Monthly Archives: July 2019

QUICK SINGLES: Belmont and Valentine Eleebana strengthen club ties across Newcastle competitions

JOINING FORCES: Belmont first grader Toby Gray was a Valentine Eleebana junior. Picture: Jonathan CarrollBELMONThave officially strengthened ties with neighbouringValentine Eleebana in a move hoped to benefit both clubs.
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The announcementwas made this week with senior players now able to switchbetween the Newcastle district and Newcastle City and Suburban competitions minus transfers or clearances while also providingjunior pathways for grade cricket.

It’s not a formal amalgamation and there will be no name change, but presidents Craig Slavek (Belmont) and David Bliss (Valentine Eleebana) have reached the agreement to be trialed for the rest of 2017-2018.

* STILL at Belmont and Kent County Cricket Club’s Jan Graywill make his first grade debut this weekend after arriving from England.

The 18-year-old, a right-hand batsman and leg-spin bowler, is part of Kent’sacademy set up and has played some second XI.

ROUND 6: Charlestown v Belmont; Hamwicks v Wallsend; Toronto v Wests; Waratah-Mayfield v Stockton; Cardiff-Boolaroo v Merewether; University v Newcastle City.

* A FEWanomalies came out of the first grade ladder following the fifth and final one-day round on Saturday with Merewether and Wests progressing to the Tom Locker Cup decider despite both being beaten by runners-up in their respective pools –City and Charlestown.

Furthermore, City remain the only undefeated team in the entire competition while Charlestown won an extra gamethan Wests.

A wash outand bonus points played a major part.

* THE newly introduced second grade one-day finalwill feature Charlestown and Merewether at Kahibah Oval next Sunday (November 12).

* NSW PSSA Championships for girls wrap up at Maitland Park on Thursday with Riverina and Polding among the final contenders.

The founders of veteran Newcastle label High Tea With Mrs Woo buy a block in Islington and launch The Fernery

HELLO HUB: Angela, Juliana and Rowena Foong [inset] and their partners have created The Fernery at Islington. Main picture: Alexander McIntyreTHE three sisters behind successful Newcastle label High Tea With Mrs Woo have bought a run-down Islington block with their partners in view of forming acreative community hub.
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The 84 Fern Street lot was bought by Rowena Foong and her partner artist Brett McMahon, Angela Foong and her architect partner Matt Travis of Shac, and Juliana Foong and her artist-jeweller partner Ben Gallagher. Already fans of Islington, where High Tea has its factory, the group decided to pool their finances.

“We are all self-employed creativesand the difficult thing about that is to be able to get a loan financially and be financially stable,” Angela says.

Sister act: Juliana, Angela and Rowena Foong created High Tea With Mrs Woo and are now driving The Fernery in Islington with their respective partners. Picture: Alexander McIntyre.

“We couldn’t do it individually because none of us earn enough so we thought if we teamed up together and as a family we might be able to do something collectively.”

The 208-square-metre site had little more than a “weird” storage shed on it, however the appeal lay in itsB4 mixed use zoning, with council viewing the area as a future urban density hub.

For now, the group is reactivatingthe space as The Fernery: McMahon has already moved his studio into one half of thework shed; there areplans to turn the other side into a showroom and workshop area; and on Fridays, Retro Kombi serves coffee from 7am to 11am before the Red Belly Gourmet truckserves lunch from 11.30am to 2.30pm.

“We are providing a quirky space for people to have coffee and lunch and meet up with their friends, so it feels like the street is vibrant and it’s a test to do it,” says Angela.

“Theidea is that thisFerneryis a place to meet and gather and host events and to promote design and art and creativity.”

The group’s long-term vision is to design and build “a very small and interesting commercial and residential mixed development that pays homage to the neighbourhood rather than being something that doesn’t fit”.

“We’ve seen so many changes in Newcastle, what we don’t like is all the big developments, you lose the quirky characters that are down low,” says Angela.

“So if you can do things that are small and interesting and create hubs then it keeps the neighbourhood local and safe and interesting and that’s the sort of place we want to live in.”

University of Newcastle officially opens defence and aerospace innovation hub at Williamtown

Eric Johns with his electronic engineering masters project – a search and rescue robot that is controlled by virtual reality equipment. Picture: Nick BielbyThe idea of a defence and aerospace innovation hub might conjure images of high tech equipment and whiteboards full of mathematical equations.
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But the University of Newcastle wants to work with businesses and the community to turn knowledge and research into social and economic benefit.

The university officially opened its new defence and aerospace innovation hubat Williamtown on Wednesday –the fourth centre in aroll-out of five to six facilities.

Dubbed DSA-18, it will foster research and development of new defence and aerospace-related technology.

Professor Kevin Hall, the University of Newcastle’s deputy vice chancellor of research and innovation, said the key focus of the hubwas to engage with businesses and the community.

“They’re not just for the university, they’re not just for students and researchers,” he said.

“They’re for people and businesses to come and collide together and really look at how we can take the knowledge and create either economic or social opportunities.”

Inside the centre, the product of an innovative Hunter mind was on show.

Eric Johns has developed a search and rescue robot that can becontrolled by virtual reality equipment, as part of his electrical engineering masters project.

University of Newcastle vice chancellor Caroline McMillen with Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Scot MacDonald at the opening of the hub on Wednesday.

The robot, a small vehicle equipped with a camera and two arms with pincers, is similar to otherrobotsused in emergency situations that pose a risk to human rescuers –like mine disasters, nuclear or chemical incidents and searching potentially unstable buildings after earthquakes.

But to pilot Mr Johns’ machine, the operator wears a set of goggles tosee through the eyes of the vehicle, while handheld controls make the device’s arms mimic the movement of the driver’s arms.

“It translates the exact human movements into robot movements,” he said.

“It’s trying to allow search and rescue personnel to do their job without actually being there [in the danger zone].”

University of Newcastle vice chancellor Caroline McMillen said the hub would provide a “boost to the growing cluster of businesses and defence-related activities at Williamtown”.

“Around the world we have seen that thebest innovation ecosystems are those where new industries, jobs and opportunities are created when research, business, government and community forge strong alliances,” she said.

Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Scot MacDonald said the state government had contributed $1.5 million to the university’s innovation hub program so far.

“The University of Newcastle is conducting exciting research in a range of areas relevant to the defence, security, and aerospace sectors and the DSA-18 hub … will allow academics to work directly with business and industry,” he said.

High-density living more harmful than suburban sprawl

Generic Haymerket scenes. Constructions, cranes, apartments, apartment, housing, mortgage, lending, crane, CFMEU, builders, industry. Tuesday 4th July 2017 AFR photo Louie Douvis .Living in a high-rise tower in the city is much less environmentally sustainable than moving to a house in the suburbs and adding to the urban sprawl, a shock new study has found.
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In a revelation that challenges the long-held assumption that it’s more efficient to reside in a vertical village than a horizontal one, the three-year US study shows that apartment dwellers consume more energy, spend more of their time travelling and use their cars more.

“The findings are a little surprising to us all,” says Dr Anthony Wood, executive director of the Chicago-based Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), a research professor in the college of architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, and co-author of the landmark report.

“We’ve all grown up thinking that urban density and verticality is a good thing but there has never been a study that has really looked at this in any detail; they’ve all been generic studies, based on large sets of generalised data. So we thought we should undertake a more focused study to prove it. And the results have been quite the opposite to those we thought we would find.”

The study, Downtown High-Rise vs Suburban Low-Rise Living, minutely examined the lifestyles, movements and energy bills and usage of 249 households living in high-rise towers in the city of Chicago. At the same time, it collected the equivalent data for 273 households residing in houses in the suburb of Oak Park, 11 kilometres from the CBD, and compared the two.

The outcomes, released on Tuesday at the annual international CTBUH conference this year being held in , were staggering.

Downtown high-rise residents were found to consume 27 per cent more electricity and gas per person than the suburban residents, and on a square metre of space average, they consumed 4.6 per cent more.

Despite the fact that some of the energy use in high-rise was from the lifts in buildings and common lighting, pools and gyms, suburban homes have a far greater surface-to-volume area, with high ceilings, unattached walls and large roofs, and most of the houses in the study were large, wooden-framed and, on average, 98 years old. Related: One apartment for every two housesRelated: From McMansions to higher densityRelated: Sydney sprawl reaching limits

In terms of embodied energy – the quantities and specifications of materials used in the construction of both types of housing – high-rise fared even worse. The project found that high-rise buildings required 49 per cent more embodied energy to construct per square metre, and a stunning 72 per cent more on a per person basis.

“That was astonishing,” says Dr Wood, who undertook the research with Dr Peng Du, China office director and academic coordinator at CTBUH, and a visiting assistant professor at Illinois. “To see that on a square metre basis that the high-rise took up almost half as much energy again to build as low-rise took us, again, by surprise, and we would expect these kind of results to be the same in other cities around the world.”

Traditionally, it’s believed that one of the reasons people move into city apartment buildings is so they don’t have to spend so much time travelling, particularly on a daily commute to work. But here, again, the study delivered another bombshell, showing that downtown residents spent 11 per cent more time travelling a year.

Although they did spend less time travelling to work – 37 per cent of the total travel distance against 62 per cent of the suburban residents – it’s thought the travel times may be longer because city residents walk and bicycle more, and because they are spending a greater proportion of their travel time going to shops, restaurants and entertainment.

In addition, they spend more time visiting friends and family, possibly because those people still live in suburban houses and haven’t made the move to the city with them. “But the whole thinking of the industry is that if you’re living in town, you spend less time travelling,” says Dr Wood. “And that’s not really the case at all.”

High-rise residents were also found to own more cars (0.6 cars per person as against 0.5 in the suburb) and travel longer distances in them, 9 per cent further per year.

On the plus side for city centre high-risers, they were discovered to use less water – 73 per cent of the water used in suburban households, they took fewer separate journeys a year (92 per cent of those taken in the suburbs), and they walked and cycled nearly three times more.

One factor that may have skewed the findings is that high-rise city residents were generally older than those in the suburbs with an average age of 51 compared to 31.8, and were wealthier.

“With more than a million people moving into cities around the world each year, it’s always been assumed that it’s much more sustainable for them to move into high-rise towers than into suburbia,” says Dr Wood, who is now hoping to conduct a much bigger study, involving more households in different areas.

“But this has shown that it’s not enough to say, yes, we have increasing density, so more sustainability, job done. We need to put more work into understanding how high-rise residents are living, and how their buildings work.”

Newcastle District Cricket Association: Wallsend batsman Josh Forsyth hits six off first ball in last-over thriller

MAXIMUM: Wallsend’s Josh Forsyth hit a six off the first ball he faced on Saturday to help the Tigers score 17 from the last over in a thrilling one-run victory against Belmont at Miller Field. Picture: Jonathan CarrollFirst balls are traditionally about settling nerves and getting your eye in.
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Not so forWallsend’s Josh Forsyth.

The 22-year-old, in his second game back from a stint with Scottish club Dumfries, wasted no time in clearing the fence to help the Tigersdefeat Belmont in a thrillingNewcastle first grade encounter at Miller Field on Saturday.

When theNo.7 reachedthe middle the visitors needed 17 to win off the final over.

He was at the non-striker’s end but fromthe opening three deliveriesWallsend teammate Ben Herringscored the last eight of his 28-run cameo, including a maximum, before being dismissed.

Herring and Forsyth crossed while the skied catch was taken.

Now called upon to deliver himself, Forsythsmasheda six over long on from the first ball he faced.

“I didn’t really think about it too much, Ijust knew it had to go,” Forsyth said.

“I watched the ball swung as hard as possible and connected, which was lucky.”

Forsythfollowed up withthree down to vacant fine leg before he and new partner Matt Wicks managed to scramble two off the last ball of the innings andfinish one ahead of Belmont’s 8-189.

“I cant say I’ve ever been in a position where we’ve needed 17 off the last over before, and it endedup being quite tight,” Forsyth said.

“It was pretty much one of the highlights of my Wallsend career. Asa team and player as well. Beingout there for a finish like that, is a pretty good feeling.”

Forsyth has ridden the highs and lows at Wallsend since joining the club around six summers ago, makingjust one top tier semi-final campaign andplaying in three under-21 deciders for two titles.

But the Jesmond bottle shop employee can feel the tide turning in 2017-2018 with three wins from the opening five rounds almost matching last season’s efforts and putting them seventh on the overall standings.

“We’ve had a couple of tough seasons, not making the finals, but a couple of close wins now has been good for us,” he said.

Forsyth knows the return of captain Nathan Price for Sydney has been a major factor both on and off the field.

“Not just game day stuff either,” he said.

“He’s basically runningtraining sessions and just driving the whole club as well as being first grade captain.”

Forsyth has experienced his own personal change as a cricketer as well, trading in the wicketkeeping gloves to focus more on his batting.

“I was a keeper-batsman but my knees have unfortunately made me give away the gloves this season,” he said.

“I think it will only benefit my game, it certainly worked over in Scotland.”