Category Archives: Story

How we can Avoid Loss of Life or Property Damage in a Flood

Sara

Floods cannot be prevented, but with good strategic planning and management, loss of life can be avoided, and damage to property can be minimised. The key to minimising the impact of floods is preparation, and to that end, everyone has a role to play. The federal and state governments need to come up with comprehensive and executable plans based on lessons from past flooding events. So far, some states have been doing their part, for example, the Victorian Government launched its Floodplain Management Strategy to help communities prepare for future flooding events. Management strategies are created to ensure that communities know what measures to take while preparing for floods as well as what actions to take during actual flooding events. If everyone (including property owners, developers, local planning departments, and disaster relief personnel) adheres to the recommendations in the Floodplain Management Strategy, the loss of life and property could be avoided.

Understanding the commonly used term 1 in a 100 flood is key to understanding the risk as Stephen Molino points out in his article Tough Lessons There is a popular misconception that a 1 in 100 flood only occurs once every one hundred years

However these fears are ungrounded as property values continue to soar even when these models are released to the public. Learn from past floods We should collectively look at what happened during past floods, and ask: What could we have done better? The following four main areas will provide the biggest impact and reduce the amount of damage caused by future flooding events for the least expenditure are: Include flood mitigation best practises into building codes for areas at risk of flooding. Invest in flood mitigation measures such as levees Education Press on Federal and State Government to restore funding for mitigation measures After the flooding disaster in Queensland in January 2011, this article in the Australian stated: If not for its recently built levees, 80 per cent of St George would have gone under. How much does it cost to build a levee compared to restoring 80 % of a town? While levees are now under construction in some Queensland towns, that state still does not have a flood-plain management policy to discourage inappropriate development on flood plains, which is in sharp contrast to other states. The article also points out the attritution of government funding away from preventive measures: Many years ago, there was a 2:2:1 funding arrangement between federal, state and local governments for flood mitigation works across Australia. That was changed to the system we have today of a 1:1:1 ratio, which increases the cost burden on local government, making it harder for many, particularly those in rural areas, to be able to afford to do anything. If  you are a homeowner building your home in a risk area ask yourself this, wouldn't you prefer one-off higher construction costs based on better design and materials than ongoing high insurance premiums and the risk that you may lose your possessions, the house itself or worse still lose the life of yourself or a loved one? And, as a taxpayer wouldn't you rather your taxes were wisely spent on mitigating the impacts of disaster through education and well planned and executed design that could prevent a lot of the disastrous impacts rather than shouldering the cost of cleaning up and rebuilding infrastructure afterwards? If we ignore the lessons that we've learned from past floods, we are doomed to suffer similar (or worse) devastation in the future. Heed the advice of experts The government (through the Weather Bureau) has worked hard to put in place early warning systems for floods



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TROUBLED WATERS

Sara
So in the end, a day that began looking like a total disaster for the Democratic National Convention led to an evening that was not disastrous in the least — an evening, in fact, that might have saved not just the week but also the election. Okay, it’s way too soon to be sure about all of that. But earlier in the day, Bernie Sanders supporters were in the streets chanting the GOP convention’s slogan — “Lock her up!” — about the woman Democrats were about to nominate, Hillary Clinton. The outgoing chair of the party got roundly booed at a breakfast given by her home-state delegation, and Sanders himself was booed when he exhorted followers to work and vote for Clinton. Early speakers in the Wells Fargo Center faced a cacophony of catcalls. There was no way to go but up, and the ascent was launched not by a politician but by comedian Sarah Silverman.

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Botanic Gardens – Not Just a Pretty Picnic Spot

Sara
Been to the Botanic Gardens Lately? It's more than just a nice spot to catch up with a gathering, there's a variety of activities on offer for young and old. Here's a sampling of what's available or for more information head to their website https://www.rbg.vic.gov.au Botanical illustration beginners workshop with Mali Moir  This intensive four-day course provides an introduction to botanical art via pencil and watercolour. Students will begin to develop skills in outline drawing, foreshortening, tonal work, rendering of surfaces, basic colour work and paint application. The cost of the course includes equipment to be used during the workshop - drawing materials, paint, watercolour paper and brushes. Suitable for adults and teenagers. Presented by the Friends of the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne. Monday 11 to Thursday 14 July 10am to 4pm each day Whirling Room Studio, GMT Building Melbourne Gardens Getting Here $399 adult $342 Friends' members Bookings / Enquiries T 03 9650 6398 E botanicart@frbgmelb.org.au Bookings required, cancellation and refund policy applies.

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Every breath you take

Sara
My reason for sending ‘my story’ to talkhealth (rather than to only the Aspergillosis website) was in an attempt to reach those unfortunates who have yet to be diagnosed and, of course GPs, as personally I have suffered these symptoms for twenty to twenty-five years (if not all my life!). I also know of others in the Group who have had similar experiences. So, I’m really pleased to have this further opportunity. This condition is referred to as ‘rare’ and I don’t dispute that per se, but based on my own experience and that of others, I consider it may be less rare and rather – under-diagnosed. When I described the symptoms as being ‘flu-like, with constant coughing, etc., on reflection, it was a somewhat under-estimated account, particularly in later years, as the fungal ball continued to grow in my lung. Having experienced influenza, bronchitis, pleurisy and pneumonia (the condition left me ‘open’ to every possible virus), in my experience, the effects are far worse than any/all of these.

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Protecting The Innocent

Sara
[caption id="attachment_402" align="aligncenter" width="628"] gavel[/caption] I’ve always been known as a tough-on-crime, pro-law enforcement individual, and I still am. During my years as a North Carolina State Senator, I vigorously advocated for the death penalty. As a superior court judge, I presided over trials where the death penalty seemed like the only suitable punishment for the heinous crimes that had been committed. Finally, as a Justice, and then as Chief Justice, on the Supreme Court of North Carolina, I cast my vote at appropriate times to uphold that harsh and most final sentence. After decades of experience with the law, I have seen too much, and what I have seen has impacted my perspective. First, my faith in the criminal justice system, which had always been so steady, was shaken by the revelation that in some cases innocent men and women were being convicted of serious crimes. The increased availability of DNA testing in the early 2000s highlighted this problem so clearly to me.

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Healesville Sanctuary

Sara
In our quest to find great destinations around Australia, the GoGet Melbourne team ventured to the wonderful Healesville Sanctuary over the weekend to get up close with some great Australian animals. The Healesville Sanctuary is a great and easy day trip for the whole family. Alternatively, it can be part of a larger weekend trip to one of Victoria’s many wine regions: the Yarra Valley.  If you are choosing a romantic getaway in wine country, don’t miss the Healesville Sanctuary just because you haven’t brought the kids along; even adults can have some fun at the zoo! Getting to the Healesville Sanctuary and planning your day The Healesville Sanctuary is located about 65 kilometres (one hour) from the Melbourne CBD.  This means you can book any GoGet car for the day and get to the sanctuary and back without going over the 150 included kilometres on a daily rental.  The short one hour journey is also perfect with younger kids in mind.

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Dove’s cry but reigning Prince has a plan

Sara
      I’ll never forget the time, about a year before my husband and I were married, that I announced, “Prince is so sexy!” I made my bold declaration well within earshot of my future mother-in-law. It was a different time then. We were in Jackson, Mississippi and the year was 1983. She was shocked. When I tell my adult children this story now, they are surprised to learn that in the early 80s, 20 year-old white girls didn’t go around telling their southern belle mother-in laws they were crushing on an African-American musician. Who was her son marrying? Just a normal girl. If you don’t believe me, watch the coverage of Prince’s passing all over the news this week. People of every age, gender, race, creed and color are mourning the loss of this talented musician. I am in good company. A lot of people dug Prince. A lot.

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The Big Freeze

Sara
The Big Freeze, which is also known as the Heat Death, is one of the possible scenarios predicted by scientists in which the Universe may end. It is a direct consequence of an ever expanding universe. The most telling evidences, such as those that indicate an increasing rate of expansion in regions farthest from us, support this theory. As such, it is the most widely accepted model pertaining to our universe’s ultimate fate. The term Heat Death comes from the idea that, in an isolated system (the Universe being a very big example), the entropy will continuously increase until it reaches a maximum value. The moment that happens, heat in the system will be evenly distributed, allowing no room for usable energy (or heat) to exist – hence the term ‘heat death’. That means, mechanical motion within the system will no longer be possible. This kind of ending is a stark contrast to what other scientists believe will be the Universe’s alternative ultimate fate, known as the Big Crunch.

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Why men pay for sex?

Sara
What makes a man sleep with a sex worker? We asked 3 escorts to quiz their clients Prime Minister David Cameron may have described his Culture Secretary John Whittingdale as "a single man who is entitled to a private life" but it hasn’t stopped a media frenzy over the latest revelations that he had a relationship with a sex worker. Although the relationship occurred before Whittingdale was made a minister last year ( he says he ended it when he found out about her line of work!) critics claim trying to keep the relationship under wraps may have clouded his judgement about press regulation. He was chair of the Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee, which was instrumental in the phone-hacking scandal. Perhaps Cameron’s nonchalance about the whole thing is the real point here. After all, research reveals that one in 20 men has willingly slept with a sex worker anyway. 

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Gallery: Iditarod dog sled race

Sara

Alaska is so warm this year, the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race had to have snow brought in to Anchorage to make the ceremonial opening race happen. The Alaska Railroad is hauling 300 cubic yards of snow from Fairbanks to Anchorage on Thursday for the opening ceremony on Saturday. Even with the 15 truckloads of imported snow, the route for the ceremonial kickoff race was shortened to 3 miles, as opposed to the usual 11 miles. (The course for the race itself is about 1,000 miles.) City of Anchorage personnel tried to figure out a way to keep the full 11-mile course, but with the warm weather lingering, it wasn't possible this year, Stan Hooley, CEO of the Iditarod Trail Committee said in a news release. "A persistent ridge of high pressure over Alaska in January and February has kept snow totals low and temperatures warmer than normal across much of the state," CNN meteorologist Sean Morris said.

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