Author Archives: Dacquiri

About Dacquiri

Freelance public health policy researcher, been in Canberra since 1989 after living in the USA and the UK.

Denial about problem gambling – successful approaches?

By 24 September 2014 HEADLINE ARTICLE

There would be many Canberrans with experience of living with a problem gambler — specifically the type who is in complete denial and engages in all the classic deceptions, such as hiding the fact that he is even patronising licensed clubs, and spinning concocted stories about why he needs to withdraw substantial sums of money from [...]

Home security revisited

By 18 September 2014 HEADLINE ARTICLE

It’s been a few years since the matter of home security systems was discussed and, since I am currently poised to jump ship with the company I’ve been with for more than 10yrs (ADT) and switch to one about which I know very little (Chubb), it seemed a perfect time to ask what people’s experience has [...]

Reality check for young males with a death-wish?

By 7 April 2013

As I was waiting for the lights to change at Belconnen Way & Coulter Drive this afternoon, I saw, out of the corner of my eye, a dark-haired male cyclist wheeling through the intersection. What particularly caught my attention was that he wasn’t wearing a bicycle helmet. A quick double-take confirmed something even more startling: [...]

Too young to retire, too old to work in the public service?

By 25 March 2013

Public servants and other employees who have secure employment and are happy doing what they are doing and where they are doing it have one major advantage: they are less likely to find themselves on the scrap heap when they are 60.
The federal and ACT public service, in addition to a swag of professional [...]

Lateral thinking by the ABC’s photo editor

By 23 February 2013

Check out this photo:
Can you guess what ABC News story it is being used to illustrate?
‘Appointment of government department supremos’ (fat cats — get it?)

More towers for Belconnen

By 1 February 2013 FEATURED ARTICLE
More towers for Belconnen

This info has been posted on the Belconnen Community Council’s website:
A mixed use development is proposed for the corner of Eastern Valley Way and Aikman Drive in Belconnen Town Centre. This 3 700 square metre site is located behind McDonalds and the bowling alley.
The development will be approximately 35 stories containing commercial at ground [...]

Bushfire commemoration dinner?

By 17 January 2013

I’m looking for suggestions for dishes which would be appropriate for a dinner to commemorate the 10year anniversary of the Canberra bushfires this Friday, 18 January.
While the obvious thing may be to take the family out to Smoque, I figure they’ll be crowded and it should be possible to produce something creatively appropriate. [...]

Another one bites the dust: proposed sale of Hawker IGA to Woolworth

By 18 October 2012

In what looks like another nail in the coffin of competitors to the big two supermarket chains — as well as validation of community concerns expressed during the mishandled draft Hawker Master Plan process — Woolworth has made an offer for the Hawker IGA.
There are a lot of interesting things about this, not least [...]

Real-time energy monitoring in Canberra?

By 24 July 2012

Having just received my jaw-dropping gas and electricity bills for the past quarter, I’m interested in those devices that give you real-time feedback about how much energy (let’s just worry about electricity for the moment) you’re using and what it’s costing you.
Same thing could presumably be achieved if the meters were inside the house, [...]

You drink, we drive?

By 9 June 2012

While I really don’t mind that my 22yr old son asks me to drive him around so that he doesn’t drive home after he’s been drinking — sign of a well-brought-up kid, and one of those times to be thankful that Canberra is so easy to get around — it did make me wonder why [...]

Body parts in lake (1980s)

By 9 April 2011

I am appealing to the collective memory of Rioters to come up with a piece of not-so-ancient Canberra history. 
We went on Tim the Yowie Man’s Weird Canberra tour last night and he was interested to hear about stories and events that he hadn’t previously heard about or hadn’t been able to confirm.
One thing [...]

Weetangera Oval development?

By 25 March 2011

Following on from the recent spate of community planning fora, and pronouncement about the ACT Govt’s commitment to engagement and transparency on these issues, we have credible rumours about the proposed construction of more than 200 units on a chunk of the Weetangera Oval. 
While some local shopkeepers (of whom there are precious few) have [...]

Restaurant train?

By 7 March 2011

Haven’t seen any reviews of the Railway Historical Society’s restaurant train (to Bungendore & back).
Has anyone tried it? 
I am thinking of getting a few friends together to celebrate my birthday and wondered how it was in terms of quality and ambiance?

Monty Pythonesque way to travel?

By 17 June 2010

Thinking of going to Melbourne for a friend’s birthday, I consulted the rail timetable, as the train seemed to be a good option in terms of both comfort and environmental credentials. This, however, turned out to be a scripted joke of Monty Pythonesque proportions.
At, you will find straight-faced descriptions of 4 ways to [...]

Supermarkets without checkouts….

By 14 July 2009

We’ve had ‘Yes, Minister’s’ hospitals without patients, we have ‘service stations’ without service, and now we have supermarkets where customers do their own check-outs. 
I have just been to Woolworth’s at Belconnen where there was one single solitary human at one of the 20 or so check-outs. 
Customers who didn’t spot the checkout light at the [...]

New cafe at Stromlo?

By 13 July 2009

Has anyone tried the new eating place at Mt Stromlo (Michael’s of Stromlo, I think it is?)
Haven’t seen any reviews or comments…. no one has really made a go of it there since the demise of Red Belly Black….

When traffic lights go out, why doesn’t anyone know?

By 2 March 2009

I was coming out of Calvary Hospital onto Haydon Dr. at 8.30pm on Sat. night and then turning right onto Belconnen Way. There were 16 000 people at a Brumbies match just up the road.  The lights to get onto Haydon Dr from Calvary were totally nonfunctional, as were the lights at the major Haydon/Belco [...]

All Civic Parking to be Multi-Storey

By 22 February 2009
All Civic Parking to be Multi-Storey

Did we know this?
I’ve just been told by my partner, a manager in the building industry, that they (ie, local construction companies) had recently been notified that, by the end of 2010, all street-level car parks in Civic will be made multi-storey (with smaller ‘footprints’).
Has the rest of the community been ‘notified’?  Has [...]

Incompatible food preferences – where to eat?

By 5 February 2009

This is a really delicate problem and I hesitate raising it, but am doing so in the hope that others share the shame…
When I go out for a meal, I look for healthy, low-fat, low-carb food that doesn’t include red meat. 
My partner’s idea of a perfect meal is sausages, peas, carrots & cheesey-creamy mashed potatoes [...]

Places for after-work coffee, snacks, etc?

By 12 February 2008

I’m often (like now) looking for a place to meet a friend or two after work over a coffee or two and pre-dinner snacks.  Not a restaurant or cafe where you’re expected to buy a meal, not a bar (although being able to get a beer would be OK) and not a grotty take-away.  Most of [...]

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