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    Tertiary scholars impress Narooma Rotarians


    2019 - 08.16

    ROTARY SCHOLARS: At Narooma Rotary’s Tertiary Scholarship night last week was Rotarian Charmaine White, left, 2014 Scholarship holder Connor Ross, President Angie Ulrichsen, 2015 Scholarship holder Carl McEvoy, and Rotarian Peter Bull who is counsellor for 2013 Scholarship holder Maia Zucco. NAROOMA Rotarians were delighted to focus on the Club’s Tertiary Scholars at last week’s meeting.
    Nanjing Night Net

    “It’s always so inspiring to hear from these talented young people,” said Narooma Rotary president Angie Ulrichsen.

    She introduced the 2015 Tertiary Scholarship holder Carl McEvoy who will study for a Bachelor of Media at Macquarie University.

    Carl impressed everyone with his passion for his chosen field, particularly film.

    Rotarians also caught up with last year’s scholarship winner Connor Ross who spoke about his experiences during his gap year.

    This included being NSW winner of the Telstra Road to Discovery competition for developing singer-songwriters and the associated week in Melbourne where he gained valuable insights into the music industry, and a foray into event management organising artists for the local ‘Little Night In’.

    Connor is now looking forward to starting his studies for a Bachelor of Arts (Music Industry) at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology.

    The Club’s 2013 Scholar Maia Zucco was unable to be in Narooma that night, so her counsellor Peter Bull read a letter to the Club on her behalf.

    She enters the third year of her Psychology Honours studies at Macquarie University this year, having achieved distinctions or high distinctions in all subjects last year.

    Maia aims to do a Masters of Clinical Neuropsychology.

    She again thanked Rotarians for their “continuing support and genuine interest to my studies”.

    President Angie reminded everyone that the three-year scholarship for a former Narooma High student was only possible because of a bequest made to Rotary for that purpose in 1989 by Alexander Birch.

    “Through his generosity, Narooma Rotary has now helped 25 students from Narooma High pursue their tertiary studies – assistance that totals over $210,000,” she said.

    “However in a few more years, that bequest will be exhausted but Mr Birch will have done what he wanted, to help Narooma young people achieve their dreams with the help of our club.”

    The three year scholarships to both 2012 scholar Joanna Gray and 2011 scholar Tilley Wood have now ended and Narooma Rotarians wish them both every success.

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

    Motorcycle awareness campaign kicks off


    2019 - 08.16

    Motorcycle awareness campaign kicks off AWARENESS RIDE: The Bastards SMC met on Saturday at O’Briens Hotel and went on a ride to the Cobargo turn off on the Bermagui Road they say is “black spot” for motorbike accidents with two recent accidents.
    Nanjing Night Net

    RAFFLE DRAW: After the ride, the Motorcycle Awareness Raffle was drawn at The Dromedary Hotel, Central Tilba by club corporal Gareth Rogers and public Maz Youlten.

    O’BRIENS: The winner of the first raffle was drawn at a free barbecue at The Dromedary Hotel, Central Tilba on Saturday after a ride from O’Briens Hotel.

    TweetFacebookThe winner of the first raffle was drawn at a free barbecue at The Dromedary Hotel, Central Tilba on Saturday after a ride from O’Briens Hotel, Narooma out to the Cobargo turn off on the Bermagui Road, which the riders say is “black spot” for motorbikes with two recent accidents.

    The club is hoping to produce “Motorcycle Aware Driver” bumper stickers and apparel.

    Members are going to set up “Watch out for motorbikes!” temporary banners at and around black spots.

    There is also talk of supporting motorcycle lobby groups working to preserve bikers’ rights and safety on the road.

    The Bastards SMC would like to thank the businesses involved, including Narooma Motors, Jaycar and Narooma Legend Motorcycles, Casey’s Cafe, Altered Image Tattoo of Bermagui and The Dromedary Hotel, Central Tilba.

    The next fundraiser gets underway next month with tickets being $5 tickets and the Major Prize being a night for two staying at the Dromedary Hotel with an extra $200 voucher for drinks and dinner and a $50 breakfast voucher at My Heaven on Earth Cafe at Central Tilba.

    Related stories:Narooma rallies around fallen Harley rider

    Horror weekend for motorcyclists on Illawarra roads: photos, video

    Motorbike crash sees Bermagui woman airlifted

    Good times at The Dromedary Hotel: PHOTOS

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

    Mixed bowls club turns 25


    2019 - 08.16

    High times: Some of the organisers of the 25th anniversary high tea, club president Clive Jackson, second from left, Beth Gabriel, second from right, and Dorothy and Stan Galbraith. Support: Invited guests at the high tea, from left, Jutta Hall, Marian Longobardi and Dot Bransdon.
    Nanjing Night Net

    Invited: Long-standing mixed bowls suporters Hazel and Harry Lavender.

    Gratitude: Guests invited to the high tea, from left, Margaret and Allan Goodwin and Margaret and Harry McKay.

    Celebration: Invited to share in the mixed bowls 25th anniversary high tea are Fae Smurthwaite, left, and Cathy Clark.

    Foundation: Invited guests, from left, George Smurthwaite, Barbara Morton and Jim Galbraith.

    Activity: Among the guests of honour at the high tea were Lester Thurgate and Sue Gates.

    Spread: Mixed bowling club members baked some of the cakes for the spectacular high tea.

    Main event: The celebratory mixed bowlers high tea gets under way.

    WHEN Wauchope Mixed Bowling Club celebrated its 25th anniversary this week its president Clive Jackson pointed out it wasn’t one of the oldest in Australia, it was in fact the only one in Australia – as far as anyone can tell.

    The club has made inquiries through the state organising body, the Royal NSW Bowling Association, and advertised asking for information about any other mixed bowling groups and drawn a blank – aside from return inquiries from prospective members.

    Other clubs obviously play mixed bowls too, but as part of a men’s or women’s club, not separately.

    So the group’s anniversary really was something to celebrate – a unique and long-lasting group of organised social mixed bowlers.

    The club invited along some of the founders and long-standing members of the club to join the celebration, and in his short address at the start of the celebratory high tea Clive pointed them out as “the invited guests without whom the club wouldn’t exist” and who had supported it and put a lot of work into keeping it going.

    He also asked members to help put together a history of the club by “jotting down their memories” of past events and practices.

    Asked how the club had come into being as the one-of-a-kind group that it is, he said he thought that it was there because 25 years ago a group had got together and decided to do it.

    The club currently has about 60 members and usually has a roll-up of about 40 players on a typical Monday afternoon, he said.

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

    Oscar nominated Felicity Jones to lead Star Wars spin-off movie


    2019 - 08.16

    Rumours persist that the new movie will focus on Boba Fett. Jones has an Oscar nomination for Theory of Everything.
    Nanjing Night Net

    More on Star WarsMore on OscarsMore movie newsMovie sessions

    Oscar-nominated actress Felicity Jones has been named as one of the stars of a new standalone Star Wars movie.

    The project is one of two standalone films in development, spun off the long-running Star Wars franchise.

    That franchise’s seventh chapter, The Force Awakens, is currently in post-production and will be released in cinemas in December.

    Jones, nominated at this year’s Academy Awards for her work in The Theory of Everything, will star in the spin-off film from English director Gareth Edwards.

    Disney and Lucasfilm have not released any information on plot or characters, though there are persistent rumours that this project will focus on the character of Boba Fett.

    Fett was first seen in an animated sequence during the widely panned 1978 television program The Star Wars Holiday Special.

    He made his live-action debut in the 1980 film The Empire Strikes Back. In that film he was one of several bounty hunters recruited by the franchise’s chief villain, Darth Vader.

    The spin-off film is slated for release in December, 2016.

    There is a second standalone Star Wars film, from American director Josh Trank, also in development.

    In May, 2014, Disney’s CEO Bob Iger said a total of three standalone films would be produced in the next decade.

    Iger said the company’s plans for the Star Wars franchise would be to produce new “core” films (that is, films connected to the franchise’s main storyline of the clash between the Empire and the Rebellion) every two years, with a spin-off in between.

    That means the planned Episode VIII would be released in 2017, with Trank’s standalone film released in 2018, and the final chapter of the third trilogy – Episode IX – due in 2019.

    The Force Awakens will feature a handful of “original” Star Wars cast members, including Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford.

    It is set 30 years after the events of Episode VI, Return of the Jedi, which was released in 1983.

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

    ‘At the end of the day, the new economy will win’


    2019 - 08.16

    Having upended retail in China, Alibaba – which listed on the New York stock exchange last year – is aiming for 2 billion customers around the world. Having upended retail in China, Alibaba – which listed on the New York stock exchange last year – is aiming for 2 billion customers around the world.
    Nanjing Night Net

    Having upended retail in China, Alibaba – which listed on the New York stock exchange last year – is aiming for 2 billion customers around the world.

    Having upended retail in China, Alibaba – which listed on the New York stock exchange last year – is aiming for 2 billion customers around the world.

    Hunched over the counter of his tiny, gadget filled stall in Beijing’s vast Hailong Electronics City, Wang Ning bemoans a week without a single sale. “It’s dying,” says Wang, shaking his head as he looks out at abandoned stores and torn promotional posters in what was once the busiest market in the Zhongguancun district, known as China’s silicon valley. “There are more sales staff than customers around here. Everyone buys online now.” The six football-field-sized floors are dotted with shuttered shops, victims of the rise of internet-based businesses like Jack Ma’s Alibaba  and billionaire Richard Qiangdong Liu’s JD南京夜网, which started out in Zhongguancun almost two decades ago. The online revolution promises to boost productivity and could create 46 million new jobs in China by 2025, many of them higher-skilled, according to a report by McKinsey & Co. But the losers will be as many as 31 million traditional roles, the equivalent of the entire employed population in Britain. While such creative destruction is a global phenomenon, its speed and scale in China is unparalleled, said Cao Lei, director of the China E-Commerce Research Center, a private research agency based in Hangzhou, the hometown of Alibaba. “The internet helps improve productivity and efficiency, but it can be quite painful for traditional businesses,” Cao said. “Bookstores fail first, then clothing chains, then consumer electronics stores, then air-ticket booking offices, and in the future, bank branches and other traditional services facilities may fail.”

    Productivity boost

    The shift online could contribute up to 22 per cent of the nation’s productivity growth by 2025 and make up 7 per cent to 22 per cent of the total increase in gross domestic product from 2013 to 2025, McKinsey found. By 2025, that could translate into as much as 14 trillion yuan ($2.9 trillion) in annual GDP. That’s no consolation for Li Feng, who has a store on the fourth floor of Kemao Electronics City, just across the street from Hailong Electronics mall. “The market was packed with people when it first opened in 2004,” said Li, looking up from the TV drama he was watching, for want of customers. “Business has gone from bad to worse in the last five years. The impact from online sales is huge.” Li has shut down the retail side of his business and now tries to eke out a living providing IT services to existing corporate customers, he said, as fellow shopkeepers played poker in the otherwise empty stall next door. China online

    JD.Com’s Liu started renting a booth in Zhongguancun in 1998 with an initial investment of 20,000 yuan ($4104). Back then, China had 2.1 million users connected to the web via 747,000 computers, according to China Internet Network Information Center, the government body tasked with managing online resources. By the end of June 2014, the number of users had jumped to 632 million, with 83.4 per cent of them able to access the Internet via smartphones. JD南京夜网’s Liu is now worth an estimated $9.4 billion, according to Bloomberg Billionaires. “US traditional retail networks are strong, but Chinese consumers long faced an archaic, inefficient brick-and-mortar network,” said Josh Gartner, a Beijing-based spokesman for JD南京夜网. “Consumers flock to superior service.”

    More servers

    Alibaba has created 14 million jobs directly and indirectly, Ma said in an interview with US talk show host Charlie Rose at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, last month. Ma is China’s wealthiest man and the world’s 13th richest person with an estimated $45 billion fortune. Explaining his company’s sales growth versus traditional retailers, Ma said: “If you want to have 10,000 new customers, you have to build a new warehouse, this and that. For me, two servers.” He’s aiming for 2 billion customers around the world. The industry has made it easier and cheaper for merchants to reach consumers and has supported the development of logistics infrastructure, a Hong Kong-based Alibaba spokeswoman wrote in an email. “With an under-developed and fragmented retail sector, more consumers are going online to find what they need and at the same time stimulating consumption in China’s economy,” she wrote. Premier Li Keqiang is cheering the new economy. Last month, he pressed the enter key on a keyboard for WeBank, a private bank funded by Tencent Holdings  granting a 35,000 yuan ($7183) loan to a local truck driver.

    Online future

    Without the cost of bullet-proof glass, uniformed tellers and branch outlets, services such as WeBank’s “may be the future,” said Cao. Ma’s Alibaba also has approval to set up an online lender. The expansion of internet-related businesses is “where our hope lies,” Ma Jiantang, the head of the National Bureau of Statistics, said at a press conference in Beijing on January 20 after releasing GDP data that showed the slowest annual expansion since 1990. A primary reason for the economy’s slowdown, weakness in the property market, isn’t helped by the move online. Property developer Dalian Wanda, owned by China’s second-richest man Wang Jianlin, plans to close 10 malls across the country and redesign another 25 to cut retail space, China Business News reported last month. Zong Qinghou, China’s fifth-richest man with a beverage and chain-store conglomerate, said at a forum in August that online shopping businesses are “affecting China’s economic security” by suffocating stores that have to pay rents.

    Stores closeLi Ning, a sports-clothing maker, is expected to post losses for the third consecutive year and has closed more than a thousand retail outlets since 2012. Anta Sports Products, a maker of shoes, has also been shutting down stores partly due to competition from online shopping. At least 300 wholesale markets in Guangzhou are teetering on the edge of survival, especially cloth and garment markets, the Guangzhou Daily reported in December. The biggest of those can house hundreds of outlets and thousands of staff. “Online shops are virtual, and if they kill all the real economy, what business can they do? What products can they sell?” Zong said in comments published on the official People’s Daily’s website in August. He said the government should enhance supervision on virtual shops.

    Old vs new

    Alibaba has a “credibility crisis” fueled by a failure to crack down on shady merchants, counterfeit goods, bribery and misleading promotions using its online malls, a Chinese government regulator said last week. It later eased away from confrontation, saying the report didn’t have judicial effect and that Ma had met with regulators promising to step up anti-piracy spending. “Clashes between the old and new economies” will intensify, said Ouyang Rihui, the deputy dean at the Academy of Internet Economy, a research agency within the Central University of Finance and Economics in Beijing. He said the loss of retailers is just the beginning of the effect of technology on jobs. “The real challenge for China will be at the front end of production — imagine a day when most manufacturing is automated,” said Ouyang, who helped the government draw up plans to develop the internet economy. “At the end of the day, the new economy will win.”

    Bloomberg News

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