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Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - with John An­der­sen john. an­der­sen @ news. com. au

I asked de­fence ex­pert Dr An­drew Davies yes­ter­day if we Townsvil­leans should be sleep­ing with one eye open just in case the Nerd from the North de­cides to take a pot­shot at us with a nu­clear war­head.

LOWLIFES stole more than $ 1000 of left­over al­co­hol from the Port of Townsville Ro­tary Club just af­ter the Townsville Show. This is money straight out of the club’s pocket. The thieves most likely gained en­try via a locked roller door to the build­ing in­side the show­grounds where the grog used for the Wine Tree fundrais­ing raf­fle was stored. The thieves were dis­cern­ing in that they only took spir­its and left be­hind beer and wine. Jim Stone, who or­gan­ises the Wine Tree for the club, said it was dis­ap­point­ing. The money was ear­marked for some good causes which will now be left high and dry. Then there is the time and ef­fort club mem­bers spent man­ning the Wine Tree stand over the four days of the show. Ro­tary has held the Wine Tree Raf­fle for 30 years. This is the first time some­thing like this has hap­pened. The theft has been re­ported to po­lice. If you have any in­for­ma­tion call Crimestop­pers on 1800333000. It’s been a bad week for Ro­tary. Read Bruce Mac­don­ald’s story ( below) about van­dalised safety signs on Cas­tle Hill.

IDLE MINDED IDIOTS

PUBLIC spir­ited cit­i­zen Bruce Mac­don­ald sent me this mes­sage yes­ter­day af­ter van­dals dam­aged some of the new safety, marker posts he and his mate Paul Ryan erected on Cas­tle Hill: “What in the hell would prompt some­body to peel in­for­ma­tion de­cals from emer­gency mark­ers lo­cated at 100m in­ter­vals on six of the most pop­u­lar tracks up Cas­tle Hill, in­clud­ing the road? Your guess is as good as mine. And it’s not just one marker, it’s five of the six lo­cated on the Iron Bark track. The mark­ers have only been in place for a cou­ple of weeks, but that’s plenty of time for an id­iot with an idle mind but not so idle hands to have some fun. The Ro­tary Club of Townsville Sun­rise in­vested $ 10,000 in the project and the man­power to com­plete it. The club’s im­me­di­ate past pres­i­dent, Paul Ryan and my­self spent three days on the hill in­stalling the marker ... To add in­sult to in­jury for Paul, an overzeal­ous Townsville City Coun­cil em­ployee booked him for park­ing il­le­gally in the park­ing area half­way up the hill even though he had a large sign on his ve­hi­cle say­ing the owner was un­der­tak­ing vol­un­tary work on be­half of Ro­tary. Paul and I walked the Kokoda Track some years back and have con­tin­ued to walk Cas­tle Hill for many years since. “Both of us were happy to spend the time putting the mark­ers know­ing that it may help some­body who has slipped on one of the tracks,” Paul said. “It’s hard to un­der­stand why any­body would do such a thing.” But there was an up­side of sorts ... the $ 73 fine was waived by the TCC. You would think coun­cil em­ploy­ees would show some dis­cre­tion in such sit­u­a­tions, but clearly not. Who would go to the trou­ble to make a spe­cial sign to dodge a fine? Rules are rules I sup­pose.”

WAGGA SHAKES IT UP

THE Ar­ca­dian Surf Life­sav­ing Club’s Sun­day “Sesh” is back. The club over­look­ing the Rock Pool on The Strand will open this Sun­day arvo from 4pm to 8pm. This is one of the best beach­side venues in town and with live mu­sic laid on as well, it doesn’t get any bet­ter. The ic­ing on the cake will be if that beef­cake bar­man ex­traor­di­naire known as “Wagga” is work­ing be­hind the bar. Re­mem­ber that movie Cock­tail, star­ring Tom Cruise? There has al­ways been the ru­mour that a Hol­ly­wood screen­writer was in the Arcadia club­house one day and saw Wagga shak­ing it up be­hind the bar. In­spired, he went home, wrote the movie and the rest is his­tory. Be­lieve it or not.

GROW­ERS CLEAN UP

IT’S al­most got to the stage where busi­nesses will have to start putting up signs say­ing “No toma­toes left on th­ese premises at night”.

Such is the price of the ripe, red fruit. They’ve been around the $ 10kg mark here for weeks and out in the west they up around $ 14kg.

Carl Walker from the Bowen-

Gumlu Grower’s As­so­ci­a­tion told me yes­ter­day that the price of toma­toes should be around $ 6kg as grow­ers were now be­ing paid $ 3kg. One cafe out west last week had a sign up say­ing that if you wanted tomato on your burger there would be a sur­charge. The big money this year was made down Bund­aberg way by grow­ers who es­caped the postCy­clone Deb­bie floods and got fruit to mar­ket early. They made a for­tune. Bowen is a month late and has just started pick­ing.

SIG­NA­TURE OF NORTH

HAVEN’T we come a long way. There is no tree that re­minds us more that we are in the trop­ics than the pan­danus.

It is the sig­na­ture tree of trop­i­cal Aus­tralia. It is re­fresh­ing that Cox Ar­chi­tec­ture along with its lo­cal sta­dium part­ner 9Point9 Ar­chi­tects had the pan­danus tree in mind when they de­signed our city’s new North Queens­land Sta­dium. Please, God, not an­other bloody palm tree. Some will re­mem­ber when the new air­port was built and the for­ward think­ing ar­chi­tects from Townsville’s Ralph Power As­so­ci­ates Pty Ltd placed pan­danus trees at the front of the build­ing to re­mind in­com­ing pas­sen­gers they were in North­ern Aus­tralia. Af­ter a few months of heavy lob­by­ing by the pro- palm brigade they were re­moved and re­placed by … palm trees.

The safety in­struc­tions Ro­tar­i­ans raised money for and in­stalled have been re­moved from newly erected posts on Cas­tle Hill. Pic­tures: PAUL RYAN

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