Aussie Plane Pal inventor defends product in ‘copycat’ spat

Samantha Cardone, the founder of Plane Pal. Photo: SuppliedDuelling inventions designed to help kids sleep on planes are at the centre of a copycat spat between an n small business and an American competitor.
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Samantha Cardone’sPlane Pal inflatable cushion, which fits between airline seats lets young children stretch out and sleep on planes.

It wasrecently approved for use on Virgin flights, and her business Plane Pal is anticipated to turn over $1 million this financial year.

But American entrepreneurs Winnie Lu and Kate Kuo, the founders of the Fly Tot kids sleep device, assert Ms Cardone copied their invention even though they admit they have no legal grounds to complain.

Ms Cardoneis adamant her product is her own invention, citing numerous design difference to the Fly Tot and detailing the lengthy process she went through to create her device.

Samantha Cardone with two of her children using the Plane Pal. Photo: Supplied

Developing the Plane Pal”Before launching Plane Pal, I thoroughly researched the kids travelmarket and cameacross several offerings including First Class Kid, Fly Tot, Fly Legs Up andJetKidsBed box, to namea few,” she said.

“Before commencing trade as Plane Pal, I sought specialist advice to ensure Plane Pal did not infringe existing design or patent rights.”

MsCardonesaidshemade sure to establish a “robust portfolio” of intellectual property rights around the Plane Pal brand in and someinternational territories.

Samantha Cardone is the founder of Plane Pal. Photo: Supplied

“Although visual similaritiesmay be noticed between Plane Pal and other inflatable cushions produced around the world, our product is unique,made froma different, lightermaterial and has a distinctive internal structure, offering higher quality and durability,” she said.

“Plane Pal is lighter and stronger than our competitors. Our hand pump allows for faster inflation and our carry bag for easier transport. Fly Tot is just another inflatable likemany others before it, andmanymore that are likely to follow.”

Fly Tot lifts offMs Lu and Ms Kuo started working on the Fly Tot in 2013, with the two mothers desperate for a way to get their childrento sleep on flights.

“I spent a lot of time researching the product design, looking at what design would work best with airline seats,” Ms Lu said.

“We were pretty proud when we came up with a design that could work on both standard and premium economy seats.

The Fly Tot in use. Photo: Kate Kuo

“There was also a lot of back and forth with different manufacturers, including visits to factories in China. Then, of course, over a year doing flight testing of our different prototypes, both for our cushion and for the pump.”

Ms Lu saiddeveloping the pump was the most difficult part.

“All the readily available pumps were too bulky for travelling,” she said. “But developing a custom pump cost thousands of dollars and we didn’t have that kind of money to invest. So we tried to get funding by launching a Kickstarter campaign back in 2014.”

The Fly Tot eventually went on sale in April 2016 and since then Ms Lu said”tens of thousands” of Fly Tot inflatable plane devices hadbeen sold.

Inquiries from Plane PalMs Lu and Ms Kuo saidthey received an email from Ms Cardone in June 2016 asking to be Fly Tot’s distributor in .

“I love your product and have a proven history with retailers,” Ms Cardone’s email seen by Fairfax Media says. “I’d love to chat to you about making Fly Tot big here [in] Aus.”

In a follow-up email, Ms Cardone asks for for more information about the Fly Tot.

“If you are interested in talking further I am happy to sign an NDA [non-disclosure agreement] as obviously I would need information from you to ascertain whether the product would be viable in our market,” she said.

But the business deal never went ahead and they never made a non-disclosure agreement.

Ms Lu and Ms Kuoasked Ms Cardone to set up a Skype chat to discuss acting as a distributor but she never replied to the request and instead ordered a Fly Tot from the site’s website.

Cardone then contacted a manufacturer in China that makes Fly Tots.

“I understand your company produces a customised plastic cushion for use on airplanes for an American company,” Ms Cardone.

“I am interested in producing a similar product for a different international market. Could you please advise if you are able to produce an item similar to the one you are already producing with my branding? I would like to start with 200 units.”

Plane Pal launchesMs Cardone launched Plane Pal in December 2016 and once Ms Lu and Ms Kuo became aware of the product the pair engaged an n lawyer and sent a letter of demand to Plane Pal.

“In the end, we were told our case just wasn’t strong enough,” MsLu said.

“The main reason is we failed to register for a patent for our product before we began selling it in .”

While Fly Tot has a patent pending in the United States it does not have a patent in .

“As we have eventually learned, you cannot file for a patent once the product has been on the market,” Ms Lu said.”It is a system that simply does not seem to protect the innovators.”

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Behrendorff backs being fit for IPL

He’s yet to test his troublesome back, but Canberra quick Jason Behrendorff is confident he’ll be ready for the start of the Indian Premier League in April.
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Behrendorff is off to the IPL for the first time after the Mumbai Indians bought him for $291,000 at the auction on Sunday.

While he’s yet to resume bowling from his latest injury setback, Behrendorff was confident he would be ready when the tournament begins in early April.

The 27-year-old has struggled with stress fractures, which flared up again late last year and has all-but ruled him out for the rest of the n summer.

Western coach Justin Langer said it was unlikely he would return for the end of the Sheffield Shield season, having been ruled out of playing for the Perth Scorchers in this Big Bash League campaign.

But Behrendorff said everything was on track for the Indians’ first game of the IPL.

“That’s the plan. So my recovery and everything’s going to plan at this stage and that was a pretty pivotal point in my recovery that I should, everything going to plan, I’ll be right to go for that tournament if I was to get picked up,” he told Fairfax Media.

“Now that I have got picked up I’m confident I’ll be right to go and I’ll do everything I can to make sure I’m ready to go.

“I still haven’t bowled at this stage, but that’s alright I’ve still got a bit of time to go and it should all hopefully fall into place in the next few months.”

The left-arm quick felt the less rigorous format of Twenty20 cricket was the ideal arena to return to bowling.

With a maximum of four overs per bowler per game, Behrendorff won’t have to worry about managing his workload.

He first injured his back in 2015 and pain related to the stress fracture flared up during Western ‘s Shield game against Queensland in November.

His ability to take wickets had put him on the fringes for national selection in all formats of the game, but injuries have cruelled Behrendorff’s career so far – with one exception.

He made his international debut playing for in a T20 against India in October last year and has already provided a glimpse of what he’s capable of.

In his second T20 international, he finished with figures of 4-21 from his four overs.

“That’s the added bonus, we don’t really have to worry about bowling workloads, which is a big positive thing. It’s just get me ready to bowl and I’ll be ready to bowl,” Behrendorff said.

He was excited at the prospect of making his IPL debut.

Behrendorff was the only Canberran picked up in the auction, with n off-spinner Nathan Lyon, Alex Ross and Arjun Nair all overlooked.

He was chatting with Aussie legend Mike Hussey before appearing at a function during the one-day international between England and at the new Perth Stadium on Sunday when his name flashed up for auction.

Hussey opened the app and Behrendorff found out his fate just before he walked in to congratulations from everyone there.

Behrendorff said that was the beauty of the IPL auction – the public finds out when you do.

“It’s very exciting. I knew the auction was over this weekend so I was a little bit hopeful that something might come of it and it’s great to find out I’m off to the Mumbai Indians,” he said.

“It was crazy. That’s the thing being a live auction you find out and everyone else finds out with you.

“It’s pretty surreal to be fair and it’s still sinking in to be honest. It’s something I won’t quite come to terms with over the next couple of days. It’s very exciting.

“I’ve never been to the IPL before so really looking froward to it.”

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Wanderers disappointed with officials in defeat to Glory

Western Sydney Wanderers are unhappy at what they perceived was inconsistent refereeing during their 3-1 loss to Perth Glory on Sunday, in which Keanu Baccus was sent off for a foul similar to one committed by a Perth Glory player who received only a yellow card.
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While midfielder Baccus was given his marching orders on the advice of the video assistant referee for hauling down Joel Chianese when clean through on goal in the sixth minute, the Wanderers felt Glory goalkeeper Liam Reddy should also have received a red card.

Reddy conceded a penalty after fouling Western Sydney’s Oriol Riera in a one-on-one situation, denying the Spaniard a clear goal-scoring opportunity.

The Wanderers were awarded a spot-kick – converted successfully by Riera – while Reddy was shown a yellow card.

“The referee explained to me it wasn’t a football challenge, which is why he gave [Baccus] a red card,” said Wanderers defender Brendan Hamill. “They looked on the VAR and obviously the rule was changed.

“We got the double punishment when we got the exact same thing with us with Reddy and a yellow card for what was deemed a football challenge. Unfortunately we had to play 85 minutes with a man down and it makes it tough. We can’t change it, we have to deal with it.”

Western Sydney coach Josep Gombau bemoaned the greater leniency shown towards goalkeepers by officials.

“That is the rule, the goalkeeper has a protection that if it’s outside the area it’s a yellow card, but the action is the same. But these are the rules,” Gombau said. “Penalty and a yellow doesn’t change a game like penalty and a red card.”

While the application of the rules may have had a harsh outcome for the Wanderers, their lacklustre defending and poor first half was another sign of their teething problems in the transition towards a new style of football.

Despite having played 12 games under the tenure of new coach Gombau, Hamill says the inconsistent performances and hesitation while defending were largely caused by their shift towards a more attacking mindset.

“A hundred percent. I think Josep has made that very public and the way that he was at Adelaide. But everyone is trying and it’s been long enough now for everyone to be getting used to those changes,” Hamill said.

“We just have to look forward to these last 10 games to cement ourselves in the top six. There’s been a lot of changes going on but we’ve been going long enough now that everyone knows their role and we’ve just been very inconsistent and that’s something we need to fix.”

The Wanderers fell outside of the finals spot after their loss to the Glory but have 10 more matches to salvage their season, including a make-up match against Wellington Phoenix. They returned to Sydney on Monday night and will resume training later in the week before facing Central Coast Mariners in Gosford on Sunday afternoon, a match already shaping up as a must-win for both sides, which are losing touch with the top six.

“There’s still everything to play for. There’s still 30 points up for grabs. Our main goal in the second half was to be more compact and not let them score again. That’s a positive we can draw from that. There’s still 10 games and we can still definitely make that. That’s what we’re looking forward to and the steps we look to,” Hamill said.

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Revelry aplenty at miners’ rebellion

Trouble is again on the agenda in Sofala as the town prepares for its biggest yet Rebellion on the Turon on March 17-18 , as disgruntled miners take on Her Majesty’s redcoats.
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This goldmining village near Bathurst prospered in the gold rush in the 1850s hard on the heels of Edward Hargraves’ discovery of the precious ore at Ophir.

Organised by Sofala Progress Association, the event hopes to draw hundreds of visitors to the to relive the excitement.

The action kicks off at 10am on the Saturday with the reading of the Riot Act, declaration of martial law and opening shot from an authentic 1820s cannon. The Rebellion on the Turon re-enactment takes place at 1pm.

Event organiser Carlo Jensen said Sunday also begins and ends with cannon fire “but hopefully the stage coach won’t be robbed at 11am on both days. It’s also possible the miners could be disgruntled enough to hold a Rebellion on the Turon again at 1pm.”

Across the weekend there will be exhibition stalls, Cobb & Co coach rides, penny farthings, pistol and sword duels, a working blacksmith, an 1850s surgeon, music and traditional games. Sofala Royal Hotel will host a bush band on Saturday evening.

Carlo warned visitors may be press-ganged into the re-enactments as prospectors or townsfolk and could be baled up by a bushranger at any time.

“Troopers, or ‘redcoats’, will roam Sofala harassing visitors to take out a gold license, which will be issued by the gold commissioner for $2,” he said.

Gold was discovered on the banks of the Turon River at Sofala in 1851. In the first few months of the gold rush, miners complied with the law of the day, but those who were not striking it rich soon objected to paying the 30 shilling licence fee.

Throughout late 1851 and into 1852 there were hostilities in the booming settlement, with fierce words between miners and the government until things came to a head in 1853.

The rebellion includes a re-enactment of events of February 18 that year, when more than 1000 miners, heavily armed and singing Irish protest songs, marched on the banks of the river demanding rights for miners.

The event is free (if you can avoid the bushrangers holding you up for a $2 gold coin).

Regional Express operates daily direct flights to Bathurst to and from Sydney. Sofala is about 40 minutes drive north from Bathurst and 3½ hours’ drive west of the Sydney CBD. It is just under four hours’ drive from Canberra.

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Your complete Newcastle gig guide

GIG OF THE WEEK: Chilli and T-Boz from US duo TLC will be one of the headliners at Bimbadgen’s RNB Vine Days on Saturday.
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MUSIC5 SawyersThursday, DJ Jonathan.Friday, Alessandro. Sunday, Jerome.

529 The TerraceFriday, Jason Bone.

Adamstown Uniting Church Saturday, The Wireless Chronicles #1.

Anna Bay TavernSaturday, Purple Hearts.Sunday, James Naldo.

Hotel CessnockSaturday, Spank N The Monkey.

Bar Petite Saturday, GW Freebird.

BarcitoSunday, Lauren Arms.

Battlesticks BarThursday,Codi Kaye.Friday,John Larder.Saturday,Nano.Sunday,Little Cents.

Beach Hotel Friday, Dead Famous. Saturday, Misbehave. Sunday, The Col Tegg Experience.

Bellbird HotelSaturday, Ashley Knight.

Belmont 16sFriday, Matchbox, Just Jade.Saturday, Tom Burlinson, Max Jackson, The Years. Sunday, Blue Water Cowboys.

Belmont HotelSaturday, Redline.

Belmore Hotel Friday, Loko. Saturday, Guerrilla Radio.

Beresfield Bowling ClubFriday, The Years.Saturday, Triple Zero.

Bimbadgen Saturday, BoyzII Men (US),TLC (US), Blackstreet (US).

Blackbutt Hotel Friday, Mark Wells. Saturday, Hornet.

The BradfordFriday, Phonic Duo.Saturday, All Access 80s.

Bulahdelah Bowling ClubFriday, Chris Unicomb.

Burwood Inn Friday, Ryan Daley.

Cambridge Hotel Friday, Motherfunk,Kozzy Ozko, The Regime (glasshouse), Morgana Osaki, Dalmacia, Moonsign, Milkman’s Daughter (warehouse). Saturday, ColourSound ft.Luke McEnallay, Tom & Luke Massey, Ben Pailas, Jake Small (glasshouse),Archy Punky, Pals,Pleasure Coma (warehouse). Sunday, E4444e, Dying Adolescence, Space Carbonara, Shysters.

Cardiff RSL ClubFriday,Redline. Saturday, Gasoline.

Carrington Bowling Club Saturday, Becky Lucas,Alex Jae,EthanAndrews, ElenaTerol,Jack Tideswell.

Carrington Place Thursday,Jack McLaughlin’s Frenchman Street New Orleans Jazz Band. Friday, Anna Milat.

Catho PubSaturday, John Larder,The V Dubs.Sunday, Hurricane Fall.

Caves Coastal Bar & Bungalows Saturday, Jade Holland Band.

Central Charlestown Leagues Club Friday, Hayden Johns. Saturday, Daniel Arvidson.

Central HotelStroudSaturday, James Naldo.

Cessnock Leagues ClubSaturday, Rendezvous.

Charlestown Bowling ClubFriday, Kim and Mik.

Clarendon HotelFriday, Jackson Halliday.Saturday, Matt McLaren.

Club CatalinaSunday, Mark Lee.

Club KotaraSaturday, Loose Bazooka.

Club LemonTreeFriday, Dream Catchers.Saturday, Barracuda.

Club Maitland CityFriday, Anthony Lee.

Colliery InnFriday, Damien.

Commercial HotelBoolarooFriday, Junior and Luana.

Commercial Hotel MorpethFriday, Reggie Sinclair.Saturday, Witchery.

Country Club Hotel Shoal BaySaturday, Cathy Cannon. Sunday,Casey Bellamy,DJs Eclipse & Grizzy,D.Love,DJKstar,Midnight DJUles.

Criterion Hotel CarringtonSaturday, Pete G.Sunday, Roxy.

Crown & Anchor Hotel Saturday, Mark Wells. Sunday, Gareth Hudson.

CustomsFriday, Kazzie.Sunday, Sunset Club.

Cypress Lakes Saturday, Jerome.

D’Albora MarinaSunday, Matt McLaren.

Denman HotelSunday, Chris Unicomb.

Duke Of WellingtonFriday, Roxy. Saturday, Prestige Inc.

East Maitland Bowling ClubFriday, Solid Gold Party.Saturday, Gen-X.Sunday, Emile.

East’s Leisure & Golf ClubSaturday, Chad Shuttleworth.

Edgeworth Bowling ClubFriday,Rocket.

Edgeworth TavernFriday, Blue On Black.Saturday, Maryanne Rex Duo.

The Edwards Friday, Dane Fitzsimmons. Saturday, Marissa Saroca.

Family Hotel MaitlandFriday, Layth Gunn.

Finnegans Saturday, J Smoove & MCBones.

Gallipoli Legion Club Sunday, Vortex.

Gateshead TavernFriday, The Hitpit.Sunday, Rock Factor.

George TavernFriday, CrocQ.Saturday, Bandditts.

Grain StoreSaturday, Matt McLaren.

Grand Hotel Tuesday, Trish Brown-Delaney Quintet.

Great Northern Hotel TeralbaFriday, Chad Shuttleworth.

Greta Workers ClubFriday, Witchery.

Gunyah HotelFriday, Matt Shepherd.Saturday, Kings Of Kong.

​Hamilton Station Hotel Saturday, Iron Chic (US), Hey Lady, Good Thanks. Sunday, Mr Alford, Jess Holland.

Harrigan’s PokolbinSaturday, Gen-R-8.Sunday, Troy Kemp.

Hawks Nest Golf ClubFriday, Rendezvous.

Hexham Bowling Club Saturday, 2GoodReasons.

Honeysuckle Hotel Friday, Pepper, JV. Saturday, The Search Party. Sunday, Mark Wells, Paparazzi.

Horse & Jockey HotelFriday, Sami.

Hotel CessnockFriday, Lee Rolfe.

Hotel DelanyFriday, Matt Meler.Saturday, Dos Eager.

Hotel JesmondFriday, Bandditts.

Imperial Hotel SingletonSaturday, Boltman.

Jewells Tavern Saturday, Phonic. Sunday, Anyerin.

The Junction HotelSaturday, Lauren Arms.

Lake Macquarie Tavern Friday, City Beats.

Lake Macquarie Yacht ClubFriday, Allan Freihaut.Sunday, Bob Allan.

Lambton Park HotelFriday, Grant WalmsleyUnplugged.Saturday,Crawfish Stew.

Lass O’GowrieFriday, The Gypsy Scholars. Sunday, Toni & The Stone Hearts,Friday Night Zoo,Family Dog.

Lizotte’sFriday, Stevie –A Night Of Wonder. Saturday, Backsliders, Roy Payne. Sunday, Best of Creedence Clearwater Revival, Neil Young & Tom Petty show.

Mark Hotel Friday, Bobby C. Saturday, Russell Snape. Sunday, Melbourne Street.

Mary Ellen HotelFriday, Alias.Saturday,Overload.

Maryland Tavern Friday, Anyerin. Saturday, Zac & Ben.

Mavericks On The BayFriday, Bonny Rai.Saturday, Phil McKnight.Sunday, Greg Bryce.

Mavericks On DarbyFriday, Ben Travis.Saturday,Zane Penn.

Metropolitan Hotel Maitland Friday, Glamstars. Sunday, The Brindle Pigs.

Mezz Bar at Wallsend DiggersFriday, Tre Soul,DJ Searly.Saturday, 24 Hours, Alessandro.Sunday, Jason Bone.

Morriset Country ClubSunday, Darren Rolling Keys.

Murray’s Brewery Sunday, Nano.

Nag’s Head HotelFriday, Brien McVernon.Saturday, Joel Oakhill.

Neath HotelSaturday, Mick Jones.

Nelson Bay Bowling ClubFriday, James Naldo.

Nelson Bay Diggers Friday, Hummingbirds. Saturday, Dr Zoom. Sunday, Jessica Cain.

Nelson Bay Golf Club Friday, Matt Semmens. Saturday, Beth Gleeson.

Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club Friday, Tim Harding. Sunday, Loko.

Newcastle Leagues Club–The Vault Friday, Claim The Throne, Chambers of Insanity,Grim Demise,Stone Sovereign,Enviktas.

Northern Star HotelFriday,Jack Evans.Saturday,John Larder.

Oaks Pacific Blue ResortSaturday, Karen O’Shea.

Oceanview Hotel Sunday, Loose Change.

Oriental Hotel Sunday, Vanishing Shapes.

Pedens CessnockSaturday, Smokin Rosie.

Pippis At The PointFriday, Pete G.Friday, Overload Duo.Saturday, Shaka.Sunday,Kristy James.

Potters BreweryFriday, Max Jackson.Saturday, Todd Schmoo.

Premier Hotel Saturday, Hummingbirds. Sunday, The Years.

Prince of Wales Hotel Saturday, Ryan Daley.

Raymond Terrace Bowling ClubSunday, Karen O’Shea.

Royal Federal HotelBranxtonFriday, Soundabout.Saturday, Xyz.

Royal Hotel SingletonSunday, Jamie Martens Duo.

Royal Motor Yacht Club TorontoSunday, Sami.

Rutherford Hotel Saturday, Michael Hawke.

Seabreeze HotelFriday, The Search Party. Saturday, Big Night Out.Sunday, Jayde Corner, Sunday Soul Sessions.

Shenanigans at the ImperialFriday, Arcane. Saturday, The Faves. Sunday, The Andy Show.

Shortland HotelFriday,Zane Penn.Saturday, Big Pete.

Small Ballroom Saturday,LosScallywaggs,Los Tones,Crocodylus,White Blanks,Mild West,Joey Equine & The Glue Factory,IllSylvester,Lady Petrol,The Medheads (all ages).

Soldiers Point Bowling ClubFriday, Pistol Pete. Saturday, Roy Orbison tribute.

South Newcastle Leagues ClubSaturday, Brendan Murphy.

Spinning Wheel HotelFriday, Mick Jones.

Stag and Hunter Hotel Thursday, Merewether Fats Jam. Friday, Baghead. Saturday, The Swamp Stompers, Dane Overton, The Joy Williams Band.

Stockton Bowling Club Friday, Dynamite. Saturday, DJ Symon. Sunday, Misbehave.

Stockton RSLClubSaturday, Shooting Molly.

Swansea HotelSunday, Soundabout.

Swansea RSLClubSaturday, Kim and Mik.

Swansea-Belmont Surf Life Saving Club Sunday,Nick Saxon.

Swansea Workers ClubSaturday, Hummdinger.

Tea Gardens Country ClubSaturday, The Brown Bull.

Tilligerry RSLFriday, The New Cool.Saturday, Bernie.

Toronto Diggers Saturday, John Noble.

Toronto Hotel Friday,DeanKyrwood.Sunday, BoneyRivers.

Toronto WorkersSaturday, Kristy James.Sunday, Pistol Pete.

Victoria Hotel HintonSaturday, Kevin O’Hara.Sunday, Mick Jones.

Wangi HotelSunday, Brendan Watson.

Wangi Wangi RSLClub Friday, Robbie Urquhart.

Warners At The BayFriday, Matt McLaren.Saturday, The Remedy.

Westfield Kotara Saturday, Tom Christie.

Wests Cardiff Saturday, The Big Bang.

Wests New Lambton Thursday, Angamus.Friday,Cruzers.Saturday,Loko. Tuesday, Angamus.

Wickham Park HotelFriday,Milestones.Saturday,Ron Knight Duo,DV8.Sunday,John Larder,Leeroy & The Rats.

Windale Gateshead Bowling Club Friday, Lithium.

MOVIESDarkest Hour(PG)Within days of becoming Prime Minister, Winston Churchill must face his most turbulent and defining trial: exploring a negotiated peace treaty with Nazi Germany, or standing firm to fight for the ideals, liberty and freedom of a nation.

Good Morning Vietnam (M)In 1965, an unorthodox and irreverent DJ named Adrian Cronauer begins to shake up things when he is assigned to the U.S. Armed Services radio station in Vietnam. (Kotara, Event)

Goodbye Christopher Robin (PG)A behind-the-scenes look at the life of authorA.A. Milneand the creation of the Winnie the Pooh stories inspired by his sonC.R. Milne. (Regal)

I, Tonya(MA)Competitive ice skater Tonya Harding rises among the ranks at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, but her future in the sport is thrown into doubt when her ex-husband intervenes.

Jane (E)Oscar-nominated director Brett Morgan uses a trove of never-before-seen footage to tell the story of Dr Jane Goodall’s early explorations and research in Tanzania, focusing on her ground breaking field work, her relationship with her cameraman and husband Hugo van Lawick, and the chimpanzees that were the subject of her study. (Tower)

Just To Be Sure (M)When 45 year old widower Erwan discovers by accident that the man who raised him isn’t his real dad, he begins a search for his biological father. (Regal)

Let Yourself Go (M)A psychoanalyst named Elia goes to the gym and meets a personal trainer who changes his life. (Regal)

Mamma Mia: Sing-a-long (PG)The story of a bride-to-be trying to find her real father told using hit songs by the popular 1970s group ABBA. (Regal)

Maze Runner: The Death Cure(M)Young hero, Thomas, embarks on a mission to find a cure to a deadly disease known as the “Flare”.

Molly’s Game(M)Molly Bloom, a young skier and former Olympic hopeful becomes a successful entrepreneur (and a target of an FBI investigation) when she establishes a high-stakes, international poker game. (Event, Kotara)

Nick Jnr’s Paw Patrol: Sea Patrol(G)Cool down with the PawPatrol as they make a splash to save the day in twounderwater adventures.

The Greatest Showman(PG)The story of P.T Barnum, a visionary who rose from nothing to create a mesmerizing spectacle that became a worldwide sensation. (Regal/Lake Cinema)

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri(MA)After months have passed without a culprit in her daughter’s murder case, Mildred Hayes makes a bold move, painting three signs leading into her town with a controversial message directed at William Willoughby, the town’s revered chief of police.(Tower)

Wonder (PG)Born with facial differences that, up until now, have prevented him from going to a mainstream school, Auggie becomes the most unlikely of heroes when he enters the local fifth grade. (Lake Cinema)

THEATREI Ought to Be in PicturesNeil Simon comedy about a 19-year- old girl who treks from NewYork to Hollywood to try to make the screen-writing father who deserted the family 16 yearsearlier accept her acting ability. Newcastle Theatre Company, at the NTC Theatre, Lambton.Friday and Saturday at 8pm (final shows).

Little Women – The MusicalFour young sisters, led by would-be novelist Jo, try to show inthe 1860s that women are as adept as men; adapted from the novel by Louisa May Alcott.Young People’s Theatre and Lindsay Street Players, at Young People’s Theatre, Hamilton.Friday and Saturday at 7pm, then a mix of Saturday 2pm and 7pm shows, Sunday 2pm showsand Friday 7pm shows until February 24; go to ypt苏州模特佳丽招聘.au for details.

Out of OrderA junior government minister gets more than he bargained for when he takesan attractive opposition secretary to a hotel bedroom during a parliamentary sitting; comedyby Ray Cooney. Maitland Repertory Theatre, at its theatre. Opens Wednesday at 8pm, thanplays Friday and Saturday at 8pm, until February 24, and 2pm Sunday on February18 and 25.

The Empire Strips Back – Star Wars BurlesqueSexy Stormtroopers, a dangerouslyseductive Boba Fett, and other amusing adults-only Star Wars characters. Russall S. Beattie,at the Civic Theatre, Newcastle. Saturday at 8pm.

Year of the RoosterA young man, bullied and ignored by those around him, trains a roosterto be a cockfighter, believing its success will improve his status; n premiere of adark comedy by US playwright Olivia Dufault. Knock and Run Theatre, at the RoyalExchange, Newcastle. Nightly at 8pm until Saturday.

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Letters to the editor January 30 2018

DRY SPELL: People collect water from a communal tap near Cape Town, South Africa. A contributor warns it exemplifies the importance of conserving water. Picture: APTHE warning about water shortages from Hunter Water (“Big dry has dams reaching new lows,Herald 26/1), will probably be greeted with a ho-hum approach because of course it has happened before. But what is forgotten is that every time it gets worse because there is a greater water demand due to higher temperatures and more demand from our growing population.
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The casual attitude of governments towards climate change has created disasters all around the globe. In South Africa, the combination of high population growth and a long running drought has left Cape Town so devoid of water that officials have warned that water will be shut off on April 21. After that, water will be issued at 25 litresper person from just 200 stations which will be controlled by police and the army, effectively invoking martial law because the city cannot survive with this level of rationing.

It is a scenario forecast by our Defence department’s recent white paper, which warned that many of our neighbouring countries are at risk from climate change that could lead to a break down in law and order. But of course, this is ignored by politicians.

Don Owers,DudleyHAZY GLIMPSE OF DOUBTERSDANNY Katz’s tongue-in-cheek send-up of religion (“Buddhism helps me cope with insects”, Herald 22/1) and Max McKinney’s Topics featuring World Religion Day appeared the same day. Both, in their own way, concerned religions working together as a way of encouraging desirable outcomes through interfaith action and understanding. This has been the primary aims of both World Religion Day since 1950 and the Multifaith Association of the Hunter Region since 1983. Danny Katz wrote that “There is an important message here. No idea what it is. But it’s got to be something.”

The important message, Danny, is that lack of understanding between religions and between religion and science stifles joint action through both. This lack of understanding is the result of comparing the worst aspects of other religions with the best aspects of ones own and the best aspects of science with the worst aspects of religion (and vice versa) when all these aspects appeared regularly throughout human evolution at intervals which H.G. Wells refers to in his book The Undying Fireas “Great movements of the racial soul”. We have been living in such an interval for the last 200 years without recognising it.

Small wonder that 40% of ns ticked the “No Religion” box in 2016. However if this box had been dissected into three (No particular religion, agnostic and atheist)methinks a very different picture would have emerged. Let us act as if it had been and encourage desirable outcomes through interfaith action and understanding.

Tom Jones, Multifaith Association ofNewcastle and the Hunter Region secretaryCREDIT WHERE IT’S DUEWHILE he did acknowledge Marcus Westbury’s Renew Newcastle initiative,I hopeMichael Cassel, of Hunter Development Corporationand Revitalising Newcastle program, is not trying to take credit forallrecent changes to the CBD.Some have been in gestation for years.

Howeverhe can claim credit, along with Jeff McCloy, forthe public transport disaster that the street tram will be.

Mr Cassel appears to be, in thefacetiouswords of acouncillorto me last year, “the czar of Newcastle”.Perhaps that’s the result of council’s naive resolution to work cooperatively with UrbanGrowth.

The “frequent bus loop” hereferredtomeans,for bus users,a wait of up to 15 minutes at Wickham interchange. That’s an improvement in public transport?“The Civic precinct is a hive of activity”?Much less so after council decampstowhat Mr Cassel and others call the new CBD.

The boom isbeing experienced in other cities as well, includingWollongong and Lake Macquarie.No interchanges there.“21 off-street parking stations”? How many will still be around in a fewyears, at-grade stationsat Honeysuckle and David Jones? And howmuch kerbside parking in Hunter and Scott streetswill survive to the east of WorthPlace? How will service vehicles for businesses, taxis and emergency vehicles, vehicles to allow customers to transport heavy goods to theirvehicles cope?The slogan “short-term pain for long-term gain” should read “for long-term pain”. In the words of McCloy, it’s “a recipe for disaster” (“McCloy reverses light rail view”, Herald 6/4).

Keith Parsons,NewcastleCROWDS FORTIFIED OUR SPIRITON behalf of everybody at Fort Scratchley I would like to thank the 2000 plus visitors who walked through our gates on Day. Nothing makes the volunteers happier than having great crowds enjoying what the Fort has to offer and the response when the guns fired was incredible.

Anyone that enjoyed the experience and would like to consider volunteering at the Fort please contact the Society, for without volunteers we cannot continue to keep this iconic Newcastle attraction functioning.

Frank Carter,Fort Scratchley Historical Society presidentWHAT A REGAL SHOWINGI WENT to the Regal cinema at Birmingham Gardens to see a great film – I think the best one I have ever seen,Three Summers with Michael Caton and Magda Szubanski, on Saturday.It was an appropriate movie to see on Day weekend with people from many different cultures together at a festival in West .

Thanks must go to the band of people who fought to have the Regal theatre retained.It could have and would have been demolished if it hadn’t been for them.The theatre was packed and an air of friendliness pervaded the place as theatre goers partook of the free sausage sizzle and wine and biscuits.I suggest others go to this theatre to see what we could have lost and as the saying goes, you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.

Elaine Richards,Salt AshWE ARE ALL INDIGENOUSESPECIALLY coming from one who was a school teacher, Lesley Comerford’s claim (Letters 29/01) to be “not indigenous” was somewhat injudicious. We are all, every single one of us, indigenous to the land of our birth, so those born to this country, all of us immigrants or their descendants are indigenous ns. That is their birthright – and mine.It is irrevocable.

Ron Elphick,Buff Point

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Hunter surf lifesaving: Region’s stars of tomorrow help NSW to national success

LEADING THE WAY: Cooks Hill’s Bella Williams was one of five Hunter athletes in the successful NSW Youth Pathway Cup team. Picture: Stephen ChuFIVE aspiring Hunter surf lifesavers have helped a 20-strong NSW team claim the first Youth PathwayCup.
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Cooks Hills multiple national champion Bella Williams was co-captain of the team which racked up 170 points across 38 events to beat Queensland (150)for first at the Day carnival at Freshwater Beach, Sydney. Western , South and Victoria also competed in the event for under 14 and 15 athletes.

Fletcher Myers (Cooks Hill) and Swansea Belmont pairNicholas Stoddart andSaxon Coates were in the 10-person under 15s line-up with Williams. Dan Chisholm (Swansea Belmont) was in the under-14s.

Myers was second in the under 15 boys beach sprint and flags. The rest of the Hunter contingent helped NSW succeed in teams events.

Hunter’s future stars shine Saxon Coates

Nicholas Stoddart

Bella Williams

The NSW Pathway Cup squad. Picture: Supplied

TweetFacebookPictures by Stephen ChuThe strong representation from Hunter came after the region’s drought-breaking podium finish at the NSW Interbranch titles at Stockton last month.

“It was excellent to get that many in, especially with four in the under 15s,” Hunter coach Tim Foran said of the state selections.

“We’ve really been basing a lot of our future on this 15s group and downin the Interbranch. Every year since they’ve been in the branch team as under 12s, they’ve been a dominant age group in the state, so it’s great for them to get recognition with these selections.From what we’ve seen the past four years, these kids are going to be the next big superstars coming through.”

The Cup success follows on from thestandout performances of Redhead’s Nicola Owen and Hayden Copping in NSW’s Interstate titles victory a week earlier at Moana Beach, South .The duo helped NSW win the youth titleand the overall pointscore. Clubmate Daniel Collins was in the open side.

“We stacked the beach time this year and call it a power play, but it did mean we had to make our water people step up” NSW coach Jim Walker said.“All the young kids coming into the team, Nicola Owen, Naomi Scott, Lizzie Welborn, Jemma Smith, Hayden White, Mitchell Trim, they all had to step up and they did.”

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Nearly half of Chinan school kids are stressed. Here’s how to fix it

Young people in experience very high stress in schools, which has negative impacts on their academic performance and mental health.
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It is crucial schools teach students how to identify and best manage stress. These skills will continue to benefit them throughout their lives.

Adolescence isa critical stage at which to interveneas health-related behaviours established during this periodare often carried into adulthood.

School-based stress management programs,such as mindfulness based yoga programs,have been shown to be effectivein the United States. Similar programs would benefit n school children.

Does studying stress your children? Photo: Shutterstock

n school kids are highly stressedNearly half (47 per cent) of n students feel very tensewhen they study, compared to the international average of 37 per cent.

Based on the OECD average, 67 per centof n students report feeling very anxious even if well prepared for a test, compared to the international average of 56 per cent(64 per centfor girls and 47 per centfor boys).

In the 50 per centof young people in years seven to 12 who report feeling moderately to extremely stressed over exams, the number one source of pressurecomes from themselves. Coping with stressis a top issue of concern to young people.

The impact of school stress on young ns and societyDrop outSchool related academicstressandburnoutdecreases student academic motivationandincreases the risk for dropout.

nearly school leavers earn approximately $27,500 less a year than school completers. People with higher rates of educationreport fewer illnesses and better mental health and well-being.

In 2014, there were almost 38,000 early school leavers aged 19,costing $315 million a year. Dropping out can also have wider social impacts, likerepeated inter-generational problemsof low academic outcomes,unemployment, poverty, less participation in the political process and contribution to the community.

Academic achievementIn , students with low well-beingare likely to have poorer academic achievement. Frequent positive emotions during class are associated withmore student engagement, while negative emotions are associated with less engagement in years seven to ten.

Stresscan alsoimpair mental healthwhichfurther reduces academic performance.

In high school, people experiencing depression symptoms havepoorer educational achievement,concentration difficulties, troubles completing school tasks, and troublewith social relationships, self-learning, reading and writingas well ashigher rates of risky behaviour.

The impact of stress and poor stress management follows young people into higher education. In 83 per cent of n TAFE and undergraduate students,the main factor affecting people’s studies was stress.

InUS undergraduates,perceived stressand higher anxiety about examstranslates to poorer final grades and academic performance.

Risky behaviourSubstance use has beenshownto be a dominant stress management strategy in year 11 students in the US. In Canada, students who felt connected to their schoolreportbetter health, higher self-worth, less anxiety and less likelihood of smoking, drinking alcohol and associating with peers who commit crimes.

Academic resilience and buoyancy increases the likelihood of success in schooldespite setbacks, stress or pressure in the academic setting. Resilient and buoyant studentsare able to maintain high levels of achievement,despite stressful events.

Schools can better support students with yoga programs

Schools can change educational policies and practices toaddress the needs of studentsat risk of academic failure. Student stress levels relate to how supportive they feel their teachers and schools are, rather than the number of school hours or the frequency of tests,according to an OECD survey.

The practice of yoga and mindfulnesshas become popularin recent yearsas a form of stress managementin . These practicesdecrease physiological markers of stressin diverse populations.

There is no definitive classification of yoga, butcommon elements are:

controlled breathingmeditative techniquesasanas (the physical yoga postures or positions)mindfulness practice, which is the process of focusing awareness on the present moment and acknowledging and accepting feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, in a non-judgmental way.Mindfulness-based communicationimproves resilience in first-year college students, while students who take part in some moderate or vigorous physical activity are less likely to report theyfeel very anxious about schoolwork.

In high school settings, studies from the US and India show mindfulness based yoga programscan improve gradesormitigate decreases in grades across the school year,improve emotional regulation,improve memory,anger control and fatigue/inertia,improve mood and decrease anxiety.

Aqualitative studyshowed yoga improves self-image and management of negative emotions and optimism. Students think yoga could reduce interest in the use of drugs and alcohol and increase social cohesion with family and peers.

At home, parents can consider practising mindfulness together with their kids, and can access a range of mindfulness and meditation online programs and apps for young people, such as throughHeadspaceandSmiling Mind.

Given the evidence base, offering mindfulness based yoga programs in schools may help young people learn to manage stress and increase their ability to bounce back in response to stress.

Michaela Pascoeis a postdoctoral research fellow in exercise and mental health atVictoria University.This article was originally published onThe Conversation. Read theoriginal article.

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South Coast police boss defends arrests after Huskisson Carnival’s China Day brawl

Top cop defends police after vision of Day brawl goes viral Two Shoalhaven police officers restrain a youth during the Day incident at Huskisson, while another is apprended by police. Image: Facebook
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A Shoalhaven police officer restrains a youth during the Day incident at Huskisson. Image: Facebook

A backpack is thrown at police as they attempt to arrest another youth. Image: Facebook

A police officer is hit in the head by a backpack during the Day incident at Huskisson. Image: Facebook

TweetFacebookThe officer in charge of the Nowra sector of theSouth Coast Police District has defended policeactions in arresting a teenagerafter a brawl ata South Coast carnival on Day.

A video of police attempting to arrest the youth at Huskisson Carnival has gone viral on social media, with police receiving both supportive and negative comments over the incident.

Inspector Ray Stynes said he has viewed the video footage of theincident and “fully supports the actions of police on the day”.

The footage shows two officers initially trying to arrest a youth, surrounded by a group of onlookers who yell at officers to let the youth go.

Things escalated as the youth resisted and one officer wrestled with him on the ground as another told onlookers to stay away while brandishing capsicum spray, which was used a number of times.

Ontwo occasions a backpack was thrown at the two officers, striking one in the back and head at one stage.

His partner is seen shielding the officer making the arrestin an attempt to protect him from further attacks. The arrest was completed when a third officer arrived.

“I fully support the police actions,” Inspector Stynes said.

“If peoplewant to make complaints in relation to the incident they can do it through the police complaint process.”

He said a number of young people were arrested on the evening and later released into the care of their parents.

“They will be dealt with under the Young Offenders Act,” he said.

Although it is the second time Huskisson has been embroiled in Day violence, Inspector Stynes said such incidents were a rare occurrence in the Shoalhaven.

“This is extremely rare for the area,” he said.

“I don’t know of it was the combination of the heat or alcohol.”

Police received numerous calls regarding a violent brawl which broke out after the fireworks concluded at the Huskisson Carnival on Friday around 10pm.

Around a dozen police vehicles rushed to the scene, with witnesses saying at least 75 people were involved in the brawl, which erupted in the car park.

One witness said glass bottles and rocks were being thrown in the car park during the incident, with the fight travelling down into the carnival.

Inspector Stynes said there were no further investigations into the incident.

Violent scenes also erupted in Huskisson on Day 2009.

On that occasion approximately 50 people, some draped in n flags and drinking heavily, engaged in assaults and throwing bottles at each other near the wharf area.

It led to Shoalhaven City Council, on the urging of then Shoalhaven Police local area commander, Superintendent Wayne Starling, toban alcohol from 39 council parks and reserves on Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day and Day.

South Coast Register

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Whitebridge’s Jack Stewart Courts set for multiple playing courts, upgraded parking spaces and evening lighting improvements

IMPROVEMENTS: The Jack Stewart Netball Courts, home to the Charlestown Netball Association competitions, are set for an upgrade by mid-2018, including parking and lights.The Charlestown Netball Association is welcoming upgrades to their facilities at the Jack Stewart Netball Courts, a project that will finish in mid-2018.
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As well as a plan to extend and resurface the southern four courts, the Whitebridge courts are expected to see a new 40-space car park added near Bula Street, more acessible paths added to the existing car parks and improved amenities.

There will also be improved lighting for the four southern courts, which are expected to be resurfaced into six as part of the improvements.

Dianne Pascoe, president of theCharlestown association, said the assistance from the Lake MacquarieCouncil was very welcome, and would means there’s “a lot lesslamingtons that have to be sold” through the year.

“Their future plan gave the upgrades in Charlestown, and the predicted growth in the area means that we will need more courts and more amenities in the future,” Ms Pascoe said. “We’ve been fortunate to receive a grant from the state government over the new year. It’s amazing by the council.”

That improvement will be enacted after the end of the 2018 season,and will see Charlestown’s twenty bottom courts resurfaced and changed for a cost of $400,000.

“Players are going to get to play on a lot of new courts in the near future and we think that’s going to be great for the competition,” Ms Pascoe said.

“We’re looking forward to the new car-parking services, at the moment people park on hills and bits of dirt and that’s all going to be a proper car park so that will be welcomed by a lot of players and their families we think.

“It’s going to be amazing, will get cars off the street on a Saturday, especially when St Johns has the soccer on and there’s a big crush of cars trying to get to weekend sport.”

The upgrades also give the association a chance to welcome new players into their ranks, Ms Pascoe said.

“The proper lighting gives us a chance to expand further, and it means that we can get more teams into the competitions that we are currently running,” she said. “We can take in ten or twenty more teams for our big competitions in the future.”

Council’s Acting Manager Community Planning, Wes Hain, said the project was part of Council’s ongoing investment in sport facilities across Lake Macquarie City.

“It’s fantastic to see so many residents getting involved in netball and these improvement works will help meet that growing demand,” Mr Hain said.

The project is funded bySection 94 Development Contributions. Work on the netball courts is expected to be completed by March 2018, while the car park is expected to be complete by mid-2018.

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