentence in Papua New Guinea,’’ Dr Ferguson said.

The hospital is also part of the Hunter Transplant Research Foundation, a subsidiary of the Hunter Medical Research Foundation, that works to improve outcomes in transplant patients.

Alison Branley