Saturday, March 9, 2013

Dog whistling, dead ducks, rude burglars and sex the city – they're all here but don’t get too excited, you lot – they are all separate matters.



The subtle art of dog-whistle reporting: in the hands of the Townsville Bulletin, it’s about as subtle as a grenade in a bowl of porridge. But the paper scores a rare double award, despite throwing its own style book out the window.

Also, all the ballyhoo about a sex shop – what? oh sorry ‘Adult Shop’ - in the Townsville CBD has stiffened the resolve of some people to ask questions about both performance and possibly secret business desires. Is the eventual object to create a down-market type of male brothel in the centre of the refurbished, ‘family friendly’ CBD?  That’s the unconfirmed rumour, but some people are having trouble getting their heads around the projected business figures. Now, council has taken a closer interest.

And here’s a couple of unrelated questions for said council.

Why are the ducks and the fish dying by the score in the lakes at Fairfield Waters, and why haven’t local residents been warned about a possible hazard from some sort of virus?  And if there is no hazard, why haven’t residents been told that, too? And more to the point, who should’ve been making residents aware of the situation – the Queensland Government or Townsville City Council? The ‘Pie investigates before The Daily Astonisher catches up and scares the bejesus out of us.

All this and other odd bits of drivel in this week’s nest at www.townsvillemagpie.com.au

This blog occasionally gets onto a serious general news story, and one came The ‘Pie’s way late yesterday afternoon.

Paul Jones, a Fairfield Waters family man, rang to ask if The ‘Pie knew why council workers all this week had been scooping up dead fish and ducks from the lake just behind the Woolies supermarket (not suggesting it was anything to do with Woolies, just to describe where he was talking about).
Fairfield Waters - home to the Unlucky Ducky.

Mr Jones said the first day the council workers turned up, they collected between 30 and 50 maggoty dead ducks, a couple of dozen more the next day and a further dozen the following day. Scores of dead fish were also scooped up each day, which Mr Jones believes died after eating maggots from the birds.

All this without explanation from the workers, (well, it’s not their job anyway, although council WPH&S may well be interested on their behalf). 

Quite reasonably,  Mr Jones wanted to know that given that pet dogs swim in the waters and are then handled by their owners and children, is the killer virus an inter-species one which can affect humans.

His inquiries didn’t get anywhere, although a neighbor went into council and was given some information some sort of botulism.

(An idle thought: the divisional councilor for Fairfield Waters is none other Les Messagebank Walker, so maybe someone did try to call him about it – and good luck with that. Mr Walker, whom fellow councillor’s have dubbed The Ghost Who Talks, has form for not answering his mobile or returning messages, so is it still a hit and miss affair for constituents wanting to contact him? At $90K+ a year, one trusts Messagebank has changed his ways. Perhaps if he spent less time grandstanding in the paper and in council about things that don’t concern him and spending a bit more time on his own patch, he might know about these things.)

But back to the Unlucky Ducks.

The Magpie contacted Clr Gary Eddiehausen  - who answered after three rings – and was surprised to hear about the situation, since community health is his committee’s area of responsibility.

Deputy Doo Dah Vern Veitch -
he wasn't smiling this morning.
The ‘Pie then rang the greenish Deputy DooDah Vern ‘Uncle Fester’ Veitch, who handles the environmental area.  His considered and carefully worded reaction was that he was ‘surprised and disappointed’. The ‘Pie suspects he was holding back a mega-tanty about being overlooked by staff on this issue, but the Deputy Mayor has the good grace – not shared by all his colleagues – not to speak ill of staff or run criticism of them via the media. But that said, there’s little doubt there’s some serious buttock clenching by certain staff who have had their weekend ruined while they now await Monday.

 Uncle Fester had the decency to call back a short time later, confirming that the problem was caused by Avian Botulism which CANNOT  be passed on to humans. He didn’t say it, but looking at recent history in this area, the possible food chain reaction may well be blue-green algae, eaten by shellfish, which in turn are eaten by ducks, who pass it on to fish when the resulting maggots from their carcasses seem like fish food.. (Whoops, just lose your WeetBix, dear? … so sorry).

The ‘Pie is assured that questions will be asked, but it should be remembered that such outbreaks are state’s responsibility and council just does the clean-up. But leaving residents in the dark about possible dangers is not what council’s are there for. Given all those dead fish, maybe Mayor Mullet will take a more sympathetic interest in the issue.

Other matters.

The ‘Well Duh Headlines of the Week goes to The Astonisher for two sterling efforts. On Thursday, the paper ‘revealed’ the following:

Really, I ask you, where are people’s manners nowadays? Would it hurt to make a gentle tap on the shoulder and reassure folks that they’ll be as quite as possible while rifling the house, and not too worry, ‘we’ll let ourselves out’. This stealing while householders sleep is really bad form,  doncha know.

And the previous day, this little gem:


Crikey, what next? Ambo’s Forced To Transport Sick and Injured: Taxpayers Slugged!’. Or maybe, ‘Household Rubbish Collection: Ratepayers Forced to Cough Up’

Just what Mr Simpleton’s understanding of what rates are used for is a bit of mystery. But readers can be such helpful creatures; tucked away in amongst the usual professional council bashers’ comments, there were two that nailed it (published to demonstrate that the paper is a fair and balanced reflection of ‘community values’ – oh, cutitout yakillinme ) .

The first was a gentle little chat to explain to Mr Simpleton the facts of life:

Well done to Cr Roberts for fixing this problem. However, why does the Bulletin feel the need to sensationalise things all time with a headline like this and a caption saying "ratepayers will be forced pay $65000 to repave a footpth"? In fact why is this even news? It's a footpath, it's councils to maintain, so it's getting fixed, simple really. When council repair potholes in suburban streets, are there stories saying " ratepayers forced to pay for road repairs? No s@#t sherlock, that's part of why we pay rates.
Posted by: JC 6:38am today

The second was much more succinct:

I can't believe this is news.
Posted by: CD 7:13am today


But this story  - including the phrase ‘ratepayers will be forced to ….etc’ is small beer when one looks at the overall dog-whistling reporting style which seems to demonstrate that an inbred attitude has pervaded the Ogden Street newsroom.

Morning Editorial Conference at The Daily Astonisher.

Given the general ‘headless chook’ style of editorial management, it is (remotely) possible that the underlying attitude on local issues – particularly council – is subconscious. But it certainly is there.

First, a reminder about what is dog whistling? Here’s how Wikipedia defines it:

Dog-whistle politics is political messaging employing coded language that appears to mean one thing to the general population but has an additional, different or more specific resonance for a targeted subgroup. The phrase is only ever used as a pejorative, because of the inherently deceptive nature of the practice and because the dog-whistle messages are frequently themselves distasteful, for example by empathising with racist attitudes. It is an analogy to dog whistles, which are built in such a way that their high-frequency whistle is heard by dogs, but is inaudible to humans.

The signposts are everywhere in The Astonisher, so here’s a helpful primer on how to read the paper … if you’re one of those left who bother.  

All journos know – or should know - the deliberately deceptive choice of words, especially emphasisers, is a back-door way of editorializing in news stories. Thus the merest criticism of anything will inevitably become ‘slammed’, or someone has ‘hit out’, ‘clashed heatedly’ or even ‘accused’, especially when the news point of the story is chosen to follow the Bulletin self-appointed agenda. This is clunky, journalistic dog whistling, nothing less.

And as all journalists know – or should know - the word ‘claim’ is a particularly loaded one. It suggests that which is ‘claimed’ is not true, and one that an unbiased reporter would be very wary of, especially in political and legal stories. And there’s no reason why Bulletin reporters don’t know this – it is a fact well recognized in the News Ltd Style-Book which, on page 65, has this to say:

‘Claim: avoid; it implies that the speaker is asserting something others may doubt. ‘Said’ does the job.

Same goes for ‘allege(d)’.

But ‘said’ doesn’t sensationalise, so don’t expect any simple declarative sentences any time soon, to allow you make up your own mind about the facts.

Then there is there’s ‘hybrid’ story that conflates two issues in a confusing mélange so the reader isn’t sure of what is actually being said. Joining two stories from separate reporters is always a tricky business, which often ends up a mess. Especially when both yarns are space-filling lazy tripe. An example is this story, which may turn out to be more important in what it doesn’t say rather than what it does say.

If you haven’t nodded of yet, you can read the story here – and then you’d be sure to nod off.

This all seemed mildly bizarre to link ‘respected’ – how do they know? - urban planner Andrew Hammonds to the proposed opening of a sex shop. It may well have been a bit of a surprise to Mr Hammondss, too, although one doubts anything would surprise a man who can keep a straight face while using phrases like ‘tactical urbanism’.

But all that nit-picking aside, there are a few serious questions about the proposed sex shop opening, with more than one heavy breather hitting the MagpieFone. It has been suggested that the eventual purpose off the premises was that of a ‘sex on premises’ operation. Not a brothel per se, but an all-male, admission-charging den of dubious delights which The Magpie is unwilling to describe here. Suffice to say, when told of one particular aspect, he was reminded of youthful Dad and Dave schoolyard jokes involving Mabel’s absence from the farm leading to Dave having a confrontation involving a tree with a knot-hole in it. There was a beehive involved in the joke, but other than that, memory is mercifully misted over - like Dave’s eyes.

These rumours of a sex on premises element have been rife in the gay community for a while now, but no detailed application has come before council yet.

Not having ventured into such niche-interest territory himself, The ‘Pie called old pal the gay activist Colin Edwards, who owns the industry-leading – so he said - Sweethearts on Charters Towers Road.

He questioned the cost of $2 million just for the premises for a sex shop operation.

‘On my best day at Sweethearts, Valentine’s or New Year, that's when you get the regular suburban couples coming in for something different, I’d get maybe 70 people through the shop, and it’s about 130 square metres’ Colin said, suggesting 400 square metres could never be a business proposition for that sort of operation. He said claims of 500 customers a day was highly improbable (not his exact words, The 'Pie caught his drift between adjectives) but something like that would be needed ‘just to break even’.

Mr Edwards is of the impression that someone is playing funny buggers (The Magpie’s terminology), and said the ‘sex on premises’ theory is not out of the question, there was a precedent in Cairns.

‘As I remember, an adult store started up in Cairns, adding to the business over time until they introduced a ‘sex on premises’ aspect. The Cairns Council had apparently overlooked the loophole in the relevant by-laws, and had all sorts of problems with the issue,’ Colin told The ‘Pie.

The business, he said, was called The Head Office. Oh, the drollery.

Reporter Daniel Bateman, who was good enough to take time off from informing us at length about his riveting personal views about same sex marriage, was apprised of the above matters. He told Mr Edwards he had put the scenario to the spokesman/owner who flatly denied it. So that was that.
Nothing of this possibility was printed and only time will tell if a little more digging would have been judicious.

All of which is a bit queer since the paper is ever ready to rain on anyone’s parade at the slightest hint of shock/horror. Mr Edwards said two Townsville councillors, one being the mayor herself, were alarmed enough to ring him seeking information.

Ultimately, these sorts of operations are controlled by the state government, but it is hard to imagine the council, let alone the likes of the Minister for Mayors Kid Crisafulli, Thuringowa’s Scarlet Pimpernel Sam Cox or Townsville’s shy John Hathaway allowing any such proposal go unchallenged. So at least the council is now on to it, any hanky-panky will draw a bureaucratic spanky-spanky, and Mr Bateman again loses his chance for an 'investigative journalism' Walkley.

The Magpie thinks all this is worthy of ‘revealing’  not for prurient reasons, or even the question of the suitability of location for a simple sex shop, let alone anything further going down. It is more that the last thing the Flinders Street re-development needs is an unsustainable business which goes belly-up soon after opening. As Mr Edwards points out (and he’s not against the concept, just the location) two similar operations on Flinders Street West have been tried and have both gone bust.

Others matters.

On the national scene, our PM is back in The Lodge, sipping Tim’s hot cocoa while watching a video of ‘How The West Was Won’ and wondering where she went wrong. Getting bested by the Tattooed Lady of Liverpool was no doubt a low light. And her big announcement about taking on the bikie gangs was premature political populism, entirely dependent on the unlikely cooperation of the states, but Bentley reckons she’s just the gal with the know-how how to do it.

And as the PM herself says, the Australian public has a role to play in getting rid of this blight on society, these thuggish, lying, violent, sleazy, drug-raddled undesirables.

And so we do.

Our best chance comes up on September 14.

34 comments:

  1. Dear Magpie, I live at the Lakes in Currajong near Castletown and along with other residents have been used to dead ducks, and fish for some years now. It is an environmental issue that has and will I suggest continue to be buck passed from one government department to another. Council clean up when advised but it really is a State Gov't. issue and of course it means spending money. To be fair Council has installed a large aerating pump to keep the water "fresh" at some considerable cost I would guess. Maybe that will work.

    I know of a dog who is walked there daily contracting botulism and nearly dying.

    cheers Johnno

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am told that there is no longer a Government Medical Officer in Townsville.

      Delete
  2. Miss Lou enjoyed this week's wacko episode from the Astonisher.

    Sagely Yours,
    Miss Lou.

    p.s. I like Grumpy too.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Im not suprised that Bateman and Templeton would volunteer the sex shop article. Im sure the snapper had a smile on his face.

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  4. Surely as Flinders St is dying quicker than the ducks in Currajong, any type of shop premises, sex or otherwise, would be a good idea? Why not rent out these empty shops at say $50 per year to artists, fashion designers, etc etc, to make a sort of 'artist colony' in town to attract shoppers away from the boring same/same experience at the shopping malls? The City of Glasgow did this is the late 80s with Trongate;

    http://www.trongate103.com

    and this artists colony has revitalised the whole area; can Mayor Mullet not contemplate doing something similar here?

    Always a good read 'Pie; And, as they say in the adult shops, 'Keep it up'... LOL

    ReplyDelete
  5. Avian botulism is a disease specific to birds and as I understand it, cannot be passed on to dogs or humans. That said, it is not good practice to be letting your animal eat rotting meat as it is not the only form of botulism. If there are any indications of poor water quality, then my advice would be to avoid contact.
    No disease has yet been confirmed and disease may not have been the cause of these deaths although we will not know that for some time as the samples are being investigated by the JCU Veterinary Science laboratory. They are the only facility in Townsville with the capacity to do these investigations and ratepayers will be likely to have to pay for the analysis.
    It is possible however that the birds and fish died as a result of the lightning storm last Saturday evening, either from electocution or fright. There are documented cases of lightning killing both fish and birds. To the naked eye, there is no way to tell the difference between a duck that has died from AB or has drowned from another cause. As I said above, we will wait for the results. Anything that drowns often stays submerged for about 24 hours before floating.
    So that I don't find these things out some days after the event, I have asked that I be included on any advice reporting an environmental incident.
    Vern Veitch
    Deputy Mayor

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    Replies
    1. Lightning kills birds? And it's documented? Nooooo....

      Who would have thought?

      Thanks for that Vern. Silly me. Here I was thinking that your average duck would be so well insulated that it could withstand up to 300,000 amperes and one billion (count 'em) volts. But' no, apparently one flash and it's crispy skin duck for fishies.

      Good to hear about floaters too - and not the with squishy peas and gravy variety. Actually, it is caused by the build up of methane, hydrogen sulfide and carbon dioxide (does that mean you are going to tax foating corpses per trailer load?). Furthermore, human bodies take up to a week before they start being upwardly mobile, depending on rates of decomposition, water temperature etc.

      To paraphrase your post, Vern, you don't have a clue what killed Donald,Daisy, Huey, Duey or Louie. But you're working on it...

      Thanks

      Delete
  6. Always Good, Always entertaining.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Paul Anderson of PimlicoMarch 10, 2013 at 7:48 PM

    I've noticed an annoying penchant on the Astonisher's part lately of seeming to give every business who signs a lease for CBD space a few uncritical column inches for that reason alone (the sex shop, a travel agency, an accounting firm, and on and on); all are 'getting behind' or 'showing faith', and blah blah woof woof... Is that all anyone has to do to get into the paper, it seems? I only know from anecdotal, but the CBD (read: Flinders Street, but come on...) situation seems absolutely dire at the moment, more shops vacant/for lease than those occupied. I think the Astonisher could perform a far more useful public service by recognising the situation for what it is, instead of what it seems to be doing, working itself into a breathless froth cheering from the sidelines what at the moment seems the most hopeless of causes: a vibrant Townsville CBD.

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  8. Dear Daniel Bateman - here's an oddity of the English language as she is writ for your delectation.

    Did you know there is no such word as gullible in any dictionary? It's not in the Oxford, Macquarie or Merriam, or certainly none of the other editions The 'Pie regularly consults. It is what is called an amalgam word, and lexicographers have never been able to verify it's etymology to have it officially included.

    So at least technically you'll be able to save some face when the money behind the 'Saviour of Flinders Street' sex shop (as you would have it) is revealed (and of whom The Magpie already knows).

    When you do find out, you'll no doubt be 'as excited as a teenager on his first date'. Just like Mr Preuss!!

    The 'Pie

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  9. I've not been there, but I'm reliably informed that the sex shop at Rising Sun has "meeting rooms" for customers to use out the back. I wonder if they have someone available to take the minutes?

    And 'Pie, more nicknames please. Thuringowa's Scarlet Pimpernel is a good start!

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  10. i believe Daniel Bateman & Anthony Templeton need to get a hand on it...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just like Mickey Mouse but down a little further down on Flinders Street. Hey Mickey mouse lap dancer?

      Delete
  11. Just seen a another group formed on TV. The Townsville Rate Payers Association led by I've been everywhere David Moyle and spokesperson Political Pest & media hound (magpies words) Paul Jacob. When will the rate payers understand that these people have no loyality ,no morals, and are well past use by date I understand Jacob is the Branch Secretary of the Thuringowa Labor party so where does he stand in this group?

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  12. Is Vern running for Mayor...?

    ReplyDelete
  13. Billy the BeancounterMarch 12, 2013 at 11:02 AM

    After our gritty Fire basketballers' appeal for funding to allow them reasonable recovery time from their travels, it was interesting to see Townsville Enterprise's CEO David Kippen's presence at the away final in Bendigo.
    I wonder who picked up the bills for his accommodation and travel?
    First class all the way would be my bet.
    What was the benefit to the community that funds him so generously?
    Maybe he imagined his presence would fortify our girls in their hour of need?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now, now, Billy, Mr Kippen is known to be a man of impeccable probity, so it hard to imagine he would spend Townsville Enterprise members' hard-earned fees on such an irrelevant jaunt. Or those of Townsville ratepayers for that matter, all of whom are de facto TEL members through the annual $800,000 we gift to the outfit.

      No, he seems to be just an enthusiastic supporter of our gals, It appears he most certainly was getting behind the Townsville team, wearing the Fire colours and all. Indeed, is that him we spy in the background of John Andersen's photo of Clive Palmer in today's Astonisher?

      Maybe Big Clive picked up the tab, or The Kipper shouted himself a weekend off in the Victorian countryside.

      If by some logical explanation TEL did pick up the tab, The Pie suggests we keep a close eye on The Kipper's lavish travel plans should the Cowboys fly to England to play in the World Club Championship at season's end.

      Delete
    2. And maybe he should book a seat on Porcine Airlines - right next to the other flying pigs.

      Go the Storm.

      Delete
    3. Actually he travelled Business Class

      Delete
    4. Investigations reveal he returned 1st Flt Tue morning with a well known Townsville developer. Did the LNP led by the Qld Premier have a gathering of faithful in Brisbane on Monday Nite This could explain the reason for the sojourn...

      Delete
  14. For Pie and readers. Hi Grumpy.

    http://www.afp.gov.au/media-centre/news/afp/2013/march/queensland-newspapers-pty-ltd-summonsed-in-relation-to-afp-investigation.aspx

    If only the AFP looked at the Astonisher's environmentwhat they do up here. .

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    Replies
    1. You don’t have to be Einstein to work out which particularly case this refers to.

      The print and television media should hang their heads in shame. Their coverage of this case caused three innocent children to be traumatised to such an extent that they may well never recover.

      The images of a dipsy television reporter playing a recording of the mother’s pleading voice through a locked gate were nauseating. She was completely oblivious to the profound distress she was causing – or simply didn’t care.

      I have it from an impeccable source that most of the reporting was factually wrong in substantial and significant matters. Let’s just say that they may have been confused as to who were the true villains in the saga.

      Section 121 is there for a reason. No matter what penalty is imposed, the harm caused by these moronic journalists can never be assuaged. Suffer the little children…

      Lock ‘em up, I say.

      Delete
    2. The tv waiting outside the father's home was appalling. THE AFP handled the situation well.

      If THE COURIER Mail can't understand visual communication and the rules of law then we need a government body to monitor the renagades.

      The may be 'freedom of the press' but there was no freedom in the press (Astonisher)

      Delete
  15. Billy the BeancounterMarch 12, 2013 at 11:31 AM

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  16. Pie, I trust you gave the owners of this new sex shop in the mall an opportunity to respond to these allegations prior to ringing the competition? I would imagine being competitors there isn't a great deal of love lost between these 2, so couldn't one assume Mr Edwards has a bit of a vested interest in bagging this competitor? I mean, you wouldn't call Tony Ireland for information on Mike Carney's operations would you? Also is this location not 2 blocks from not one, but two strip clubs? I don't have any more desire to enter a sex shop than a jewelery shop, but that doesn't mean I'm against either. If you don't like it, don't go there. And let's face it, chances are it'll be cleaner and have less voilence than say the Mad Cow or Bullys sees....

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    1. Oh, dear, Dorko me old darlin'.

      Stay with us as we go through it for you, Dorko ... slowly.

      First and foremost, if Mr Preusser wishes to have a say, The Pie offers him the space as either a comment or as part of an upcoming blog to state his case. But it's pretty much already been stated ... it's going to be an adult shop, and he has apparently told reporter Masterbateman that's it.

      So The Pie took the Mandy Rice-Davies line 'he would say that, wouldn't he?' In fact, he could hardly say otherwise.

      So - The Magpie clearly stated that Masterbateman had put the question to the owners (that is if they are the owners, we're yet to see title deeds) and they flatly denied it. They are hardly going to say anything different to a nosey parker like The Pie.

      Mr Edwards said he knew those proposing the project, they are a well known couple in the gay community. He has no beef with them, and as far as one could gather, there is no running animosity or commercial jealously between them and Mr Edwards. And Mr Edwards was not The Magpie's only source of information - not by a long shot.

      But Dorko, the numbers just don't add up - not by a country mile - and The Pie's point was that Masterbateman might have delved a little deeper into the background and asked a couple of hard but obvious questions. (But let's face it, Masterbateman bravely although perhaps unwisely admitted in his own column a few weeks ago that he's easily fooled).

      The Magpie clearly stated that he himself wasn't too fussed about a sex shop in the CBD but the obvious facts - backed up by a former employee at extasy - that a large shop would have no hope of surviving in that location is the last thing the benighted businesses down there need ... a flash-in-the-pan that quickly goes belly up. That's not just back to square one, but back a couple of squares. So another revenue stream would be needed, and not many people would chuck a couple of lazy million at such a dicey project unless they had something else up their sleeve (or at least think so).

      That said, The Pie does not agree with the rumoured establishment in that location of what would amount to all-male homosexual brothel - like just about everybody, he wouldn't care for any sort of brothel there. And forget any smart-arse back-to-front malarky about 'if you don't like it, don't go there' ... if the community doesn't like it, then it won't go there.

      As the late Rex Mossop told a TV reporter when asked why he was objecting to a nude beach near his Sydney home 'I don't have anything against genitalia, I just don't want it rammed down my throat'.

      Quite so.

      Delete

    2. Ok, let me get this straight:

      1) The Magpie has taken the word of a “reporter” who is constantly criticised in this very blog, along with the very paper this reporter works for
      2) The Magpie, instead of contacting the apparent new owners decided not to as it was his assumption they wouldn’t say anything different to him.
      3) Yet, you do manage to contact a competitor and get their opinion, as well as a former staff member. Both parties are likely to have grievances with these apparent new owners.

      I just can’t see the fair and balanced reporting your are always crowing about....

      It would seem to me that fair and balanced reporting would encourage you at least trying to contact them. If they didn’t want to talk no worries, your case is done, however without offering the opportunity I feel your story looses quite a bit of merit.

      Care to explain all this to me? But please type slowly, as I can’t read very fast....

      Dorko

      Delete
    3. Oh, Dorko - (sigh).

      Moisten those lips and start reading.

      1, The Magpie is not a reporter (fair and balanced) but a commentator ( puts forward his opinion based oin what he chooses to accept as fact which may or may not be right) - spot the difference?

      2. The Magpie did not take the word of any reporter (as if he would) , but was commenting on that reporter's lack of reporting in his report about the reported comments that nothing was going on but a simple sex shop based on impossible numbers. (This is really deep, Dorko, stay with us here).

      3. The Magpie does not crow - he warbles until five pm, after which he gurgles and sometimes gargles.

      4. The Magpie's report will 'loose' merit? You possibly mean 'lose' and that may mean that you, Dorko, are actually Astonisher editor Lachlan Heywood because that's his preferred spellinhg of 'lose', (and then he blames the chief sub for trying to undermine him with a deliberately inserted error in the editorial headline). That's true

      And The Magpie's report will 'lose merit' if only if it doesn't turn out to be true. The 'Pie's track record isn't too shabby on accuracy and background information - nowhere near 100% but light years ahead of the Astonisher.

      Remember the Townsville Magpie's motto: if what is written here comes to pass,remember you read it here first - and if it doesn't come to pass, that's possibly because you read it here first.

      Dorko, thank you for the opportunity to use the words 'The Magpie' almost half a dozen times in this brief response.

      The Magpie will look forward to any further reply when you have read finished reading this - on Thursday morning. But The Magpie will not 'loose' any sleep over it while waiting.

      Thank you,

      The Magpie.

      Delete
    4. Thanks for that Magpie, I now have a much better understanding, and several more comments:
      1) OK, I get that you see yourself as a commentator; however I must be the only one that finds it ironic you appear to have this “do as I say, not as I do” philosophy. The very philosophy you berated the astonisher for RE the Ergon editorial (15/04/2011). I think we’ll have to agree to disagree on this one, moving on.
      2) Based on impossible numbers? Let’s do a bit of research on the current location – all from my computer I may add. 277 Charters Towers Rd appears in google maps to be around 800m2 (40m x 20m give or take). From the Street view image we see that the sex shop is likely to be around half that, judging by the frontage of the 3 shops. Thus couldn’t one assume their current floor space to be around 400m2? Have they not traded in this location for several years? Thereby proving it is in fact, a viable enterprise? For the record I don't think my assumptions are any more accurate than yours, but they appear based on similar level of fact.
      3) For the most part I have enjoyed your crowing, warbling and squawking over the years. Keep it up.
      4) I think it is a bit rich to berate me over a typo, given your latest missives also contained 3 between them (and I’m sure they won't be the last). By your logic, you are as likely to be that harry potter glasses wearing clown as I am.
      5) The fact your “report” (thought it was a blog) may well prove to be true doesn’t excuse the fact it was poorly researched – the ends does not always justify the means.
      6) Thankyou for responding Magpie, it is nice to have a comment not taken down because I challenge the writer. I really don’t know why I have taken such a poor view of this particular blog but I must say I’m enjoying our little banter, and I’ll respond in Kind by using your name and helping increase your ranking, I now note you are 3rd on a search for Magpies Nest – good stuff.

      Dorko

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    5. Well, Dorko the Dildo, old mate, that took a while, but here you are back, thrusting yourself into the throbbing action after a lengthy rest and probably a contemplative fag or two as you gazed at the ceiling, trying to articulate your muddled moral anger.

      On your points.

      1. The Pie asks no one to do anything except read the blog, and comment if they want. You contradict yourself in not understanding the difference between a newspaper with clear community responsibilities and a piss-ant blogger (commentator) who influences no one.

      2. The Pie leaves the maths to you, although the evidence of point 1 would suggest that 2+2 is a bit of a headscratcher for you.

      3. Keeping it up is a constant challenge, but thanks, anyway, it really is appreciated.

      4. 'Berate' you? Perish the thought. And three typos in the blog - that must've been a good week. (Incidentally, on a trivial but curious note, why is it that so many people across the English speaking world get 'loose' and 'lose' mixed up. A plausible answer came from a smart friend the other day when she pointed out it is because Spellcheck can't distinguish the grammar required and therefore the appropriateness of either word.)

      5. The Pie will settle for being right over meeting certain standards of others ... in this instance anyway.

      6. If comments argue the issue and aren't some drool-flecked hysteria aimed personally and pointlessly, they will always get a run (subject to legality). Be a bit boring if they didn't.




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  17. Wow!
    This whole episode is certainly causing controversy.
    I have known both Simon and Dan personally and professionally for over 15 years. We have a great relationship from what l am aware. In fact the last time l seen them l shouted them both a drink. Many times we have sat at the same bar table in front of a number of beaks. We have been represented by the same legal team in joint cases and have stood side by side defending our industry, business and community. We contuniue to talk and l am aware of no animosity.
    I wish the guys well in their business endeavors.

    The story came about by the astonisher first contacting me, after receiving complaints by mall traders who had "heard on the grapevine" of such a venture. Mr Bateman wondered if it was me. I confirmed it was not me. He further asked if l knew who was.

    It has been well known in certain circles for 3 to 6 months now that Extacy has had plans on the city cbd and this information has come from the mouth of Dan the general manager himself.
    Not directly to me mind you, but to many others across a wide field. He had even told some of my staff face to face.

    So l suggested to Mr Bateman to contact Extasy direct as they were the only people l knew considering such a move.
    It was Mr Bateman who confirmed to me that he had put to the businessmen the question of the "sex on premises venue" and they denied it. And so be it I thought.

    However after the story's were published, a range of information now in the public domain did not seem to add up.
    The customer numbers quoted in the story's have been challenged by former staff of extasy on the astonishers web site. They claim 50 a day and not 500.
    This is in line with my experience and business history so the published
    numbers did raise my eyebrows.
    There are only a small handfull of adult or sex shops nationally that are the size of what has been announced for the cbd and these few are based in Syd and Melb and no similar sizes shops are anywhere in the regions "not anywhere". This has also raised my eyebrows.
    And l know first hand that 2 shops, one on Flinders east (2yrs ago) and the other on Flinders west (beside the old Andersons newsagent) both were unsuccessful and went bust.
    So word on the street seems to be that a business case for such a venture just does not add up. As a stand alone adult shop proposal I have no option but to accept this prognosis. The numbers don't add up.

    As to the question of, is this some sort of front for another enterprise remains to be seen.
    I support the concept of a sex on premises venue. It helps to clean up unsavoury activity from public places, beaches and toilet blocks and puts it behind private doors out of the sight of the general public.
    This helps to make our public places more safe and l am all for that, and l hope you are to.
    I recognise that there is strong street talk throughout the community that this proposal is more than meets the eye.

    So the question comes down to, If such a venue were to open where should such a place be located?

    If the Extasy guys are planning a genuine stand alone Adult shop for the cbd l wish them well and all the success.
    But what has been announced in size and numbers does not add up to a successful enterprise by any means to any clear thinking business head.
    I hope the guys don't get burnt.








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  18. Greetings Dear Magpie,

    You will have seen the Bulletin front page today (Wed) re Jezzine Bks cost blowout. This cause my to immediately sent a txt to the ed as follows: Jessine Bks cost over run not news. Townsville Magpie dealt with this months ago. Dave of Kelso. ps bet u won’t print this txt.

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    1. And golly, what skill The Magpie showed to dig that up, well ahead of the 'revelation' in The Sun last month as claimed.

      Well, Dave, don't want to let out too much a trade secret here, but the skill involved The 'Pie opening his emails on January 3rd to read Deputy Doo Dah Vern Veitch regular Div 3 newsletter, in which he never sugar coats or pulls any punches. Read the pertinent bits in the Magpie blog of January 19. This newsletter is freely available to anyone who wants it.

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  19. The Scott Waters CEO of Whitsunday Regional Council previously employed by Townsville Enterprise did he not leave TEL after having several issues with Bearne"s style of management...

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