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Archive for September, 2009

Getting home

Posted by peggyhora on September 29, 2009

Lewis Carroll said, “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.”  I knew I was going home and that it would be long and tiring and worth it when I left Australia on Monday.  Pamela picked me up at my apartment a little before 7:30 and I got to Adeliade airport early.  I checked in only to find that they would not check my bags through to San Francisco.  Evidently Virgin Blue is a codeshare with United but not a partner(?).  The trip to Sydney was about 1 1/2 hours and uneventful except for the fact that water would have cost me $2.50.  Tea was $3.00.  Good grief.  I was too cheap to drink.  In Sydney I fetched my two very large bags, wrestled them onto a cart with my carry on overnighter and purse and tote and spent the next 45 minutes going up and down elevators getting poor information and poor directions to the connecting transportation to the international terminal which is a good 1/2 hour away.  I finally found the bus and some very nice young man helped me wrestle the three suitcases onto it.   I was pretty frustrated when I checked in again with United only to be told Virgin Blue could have checked my bags through to San Francisco.  I consoled myself in the Air New Zealand (a United partner) lounge and waiting for the boarding call.  I settled into my business class seat 6 1/2 hours after leaving my apartment and hunkered down for the 12-hour flight.  There was no one next to me so I didn’t have to worry about the down side of an aisle seat — people needing to use the loo.  I got a few hours sleep, read my Kindle, read the paper, watched TV reruns, couldn’t find a move I wanted to see, couldn’t figure out how to play Bejeweled on the entertainment center, did poorly at Trivia and finally landed at SFO a half hour early.  My BFF Gloria picked me up and we talked like crazy all the way back to my place.  She was house sitting and picking up mail and generally taking care of business for me while  was gone.  She is such a good friend.  She stocked the fridge so I wouldn’t have to go out and even had fresh flowers in the living room.  What a pal!  There’s been lots of drama about my home owners’ association election so I got caught up on my building gossip with my neighbor Don.  We went downstairs to The Counter for a hamburger after he got home from work about 6:30.  I had dozed in my chair during the afternoon so was able to put a sentence or two together at dinner.  I forced myself to stay up until 10:00 and gave up trying to stay in bed after 3:00 a.m. I’ll pay for that later in the day.  I have a call into my hairdresser and manicurist.  Hair like a yak and nails like a komodo dragon.   I have lots of mail to go through and unpackingto do so I’m not exactly wasting time.  Now that I’m home I won’t be blogging as often but do check back every now and again to see the status of my “thinking.”

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TTFN

Posted by peggyhora on September 27, 2009

Rodin's Le Penseur

Rodin's Le Penseur

I left SFO on August 10, almost 50 days ago, to come to Adelaide, a city I’d never seen, to participate in a program which details were not known to me and to live in a rented apartment for the first time in my life (except for two months when I was 17 but that’s another story).  I had two acquaintances but no friends here in South Australia.  I leave with 500 acquaintances and many, many friends.  I had high hopes and lots of ideas about change.  “People say that time changes everything but you really have to change yourself.”  Compliments of that great philosopher, Andy Warhol.  I leave having  given 18 different addresses (okay I used some of the same Power Points), met some of the state’s legal icons, had 365 hits on my website, wrote more than 40 blog entries and had as many as 100 readers on some days, gave away 250 business  cards (no one has ever needed a second box before), made two out-of-state trips, have met with the Premier, both the state and Commonwealth’s Attorney General, two cabinet ministers, and lord knows how many departments.  My barista in the Thinkers office building knows my order — flat, white decaf — and I’ve filled two “frequent flyer” cards and received my free cups of coffee.   The drivers of the cars who pick me up and schlep me around all know me now and pretty much know exactly where I’m going. One said the other day, “They didn’t tell me I was picking up Peggy Sue.”   I’ve been invited into homes for dinner and taken to must see tourist sites.  I’ve met husbands, wives, children and partners of my office mates and judicial colleagues.  I’ve managed to amuse the staff and myself on many occasions and have spent the week saying goodbye.  Early in my residency, Pamela said the Thinkers always come back (I’ve met two while here) and I can see why.  Not only do you want to see how your various recommendations are doing but you want to see the people with whom you’ve labored.  I’m so glad Sue King, my Project Catalyst, is able to stay on for the next 12 weeks to advance my work (and I should say “our work” because her thoughts, organization and insight have been invaluable) until my return on March 21.  I’m not sad and I don’t think I’ll cry when I get on the plane but it is with a tinge of something that I leave Adelaide and the Thinkers in Residence program this time.  But, as both General Mac Arthur and Arnold Schwarzenegger said, “I’ll be back.”  Ta ta for now.

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Last Sunday in Adelaide

Posted by peggyhora on September 27, 2009

I spent the morning packing, tidying up and getting ready to leave.  Pamela picks me up at 7:30 Mon. morning to go to the airport so I won’t have much time then.  Around 11:00 I strolled to the next block, site of the Rundle Street Market every Sunday. Someone told me it wasn’t worth attending but they were wrong.  I was actually on my way to breakfast around the corner but stopped at a booth selling poffertjes, a small Dutch pancake.  You get about 8 little fellers (about 2″ across) sprinkled with powdered sugar and cinnamon and served with slagroom (whipped cream).  Yummy in the tummy.  The woman in the booth was playing “In the Mood,” a Glenn Miller tune from the ’40’s.  Quite pleasant.  There was also an organic farmers’ booth and a lovely infused salt booth (lavendar, lime and Mediterranean herbs) that also had pyramid-shaped salt.  I would have bought some but am down to my last Australian $10 and don’t want to hit the ATM again.  Maybe next time.  At the end of the street was a Kettle Korn booth and it tasted just like ours.  There was also jewelry and clothing and other things of no interest to me.  I found a free taxi (actually it was far from free!) for the 45 minute ride to Aldinga for lunch at The Orchard, a lovely restaurant owned by Thinkers’ director Gabe Kelly and her husband Kerry Flannigan.  We settled in for a long lunch of a couple of glasses of wine made by Kerry and a nice lamb dish with philo dough and gravy with a balsamic vinaigrette salad on the side.  We were joined by Kerry’s 16-year-old son Louis who is quite a charming young man.  He reminded me of my 17-year-old grandson Dillon.  We took a drive along the ocean and enjoyed the green hills of the Southern Vale on the way home. Tonight it’s take it easy.  It was a nice end to an incredible six weeks.

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Movies…finally

Posted by peggyhora on September 26, 2009

Six weeks may be the longest I’ve gone without seeing a movie.  Even on television.  And I didn’t watch the ones on the plane.  Sat. was a totally free day and I did a little packing then headed off to see “Young Victoria” at the local movie theater.  Learned yet another thing about Australia (or at least Adelaide or maybe just that theater) I didn’t know — they don’t put butter on movie popcorn.  Go figure.  You should have heard the conversation I had with the young worker.  “Do you use real butter or that oily stuff?”  “We use coconut oil for the vegans.”  Huh?  Turns out Victoria was just like I wanted it to be.  Rupert English was so very much better than he was in “Cheri” and Emily Blunt tears up the screen.  She’s our up-and-coming Meryl Streep I think.   The costumes and scenery were divine.  Buckingham Palace was as beautiful as Versailles in “Cheri.”  I was so chuffed (remember, that’s one of my new Aussie adjectives) about Victoria I stayed to see “Fame” in the same theater complex.  It was totally predictable but quite fun.  The kids have loads of talent.  I then trundled down to Rundle Mall to pick up kangaroo Christmas ornaments for the kids and returned home to do a little more packing.  Tomorrow I’m off to the Coast to visit Gabe Kelly (the director of the Thinkers’ program) and her husband’s restaurant on the water.  I’m looking forward to my last Adelaide outing for 2009.

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The last of the meetings and press

Posted by peggyhora on September 26, 2009

There was a glitch in the car service so I got to stand in the rain for 20 minutes and be late for my first morning meeting with the senior prosecutors.  They, like everyone else, are concerned about court delay.  These barristers only prosecute indictable crimes (what we would call felonies) and the lesser crimes (misdemeanors) are prosecuted by the police.  It’s a very different system and, get this, there is no right to a speedy trial.  I’ve heard someone can be in custody for up to two years before trial.  They also have an acquittal rate of up to 50% and dismissal at the commitment stage (preliminary hearing) of almost 50% as well.  I am hoping to help reverse these numbers with some recommendations on trial delay reduction, case management, and streamlining.  After breakfast, I came into the office with a storage bin so I won’t have to wag things back and forth across the Pacific and launched into a second meeting with the Department of Families and Communities, AG, and others on the Family Treatment Court concept which may be funded by the Commonwealth.  Next came the debrief of the residency with the entire Thinker team and that rolled into lunch.  I took Sue and Pamela to a thank you lunch at Chesser Cellars, the site of the lamb and Shiraz gravy pie which I had again.  Dang good.  Not to mention the sticky pudding with caramel, clotted cream and ice cream.  We had a wonderful time and were lingering over our coffees when the phone rang to remind us I had a farewell interview with The Advertiser.  Yikes!  I had completely forgotten.  We dashed back to the office, I had my interview, turned on the “Out of Office Assistant,” cleaned up my emails and Kerryl transferred all my files and email to my jump drive.  Now if I can just figure out how to transfer that data when I get home.  I may have to call my neighbor, Al Hudock, who helped me get all my Outlook data on my travel computer.  low his wife Marge and I have our book group on Thursday.  It’s a little weird to think of the usual things at home.  Kerryl’s boyfriend Ian whom I call Morgan (as in Freeman) and who calls me Ms. Daisy, gave me a ride home and I started to pack the two large suitcases that could hold refrigerators.  I finally gave up and flopped on the couch to nestle in for the news of the football game in Melbourne that is the equivalent of the Super Bowl.  Not that I give two hoots about it but, except for the PBS-like ABC, it was on every channel and that’s the pre-game.  I don’t think I’ll be going out tomorrow night because the footy playoffs + lots of alcohol = stay off the streets.  Watching 19-year-olds being rowdy and puking on the sidewalk fits right in with the third circle of hell. Saturday I will try to catch up with Thinker #16 Laura Lee who is in town for her second residency but if she’s not available, my treat for finishing most of the packing tomorrow is to sneak in my first movie since I’ve been here.  Otherwise I expect a quiet day.

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Farewell dinner

Posted by peggyhora on September 24, 2009

Thinking waiter

Thinking waiter

Half the gang

Half the gang

 

Half the gang

Half the gang

Sue King leaves for Vietnam and Cambodia on Friday night so we’re had our farewell dinner on Thursday night at La Trattoria which is rumored to have the best pizza in Adelaide.  I had the “best gourmet pizza,”,award winning “Andy’s seafood” pie that came with calamari, prawns and scallops with marinara sauce.  I can see why it won awards in both Australia and New York.  In the morning I spoke at a conference of the Aboriginal Legal Rights group at the University of Adelaide about therapeutic jurisprudence and indiginous people.  I also met with two people from the Australian Law Reform Commission about domestic violence issues.  I had lunch with Commissioner Mal Hyde, Asst. Commissioner Gary Burns and Bronwyn Killmer, the highest ranking female member of the South Australian Police to discuss court delay and other issues.  I got a little planning time and finished packing up what stays here and what gets shipped home.  A local icon is Parole Board Chair Francis Nelson QC who has headed the board for 26 years.  I met with her before the farewell dinner and it was very intersting. We had some serious discussions but also a few laughs.  Friday is my last day in the office.  Sniff.   I have my last meetings then it’s off to Rundle Mall for boomerang key chains.  Shhh, don’t tell the kids; they’re stocking stuffers.

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ABC Star

Posted by peggyhora on September 23, 2009

The Australian Broadcasting Company is the equivalent of National Public Radio in the U.S.  Damien Carrick, a lawyer/journalist, interviewed me for 45 minutes yesterday about problem-solving courts and my experiences as a drug treatment court judge.  It was quite fun and I told stories about Nick and Diana, two of my favorite graduates. I’ll be sure to let you know when it’s going to air on “Law Report,” the national legal show.  I started the morning in a meeting with the president of the bar association who is writing a column about me in the local paper.  He agrees with my ideas for reform and is excited about the possibilities for change.  I then met with two different sets of community groups’ boards and have forged new relationships with them.  I also set up a date with the District Court judges for my next visit.  I’ve spent a lot of time with the magistrates, some good amount of time with justices of the Supreme Court and Youth Court but not much with the District Court.  I’m looking forward to some exciting collaborations with them as well.  In the evening I did a presentation to the judges’ associates who work for judicial officers in what we would call clerkships.  They are  young lawyers straight out of school.  A law degree here is not a graduate degree so these young men and women are in their early 20’s.  They were eager to hear war stories and asked poignant and pertinent questions. The last one was, “How do we become practitioners in therapeutic jurisprudence?”  Just great. I think I communicated well with them and they were quite gracious hosts.  I came home to do some packing and still can’t believe I only have two work days to go before I leave this time.  Talk about time flying.  Oh, and one of the young men gave me a new Ozism:  “As off as a bucket of prawns in the sun.”  I just love that one.

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Final Ozism

Posted by peggyhora on September 22, 2009

Die with my leg in the air = be shocked

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Week 6. Yikes!

Posted by peggyhora on September 22, 2009

I began my last week of the first stint as ATIR at breakfast with Greg  Mackie, the boss of the office and the founder of the Festival of Ideas.  Remember, early on I told you about the Adelaide tradition of innovation and thoughts whereas we have festivals about vegetables — asparagus, garlic, zucchini, pumpkin.  He’s a charming and engaging guy and encouraged me to tell all and I did.  Pamela, Sue and I spent the next couple of hours working on my farewell presentation to the partners and preparing for a legislative meeting with the Attorney General’s office for them to brief me about what’s in the pipeline and for me to talk about what I’m thinking in terms of changes in the law.  I then spent the day organizing well, everything.  Then I was treated to dinner with six magistrates and, as always, it’s fun being with judges to compare practices around the world.  I love the looks of incredulity when one or the other of us describe how law is done in various jurisdictions.  There’s clearly more than one way to deliver justice, isn’t there?  We ate at Alphutte, an iconic Adelaide restaurant that is a favorite with the “businessmen” crowd for lunch.  I can see why.  Huge portions of large animals and not too much green.  It was fine but nothing to write home about except, I guess, I am writing home about it.  My dinner companions explained their work challenges and prompted me to think about some issues of importance to them.  On Tuesday, I had the AG legislative meeting, lunched with George Mancini, head of the Law Society, at a little place around the corner from the office that doesn’t look like much but put out a great little veal ragu rigatoni and we discussed some issues of concern of the attorneys in town.  The partners’ meeting at the Magistrates’ Court went great and I think they had no idea I had done so much while I was here.  That was followed by the launch of a new self-help booklet on debt collection and I finished a meeting with a quiet drink with Dr. Andrew Cannon, Deputy Chief Magistrate, the one person I knew in Adelaide when I arrived.  He is also the one who nominated me for ATIR and for that I will be eternally grateful.  I won’t see him again until next time and I appreciate all he has done for me while I was here.  I came home and dined on Maggie Beer’s fig and fennel paste smeared onto extra thin, extra crispy toasts imbedded with dried apricot and pistachios and covered with triple cream brie.  Yum.  I spentnsome time on the computer and retired about 9:30 having spent another exciting day filled with stimulating people, places and things.

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Mannum on the Murray

Posted by peggyhora on September 21, 2009

Haythorpe homestead, Mannum

Haythorpe homestead, Mannum

There’s nothing like a lazy weekend, sitting around, pretending to read, playing board games, drinking and eating well, and staring at water.  Whether it’s crashing waves or a quiet stream, there’s something absolutely primal about water.  Saturday afternoon I was lucky to be invited by Ingrid Haythorpe from the Attorney General’s staff on a visit “home” to a small town on the Murray River.  The poor river is in terrible trouble and is down about 6-7 feet.  We took the ferry over to the other side of the river to the family home we shared with “Mum” aka Marg, Ingrid’s sister Dinah, her husband Kim and their children Eli (12), his friend Tom (12) and Charlotte (10).  Tanya, Ingrid’s cousin who works in the Premier’s office, arrived with her baby Grace (9 months).  The gang was rounded out by Ingrid’s twins Remi (2) and Laura (2).  It was just an all round good time and a lovely ride both there and back.  Mannum is a town of about 2,000 and we went home over the Murray Bridge built in 1874.  We passed the grassland called the Murray Mallee and the whole thing is called the Murray Lands.  Earlier in the day Sue and I went out to the City of Playford, one of the partners in my residency, for their community forum.  I talked about my “Smart on Crime” initiatives and there was a nice turnout of the community.  On the way home, we passed “Scotty” for the third or fourth time and I just had to get a photo of him.  He reminded me of “Big Mike” on Main Street in Hayward.  Sunday night I was lucky enough to be invited to dinner at the home of Thinker staffer Denise Maddigan and her parner Pete.  We had a lovely fish dinner and a great chat about movies and life and politics and this and that. 
"Scotty," an Elizabeth icon

"Scotty," an Elizabeth icon

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