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Month: March 2019

Mercury drops to -6.1°C at Tuggeranong

Mercury drops to -6.1°C at Tuggeranong

‘Out of this World’, a photo sent into to the Canberra Times Readers Winter Photo competition. A prickly seed pod from the Plane Tree encased in ice.Canberra woke to sub-zero temperatures and heavy frosts this morning, in a trend that’s set continue well into next week.
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At 6.46am this morning in Tuggeranong, the mercury dropped to an icy minimum of -6.1°C, well below the July average of -0.1°C.

The weather was a little more balmy at the airport, bottoming out at -5.8°C at 6.40am.

The coldest overnight low we’ve had this year was recorded two weeks ago on Friday June 20 at a chilly -6.3°C.

The lowest temperature on record for July is -10°C, recorded in 1971 on July 11.

Minimum temperatures in Canberra are forecast to remain below zero into next week.

Check out Canberra’s seven day forecast.

The forecast minimum for Canberra tomorrow is -4°C with frost expected and temperatures are forecast to get down to -5°C on Saturday.

But it’s not all bad news according to Bureau of Meteorology duty forecaster Ryan White, who said afternoon temperatures will be quite the contrast.

“Canberrans will have to be prepared to scrape ice off their windscreens in the mornings… but the afternoons should be extremely pleasant,” he said.

Mr White said the rest of the week will bring clear days and sunny weather, with maximum temperatures of up to 14°C – at least three degrees above the average July maximum.

He said a strong slow-moving high pressure system near the Great Australian Bight is currently directing very light, dry southeasterly winds across Canberra.

These dry winds are primarily the cause of Canberra’s cool evenings, as dry air cools more quickly than air with a greater moisture content leading to a drop in temperature in the evenings.

Mostly sunny weather is predicted for today, with a maximum temperature of 12°C.

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

9 tips to make your website sing

9 tips to make your website sing

Short attention span … your site must share a quick and concise message.The first contact most potential customers will have with your business is through your website, so it can’t be tired and old. Here are nine tips on how to refresh your website.
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Your website doesn’t have to be a work of art, but it shouldn’t look too cheap or ugly either. “If it looks cheap then you attract customers wanting cheap; if it looks good you’ll attract a better quality of client,” says Peter Ball, managing director of Exa Web Solutions. “It’s not that hard to get a decent design, it’s probably the easiest part of a website.”


Database errors, links that don’t work, clicking onto pages that won’t take you back to the homepage – these infuriate users mad and drive away potential customers. “It’s more important to get the basic functionality right than to have something really fancy,” says Ball. All sorts of things can cause website errors, so once a week spend five or 10 minutes clicking around your site to make sure all the links work. And if you have a web-based contact form, test it regularly to ensure that you’re still getting those business leads.


Smart phone and tablet use is rocketing, with mobile devices are forecast to comprise10 to 20 per cent of the total web audience this year, so you need to make sure your website will work on mobile devices. “Mobile users expect quick access to the most relevant information, without heavy graphics, animation, or downloads, and it’s relatively straight forwards to setup a mobile-friendly template for your website,” says Mack Nevill, founder and creative director of digital agency Evolution7. “We recommend you identify the most important content in your site and optimise it for mobile, rather than just shoehorning pages of content five levels deep into a mobile interface.”


When someone comes to your site you’ve only got their attention for a very short time so you need to communicate your core message quickly and concisely. “You need to tell the user why you’re better than the next guy and why they need to buy your services or read further,” says Michael Rom, a director of Netstarter. To convert interest into business, you need to follow up with a strong call to action, a prompt to users to call or seek more information.


Write the copy for your website, then halve it and then halve it again, says Rom. And use dot points. “It’s about having clean aesthetics and sufficient use of white space,” he says. “If you can imagine going to a site that’s got a lot of copy, a lot of links and a lot of graphics and everything’s all over the place, it’s very difficult for the user to focus and read the key message.”


The first place a web browsers eyes drift towards is the top right of the screen, so use the space for a call to action, says Mike Larcher, director of web agency Acidgreen. Use a different colour that stands out and a phrase like “call now” or “free quotes” with a button to press. “


When you’re refreshing your website, don’t forget search engine optimisation – making sure your site contains key words about your business that will show up in search engines. SEO has spawned an entire industry, but Larcher says the basics are to ensure the key words for your business appear often on your pages and to be as specific as possible. For instance, just putting “plumber” on your site would mean you’re competing to be noticed by search engines against all of the other plumbers in Australia and Google would be unlikely to give you a listing. More specific words such as “plumber North Shore Sydney” will win you more hits.


If you haven’t got it already, get Google Analytics. This free service from Google offers detailed information on how people use your website – how long they stay and which pages they visit. Louise Gorrie, director of Sydney-based web design agency Digital Finery says small businesses should use the service to find out which phrases people come to the website for after a search. “Make sure you’ve got the content to match and that’s quite an easy win,” she says.


Gorrie says that a rule of thumb in website design is “don’t make the user think”, so ensure that the site is easy to navigate, because if people can’t easily find what they want they’ll go elsewhere. “Show the site to a few people and see how they navigate their way through the pages, because people never use your website like you think they do,” Gorrie says. “Get them to find something specific on the site and see if they can find in and that might give you some ideas to improve the navigation.”

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

He could only just see over the dock: boy, 12, accused of $500,000 school arson

He could only just see over the dock: boy, 12, accused of $500,000 school arson

He has just turned 12, been on a bond for less than a month for robbery and is now facing allegations that he was part of a team of boy arsonists who caused more than $500,000 damage to a Hunter institution.
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The child could only just see over the dock at Broadmeadow Children’s Court yesterday when magistrate Bruce Williams granted him strict conditional bail over the St Pius X High School fire because he was so young, the Newcastle Herald reports.

The boy, who is suspended from his own school, was placed back into the custody of his father with a nightly 7pm to 7am curfew slapped on him.

The court heard the boy’s father, the child’s supervising parent, had been struggling to control him.

And the boy has also been warned to stay away from two other boys who police allege were with him at the time the large building was torched on Saturday afternoon.

The boy pleaded not guilty to the charges of destroy property in company by fire and destroy or damage property, claiming one of the other boys had lit the blaze.

Police are yet to lay charges against other suspects, although they have spoken with two boys who were assisting with the investigation.

Mr Williams said the issue of bail was “a serious balancing exercise” and that it was with “some reluctance” that he granted bail because the boy’s ambivalence was of “some concern to me”.

But he noted the boy’s young age meant that, if convicted, he believed “that the resources of the state look at rehabilitation”.

“If it were a 17- or 18-year-old, I would have no hesitation in refusing his bail,” Mr Williams said.

He later told the boy: “I can tell you now, you break the bail conditions and you stay in custody. You break the curfew, you will stay in custody.”

A police facts sheet tendered to court said the boy and two others, also aged 12, had climbed under a fence and broken into the school hall in Adamstown by smashing windows.

One of the other boys had received a severe cut from the windows, with the trio running off shortly after the fire was lit near the vicinity of an open door, the facts sheet said.

The court heard a bloody jumper was found next to the nearby rail line before a woman was stopped at a Park Avenue bus stop and asked for directions to get medical assistance.

Three boys also told a man at a nearby RTA facility that the injured boy had received his injury after a bottle was thrown from a passing car.

“At the time the fire within the school structure spread rapidly and was threatening other structures,” the facts sheet said.

It later read: “The accused young person offered of his own free will admission to his presence at the scene and that a co-accused was responsible for the fire.

“Police as investigators sought to expand this offer of information, a number of questions and answers were made before the accused young person declined to answer.”

The charged boy was put on a nine-month bond for robbery.

He will reappear on July 30.


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

Moving the goalposts

Moving the goalposts

Mark Schwarzer, who has offered his Watsons Bay home for rent. 43 Susan Street, Annandale, has been with one family for 114 years.
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40 Pymble Avenue Pymble, which is for sale at more than $1.7 million.

The Socceroos goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer, who also plays in the English Premier League with Fulham, has listed his Watsons Bay harbour-front property for rent at $3400 a week. Since March, the property has been on the market with price hopes of more than $12 million, but it hasn’t sold so Schwarzer is looking for a tenant.

Named Boongarre, the two-storey weatherboard house stands on a 1214 sqm Pacific Street block with views across Watsons Bay and the harbour to the city skyline. Schwarzer paid $10.2 million for the property in 2009. But he and his wife Paloma decided to remain in Europe to educate their children, so the property was listed for sale.

Boongarre was the childhood home of the renowned author Christina Stead, and it was owned by the Stead family from 1918-1980.

History in the making

At Annandale in the inner west, a cottage owned by the Blaydon family for 114 years is set for auction next Saturday through Jennifer Aaron. Expected to sell for more than $850,000, the circa 1898 two-bedroom weatherboard stands in a 468 sqm block in Susan Street. In the back garden is an air-raid shelter built during World War II. There is also a garage with an adjoining stable that used to house a horse and carriage.

Headed for the beach

The Channel Nine television sports identity Tim Gilbert and his wife, Josie, snapped up a La Perouse beachside house last week. The couple paid $1,595,000 for a modern four-bedroom residence through McGrath agent Damon Anasta.

Standing opposite the sandy shores of Frenchmans Bay, the property has been on and off the market with $2 million-plus price hopes through various agents since it was listed by the Reid family in October 2010.

Earlier this month, the Gilberts sold their Maroubra home for $1.16 million through Raylean Ellison of Ellison Zulian Property.

Hollywood connection

On the upper north shore, a Pymble house believed to have been rented by the Australian-born Hollywood actor Errol Flynn is for sale at more than $1.7 million through Alex Riley, the sales director of Sachs Real Estate.

Flynn was a friend of the filmmaker Charles Chauvel who lived in the same street, Pymble Avenue. In 1933, Flynn had a starring role in an Australian film, In the Wake of the Bounty, directed by Chauvel.

Set on a 1006 sqm block with a swimming pool, the Californian bungalow was built by the McKewan family who later moved to live at another Pymble Avenue house called The Knoll. Since the mid-1980s, the four-bedroom residence has been owned by the Roufogalis family who have listed it for sale.

Transformed delight

A Rose Bay residence designed by the architect Michael Falk is for sale at more than $2.25 million through Barry Goldman of Raine & Horne Double Bay.

On a 340 sqm block in the Avenue, the three-bedroom semi-detached house is owned by Kim Scheftz, whose South African-born husband, Joel Scheftz, owns the Foam Booth store at the corner of Cleveland and South Dowling streets.

Falk’s design transformed an original circa 1930s semi into a large contemporary two-storey residence with marble and limestone bathrooms, a state-of-the-art kitchen and large living and dining areas that flow onto a covered outdoor dining area and a landscaped garden with a swimming pool.

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

New kids on The Block are winners thanks to low reserve prices

New kids on The Block are winners thanks to low reserve prices

The  reserve prices on all four houses from Sunday night’s finale of The Block were ”excessively conservative” and bear little relationship with the current Melbourne property market, property experts say. And even the show’s executive producer, Julian Cress, admitted the reserves were set lower than for an average auction.
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More than 4 million people tuned in to watch the final episode of the renovation show in which each of the four houses sold for well above their reserve, a turnaround from last year’s dismal result when three of the four properties failed to sell.

This year’s winners, Brad and Lara, from Newcastle, pocketed more than $600,000 after their South Melbourne property sold for $1.62 million – $506,000 over the reserve. They also took home the $100,000 winners prize, taking total winnings to $606,000.

Each of the other couples’ houses sold for more than $300,000 over their reserve, which a Channel Nine spokeswoman said was a ”massive result”.

She said the reserves had been set ”in the last couple of weeks” after consulting an independent valuer.

”The reserves reflect sales of other properties in the area and take into account the price we paid for the property and the cost of renovating with the intention as always to maximise what the contestants can win [rather than a return to Nine],” the spokeswoman said in a statement.

But Paul Nugent, a director with Wakelin Property Advisory, who buys and sells property in inner Melbourne, said the reserve prices were more about ensuring a good result and a big audience for the station.

”What was disclosed to the viewers as reserve prices were excessively conservative,” he said. ”But at the same time they had the desired result, which was they encouraged participation.

”The eventual sale prices were what I would have thought were the genuine values of the properties.”

Andrew Wilson, a senior economist for the Fairfax-owned Australian Property Monitors, said even though South Melbourne was one of the property ”hot spots” in the city, rising 15 per cent in the May quarter and 7 per cent since November, all but one of the reserve prices was under the suburb’s median price in May.

The reserve prices did not ”reflect market value on the day and that was proven by the result”, Dr Wilson said.

Mr Cress, The Block’s co-creator and executive producer, last night admitted the reserve prices were deliberately set lower than the normal market so that the contestants would make money.

He said the reserves were based on an off-the-plan valuation done in October before the contestants began work.

This was then adjusted in the months following to take account of fluctuations in the market.

The final reserve was set two weeks before the auction.

Source: Entertainment

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