Rich Story Sewn Into Life By Ricci The Italian Tailor

Niccola Ricci in his store at 108 Rathdowne St, Carlton VIC 3053, Australia

Niccola Ricci in his store at 108 Rathdowne St, Carlton

by Ed Kennedy

Niccola Ricci is not foreign to fame. Walking into his shop and looking across the slew of jobs he is to finish one can see carefully strewn across the walls inklings of a great past and a quiet but proud acknowledgement of the recognition his work has brought him.

Ricci is one of the last great tailors not only of Carlton – but all of Melbourne. At 90 years old his work now is driven far less by necessity and more by ritual. On the days he feels unwell he does not arrive to open up shop on Rathdowne St. For those who’ve quickly need jeans shortened or a tear in a shirt repaired he may not be your man then. But, given the quality of the work done – and the clear evidence across the store of a ongoing demand for his talents – the willingness to wait a little longer for something done well seems something his customers are more than willing to accept.

This theme of quality has been key not only to Ricci’s attitude to work but attitude to life. Having begun his … Click to continue reading

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Chefs Compete For Gelato World Tour Crown

Winners Presentation

The Winners Presentation to Gelataria Messina at the 2013 Gelato World Tour in Carlton, Melbourne, Australia

by Ed Kennedy

The Gelato world tour attracted big crowds in North Melbourne last month, attracting gelato fans from far and wide to partake in the inaugural international competition.  The event, hosted at Argyle Place in Carlton, featured a selection of gelato artists from around Australia and the world, and saw the Melbourne event won by Donato Toce and Simone Panetta of Sydney Gelataria Messina, for their Cremino recipe.

The winning flavour was comprised of salted caramel gelato, Italian meringue, and with amaretti biscuits scattered throughout.  The winners are now eligible to compete in the Grand Final in Rimini, Italy next year.  Mr Toce said multiple elements are required to craft a winning gelato.

“It takes science, skill and love”, he said.  “I’ve been a chef for 25 years and making gelato for 10. So it takes a long time to get it just right.”

Mr Toce indicated plans to open another Messina in Smith St, Collingwood by the end of November this year, which will allow Melbournians to get a taste of their award winning Gelato.
The event saw over 6,000kg of gelato … Click to continue reading

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Tracy Connelly’s death highlights dangers in sex industry

A candle light vigil held in Tracy's honour. Image: St Kilda News

A candle light vigil held in Tracy’s honour. Image: St Kilda News

by Ed Kennedy

The death of sex worker Tracy Connelly found dead July 21, 2013 in Greeves St, St Kilda has reignited debate surrounding the dangers of the illegal sex industry and how it can be best addressed.

The social issues surrounding the legality of prostitution have a lengthy history and remain hotly debated. Following Ms Connolly’s death a number of voices in the community insist changes must occur to ensure not only a death such as Ms Connelly’s isn’t repeated but also ongoing abuses in the wider sex industry do not continue to occur.

Professor Shelia Jeffreys a lecturer in the Social and Political Sciences at the University of Melbourne feels the death of Ms Connelly has highlighted the industry remains unsafe and unregulated.

“The death of Ms Connelly shows the reality of the industry, the violence that takes place in the industry and it undermines the glossy view of the industry that is often put across in the media; this idea men shall always use women in this way, and that there shall always be danger and that there was nothing that can be done about … Click to continue reading

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Violence, alcohol and public transport

Chapel St, St Kilda. The sight of many of Melbourne's most renowned nightclubs.

Chapel St, St Kilda. The location of many of Melbourne’s most renowned nightclubs.

by Ed Kennedy

The Coalition government has announced an extension to the ban on new venues selling liquor after 1am continuing the policy first introduced by the former Labor Government in 2011. The ban was continued with the same aims it was brought about; with the stated desire to combat alcohol related violence.

However many in the liquor industry feel the extension of the ban places a great amount of responsibility upon bars, pubs and clubs when many real causes and issues surrounding the problem remain unaddressed by government.

‘I feel much of the problem with violence is caused by lack of sufficient late night transport.’ sais Trevor Hines, General Manager of the Temperance Hotel, Windsor.

‘People all come out of the venue at the same time and this becomes an issue if they don’t get a tram, train or cab.’

Marco Martinez, bar manager of LALA Land in the Melbourne C.B.D also feels transport is a key to combating alcohol fuelled violence.

‘I believe an extension of the lockout is not the whole answer. I think the government should work on the infrastructure more.’

‘It’s fine … Click to continue reading

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St Kilda Harbour redevelopment little danger to penguins despite report

StKildaHarbour. SKN. May 2013.

St Kilda Harbour while under redevelopment

by Ed Kennedy

A Channel 7 report suggested the little penguin colony at St Kilda Harbour is endangered by construction of the breakwater extension. This has been rejected by numerous groups associated with the project.

It was reported that the colony was under threat by bulldozers constructing the breakwater extension. This has been rejected by Nicole Kowalczyk a penguin monitor for Earthcare, a non-profit environmental group that seeks to conserve the penguin colony, who said the redevelopment has seen all relevant groups working well together and that the workmen on site are helping lead the effort to keep the penguins safe.

“If we have concerns about penguins being in the rocks they [the construction teams] will listen to us and they will take steps to ensure the area is managed safely when working near it. There are associated risks with this project but all involved parties are doing everything they can to minimise them“, said Ms Kowalczyk.

Charlie Harris, managing director for NSC Australia who is assigned with the task of constructing the new breakwater also feels the report overlooked substantial factors.

“Throughout the tender process the safety of the penguins was paramount not … Click to continue reading

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Formula One Debate in High Gear

by Ed Kennedy

Formula One fans celebrated the 60th anniversary of the first Grand Prix at Albert Park last month.

This milestone has come alongside the revelations of the events cost, which have amplified debate surrounding the Grand Prix. It was the first time since the Kennett government brought the race back to Melbourne in 1996 that the annual hosting fee of $57 million was made public following a leak in January.

It also comes just before negotiation of a contract extension is due to get under way in the second half of this year. The current contract expires in 2015.

Given that we host the Australian Open, Melbourne Cup and Australian Grand Prix, we love to boast we are Australia’s sporting capital.

Central to the Grand Prix debate is its impact beyond Australian shores. Australian Grand Prix Corporation CEO Andrew Westacott says more than any other sporting event the race cements Melbourne as an international city.

“The Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix remains the jewel in the crown of Victoria’s major events calendar,” said Mr Westacott.

“There is no other annual sporting event that compares to Formula 1 when it comes to positioning a city on the global stage.”… Click to continue reading

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