Archive for May, 2019

The Knights have signed Kayln Ponga to a four-year contractpoll

Monday, May 20th, 2019

KNIGHTS chief executive Matt Gidley said speculation about the size of Kalyn Ponga’s deal had been “wildly exaggerated” after Newcastle confirmed on Monday they had signed the teenage sensation for four years.

Reports havesuggested the North Queensland 18-year-old, who has appeared in only two NRL games, would be paid up to $3.6 million by Newcastle over five seasons. The tenure of the contract is actually one year less than that, running from 2018 until the end of 2021, although the Knights will attempt to convince Cowboys officials to grant Pongaan early release so that he can move south before next season kicks off.

“If it was just about the money, Kalyn would not have come to Newcastle,’’ Gidley said.

“There was plenty of other interest out there in him.’’

Ponga visited Newcastle on the weekend to put pen to paper, two weeks after agreeing to terms.

Gidley said there had been some “very initial” discussions with North Queensland about the possibility of expediting his release.

Cowboys coach Paul Green has already indicated he wants the utility back to see out his contract and spend 2017 in Townsville.

“As it stands, we are excited about Kalyn joining us in 2018,” Gidley said in a club statement.

“Should the Cowboys decide to release Kalyn before the conclusion of his contract, we would certainly welcome him to the club at an earlier date.”

Gidley said Newcastle had salary cap space to accommodate Ponga in 2017 if that chance arose.

Speculation has been rife for the past two weeks that Newcastle had beaten a host of rival clubs and codes to secure the services of the hottest prospect in rugby league.

Knights legends Andrew and Matthew Johns and Danny Buderus all played a role in convincing Ponga to join the back-to-back wooden spooners.

“There is no doubt Kalyn is a very talented and exciting young player and his signing is definitely a coup for the club,” Knights coach Nathan Brown said on Monday.

“We look forward to further developing his talent and welcoming his family to Newcastle.”

NEW RECRUIT: Kayln Ponga has signed a four-year deal with Newcastle.

Short Takes

Monday, May 20th, 2019

MEANWHILE, back at the farm, Donald certainly trumped all his opponents to win the game and take out the pot, but he only played the hand he was dealt. When all the cards are on the table, he could be the ace in the hole to make the good ol’ US of A trumps again.

Ron Elphick, Buff PointFOR many years Derryn Hinch bragged that he didn’t vote, because it was his “democratic right” not to. Then with a criminal record, he runs for the Senate, and gets elected. Please explain.

Mick Miller, Salamander BaySHED no tears for Fidel Castro,a murdering tyrant the likes of Ho Chi Minh and Che Guevara. The left, theABC luvvies, the Greens, “clever people” elitists in academia, showbiz, etc – along with all the “chaff head celeb set” members – will all be wailing and breast beating over the death of a tyrant.

Howard Hutchins, Chirnside ParkTHE latest proposed route for V8 Supercars race travels through a heritage conservation area deemed only suitable for ‘passive entertainment’. Has the council considered a heritage impact statement for this event? It appears it is a case of the council having one rule for residents and another for private companies.

Pauline Kilby, Newcastle EastFOR years we have heard of the plans GPT had for transforming the Hunter Street mall and how it all hinged on the removal of the rail line. Now twoyears after the line’s demise they are walking away from these plans. Could it be they now realise that they have driven visitors out of the CBD by removing this valuable infrastructure?

Lance Makings, CardiffWITH the death of Fidel Castro, the CIA will no doubt be instigating covert operations in Cuba, whilst the US administration will push trade embargoes in exchange for concessions. Watch this space.

Dennis Petrovic, RutherfordTOO many companies are reliant on 457 visas – even in Newcastle. Have been employed at one stage by one in hospitality industry andhave long been conflicted. Tony Abbott eased conditions – why has it taken Bill Shorten so long to wake up?

Sue Perkins, Adamstown HeightsTHE POLLSHave you given up on the Jets?

Yes 57%, No 43%Do you think their is a connection between mining and seismic activity?

Yes 69%, No 31%Do you support plans to build a helipad at Trinity Point?

Yes 44%, No 35%, Don’t care 18%, Unsure 3%MESSAGEBOARDA REUNION of former employees of the BHP Engineering Technology Drawing Offices will be held at Wests Cardiff on Friday, December 2 from 11am,with lunch at the bistro at noon. For further information, please call Noel James on4957 4714.

Kaine Geoffrey Jones pleads guilty to manslaughter of 56-year-old tourist Graeme Wilton at Mannering Park

Monday, May 20th, 2019

GUILTY: Kaine Geoffrey Jones has admitted to killing Graeme Wilton following a road rage incident at Mannering Park. Prosecutors accepted his guilty plea to manslaughter and dropped the murder charge. Picture: Darren Pateman.A MARTIAL arts boxer has admitted killing a 56-year-old tourist after punching him to the ground in a road rage incident at Mannering Park.

Graeme Wilton was on a two-year trip around Australia with his wife when his late afternoon walk was interrupted by a screeching utility on December 12, 2013.

Behind the wheel was Muay Thay boxer Kaine Geoffrey Jones, who had already punched another man in the car park of a Central Coast shopping centre less than six months previously.

Victim Graeme Wilton.

Witnesses were to tell police they saw Mr Wilton bang his palms on the bonnet then raise his hands in the air.

They allege the older man threw his hands into the air and walked along the driver’s side of the car, speaking in the direction of the driver when Jones got out and punched Mr Wilton to the head, causing him to fall back and hit his head on the bitumen.

Jones then did a burnout within metres of Mr Wilton’s body and took off at speed.

Mr Wilton regained consciousness and was taken to Wyong Hospital, before being transferred to Royal North Shore intensive care unit where he was placed in an induced coma and underwent two surgeries to reduce the swelling on his brain.

He died on February 10.

Jones was due to face a murder trial in Newcastle Supreme Court on Monday before prosecutors accepted aguilty plea to the lesser charge of manslaughter.

In doing so, Jones has admitted killing Mr Wilton and will remain behind bars until his sentencing proceedings are heard on Wednesday.

He has told police that Mr Wilton “ran out in front of the road, in the middle of the road, and I tried to get around him, but he side-stepped in front of me, so I locked the car up and he slammed his hands on the bonnet”, court documents have revealed.

In the documents tendered when he was committed for trial, Jones also said Wilton assaulted him before Jones got out of the car and punched Mr Wilton.

Less than six months earlier, a man needed dental work to re-align his teeth after he was punched repeatedly by Jones in the car park of Westfield Tuggerah.

Letters to the Editor: Tuesday, November 28, 2016

Monday, May 20th, 2019

BRAVE: Newcastle Anglican Bishop Greg Thompson is to be admired for his integrity, says reader Olga Parkes.

I WONDER how many people, Anglican or not, feel proud, as I do, of Bishop Greg Thompson.

In particular for his courage and integrity at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse?

I believe he is a shining example of honesty and courage.

Thank you Bishop Greg.

Olga Parkes,New Lambton HeightsMarriage meaning is clearFOR John Sorensen (‘Searching for the meaning of marriage’, Letters, 25/11), the historical meaning of marriage is outdated and archaic. But even in the ‘updated’ definition of marriage that he quotes, the ‘some jurisdictions’ where marriage specifically means a union between a man and a woman are actually most of the world.

Just over 20countries out of more than 190 have same-sex ‘marriage’, only one of the 10most populous countries, only one country in Africa, no country in Asia and, in our part of the world, only New Zealand.

Historically, the word ‘marriage’ sometimes is qualified, as in polygamous marriage or incestuousmarriage, but the concept of sexual complementarity has been constant.

Because ‘marriage’ derives from the Indo-European root word ‘mari’ or young woman, it makes no sense to use the word to describe a relationship between two blokes.

‘Matrimony’, coming from the Latin ‘mater’ for ‘mother’ and ‘monium’ meaning state or condition, means motherhood and family. It can only be a man-woman thing.

Peter Dolan, LambtonMessage of thanksI AM writing this letter in response to John Sorensen’s piece (Letters 25/11), that married heterosexual grumpy old man.John, that was a beautifully crafted and thoughtful letter.

It doesn’t raise any new issues regarding same gender marriage other than that of semantics (as you say).I, like you, found similar definitions of marriage in the dictionaries I perused, and you are right. The meaning of marriage can be taken various ways depending on the belief of the readers and the culture from which they come.Thank you John.

Les Field, WickhamHitting the wrong noteI CAN’T understand why the Reserve Bank feels the need to reassure the Australian public about the new $5note.

Apart from the fact that vending machines won’t accept them, I can’t see a problem with them.

So why are they advertisingto sell it to us when we don’t really have a choice. Seems to me it isanother example of a waste of Australian taxpayers’ dollars.

Neil Meyers, Warners BayWho’s paying the bill?ON my regular drive to the beautiful Nelson Bay area, I come across two or three large electronic billboards warning me – “Caution trucks turning left.”

These are located just before and after the Newcastle Airport turn-off and have been in operation for at least six months.

As a result, the dual lane carriageway has been reduced to 60kmh from 80kmh. As yet, and I travel the road very regularly, I have not yet seen a truck turning left.

I find it surprising that I have to be warned of a truck turning left on such a road. Surely drivers, even those with poor eyesight, can see such a large vehicle? Who is paying for these signs? They can’t be cheap.

It seems to me that it is a case of using a nuclear bomb to boil water.

Paul Sutcliffe,Fern BayBad bag decisionA TERRIBLE decision was made last week whenthe NSW Baird government refused to join South Australia, Tasmania, Queensland, ACT and the Northern Territory in banning single-use plastic bags.

About fivebillion of the these bags are handed out each year, 150 million polluting our environment. About 95 per centof dead birds’ stomachs have been found to contain pieces of plastic. Even third world countries like Somalia, Kenya and Tanzania have banned them.

This is a slap in the face for the hundreds of Lake Macquarie citizens who signed petitions and sent letters to the NSW government to act on this critical issue. I call on all Hunter members of NSW parliament to get the Baird government to reverse its decision and ban single-use plastic bags.

We need also to get Coles and Woolworths to act as Aldi and Bunnings have done. It is time for customers to bring their own bags or buy a reusable one – we can do the right thing even if Baird can’t.

Stephen Noel Dewar, TorontoCheck the clauseVIC Miller is at it again, telling councils how to run meetings (“Counting the votes”, Letters, 25/11) using generic rules that don’t necessarily apply to local government.

Where does the Local Government Act “direct that the mayor votes asmayor, not as a councillor at council meetings”?

He also admits that ”there is nothing inthe Local Government Act saying how this (mayoral) vote is to be used”.

Has he read Part M, clause 67 (“Casting Vote”) of Newcastle council’s code meeting practice (which must be compliant with the act)?Keith Parsons, NewcastleIGNORING THE SIGNSIT seems that most motorists who frequent the intersections of Glebe Street andBurwood Road in Kahibah don’t realise that the ‘Stop’ signstill means exactly that.

The other day whilst attempting to cross (on foot) the aforementioned intersection, I watched as seven vehicles went blissfully east through the signs, and acouple more decided to go through the sign going west.

Taking my life in my hands, I wended my way to a little safety island.

A queue had banked up on the lot going west, not stopping because they had to but waiting for the others going through.I managed to squeeze myself between two cars, raised my hand andsmiled as I mounted the footpath.

Perhaps in future I may carry a banner which reads ‘Stopmeans STOP’, or like the olden days when someone walked in front of a vehicle, waving a red flag.

In all sincerity, I worry that someone won’t be quick enough to dodge these thoughtless drivers.

Daphne Hughes, Kahibah