Hamilton in cash plea

Wednesday, 13. February 2019

VISION: Hamilton Business Chamber president Nathan Errington at James Street Plaza on Wednesday. The chamber is pushing for an upgrade of the area. Picture: Brodie OwenHAMILTON Business Chamber is banking on the state government and council to come to the table and rejuvenate the suburb they say hasn’t seen significant investment since the 1989 earthquake.
Nanjing Night Net

The chamber met with businesses and residents on Wednesday to map out ideas for the James Street Plaza – located on Beaumont Street near the Clock Tower – andspearhead a renewal of the area, which has seen an increase incrime and anti-social behaviour since the truncation of the rail line.

The ideas proposed included new playgrounds, lighting, an amphitheatre and more pedestrian zones.

Chamber president Nathan Errington said he wanted Hamilton to have a “new look” to ward off negative perceptions of the suburb.

“We believe as a chamber that since the earthquake,Hamilton hasn’t had any money spent since then,” he said.

“We want to attract families and new people to come to Hamilton.”

Mr Errington said the increase in anti-social behaviour was concerning to many people in the suburb, and some business owners felt unsafeas they left work.

TheNewcastle Heraldhas reported of several armed robberies, assaults –including on police officers –and brawls on Beaumont Street in the last 12 months.

The chamber has in the past been critical of the state government’s willingness to fix Hamilton’s crime problems after a delay in receiving funding for a CCTV proposal.

However, Mr Errington said the chamber is now in regular contact with parliamentary secretary for the Hunter Scot MacDonald.

Police have alsoincreased patrols in Hamilton.

And it is hoped the recent show of good faith extends to when the chamber asks for funding from the state government and council to fund its James Street Plaza vision.

Mr Errington believes the proposal could be a reality by next year, depending on council approvals.

“We’re doing this ourselves because we want to make sure we’re doing something to rectify the problems,” he said.

“So we’re working with the state government and Scot MacDonald, and also council, to come up with the funding and work out what the best grants are for James Street.”

Ashley Bryant’s suicide at centre of inquest into police officers’ trauma

Wednesday, 13. February 2019

Det Sgt Ashley Bryant investigating officer of Masoud Faroughi 33 yrs who was shot dead when he opened his front door in his kellyville home in Febuary 25 ,2006. Copy pic supplied smh,news,191207 Photo: Brendan Esposito
Nanjing Night Net

On December 15, 2013, former police officer Ashley Bryant sent Christmas cards, two weeks early, to his children.

Twenty-four-hours later, he drove to a picturesque national park on the NSW North Coast with beer and a bottle of scotch whisky.

He made a chilling phone call to triple zero, telling the operator he had post-traumatic stress disorder and wanted the effects of his debilitating mental illness to be investigated.

A few minutes later he died by suicide.

“I understand this is being recorded and I suffer from PTSD,” he told the operator in a call played in the NSW Coroner’s Court on Wednesday.

“I now live with the trauma of it and I know this will go to the coroner. There needs to be more things put in place for partners of those that suffer … “

Mr Bryant, through a wavering voice, provided his date of birth, registered police number and spelling of his last name.

The operator asked him if he could wait for police to get to him.

“No, I’ll be gone before they arrive, thank you,” Mr Bryant replied before the line went dead.

His death is at the centre of an inquest examining whether Mr Bryant received adequate support from the NSW Police Force for his psychological issues, which stemmed from traumatic incidents on the job.

The inquest will also examine whether the force needs to change the way it assesses the risk of officers developing mental health issues and how it supports former and serving officers with mental health diagnosis.

By the time Mr Bryant, a “hardworking” detective sergeant with 24 years in the police, was medically discharged in 2012, he had been diagnosed with PTSD, depression and alcohol abuse.

He worked in stations across the state, including Bourke and Ballina as well as in the Homicide Squad.

Counsel assisting the coroner, Ian Bourke, told the court Mr Bryant had responded to drownings, suicides, murders and other traumatic jobs over the course of his career.

He said there was evidence Mr Bryant’s problems dated back to at least 1995, when his wife, Deborah Bryant, noticed he was abusing alcohol.

In 1999, after he was referred to the police’s healthy lifestyle unit for assessment, he told a support office he had blackouts virtually every time he drank and had been drunk at work.

Over the years, he was advised by an array of medical professionals to stop drinking. Sometimes he did but often slipped back into abusing alcohol.

In 2009, the family moved from Bourke to Ballina and Mrs Bryant was becoming seriously concerned at Mr Bryant’s behaviour.

“He told her on more than one occasion that he didn’t think he could work in the police for much longer,” Mr Bourke said.

Two years later he was drinking heavily again and engaging in risky behaviour at work in the hope he would get hurt, he added.

He also thought about walking into the surf and shooting himself but didn’t want to subject his family to the stigma associated with suicide, Mr Bourke said.

By the end of 2012, after a three-week stint in hospital where he was treated for his PTSD and alcohol dependency, he was discharged, medically unfit, from the police force.

Mr Bryant then awaited a decision on whether he would get an early superannuation payout, which depended on whether he was assessed as having a full-time disability.

However in 2013, a psychologist – on behalf of the superannuation fund – assessed Mr Bryant as someone who could also return to work in a job less stressful than police work.

In turn, he would get partial, not full, remuneration.

By the end of 2013, Mr Bryant was drinking heavily and his wife agreed he should move away from the family home.

“Distraught and ashamed”, Mr Bryant told a psychiatrist he had been verbally abusive towards his wife and feared he could hurt his family.

Studying part-time for a law degree at Southern Cross University, Mr Bryant moved into student accommodation in Lismore on December 13, 2013.

He returned to Coffs Harbour three days later and his wife told him during a psychologist’s appointment that he could return home if he stopped drinking.

Mr Bourke said Mr Bryant walked out after stating, “I can’t do this any more.”

“After leaving the room, Ashley must have driven directly to Minyon Falls, getting beer and a bottle of whisky on the way,” he said.

The inquest continues.

??? Support is available for those who may be distressed by phoning Lifeline 13 11 14; Mensline 1300 789 978; Kids Helpline 1800 551 800; beyondblue 1300 224 636.

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

You can keep your Hollywood glam – we like our heroes modest

Wednesday, 13. February 2019

The hit films Lion, Last Cab To Darwin and Oddball didn’t make it. Neither did Kath & Kimderella, Mystery Road, Paper Planes, Snowtown, Holding The Man or The Turning.
Nanjing Night Net

Screen Australia has revealed the top 10 financial performers since the federal government agency starting funding films in 2008. While it doesn’t invest in every Australian film – The Great Gatsby and Mad Max: Fury Road were backed by Hollywood studios using Australian filming incentives, for example – the list is surprisingly revealing.

On top is a film you may not even have heard of – the modern day western Red Hill, which had Ryan Kwanten as a young cop facing an escaped killer in a country town. It was the 2010 debut for commercials and shorts director Patrick Hughes, who has since made The Expendables 3 and the coming Ryan Reynolds action comedy The Hitman’s Bodyguard in Hollywood.

Next on the list are the horror film The Babadook (Jennifer Kent, 2014), canine charmer Red Dog (Kriv Stenders, 2011), musical drama The Sapphires (Wayne Blair, 2012) and sci-fi thriller Predestination (Peter and Michael Spierig, 2014).

Rounding out the top 10 are the post-apocalyptic thriller The Rover (David Michod, 2014), war survivor drama The Railway Man (Jonathan Teplitzky, 2013), comic drama The Dressmaker (Jocelyn Moorhouse, 2015), crime thriller Animal Kingdom (David Michod, 2010) and outback drama Tracks (John Curran, 2013).

The report’s writers, Sandy George and Bernadette Rheinberger, note that none of the 94 films studied have become profitable yet. So don’t go into Australian film to get rich.

They also note the top 10 are very different films – different stories and styles of film, a wide range of budgets, with various forms of financing and ways of earning revenue – and that Lion, once the dollars flow back from its worldwide success, will be on the list soon.

When you look closely at what these films have in common, it tells us a lot about what works.

Most of these films take a fresh approach to a traditional film genre – the western, horror film or the crime thriller, for example.

They tell emotionally engaging stories with satisfying – largely upbeat – endings. And they were made by filmmakers telling a story that clearly meant something to them personally.

Some hadlow budgets, which helps when it comes to being profitable. But a good film can still be relatively profitable with a budget that’s big enough to attract international stars, including Kate Winslet for The Dressmaker and Nicole Kidman and Colin Firth for The Railway Man.

Most of these films were acclaimed at a major overseas festival so they had a profile when they opened here. But they still earned most of their revenue when they sold overseas.

Their scripts were largely developed over time – often based on a successful novel or play – so they were in good shape. And these films were made about as well as they could be.

But for every one of these characteristics, there is at least one exception, so there is no formula.

The one feature they have in common is also shared with the biggest Australian hits in local cinemas – a list headed by Crocodile Dundee, Australia, Babe and Happy Feet. It’s also true for such classic films as Strictly Ballroom, Muriel’s Wedding and The Castle.

The top 10 largely centre on unassuming Australian heroes.

Hollywood movies regularly feature heroes facing villains who threaten cities, the entire world or even the galaxy.

They feature characters with grand ambitions: in La La Land, Ryan Gosling’s character wants to save jazz. Their achievements are grand: in Hidden Figures, the mathematicians don’t just succeed, they get the first American into space. In Loving, Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga’s characters overturn decades of institutionalised racism.

Australian films are much more likely to have ordinary people taking on modest foes with their biggest enemy often their own internal demons.

Kwanten plays a young cop with a pregnant wife on his first day in an unfriendly new town in Red Hill. Essie Davis is a mother protecting her young son from a monster who might well be inside her head in The Babadook. Firth plays a former prisoner of war who wants revenge on his Japanese captor in The Railway Man.

Hollywood has focused on “the hero’s journey” for decades. Stories about reluctant heroes who go through stages the screenwriting books describe as the “Call to Adventure”, “Meeting With The Mentor” and the “Supreme Ordeal” right up to “Return With Elixar”.

These are common elements in everything from The Wizard of Oz and Star Wars to Deadpool and Doctor Strange.

But Australian heroes are often loners who face an opponent, do their best, survive and get on with life. No fist-pumping, no triumphalism, no moments that set up a sequel.

The best of Australia that comes out during bushfires, floods and other disasters has fed into many of our most successful films.

Twitter @gmaddox

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

Yahoo boss Marissa Mayer’s $245 million parachute

Wednesday, 13. February 2019

As Yahoo nears its much-delayed vote on June 8 over the sale of its internet business to Verizon, the company released a market statement on Monday, which spelled out the deal for shareholders.
Nanjing Night Net

The filing also served as an eye-popping reminder of the hefty stock compensation its CEO, Marissa Mayer, has amassed during her tumultuous tenure at the faded internet pioneer.

The number was made even more substantial by its release on the date that Yahoo’s stock closed near its 52-week high. As the New York Times and others reported, Mayer’s Yahoo shares, stock options and restricted stock units were worth $US186 million ($245m) as of Monday, according to data in the filing and based on Yahoo’s Monday closing price of $US48.15 a share, well higher than the five-day average following the deal’s announcement last summer the company used in its calculation.

Yet while there is little question Mayer’s equity compensation at Yahoo has been hefty, particularly given her unsuccessful efforts to turn around the struggling internet giant, characterising the $US186 million as special terms Mayer is getting as a result of the sale is not correct, said John Roe, head of ISS Analytics, part of influential proxy adviser Institutional Shareholder Services.

Such numbers have also been tallied before, putting her total in cash and equity compensation during her tenure north of $US200 million. (The $US186 million tally does not include salary and bonuses she has received, or stock she has sold.)

“She is walking away with a tremendous sum,” Roe said in an interview. “But the sum is tremendous not because of a sweetheart arrangement in the transaction, but because of the value the counterparty is willing to pay for Yahoo.”

Since Mayer took over Yahoo in 2012, shares in the company have risen 208 per cent, thanks in large part to an increase in the value of its investments in Asia rather than the performance of the company’s core business. And since Verizon announced its deal last July, shares have risen some 25 per cent.

According to company filings, Mayer holds $US77 million in shares outright that she would have access to whether a sale occurred or not. Another $US84 million in stock options, Roe pointed out, have already vested, meaning Mayer has the ability to exercise them and they would not be accelerated, according to company filings released in March and back in 2015.

Just $US25 million – if one can put “just” in front of a number of that size – is part of the “golden parachute” terms that would accelerate Mayer’s restricted stock units in the event of a sale and her departure from the company. (Roe notes the number of those units will go down slightly each month as more vest; all numbers are based on the closing value of Monday’s share price, at $US48.15.) Mayer is also in line to receive about $US3 million in cash payments and benefits if she leaves the company under the terms of the agreements.

Whether that will happen after the deal goes through is not clear. The company has announced a new CEO for the remaining portion of Yahoo that will not be sold to Verizon. And though reports have pointed to her exit, Mayer has said only that “for me personally, I’m planning to stay. I love Yahoo, and I believe in all of you. It’s important to me to see Yahoo into its next chapter.”

A Yahoo spokesman declined to comment further on the company’s leadership or Mayer’s compensation, beyond the numbers in the proxy.

Still, $US186 million is a big number by any measure, however much Mayer may already be vested.

Yet it could have been even larger: In March, the company said it would not award Mayer her cash bonus for 2016 and accepted her offer to forgo her annual equity award, a punishment for her team’s handling of epic data breaches in 2014 the board said members of the executive team and legal and IT staff “did not properly comprehend or investigate, and therefore failed to act sufficiently upon.” Mayer’s pay cut was expected to be at least $US12 million.

The Washington Post

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

Mills hammers Grizzlies with knockout blows

Wednesday, 13. February 2019

Patrick Mills hit the Memphis Grizzlies with four knockout blows to lift the San Antonio Spurs to a crucial NBA play-offs win on Wednesday.
Nanjing Night Net

The Canberra point guard sent the San Antonio crowd into a frenzy with a stunning final quarter blitz, highlighted by four three-pointers in a game-winning stretch.

The Spurs beat the Grizzlies 116-103 and now hold a 3-2 lead in the best of seven series to begin the play-off campaign.

The Grizzlies had managed to contain Mills in the first four games, but he broke the shackles with a 20-point haul in game five to enhance his reputation as a big-game player.

“Overall it was just one of those games where you’re fortunate enough to make shots,” Mills said.

“Defensively, [the Grizzlies] do a great job of packing the paint … and they close out hard. It’s daily routine of practising different shots.

“They’re the same shots we had in the first three or four games … they just dropped tonight. It’s definitely a good feeling when you see some go in.”

If the Spurs win the series against the Grizzlies, they will move on to a Western Conference semi-finals clash against the Houston Rockets.

Mills’ $12 million contract with the Spurs expires at the end of this season. The 28-year-old three-time Olympian has put off negotiations until after his bid for another championship.

But star performances in the play-offs will boost his earning potential with the former Marist College student expected to land a massive pay rise.

The Spurs will hope to beat the Grizzlies in game six on Friday morning to advance to the next stage of the play-offs.

“I think the energy we all brought off the bench is what we need to lift the pressure off [Kawai Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge],” Mills said.

“They’re doing a hell of a job. They’re busting their behind to help the team but we need to lift our weight as well. What we did as a bench group tonight is what we need.”

Have a game, bala, have a game!

20 points for @Patty_Mills tonight and a monster fourth quarter! pic.twitter南京夜网/r20xEKhfVY

??? San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) April 26, 2017

THIS GUY RIGHT NOW ???? pic.twitter南京夜网/jbAXIDQiqw

??? Cayleigh Griffin (@cayleighgriffin) April 26, 2017

Patty knocks down his fourth three of the night and we’re up 109-97 with 3:48 to play! #GOSPURSGOpic.twitter南京夜网/QEhEzde8hl

??? San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) April 26, 2017

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