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Browsing Archive: December, 2012

Perth shark sightings a frighteningly common occurrence

Posted by Matt Hayden on Monday, December 31, 2012,
The shark problem here seems to be growing all the time. While there haven't been any attacks for quite a while, there have been sightings galore. Pretty much every day now there are reports of beaches being closed -- and not just in and near Perth. They're occurring at many places along the West Australian coast.

Take this incident at Twilight Beach in Esperance, in which a bunch of people were taken to safety by boat after a big noah was seen near the rock they had swum to.

And it's not just...
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Thoughts on Perth Arena's Totem sculpture

Posted by Matt Hayden on Friday, December 21, 2012,
While I think that the Perth Arena itself is quite an impressive building I can't say I'm much of a fan of the robotic sculpture nearby known as "Totem".

While it is composed of tiles in much the same way as the building itself it doesn't seem to be an organic part of the whole structure. It's just sort of plonked there outside. I don't like that particular shade of yellow, either. While it does stand out against the blue and grey of the main structure the effect is not aesthetically pleasing....
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Perth Arena's striking blue entrance

Posted by Matt Hayden on Thursday, December 20, 2012,
As it was being built, the Perth Arena copped a lot of flack, even being derided as Perth's ugliest building. But now that it's finished I think a lot of people will be reassessing their opinion of it.

Sure, it's not to everyone's taste. But it's certainly a visually distinctive structure that leaves a mark on you.

The thing I find most striking about it is the deep blue colouring of the entrance and wall above it. It's an amazingly powerful hue created by the artist Yves Klein.

I suspect its...
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The Buswell-Carles split and his defamation lawsuit

Posted by Matt Hayden on Tuesday, December 11, 2012,
Politics is a dirty, brutal business. Frankly I just don't understand how people can cope with the stress of it when it's being conducted routinely. So when the bitter breakdown of a romantic relationship is thrown into the mix for all the world to see the stress experienced by those involved must be extreme. And that's exactly what's happened in the case of Troy Buswell and Adele Carles.

The Liberal politician has issued a writ against Carles for claiming that he is an alcoholic with psychol...
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The Crime Factory and WA police culture

Posted by Matt Hayden on Monday, December 10, 2012,
A former cop has written a book highly critical of the culture of the Western Australian police force. In it, he describes it as sexist, racist and violent. It's called The Crime Factory, and he's penned it under the pseudonym "Officer A".

It's common for disgruntled former employees to make such accusations. And quite often they exaggerate their experiences. Political correctness is fashionable these days, and people have become so attuned to the possibility of sexism, racism, homophobia, etc...
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Claremont Hotel and Claremont Quarter

Posted by Matt Hayden on Friday, December 7, 2012,
Another location where you can see a pronounced recent transformation in Perth is in Bayview Terrace, Claremont. Right on the corner, across from the train station is the Claremont Hotel. It's not exactly dilapidated, but it's certainly showing its age. This impression is exaggerated by the fact that there's a massive shopping complex right next to it called Claremont Quarter.

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The old Royal George Hotel in East Fremantle

Posted by Matt Hayden on Friday, December 7, 2012,
If you're anywhere near the intersection of Canning and Stirling Highways you can see an isolated and stately old building surrounded by vegetation called the Royal George Hotel. In its style and appearance it's quite similar to the Brass Monkey Hotel in Northbridge.

It hasn't been used as a hotel for a long time, however. It's most recent function was as an arts and community centre, although I'm not sure if it's still being utilized as such. I think it might currently be empty and unused. It...
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The red Dingo Flour sign and Alan Bond

Posted by Matt Hayden on Wednesday, December 5, 2012,
Pretty much everyone who lives in Perth has either seen, or at least knows about, the big Dingo Flour sign on the side of an old mill on Stirling Highway, North Fremantle. They are also certain to have heard that it was supposed to have been painted by Alan Bond when he was a lowly signwriter in his youth.

That particular story has been around for as long as I can remember. I recall it being cited on a few occasions when going past it as a child and even as a teenager. I always thought that it...
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Equus Apartments loom over Barrack and Hay Sts

Posted by Matt Hayden on Wednesday, December 5, 2012,
Numerous big luxury apartment blocks have been built in Perth over the last several years. Perhaps the most impressive and well located of these are the Equus Apartments at 580 Hay St.

The main entrance is right opposite the Perth Town Hall. I recall that exact location very well, because it was where Cinema City used to be. That was built in the late seventies as I recall and there was a lot of excitement about it at the time. I saw dozens of movies there over the years. (I think the last one...
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Regal Theatre and Subiaco Hotel

Posted by Matt Hayden on Tuesday, December 4, 2012,
There are numerous locations in Perth where you can see a strong contrast between the old and the new. The corner of Rokeby Road and Hay St in Subiaco is one of these.

There are two lovely old buildings at that intersection, the Subiaco Hotel and the Regal Theatre. The former was built around 1904, in the Art Nouveau style. The latter is an Art Deco building constructed in the mid to late 1930s. Just opposite both of them is the garish home of radio station Nova 93.7. Not sure when that was bu...
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Good books about and set in Perth and Fremantle
Line of Sight
When War Came to Fremantle
The Devil's Garden
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