Jul 18

Letters to the editor

Not available: It is becoming too hard, a reader says, to get in contact with an animal ranger in Wodonga when required.Ranger frustrationCould someone explain why we have a council ranger that does not seem to be able to perform all requests for assistance, with reference to roaming or injured animals, when most of us who pay two or more animal registrations do not see any value for our money.
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I have on many occasions contacted Wodonga Council to alert the council ranger of a roaming or injured animal only to be told that they are out of the area or otherwise occupied.

Unless the animal has bitten someone or is seriously injured, you are expected to leave the animal which may cause an avoidable accident or contain the animal yourself and contact a local veterinary hospital. If the council ranger cannot perform all their various duties then I would expect that we see dedicated animal rangers whom are contactable directly by a mobile phone.

I am not sure if we have one or two employed at present, but Wodonga Council should be ashamed of collecting our yearly animal registrations along with no longer providing a council pound facility that would also save valuable time with the return trip to the other side of Albury.

Not good enough.

Liz Wilson, WodongaParks just for wealthy?Parks Victoria has been promoting “healthy parks for healthy people”. With its plan for the Falls Creek to Hotham walking track, the “low yield” visitor is seemingly now a low priority to keep healthy.

The report acknowledges the proposal will displace many current hikers, who won’t be able to afford the proposed camping fees, want to avoid the extra congestion or will be forced into less appealing camping areas. This will increase the impact on the park. And how much investment in trail maintenance and basic camping amenities will this group get?

The relevant departments seem to have forgotten that “low yield” visitors are often locals who have been attracted to the area for outdoor recreation and contribute to the regional economy in many ways. Furthermore, Victorians who enjoy hiking and skiing visit this area numerous times and while their “yield” per visit may be low, their total contribution over many years is considerable.

Evelyn Feller, HealesvillePriorities wrongI read with concern about glamping (glamorous camping) over the Falls Creek to Mount Hotham track. Mymain concern is that people with money to spend on a cosmopolitan lifestyle and wealthy tourists are wanting a place to stay to view, but not truly appreciate nature, and are pushing out people who want to experience and appreciate nature through more traditional camping. I would like to echo the editorial (The Border Mail, December 28) stating that this idea is prioritising the economyand, in my view, cashed-up people with cosmopolitan lifestyles and wealthy tourists over everyday campers.

Geoffrey Butt, WodongaAccountability pleaseI have a lot of respect for independent politicians, much more so than mainstream, who seem to have lost touch with the electorate, intent on pursuing their policies, rightly or wrongly at anyone’s expense except for theirs.

It does seem to be a growing phenomenom which should bring at least a “hint” of the meaning and the word democracy back into our lives. These people are willing to stand up and say what they believe in, or believe what they say which is far more than you get from the clamped mouths of the two major parties, apart from the rabid vapourings of extremeists who, unfortunately, still exist on the right and left.

It’s a good time for politicians as they are really feeling the heat, and so they should. About time they were all brought to account.

Derek Robinson, WodongaThis story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Jul 18

The week that was around the regionPhotos

The week that was around the region | Photos BATHURST: Harry Puxty (back) with his mate, Blake Weymouth, both from Orange, enjoying themselves on one of the various slides at Waterworld Central on Wednesday at Paddy’s Hotel. Photo: CHRIS SEABROOK
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DUBBO: Zoe Cookson, Keasha Brain and Georgia Cookson cool off at Dubbo Aquatic Leisure Centre on Thursday. Photo: PAIGE WILLIAMS

MUDGEE: Protester’s staged a boycott of the public hearing in Mudgee last month.

ORANGE: Eva Edworthy has her turn on Lake Canobolas’ flying fox. Photo: JUDE KEOGH

DUBBO: Clare’s Angels Jane Diffey, Kate Shanks, Emma Tink, Regina Goodridge and Jenny Tracy setting up for a previous New Year’s Eve Ball. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE

GRENFELL: A mammoth 543 shoe boxes are loaded up to leave Grenfell as part of the Samaritans Purse Operation Christmas Child project.

BATHURST: Bathurst Seymour Centre manager Terisa Ashworth and Peter O’Brien of Peter O’Brien Constructions. Photo: CHRIS SEABROOK

BLAYNEY: Ian Tooke with Brian Griffiths (left) show Deputy Premier John Barilaro and Paul Toole the plans for the new Men’s Shed. Photo Mark Logan

ORANGE: Matthew, Grace and Timothy Lowther escaped Wednesday’s summer swelter with a dip at Orange Aquatic Centre. Photo: JUDE KEOGH

PARKES: Helping this man in red (Jeff McClurg) out are elves Jaxon (2) and Maddie (5) Barber, Gemma Jefferay (7), Rhys Kennedy (6) and Ava Jefferay (2).

DUBBO: Student Lucy Hawkins gave her first donation recently, helped by Mary Meadow with encouragement from Brian Bruce. Photo: PAIGE WILLIAMS

YOUNG: Santa Claus was spotted at Fairfields Orchard on the Wombat Road this week enjoying some of the local produce. Photo: Elouise Hawkey

RURAL: Pauline and Ian Freeth from Central West Poultry mission is to sell happy, healthy hens to a range of clients either wanting chooks for their backyard or pastured egg producers with chicken caravans. Photo: Contributed

BATHURST: St Philomena’s principal Louise Davies, Tilly Fitzgerald, her brother Baxter Fitzgerald and Kirsty Hargraves of Taronga Western Plans Zoo.

COWRA: Carole Doyle, Barry Doyle, Helen Bryant, Marion Bryant, Nikara and Sandra Brennan, Ray Heilman, Graham Shingles, Carolyn Cameron, seated Noel and Joy Dwight

DUBBO: Reading Cinemas Dubbo employees Dylan Williams and Ryan Macleod have been busy. Photo: ORLANDER RUMING

ORANGE: Orange FOOD Week Association president James Sweetapple looks at the digital version of the 2017 festival program. Photo: JUDE KEOGH

ORANGE: Deputy mayor Jason Hamling (back, left), Millie McCormack, SES’ Kim Stevens, Peter (front), Steph and Liam McCormack and OCTEC’s Bruce Hansen.

DUBBO: Dubbo police report of an “ongoing investigation” into malicious damage to windows at the office of dental prosthetist Peter Muller (pictured) at Manera Plaza. Photo: PAIGE WILLIAMS

BATHURST: Proud Scout Bailey Fraser holding the Scouts Australia Annual Report 2016 which features Bathurst Scouts on the cover.

ORANGE: Orange Ex-Services’ Club supervisor Sam Hincliffe, barista Leisa Green and bar staff member Cameron Clout get ready to celebrate New Year’s Eve on Saturday night. Photo: JUDE KEOGH

ORANGE: Fletcher Harvey tries his best to escape the heat at Cook Park on Thursday as the temperature rose to 32 degrees. Photo: JUDE KEOGH

DUBBO: ‘So hurtful’: Wendy and Noel Baker sort out one of the rooms that was ransacked by thieves during a break-in on Christmas Day. Photo: PAIGE WILLIAMS

BATHURST: Anyone for cherries? Sam Chahine has set up shop on the Mitchell Highway to sell fresh cherries, grown at Mount Canobolas, to passers by over the holiday period. Photo: CHRIS SEABROOK

Councillor Glenn Taylor on William Maker Drive, near Glasson Drive. He believes traffic-calming measures are essential to curb high speeds. Photo: JUDE KEOGH

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Jul 18

Letters to the editor

High country: A proposed Falls-to-Hotham walk will not result in luxury cabins and exclusive developments, Parks Victoria’s acting boss Chris Hardman says.Parks not exclusiveThe Greater Alpine National Parks are one of Victoria’s greatest treasures.
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They are filled with varieties of wildlife and flora not found anywhere else, and host a huge variety of landscapes, including some of Victoria’s most stunning alpine vistas.

Parks Victoria’s draft master plan for an iconic 56km walk through the Alps, the Falls to Hotham Alpine Crossing, is open for public comment and we are urging anyone with interest in the plan to provide us with feedback via the details provided below.

A recent article about the proposed Falls-to-Hotham walk raised some concerns from our fellow park advocates and with good reason.

The article claimed “luxury”cabins and “exclusive”developments would “ban low-spending hikers”.

Those statements are not accurate and I want to take the opportunity to correct that.

Firstly, the draft plan would make the walk more accessible to a wider range of visitors with different levels of experience and physical capability – like school groups, young families, and older visitors.

There would still beopportunities right along the length of the proposed trail for self-sufficient hikers tocamp for freeand to enjoy what nature has to offer.

Secondly, there arenoproposals foranyluxury accommodation in these areas.

The draft plan does not propose “luxury developments”anywhere within its 105 pages.

It proposes appropriate accommodation that minimises the impact on the surrounding environment.

It provides for appropriate facilities to support the hikers.

After an eight-hour hike it would be welcome comfort indeed, but we do not consider hiker accommodation to represent “luxury”in any way or form.

This term is misleading and does not represent what the plan proposes, nor what Parks Victoria would provide.

The aim of these improvements is to encourage people who may not ordinarily go on such a great adventure because they do not have the confidence or experience to attempt it unassisted.

The reporting so far has not painted a clear picture of the plan for this incredibly important landscape.

Again, I encourage anyone with any interest at all in the Falls to Hotham Alpine Crossing to read the draft plan and to provide feedback to us.

The submission period is now open and runs to 27 January 2017. Send your submission to: [email protected]论坛

We have an important opportunity to get this right and we want any Victorian with an interest in the area to help us achieve that.

Chris Hardman, acting chief executive, Parks VictoriaLocal members ineffectiveI read with interest Lloyd Deane’s letter inThe Border Mail(December 29) regarding the article published on December 21 about Cathy McGowan being inspired by Bronwyn Bishop.

Regarding his comparison with Sussan Ley about a Liberal representative being a minister of the Crown, the ministerial “shoe-in”that Cathy replaced wasso busy representing herself that, when compared with her successor, she was sacked by the voters.

However, in my opinion, Sophie isn’t the only coalition member who is extraordinarily ineffective.

We already have two, to quote Jennifer Podesta (“Tilley’s hold still strong”,The Border Mail, December 1, 2014) “ … fairly impotent local member(s) in opposition”, one of whom is a shadow minister.

The V/Line service is my case in point to their ineffectiveness.

With that said, being a shadow minister now is not a guarantee of actually becoming a minister after the election.

I point out Greg Aplin (another Liberal) before and after the 2011 NSW state election.

Geoffrey Butt,WodongaThis story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Jul 18

Peonietta ready for a new lease of life

END OF ERA: Peonietta flower farm has been put on the market after a 20-year stint in the business. Picture: SuppliedFor more than 20 years, peony roses have been a Tasmanian family’slivelihood. But after many years in the business, Peonietta has been placed on the market.
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The 50 acre farm, located 30 kilometres South of Ulverstone at Nietta, was acquired by the soon-to-be-retired Peter Botting in 2006. The part-owner and experienced grower, saw an opportunity to provide late blooming flowers to the Australian market.

“The reason we’re selling is because Peter is old and decrepit and grumpy and it’s time for him to retire,” his son-in-law Frederic Guilbert said.

When Mr Botting bought the property it was “virgin land”. The farm now boasts more than 85,000 plants over two sites.

“They (the flowers) have developed a lot and will probably reach full maturity in the next three or four years,” Mr Guilbert said.

“Between now and 2020 the flowers will be able to develop bigger and stronger, so they will grow more stems and we’ll have a lot more bunches available to sell.

“We get a few visitors that come up here for a tour because they hear that we’ve got a flower farm and they expect some little garden. But when you walk them over 50 acres and they see all the paddocks they’re just blown away.”

Mr Botting said Nietta was the “perfect site” to grow the roses because peonies need “that cold winter”.

“Peonies need a chilled temperature for a certain number of hours below seven degrees,” he said.

Mr Botting said he starts picking the flowers in September and will probably still be going in January, which is the “unique beauty” in the family’s set up.

“I had three small paddocks I could manage on my own and it gave me an extended flower season (at Peonietta),” he said.

“If you only had to one small paddock you were able to pick for maybe three or four weeks, I was able to extend that to two or three months.”

Mr Guilbert said he couldn’t believe the interest in the property since he put it on their social media outlets.

“We’d love to see the property stay in Australian hands, but if there is international interest we’ll obviously have to entertain that as well,” he said.

While Mr Botting and his wife “will find something to do” in retirement, his daughter Alison and Mr Guilbert will go back to their “regular jobs”.

“We’ll fit comfortable back in our own jobs, we take our annual leave to come up here,” Mr Guilbert said.

“I have a sign on the wall… that is a quotable quote. It said old age is but a bad habit, but busy men do not have time to fall. That is my mantra,” Mr Botting said.

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Jul 18

Nineteen rescues in one afternoon: it was a tricky situation

Be careful: Port Macquarie Lifeguard supervisor James Turnham is warning New Years Eve and New Years Day swimmers to be careful in the water.RELATED CONTENT:
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A scorcher for the end of the year

Dramatic rescue at Shelly Beach

Port Macquarie lifeguards have been kept busy with 19 rescues in one four hour period at Flynns Beach on December 28.

Lifeguard supervisor James Turnham said the number of rescues was a combination of hot weather and sea conditions.

“It was a tricky situation at Flynns Beach. It wasn’t that people were doing anything wrong, it was simply the conditions of the day,” he said.

“There was a deep drop off on the south side of the flags so as soon as kids, in particular, took their feet off the bottom they were drifting into the hole.

“It was just the way the current and the sandbank were working. It was just a difficult time.”

Heurged parents to remain on the water’s edge while their children were in the water.

All the rescues were performed within 50 metres of the flags and were between 2pm and 6pm.

Mr Turnham rejected criticisms that closing the beach would solve the problem.

“If we close the beach and don’t have the flags upthat would be more dangerous because people would simply swim anywhere,” he said.

The supervisor said lifeguards had been proactive throughout the day providing announcements over the PA system letting beachgoers know of the changing conditions.

An extra lifeguard was also placed on duty for the afternoon.

Mr Turnham said the crowd on the beach topped about 2500 while there were as many as 150 people in the water at any one time throughout the day.

And with New Year’s Eve celebrations on Saturday, he also urged people to only swim at a patrolled beach.

“Sunday and Monday are going to be hot, so if you choose to have a swim, please go to a patrolled beach,” he said.

“If you have been drinking don’t go in the water. And if someone sees anyone in trouble, call triple-0 immediately.”

The increase in flash rips will probably remain a concern through to Monday when a southerly change is expected to clean up sandbanks.

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

Jul 18

Numbers up for visitors over holidays

Visitors to Bathurst during the Christmas period stayed consistent from recent years, with a mix of tourists making their way to the Bathurst Visitor Information Centre.
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When the centre operated for half-days, 120 visitors came on Friday (December 23) and 80 on the following day.

The centre closed on Christmas Day and Boxing Day, but 260 visitors came to the centre on the Tuesday and 230 on the Wednesday.

Bathurst Visitor Information Centre acting manager Janelle Middleton said the visitor numbers were strong.

“We had similar numbers compared tothe last two years, with a few more visitors from overseas,” Ms Middleton said.

“We’ve had a mix of French, Chinese and local tourists, either visiting family, touring the areaor just passing through.

“We’ve also had a few locals coming in to purchaseAustralian gifts, before they travel overseas to visit friends or family.”

Ms Middleton said numbers tend to be up around Christmas time because of the holidays and expects numbers to stay up during January, as people still tend to travel during the final weeks of the school holidays.

The school holidays is when numbers tend to be their strongest.

But the centre experiences its busiest times during the weeks leading up to and the weekend of the Bathurst 1000.

“Anything [motor] racing related attracts visitors,” Ms Middleton said.

“Mount Panorama is definitely a drawcard, giving tourists a chance to go around the iconic motor racing track.”

The 12 Hour and 6 Hour endurance races are also expected to keep touristnumbers above average.

Mount Panorama is not the only attraction for Bathurst, with many tourists interested in guided driving tours to experience the sights of the region.

Ms Middleton also said the centre gets a few people interested in gold prospecting, in places like Hill End and Sofala.

Bathurst Visitor Information Centre can be contactedat 6332 1444 or at thebuilding on 1 Kendall Avenue.

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

Jul 18

Band seeks new members

MUSICIANS: Stawell City Brass Band is looking to the future and seeking new members to join performances. PICTURE: Stawell City Brass BandStawell Brass Band is gearing up for 2017 with plans to improve its financial viability by meeting running and maintenance costs.
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Band committee member Helga Saunders said the band wanted to achieve this by increasing membership.

“Like all local community organisations, we continue to look for new members to stay vibrant;players leave for a variety of reasons such as relocation or retirement,” she said.

Ms Saunders also said the band had just come off itsbusiest period of the year.

“Band members of the Stawell Brass Band with help from players from the Ararat and Beaufort bands playedunder the direction of Quade Hannan, at Pomonal in the new community hall for the annual Christmas celebration,” she said.

“This is the busiest time of the year for us, we had quite a few Christmas engagements followed by Australia Day, our Easter playout and ANZAC Day.”

The band also played traditional carols for the community as part of the Stawell Christmas Festival on Friday, December 16.

Ms Saunders encouragedyoung and mature people to have a go at playing and learning an instrument.

“It is now well established that the benefits of learning to play a musical instrument are substantial,” she said.

“It is said to relieve stress, make you smarter, improve your social life, help to build confidence, teach patience, foster creativity, improve memory, develop discipline, give you a sense of achievement, and on top of all of those things playing a musical instrument is fun.”

The Stawell Brass Band has been in existence for 150 years and offered cheap instrument hire and support for thoseinterested.

“All players and learners are welcome to come to our rehearsals at 7pm on Thursdays at 52 Wakeham Street, Stawell,” Ms Saunders said.

“This provides an opportunity to develop musical skills and become involved in your local community as a player or supporter.

“The band is a small group of people boasting members from the community aged anywhere from over 18 to their 80s. For further details or inquiries you can contact Helga Saunders on 0428 865 365.”

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

Jul 18

Driver chugging along

DRIVING FORCE: Peter Sawtell has just racked up 55 years driving trains, after joining the railways in 1955. Photo: Carolyn Millet 291216CMA05IF HE hadn’t been a train driver, Peter Sawtell reckons he would have been a dairy farmer or banana grower,but he really wouldn’t have it any other way.
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Mr Sawtell has now racked up 55 years driving trains – first steam trains for freight, now turbo-charged diesel electric trains for passengers – and intends to keep on track for as long as possible.

“You do a medical every year once you get to a certain age. [I’ll keep working] ’til they fail me, I’ve told them that,” he said.

“People say to me, ‘Why don’t you retire?’ and I say, ‘Well, I’m just starting to like the job’.”

Mr Sawtell grew up around Dorrigo, Bellingen and Coffs Harbour. He moved to Werris Creek to starthis rail career in 1955 as a shop boy, cleaning up the sheds–gone now.

His next role was as a human alarm clock; as a 16-year-old night-call boy,he’d ride his bike around Werris Creek between 10pm and 6am to wake up drivers and firemen for work.

After that, Mr Sawtell became a fireman himself, which meantshovelling coalinto the steam train and makingsure there was plenty of steam for the driver: “Tell you what, you were very fit.”

He became a steam train driver in 1961, and now takes the Xplorer train between Werris Creek and Armidale, Moree and Sydney.

Mr Sawtell said driving modern trains required more concentration due to their higher speed.

“You’ve got to watch out for motorcars, road crossings and things like that;monitor the speed of the train; ifthere’s anything wrong with the track, you’ve got to be able to try and pull up.”

He said the parts of the job he enjoyed most were helping people and problem-solving.

Unfortunately, he’s also had some terrible days: he’s seen five fatalities whenpeople have walked or driven across the tracks, and said the worst part was that drivers couldn’t “do very much at all” in these situations.

The 77-year-old said he would certainly recommend the career to young people, “but if they don’t like the job …leave,because you’re not going to give to the best of your ability. Same as any job.”

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Jul 18

Host a murder, 1930s-style

Hotel Blue in Katoomba will play host once again to the Host a Murder company which hasbeen holding murdermystery lunches, highteas and dinners for nearly25 years in theMountains.
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Hosting a murder: Guests in their finest trying to find out whodunnit at Hotel Blue. Photo: Prue Vickery

Hosts Chris and Louise will throw open the doors of Hotel Blue on Saturday, February 25 for their fifth big Host a Murder high tea.

Guests from near and far will be welcomedin their best 1930s-style outfits (andprizes for the best dressed male and female).

Participantswill be assigned their characters on the day.

This fun-filled high tea starts at 2pm sharp. The game goes for approximately threehours and for those who wish to stay on there will be an afternoon and evening of free live music and entertainmentprovided by Hotel Blue.

Tickets are $75 available from Hotel Blue on 4782 6922. The costs includes the delightful delicacies for high tea -pastries, scones, sandwiches and cakes with tea or coffee.

Come as an individual or as a group. Book now asthis afternoon of whodunnit will sell out fast as it is limited to 80 participants.

Host a Murder directorPeter Eedy said his company was available to help fund-raising groups in the Blue Mountains.

He and his staff recently ventured to the Hunter Valleyto raise money for the MS Society. Theyraised $9,000 in one evening for the Multiple Sclerosis Society playing one game of Host a Murder at Club Singleton Bowling Club.

Anyone sincerely wanting to raise money for a worthy cause can contact Eedyon 0402 299 956 as Host a Murder reduces its price down by half to $20 per head for any genuine fund-raising causes.

Eedyis more than happy to help with publicity and some guidance as to how to organise a fun-filled murder mystery lunch high teaor dinner fundraiser for your charity.

This year has been an amazing year for Eedy’steam. It held its first Host a Murder wedding night (also at Hotel Blue) and now holds the world record for the biggest Host a Murderever held in the world (300 people).

Itwas alsoinvitedto NSW Parliament House to facilitate host a murder high tea.

“I cannot repeatsome of the comments we got about us getting into Parliament House to ‘murder someone’,” Eedy said. “Let us just say that yes, I did have to go through one hell of a security check to get my foot in the door of Parliament House.”

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Jul 18

The wise words of Kermit the Frog

Mean and Green: A motorbike spotted in Newcastle. Picture @simonedepeak.This furry green motorbike was spotted in Newcastle.
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Herald photographer Simone De Peak, who has an eagle eye for unusual, bizarre and curious objects, spotted the bike in the Aldi car park in Union Street.

She posted the imageto herInstagram handle @simonedepeak. Topics loves to see things that stand out for their inimitable coolness. This bike’s greenery fits that bill.

Now we’d like to see a picture of the owner riding this bike while dressed in a green velvet tracksuit or perhaps a green fur coat (fake, of course, we’re down with animal rights).

Speaking of green things, HeraldjournoMatt “Hammer” Carr posted this picture of a frog to Instagram.

We believe it was taken at Nelsons Plains, which is in the Port Stephens local government area, but is actually closer to Maitland than Nelson Bay.

Herald journo Matt Carr spotted this delightful green frog at Nelsons Plains.

It reminded us of Kermit the Frog. Kermit is quite the philosopher. Here’s some of his wisdom: “Just because you haven’t found your talent yet, doesn’t mean you don’t have one”.

“Take a look above you. Discover the view. If you haven’t noticed, please do, please do.”

“I am green and it’ll do fine. It’s beautiful and I think it’s what I want to be.”

“Here’s some simple advice: Always be yourself. Never take yourself too seriously. And beware advice from experts, pigs and members of parliament.”

“With good friends, you can’t lose.”

“Yeah, well, I’ve got a dream too, but it’s about singing and dancing and making people happy. That’s the kind of dream that gets better the more people you share it with.”

“Changes happen as time passes by. Soon enough, you’ll be grown.”

“Because because I’m not giving up? I’m still here and I’m stayin’!”

“Movin’ right along, footloose and fancy-free. Getting there is half the fun; come share it with me.”

“As you start travelling down that road of life, remember this: There are never enough comfort spots. The places you’re going to are never on the map.”

“Life’s like a movie. Write your own ending.”

Jets chasing UFOsTopics reported on Thursday about two Mirage jets from Williamtown RAAF base chasing a UFO in the Hunter in 1983.Geoff Masters and his son witnessed the incident from their Tarro home.

An illustration of a UFO.

Mike Sargent, 70, was a former administrative officer at the base. He wasn’t there in 1983, but he was from 1984 to 1990.

Mike said a jet was scrambled from Williamtown to chase a UFO over Coffs Harbour in 1985 or early 1986.

“We received sevenor eightcalls about the same sighting. I was the administrative officerat 77 Squadron at the time,” Mike, who lives at Raymond Terrace, said.

The pilot who flew the jet was aRAF exchange officer.

A UFO sightings chart.

“He actually did see something. He flew after it until it went so high that he couldn’t follow it any further. The Mirage hada maximum height limit,then you’d need a special suit, which he didn’t have.

“He said it was a long silver object, which meant it could have been a weather balloon out of Brisbane or something like that.”

Come onMike, you’re starting to sound like the US general who said the Roswell crash was a flying saucer, before changinghis story and saying it wasa weather balloon.

Mike chuckled, thencontinued:“It [the UFO]just kept climbing and climbing and it was obviously going a little bit faster than he could go”.

That doesn’t soundlike a weather balloon.

“We used to get a lot of calls about UFOs,” Mike said.

A picture of a UFO sighting.

“We seemed to get more sightings over Lake Macquarie than anywhere else.

“We wouldn’t do anything unless several people reportedthe same sighting.

“We were supposed to pass them into Canberra and we did most of the time.”

Mike hadn’tpersonally seen a UFO, but said he’d been told ofmany sightings reported through air traffic controllers and pilots.

“We have numerous ex-air force pilots who are commercial pilots with Qantas and Cathay and airlines like that and they report the odd sighting here or there. The bottom line is there’s no real proof. You’ve got to catch one before you know what it is.”

[email protected]南京夜网419论坛 This image was said to have been taken near Aviano Air Base, in the north-east of Italy. It’s unclear if it’s real or fake.