Thursday, April 18, 2024

Neighbours from Chevy Greasy noise and smell - The Distance Between You and the Revolution

David and Marisa Droga the owners of Lang Syne

Criminalizing the Unhoused Is Inherently Cruel

Fining, arresting, and jailing people for a lack of housing is never the solution—and compounds existing housing inequities


Boeing whistleblower says 787 fleet should be grounded. “The letter outlined problems with the production of the company’s 787 and 777 jets, saying specifically that sections of the fuselage of the 787 Dreamliner are improperly fastened together and could break after thousands of trips. Salehpour told the agency these issues were the result of changes to the fitting and fastening of sections in the assembly line and alleged that the concerns were brushed off.”

Hope this guy doesn’t commit suicide. There’s a lot of that going around.

INSIDERS REVEAL: Everything You Feared About TikTok Is 

‘At the end of the day, we’re Aussies’: Assyrians assess church attack For Sydney’s tight-knit Assyrian community

‘At the end of the day, we’re Aussies’: Assyrians assess church attack For Sydney’s tight-knit Assyrian community, Monday’s terrorist attack in a church was confronting for a long-persecuted people. But it was not a reflection of the community where the parents of nearly 80 per cent of residents were born overseas

Out the front of Christ the Good Shepherd Church in Wakeley, in Fairfield City in Sydney’s west, on Thursday afternoon there are almost no signs that NSW Police had declared a terrorism incident only a few days earlier.

A small group of men talking outside the Assyrian church where the attack happened, and a groundskeeper watering grass, are the only movement around the block. The tape surrounding the building isn’t police tape, but rather black and yellow that seems to be protecting newly laid turf. All around are houses, the streets are quiet, any inkling of the riot that followed the attack is well and truly gone.

Dr George Marano: “It’s arguably the most multicultural city in Australia”. Max Mason-Hubers
Police were quick to label Monday’s attack a terrorist incident, saying the 16-year-old alleged perpetrator, now in custody in hospital, acted alone and was motivated by ideology. The Muslim community has raised concerns the legal label, which police need to access special resources, will inflame Islamophobia, particularly when compared with the attack at Bondi Junction that killed six people, but was not deemed terrorism.
For Sydney’s tight-knit Assyrian community – almost exclusively Christian, and many of whom live in or have family in the Fairfield area – Monday’s attack was confronting and triggering for a long-persecuted people. But it is not a reflection of the multicultural community where the parents of nearly 80 per cent of residents were born overseas.
“As traumatic as it is, from my perspective, we know it’s not systemic. It’s just a few rotten eggs,” Dr George Marano, RBV Consulting founder, tells AFR Weekend over coffee a few kilometres away in Wetherill Park, part of Fairfield City.
“We’ve lived with Muslim communities for centuries. Even here, we co-exist, Fairfield is diverse – it’s arguably the most multicultural city in Australia.”
Assyrians are an ethnic community from areas around northern Iraq, Syria, Iran, and Turkey.
Marano grew up in nearby Bossley Park. His father immigrated to Australia in 1971 on a skilled visa as a boilermaker, having worked in refineries in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Marano’s parents have lived in the same house since 1978, just behind another Assyrian church not far away.
“The church is the central being of our culture. There is also cultural familiarity. Everybody wants to be around family, especially new migrants who may have issues with language and cultural assimilation,” Marano says.
While he says the community knows Monday’s attack is not illustrative of the Islamic faith and Muslims, it is triggering for a community that has dealt with significant persecution in the Middle East.
“From a community perspective, people are in shock, slightly fearful and there’s anger, and rightly so.”
However, Marano says the anger is equally focused on the rioters who descended on the church after the attack, where police said on Thursday that 51 officers were injured.
“As Christians, and Australians, the conduct of those people, especially with the police, was totally unacceptable, it is not something we condone. We allow authorities, and the rule of law, to take its course. Those people that have conducted themselves in that manner should be prosecuted by the law,” he says.
Ninus Kanna: Different waves of Assyrian migrants are experiencing the attack in different ways. Max Mason-Hubers
Ninus Kanna, an investment analyst turned mortgage broker who is secretary of the Assyrian Aid Society Australia, says the feeling within the Assyrian community was shock and disappointment in the response to the attack.
Both Kanna and Marano say they quickly found out about the attack in messages from friends and saw it spread quickly over social media.
“We know most of the people at the riot weren’t Assyrian. It had nothing to do with the church and nothing to do with most Assyrians. But, the Assyrian community feels embarrassed because as soon as they see their name in the media they get scared,” Kanna tells AFR Weekend at Maison Coffee in nearby Greenfield Park.
“A lot of people who I wanted to speak to you said they didn’t want to because they were scared.”
Peter Esho, co-founder and chairman of real estate investment platform Wealthi, says government needs to better appreciate there were a number of factors behind the riot.
“It’s important to take the Assyrian label off for a minute and treat these people as Aussies living in a certain part of Sydney, which during lockdowns was labelled an LGA [local government area] of concern,” says Esho, who took part in an interfaith dialogue with community leaders organised by the Mayor of Liverpool on Thursday night.
“These people were told ‘you cannot travel more than five kilometres from your home’. What emerged during the pandemic was two parts of Sydney – an LGA of concern Sydney, and everyone else that could enjoy relative freedoms. What happened in these communities is people felt disenfranchised.”
Esho says a distrust of established media, authority and politicians emerged, particularly among young people.
“You’ve got a cohort of young people that are now facing a housing crisis, rents are expensive – the cost of a home in western Sydney is about 15 times your income, if you’ve gone to university you’ve got a HECS debt hanging over you, and you’ve also got the highest percentage of casual workers among young people than we’ve ever had.”
He says young people, not just Assyrians, are turning away from establishments and relying more on social media.
“That is where the opportunity for misinformation arises because that is their primary source of truth, of community engagement.”
The attack at the church reverberated through the Assyrian community – even for secular members – because it was centred on a place of community and religious observance.
“Our clergy have been our leaders, a lot of us are secular ... we’re Aussies, we represent a cross-section but our places of worship and our clergy have been special to us,” Esho says. “So when you hear of a church being attacked for Assyrians it’s a bit different because we have no other institutions. These are the centre of our community.”
Kanna, who grew up in Fairfield, says he loves everything about the area, but jokes that it’s too far away from the beach and fishing spots. Asked about tension with the Islamic community, Kanna says it wasn’t even a thought until Monday.
There’s about 190 ethnic backgrounds that are represented in this LGA. It’s remarkable how everyone gets along.
— Ninus Kanna
“People get along. It’s the most harmonious community in Australia. It’s actually something everyone’s really proud of. There’s about 190 ethnic backgrounds that are represented in this LGA. It’s remarkable how everyone gets along. I think in the next week, it won’t even be an issue.”
Kanna says different people in the Assyrian community experienced Monday’s attack in different ways, much of it based on which wave of migration they were a part of.
“They’ve all escaped from different things,” he says. Kanna’s father arrived in Australia in 1966. “There were economic reasons. But, there was also Arab nationalism.”
The rise of Saddam Hussein and his tyrannical regime in the late 1970s and early ’80s led to another wave of Assyrian migration, Kanna says. The 1990s and 2000s brought the first and second Iraq wars and by the mid-2010s, Islamic State’s seizure of the region spurred the most recent wave of Assyrian migration.
“But, if we look back in the next few months, I really don’t think it bears on the Muslim community in Australia at all. The overwhelming majority of Muslims in Australia who saw this event were horrified,” Kanna says.
Kanna sends us to Nineveh Restaurant in Fairfield Heights for lunch. Though we’re clearly from out of town, the shopkeepers happily tell us the menu, none of which is in English, and sell us on the virtues of a mango sauce, which adds a bit of bite to our fresh falafel rolls. The main strip of shops is bustling with people and noise. A community.
Esho says growing up in Fairfield was an education in geography and theology.
“We didn’t learn philosophy in school, instead in backyards, on the streets and in cafes. When you have Buddhist mates, that’s when you learn about Buddhism. That’s the beauty of not just Fairfield, but Australia.
“We grew up as Aussies, we’re labelled Assyrians, Lebanese, Coptics, whatever. But at the end of the day, we’re Aussies, and it’s very important for the wider Australian community to look at us as part of them. This is modern-day Australia,” he says.
“It’s important to understand that’s the fabric of our community in Australia now, and this disenfranchised youth on TikTok are not an anomaly, they’re going to be running the country in 20 years, so what’s the country going to look like when you have a leader that’s grown up on TikTok and has distrust for traditional political parties?
“Does that mean we have more independents? More teals? Are emerging parties going to become mainstream parties? It’s very important for us as Aussies to look at this as part of our own. This is Australia.”

Ugly feud - Did you just spray me?’: Neighbour feud in elite Sydney suburb  

Love thy neighbour? What to do when you can’t stand who’s next door

When Sabrina Damiano bought her first home – a one-bedroom apartment in Sydney’s eastern suburbs – the possibility of not getting along with her neighbours didn’t cross her mind.
“I’ve rented for the last 10 years and never had any issues,” she says. “When I moved in, I even went around and introduced myself with cupcakes and cookies.”
But just over a month later, Damiano received a breach notice saying her dog, Rufus – a 15-year-old pug-cross-maltese with dementia – was disturbing the peace by occasionally barking.
Sabrina Damiano says neighbours made her life difficult with a string of  noise complaints about her dog.
Sabrina Damiano says neighbours made her life difficult with a string of noise complaints about her dog.CREDIT: BEN SYMONS
Damiano says she took every measure to improve the situation. She got Rufus new medication, worked from home more frequently, and hired a dog-sitter when she had to leave the house. But the breach notices kept coming. Now, the case may go to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
“Things got really nasty,” she says. “They stuck the rude finger up at me. They threatened to call the RSPCA … They took my washing off the [communal] line.”
After less than a year Damiano’s situation became so toxic that she decided to sell her apartment.

A common problem

Whether faced with seemingly unreasonable complaints, or suffering at the hands of someone who blasts music at 4am every weeknight, neighbour disputes have arguably become part and parcel of community living.
According to a Relationships Australia survey conducted in 2019, over 60 per cent of women and 68 per cent of men said they had experienced conflict with neighbours.
I’m seeing a rise in noise complaints in strata [including apartments],” says strata lawyer Amanda Farmer.
“More people are living in strata, many different types of people, like families with kids, multi-generational families, those with pets, people who are adding value by renovating … But then you also have more people working from home, so it’s the perfect storm.”

Talk it out

Let’s say your neighbour blasts the trombone at 2am every Wednesday. If this interferes with your household’s sleep (and you feel safe enough to do so), etiquette expert Amanda King recommends calmly and respectfully approaching them to communicate how the issue affects you.
“If you begin with an aggressive reaction, you may only be met with more aggression, and the issue escalates,” Sydney-based King says. “Make sure to treat your neighbour with courtesy and respect and listen to what they have to say. Keep a record of all contact you have regarding the problem.”
Try to calmly solve the issue directly with your noisy neighbour first.
Try to calmly solve the issue directly with your noisy neighbour first. CREDIT: ISTOCK
Face-to-face is always preferable as it comes across as more sincere, King says. However, if this isn’t possible, a carefully worded letter would suffice.
It’s possible to get ahead of any issues by establishing a positive dynamic with your neighbours from the beginning, says Sydney-based social etiquette expert Anna Musson.
“Getting along with neighbours is a thermostat for your life. We should get to know who lives near us and build a community, whether for our own loneliness, neighbourhood security or to build that sense of belonging. When we know who’s crying, whose dog is barking, who’s building a deck, it reduces how annoying we find that sound.”


If tension persists, it’s often possible to resolve the dispute by inviting a knowledgeable and impartial third party to the conversation, says strata and community titles lawyer Allison Benson.
However, official mediation is the next step. “Owning a property in a strata or community title scheme is like a marriage, a long-term relationship with the other lot owners. It’s generally to everyone’s benefit to try to resolve the matter before it gets to the litigation stage.”
Most mediation services are free, such as via NSW Fair Trading and Community Justice Centres. Elsewhere, the Dispute Settlement of Victoria also offers free mediation; however, matters referred by VCAT are generally prioritised due to high demand.

Tribunal: a worst-case scenario?

Legal action is generally considered a last resort, Benson says, as it’s time-consuming, expensive and stressful. If your case does end up before a tribunal or court, she strongly recommends seeking legal advice.
“You need to understand not just your legal rights and obligations but what’s required during the litigation process. I’ve seen many people with good claims fail because they didn’t understand what they needed to prove or the time limits that may apply to their claim.”
During a tribunal, it will be up to the complainant to prove their peace was unfairly disturbed, Farmer says. This is a rather subjective process, which largely depends on the amount of verifiable evidence each neighbour recorded throughout the dispute.

Rules around noise in NSW and Victoria

The Protection of the Environment Operations (Noise Control) Regulation will govern most neighbourhood noise, including the use of air conditioners and musical instruments. It sets out timeframes for noisy activities and their duration.
In Victoria, the Environmental Protection Authority governs noise regulations. Most noise is acceptable between 7am and 8pm; however, this can differ depending on the type of noise and time of week. You can report unreasonable noise to your local council, the Dispute Settlement Centre of Victoria, or the police.
Defining “unreasonable noise”
This will depend on it’s volume and intensity, what type of noise it is, time and place, its duration and its frequency.

When to let it go

Not every grievance is worth the battle. As the Australian population grows and apartment living booms, noise and other minor annoyances are almost inevitable.
“People are all around you,” Farmer says. “You have to come to terms with this if you’re going to live in these spaces. Noise also travels in older buildings in Australia. So, you must temper expectations.”
If something is only mildly annoying and relatively infrequent, such as a Saturday night party or someone leaving their bin in the parking bay, Benson says it’s probably best to ignore it and preserve the relationship.
President of the Australian Psychological Society, Dr Catriona Davis-McCabe, says though you can’t control how you feel about something, you can control your response.
“Not letting go and moving on from small things that annoy you compounds over time, making your life harder and less enjoyable than it needs to be. Remember that you only have a finite amount of mental capacity to deal with stress each day, so it’s better to save it for the most important issues you’re facing.”

Meth, death and abuse: Inside the private security forces patrolling California’s homeless Cal Matters

The Distance Between You and the RevolutionHow Things Work

Greece Just Gave a Glimpse of How the EU’s “Voluntary” Digital ID Wallet Will Gradually Become Mandatory

The EU Commission has repeatedly stated that EU citizens will not face discrimination or exclusion for not using its new digital identity wallet. However, the Greek government just signaled its intent to do just that.